Othello By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 3

SCENE III. Venice. A council chamber.

[The Duke and Senators sitting at a table; Officers attending.]

DUKE.
There is no composition in these news
That gives them credit.

FIRST SENATOR.
Indeed, they are disproportion'd;
My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.

DUKE.
And mine a hundred and forty.

SECOND SENATOR.
And mine two hundred:
But though they jump not on a just account, —
As in these cases, where the aim reports,
'Tis oft with difference, — yet do they all confirm
A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.

DUKE.
Nay, it is possible enough to judgement:
I do not so secure me in the error,
But the main article I do approve
In fearful sense.

SAILOR.
[Within.] What, ho! what, ho! what, ho!

FIRST OFFICER.
A messenger from the galleys.

[Enter a Sailor.]

DUKE.
Now, — what's the business?

SAILOR.
The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes;
So was I bid report here to the state
By Signior Angelo.

DUKE.
How say you by this change?

FIRST SENATOR.
This cannot be,
By no assay of reason: 'tis a pageant
To keep us in false gaze. When we consider
The importancy of Cyprus to the Turk;
And let ourselves again but understand
That, as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
So may he with more facile question bear it,
For that it stands not in such warlike brace,
But altogether lacks the abilities
That Rhodes is dress'd in. If we make thought of this,
We must not think the Turk is so unskilful
To leave that latest which concerns him first;
Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,
To wake and wage a danger profitless.

DUKE.
Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes.

FIRST OFFICER.
Here is more news.

[Enter a Messenger.]

MESSENGER.
The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes,
Have there injointed them with an after fleet.

FIRST SENATOR.
Ay, so I thought. — How many, as you guess?

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.

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