The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Grew beneath their shoulders. These things to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline.
But still the house affairs would draw her hence,
150Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She’d come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse, which I, observing,
Took once a pliant hour and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
155That 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
160That my youth suffered. 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 wished she had not heard it, yet she wished
165That heaven had made her such a man. She thanked me
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake.
She loved me for the dangers I had passed,
170And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used.
Here comes the lady. Let her witness it.
When I was relaxing, she’d pull me aside and ask to hear some part of a story she had missed. Her eyes would fill with tears at the bad things I went through in my younger years. When my stories were done, she’d sigh and tell me how strangely wonderful and sad my life had been. She said she wished she hadn’t heard it, but she also wished there was a man like me for her. She thanked me and told me that if a friend of mine had a story like mine to tell, she’d fall in love with him. I took the hint and spoke to her. She said she loved me for the dangers I’d survived, and I loved her for feeling such strong emotions about me. That’s the only witchcraft I ever used. Here comes my wife now. She’ll confirm everything.
Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and attendants
DESDEMONA, IAGO, and attendants enter.
I think this tale would win my daughter too.
Good Brabantio. Take up this mangled matter at the best.
175Men do their broken weapons rather use
Than their bare hands.
I think a story like that would win my own daughter over. Brabantio, I urge you to make the best of this. Try to accept what’s happened.