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That profit's yet to come 'twixt me and you.-
[Exeunt Orh. Des. and Attend.
Enter lago. Cas. Welcome, Iago: We must to the watch.
Lago. 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.
Jago. What an eye she has ! methinks it sounds a parley of provocation?.
Cas. An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest.
Lago. And, when she speaks, is it not an alarm ? to love ?
9 Our general CAST US —] That is, appointed us to our stations. To cast the play, is, in the style of the theatres, to assign to every actor his proper part. Johnson.
We have just now been assured by the Herald, that there was “ full liberty of feasting, &c. till eleven.”
Perhaps therefore [as Mr. Jennens has remarked,] cast us only means dismissed us, or got rid of our company. So, in one of the following scenes : “ You are but now cast in his mood;” i. e. turned out of your office in his anger ; and in the first scene it means to dismiss. So, in The Witch, a MS. tragi-comedy, by Middleton :
s. She cast off
Steevens. a parley of provocation.] So the quarto 1622. Folioo provocation. Malone.
an alarm -] The voice may sound an alarm more properly than the eye can sound a parley. Johnson.
The eye is often said to speak. Thus we frequently hear of the language of the eye. Surely that which can talk may, without any violent stretch of the figure, be allowed to sound a arley.
CAS. She is, indeed, perfection 4.
lago. Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant, I have a stoop of wine; and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants, that would fain have a measure to the health of the 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.
LAGO. 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 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?
Laso. If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
Roderigo, Whom love has turn'd almost the wrong side out
ward, To Desdemona hath to-night carous'd
So, in Troilus and Cressida :
“There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip;
Nay, her foot speaks." STEEVENS.
Is it not an alarm to love ?] The quartos read—'tis an alarm to love. STEEVENS.
4 She is, indeed, perfection.] In this and the seven short speeches preceding, the decent character of Cassio is most powerfully contrasted with that of the licentious lago. Steevens.
5 - craftily qualified —] Slily mixed with water. Johnson.
Potations pottle deep; and he's to watch:
Re-enter Cassio, with him Montano, and Gentle.
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
Lago. Some wine, ho !
• Three Lads of Cyprus,] The folio reads-Three else of Cyprus. Steevens.
7 The very elements -] As quarrelsome as the discordia semina rerum ; as quick in opposition as fire and water. Johnson.
8 If consequence do but approve my DREAM,] Every scheme subsisting only in the imagination may be termed a dream.
JOHNSON. - given me a Rouse, &c.] A rouse appears to be a quantity of liquor rather too large. So, in Hamlet ; and in The Christian turn'd Turk, 1612:
our friends may tell “ We drank a rouse to them." See Hamlet, vol. vii. p. 226. STEEVENS.
* As I am a soldier.] If Montano was Othello's predecessor in the government of Cyprus, (as we are told in the Persone Dramatis,) he is not very characteristically employed in the present scene, where he is tippling with people already flustered, and encouraging a subaltern officer who commands a midnight guard, to drink to excess.
Steevens. VOL. IX.
And let me the canakino clink, clink; [Sings.
A soldier's a man;
Why then let a soldier drink.
[Wine brought in. CAS. 'Fore heaven, an excellent song.
Lago. 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 drinkLago. 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.
the CANAKIN ;] So, in Barclay's Ship of Fools, fol. 229 :
some quafes y canakin halfe full,” &c. Steevens. 3 A life's but a span;} Thus the quarto. The folio reads
“Oh man's life's but a span.“ STEEVENS. 4 - in England, where (indeed) they are most potent in potting :] Les meilleurs buveurs en Angleterre, is an ancient French proverb. Steevens.
most potent in POTTING : your DANE, your German, &c.] “ Enquire at ordinaries : there must be sallets for the Italian, tooth-picks for the Spaniard, pots for the German !" Prologue to Lyly's Midas, 1592 Malone,
your Dane." See Hamlet, vol. vii. p. 227. Steevens.
SO Expert in his drinking?] Thus the quarto 1622. Folio- ~so exquisite. This accomplishment in the English is likewise mentioned by Beaumont and Fletcher in The Captain :
• Lod. Are the Englishmen 6. Such stubborn drinkers ?
not a leak at sea “Can suck more liquor ; you shall have their children “ Christen'd in muli'd sack, and at five “ Able to knock a Dane down." STEEVENS.
Mon. I am for it; lieutenant; and I'll do you justice ?
Lago. O sweet England !
King Stephen & was a worthy peer",
His breeches cost him but a crown ;
With that he calld the tailor-lown".
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.
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. See Henry IV. Part II. Act V. Sc. II.
STEVENS. 9 King Stephen, &c.] These stanzas are taken from an old song, which the reader will find recovered and preserved in a curious work lately printed, entitled, Relicks of Ancient Poetry, consisting of old heroick ballads, songs, &c. 3 vols. 12mo.
Johnson. So, in Greene's Quip for an Upstart Courtier: “King Stephen wore a pair of cloth breeches of a noble a pair, and thought them passing costly." Steevens.
a worthy peer,] i. e. a worthy fellow. In this sense peer, fere, pheere, are often used by the writers of our earliest romances.
STEEVENS. A worthy peer is a worthy lord, a title frequently bestowed upon kings in our old romances. So, in Aradis de Gaule, 1619: “ Sir, although you be a king and a great lord.” Spenser constantly uses the word peer in this sense. Pheere is in every respect a very different word. Ritson. 1-lown.] Sorry fellow, paltry wretch. Johnson.