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IS the curse of service:
Preferment goes by letter, and affection, And not (1) by old gradation, where each second Stood heir to th' first.
In dispraise 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 obfequious bondage, Wears out his time much like his master's ass, For nought but provender, and when he's old, cashier'd; Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are
(1) By old, &c.] i. c. by the old and former gradation, the old and usual method formerly practis’d. It is a very common manner of expression, when speaking of any thing formerly in use.
Who trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
SCENE IV. Love the sole Motive of Othello's
For know Iago,
Scene VIII. Othello's Relation of his Courtship
to the Senate.
Most potent, grave, and reverend figniors, My very noble, and approv'd good masters;
(2) Were I, &c.] This bears fome resemblance to that celebrated answer of Alexander wbich Longinus so greatly comiends
-See his Essay on the Sublime, fect. 9. “When Parmenio cried, “ I would accept these proposals, if I was Alexander ;” Alexander made this noble reply, " And so would 1, if I was Parmenigo?? Hlis answer shew'd the greatness of his mind. See the learned Dr. Pearce's note on the passage..
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
Her father lov'd me, oft invited me; Still questioned me the story 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 både nie tell it': Wherein I spoke of moft disastrous chances, Of moving accidents by food and field; Of hair-breadth ?[capes i'th'imminent deadly breach ; Of being taken by the insolent foe, And fold to flavery ; of my redemption thence, (4) And (5) with it all my travels' history.
(3) Soft), i.e. gentle, persuasive, such as is usod by senators and men of peace.
(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 ; such is all this fine fpeech of Othello. (5) Portance in my
All these to hear
O my soul's joy! If after every tempeft comes such calms, May the winds blow, till they have weaken'd death: (6) And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas
Olympus (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
(7) Excellent wretch! perdition catch my soul, But I do love thee, and when I.lore thee not, Chaos is come again.
this passage is very like one in the Eunuch of Terence, where Cleria in a transport of delight, breaks out into the following exclamation ;
A. 3. Sc. 5.
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 present,” yet I am persuaded Shakespear gave us wretch, and Mr. Upton's remark seems very jult and beautiful : speaking of Difdemora's name, which is detiv'd from Ausdarkwv, i. e. the unfórtur:atc ; he says, “ and I make no question, but Othello, in his rapturous admiration, with some allusion to her name exclaims, Excellent wretch," &c.
The ancient tragedians are full of these allusions ; fome inItances I have mention'd above ; this rapturous exclamation and allusion too has something ominous in it; and instances of these presaging and ominous expreffions our poet is full of.” See Criticai Obfervations, p. 303.