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DUKE OF VENICE:
IAGObrother to Brabantio.kinsman to Brabantio.a noble Moor in the service of the Venetian state.his lieutenant.his ancient.
a Venetian gentleman.
Othello's predecessor in the government of Cyprus.RODERIGOMONTANO
Clown, servant to Othello. (Clown:)
DESDEMONAdaughter to Brabantio and wife to Othello.EMILIAwife to Iago.
BIANCAmistress to Cassio.
Sailor, Messenger, Herald, Officers, Gentlemen,Musicians, and Attendants.
SCENEVenice: a Sea-port in Cyprus.
SCENE IVenice. A street.
RODERIGOTush! never tell me; I take it much unkindly
That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse
As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.IAGO'Sblood, but you will not hear me:
If ever I did dream of such a matter, Abhor me.
Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.RODERIGO
IAGODespise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Off-capp'd to him: and, by the faith of man,
I know my price, I am worth no worse a place:
But he; as loving his own pride and purposes,
Evades them, with a bombast circumstance
Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war;
And, in conclusion,
Nonsuits my mediators; for, 'Certes,' says he,
'I have already chose my officer.'
And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
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 theoric,
Wherein the toged consuls can propose
As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practise,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'dBy debitor and creditor: this counter-caster,
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
And I--God bless the mark!--his Moorship's ancient.
By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.RODERIGO
IAGOWhy, there's no remedy; 'tis the curse of service,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself,
Whether I in any just term am affined
To love the Moor.
IAGOI would not follow him then.O, sir, content you;
I follow him to serve my turn upon him:
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For nought but provender, and when he's 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 lined
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.
RODERIGOWhat a full fortune does the thicklips owe
If he can carry't thus!
IAGOCall 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: though that his joy be joy,
Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,
As it may lose some colour.