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Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought;
Why of thy thought, Iago? lago. I did not think, he had been acquainted
with her. Oth. O, yes; and went between us very oft. lago. Indeed? Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed :-Discern'st thou aught
in that? Is he not honest? lago.
Honest, my lord? Oth.
Ay, honest. lago. My lord, for aught I know. Oth. What dost thou think? Iago.
Think, my lord? Oih.
Think, my lord! By heaven, he echoes me, As if there were some monster in his thought Too hideous to be shown.-Thou dost mean some
lago. My lord, you know I love you.
I think, thou dost; And,—for I know thou art 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 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.
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.” 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, lago, If thou but think'st him wrong'd, and mak'st his ear A stranger to thy thoughts. Iago.
I do beseech
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,
What dost thou mean? lago. 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 thought.
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;
Oth. O misery!
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 meut 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,
Why? why is this?
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, 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,
lago. I am glad of this; for now I shall have rea
To show the love and duty that I bear you
* But riches, fineless,] Unbounded, endless, unnumbered.
9 To such exsufficate-] Whether our poet had any authority for the word ersufflicate, 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 torments 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;
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;
3 Out of self-bounty,) Self-bounty for inherent generosity.
* 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 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 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.
5 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. X.