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To bring him in. Trust me, I could do much,Oth. Pr'ythee, no more: let him come when he will;

I will deny thee nothing.

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Des.
Why, this is not a boon;
'Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm;
Or sue to you to do peculiar profit

To your own person: Nay, when I have a suit,
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It shall be full of poize and difficulty,
And fearful to be granted.

Oth. I will deny thee nothing: Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this, To leave me but a little to myself.

Des. Shall I deny you? no: Farewell, my lord. Oth. Farewell, my Desdemona: I will come to thee straight.

Des. Emilia, come:-Be it as your fancies teach you; Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

[Exit, with EMILIA. Oth. Excellent wretch !3 Perdition catch my soul, But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,

Chaos is come again.

Iago. My noble lord,

Oth.

What dost thou say, Iago? lago. Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady, Know of your love?

Oth. He did, from first to last: Why dost thou ask?

T

2

-full of poize-] i. e. of weight.

9 Excellent wretch!] The meaning of the word wretch, is not generally understood. It is now, in some parts of England, a term of the softest and fondest tenderness. It expresses the utmost degree of amiableness, joined with an idea which perhaps all tenderness includes, of feebleness, softness, and want of protection.

5

Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought; No further harm.

Oth.

Why of thy thought, Iago?

lago. I did not think, he had been acquainted with her.

Oth. O, yes; and went between us very oft.
Jago. Indeed?

Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed:-Discern'st thou aught in that?

Is he not honest?

Iago.
Oth.

Honest, my lord?

Iago. My lord, for aught I know.
Oth. What dost thou think?

Lago.

Oth.

Ay, honest.

Think, my lord?

Think, my lord!

By heaven, he echoes me,
As if there were some monster in his thought
Too hideous to be shown.-Thou dost mean some-
thing:

I heard thee say but now,-Thou lik'dst not that,
When Cassio left my wife; What did'st not like?
And, when I told thee-he was of my counsel
In my whole course of wooing, thou cry'dst, Indeed?
And did'st contract and purse thy brow together,
As if thou then had'st shut up in thy brain
Some horrible conceit: If thou dost love me,
Show me thy thought.

Tago. 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 giv'st 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 are close denotements, working from the heart, That passion cannot rule.*

lago.

I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.

Oth. I think so too.

For Michael Cassio;

Iago.

Men should be what they seem;

Or, those that be not, 'would they might seem none! Oth. Certain, men should be what they seem. Why then,

Iago.

I think that Cassio is an honest man.

Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this:

Ι

pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings, As thou dost ruminate; and give thy worst of thoughts The worst of words.

lago. 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.5

Utter my thoughts? Why, say, they are 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 session sit
With meditations lawful?

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

Iago.

I do beseech you,
Though I, perchance, am vicious in my guess,
As, I confess, it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuses; and, oft, my jealousy

They are close denotements, working from the heart,

That passion cannot rule.] i. e, indications, or recoveries, not openly revealed, but involuntarily working from the heart, which cannot rule and suppress its feelings.

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to that all slaves are free to.] I am not bound to do that, which even slaves are not bound to do.

Shapes faults that are not,-I entreat you then,
From one that so imperfectly conjects,"
You'd take no notice; nor build yourself a trouble
Out of his scattering and unsure observance:-
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.

Oth.

What dost thou mean? Iago. Good name, in man, and 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. By heaven, I'll know thy thought.
Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand;
Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.

Oth. Ha!

Iago. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock The meat it feeds on: That cuckold lives in bliss, Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger; But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er, Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves! Oth. O misery!

Iago. Poor, and content, is rich, and rich enough;

6

conjects,] To conject, i. e. to conjecture, is a word used by other writers.

7

which doth mock

The meat it feeds on:] i. e. loaths that which nourishes and sustains it. But others read,

which doth make

The meat it feeds on.

Implying that its suspicions are unreal and groundless, which is the very contrary to what he would here make his general think.

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But riches, fineless, 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? No: to be once in doubt,
Is-once to be resolv'd: Exchange me for a goat,
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsufflicate' and blown surmises,
Matching thy inference.' '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 are more virtuous:2
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 am glad of this; for now I shall have rea

son

you

To show the love and duty that I bear
With franker spirit: therefore, as I am bound,
Receive it from me:-I speak not yet of proof.

* But riches, fineless,] Unbounded, endless, unnumbered.

To such exsufflicate-] Whether our poet had any authority for the word exsufflicate, which I think is used in the sense of swollen, and appears to have been formed from sufflatus, I am unable to ascertain: but I have not thought it safe to substitute for it another word equally unauthorised. MALONE.

1

blown surmises,

Matching thy inference.] That is, such as you have mentioned in describing the torments of jealousy.

2 Where virtue is, these are more virtuous:] An action in itself indifferent, grows virtuous by its end and application.

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