Othello

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 4

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CASSIO

55Fore heaven, an excellent song.

CASSIO

My God, what a great 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.

IAGO

I learned it in England, where they have a talent for drinking. The Danes, the Germans, and the Dutch—come on, drink, drink!—are nothing compared to the English.

CASSIO

Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?

CASSIO

Are Englishmen really such heavy drinkers?

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.

IAGO

They drink Danes under the table, and it takes them no effort at all to out-drink Germans. And the Dutch are vomiting while the English are asking for refills.

CASSIO

To the health of our general!

CASSIO

Let’s drink to our general!

MONTANO

60I am for it, lieutenant, and I’ll do you justice.

MONTANO

Hear, hear! I’ll drink as much as you do!

IAGO

Oh, sweet England!
(sings)
King Stephen was a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown,
65 He held them sixpence all too dear,
With that he called the tailor lown.
He was a wight of high renown,
And thou art but of low degree,
'Tis pride that pulls the country down,
70 Then take thine auld cloak about thee.
Some wine, ho!

IAGO

Oh, sweet England!
(he sings)
King Stephen was a good king, and his pants were very cheap,
But he thought his tailor overcharged him, so he called him a peasant.
And that was a man of noble rank, much higher than you are.
So be happy with your worn-out cloak,
Since pride is ruining the nation.
More wine!

CASSIO

Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other.

CASSIO

God, that song’s even better than the other one.

IAGO

Will you hear ’t again?

IAGO

Do you want to hear it again?

CASSIO

No, for I hold him to be unworthy of his place that does those things. Well, heaven’s above all, and there be souls must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.

CASSIO

No, because we shouldn’t be doing that—stuff. Oh well, God’s in charge, and some people have to go to heaven, while other people have to go to hell.

IAGO

75It’s true, good lieutenant.

IAGO

That’s true, lieutenant.