Othello: Act 2, Scene 3
Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA,
CASSIO, and ATTENDANTS.
1Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight:
2. stop: restraint
2Let's teach ourselves that honorable stop,
3. outsport: carry our sports beyond.
3Not to outsport discretion.
4Iago hath direction what to do;
5But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
6Will I look to't.
6Iago is most honest.
7Michael, good night: tomorrow with your earliest
8Let me have speech with you.
8Come, my dear love,
9The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;
10That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.
Exit [with Desdemona and Attendants].
12Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.
13. Not this hour: Not for an hour yet.
13Not this hour, lieutenant; 'tis not yet ten o' the
14. cast: dismissed.
14clock. Our general cast us thus early for the
15love of his Desdemona; who let us not therefore
16blame: he hath not yet made wanton the night
17with her; and she is sport for Jove.
18She's a most exquisite lady.
19And, I'll warrant her, full of game.
20Indeed, she's a most fresh and delicate
22-23. sounds / a parley: issues an invitation with a parleya trumpet signal which calls for a conference.
22What an eye she has! methinks it sounds
23a parley to provocation.
24An inviting eye; and yet methinks right
26. alarum: trumpet signaling men to arms.
26And when she speaks, is it not an alarum
28She is indeed perfection.
29Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant, I
30. stoup: measure of liquor (two quarts); large drinking vessel.
30have a stoup of wine; and here without are a brace
31of Cyprus gallants that would fain have a measure to
32the health of black Othello.
33Not tonight, good Iago: I have very poor and
34unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish
35courtesy would invent some other custom of
37O, they are our friends but one cup, I'll drink
39I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was
40. craftily qualified: cannily diluted. innovation: disturbance, insurrection. 41. here: i.e., in Cassio's head.
40craftily qualified too, and, behold, what innovation
41it makes here. I am unfortunate in the infirmity,
42and dare not task my weakness with any more.
43What, man! 'tis a night of revels: the gallants
45Where are they?
46Here at the door; I pray you, call them in.
47. it dislikes me: i.e., I don't care for it.
47I'll do't; but it dislikes me.
48If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
49With that which he hath drunk tonight already,
50He'll be as full of quarrel and offence
51. my young mistress' dog: a young lady's pet dog (likely to be spoiled).
51As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,
52Whom love hath turn'd almost the wrong side out,
53. carous'd: drunk off.
53To Desdemona hath tonight carous'd
54. pottle-deep: to the bottom of the tankard. A pottle was a two-quart vessel. 55. swelling: proud.
54Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch:
55Three lads of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits,
56. hold their honors in a wary distance: i.e., are very touchy about their honor. 57. very elements: true representatives, typical products.
56That hold their honors in a wary distance,
57The very elements of this warlike isle,
58Have I tonight fluster'd with flowing cups,
59. watch: are members of the guard.
59And they watch too. Now, 'mongst this flock of drunkards,
60Am I to put our Cassio in some action
61That may offend the isle.But here they come:
Enter CASSIO, MONTANO, and GENTLEMEN;
[servants following with wine].
62. If . . . dream: if the sequel corresponds to my fond hope; if subsequent events will only confirm my scheme. 63. stream: current.
62If consequence do but approve my dream,
63My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.
64. rouse: drink, full draft of liquor.
64'Fore God, they have given me a rouse
66Good faith, a little one; not past a pint,
67as I am a soldier.
68Some wine, ho!
69-73. And let me the canakin clink, clink; / And let me the canakin clink / A soldier's a man; / A life's but a span span: i.e., brief stretch of time.; / Why, then, let a soldier drink: Probably an old drinking song. (canakin = small drinking vessel).
69"And let me the canakin clink, clink;
70And let me the canakin clink
71A soldier's a man;
72A life's but a span;
73Why, then, let a soldier drink."
74Some wine, boys!
75'Fore God, an excellent song.
76I learned it in England, where, indeed, they are
77most potent in potting: your Dane, your German,
78and your swag-bellied HollanderDrink, ho!
79are nothing to your English.
80Is your Englishman so exquisite in his
82Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane dead
83. Almain: German.
83drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain; he
84gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottle
85can be filled.
86To the health of our general!
87. do you justice: i.e., match you in drinking that toast.
87I am for it, lieutenant; and I'll do you justice.
88O sweet England!
89-96. King Stephen was a worthy peer, / His breeches cost him but a crown; / He held them sixpence all too dear, / With that he call'd the tailor lownlown: lout, rascal. / He was wight of high renown, / And thou art but of low degree: / 'Tis pridepride: ostentation, extravagance in dress. that pulls the country down; / Then take thine auldauld: old. cloak about thee: from an old ballad which is also alluded to in The Tempest.
89"King Stephen was a worthy peer,
90His breeches cost him but a crown;
91He held them sixpence all too dear,
92With that he call'd the tailor lown.
93He was a wight of high renown,
94And thou art but of low degree:
95'Tis pride that pulls the country down;
96Then take thine auld cloak about thee."
97Some wine, ho!
98'Fore God, this is a more exquisite song than the
100Will you hear't again?
101No; for I hold him to be unworthy of his place that
102does those things. Well, God's above all; and there
103be souls must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.
104It's true, good lieutenant.
105For mine own part,no offense to the general, nor
106any man of quality,I hope to be saved.
107And so do I too, lieutenant.
108Ay, but, by your leave, not before me; the
109lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient. Let's
110have no more of this; let's to our affairs.Forgive
111us our sins!Gentlemen, let's look to our business.
112Do not think, gentlemen. I am drunk: this is my
113ancient; this is my right hand, and this is my left:
114I am not drunk now; I can stand well enough, and
115speak well enough.
117Why, very well then; you must not think then
118that I am drunk.
119To the platform, masters; come, let's set the
121You see this fellow that is gone before;
122He is a soldier fit to stand by Caesar
123And give direction: and do but see his vice;
124. just equinox: exact counterpart (of dark against light; equinox is an equal length of daylight and night-time hours).
124'Tis to his virtue a just equinox,
125The one as long as the other: 'tis pity of him.
126I fear the trust Othello puts him in.
127On some odd time of his infirmity,
128Will shake this island.
128But is he often thus?
129'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep:
130. watch the horologe a double set: stay awake twice around the clock or horologe.
130He'll watch the horologe a double set,
131If drink rock not his cradle.
131It were well
132The general were put in mind of it.
133Perhaps he sees it not; or his good nature
134Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,
135And looks not on his evils: is not this true?
IAGO [Aside to him.]
136How now, Roderigo!
137I pray you, after the lieutenant; go.
138And 'tis great pity that the noble Moor
139-140. hazard . . . / With: take risks with a position as important as that of his own deputy. 140. ingraft: ingrained, inveterate.
139Should hazard such a place as his own second
140With one of an ingraft infirmity:
141It were an honest action to say
142So to the Moor.
142Not I, for this fair island:
143I do love Cassio well; and would do much
144To cure him of this evilBut, hark! what noise?
[Cry within: "Help! help!"]
Enter CASSIO pursuing RODERIGO.
145Zounds! You rogue! you rascal!
146What's the matter, lieutenant?
147A knave teach me my duty!
148. twiggen: wicker-covered.
148I'll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle.
150Dost thou prate, rogue?
151Nay, good lieutenant; I pray you, sir, hold
[Holding him back.]
153Let me go, sir, or I'll knock you o'er the
154. mazzard: head (literally a drinking vessel).
155Come, come you're drunk.
IAGO [Aside to Roderigo.]
157Away, I say; go out, and cry a mutiny.
161. Diablo: the devil
161Who's that which rings the bell?Diablo, ho!
162. rise: grow riotous.
162The town will rise: God's will, lieutenant, hold!
163You will be shamed for ever.
Enter OTHELLO and [Attendants].
164What is the matter here?
164'Zounds, I bleed still;
165I am hurt to the death. He dies!
[Thrusts at Cassio.]
165Hold, for your lives!
166Hold, ho! Lieutenant,sirMontano,gentlemen,
167Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?
168Hold! the general speaks to you; hold, hold, for shame!
169Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this?
170Are we turn'd Turks, and to ourselves do that
171. Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites: i.e., by wrecking their fleet, so the Venetians need not fight them.
171Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?
172For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl:
173. carve for his own rage: indulge his own impulse.
173He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
174. light: of small value.
174Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion.
175Silence that dreadful bell: it frights the isle
176. propriety: proper state or condition; natural temper (of calmness and order).
176From her propriety. What is the matter, masters?
177Honest Iago, that look'st dead with grieving,
178Speak, who began this? on thy love, I charge thee.
179I do not know: friends all but now, even now,
180. In quarter: in good military order, within bounds.
180In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom
181Devesting them for bed; and then, but now
182As if some planet had unwitted men
183Swords out, and tilting one at other's breast,
184In opposition bloody. I cannot speak
185. peevish odds: childish quarrel.
185Any beginning to this peevish odds;
186And would in action glorious I had lost
187Those legs that brought me to a part of it!
188. are thus forgot: have forgotten yourself in this way.
188How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?
189I pray you, pardon me; I cannot speak.
190Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil;
191The gravity and stillness of your youth
192The world hath noted, and your name is great
193. censure: judgment.
193In mouths of wisest censure: what's the matter,
194. unlace: undo, degrade, lay open.
194That you unlace your reputation thus
195. opinion: reputation.
195And spend your rich opinion for the name
196Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.
197Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.
198Your officer, Iago, can inform you,
199. something: somewhat. offends: pains.
199While I spare speech, which something now offends me,
200Of all that I do know: nor know I aught
201By me that's said or done amiss this night;
202Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
203And to defend ourselves it be a sin
204When violence assails us.
204Now, by heaven,
205. blood: passion [of] anger. safer guides: i.e., rational controls. 206. collied: darkened.
205My blood begins my safer guides to rule;
206And passion, having my best judgment collied,
207. Assays: Undertakes.
207Assays to lead the way. 'Zounds, if I stir,
208Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
209Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
210. rout: riot.
210How this foul rout began, who set it on;
211. approv'd in this offense: found guilty.
211And he that is approv'd in this offence,
212Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth,
213Shall lose me. What! in a town of war,
214Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,
215. manage: undertake, carry on.
215To manage private and domestic quarrel?
216. on the court and guard of safety: i.e., at the very headquarters on which the security of the town depends.
216In night, and on the court and guard of safety?
217'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began't?
218. partially affined: biased (in Cassio's favor) because of your connection with him.
218If partially affined, or leagued in office,
219Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
220Thou art no soldier.
220Touch me not so near:
221I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth
222Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio;
223Yet, I persuade myself, to speak the truth
224Shall nothing wrong him. Thus it is, general:
225Montano and myself being in speech,
226There comes a fellow crying out for help:
227And Cassio following him with determined sword,
228. execute: give effect to [his anger].
228To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
229Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause:
230Myself the crying fellow did pursue,
231Lest by his clamouras it so fell out
232The town might fall in fright: he, swift of foot,
233. rather: sooner, i.e., more speedily.
233Outran my purpose; and I return'd the rather
234For that I heard the clink and fall of swords,
235And Cassio high in oath; which till tonight
236I ne'er might say before. When I came back
237For this was briefI found them close together,
238At blow and thrust; even as again they were
239When you yourself did part them.
240More of this matter cannot I report:
241But men are men; the best sometimes forget:
242Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
243As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
244Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
245From him that fled some strange indignity,
246. pass: pass over, overlook.
246Which patience could not pass.
246I know, Iago,
247. mince: cut line, i.e., try to make light of.
247Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
248Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee
249But never more be officer of mine.
Enter DESDEMONA, attended.
250Look, if my gentle love be not raised up!
251I'll make thee an example.
252What is the matter, dear?
252All's well now, sweeting;
253Come away to bed. [To Montano.] Sir, for your hurts,
254Myself will be your surgeon Lead him off.
[Some lead Montano off.]
255Iago, look with care about the town,
256And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.
257Come, Desdemona: 'tis the soldiers' life
258To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.
Exit [all but Iago and Cassio].
259What, are you hurt, lieutenant?
260Ay, past all surgery.
261Marry, heaven forbid!
262Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
263my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of
264myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation,
265Iago, my reputation!
266As I am an honest man, I thought you had received
267. sense: physical sensation.
267some bodily wound; there is more sense in that than
268in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false
269. imposition: i.e., something laid on from outside; what others say of a person, and not the genuine person.
269imposition: oft got without merit, and lost without
270deserving. You have lost no reputation at all,
271unless you repute yourself such a loser. What, man,
272. recover: regain the favor of.
272there are ways to recover the general again. You
273. cast: dismissed. mood: anger.
273are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in
274-275. policy: expediency. malice: ill will. as one would beat his / offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion: proverbial.
274policy than in malice, even so as one would beat his
275offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion. Sue
276to him again, and he's yours.
277I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so
278. slight: worthless.
278good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so
279. speak parrot: talk nonsense, rant.
279indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot?
280and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse
281. fustian: gibberish.
281fustian with one's own shadow? O thou invisible
282spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by,
283let us call thee devil!
284What was he that you followed with your sword?
285What had he done to you?
286I know not.
288I remember a mass of things, but nothing
289distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O God,
290that men should put an enemy in their mouths to
291steal away their brains! that we should, with joy,
292pleasance, revel and applause, transform ourselves
294Why, but you are now well enough: how came you
296It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place
297to the devil wrath; one unperfectness shows me
298another, to make me frankly despise myself.
299Come, you are too severe a moraler: as the time,
300the place, and the condition of this country
301stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen;
302but, since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.
303I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me
304. Hydra: many-headed snake killed by Hercules as one of his twelve labors.
304I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra,
305such an answer would stop them all. To be now a
306. sensible: in possession of one's faculties.
306sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a
307beast! O strange! Every inordinate cup is
308unblessed and the ingredient is a devil.
309. familiar: domestic, serviceable.
309Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature,
310if it be well used: exclaim no more against it.
311And, good lieutenant, I think you think I love you.
312. approv'd: proved, tested and found true.
312I have well approv'd it, sir. I drunk!
313. at a time: at some time, on some occasion.
313You, or any man living, may be drunk at a time, man.
314I'll tell you what you shall do. Our general's wife
315is now the general I may say so in this respect, for
316that he hath devoted and given up himself to the
317. mark: marking, observing. denotement: noting.
317contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and
318. parts: good qualities.
318graces: confess yourself freely to her; importune
319her help to put you in your place again. She is of
320. free: generous. apt: willing.
320so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition,
321she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more
322than she is requested: this broken joint between
323. splinter: bind up with splints.
323you and her husband entreat her to splinter; and, my
324. lay: stake, wager.
324fortunes against any lay worth naming, this
325crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.
326You advise me well.
327. protest: declare.
327I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest
329I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I
330will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake
331. check: repulse.
331for me: I am desperate of my fortunes if they check
333You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I
334must to the watch.
335Good night, honest Iago.
336And what's he then that says I play the villain?
337. free: free from guile.
337When this advice is free I give and honest,
338. Probal to thinking: Something that thought would show to be true.
338Probal to thinking and indeed the course
339To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy
340. inclining: favorably disposed. subdue: persuade.
340The inclining Desdemona to subdue
341. fruitful: generous.
341In any honest suit: she's framed as fruitful
342. free elements: i.e., earth, air, fire, and water, which sustain life (?).
342As the free elements. And then for her
343To win the Moorwere't to renounce his baptism,
344All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,
345His soul is so enfetter'd to her love,
346That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
347Even as her appetite shall play the god
348. function: mental faculties.
348With his weak function. How am I then a villain
349. parallel: i.e., conforming with these facts and corresponding to his best interests. 350. Divinity of hell: inverted theology of hell . . . more 351. put on: further, instigate. 352. suggest: tempt.
349To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
350Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
351When devils will the blackest sins put on,
352They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
353As I do now: for whiles this honest fool
354Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes
355And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
356I'll pour this pestilence into his ear,
357. repeals: recalls, i.e., seeks to reinstate.
357That she repeals him for her body's lust;
358And by how much she strives to do him good,
359She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
360So will I turn her virtue into pitch,
361And out of her own goodness make the net
362That shall enmesh them all.
362How now, Roderigo!
363I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that
364. cry: pack.
364hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is
365almost spent; I have been tonight exceedingly well
366cudgelled; and I think the issue will be, I shall
367have so much experience for my pains, and so, with
368no money at all and a little more wit, return again to
370How poor are they that have not patience!
371What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
372Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witchcraft;
373And wit depends on dilatory time.
374Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee.
375. cashier'd: dismissed from service.
375And thou, by that small hurt, hast cashier'd Cassio:
376Though other things grow fair against the sun,
377Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe:
378Content thyself awhile. By the mass, 'tis morning;
379Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
380Retire thee; go where thou art billeted:
381Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter:
382Nay, get thee gone.
382Two things are to be done:
383My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress
384I'll set her on
385Myself the while to draw the Moor apart,
386. jump: at the precise moment.
386And bring him jump when he may Cassio find
387Soliciting his wife. Ay, that's the way
388. device: plotting.
388Dull not device by coldness and delay.