Page images

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

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. lago. I learned it in England, where

where indeed) they are most potent in potting: your Dane, your


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

If consequence do but upprove my dream,] Every scheme subsisting only in the imagination may be termed a dream.

giren me'a rousé, &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 drinkIago. 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 !

[ocr errors]

King Stephen' was a worthy peer,

His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence 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.

lago. 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 as you do. : ? King Stephen, &c.] These stanzas are taken from an old song which the reader will find recovered and preserved in Percy's Rehicks of Ancient Poetry.

- a worthy peer,] A worthy peer is a worthy lord, a title frequently bestowed upon kings in our old romances.

lown.] Sorry fellow, paltry wretch.



Iago. It's true, good lieutenant.

Cas. For mine own part,—no offence to the gen 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.

But is he often thus?
lago. 'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep;
He'll watch the horologe a double set,
If drink rock not his cradle.

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?

[ocr errors]

1 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.


lago. How now, Roderigo?

[Aside. 1 pray you, after the lieutenant; go.

[Exit Roderigo. Mon. And 'tis great pity, that the noble Moor Should hazard such a place, as his own second, With one of an ingraft infirmity:It were an honest action, to say So to the Moor. Iago.

Not I, for this fair island: I do love Cassio well; and would do much To cure him of this evil. But hark! what noise?

[Cry within, -Help! help!

Re-enter Cassio, driving in RODERIGO.
Cas. You rogue! you rascal!
Mon. What's the matter, lieutenant?

Cas. A knave!-teach me my duty!
I'll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle.

Rod. Beat me!
Cas. Dost thou prate, rogue?

[Striking Roderigo. Mon.

Nay, good lieutenant;

[Staying him. I pray you, sir, hold


hand. Cas.

Let me go, sir, Or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard. Mon.

Come, come, you're drunk. Cas. Drunk!

[They fight. Iago. Away, I say! go out, and cry-a mutiny.

Aside to Rod. who goes out. Nay, good lieutenant,--alas, gentlemen,

2 - ingraft infirmity:] An infirmity rooted, settled in his constitution. into a twiggen bottle.]'i. e, a wickered bottle.



Help, ho!-Lieutenant,-sir,--Montano,-sir; Help, masters !-Here's a goodly watch, indeed!

[Bell rings. Who's that that rings the bell?-Diablo, ho! The town will rise: God's will, lieutenant! hold; You will be sham'd for ever.

Enter OTHELLO, and Attendants. Oth.

What is the matter here? Mon. I bleed still, I am hurt to the death ;-he

dies." Oth. Hold, for your lives. lago. Hold, hold, lieutenant,--sir, Montano,

gentlemen,Have you forgot all sense of place and duty? Hold, hold! the general speaks to you; hold, for

shame! Oth. Why, how now, hol from whence ariseth

this? Are we turn’d Turks; and to ourselves do that, Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites? For christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl: He that stirs next to carve for his own rage, Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion. Silence that dreadful bell, it frights the isle From her propriety: '-—What is the matter, mas

ters? Honest Iago, that look'st dead with grieving, Speak, who began this? on thy love, I charge thee. lago. I do not know;-friends all but now, even

now, In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom Devesting them for bed: and then, but now,

He dies.] i. e. he shall die.

From her propriety.) From her regular and proper state. * In quarter,] i. e. on our station,

« PreviousContinue »