« PreviousContinue »
then have to prefer them ;* and the impediment most profitably removed, without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.
Rod. I will do this, if I can bring it to any opportunity
Iago. I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel : I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell. Rod. Adieu.
[Exit. Iago. That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it; That she loves him, 'tis apt, and of great credit: The Moor-how beit that I endure him not, Is of a constant, loving, noble nature ; And, I dare think, he'll prove to Desdemona A most dear husband. Now I do love her too; Not out of absolute lust, (though, peradventure, I stand accountant for as great a sin,) But partly led to diet my revenge, For that I do suspect the lusty Moor Hath leap'd into my seat: the thought whereof Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards; And nothing can or shall content my soul, Till I am even with him, wife for wife; Or, failing so, yet that I put the Moor At least into a jealousy so strong That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do, If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash For his quick hunting, stand the putting on, I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip; Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb, –
to prefer them ;] i. e. to advance them. s If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash-] To trash, is still a hunter's phrase, and signifies to fasten a weight on the neck of a dog, when his speed is superior to that of his companions.
6- in the rank garb,] i. e. grossly, without mincing the matter,
For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too ;
Enter a Herald, with a Proclamation ; People fol
lowing: Her. It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived, importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put himself into triumph: some to dance, some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and revels his addiction leads him ; for, besides these beneficial news, it is the celebration of his nuptials : So much was his pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices are open ;o and there is full liberty of feasting, from this present hour of five, till the bell hath told eleven. Heaven bless the isle of Cyprus, and our noble general, Othello!
? Knavery's plain face is never seen, ] An honest man acts upon a plan, and forecasts his designs; but a knave depends upon temporary and local opportunities, and never knows his own purpose, but at the time of execution. JOHNSON.
8 — mere-] Mere in this place signifies entire.
9 All offices are open ;] i. e. all rooms, or places, in the castle, at which refreshments are prepared, or served out.
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:
do but approve my
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 semine rerum; as quick in opposition as fire and water.
1. 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.