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DUKE of Venice.

Brabantio, a noble Venetian.

Gratiano, Brother to Brabantio.

Lodovico, Kinfman to Brabantio and Gratiano.
Othello, the Moor.


Jago, Standard-bearer to Othello.

Rodorigo, a Gentleman.

Montano, the Moor's Predeceffor in the Government of Cyprus.

Clown, Servant to the Moor.


Defdemona, Wife to Othello.

Emilia, Wife to lago.

Bianca, Miftrefs to Caffio.

Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Muficians, Sailors, and Attendants.

SCENE, for the First Act, in Venice; during the reft of the Play, in Cyprus.

1. Quarto,




5. Folio,

Of this Play the Editions are,

Preface by Thomas Walkely.

1622. N. O. for Thomas Walkely.
1630. A. M. for Richard Hawkins.
1650. for William Leuk.


I have the folio, and the third quarto collated with the second,

and the fourth.

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The Moor of VENICE.



A Street in VENICE.

Enter Rodorigo and Iago.


EVER tell me. I take it much unkindly,
That thou, lago, who haft had my purse,

As if the ftrings were thine, fhouldft know of

lago. But you'll not hear me.

If ever I did dream of fuch a matter, abhor me. Rod. Thou toldft me, thou didst hold him in thy hate.

Iag. Defpife me,

If I do not. Three Great ones of the city,

In perfonal fuit to make me his lieutenant,

Othello, the Moor of Venice.] The flory is taken from Cyn

thio's Novels.



Off-capp'd to him; and, by the faith of man,
I know my price, I'm worth no worse a Place.
But he, as loving his own pride and purpofe;
Evades them with a bombaft circumftance,
Horribly ftuft with epithets of war,
And, in conclufion,

Non-fuits my mediators. "Certes, fays he,
"I have already chofe my officer."
And what was he?

Forfooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Caffio, a Florentine,
A fellow almoft damn'd' in a fair wife;

za Florentine ] It appears from many paffages of this play, (rightly understood) that Caffio was a Florentine, and Iago a Venetian. HANMER. 3-in a fair wife ;] In the former editions this hath been printed, a fair wife; but furely it must from the beginning have been a miake, because it appears from a following part of the play, that Caffio was an unmarried man: On the other hand, his beauty is often hinted at, which it is natural enough for rough foldiers to treat with fcorn and ridicule. I read therefore, A fellow almoft damn'd in a fair phyz. HANMER.

a Florentine, A fellow almofi damn'd in a fair

wife;] But it was lago, and not Caffio, who was the Florentine, as appears from Act 3. Scene 1. The paffage therefore fhould be read thus,

(a Florentine's A fellow alm.oft cumn'din a fair wife;-)

Thefe are the words of Othello, (which Iago in this relation re peats,) and fignify, that a Floreniine was an unfit perfon for command, as being always a slave to a fair wife; which was the cafe of lago. The Oxford Editor, fuppofing this was faid by Iage of Caffio, will have Caffio to be the Florentine; which, he fays, is plain from many passages in the Play, rightly under flood. But becaufe Caffio was no married man, (tho' I wonder it did not appear he was, from fome passages rightly underflo:d) he alters the line thus,

A fellow almost damn'd in a fair Phyz, A White-friers' phrafe. WARB.

This is one of the paffages which muft for the present be refigned to corruption and obfcurity. I have nothing that I can, with any approach to confidence, propofe. I cannot think it very plain from Act II. Scene 1. that Cafio was or was not a Florentine.



That never fet a fquadron in the field,

Nor the divifion of a battle knows

More than a spinfter; but the bookish theorick,
* Wherein the toged confuls can propofe

As masterly as he. Meer prattle, without practice
Is all his foldierfhip. He had th' election

And I, of whom his

At Rhodes, at Cyprus,

Christian and heathen,

eyes had feen the proof

and on other grounds

must be belee'd and calm'd

By Debitor and Creditor. This Counter-cafter
He, in good time, muft his lieutenant be,

And I, Sir, (blefs the mark!) his Moor-fhip's An


Rod. By heav'n, I rather would have been his hang


Iago. But there's no remedy; 'tis the curfe of fer


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Preferment goes by letter and affection,

? And not by old gradation, where each second


4 Wherein the tongued Confuls] So the generality of the impreffions read; but the oldeft quarto has it toged; the Senators, that affifted the Duke in Council, in their proper Gowns.

-But let me explain, why I have ventured to fubftitute Counfellors in the room of Confuls: The Venetian nobility constitute the great Council of the Senate, and are a part of the adminiftration; and fummon'd to affift and counsel the Doge, who is Prince of the Senate. So that they may very properly be called Counsellors. Tho' the Government of Venice was democratick at first, under Confuls and Tribunes; that form of power has been totally VOL. VIII.

abrogated, fince Doges have been elected. THEOBALD. Wherein the toged Confuls-] Corfuls, for couns'lors. WARD.

5 must be LED and calm'd] So the old Quarto. The first Folio reads belee'd: but that spoils the meafure. I read LET, hindered. WARBURTON.

Belee'd fuits to calmed, and the measure is not lefs perfect than in many other places. 6 -by letter] By recommendation from powerful friends.

7 And not by old gradation,-] What is old gradation? He immediately explains gradation very properly. But the idea of old does not come into it, Y


Stood heir to th' firft.

Now, Sir, be judge yourself,

* If I in any just term am affin'd
To love the Moor.

Rod. I would not follow him then.
Tago. O Sir, content you;

I follow him to ferve my turn upon him.
We cannot all be mafters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obfequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's afs,
For nought but provender; and when he's old, ca-

Whip me fuch honeft knaves. Others there are,
Who, trimm'd in forms and vifages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves;
And, throwing but fhows of fervice on their Lords,
Well thrive by them; and when they've lin'd their


Do themselves homage. Thefe folks have fome foul, And fuch a one do I profefs myself.

It is as fure as you are Rodorigo,

Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:

In following him, I follow but myself,

Heav'n is my judge!-Not I, for love and duty,
But, feeming fo, for my peculiar end.

where each fecond Stood heir to th' first.

I read therefore,

Not (as of old) gradation i. e. it does not go by gradation, as it did of old. WARB. Old gradation, is gradation eltablifhed by ancient practice. Where is the difficulty?

8 If I in any juft term am affin'd] Affined is the reading

of the third quarto and the firft folio. The fecond quarto and all the modern editions have affign'd. The meaning is, Do Iftand within any fuch terms of propinquity or relation to the Moor, as that it is my duty to love him?

9 honeft knaves.— ] Krave is here for fervant, but with a mixture of fly contempt.


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