Act 1 - Scene 1
Venice. A street.
Enter RODERIGO and IAGO
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.
'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.
Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
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;
Nonsuits my mediators; for, 'Certes,' says he,
'I have already chose my officer.'
And what was
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
A fellow almost damn'd in a fair
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,
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
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
And IGod bless the mark!his Moorship's ancient.
By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.
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.
I 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
be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For nought but provender, and when he's old,
Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
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;
such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,
It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not
In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
so, for my peculiar end:
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my