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Duke of Venice.
Brabantio, a Senator.
Two other Senators.
Gratiano, Brother to Brabantio.
Lodovico, Kinsman to Brabantio.
Othello, the Moor :
Cassio, his Lieutenant ;
Iago, his Ancient.
Roderigo, a Venetian Gentleman.
Montano, Othello's Predecessor in the Government

of Cyprus.
Clown, Servant to Othello.
Desdemona, Daughter to Brabantio, and Wife to

Othello. Emilia, Wife to lago. Bianca, a Courtezan, Mistress to Cassio. Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicians, Sailors,

Attendants, &c. SCENE, for the first Act, in Venice; during the

rest of the Play, at a Sea-Port in Cyprus.


Though the rank which Montano held in Cyprus cannot be exactly ascertained, yet from many circumstances, we are sure he had not the powers with which Othello was subsequently invested.

Perhaps we do not receive any one of the Personæ Dramatis to Shakspeare's plays, as it was originally drawn up by himself. These appendages are wanting to all the quartos, and are very rarely given in the folio. At the end of this play, however, the following enumeration of persons occurs :

“ The names of the actors.--Othello, the Moore.-Brabantio, Father to Desdemona.—Cassio,an Honourable Lieutenant.—Iago, a Villaine.-Rodorigo, a gulld Gentleman.-Duke of Venice Senators.—Montano, Governour of Cyprus.Gentlemen of Cyprus. -Lodovico, and Gratiano, two noble Venetians.-SaylorsClowne.-Desdemona, Wife to Othello. Æmilia, Wife to lagoBianca, a Curtezan." STEEVENS.




SCENE I. Venice. A Street.

Enter RODERIGO, and IAGO. Rod. Tush, never tell me, I take it much un

kindly, That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse, As if the strings were thine,-should'st know of this.

Iago. 'Sblood, but you will not hear me :If ever I did dream of such a matter, Abhor me. Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didst hold him in thy

hate. Iago. Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones

of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Oft capp'd to him :'-and, by the faith of man,
I know my price, I am worth no worse a place :
But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
Evades them, with a bombast circumstance,


Oft capp'd to him ;] To cap is to salute by taking off the сар. It is still an academick phrase. M. Mason.

ia bombast circumstance,] Circumstance signifies circumlocution,

Horribly stuff?d with epithets of war;
And, in conclusion, nonsuits
My mediators; for, certes,' says he,
I have already chose my officer.
And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife ;*
That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster; unless the bookish theorick,'
Wherein the toged consuls“ can propose
As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practice,
Is all his soldiership. But, he, sir, had the election:
And I,--of whom his eyes had seen the proof
At Rhodes, at Cyprus ; and on other grounds
Christian and heathen,- must be be-lee'dand calm'd?
By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster ;*
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
And I, (God bless the mark !") his Moor-ship’s



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-certes,] i. e. certainly, in truth. Obsolete. * A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife ;] This passage has been much contested. We adopt Mr. Steevens' explanation. That Cassio was married is not sufficiently implied in the words, a fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife, since they mean, according to Lago's licentious manner of expressing himself, no more than a man very near being married. This seems to have been the case in respect of Cassio.

theorick,] Theorick, for theory. 6 Wherein the toged consuls-] The rulers of the state, or civil governours. By toged perhaps is meant peaceable, in opposition to the warlike qualifications of which he had been speaking. He might have formed the word in allusion to the Latin adage, Cedant arma toga.

- must be be-lee'd and calm'd-] Terms of navigation.

this counter-caster;] It was anciently the practice to reckon up sums with counters.

bless the mark !] Kelly, in his comments on Scots proverbs, observes, that the Scots, when they compare person to person, use this exclamation.




Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his

hangman. Iago. But there's no remedy, 'tis the curse of

service; Preferment goes by letter,' and affection, Not by the old gradation, where each second Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself, Whether I in any just term am affin'd? To love the Moor. Rod.

I would not follow him then. Iago. 0, sir, content you ; I follow him to serve my turn upon him : We cannot all be masters, nor all masters Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave, That, doting on his own obsequious bondage, Wears out his time, much like his master's ass, For nought but provender; and, when he's old,

Whip me such honest knaves :3 Others there are,
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves ;
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Do well thrive by them, and, when they have lin'd
Do themselves homage: these fellows have some

And such a one do I profess myself.
For, sir,
It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago :

their coats,

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by letter,j By recommendation from powerful friends. * Whether I in any just term am affin'd-] Do I stand within any such terms of propinquity, or relation to the Moor, as that it is my duty to love him?

honest knaves:) Knave is here for servant, but with a 'sly mixture of contempt. VOL. IX.



In following him, I follow but myself ;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end :
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern,“ 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe,
If he can carry't thus !


her father,
Rouse him: make after him, poison his delight,
Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen,
And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,
Plague him with flies: though that his joy be joy,
Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,
As it may lose some colour.

Rod. Here is her father's house ; I'll call aloud, Iago. Do; with like timorous accent, and dire

yell, As when, by night and negligence, the fire Is spied in populous cities.

Rod. What ho! Brabantio! signior Brabantio, ho! Iago. Awake! what, ho! Brabantio! thieves !

thieves ! thieves ! Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags! Thieves ! thieves !

BRABANTIO, above, at a Window. Bra. What is the reason of this terrible summons What is the matter there?

Rod. Signior, is all your family within ?

4 In compliment extern,] In that which I do only for an outward show of civility.

? What a full fortune does the thick-lips owę,) Full fortune is, a complete piece of good fortune. To owe is to possess.


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