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SELECTIONS OF POETRY AND PROSE.
Act. I., SCENE III.-A COUNCIL CHAMBER.
Duke. Write from us : wish him post-post-haste : despatch.
Ist Sen. 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.-
I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;
[To Brabantio. We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night.
Bra. So did I yours: Good your grace, pardon me;
Neither my place, nor aught I heard of business,
Hath raised 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.
Why, what's the matter ?
Bra. My daughter! O, my daughter !
Ay, to me.
She is abus’d, 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 beguild 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.
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 & Sen.
We are very sorry for it.
Duke. What in your own part can you say to this?
Bra. Nothing, but this is so.
Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approved 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 set 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 unvarnished tale deliver
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magic,
(For such proceeding I am charg'd withal,)
I won his daughter with.
A maiden never bold;
Of spirits 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 feared 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 should this 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 poor
likelihoods Of modern seeming, do prefer against him.
1st Sen. But, Othello, speak ;
Did you by indirect or 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:
do find me foul on 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.
Oth. Ancient, conduct them; you best know the place
[Exeunt Iago, and Attendants.
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.
Duke. Say it, Othello.
Oth. Her father lov'd me; oft invited me;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
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 hade me tell it.
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents, by flood and field ;
Of hair-breadth 'scapes in 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 desarts 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
Do grow 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
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 thanked 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 passed ;
And I loved her, that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have us'd;
Here comes the lady, let her witness it.
The Merchant of Venice.
SCENE—VENICE. A COURT OF JUSTICE.
Duke. What, is Antonio here?
Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I am sorry for thee : thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.
I have heard
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am armed
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.
Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court.
Solan. He is ready at the door: he comes, my lord.
Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face. —
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty :
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Shy. I have possessed your grace of what I purpose ; And by our holy sabbath have I sworn To have the due and forfeit of my bond : If you deny it, let the danger light Upon your charter and your city's freedom. You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive Three thousand ducats : I'll not answer that; But say it is my
humour: is it answered ? Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my