Imatges de pÓgina
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The way to (21) ftudy death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking fhadow, a poor player
That ftruts and frets his hour upon
the stage,
And then is heard no more! it is a tale,
Told by an idiot, full of found and fury,
Signifying nothing!

(21) Study, &c.] . e. the time itself, the yefterdays that are paft, teach even fools to study death: death is a leffon fo easily learnt, that fools themselves, inform'd by the very time can reafon and moralize upon it." See As you like it, p. 17. This is a fine and juft fenfe; and this doubtlefs is Shakespear's true word: the firft folio reads dujiy death, i. e. fays Mr. Theobald, the death which reduces us to duft and afhes; and the fecond study: either give good fenfe, the latter appears to me greatly preferable. In the 6th Scene of the ift Act of this play, fpeaking of Cawdor's dying, he fays,

He dy'd

As one that had been ßudied in his death
To throw, &c.

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OTHELLO.

ACT I.

SCENE I

PREFERMENT.

IS the curfe of fervice;

T

Preferment goes by letter, and affection, And not (1) by old gradation, where each fecond Stood heir to th' fi ft.

In difpraife of Honesty.

We cannot all be mafters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee crooking knave,

That, doting on his own obfequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's afs,
For nought but provender, and when he's old, cashier'd;
Whip me fuch honeft knaves. Others there are
Who trimm'd in forms and vifages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves;
And throwing but shows of fervice on their lords,
Well thrive by them; and when they have lin'd their

· coats,

Do themselves homage. Thefe folks have fome fcul, And fuch a one do I profefs myself. For, Sir,

It is as fure as you are Roderigo,

(1) By old, &c.] i. e. by the old and former gradation, the old and usual method formerly practis'd. It is a very common manner of expreffion, when speaking of any thing formerly in ufe..

Were

(2) Were I the Moor, I would not be Tago:
In following him, I follow but myself.
Heav'n is my judge, not I, for love and duty,
Bat feeming fo, for my peculiar end:
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve,
For daws to peck at; I am not what I seem.

SCENE IV.

Love the fole Motive of Othello's marrying.

For know Iago,

But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoufed free condition
Put into circumfcription and confine,
For the feas worth.

SCENE VIII. Othello's Relation of his Courtship to the Senate.

Moft potent, grave, and reverend figniors, My very noble, and approv'd good masters; That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter, It is most true; true I have married her; The very head, and front of my offending, Hath this extent; no more. Rude am I in my Speech; And little blefs'd with the (3) foft phrafe of peace;

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(2) Were I, &c.] This bears fome resemblance to that cele brated anfwer of Alexander which Longinus fo greatly commends-See his effay on the fublime, fect. 9. When Parmenio cried, I would accept thefe proposals, if I was Alexander ;" Alexander made this noble reply, "And fo would I, if I was Parmenio." His anfwer fhew'd the greatnefs of his mind.---See the learned Dr. Pearce's note on the paffage.

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(3) Soft] i. e. gentle, perfuafive, fuch as is used by fenators and men of peace. See Vol. I. p. 177.) na6.

For

For fince these arms of mine had seven years pith,
'Till now, fome nine moons wafted, they have us'd
Their dearest action, in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,

More than pertains to feats of broils and battle;
And therefore little fhall I grace my cause,

In fpeaking for my felf. Yet by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnifh'd tale deliver,

What drugs, what

Of my whole courfe of love.

charms,

What conjuration, and what mighty magick,
(For fuch proceeding I am charg'd withal)
I won his daughter with.

Her father lov'd me, oft invited me ;
Still queftion'd me the ftory of my life,

From year to year; the battles, fieges, fortunes,
That I have past.

*

*

*

I ran it through, e'en from my boyish days,
To th' very moment that he bad me tell it:
Wherein I spoke of moft difaftrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair-breadth 'capes i' th' imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the infolent foe,

And fold to flavery; of my redemption thence,
(4) And *with it all my travels history,

*

*

All these to hear

Would Defdemona feriously incline;
But ftill the houfe affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with hafte dispatch,

(4) And, &c.] I have omitted here five or fix lines, which tho' indeed capable of defence, cannot well be produced as beauties. The simplest expreffions, where nature and propriety dictate, may be truly fublime; fuch is all this fine fpeech of Othello. Portance in my---others read.

She'd

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She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my difcourfe: which I obferving,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had fomething heard,
But not diftinctively; I did confent,.
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke,
That my youth fuffer'd. My ftory being done,
She gave me for
my pains a world of fighs;

She fwore in faith, 'twas ftrange, 'twas paffing ftrange,
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful----

She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd

That heav'n had made her fuch a man-fhe thank'd me,
And bad me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,

I should but teach him how to tell my ftory;
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had past,
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.

ACT II.

SCENE VI.

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1.

Perfect Content.

O my foul's joy!

If after every tempeft comes fuch calms,

May the winds blow, till they have weaken'd death: (5) And let the labouring bark climb hills of feas

(5) And, &c.] This is plainly taken from that Psalm, which the reader will find quoted in note 7. p. 142 of vol. 1. the latter part of this paffage is very like one in the Eunuch of Terence, where Chaerea in a tranfport of delight, breaks out into the following exclamation;

Frob Jupiter!

Nunc tempus profecto eft, cum perpeti me poffum interfici,
Ne vita aliquâ hoc gaudium contaminet agritudine.

A. 3. Si 5

Oh

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