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    Act I. Scene I

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    Chapter 1
    SCENE I. Venice. A street.

    Enter RODERIGO and IAGO
    RODERIGO
    Tush! 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.

    RODERIGO
    Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.

    IAGO
    Despise 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'd
    By debitor and creditor: this counter-caster,
    He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
    And I--God bless the mark!--his Moorship's ancient.

    RODERIGO
    By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.

    IAGO
    Why, 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.

    RODERIGO
    I would not follow him then.

    IAGO
    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
    their coats
    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.

    RODERIGO
    What a full fortune does the thicklips owe
    If he can carry't thus!

    IAGO
    Call 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.

    RODERIGO
    Here is her father's house; I'll call aloud.

    IAGO
    Do, with like timorous accent and dire yell
    As when, by night and negligence, the fire
    Is spied in populous cities.

    RODERIGO
    What, ho, Brabantio! Signior Brabantio, ho!

    IAGO
    Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves!
    Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!
    Thieves! thieves!

    BRABANTIO appears above, at a window

    BRABANTIO
    What is the reason of this terrible summons?
    What is the matter there?

    RODERIGO
    Signior, is all your family within?

    IAGO
    Are your doors lock'd?

    BRABANTIO
    Why, wherefore ask you this?

    IAGO
    'Zounds, sir, you're robb'd; for shame, put on
    your gown;
    Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;
    Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
    Is topping 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.

    BRABANTIO
    What, have you lost your wits?

    RODERIGO
    Most reverend signior, do you know my voice?

    BRABANTIO
    Not I what are you?

    RODERIGO
    My name is Roderigo.

    BRABANTIO
    The worser welcome:
    I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors:
    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.

    RODERIGO
    Sir, sir, sir,--

    BRABANTIO
    But thou must needs be sure
    My spirit and my place have in them power
    To make this bitter to thee.

    RODERIGO
    Patience, good sir.

    BRABANTIO
    What tell'st thou me of robbing? this is Venice;
    My house is not a grange.

    RODERIGO
    Most grave Brabantio,
    In simple and pure soul I come to you.

    IAGO
    'Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not
    serve God, if the devil bid you. Because we come to
    do you service and you think we are ruffians, you'll
    have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse;
    you'll have your nephews neigh to you; you'll have
    coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.

    BRABANTIO
    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.

    BRABANTIO
    Thou art a villain.

    IAGO
    You are--a senator.

    BRABANTIO
    This thou shalt answer; I know thee, Roderigo.

    RODERIGO
    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-even and dull watch o' the night,
    Transported, with no worse nor better guard
    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,
    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, from the sense of all civility,
    I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
    Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,
    I say again, hath made a gross revolt;
    Tying her duty, beauty, wit and fortunes
    In an extravagant 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.

    BRABANTIO
    Strike on the tinder, ho!
    Give me a taper! call up all my people!
    This accident is not unlike my dream:
    Belief of it oppresses me already.
    Light, I say! light!

    Exit above

    IAGO
    Farewell; for I must leave you:
    It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
    To be produced--as, if I stay, I shall--
    Against the Moor: for, I do know, the state,
    However this may gall him with some cheque,
    Cannot with safety cast him, for he's embark'd
    With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,
    Which even now stand in act, that, for their souls,
    Another of his fathom they have none,
    To lead their business: in which regard,
    Though I do hate him as I do hell-pains.
    Yet, for necessity of present life,
    I must show out a flag and sign of love,
    Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find him,
    Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;
    And there will I be with him. So, farewell.

    Exit

    Enter, below, BRABANTIO, and Servants with torches

    BRABANTIO
    It is too true an evil: gone she is;
    And what's to come of my despised time
    Is nought but bitterness. Now, Roderigo,
    Where didst thou see her? O unhappy girl!
    With the Moor, say'st thou? Who would be a father!
    How didst thou know 'twas she? O she deceives me
    Past thought! What said she to you? Get more tapers:
    Raise all my kindred. Are they married, think you?

    RODERIGO
    Truly, I think they are.

    BRABANTIO
    O heaven! How got she out? O treason of the blood!
    Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' minds
    By what you see them act. Is there not charms
    By which the property of youth and maidhood
    May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo,
    Of some such thing?

    RODERIGO
    Yes, sir, I have indeed.

    BRABANTIO
    Call up my brother. O, would you had had her!
    Some one way, some another. Do you know
    Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?

    RODERIGO
    I think I can discover him, if you please,
    To get good guard and go along with me.

    BRABANTIO
    Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll call;
    I may command at most. Get weapons, ho!
    And raise some special officers of night.
    On, good Roderigo: I'll deserve your pains.

    Exeunt
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 1
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