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While I spare speech, which something now offends


Of all that I do know; nor know I aught

By me that's said or done amiss this night,
Unless self-charity be sometime a vice,

And to defend ourselves it be a sin,

When violence assails us.

Now, by Heaven,

My blood begins my safer guides to rule;
And passion, having my best judgment collied,
Assays to lead the way. If I once stir,
Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
How this foul rout began, who set it on;
And he that is approv'd in this offence,

Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth,
Shall lose me. -What! in a town of war,

Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,
To manage private and domestic quarrel,

In night, and on the court and guard of safety!
'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began it?

Mon. If partially affin'd, or leagu'd in office, Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,

Thou art no soldier.


Touch me not so near.

I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth, Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio;

Yet, I persuade myself, to speak the truth

Shall nothing wrong him.

Thus it is, General.

Montano and myself being in speech,

There comes a fellow, crying out for help,

And Cassio following him with determin'd sword

To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman

Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause:
Myself the crying fellow did pursue,

Lest by his clamour (as it so fell out)

The town might fall in fright: he, swift of foot,
Outran my purpose; and I return'd, the rather
For that I heard the clink and fall of swords,
And Cassio high in oath, which till to-night
I ne'er might say before. When I came back
(For this was brief) I found them close together,
At blow and thrust, even as again they were,
When you yourself did part them.

More of this matter can I not report:

But men are men; the best sometimes forget: -
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,

As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet, surely, Cassio, I believe, receiv'd

From him that fled some strange indignity,

Which patience could not pass.


I know, Iago,

Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee;
But never more be officer of mine.

Enter DESDEMONA, attended.

Look, if my gentle love be not rais'd up!-
I'll make thee an example.


What's the matter, dear?

Oth. All's well now, sweeting; come away to bed.Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon. Lead him off.

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[MONTANO is led off.

Iago, look with care about the town,

And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.

Come, Desdemona; 'tis the soldiers' life

To have their balmy slumbers wak'd with strife.

[Exeunt all but IAGO and CASSIO.

Iago. What, are you hurt, Lieutenant ?
Cas. Ay, past all surgery.

Iago. Marry, Heaven forbid!

Cas. Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. — My reputation, Iago, my reputation!

Iago. As I am an honest man, I thought you had receiv'd some bodily wound; there is more sense in that, than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving: you have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser. What, man! there are ways to recover the General again: you are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice; even so as one would beat his offenceless dog, to affright an imperious lion. Sue to him again, and he's yours.

Cas. I will rather sue to be despis'd, than to deceive so good a commander, with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow? O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!

Iago. What was he that you follow'd with your sword? What had he done to you?

Cas. I know not.

Iago. Is't possible?

Cas. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O [God!] that men should put an enemy in their mouths, to steal away their brains! that we should, with joy, revel, pleasure, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus recovered?

Cas. It hath pleas'd the devil, drunkenness, to give place to the devil, wrath: one unperfectness shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.

Iago. Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen; but, since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.

Cas. I will ask him for my place again: he shall tell me I am a drunkard. Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O strange! Every inordinate cup is unbless'd, and the ingredient is a devil.

Iago. Come, come; good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well us'd: exclaim no more against it. And, good Lieutenant, I think, you think I love you.


Cas. I have well approved it, sir. - I, drunk! Iago. You, or any man living, may be drunk at a time, man. I'll tell you what you shall do. Our General's wife is now the General: I may say so in this respect, for that he hath devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and graces: confess yourself freely to her; importune her help to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, that she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter, and my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.

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Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest


Cas. I think it freely; and, betimes in the morn

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ing, I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me. I am desperate of my fortunes, if they

check me here.

Iago. You are in the right. Good night, Lieutenant; I must to the watch.

Cas. Good night, honest Iago. [Exit CASSIO. Iago. And what's he, then, that says I play the villain?

When this advice is free I give, and honest,
Probal to thinking, and, indeed, the course
To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy
Th' inclining Desdemona to subdue
In any honest suit: she's fram'd as fruitful
As the free elements. And, then, for her
To win the Moor,
All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,
His soul is so enfetter'd to her love,

were 't to renounce his baptism,

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That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
Even as her appetite shall play the god

With his weak function. How am I, then, a villain,
To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
Directly to his good? Divinity of Hell!
When devils will their blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shews,
As I do now; for whiles this honest fool
Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes,
And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
I'll pour this pestilence into his ear,

That she repeals him for her body's lust;

And, by how much she strives to do him good,
She shall undo her credit with the Moor:

So will I turn her virtue into pitch,

And out of her own goodness make the net

That shall enmesh them all. - How now, Roderigo!

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