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Cassio. I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so good a commander with so light, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow?-O, thou invisible spirit of wine! if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee Devil.
Iago. What was he that you followed with your sword? what had he done to you?
Cassio. I know not.
Iago. Is it possible?
Cassio. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should with joy, pleasure, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!
Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus recovered?
Cassio. It has pleased the devil Drunkenness to give place to the devil Wrath one imperfection shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.
Iago. Come: you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen; but since it is as it is, mend it, for your own good.
Cassio. I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O, strange! · Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.
Iago. Come, come! good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used; exclaim no more against it; and, good Lieutenant, I think you think I love you?
Cassio. I have well approved it, Sir: — I drunk!
Iago. You, or any man living, may be drunk some time, man! I'll tell you what you shall do. Our General's wife is now the General; confess yourself freely to her importune her; she 'll help to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter; and, my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.
Cassio. You advise me well.
Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.
Cassio. I think it freely; and, betimes in the morning, I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me.
Iago. You are in the right. Good-night, Lieutenant. I must to watch.
Cassio. Good-night, honest Iago.
25. SPEECH OF CASSIUS, INSTIGATING BRUTUS TO JOIN THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST CESAR.- Shakspeare.
WELL, honor is the subject of my story.
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
And bade him follow; so, indeed, he did.
Did, from the flames of Troy, upon his shoulder,
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tiber,
Did I the tired Cæsar: and this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 't is true, this god did shake:
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them,
There was a Brutus, once, that would have brooked
26. CARDINAL WOLSEY, ON BEING CAST OFF BY KING HENRY VIII. — [. NAY, then, farewell,
I have touched the highest point of all my greatness;
And, from that full meridian of my glory,
I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye!
Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's: then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell,
And, Prithee, lead me in:
There, take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 't is the King's; my robe,
I dare now call mine own. O, Cromwell, Cromwell!
I served my King, He would not, in mine age,
27. HAMLET'S INSTRUCTION TO THE PLAYERS.-Shakspeare.
SPEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but, if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor, do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus: but use all gently; for, in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, WHIRLWIND of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O! it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious, periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the GROUNDLINGS; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb show and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-Herods Herod. Pray you avoid it.
Be not too tame, neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor; suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing,-whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to
Nature; to show virtue her own feature; scorn, her own image; and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now, this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, can not but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O! there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made men well, they imitated humanity so abominably!
28. HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY ON DEATH.-Shakspeare.
To be or not to be that is the question!
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Who would fardels bear,
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;