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DUKE of Venice.
Brabantio, a noble Venetian.
Gratiano, Brother to Brabantio.
Lodovico, Kinfman to Brabantio and Gratiano.
Othello, the Moor, General for the Venetians in Cyprus, Caffio, his Lieutenant-General.
Iago, Standard-bearer to Othello.
Rodorigo, a foolish Gentleman, in love with Defdemona.
Montano, the Moor's Predeceffor in the Government of
Clown, Servant to the Moor.
Defdemona, Daughter to Brabantio, and Wife to Othello. Emilia, Wife to Iago."
Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Muficians, Sailors, and Attendants. 1 C
SCENE, for the First Act, in Venice; during the rest of the Play, in Cyprus.
The Moor of VENICE.
A C T I.
SCENE, a Street in VENICE.
Enter Rodorigo and Iago.
EVER tell me, I take it much unkindly,
As if the ftrings were thine, fhouldst know
Iago. But you'll not hear me.
If ever I did dream of fuch a matter, abhor me.,
Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didst hold him in thy hate.
If I do not. Three great ones of the city,
Evades them with a bombaft circumstance,
Non-fuits my mediators. "Certes, says he,
Forfooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Caffio;-( the Florentine's (1)
More than a ipinfter; but the bookish theorick,
(1) Forfooth, a great Arithmetician,
One Michael Caffio, a Florentine,
A Fellow, almost damn'd in a fair Wife] Thus has this Paffage ignorantly been corrupted, (as Mr. Warburton likewife faw with me;) by falfe Pointing, and an Inadvertence to Matter of Fact, through the whole Courfe of the Editions. By the Bye, this Play was not published even fingly, that I can find, till fix Years after the Author's Death and by that Interval became more liable to Errors. I'il fubjoin the Reafons in proof of the Correction. The new Pointing fets Circumstances right, as I fhall immediately explain; and it gives a Variety, in lago reporting the Behaviour of Othello, to ftart into thefe Breaks; now, to make Othello speak; then, to interrupt what Othello fays with his own private Reflexions; then, again, to proceed with Othello's Speeches: For this not only marks the Inquietude of Iago's Mind upon the Subject in hand; but likewife fhews the Actor in the Variation of Tone and Gesture, whilft he (in a breath, as it were) perfonates alternately Othello and himself. Befides, to come to the Neceflity of the Change made; lago, not Caffio, was the Florentine: Iago, not Caffio, was the married Man; Iago's Wife attends Dejdemona to Cyprus; Caffio has a Miftrefs there, a common Strumpet; and Iago tells him in the fourth Act,
She gives it out, that you shall marry her:
Which would be very abfurd, if Caffio had been already married at Venice. Befides, our Poet follows the Authority of his Novel in giving the villainous Enfign a fair Wife.