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The way to (21) ftudy death. Out, out, brief candle!
That ftruts and frets his hour upon the stage,
Told by an idiot, full of found and fury,
(21) Study, &c.] . e. the time itself, the yesterdays 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 dusty death, i. e. fays Mr. Theobald, the death which reduces us to duft and afhes; and the fecond Judy: either give good fenfe, the latter appears to me greatly preferable. In the 6th Scene of the 1ft Act of this play, fpeaking of Cawdor's dying, he says,
As one that had been ßudied in his death
IS the curfe of fervice;
Preferment goes by letter, and affection,
And not (1) by old gradation, where each fecond
In difpraife of Honesty.
We cannot all be mafters, nor all masters
Do themselves homage. Thefe folks have fome fcul,
It is as fure as you are Roderigo,
(1) By old, &c.] i. e. by the old and former gradation, the old and ufual method formerly practis'd. It is a very common man. ner of expreffion, when fpeaking of any thing formerly in ufe..
(2) Were I the Moor, I would not be Jago:
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
SCENE IV. Love the fole Motive of Othello's
For know Iago,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
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 moft 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;
(2) Were I, &c.] This bears fome refemblance 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 propofals, if I was Alexander;" Alexander made this noble reply, "And fo would I, if I was Parmenio." His. anfwer fhew'd the greatness of his mind.---See the learned Dr. Pearce's note on the paffage.
(3) Soft] i. e. gentle, perfuafive, fuch as is ufed by fenators and men of peace. See Vol. 1. p. 177.) na6..
For fince these arms of mine had feven years pith,
'Till now, fome nine moons wafted, they have us'd Their deareft action, in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broils and battle;
In fpeaking for my felf. Yet by your gracious patience,
my whole courfe of love.
What drugs, what
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;
From year to year; the battles, fieges, fortunes,
I ran it through, e'en from my boyish days,
Of hair-breadth 'fcapes i' th' imminent deadly breach;
And fold to flavery; of my redemption thence, (4) And with it all my travels hiftory,
All these to hear
But ftill the houfe affairs would draw her thence,
(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 come again, and with a greedy ear
And often did beguile her of her tears,
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
I should but teach him how to tell my ftory;
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.
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 Pfa'm, 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;
Nunc tempus profecto eft, cum perpeti me poffum interfici,
A. 3. Si 5