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The way to (21) study death. Out, out, brief candle !
(21) Study, &c.] i.e. the time itself, the yesterdays that are paft, teach even fools to study death : death is a lesson so easily learnt, that fools themselves, inform’d by the very time can reason and moralize upon it.' See As you like it, p. 17. This is a fine and juft sense; and this doubtless is Sbakespear's true word: the firft folio reads dujiy death, i.e. says Mr. Tbeobald, the death which reduces us to dust and afhes ; and the second ftudy : either give good fenfe, the latter appears to me greatly preferable. In the 6th Scene of the ift Act of this play, speaking of Cawdor's dying, he says,
IS the curse of service ;
Preferment goes by letier, and affection, And not (1) by old gradation, where each second Stood heir to th' fi it.
’T , ,
In difpraise of Honesty. We cannot all be masters, nor all masters Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark Many a duteous and knee crooking knave, That, doting on his own obsequious bondage, Wears out his time, much like his master's ass, For nought but provender, and when he's old, calhierd; Whip me such honest knaves, Others there are Who trimm'd in forms and visages of duty, Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves; And throwing but shows of service on their lords, Well thrive by them; and when they have Jind their
· coats, Do themselves homage. These folks have some sculy And such a one do I profess myself. For, Sir, It is as sure 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 manaer of expreflion, when speaking of any thing formerly in use.
(2) Were I the Moor, I would not be Jago:
For know Tago,
Scene VII. Othello's Relation of his Courtship
to the Senate, Most 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 bless'd with the (3) soft phrase of peace;
(2) Were I, &c.] This bears some resemblance to that cele, brated answer of Alexander which Longinus so greatly columends-See his essay on the sublime, sect. 9. is When Parmenio cried, I would accept these proposals, if I was Alexander ;' Alexander made this noble reply, " And so would I, if I was Parmenio,”' His answer shew'd the greatness of his mind.---See the learned Dr, Pearce's note on the passage.
(3) Soft] i. e. gentle, perfuafive, such as is used by fenators and men of peace. See Vol. 1. p. 177. nabo
For fince these arms of mine had seven years pith,
Her father lov'd me, oft invited me; Still question'd me the story of my life, From year to year; the battles, fieges, fortunes, That I have paft. I ran it through, e'en from my boyish days, To th'very moment that he bad me tell it : Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances, Of moving accidents by flood and field; Of hair-breadth 'fcares i' th' imminent deadly breach; Of being taken by the infolent foe, And sold to flavery ; of my redemption thence, (4) And *with it all my travels history,
All there to hear
(4) And, &c.] I have omitted here five or fix lines, which tho' indeed capable of defence, cannot well be produced as beauties. The fimplest expressions, where nature and propriety dictate, may be truly sublime į such is all this fine fpeech of Othello. * Portance in my---others rcado
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
my pains a world of fighs ; She swore in faith, 'twas ftrange, 'twas pafling ftrange, 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful She wish'd she had not heard it,--yet she wilh'd That heav'n had made her such a man;
she thank'd me, And bad me, if I had a friend that lov'd her, I should but teach him how to tell any story, 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.
gave me for
ACT II. SCENE VI.
O my soul's joy! If after every tempest comes such calms, May the winds blo:v, 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 Pfalm, which the reader will find quoted in note 7. p. 142. of vol. 1. the "latter part of this passage is very like one in the Eunuch of Terence, where Cbærea in a transport of delight, breaks out into the following exelamation ;
Frob Jupiter !
A. 3. Si 5