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Preferment goes by letter, and affection,

And not (1) by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to th' first.

In difpraife of Honefty.

We cannot all be masters, nor all masters Cannot be truly follow'd. You fhall 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 honest knaves. Others there are


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

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 lin'd their


Do themselves homage. Thefe folks have fome foul,
And fuch a one do I profefs myfelf. For, Sir,
It is as fure as you are Roderigo,

(2) Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:
In following him, I follow but myself.
Heav'n is my judge, not I, for love and duty,
But 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 fleeve,

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 Defdemona,
I would not my unhoufed free condition
Put into circumfcription and confine,
For the fea's 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 mafters;


(2) Were I, &c.] This bears fome refemblance to that celebrated answer of Alexander which Longinus fo greatly commends

See his Effay on the Sublime, 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 answer fhew'd the greatness of his mind. See the learned Dr. Pearce's note on the paffage.

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 fpeech,
And little bleft with the (3) foft phrase of peace;
For fince these arms of mine had feven 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 myfelf. Yet by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver,

Of my whole courfe of love. What drugs, what charms,

What conjuration, and what mighty magic, (For fuch proceeding I am charg'd withal)

I won his daughter with.




Her father lov'd me, oft invited me ; Still queftioned 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 bade me tell it:
Wherein I fpoke of moft difaftrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;

Of hair-breadth 'fcapes i' th' imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the infolent foe,

And fold to flavery; of my redemption thence,

(4) And (5) with it all my travels' history.


(3) Soft i. e. gentle, perfuafive, fuch as is used by fenators and men of peace.

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

(5) Portance in my others read.

* *

All these to hear

Would Defdemona ferioufly incline;

But ftill the houfe affairs would draw her thence
Which ever as fhe could with haste dispatch,
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 fhe 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 story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of fighs;

She wore 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 heaven had made her fuch a man ;-she thank'd


And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I fhould but teach him how to tell my 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.


Perfect Content.

O my foul's joy!

If after every tempeft comes fuch calms,

May the winds blow, till they have weaken'd death: (6) And let the labouring bark climb hills of feas


(6) And, &c.] This is plainly taken from that Pfalm, which the Reader will find quoted in n. 15.p. 112. vol. 2. the latter part of

Olympus high; and duck again as low

As hell's from heaven. If I were now to die,
'Twere now to be most happy; for I fear
My foul hath her content fo abfolute,
That not another comfort like to this
Succeeds in unknown fate.



A Lover's Exclamation.

(7) Excellent wretch! perdition catch my foul, But I do love thee, and when I love thee not,

Chaos is come again.


this paffage is very like one in the Eunuch of Terence, where Charea in a tranfport of delight, breaks out into the following exclamation;

Prob Jupiter!

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

Oh Jupiter!

A. 3. Sc. 5.

Now is the time that I could gladly yield to death;
Left life with fome affliction should pollute
My heart's content.

G. E.

(7) Wretch] This word is found in all the copies; but ne vertheless Mr. Theobald, and the Oxford editor read wench, which tho' doubtless it was "not formerly used in the low and vulgar acceptation, it is at prefent," yet I am perfuaded Shakespear gave us wretch, and Mr. Upton's remark feems very juft and beautiful: fpeaking of Defdemona's name, which is deriv❜d from Avodauwv, i. e. the unfortunate; he fays, " and I make no queftion, but Othello, in his rapturous admiration, with fome allufion to her name exclaims, Excellent wretch," &c.

The ancient tragedians are full of these allufions; fome inftances I have mention'd above; this rapturous exclamation and allufion too has fomething ominous in it; and inftances of thefe prefaging and ominous expreffions our poet is full of." See Critical Obfervations, P. 303.

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