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/ have already chose my officer. And what was he?Forsooth, a great arithmetician,1 One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, A fellow almost damned in a fair wife ;s
That never set a squadron in the field, Nor the division of a battle knows More than a spinster; unless the bookish theoric,3 Wherein the toged consuls4 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 calmed By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster ;5
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.
lago. But there's no remedy; 'tis the curse of service; Preferment goes by letter,6 and affection, Not by the old gradation, where each second Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself,
1 Iago probably means to represent Cassio as a man who knew no more of a squadron than the number of men it contained. He afterwards calls him "this counter-caster"
2 The folio reads, dambd. This passage has given rise to much discussion. Mr. Tyrwhitt thought that we should read, "almost damned in a fair life;" alluding to the judgment denounced in the Gospel against those "of whom all men speak well." Mr. Singer would be contented to adopt his emendation, but with a different interpretation:—" A fellow almost damned (i. e. lost from luxurious habits) in the serene or equable tenor of his life." The passage, as it stands at present, has been said by Steevens to mean, according to Iago's licentious manner of expressing himself, no more than a man "very near being married." This seems to have been the case in respect to Cassio. Mr. Boswell suspects that there may be some corruption in the text.
3 i. e. theory. See All's Well that Ends Well, Act iv. Sc. 3.
4 The rulers of the state, or civil governors. By toged is meant peaceable, in opposition to warlike qualifications. The folio reads " tongued consuls."
5 It was anciently the practice to reckon up sums with counters.
6 i. e by recommendation.
Whether I in any just term am affined 1
Rod. I would not follow him, then.
Iago. O sir, content you;
It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Rod. What a full fortune5 does the thick-lips owe, If he can carry't thus!
Iago. Call up her father,
Rouse him; make after him, poison his delight,
1 "Do I stand within any such terms of propinquity to the Moor, as that I am bound to love him?" The first quarto has assigned,
2 Knave is here used for servant, but with a mixture of contempt.
3 Outward show of civility.
4 This is the reading of the folio. The first quarto reads "doves"
5 Full fortune is complete good fortune: to owe is to possess. VOL. VII. 51
Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen,
Rod. Here is her father's house; I'll call aloud.
logo. Do; with like timorous accent, and dire yell, As when, by * night and negligence, the fire Is spied in populous cities.
Rod. What, ho! Brabantio! seignior Brabantio! ho!
lago. 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 is the matter there?
Rod. Seignior, is all your family within?
lago. Are your doors locked?Bra. Why? wherefore ask you this i
lago. ?Zounds, sir, you are robbed; for shame, put on your gown; Your heart is burst,2 you have lost half your soul; Even now, 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.
Bra. What, have you lost your wits?
Rod. Most reverend seignior, do you know my voice?
Bra. Not I; what are you?Rod. My name is-—Roderigo.
Bra. The worse welcome;
I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors.
1 "By night and negligence" means "in the time of night and neg«< ligence." a io e. is broken.
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,
Bra. But thou must needs be sure,
My spirit, and my place, have in them power
Rod. Patience, good sir.
Bra. What tell'st thou me of robbing? This is Venice; My house is not a grange.1
Rod. Most grave Brabantio,
In simple and pure soul I come to you.
logo. '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 2 neigh to you; you'll have coursers for cousins, and genets for germans.3
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.
Iago. 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-even4 and dull watch o'the night, Transported—with no worse nor better guard,
1 Grange is, strictly, the farm of a monastery; but, provincially, any lone house or solitary farm is called a grange.
2 Nephews here mean grandchildren.
3 i. e. horses for relations. A genet is a Spanish or Barbary horse.
4 This odd-even appears to mean the interval between twelve at night and one in the morning.
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier—
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,—
If this be known to you, and your allowance,1
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, from2 the sense of all civility,
I thus would play and trifle with your reverence.
Your daughter,—if you have notgiven her leave,—
I say again, hath made a gross revolt;
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes,
In an extravagant3 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.
Bra. Strike on the tinder, ho!
Give me a taper;—call up all my people.—
logo. Farewell; for I must leave you.
It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
1 i. e. done with your approbation.
2 That is, in opposition to or departing from the sense of all civility. 3 Extravagant is here again used in its Latin sense, for wandering. In is here used for on; a common substitution in ancient phraseology.
4 io e. some rebuke.
5 That is, dismiss him.