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A Hall in the Castle.
Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CAssIo, and Atten
dants. Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard to
Cas. Iago hath direction what to do;
Iago is most honest.
[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.
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
Iago. What, man! 'tis a night of revels; the gallants desire it.
Cas. Where are they?
Iago. If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
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:
approve my dream,
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.
A soldier's a man ;
A life's but a span;
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.
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;
With that he call'd the tailor-lown.'
He was a wight of high renown,
And thou art but of low degree
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.
I'll do you justice.] i, e. drink as much
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.
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
But is he often thus?
It were well,
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.