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SCENE III.

A Hall in the Castle.

Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CAssIo, and Atten

dants. Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard to

night:
Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to out-sport discretion.

Cas. Iago hath direction what to do;
But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
Will I look to't.
Oth.

Iago is most honest.
Michael, good night: To-morrow, with our earliest,
Let me have speech with you. Come, my dear love,
The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;

[To DESDEMONA. That profit's yet to come 'twixt me and you. Good night.

[Exeunt Oth. Des. and Attend.

Enter IAGO. Cas. Welcome, Iago : We must to the watch.

Iago. Not this hour, lieutenant ; 'tis not yet ten o'clock: Our general cast us' thus early, for the love of his Desdemona; whom let us not therefore blame; he hath not yet made wanton the night with her: and she is sport for Jove.

Cas. She's a most exquisite lady.
Iago. And, I'll warrant her, full of game.

Cas. Indeed, she is a most fresh and delicate creature.

1 Our general cast us -] Cast us means dismissed us, or got rid of our company.

Iago. What an eye she has ! methinks it sounds a parley of provocation.

Cas. An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest.

Iago. And, when she speaks, is it not an alarm to love?

Cas. She is, indeed, perfection.

Iago. Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant, I have a stoop of wine: and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants, that would fain have a measure to the health of the black Othello.

Cas. Not to-night, good Iago; I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish courtesy would invent some other custom of entertainment.

Iago. O, they are our friends ; but one cup: I'll drink for you.

Cas. I have drunk but one cup to-night, and that was craftily qualified? too, and, behold, what innovation it makes here : I am unfortunate in the infirmity, and dare not task my weakness with any

more.

Iago. What, man! 'tis a night of revels; the gallants desire it.

Cas. Where are they?
Iago. Here at the door; I pray you call them in.
Cas. I'll do't; but it dislikes me. [Exit Cassio.

Iago. If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
With that which he hath drunk to-night already,
He'll be as full of quarrel and offence
As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool,

Roderigo, Whom love has turn'd almost the wrong side out

ward, To Desdemona hath to-night carous'd

- craftily qualified-] Slily mixed with water.

Potations pottle deep; and he's to watch:
Three lads of Cyprus,-noble swelling spirits,
That hold their honours in a wary distance,
The very elements of this warlike isle,-
Have I to-night fluster'd with flowing cups,
And they watch too. Now, 'mongst this flock of

drunkards,
Am I to put our Cassio in some action
That may offend the isle :-But here they come:
If consequence do but

approve my dream,
My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.

Re-enter Cassio, with him MONTANO, and Gen.

tlemen. Cas. 'Fore heaven, they have given me a rouse already.

Mon. Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am a Soldier.

Iago. Some wine, ho!

And let me the canakin clink, clink ; [Sings.
And let me the canakin clink :

A soldier's a man ;

A life's but a span;
Why then, let a soldier drink.

Some-wine, boys !

[Wine brought in. Cas. 'Fore heaven, an excellent song:

Iago. I learned it in England, where (indeed) they are most potent in potting: your Dane, your

3 The very elements-] As quarrelsome as the discordia seminc rerum; as quick in opposition as fire and water.

4. If consequence do but approve my dream,] Every scheme subsisting only in the imagination may be term a dream.

given me a rouse, &c.] A rouse appears to be a quantity of liquor rather too large.

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German, and your swag-bellied Hollander,--Drink, ho!-are nothing to your English.

Cas. Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?

Tago. Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane dead drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain ; he gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottle can be filled.

Cas. To the health of our general.

Mon. I am for it, lieutenant; and I'll do you justice.

Iago. O sweet England !

King Stephen’ was a worthy peer, 8

His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sirpence all too dear,

With that he call'd the tailor-lown.'

He was a wight of high renown,

And thou art but of low degree
'Tis pride that pulls the country down,

Then take thine auld cloak about thee.

Some wine, ho!

Cas. Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other.

Iago. Will you hear it again?

Cas. No; for I hold him to be unworthy of his place, that does those things.-Well,—Heaven's above all, and there be souls that must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.

6

as

I'll do you justice.] i, e. drink as much

you

do. 7 King Stephen, &c.] These stanzas are taken from an old song, which the reader will find recovered and preserved in Percy's Relicks of Ancient Poetry.

a worthy peer,] A worthy peer is a worthy lord, a title frequently bestowed upon king's in our old romances.

lown.] Sorry fellow, paltry wretch.

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9

Iago. It's true, good lieutenant.

Cas. For mine own part,-no offence to the ge. neral, nor any man of quality,—I hope to be saved.

Iago. And so do I too, lieutenant.

Cas. Ay, but, by your leave, not before me; the lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient. Let's have no more of this; let's to our affairs.--Forgive us our sins - Gentlemen, let's look to our business. Do not think, gentlemen, I am drunk; this is my ancient ;-- this is my right hand, and this is my left hand :-I am not drunk now; I can stand well enough,

and speak well enough. All. Excellent well.

Cas. Why, very well, then : you must not think then that I am drunk.

[Exit. Mon. To the platform, masters; come, let's set the watch. Iago. You see this fellow, that is

gone

before;-
He is a soldier, fit to stand by Cæsar
And give direction: and do but see his vice;
"Tis to his virtue a just equinox,
The one as long as the other : 'tis pity of him.
I fear, the trust Othello puts him in,
On some odd time of his infirmity,
Will shake this island.
Mon.

But is he often thus?
Iago. 'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep:
He'll watch the horoloye a double set,'
If drink rock not his cradle.
Mon.

It were well,
The general were put in mind of it.
Perhaps, he sees it not; or his good nature
Prizes the virtue that

appears

in Cassio, And looks not on his evils; Is not this true ?

" He'll watch the horologe a double set, &c.] If he have no drink, he'll keep awake while the clock strikes two rounds, or four-and-twenty hours.

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