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

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.

Oth. Ha!

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!

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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 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

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


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.

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;
Wear you eye-thus, not jealous, nor secure :
I would not have your free and noble nature,
Out of self-bounty,18 be abus'd; 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 con-


Is, not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.19
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 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,
For too much loving you.

I am bound to thee for ever.
Iago. I see, this hath a little dash'd your spirits.

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.

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Oth. Not a jot, not a jot.

Trust me, I fear it has.

I hope you will consider, what is spoke
Comes from my love.—But I do see you're mov'd:
I am to pray you, not to strain my speech
To grosser issues, nor to larger reach,
Than to suspicion.

Oth. I will not.


Should you do so, my lord,


My speech should fall into such vile success
As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio's my worthy


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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;
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 fall to match you with her country forms,
And, happily, repent.21

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.



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.


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 :
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 awhile,
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 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 honour.
Oth. Fear not my government.

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."


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