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SCENE I. Venice. A Street.

Enter RODERIGO and Lago.

Roderigo. Tush, never tell me; I take it much un

kindly, That thou, Iago,—who hast had my purse, As if the strings were thine,-shouldst 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 capped' 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,?
Horribly stuffed with epithets of war;
And, in conclusion, nonsuits
My mediators; for, certes, says



1 To cap is to salute by taking off the cap; it is still an academic phrase. The folio reads, “ Off-capped.”

2 Circumstance signifies circumlocution.

I have already chose my officer.
And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
A fellow almost damned 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 theoric,
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'd and calmed
By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster ;
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
And I (God bless the mark !) his Moorship’s ancient.
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,




1 Iago probably means to represent Cassio as a man who knew no more of a squadron than the number of men it contained. He afterwards calls him “this counter-caster.

2 The folio reads, dambd. This passage has given rise to much discussion. Mr. Tyrwhitt thought that we should read, “almost damned in a fair life ;" alluding to the judgment denounced in the Gospel against those of whom all men speak well.” Mr. Singer would be contented to adopt his emendation, but with a different interpretation:-“ A fellow almost damned (i. e. lost from luxurious habits) in the serene or equable tenor of his life." The passage, as it stands at present, has been said by Steevens to 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 to Cassio. Mr. Boswell suspects that there may be some corruption in the text.

3 i. e. theory. See All's Well that Ends Well, Act iv. Sc. 3.

4 The rulers of the state, or civil governors. By toged is meant peace, able, in opposition to warlike qualifications. The folio reads “ tongued consuls."

5 It was anciently the practice to reckon up sums with counters. 6 i. e by recommendation.

Whether I in any just term am affined
To love the Moor.

I would not follow him, then.
Iago. O sir, content you ;
I follow him to serve my turn upon him.
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly followed. 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,

cashiered; Whip me such honest knaves.?

Others there are, Who, trimmed 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 lined

their coats, Do themselves homage: these fellows have some soul; 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 lago. 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,


1" Do I stand within any such terms of propinquity to the Moor, as that I am bound to love him?” The first quarto has assigned.

2 Knave is here used for servant, but with a mixture of contempt.
3 Outward show of civility.
4 This is the reading of the folio. The first quarto reads “ doves."
5 Full fortune is complete good fortune: to owe is to possess.



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 color.

Rod. Here is her father's house ; I'll call aloud.

lago. 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 ! seignior 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. Seignior, is all your family within ?
Iago. Are your doors locked ?

Why? wherefore ask you this?

? Iago. 'Zounds, sir, you are robbed; for shame, put

on your gown;
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul ;
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise;
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.
Arise, I say.
What, have


lost Rod. Most reverend seignior, do

my voice ? Bra. Not I; what are you ? Rod. My name is—Roderigo. Bra.

The worse welcome ; I have charged thee not to haunt about my

your wits?

you know


1 By night and negligence" means " in the time of night and nego ligence."

2 i. e, is broken.

In honest plainness thou hast heard me say,
My daughter is not for thee; and now, in madness,
Being full of supper, and distempering draughts,
Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come
To start my quiet.

Rod. Sir, sir, sir, sir,-

But thou must needs be sure,
My spirit, and my place, have in them power
To make this bitter to thee.

Patience, good sir.
Bra. What tellst thou me of robbing? This is

My house is not a grange.'

Most grave Brabantio, In simple and pure soul I come to you.

Iago. 'Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not serve God if the devil bid you. Because we come to do you service, you think we are ruffians. You'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse ; you'll have your nephews ? neigh to you; you'll have coursers for cousins, and genets for germans.3

Bra. What profane wretch art thou ?

Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.

Bra. Thou art a villain.

You are-a senator.
Bra. This thou shalt answer. I know thee, Ro-

derigo. Rod. Sir, I will answer any thing. But I beseech

you, [If't be your pleasure, and most wise consent, (As partly, I find, it is,) that your fair daughter At this odd-even * and dull watch o’the night, Transported—with no worse nor better guard,



1 Grange is, strictly, the farm of a monastery; but, provincially, any lone house or solitary farm is called a grange.

2 Nephews here mean grandchildren. 3 i. e. horses for relations. A genet is a Spanish or Barbary horse.

4 This odd-even appears to mean the interval between twelve at night and one in the morning.


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