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Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er,

Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet fondly loves!
Oth. O misery!

Iago. Poor and content is rich, and rich enough; 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!

Oth.

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, 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.

Iago. I am glad of it; for now I shall have

reason

To shew 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.
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 shew their husbands; their best conscience

Is, not to leave 't undone, but keep 't unknown.
Oth. Dost thou say so?

Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you; And, when she seem'd to shake, and fear your looks, She lov'd them most.

Oth. Iago.

And so she did.

Why, go to, then;

She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
To seal her father's eyes up close as oak,
He thought 'twas witchcraft. But I am much to

blame;

I humbly do beseech you 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.

But, I do see you are mov'd:

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I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from my love.

I am to pray you not to strain my speech

To grosser issues nor to larger reach

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Iago. Long live she so; and long live you to think so!

Oth. And yet, how nature erring from itself,
Iago. Ay, there's the point:

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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,
May fall to match you with her country forms,
And happily repent.

Oth.

Farewell, farewell.

If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
Set on thy wife to observe. Leave me, Iago.
Iago. My lord, I take my leave.

[Going. Oth. Why did I marry?- This honest creature,

doubtless,

Sees and knows more, Iago. My lord, I honour

much more, than he unfolds.
would I might entreat your
[Returning.

To scan this thing no farther; leave it to time.
Although 'tis fit that Cassio have his place,
(For, sure, he fills it up with great ability,)
Yet if you please to hold him off a while,
You shall by that perceive him and his.means:
Note if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity;
Much will be seen in that. In the mean time,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears,
(As worthy cause I have to fear I am,)
And hold her free, I do beseech your honour.

Oth. Fear not my government.

Iago. I once more take my leave.

[Exit.

Oth. This fellow's of exceeding honesty,
And knows all qualities with a learn'd spirit
Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings,
I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black,
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have; or, for I am declin'd
Into the vale of years; - yet that's not much:-
She's gone; I am abus'd; and my relief

Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogativ'd are they less than the base;

'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:

Even then this forked plague is fated to us,
When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:

Enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA.

If she be false, O, then Heaven mocks itself. —
I'll not believe it.

Des.

How now, my dear Othello!

Your dinner and the generous islanders

By you invited, do attend your presence.

Oth. I am to blame.

Des.

Are you not well?

Why do you speak so faintly?

Oth. I have a pain upon my forehead here.

Des. Faith, that's with watching; 'twill away again:

Let me but bind it hard, within this hour

It will be well.

Oth.

Your napkin is too little;

[He puts the handkerchief aside, and she lets
it fall.

Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you.
Des. I am very sorry that you are not well.

[Exeunt ОTH. and DEs.

Emil. I am glad I have found this napkin. This was her first remembrance from the Moor: My wayward husband hath a hundred times

Woo'd me to steal it; but she so loves the token, (For he conjur'd her she should ever keep it,)

That she reserves it evermore about her,

To kiss, and talk to. I'll have the work ta'en out, And give 't Iago: what he will do with it,

Heaven knows, not I;

I nothing, but to please his fantasy.

Enter IAGO.

Iago. How now! what do you here alone?
Emil. Do not you chide, I have a thing for you.
Iago. A thing for me?—It is a common thing —
Emil. Ha!

Iago. to have a foolish wife.

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Emil. O, is that all? What will you give me now For that same handkerchief?

Iago.

Emil. What handkerchief!

What handkerchief?

Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona :

That which so often you did bid me steal.

Iago. Hast stol'n it from her?

Emil. No, ['faith]: she let it drop by negligence; And, to th' advantage, I, being here, took 't up. Look, here it is.

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