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Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon.
Lead him off.

[MONTANO is led off.
Iago, look with care about the town,
And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.
Come, Desdemona ; 'tis the soldiers' life,
To have their balmy slumbers wak'd with strife.

[Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio. Iago. What ! are you hurt, lieutenant ? Cas. Ay, past all surgery. Iago. Marry, Heaven forbid !

Cas. Reputation, reputation, reputation ! O, 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 thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more offence 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, 24 a punishment more in policy than in malice ; even so as one would beat his offenceless dog, to affright an imperious lion. Sue to him again, and he's yours.

Cas. I will rather sue to be despis'd, than to deceive so good a commander, with so light, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer.26 Drunk ? and speak

23 Thus both the quartos : the folio has sense instead of offence.

H.

24 Thrown off, dismissed in his anger.

25 The folio has slight instead of light, the reading of both the quartos. - The passage beginning with Drunk, and ending with shadow, is not in the first quarto.

1. VOL. X.

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parrot ? and squabble ? swagger! swear ? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow ? -0, thou invisible spirit of wine! if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee - devil.

Iago. What was he that you follow'd with your sword ? What had he done to you ?

Cas. I know not.
Iago. Is't possible?

Cas. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. - 0 God! that men should put an enemy in their mouths, to steal away their brains ! that we should, with joy, revel, pleasure, and applause, transforın ourselves into beasts !

Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: How came you thus recovered ?

Cas. It hath pleas'd the devil drunkenness to give place to the devil wrath : one unperfectness shows 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 as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O strange !- Every inordinate cup is unbless'd, and the ingredient is a devil.

Iago. Come, come; good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well us’d: exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant, 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'll 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: she'll help to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, that she holds it a vice in her goodness, not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint between you and her husband entreat 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 to undertake for me. I am desperate of my fortunes, if they check me here.

Iago. You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I must to the watch. Cas. Good night, honest lago.

[Erit Cassio. Iago. And what's he, then, that says I play the

villain? When this advice is free I give, and honest, Probal to thinking, and, indeed, the course To win the Moor again ? For 'tis most easy The inclining 28 Desdemona to subdue In any

honest suit: she's fram'd as fruitful 27 As the free elements. And, then, for her

26 Inclining here signifies compliant.

27 Corresponding to benigna. Liberal, bountiful as the elements, out of which all things were produced.

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To win the Moor, — were't to renounce his baptism,
All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,
His soul is so enfetter'd to her love,
That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
Even as her appetite shall play the god
With his weak function. How am I, then, a villain,
To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
Directly to his good ? Divinity of hell!
When devils will their blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
As I do now:

for while this honest fool
Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes,
And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,

this pestilence into his ear,That she repeals him for her body's lust ; And, by how much she strives to do him good, She shall undo her credit with the Moor : So will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net, That shall enmesh them all. — How now, Roderigo!

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I'll pour

30

Enter RODERIGO. Rod. I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is almost spent ; I have been to-night exceedingly well cudgell’d: and I think the issue will be, I shall have so much experience for my pains ; and so, with no money at all, and a little more wit, return again to Venice.

Iago. How poor are they, that have not patience ! What wound did ever heal, but by degrees ?

23 Parallel course for course level or even with his design.

29 That is, when devils will instigate to their blackest sins, they tempt, &c.

We have repeatedly met with the same use of put on for instigate, and of suggest for tempt.

H. 30 Repeal in the sense of recall ; formerly a common use of the word.

H.

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Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witch

craft; And wit depends on dilatory time. Does't not go well ? Caşsio hath beaten thee, And thou by that small hurt hast cashier'd Cassio. Though other things grow fair against the sun, Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe : Content thyself awhile. - By th' mass, 'tis morning: Pleasure and action make the hours seem short. Retire thee; go where thou art billeted : Away, I say ; thou shalt know more hereafter : Nay, get thee gone. — [Exit RODER.] Two things

are to be done. My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress; I'll set her on: Myself, the while, to draw the Moor apart, And bring him jump when he may Cassio find Soliciting his wife. — Ay, that's the way: Dull not device by coldness and delay. [Exit.

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[blocks in formation]

Enter Cassio, and some Musicians. Cas. Masters, play here, I will content your pains,

31 The blossoming of things, to which Iago alludes, is the removal of Cassio. As their plan had already blossomed, so there was good hope that the fruits of it would soon be ripe. — The folio substitutes In troth for By th' mass.

32 The old copies read “a while" instead of the while." Theobald made the change.

H.

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