Othello

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MESSENGER. Of thirty sail: and now they do re-stem Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance Their purposes toward Cyprus.--Signior Montano, Your trusty 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 not he in town?

FIRST SENATOR. He's now in Florence.

DUKE. Write from us to him; post-post-haste despatch.

FIRST SENATOR. 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.-- [To Brabantio.] I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior; We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night.

BRABANTIO. 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.

DUKE. Why, what's the matter?

BRABANTIO. My daughter! O, my daughter!

DUKE and SENATORS. Dead?

BRABANTIO. Ay, to me; She is abused, 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 beguiled 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.

BRABANTIO. 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 and SENATORS. We are very sorry for't.

DUKE. [To Othello.] What, in your own part, can you say to this?

BRABANTIO. Nothing, but this is so.

OTHELLO. 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 Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech, And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace; For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, 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 broil and battle; And therefore little shall I grace my cause In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience, I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver Of my whole course of love: what drugs, what charms, What conjuration, and what mighty magic,-- For such proceeding I am charged withal,-- I won his daughter.

BRABANTIO. A maiden never bold: Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion Blush'd at herself; and she,--in spite of nature, Of years, of country, credit, everything,-- To fall in love with what she fear'd to look on! It is judgement maim'd and most imperfect That will confess perfection so could err Against all rules of nature; and must be driven To find out practices of cunning hell, Why this should be. I therefore vouch again, That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood, Or with some dram conjur'd to this effect, He wrought upon her.

DUKE. To vouch this is no proof; Without more wider and more overt test Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods Of modern seeming do prefer against him.

FIRST SENATOR. But, Othello, speak: Did you by indirect and forced courses Subdue and poison this young maid's affections? Or came it by request, and such fair question As soul to soul affordeth?

OTHELLO. I do beseech you, Send for the lady to the Sagittary, And let her speak of me before her father. If you do find me foul in her report, The trust, the office I do hold of you, Not only take away, but let your sentence Even fall upon my life.

DUKE. Fetch Desdemona hither.

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