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.
What do you think Iago knows about that has upset Roderigo?
I am insulted that you – Iago, who has been using my money like it was your own – knew about this.
'Sblood, but you will not hear me!
If ever I did dream of such a matter,
Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.
Who are they talking about here and why don’t they name ‘him’?
Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Off-capped 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 stuffed with epithets of war,
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 damned in a fair wife -
That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster. Mere prattle without practice
Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th'election:
And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof
At Rhodes, at Cyprus and on others' grounds,
Christened and heathen, must be beleed and calmed
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.
But he is very proud and likes to do his own thing so he didn’t answer them directly and gave them a grand speech instead, which was full of military language. And, in the end, my supporters gave up: for ‘truthfully’ he said ‘I’ve already chosen the person I want as my lieutenant’.
An arithmetician is someone who is great with numbers
Someone who is from Florence in Italy is referred to as a Florentine, meaning Cassio is not from Venice either.
Never ordered troops in battle.
The word ‘Moor’ refers to someone of African or Arabic descent. Here, Iago turns it into a title like ‘Lordship’ and uses the word ‘Moorship’ as an insult.
(Text edited for rehearsals by Iqbal Khan)