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SCENE–The Street. Enter Herald with a Proclamation. (44) 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 mind leads him. For, besides this beneficial news, it is the celebration of his nuptials. So much was his pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices are open, and there is full liberty of feasting, from this present hour of five, 'till the bell have told eleven. Bless the isle of Cyprus, and our noble General Othello !
[Exit. SCENE—the Castle. Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, Cassio, and
Attendants. Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard toLet's teach ourselves that honourable stop, [night: Not to out-sport discretion.
(44) I take the herald to be the same as the widow in Hudibras, drawn in fig. 23; by a reference to which figure her draperies will be seen to be not unlike a herald's coat.
Cas. Iago hath direction what to do :
[liest Michael, good-night. To-morrow, with your earLet me have speech with you. Come, my dear The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue; slove, That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you. Good-night. [Exeunt Othello and Desdemona.
Enter I ago.
Iago. Not this hour, lieutenant: 'tis not yet ten o'th'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's a most fresh and delicate creature.
Iago. What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley to provocation.
*Cas. An inviting eye; and yet, methinks, right modest.
Iugo. And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?
Cas. She is, indeed, perfection.
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 the black Othelló.
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. Oh, they are our friends : but one cup; I'll drink for you.
Čas. 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?
(45) One cup. It is scarcely necessary to repeat what has been so often noticed, that the upper part of Cassio’s (or Talgols) person resembles a drinking.glass, or cup reversed; and the streaks of light thereon, which have themselves also the likeness of a drinking-glass, may be the other cup which Iago would fain fasten upon him.
With that which he hath drunk to-night already,
Enter CASSIO, MONTANO, and Gentleman.
Cus. 'Fore Heaven, they have given me a rouse already.
Mont. Good faith, a little one: not past a pint, as I am a soldier. Iago. Some wine, ho!
Why, then let a soldier drink.
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 exquisite 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 bottle canbe filled.
Cas. To the health of our general.
Mont. I am for it, lieutenant, and I'll do you
His breeches cost him but a crown;
With that he call'd the tailor lown. (46)
And thou art but of low degree:
Then take thine auld cloak about thee.
(46) Tailor lown. This may put the reader in mind of Hudibras's Ralph, who is the same as lago, and is often likened to a tailor. High and low in the same song may relate to the librations of the moon.