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That our good king had summon’d his bold peers
and took with me
CH A P. X I X.
Othello's Apology. Most potent, grave , and reverend Seigniors , 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
nore. Rude am I in speech, And little bless with the set phrase of peace; For since these arms of mire had seven years pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, 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 shall I grace my cause, In speaking for myself. Yet, by your patience, I will a round-unvarnish'd tale deliver, Of my whole course of love ; what drugs , what
charms, What conjuration, and what mighty magic (For such proceedings I am charg'd withal) I won his daughter with.
Her father l'ov'd me, oft invited me; Still question'd me the story of my life From year to year ; the battles , sieges,
fortunes That I have past. I ran it through, ev'n from my boyish days, To th' very moment that he bade me tell'it's Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances , of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair-breadth 'scapes in th' imminent deadly
breach; Of being taken by the insolent foe And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence, And with it all my travel's bistory: Wherein of antres vast, and deserts wild, Rough quarries , rocks, and hills, whose heads
touch heav'n, It was my bent to speak. All these to hear Would Desdemona seriously incline. But still the house affairs would draw ber hence, Which ever as she could with haste dispatch, She'd come again, and with a greedy Devour up my discourse : wbich I observing, Took once a piiant hour, and found good means To draw froin her a prayer of earnest heart, That I would all my pilgrimage dilate; Whereof by parcels' she had something heard, But not distinctively. I did consent, And often did beguile her of her tears, When I did speak of some distressful stroke That my youth suffer'd. My story being done, She gave me for my pains a world of sighs : She swore , in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing
strange ; 'Twas pitiful, 'was wond'rous pitifulShe wish'd she had not heard it yet she wish'd That Heav'n had made her such a man: she
And bade me, if I had a friend that lovu her,
BOOK II I.
DI D. ACTIC PIECES
On Modesty I know no two words that have been more: abused by the different and wrong interpretations which are put upon them, than these two--Modesty and Assurance. To say such a one is a modest man, sometimes indeed passes . for a good character ; but at present is very often used to signify a sheepish, awkward fellow, who has neither good breeding, politeness , vor any knowledge of the world.
Again, a man of assurance, though at first only denoting a person of free and open carriage, is now very usually applied to a profligate wretch, who can break through all the rules of decency and, morality without a blush.
I shall endeavour, therefore, in this essay, to restore these words to their true meaning,. to prevent the idea of Modesty from being confounded with that of Sheepishness, and to binder Impudence from passing for Assurance,
If I was put to define Modesty, I would call it, The reflection of an ingenuous mind,
either when a man has committed an action for which he censures himself, or fancies that he is exposed to the censure of others.
For this reason a man truly modest is as much so when he is alone as in company, and as:
subject to a blush in his closet, as when the eyes of multitudes are upon him.
I do not remember to have met with any instance of modesty with which I am so well pleased, as that celebrated one of the young Prince, whose father, being a tributary king to the Romans, had several complaints laid against him before the Senate, as a tyrant and oppressor of his subjects. The prince went to Rome to defend his father, but coming into the Senate, and hearing a multitude of crimes proved upon him, was so oppressed when it came to his turn to speak, that he was unable to utter a word. The story tells us that the fathers were more moved at this instance of modesty and ingenuity , than they could have been by the most pathetic oration ; and, in short, pardoned the guilty father for this early promise of virtue in the son.
I take Assurance to be, the faculty of possessing a man's self, or of saying and doing indifferent things without any uneasiness or enotion in the mind. That which generally gives a man assurance, is a moderate knowledge of the world ; but above all, a mind fixed and determined in itself to do nothing against the rules of honour and decency. An open and assured behaviour is the natural consequence of such a resolution. A man thus armed, if his words or actions are at any time misinterpreted, retires within himself, and from a consciousness of his own integrity, assumes force enough to despise the little censures of ignorance or malice.
Êvery one ought to cherish and encourage in Limself the modesty and assurance I have here mentioned.
A man without assurance is liable to be made
uneasy by the folly or ill-nature of every one he converses with. A man without modesty is lost to all sense of honour and virtue.
It is more than probable that the Prince above-mentioned possessed both these qualifications in a very eminent degree. Without assulrance he would never have undertaken to speak before the most august assembly in the world, without modesty he would have pleaded the cause he had taken upon him, though it had appeared ever so scandalous.
From what has been said, it is plain that modesty and assurance are both amiable , and may very well meet in the same person. When they are thus mixed and blended together, they compose what we endeavour o express when we say a modest assurance ; by which we understand the just mean between bashfulness and impudence.
I shall conclude with observing, that as the same man may be both modest and assured ; so it is also possible for the same person to be both impudent and bashful.
We have frequent instances of this odd kad of mixture in people of depraved minds and mean education; who though they are not able to meet a man's eyes, or pronounce a sentence without confusion, can voluntarily commit the greates villanies, or most indecent actions.
Such a person seems to have made a resolution to do ill even în spite of himself, and in defiance of all those checks and restraints his temper and complexion seem to have laid in his way.
Upon the whole, I would endeavour to establish this maxim, That the practice of virtue is. the most proper method to give a man a be.