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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 a judgment 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.
To vouch this, is no proof,
Without more certain and more overt test,
Than these thin habits and
likelihoods Of modern seeming do prefer against him.
Ist 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.
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.
Fetch Desdemona hither. Othello. Ancient, conduct them; you best know the
place.And, till she come, as truly as to heaven
I do confess the vices of my blood,
So justly to your grave ears I'll present
How I did thrive in this fair lady's love,
And she in mine.
Say it, Othello.
Othello. Her father lov'd me; oft invited me;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have pass'd.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it :
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And portance in my travel's history :
Wherein of antres vast, and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,
It was my hint to speak; such was the process;
And of the cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
beneath their shoulders. These things to hear, Would Desdemona seriously incline : But still the house affairs would draw her thence; Which ever as she could with haste despatch, She'd come again, and with a greedy ear Devour up my discourse which I observing, Took once a pliant hour; and found good means To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart, That I would all my pilgrimage dilate, Whereof by parcels she had something heard But not intentively: I did consent;
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs ;
She swore,-in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful :
She wish'd she had not heard it; yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man : she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass’d;
And I lov'd her that she did pity them.
the witchcraft I have used : Here comes the lady, let her witness it.
Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and Attendants.
Duke. I think this tale would win my daughter too. —
Take up this mangled matter at the best;
Men do their broken weapons rather use,
Than their bare hands.
I pray you, hear her speak;
If she confess that she was half the wooer,
Destruction on my head, if my bad blame
Light on the man Come hither, gentle mistress :
Do you perceive in all this noble company,
Where most you owe obedience ?
My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty :
To you, I am bound for life and education;
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you ; you are the lord of duty,–
I am hitherto your daughter : but here's my husband;
And so much duty as my mother show'd
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge, that I may profess
Due to the Moor my
Brabantio. God be with you !—I have done.-
Please it your grace, on to the state affairs ;
I had rather to adopt a child than get it.-
Come hither, Moor:
I here do give thee that with all my heart,
Which, but thou hast already, with all my heart
I would keep from thee.-For your sake, jewel,
I am glad at soul I have no other child,
For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
To hang clogs on them.- I have done, my lord.
Desdemona. That I did love the Moor to live with him, My downright violence and storm of fortunes May trumpet to the world; my heart 's subdu'd Even to the very quality of my lord : I saw Othello's visage in his mind; And to his honours, and his valiant parts, Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate, So that, dear lords, if I be left behind, A moth of peace, and he go to the war, The rites for which I love him are bereft me, And I a heavy interim shall support By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
Othello. Your voices, lords :-—'beseech you, let her will Have a free way.
Montano. But, good lieutenant, is your general wiv'd ?
Cassio. Most fortunately; he hath achiev'd a maid That paragons description and wild fame; One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens, And in th' essential vesture of creation, Does bear all excellency.—How now! who has put in ?
2nd Gentleman. 'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.
Cassio. He has had most favourable and happy speed : Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds, The gutter'd rocks, and congregated sands, Traitors ensteep'd to clog the guiltless keel,As having sense of beauty, do omit Their mortal natures, letting go safely by The divine Desdemona. Montano.
What is she ? Cassio. She that I spake of, our great captain's captain, Left in the conduct of the bold Iago ; Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts, A se'nnight's speed. —Great Jove, Othello guard, And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath, That he may bless this bay with his tall ship, Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms, Give renew'd fire to our extincted spirits, And bring all Cyprus comfort !-0, behold, The riches of the ship is come on shore ! Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven, Before, behind thee, and on every hand, Enwheel thee round !