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O Cassius! you are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
Which, much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.

Cas. Hath Cassius liv'd,

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief, and blood ill-temper'd, vexeth him?
Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
Cas. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
Bru. And my heart too.

Cas. O Brutus!

Bru. What's the matter?

Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me, When that rash humour which my mother gave me Makes me forgetful?

Bru. Yes, Cassius, and from henceforth, When you are overearnest with your Brutus, He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.




Iago. My noble Lord——

Oth. What dost thou say, Iago?

Iago. Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my Lady, Know of your love?

Oth. He did, from first to last; why dost thou ask?
Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought,

No farther harm.

Oth. Why of thy thought, Iago?

Iago. I did not think he'd been acquainted with it.
Oth. O yes, and went between us very oft.
Iago. Indeed!

Iago. Honest, my Lord?

Oth. Honest! ay, honest.
Iago. My Lord, for aught I know.

Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed. Discern'st thou aught in that? Is he not honest?

Oth. What dost thou think?
Iago. Think, my Lord!
Oth. Think, my Lord!

Why, by Heav'n! thou echo'st


As if there were some monster in thy thought
Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something :
I heard thee say but now," thou lik'st 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 criedst, "Indeed!"
And didst 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'rt 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're cold dilations 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 knaves.
Oth. Certain! men should be what they seem.
Iago. Why, then I think Cassio's 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 ev'ry 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 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 sessions sit
With meditation 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,

Think I perchance am vicious in my guess,
(As, I confess, it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuse; and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not,) I entreat you then,
From one that so imperfectly conjects,
Your wisdom would not build yourself a trouble
Out of my scatter'd and unsure observance :
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honesty, and wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.

Oth. What dost thou mean?

Iago. Good name in man or 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. I'll know thy thoughts
Iago. You cannot, if my
heart were in
Nor shall not, while 'tis in my custody.



Oth. Why, why is this?

Think'st thou I'd make a life of jealousy?



Iago. O beware, my Lord, of jealousy!
It is a 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 doats, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves!
Oth. O misery!

Iago. Poor and content is rich, and rich enough;
But riches endless is as poor as winter

To him that ever fears he shall be poor.

Good Heav'n! the souls of all my tribe defend
From jealousy!

To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions ?-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 make 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'm 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'm 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 abus'd; look to't.
I know our country disposition well;
In Venice they do let Heav'n see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands.

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. 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'm much to blame :

I humbly do beseech you of your pardon,

For too much loving you.

Oth. I am bound to you 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'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.

Iago. Should you do so, my Lord,
My speech would fall into such vile success,
Which my thoughts aim not at.
My Lord, I see you're mov'd-

Oth. No, not much mov'd-
I do not think but Desdemona's honest.

Cassio's my worthy friend

Iago. Long live she so! and long live you to think so! Oth. And yet, how Nature's 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 disproportions, 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, haply, so repent.

Oth. Farewell, farewell;

If more thou dost perceive, let me know more :
Set on thy wife t' 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 entreat your Honour,
To scan this thing no farther; 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 a while,
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.


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