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They are close denotements, working from the heart, That passion cannot rule.* lago.

For Michael Cassio; I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.

Oth. I think so too. lago.

Men should be what they seem; Or, those that be not, 'would they might seem none!

Oth. Certain, men should be what they seem.

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, Asthou dost ruminate; and give thy worst of thoughts The worst of words. lago.

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.5 Utter my thoughts? Why, say, they are 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 session sit With meditations 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.

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

4 They are close denotements, working from the heart,

That passion cannot rule.] i. e, indications, or recoveries, not openly revealed, but involuntarily working from the heart, which cannot rule and suppress its feelings.

to that all slares are free to.] I am not bound to do that, which even slaves are not bound to do.


Shapes faults that are not, -I entreat 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


my thoughts. Oth.

What dost thou mean? Iago. Good naine, 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, whilst 'tis in my custody.

Oth. Ha!

Iago. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the 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, 0, 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;



conjects,] To conject, i, e. to conjecture, is a word used by other writers.

which doth mock The meat it feeds on:] i. e. loaths that which nourishes and sustains it. But others read,

which doth make The meat it feeds on. Implying that its suspicions are unreal and groundless, which is the very contrary to what he would here make his general think.

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
From jealousy!

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

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, lago; 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.

lago. I am glad of this; for now I shall have rea


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.

& But riches, fineless,] Unbounded, endless, unnumbered.

9 To such exsufficate-] Whether our poet had any authority for the word exsuflicate, which I think is used in the sense of swollen, and appears to have been formed from sufflatus, I am unable to ascertain: but I have not thought it safe to substitute for it another word equally unauthorised. MALONE.

blown surmises, Matching thy inference.] That is such as you have mentioned in describing the torménts of jealousy.

2 Where virtue is, these are more virtuous :] An action in itself indifferent, grows virtuous by its end and application,


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 heaven see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; their best con-

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'do to shake, and fear your

looks, She lov'd them most. Oth.

And so she did.

Why, go to, then;
She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
To seel her father's eyes up, close as oak,
He thought, 'twas witchcraft :-But I am much to



3 Out of self-bounty,) Self-bounty for inherent generosity.

4 And, when she seem'd-) 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 mare riages. 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 shewn, 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.

s To seel her father's eyes up, close as oak,] The oak is the most close-grained wood of general use in England. Close as oak, means, close as the grain of oak. To seel is an expression from falconry. VOL. IX.


I humbly do beseech


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

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

friend: My lord, I see you are mov'd. Oth.

No, not much mov'd:I do not think but Desdemona's honest. lago. Long live she so! and long live you to

think so! Oth. And yet, how nature erring from itself, lago. Ay, there's the point:

-As-to be bold 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,

with you,

6 To grosser issues,] Issues, for conclusions.

a will most rank,] IVill, is for wilfulness. It is so used by Ascham. A rank will, is self-will overgrown and exuberant.


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