« AnteriorContinuar »
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 expert in his drinking 8?
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.
Cas. To the health of our general.
Mon. I am for it, lieutenant; and I'll do you justice 9.
Iago. O sweet England!
King Stephen was a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown;
With that he call'd the tailor-lown.
8 Thus the quarto 1622. The folio has-exquisite. This accomplishment is likewise mentioned by Beaumont and Fletcher in The Captain :
Lod. Are the Englishmen
Such stubborn drinkers?
Can suck more liquor; you shall have their children
Able to knock a Dane down.'
Henry Peacham in his Compleat Gentleman, 1622, p. 193, has a section entitled Drinking the Plague of our English Gentry,' in which he says:- Within these fiftie or threescore yeares it was a rare thing with us to see a drunken man, our nation carry. ing the name of the most sober and temperate of any other in the world. But since we had to doe in the quarrell of the Netherlands, about the time of Sir John Norris his first being there, the custom of drinking and pledging healthes was brought over into England; wherein let the Dutch be their owne judges, if we equall them not; yea I think rather excell them.'
9 i. e. drink as much as you do. See King Henry IV. Part II. Act v. Sc. 2.
He was a wight of high renown,
And thou art but of low degree:
'Tis pride that pulls the country down:
Some wine, ho!
Cas. Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other.
Iago. 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.
Iago. It's true, good lieutenant.
Cas. For mine own part,-no offence to the general, or any man of quality,-I hope to be saved. Iago. And so do I too, lieutenant.
Cas. Ay, but, by your leave, not before me; the lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient. have no more of this; let's to our affairs.-Forgive us our sins!-Gentlemen, let's look to our business. Do not think, gentlemen, I am drunk; this is my ancient; this is my right hand, and this is my left hand :-I am not drunk now; I can stand well enough, and speak well enough.
All. Excellent well.
Cas. Why, very well, then; you must not think then that I am drunk.
[Exit. Mon. To the platform, masters; come, let's set the watch.
Iago. You see this fellow, that is gone before;— He is a soldier, fit to stand by Cæsar
And give direction: and do but see his vice;
The one as long as the other: 'tis pity of him.
On some odd time of his infirmity
Will shake this island.
But is he often thus ?
Iago. "Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep: He'll watch the horologe a double set1o, If drink rock not his cradle.
It were well,
Iago. How now, Roderigo?
I pray you, after the lieutenant; go.
[Exit RODERIGO. Mon. And 'tis great pity, that the noble Moor Should hazard such a place, as his own second, With one of an ingraft" infirmity;
It were an honest action, to say
So to the Moor.
Not I, for this fair island:
I do love Cassio well; and would do much
To cure him of this evil.
But hark! what noise?
Re-enter CASSIO, driving in Roderigo.
What's the matter, lieutenant?
10 If he have no drink, he'll keep awake while the clock strikes two rounds, or four and twenty hours. The word horologe is familiar to most of our ancient writers: Chaucer often uses it. So in The Devil's Charter, 1607 :
Cas. A knave!-teach me my duty! I'll beat the knave into a twiggen 12 bottle.
Or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard.
Let me go, sir,
Come, come, you're drunk. [They fight.
Iago. Away, I say! go out, and cry—a mutiny. [Aside to ROD. who goes out.
Nay, good lieutenant,-alas, gentlemen,
Help, ho!-Lieutenant, sir,—Montano,—sir;Help, masters!-Here's a goodly watch, indeed!
Who's that that rings the bell ?-Diablo, ho!
Enter OTHELLO, and Attendants.
What is the matter here?
Mon. I bleed still, I am hurt to the death;—he
Oth. Hold, for your lives.
Iago. Hold, hold, lieutenant, sir, Montano,gentlemen,-
12 i. e. a wickered bottle, and so the quarto reads.
13 The first quarto omits the words he dies, and has zounds! at the commencement of the line. Montano may be supposed to say he dies, i. e. he shall die, offering to renew the fight upon finding himself severely hurt. Othello, in the very next speech, says: He dies upon his motion.'
Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?
Oth. Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth
Are we turn'd Turks; and to ourselves do that,
For christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl:
In quarter 14, and in terms like bride and groom
And 'would, in action glorious I had lost
Cas. I pray you, pardon me, I cannot speak.
14 i. e. on our station. 'This short note might have saved the long disquisitions of Ritson, Henley, and Malone, about the precise meaning of a word which, in the military language of the present day at least, seems to have no very precise meaning. The meaning given above seems the leading signification, for the principal camp guard of a regiment is called the quarter guard; but a regiment in quarters has no such guard. I wonder that Mr. Steevens, who had been in the militia, did not exercise his judgment on this passage.'-Pye.
15 i. e. you have thus forgot yourself. VOL. X.