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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,
Oth. By Heaven, I'll know thy thoughts.
Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand; Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.
Iago. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth make 15 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; But riches, fineless,16 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!
15 The old copies all read mocke instead of make. The sense evidently requires make, and the change, first made by Hanmer, has been almost universally adopted. There cannot well be a truer description of jealousy, than that it creates its own food. Mr. Collier tells us that a copy of the fourth folio belonging to Mr. Holgate has make substituted in the hand-writing of Southern.· In the last line of this speech, the folio has soundly instead of strongly, which is the reading of both quartos.
16 That is, endless, unbounded. Warburton observes that this is finely expressed-winter producing no fruits.
Why, why is this?
Think'st thou, I'd make a life of jealousy,
To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Iago. I am glad of this, for now I shall have
To show the love and duty that I bear you,
17 This is the only known instance of exsufflicate. Phillips interprets sufflation "a puffing up, a making to swell with blowing." In Plautus we have, "Sufflavit nescio quid uxore ;" which Cooper renders, "He hath whispered something in his wifes eare whatsoever it be." Todd, in his edition of Johnson's Dictionary, explains the word thus: " Exsufflicate may be traced to the low Latin exsufflare, to spit down upon, an ancient form of exorcising; and, figuratively, to spit out in abhorrence or contempt. Exsufficate may thus signify contemptible." We will add Richardson's explanation, and then leave the reader to choose for himself:
Exsufflicate, in Shakespeare, is not improbably a misprint for exsufflate, that is, efflate or efflated, puffed out, and, consequently, exaggerated, extravagant; to which blown is added, not so much for the sake of a second epithet, with a new meaning, as of giving emphasis to the first."
Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
In Venice they do let Heaven see the pranks
Is, not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.19
Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you; And, when she seem'd to shake, and fear your looks, She lov'd them most.
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,
18 Self-bounty for inherent generosity.
19 This and the following argument of Iago ought to be deeply impressed on every reader. Deceit and falsehood, whatever conveniences they may for a time promise or produce, are in the sum of life obstacles to happiness. Those who profit by the cheat, distrust the deceiver, and the act by which kindness is sought puts an end to confidence.. The same objection may be made with a lower degree of strength against the imprudent generosity of disproportionate marriages. When the first heat of passion is over, it is easily succeeded by suspicion, that the same violence of inclination, which caused one irregularity, may stimulate to another; and those who have shown that their passions are too powerful for their prudence will, with very slight appearances against them, be censured, as not very likely to restrain them by their virtue. JOHNSON.
Oth. Not a jot, not a jot.
Trust me, I fear it has.
I hope you will consider, what is spoke
Oth. I will not.
Should you do so, my lord,
My speech should fall into such vile success
My lord, I see you're mov'd.
Oth. No, not much mov'd. 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;
20 Success here means consequence or event; as successo, in Italian. So in Sidney's Arcadia: "Straight my heart misgave me some evil success!"
21 Where a word of three syllables is wanted, the poets often used happily for haply, that is, perhaps.
If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
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 intreat your honour
To scan this thing no further; leave it to time :
Iago. I once more take my leave.
Oth. This fellow's of exceeding honesty, And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,2 Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard," Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings,
22 You shall discover whether he thinks his best means, his most powerful interest, is by the solicitation of your lady.
23 That is, press his readmission to pay and office.
24 The construction is, "He knows with a learned spirit all qualities of human dealings."
25 Haggard is wild, unreclaimed; commonly used of a hawk. So in Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici: "Thus I teach my haggard and unreclaimed reason to stoop to the lure of faith." A passage in The White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona, 1612, shows that the term was sometimes applied to a wanton: " Is this your perch, you haggard? fly to the stews."