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A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;
That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows,

More than a spinster; unless the bookish theorick,
Wherein the toged consuls can propose

As masterly as he mere prattle, without practice,
Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had the election:
And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof
At Rhodes, at Cyprus; and on other grounds
Christian and heathen,-must be be-lee'd and calm'd
By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster ;i
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,

And I, (God bless the mark !*) his Moorship's ancient.
Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.
Iago. But there's no remedy, 'tis the curse of service;
Preferment goes by letter,' and affection,

Not by the old gradation, where each second

Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself,
Whether I in any just term am affin'dTM

To love the Moor.


I would not follow him then.

turn upon him:

Iago. O, sir, content you;
I follow him to serve my
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,

e A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;] If the text is correct, we must adopt Steevens's interpretation of this difficult passage, and suppose that Iago means to say, with reference to Cassio's connexion with Bianca, that he is very near being married to a fair, bad woman. Tyrwhitt conjectures that we should read life for wife, and adds, "the allusion is evident to the gospel-judgment against those, of whom all men speak well.”

theorick,] i.e. Theory.

toged consuls-] The rulers of the state, or civil governors. By toged perhaps is meant peaceable, in opposition to the warlike qualifications of which he had been speaking. He might have formed the word in allusion to the Latin adage, Cedant arma toga.-MALONE and STEEVENS.


be-lee'd and calm'd-] Terms of navigation.

i this counter-caster;] It was anciently the practice to reckon up sums with counters.-STEEVENS.


bless the mark!] Kelly, in his comments on Scots proverbs, observes, that the Scots, when they compare person to person, use this exclamation.STEEVENS.

by letter,] By recommendation from powerful friends.-JOHNSON. Whether I in any just term am affin'd-] Do I stand within any such terms of propinquity, or relation to the Moor, as that it is my duty to love him?— JOHNSON.

That, doating on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,

For nought but provender; and, when he is old, cashier'd:

Whip me such honest knaves:" Others there are,
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves;
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Do well thrive by them, and, when they have lin❜d their

Do themselves homage: these fellows have some soul;
And such a one do I profess myself.

For, sir,

It is as sure as you are Roderigo,

Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:

In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end:
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe,
If he can carry't thus!

Call up her father,

Rouse him: make after him, poison his delight,
Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen,
And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,

Plague him with flies: that though his joy be joy,
Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,

As it may lose some colour.

Rod. Here is her father's house; I'll call aloud. Iago. Do; with like timorous accent, and dire yell,

knaves:] Knave is here for servant, but with a sly mixture of contempt.


• In compliment extern,] In that which I do only for an outward show of civility.-JOHNSON.

P What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe,] Full fortune is, I believe, a com plete piece of good fortune. Owe is possess.-STEEVENS.

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As when by night and negligence, the fire

Is spied in populous cities.

Rod. What ho! Brabantio! signior Brabantio, ho!

Iago. Awake! what, ho! Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves!

Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags!
Thieves! thieves!

BRABANTIO, above, at a Window.

Bra. What is the reason of this terrible summons? What's the matter there?

Rod. Signior, is all your family within?

Iago. Are your doors lock'd?


Why? wherefore ask you this?

Iago. 'Zounds, sir, you are robb'd; for shame, put on

your gown;

Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;
Even now, very now, an old black ram

Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise;
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,

Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you:
Arise, I say.


What, have you lost your wits?

Rod. Most reverend signior, do you know my voice? Bra. Not I; what are you?

Rod. My name is-Roderigo.


The worse welcome:

I have charg'd thee, not to haunt about my doors:
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say,

My daughter is not for thee; and now, in madness,
Being full of supper, and distempering draughts,
Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come

To start my quiet.

Rod. Sir, sir, sir, sir,


But thou must needs be sure,

by night and negligence,] Not that the fire was spied by negligence, but the fire, which came by night and negligence.-Edwards.


burst,] i. e. Broken.

distempering draughts,] To be distempered with liquor, was, in Shakspeare's age, the phrase for intoxication.-STEEVENS.

My spirit and my place, have in them power
To make this bitter to thee.


Patience, good sir.

Bra. Why tell'st thou me of robbing? this is Venice; My house is not a grange.

Most grave Brabantio,
In simple, and pure soul I come to you.

Iago. 'Zounds, sir, you are one of those, that will not serve God, if the devil bid you. Because we come to do you service, you think we are ruffians: You'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse: you'll have your nephews" neigh to you: you'll have coursers for cousins, and gennets for germans.

Bra. What profane' wretch art thou?

Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.

Bra. Thou art a villain.


You are a senator.

Bra. This thou shalt answer; I know thee, Roderigo. Rod. Sir, I will answer any thing. But, I beseech you, If't be your pleasure, and most wise consent,

(As partly, I find it is,) that your fair daughter,
At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night,"
Transported-with no worse nor better guard,
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
To the gross clasp of a lascivious Moor,-

If this be known to you, and your allowance,"

this is Venice;

My house is not a grange.] That is, "you are in a populous city, not in a lone house, where a robbery might easily be committed." Grange is strictly and properly the farm of a monastery, where the religious reposited their corn. Grangia, Lat. from granum. But in Lincolnshire, and in other northern coun. ties, they call every lone house, or farm which stands solitary, a grange.— T. WARTON.

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nephews-] Nephew, in this instance, has the power of the Latin word nepos, and signifies a grandson, or any lineal descendant however remote.— STEEVENS.

gennets-] i. e. Spanish horses.-STEEVENS.

profane-] i. e. Using gross and licentious language.-JOHNSON.

At this odd-even-o'the night,] By this singular expression our poet appears to have meant, that it was just approaching to, or just past, that it was doubtful whether at that moment it stood at the point of midnight, or at some other less equal division of the twenty-four hours; which a few minutes either before or after midnight would be.-MALONE.

• and your allowance,] i. e. Done with your approbation.-MALONE.

We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;
But, if you know not this, my manners tell me,
We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe,
That, from the sense of all civility,"

I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,
I say again, hath made a gross revolt;

Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes,

In an extravagant and wheeling stranger,
Of here and every where: Straight satisfy yourself:
If she be in her chamber, or your house,

Let loose on me the justice of the state
For thus deluding you.


Strike on the tinder, ho!

Give me a taper :-call up all my people :

This accident is not unlike my dream:

Belief of it oppresses me already:-
Light, I say! light!


[Exit, from above.

Farewell; for I must leave you:

It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
To be produc'd (as, if I stay, I shall,)

Against the Moor: For, do know, the state,—
However this may gall him with some check,d
Cannot with safety cast him; for he's embark'd

With such loud reason to the Cyprus' wars,

(Which even now stand in act,) that, for their souls,
Another of his fathom they have not,

To lead their business: in which regard,
Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,
Yet, for necessity of present life,

I must show out a flag and sign of love,

Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find him,

Lead to the Sagittary the rais'd search;

And there will I be with him.


So, farewell.


- from the sense of all civility,] That is, in opposition to, or departing from, the sense of all civility.-MALONE.

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extravagant-] For wandering; used in its Latin signification.

check,] i. e. Rebuke.

cast him;] That is, dismiss him; reject him.

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