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SCENE, changes to another STREET, before the Sagittary.
Enter Othello, Iago, and Attendants with Torches,
HO' in the trade of war I have flain men,
Yet do I hold it very ftuff o'th' confcience To do no contriv'd murder: I lack iniquity
Sometimes to do me fervice.-Nine or ten times
Iago. Nay, but he prated,
And fpoke fuch scurvy and provoking terms
That, with the little godlinefs I have,
I did full hard forbear him. But I pray, Sir,
As double as the Duke's: he will divorce you,
Oth. Let him do his fpight:
My fervices, which I have done the fignory,
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know, (Which, when I know that boafting is an honour, Ì fhall promulgate) I fetch my life and being (3)
I fetch my Life and Being
From Men of royal Siege; and my Demerits
As this that I have reach'd.] Thus all the Copies read this Paffage. But, to speak unbonnetted, is to fpeak with the Cap off. which is directly oppofite to the Poet's Meaning. Othello means to fay, that his Birth and Services, fet him upon fuch a Rank, that he may fpeak to a Senator of Venice with his Hat on; i. e. without fhewing any marks of Deference, or Inequality. I, therefore, am inclin'd to think, Shakespeare wrote;
May fpeak, and bonnetted, &c.
From men of royal fiege; and my demerits
I would not my unhoufed free condition
For the fea's worth. But look! what lights come yonder? Enter Caffio, with torches.
Iago. Thofe are the raised father, and his friends: You were beft go in.
Oth. Not I: I must be found.
My parts, my title and my perfect foul
Shall manifeft me rightly.
Is it they ?
Iago. By Janus, I think, no.
Oth. The Servants of the Duke, and my The goodness of the night upon you, friends! What is the news?
Caf. The Duke does greet you, general;
And he requires your hafte, poft-hafte, appearance, Ev'n on the inftant.
Oth. What is the matter, think you?
Caf. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine ; It is a bufinefs of fome heat. The Gallies Have fent a dozen fequent meffengers
This very night, at one another's heels:
And many of the couns'lors, rais'd and met, (4)
To fearch you out.
Oth. Tis well I am found by you:
I will but fpend a word here in the house,
And go with you.
(4) And many of the Confuls rais'd and met,
Are at the Duke's already ] Thus all the Editions concur in reading; but there is no fuch Character as a Conful appears in any Part of the Play. I change it to, Counsellors; i, e. the Grandees that conftitute the great Council at Venice. The Reason I have already given, above, in the Ciofe of the fecond Note.
Caf. Ancient, what makes he here?
Iago. 'Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land-carrack; If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.
Caf. I do not understand.
Iago. He's married.
Caf. To whom?
Iago. Marry, to-Come, Captain, will you go?
Oth. Have with you.
Caf. Here comes another troop to feek for you.
Enter Brabantio, Rodorigo, with Officers and torches.
Iago. It is Brabantio: General, be advis'd;
Oth. Holla! ftand there.
Bra. Down with him, thief!
[They draw on both fides.
Iago. You, Rodorigo! come, Sir, I am for you-
Good Signior, you fhall more command with years, Than with your weapons.
Bra. O thou foul thief! where haft thou ftow'd my daughter?
Damn'd as thou art, thou haft enchanted her;
If the in chains of magick were not bound,
that she founn'd
The wealthy curled Darlings of our Nation.] I have adopted a very probable Conjecture, which Mr. Warburton propos'd to me.
The wealthy culled Darlings of our Nation.
i. e. pick'd, felect, chofen, rom the common Suitors. For the Epithet curled, as he obferves, was no Mark of Diftinction or Difference between a Venetian and a Moor; which latter People
The wealthy culled darlings of our nation,
Oth. Hold your hands,
Both you of my inclining, and the reft.
are remarkably curl'd by Nature. And tho' culled now, when our ears are nicer than our Understandings, may not fo frequently find a Place in the Drama; the fame objection did not lie to the Sound of it in Shakespear's Days, who chufes to use it wherever he can.
(6) Fudge me the World, if'tis not grefs in Senfe,
That thou haft practis'd on her with foul Charms,
That weaken Motion.] Brabantio is here accufing Othello of having us'd fome foul Play, and intoxicated Defdemona by Drugs and Potions to win her over to his Love, But why, Drugs to weaken Motion? How then could he have run away with him voluntarily from her Father's Houfe? Had he been averfe to chufing Othello, tho' he had given her Medicines that took away the Ufe of her Limbs, might she not ftill have retain'd her Senfes, and oppos'd the Marriage? Her Father, 'tis evident, from feveral of his Speeches, is pofitive that the must have been abused in her rational Faculties, or fhe could not have made prepofterous a Choice, as to wed with a Moor, a Black, and refufe the ineft young Gentlemen in Venice What then have we to do with her Motion being weaken'd? If I understand any thing of the Poet's Meaning here, I cannot but think, he muft have wrote;
Abus'd ber delicate Youth with Drugs, or Minerals,
That weaken Notion.
i. e. her Apprehenfion, right Conception and Idea of Things, UnderAanding, Judgment, &c.
Without a prompter. Where will you I go
Bra. To prifon, 'till fit time
Of law, and courfe of direct feffion
Oth. What if I do obey?
How may the Duke be therewith fatisfied,
Offi. True, moft worthy fignior,
The Duke's in Council; and your noble felf,
Bra. How! the Duke in Council?
In this time of the night? bring him away;
Cannot but feel this wrong, as 'twere their own ;
(7) For if fuch Actions may have Paffage free,
Eondflaves and Pagans fhall our Statefmen be.] I have long had a Sufpicion of Pagans here. Would Brabantio infer, if his private Injury were not redrefs'd, the Senate fhould no longer pretend to call themselves Chriftians? But Pagans are as ftrict and moral, we find, all the World over, as the moft regular Chriflians, in the Preservation of private Property. The Difference of Faith is not at all concerned, but mere human Policy, in afcertaining the Right of meum and tuum. I have ventured to imagine, that our Author wrote,
Bondflaves and Pageants shall our Statefmen be.
e. if we'll let fuch injurious Actions go unpunished, our Statesmen must be Slaves, Cyphers in Office, and have no Pow'r of redreffing; be Things of mere Show, and gaudy Appearance only. Nor could Pagans, include any Reflexion on Othello, confidering him as a Moor: for unless he had been turned Chriftian, he never could have had any Commiffion under the Venetian State.