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OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
“The Plot is taken from the Hecatommithi, or ‘Hundred Tales' of Giraldo Cinthio, an Italian novelist and dramatist of the second class, in the sixteenth century.". But although Shakspeare was indebted for the general plan of his plot to the Italian novelist, vet many of the characters are entirely of his own creation, and all of them owe to him
hat individuality which Shakspeare, of all dramatic poets, seems to possess the power of ansfusing into all the personages he introduces into his Dramas.
Bishop Lowth says of this Play, that—"the passion of jealousy, its causes, progress, incidents, and effects, have been more truly, more acutely, more copiously, and more impressively delineated, than has been done by all the disquisitions of all the philosophers who have treated on this dark argument."
But it may well be added, that the beauties of this immortal Drania are so conspicuous as to need no aid of critical illustration.
DUKE OF VENICE.
BRABANTIO, a Scnator.
Two other Senators.
GRATIANO, brother to Brabantio.
LODOVICO, kinsman to Brabantio.
OTHELLO, the Moor :
Cassio, his lieutenant ;
Iago, his ancient.
RODERIGO, a Venetian Gentleman.
MONTANO, Othello's predecessor in the government of Cyprus.
Clown, servant to Othello. Herald.
DESDEMONA, daughter to Brabantio, and wife to Othello.
EMILIA, wife to lago.
Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicians, Sailors, Attendants, foc.
SCENE,--for the First Act, in Venice; during the rest of the play, at
Othello, a noble Moor, in the service of the States of Venice, has won the affections of Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio. The lady leaves her father's house, clandes. tinely, and is married to the Moor: lago, a seeming friend of Othello, but in reality liis “ direst foe,”-acquaints Brabantio of Desdemona's flight, and sets the enraged father in pursuit of his daughter and her husband: he then joins the Moor, to avoid susnicion of his double dealing.
SCENE II.-A Street in Venice.
Enter OTHELLO, Iago, and Attendants.
Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
Yet do 1 hold it very stuff o' the conscience,
To do no contriv'd murder; I lack iniquity
Sometimes, to do me service: Nine or ten times
I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribe.
Oth. 'Tis better as it is.
Nay, but he pratea,
And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
Against your honor,
That, with the little godliness I have,
I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray, sir,
Are you fast married ? for, be sure of this,
That the magnifico is much beloved ;
And hath, in his effect, a voice potential,
As double as the duke's; he will divorce you;
Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
The law (with all his might to enforce it on)
Will give him cable.
Let him do his spite :
My services, which I have done the signiory,
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know,
(Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,
I shall promulgate,) I fetch my life and being
From men of royal siege ;
May speak, unbonnetted, to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reach'd : For know, Iago,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoused free condition
Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come yonder ?
Enter Cassio, at a distance, and certain Officers, with torches
Iago. These are the raised father, and his friends :
You were best go in.
Oth. Not I: I must be found;
My parts, my title, and my perfect soul,
Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they ?
Iago. By Janus, I think no.
Oth. The servants of the duke and my lieutenant.
The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
What is the news ?
The duke does greet you, general;
And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,
Even on the instant.
What is the matter, think you ?
Cas. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine ;
It is a business of some heat: the gallies
Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
This very night, at one another's heels;
And many of the consuls, rais’d, and met,
Are at the duke's already: You have been hotly call’d for;
When, being not at your lodging to be found,
The senate hath sent about three several quests,
To search you out.
'Tis well I am found by you.
I will but spend a word here in the house,
Ancient, what makes he here?
Iago. He's married.
Cas. To whom ?
Iago. Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go?
Have with you.
Cas. Here comes another troop to seek for you.
Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and Officers of night, with torohes ana
Iago. It is Brabantio :-general, be advis'd;
He comes to bad intent.
Hola! stand there !
Rod. Signior, it is the Moor.
Down with him, thief!
[They draw on both sides, Iago. You, Roderigo! come, sir, I am for you.
Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. -
Good signior, you shall more command with years,
Than with your weapons.
Bra. O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd my daughter ?
Thou hast enchanted her:
For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
If she in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid-so tender, fair, and happy,
So opposite to marriage, that she shunn'd
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou:
Thou hast practis'd on her with foul charms.
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee,
For an abuser of the world, a practiser
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant :-
Lay hold upon him: if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.
Hold your hands,
Both you of my inclining, and the rest :
Were it my cue to fight, I would have known it
Without a prompter. Where will you that I go
To answer this your charge ?
To prison : till fit tim.
Of law, and course of direct session,
Call thee to answer.
What if I do obey ?
How may the duke be therewith satisfied ;
Whose messengers are here about my side,
Upon some present business of the state,
To bring me to him.
'Tis true, most worthy signior
The duke's in council; and your noble self,
I am sure, is sent for.
How, the duke in council !
In this time of the night !- Bring him away:
Mine's not an idle cause : the duke himself,
Or any of my brothers of the state
Cannot but feel this wrong, as 'twere their own:
For if such actions may have passage free,
Bond-slaves, and pagans, shall our statesmen be.
[Exeunt SCENE III.- The Same. A Council Chamčer. The DUKE, and Senators, sitting at a table ; Officers attending.
Duke. There is no composition in these news, That gives them credit. 1st Sen.
Indeed, they are disproportion'd; My letters say, a hundred and seven gallies.
Duke. And mine a hundred and forty. 2nd Sen.
And mine, two hundred But though they jump not on a just account, (As in these cases, where the aim reports, 'Tis oft with difference,) yet do they all confirm A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus. Duke. Nay, it is possible enough to judgment.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes,
Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
1st Sen. Ay, so I thought :—How many, as you guess ?
Mess. Of thirty sail: and now do they re-stem
Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance
Their purposes towards Cyprus.—Signior Montano,
Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
With his free duty recommends you thus,
prays you to believe him.
Duke. 'Tis certain then for Cyprus.-
1st Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant Moor.
Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, IAGO, RODERIGO, and Officers.
Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
Against the general enemy Ottoman.
I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior, [Το BRABANTIα
We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night.
Bra. So did I yours: Good your grace, pardon me;
Neither my place, nor aught I heard of business,
Hath rais’d me from my bed; nor doth the general care
Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature,
That it engluts and swallows other sorrows,
And it is still itself.
Why, what's the matter
Bra. My daughter! O, my daughter!
Aye, to me:
She is abus'd, stol'n from me, and corrupted
By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks :
For nature so preposterously to err,
Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
Sans witchcraft could not-
Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding
Hath thus beguild your daughter of herself,
And you of her, the bloody book of law
You shall yourself read in the bitter letter,
After your own sense; yea, though our proper son
Stood in your action.
Humbly I thank your grace.
Here is the man, this Moor; whom now, it seems,
Your special mandate, for the state affairs,
Hath hither brought.
Duke of Sen. We are very sorry for it.
Duke. What, in your own part, can you say to this?
[T. OTUELLO Bra. Nothing, but this is so.
Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approv'd good masters,
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her;
The very head and front of my offending