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Tho' he had twinned with me both at a birth,
Mont. If partially affined, or leagued in office,
Iago. Touch me not so near : I'd rather have this tongue cut from my mouth Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio: Yet I persuade myself, to speak the truth Shall nothing wrong him. Thus ’tis, general : Montano and myself being in speech, There comes a fellow crying out for help, And Cassio following with determined sword To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman Steps in to Cassio and intreats his pause ; Myself the crying fellow did pursue, Lest by his clamour (as it so fell out) The town might fall in fright. He, swift of foot, Outran my purpose; I returned, the rather For that I heard the clink and fall of swords, And Cassio high in oath; which till to-night I ne'er might say before. When I came back, (For this was brief) I found them close together At blow and thrust; even as again they were
When you yourself did part them.
Oth. I know, lago,
Enter DESDEMONA attended.
Oth. All is well, sweeting, come away to bed. Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon. Lead him off.
[(51) lago, look with care about the town, And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted. Come, Desdemona, 'tis the soldier's life, To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.
(51) Myself will be your surgeon. This alludes to the circumstance that Othello's body and Montano's are nearly The same in their prototypes; so that one may be said te restore or make good the other.
Manent Iago and Cassio.
Cas. Reputation, reputation, reputation ! oh, I have lost my reputation ! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation! Iago, my reputation.
Iago. As I am an honest man, I had thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more sense in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving. You have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser. What man,--there are ways to recover the general again. You are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice; even so as one would beat his offenceless dog, to fright an imperious lion. Sue to him again, and he's yours.
Cas. I will rather sue to be despised, than to deceive so good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk, and speak ? parrot, and squabble? swagger? swear ? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow ? oh thou invincible spirit of wine! if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil.
Iago. What was he that you followed with your sword? what had he done to you?
Cas. I know not.
Cas. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly : a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. Oh, that men should put an enemy in their mouths, to steal away their brains ! that we should with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts ! (52)
Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus recovered ?
Cas. It has pleased the devil Drunkenness, to give place to the devil Wrath ; one unperfectness shews me another, to make me frankly despise myself.
Iago. Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen: but since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.
Cas. I will ask him for my place again'; he shall tell me I am a drunkard !—had I as many mouths
(52) Beasts and bestial, ante. The upper part of Cassio's person has the shape of a boar's head, and of a goose and a pelican, as drawn in fig. 70, while the lower part is frequently likened to a cow, an ass, a pig, and other beasts. as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast !- Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.
lago. Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it is well used: exclaim no more against it. And, good lieut enant, I think you think I love you.
Cas. I have well approved it, Sir. I drunk !
Iago. You, or any man living, may be drunk at some time, man. I tell you what you shall do: our general's wife is now the general. I may say so in this respect, for that he hath devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and graces. Confess yourself freely to her : importune her help, to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint, between you and her husband, intreat her to splinter : and my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.
Cas. You advise me well.
Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love, and honest kindness.
Cas. I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona