Othello By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 3

SCENE III. A Hall in the Castle.

[Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Attendants.]

OTHELLO.
Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night:
Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to out-sport discretion.

CASSIO.
Iago hath direction what to do;
But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
Will I look to't.

OTHELLO.
Iago is most honest.
Michael, good night: to-morrow with your earliest
Let me have speech with you. — [To Desdemona] Come, my dear love, —
The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;
That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you. —
Good-night.

[Exeunt Othello, Desdemona, and Attendants.]

[Enter Iago.]

CASSIO.
Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.

IAGO.
Not this hour, lieutenant; 'tis not yet ten o' the clock.
Our general cast us thus early for the love of his Desdemona; who
let us not therefore blame: he hath not yet made wanton the night
with her; and she is sport for Jove.

CASSIO.
She's a most exquisite lady.

IAGO.
And, I'll warrant her, full of game.

CASSIO.
Indeed, she is a most fresh and delicate creature.

IAGO.
What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley to provocation.

CASSIO.
An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest.

IAGO.
And when she speaks, is it not an alarm to love?

CASSIO.
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 black Othello.

CASSIO.
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.

CASSIO.
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.

CASSIO.
Where are they?

IAGO.
Here at the door; I pray you, call them in.

CASSIO.
I'll do't; but it dislikes me.

[Exit.]

IAGO.
If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
With that which he hath drunk to-night already,
He'll be as full of quarrel and offense
As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,
Whom love hath turn'd almost the wrong side out,
To Desdemona hath to-night carous'd
Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch:
Three lads of Cyprus, — noble swelling spirits,
That hold their honours in a wary distance,
The very elements of this warlike isle, —
Have I to-night fluster'd 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:
If consequence do but approve my dream,
My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.

[Re-enter Cassio; with him Montano and Gentlemen; followed by
Servant with wine.]

CASSIO.
'Fore heaven, they have given me a rouse already.

MONTANO.
Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am a soldier.

IAGO.
Some wine, ho!

[Sings.]
"And let me the canakin clink, clink;
And let me the canakin clink.
A soldier's a man;
O, man's life's but a span;
Why then let a soldier drink."

Some wine, boys!

CASSIO.
'Fore God, 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.

CASSIO.
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.

CASSIO.
To the health of our general!

MONTANO.
I am for it, lieutenant; and I'll do you justice.

IAGO.
O sweet England!

[Sings.]
"King Stephen was and a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear,
With that he call'd the tailor lown.
He was a wight of high renown,
And thou art but of low degree:
'Tis pride that pulls the country down;
Then take thine auld cloak about thee."

Some wine, ho!

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