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And when I told thee — he was of my counsel
In my whole course of wooing, thou cry’dst, Indeed ?
And did 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 are close denotements, 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 none !
Oth. Certain, men should be what they seem,
Iago. Why then,
I think that Cassio is an honest man.
Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this :
I 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 the 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 makest 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,
Shapes faults that are not — I eņtreat 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, while 'tis in my custody.
Iago. O beware, my lord, of jealousy ;
It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on: That husband lives in bliss,
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger ;
But 0, 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, fineless, is as poor as winter,
To him that ever fears he shall be poor :-
Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend,
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 resolved : '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 :
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 reason To show the love and duty that I bear you With franker spirit: therefore, as I am 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 ; their best conscience Is — not to leave undone, but keep unknown.
Oth. Dost thou say so ?
Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you; And when she seem'd to shake, and fear your looks, She loved them most.
Oth. And so she did.
Iago. Why, go to, then:
She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
To seal her father's eyes up close as oak —
He thought 'twas witchcraft :- But I am much to blame ;
I humbly do beseech you of your pardon,
For too much loving you.
Oth. I am bound to thee 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 are moved ;
I am to pray you, not to strain my speech
To grosser issues, nor to larger reach
Than to suspicion.
Oth. I will not.
Iago. Should you do so, my lord,
My speech should fall into such vile success
As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio's my worthy friend :-
My lord, I see you are 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 disproportion, 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 fail to match you with her country forms,
And (happily) repent..
Oth. Farewell, farewell :
If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
Set on thy wife to observe : leave me, Iago.
Iago. My lord, I take my leave. (Going.)
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 honor,
To scan this thing no further ; leave it to time :
And though it be fit that Cassio have his place
(For, sure, he fills it up with great ability)
Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
You shall by that perceive him and his means :
Note, if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity ;
Much may be seen in that. In the mean time,
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 honor.
Oth. Fear not my government.
Iago. I once more take my leave. (Exit.)
Oth. This fellow's of exceeding honesty,
And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,
Of human dealings : if I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings,
I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black,
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have; — Or, for I am declined
Into the vale of years; yet that's not much —
She's gone; I am abused: and my relief
Must be — to loathe her. O curse of marriage
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapor of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love,
For other's uses.