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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 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 belee'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 affin'd To love the Moor.