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Hath leap'd into my seat: the thought whereof
Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards;
And nothing can or shall content my soul, .
Till I am even

41 with him, wife for wife;
Or, failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,-
If this


trash of Venice, whom I trace For his quick hunting, stand the putting on, I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip; Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb 43,



41 Thus the quarto 1622. The folio-till I am even’d with him : i. e. till I am on a level with him by retaliation.

* If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace

For his quick hunting, bear the putting on,' &c, This is the reading of the folio, which, though it has a plain and easy sense, would not do for the commentators, and the quarto of 1622 reading crush, they altered it to trash, signifying to impede, to keep back (see vol. i. p. 15, note 9), a meaning the very converse of that required by the context; to say nothing of the wretched jingle of trash and trash ; which Steevens is pleased to consider · much in Shakspeare's manner'! The fact is, to trace means neither more nor less than to follow, the appropriate hunting term ; the old French tracer, tracher, trasser, and the Italian tracciare having the same meaning. Steevens is sadly pat to it to explain how keeping Roderigo back and putting him on can quadrate, and all is doubt and perplexity. Bishop Hall, in the third satire of his fifth book, uses trace for to follow :

•Go on and thrive, my petty tyrant's pride,
Scorn thou to live, if others live beside;
And trace proud Castile, that aspires to be

In his old age a young fifth monarchy.'
So Cavendish, in his Metrical Visions, p. 114:-

Fortune bath me forsake,
Whom she heretofore highly did advaunce,
And traced me forth in the pleasant dance

Of worldly honours and highe dignytie.'. The phrase to have on the hip, which is also from the chase, is explained in vol. iii. p. 17, note 2. We should perhaps read :

'If this poor brach [i.e. hound) of Venice,' &c. 43 • In the rank yarb,' which has puzzled Steevens and Malone, is merely • in the right down, or straight forward fashion.' In As You Like It we have the right butterwoman's rank to

For I fear Cassio with my nightcap too;
Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me,
For making him egregiously an ass,
And practising upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confus’d;
Knavery's plain face is never seen, till usd 44.


[blocks in formation]

Enter a Herald, with a Proclamation ; People

following. Her. It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived, importing the mere? perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put himself into triumph; some to dance, some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and revels his addiction leads him ; for, besides these beneficial news, it is the celebration of his nuptials : So much was his pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices are open; and there is full liberty of feasting, from this present hour of five, till the bell hath told eleven. Heaven bless the isle of Cyprus, and our noble general Othello!

[Exeunt. market.' And in King Lear, Cornwall says of Kent in disguise, that he è doth affect a saucy roughness, and constrains the garb (i. e, assumes the fashion) quite from his nature.' Gower says of Flaellen, in King Henry V.:_ You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel. The folio reads—' in the right garb.'

44 • An honest man acts upon a plan, and forecasts his designs; but a knave depends upon temporary and local opportunities, and never knows his own purpose, but at the time of execution.'-Johnson.

1 Mere is entire.

2 All rooms, or places in the castle, at which refreshments are prepared or served out. See vol. viii. p. 40, note 14.

SCENE III. A Hall in the Castle.

Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard to-

Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to outsport discretion.

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

Iago is most honest.
Michael, good night: To-morrow, with our earliest,
Let me have speech with you.—Come, my dear love,
The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;

[To DESDEMONA. That profit's yet to come 'twixt me and you.— Good night.

[Exeunt Oth. Des. and Attend.

Enter Iago.
Cas. Welcome, Iago: We must to the watch.

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

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

1 i. e. dismissed us, threw us off, or rid himself of our company. The Herald has just informed us that there was full liberty of feasting, &c. till eleven. So in The Witch, by Middleton :

• She cast of
My company betimes to-night, by tricks,' &c.

Iago. What an eye she has ! methinks it sounds a parley of provocation.

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

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

Cas. She is, indeed, perfection.

Iago. 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.

Iago. 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 3 too, and, behold, what innovation it makes here: I am unfortunate in the infirmity, and dare not task

weakness with



Iago. What, man! 'tis a night of revels; the gallants desire it.

Cas. Where are they?
Iago. Here at the door; I pray you, call them in.
Cas. I'll do’t; but it dislikes me. [Exit Cassio.

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 offence
As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool,


2 In this and the seven short speeches preceding, the decent character of Cassio is most powerfully contrasted with that of the licentious Iago.

3 Slily mixed with water.

Whom love has 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,

very elements of this warlike isle*, Have I to-night fluster'd with Aowing 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 dreatn 5, My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream. Re-enter CASSIO, with him MONTANO, and

Gentlemen. 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?
Iago. Some wine, ho!

And let me the canakin clink, clink; [Sings.
And let me the canakin clink:

A soldier's a man;

A life's but a span;

Why then, let a soldier drink. Some wine, boys!

[Wine brought in. 4 • As quarrelsome as the discordia semina rerum; as quick in opposition as fire and water.'—Johnson,

5 Every scheme subsisting only in the imagination may be termed a dream.

6 See Hamlet, p. 172 ante, note 21.

7. If Montano was Othello's predecessor in the government of Cyprus (as we are told in the Personæ 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.

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