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Duke and Senators, fet at a table with lights, and attendants.

Duke. 5


HERE is no compofition in these news,
That gives them credit.

1 Sen. Indeed, they're difproportion'd;
My letters fay, a hundred and feven Gallies.
Duke. And mine a hundred and forty.
2 Sen. And mine, two hundred;

But though they jump not on a just account,
'As in these cafes where they aim reports,
'Tis oft with diff'rence; yet do they all confirm
A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.

Duke. Nay, it is poffible enough to judgment.
I do not fecure me in the error,

But the main article I do approve

In fearful fense.

Sailors within.] What hoa! what hoa! what hoa!


5 There is no compofition-] for information than conjecture: Compofition, for confiftency, con- Which not only improves the cordancy. WARBURTON. fenfe, but, by changing the verb 6 As in thefe cafes, where THEY into a noun, and the noun into a aim reports,] These Venetians verb, mends the expreffion. feem to have had a very odd fort of perfons in employment, who did all by hazard, as to what, and bow, they should report; for this is the fenfe of man's aim ing reports. The true reading, without queftion, is,

-where THE aim reports. i, e, where there is no better ground

The folio has,

-the aim reports. But, they aim reports, has a fenfe fufficiently eafy and commodious. Where men report not by certain knowledge, but by aim and conje&ture.


Enter Sailors.

Offi. A meffenger from the Gallies.
Duke. Now?-What's the business?

Sail. The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes. So was I bid report here to the State.


Duke, How fay you by this change?

1 Sen. This cannot be,

By no affay of reason. 'Tis a pageant,
To keep us in falfe gaze; when we confider
Th' importancy of Cyprus to the Turk,
And let ourselves again but understand,
That as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
So may he with more facile question bear it ;
9 For that it ftands not in fuch 1 warlike brace,
But altogether lacks th' abilities


That Rhodes is dress'd in. If we make thought of this,

We must not think the Turk is so unskilful,

To leave that latest which concerns him firft;

Neglecting an attempt of eafe and gain,

To wake and wage a danger profitlefs.

Duke. Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes. Offi. Here is more news.

Enter a Meflenger.

Mef. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious, Steering with due course toward the Ifle of Rhodes, Have there injointed them with an after-fleetI Sen, Ay, fo I thought; how many, as you guess?

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Mef. Of thirty fail; and now they do re-stem Their backward courfe, bearing with frank appear


Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,
Your trufty and most valiant Servitor,

With his free duty, recommends you thus,


* And prays you to believe him.


Duke. 'Tis certain then for Cyprus. Marcus Luccicos,

Is he not here in town?

1 Sen. He's now in Florence.

Duke. Write from us, to him, poft, poft-hafte. Defpatch.

i Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant Moor.

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To them, enter Brabantio, Othello, Caffio, Iago, Rodorigo, and Officers.

Duke. Valiant Othello, we muft ftraight employ


Against the general enemy Ottoman.

I did not fee you; welcome, gentle fignior, [To Brab. We lack'd your counfel, 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


Take hold on me, for my particular grief

2 And prays you to believe him.] The late learned and ingenious Mr. Thomas Clark of Lincoln's Inn, read the paffage thus,

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And prays you to relieve him. But the prefent reading may ftand. He intreats you not to doubt

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the truth of this intelligence.

3-general care.] The word care, which encumbers the verse, was probably added by the players. Shakespeare uses the general as a fubftantive, though, I think, not in this fenfe.


Is of fo flood-gate and o'er-bearing nature,
That it ingluts and swallows other forrows,
And yet is still itself.

Duke. Why, what's the matter?

Bra. My daughter! oh, my daughter!:
Sen. Dead?.

Bra. To me;

She is abus'd, ftoll'n from me, and corrupted.


* By spells and medicines, bought of mountebanks; For nature fo prepofterously to err,

Being not deficient, blind, nor lame of sense,
Sans witchcraft could not

Duke. Who-e'er he be, that in this foul proceeding Hath thus beguil'd your daughter of herself,

And you of her, the bloody book of law
You shall yourself read in the bitter letter,

After your own fenfe; yea, though our proper Son 5 Stood in your action.

Bra. Humbly I thank your Grace,

Here is the man, this Moor, whom now it feems,
Your special mandate for the State-affairs,
Hath hither brought.

rie, cap. 17. of the Code intitled, Della premiffion del maleficio. Sratuino etiamdio, che-fe aicun homo, o femina bara fatto maleficii, iquali fe dimancano vulgarmente amatorie, overamente alcuni altri maleficii, che alcun homo o femina Je havefon in odio, fia frufta bollado, & che hara configliado patisca fimile pena. And therefore in the preceding Scene, Brabantio calls them,

By fpel's and medicines, bought of mounteanks] Rymer has ridiculed this circumitance as unbecoming (both for its weaknels and fuperftition) the gravity of the accufer, and the cignity of the tribunal: But his criticifm only expofes his own ignorance. The circumflance was not only exactly in character, but urged with the greateft addrefs, as the thing chiefly to be infiffed on. For, by the Venetian law, the Arts inhibited, and out of giving Love-potions was very warrant. WARBURTON. criminal, as Shake fear without 5 Stood in your action.] Were queftion well unde ftood. Thus, the man expofed to your charge the Law, Dei maleficii & kerba- or accufation. All.

All. We're very sorry for❜t.

Duke. What in your own part can you say to this? [To Othello.

Bra. Nothing, but this is fo.

Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend figniors, 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 Hath this extent; no more. Rude am I in fpeech, 7 And little bless'd with the foft phrafe of peace; For fince these arms of mine had feven years Pith, 'Till now, fome nine moons wafted, they have us’d • Their dearest action in the tented field; And little of this great world can I speak, More than pertains to feats of broils and battle; And therefore little fhall I grace my cause,

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious pa


I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver

Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,

What conjuration, and what mighty magick,
For fuch proceeding I am charg'd withal,
I won his daughter with.

6 The very head and front of my offending] The main, the whole unextenuated.

7 And little blefs'd with the SOFT phrafe of peace; ] This apology, if addreffed to his miftrefs, had been well expreffed. But what he wanted, in fpeaking before a Venetian Senate, was not the foft blandishments of fpeech, but the art and method of mafcu

Z 2

line eloquence. The old Quarto reads it, therefore, as I am perfuaded Shakespear wrote,

the SET phrafe of peace; WARBURTON. Soft is the reading of the folio. • Their dearest action-] That is dear, for which much is paid, whether money or labour; dear. action, is action performed at great expence, either of ease or safety.


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