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And when I told thee, he was of my counsel,

In my

whole course of wooing; thou criedst, "Indeed!" And didst contract and purse thy brow together,

As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me,
Show me thy thought.

Iago. My Lord, you know I love you.

Oth. I think thou dost:

And, for I know, thou art full of love and honesty,
And weigh'st thy words before thou givest them breath,
Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more:
For such things, in a false disloyal knave,

Are tricks of custom; but in a man that's just,
They're cold dilations working from the heart,
That passion cannot rule.

Iago. For Michael Cassio

I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.
Oth. I think so too.

Iago. Men should be what they seem;

Or, those that be not, would they might seem knaves.
Oth. Certain!-men should be what they seem.
Iago. Why, then, I think Cassio's an honest man.
Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this:


pray thee speak to me as to thy thinkings,

As thou dost ruminate; and give thy worst of thoughts The worst of words.

Iago. Good, my Lord! pardon me,

Though I am bound to every act of duty,

I am not bound to that all slaves are free to—

Utter my thoughts! Why, say, they're vile and false;
As, where's that palace, whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not? Who has a breast so pure,
But some uncleanly apprehensions

Keep leets and law-days, and in sessions sit
With meditations lawful?

Oth. Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago! If thou but think'st him wrong'd, and makest his ear A stranger to thy thoughts.

Iago. I do beseech you,

Think I perchance am vicious in my guess
(As, I confess, it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuse; and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not)—I entreat you, then,
From one that so imperfectly conjects,
Your wisdom would not build yourself a trouble
Out of my scatter'd and unsure observance:
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honesty, and wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.

Oth. What dost thou mean?

Iago. Good name in man or woman, dear my Lord,

Is the immediate jewel of their souls:

Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;

But he that filches from me my good name,

Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.

Oth. I'll know thy thoughts—————

Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand; Nor shall not, while 'tis in my custody.

Oth. Ha!

Iago. Oh, beware, my Lord, of jealousy;
It is a green-eyed monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss,
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger:
But oh what damned minutes tells he o'er,

Who doats, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves!
Oth. O misery!

Iago. Poor and content, is rich and rich enough;
But riches endless, is as poor as winter

To him that ever fears he shall be poor.

Good Heaven! the souls of all my tribe defend
From jealousy!

Oth. Why-why is this?

Think'st thou, I'd make a life of jealousy—

To follow still the changes of the moon

With fresh suspicions? 'Tis not to make me jealous,
To say, my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well:
Where virtue is, these make more virtuous.
Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
The smallest fear, or doubt of her revolt,
For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago,
I'll see, before I doubt—when I doubt, prove;

And, on the proof, there is no more but this,

Away at once with love or jealousy.

Iago. I'm glad of this; for now I shall have reason To show the love and duty that I bear you,

With franker spirit.

Therefore, as I'm bound,
Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
Look to your wife, observe her well with Cassio;
Wear your eye, thus-not jealous, nor secure:
I would not have your free and noble nature
Out of self-bounty be abused:-look to’t.
I know our country-disposition well;

In Venice they do let Heaven see the pranks

They dare not show their husbands.

Oth. Dost thou say so?

Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you; And when she scem'd to shake, and fear your looks,

She loved them most.

Oth. And so she did.

Iago. Go to, then

She, that, so young, could give out such a seeming
To seal her father's eyes up, close as oak-

-But I'm much to blame:

He thought 'twas witchcraft

I humbly do beseech you of your pardon,

For too much loving you.

Oth. I am bound to you for ever.

Iago. I see this hath a little dash'd your spirits.

Oth. Not a jot, not a jot.

Iago. Trust me, I fear it has:

I hope you will consider what is spoke

Comes from my love. But I do see you're moved
I am to pray you, not to strain my speech

To grosser issues-not to larger reach,

Than to suspicion.

Oth. I will not.

Iago. Should you do so, my Lord,

My speech would fall into such vile success,

Which my thoughts aim not at. Cassio's my worthy friend.

My Lord, I see you're moved

Oth. No, not much moved

I do not think but Desdemona's honest.

Iago. Long live she so; and long live you to think so!
Oth. And yet, how nature erring from itself—————

Iago. Ay, there's the point;-as (to be bold with you), Not to affect many proposed matches

Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,

Whereto we see in all things nature tends:

Foh! one may smell, in such, a will most rank,
Foul disproportions, thoughts unnatural!
But pardon me, I do not in position

Distinctly speak of her; though I may fear,
Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
May fall to match you with her country-forms,
And, haply, so repent.

Oth. Farewell, farewell;

If more thou dost perceive, let me know more:
Set on thy wife to observe.

Leave me, Iago.

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Iago. My Lord, I take my leave.
Oth. Why did I marry?-

This honest creature, doubtless,

Sees, and knows more-much more than he unfolds!
Iago. My Lord, I would I might entreat your Honour
To scan this thing no farther-leave it to time:
Although 'tis fit that Cassio have his place,
For, sure, he fills it up with great ability;
Yet if you please to hold him off a while,
You shall by that perceive him and his means:
Note if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity;
Much will be seen in that. In the meantime,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears,
(As worthy cause I have to fear I am,)
And hold her free, I do beseech your Honour.
Oth. Fear not my government.
Iago. I once more take my leave.


WHEN listening to the eloquence of Cicero, and reading the wisdom of Socrates, we feel that man is indeed a creature "noble in reason, infinite in faculties." Our human nature becomes more precious in our sight since it has been worn by such majestic spirits. When contemplating such minds, we seem impelled to press forward with additional ardour towards perfection. Compared with such beings, whose understandings reflect a glory even on the Almighty hand which formed them, how insignificant appear all the warriors and monarchs of the earth! Their glow-worm glories vanish and are seen no more, overpowered with the dazzling brilliancy of the sages of antiquity:—

Of their fellow-kind

They well deserve, who for their evening hours

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