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If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace 1
SCENE II. A Street.
Enter a Herald, with a proclamation; People following.
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 4 are open; 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!
1 “If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quick hunting, bear the putting on,” &c. This is the reading of the folio; the quarto of 1622 reads crush, which the commentators altered to trash, signifying to impede, to keep back; a meaning the very converse of that required by the context: to trace means neither more nor less than to follow, the appropriate hunting term; the old French tracer, tracher, trasser, and the Italian tracciare, having the same meaning.
2 " In the rank garb,” is “ in the right down or straight forward fashion.” The folio reads in the right garb.”
3 Mere is entire.
4 All rooms or places in the castle, at which refreshments are prepared or served out.
SCENE III. A Hall in the Castle.
Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, Cassio, and Attendants.
Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night.
Cas. Iago hath direction what to do;
lago is most honest.
[To DESDEMONA. That profit's yet to come 'twixt me and you.
[Exeunt Oth., Des., and Attend.
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.
Iugo. 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.
1 i. e. dismissed us.
Iago. Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant, I have a stoup of wine ; and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants, that would fain have a measure to the health of 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 à 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?
Roderigo, Whom love has turned almost the wrong side out
ward, To Desdemona hath to-night caroused Potations pottle deep; and he's to watch. Three lads of Cyprus,-noble swelling spirits, That hold their honors in a wary distance, The very elements of this warlike isle, Have I to-night flustered 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:
1 Slyly mixed with water.
2 “ As quarrelsome as the discordia semina rerum; as quick in opposition as fire and water."
If consequence do but approve my dream,"
Re-enter Cassio, with him MONTANO, and Gentlemen.
Cas. 'Fore Heaven, they have given me a rouse? already
Mon. Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as
And let me the canakin clink, clink ; [Sings.
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 German, and your swag-bellied Hollander, -drink, ho!-are nothing to your English.
Cas. Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking ? :
Iago. 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,
His breeches cost him but a crown;
With that he called the tailor-lown.
1 Every scheme subsisting only in the imagination may be termed a dream.
2 See Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 2, note 1, p. 264.
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.
lago. It's true, good lieutenant.
Cas. For mine own part,—no offence to the general, or any man of quality,—I hope to be saved.
Iago. And so do I too, lieutenant.
Cus. 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? lago. 'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep.