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So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercy, which lies dead: Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [ Aside. Arth. Are you fick, Hubert? you look pale to
day: In sooth, I would you were a little sick; That I might fit all night, and watch with you: I warrant, I love you more than you do me.
Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom.Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.] How now, foolish rheum!
[ Aside. Turning dispiteous torture out of door! I must be brief; left resolution drop Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears. Can you not read it? is it not fair writ?
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect : Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ?
Hub. Young boy, I must.
And will you?
And I will. Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did
print, so there is no one so careless to have him a wretch-only his right shape to show him a man, his christendome to prove his faith.” Euphues and his England, 1581. See also Vol. VI. p. 201. n. 4. MALONI.
I knit my handkerchief about your brows,
I have sworn to do it ; And with hot irons must I burn them out.
ARTH. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do it! The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, And quench his firy indignation,
3- though heat red-hor,] The participle heat, though now obsolete, was in use in our author's time. See Twelfth Night, Vol. IV. p. 8, n. 9.
So, in the sacred writings : “ He commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heat." Dan. iii. 19. Malone.
* And quench his firy indignation,] The old copy—this firy indignation. STEVENS.
We should read either “ its firy,” or “ his firy indignation." The late reading was probably an error of the press. His is most in Shakspeare's style. M. Mason.
By this firy indignation, however, he might mean,--the indignation thus produced by the iron being made red-hot for such an inhuman purpose. Malone.
Even in the matter of mine innocence:
Re-enter Attendants, with cord, irons, &c.
Do as I bid you do. · Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes
are out, Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
ARTH. Alas,what need you be soboist'rous-rough? I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. For heaven's fake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away, And I will fit as quiet as a lamb; I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, Nor look upon the iron angerly :
These laft words are taken from the Bible. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, we read~" a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation.” ch. X. V. 27. WHALLEY.
s I would not have believ'd no tongue, but Hubert's.] The old copy, and some of our modern editors, read :
I would not have believ'd him; no tongue but Hubert's. The truth is, that the transcriber, not understanding the power of the two negatives not and no, (which are usually employed not to affirm, but to deny more forcibly,) intruded the redundant pronoun, him. As you like it affords an instance of the phraseology I have defended:
“ Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
HUB. Go, stand within; let me alone with him. - I ATTEND. I am best pleas'd to be from such a deed.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
None, but to lose your eyes.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
6 a mote in yours,] Old copy—a moth. Steevens.
Surely we should read--a mote. Our author, who has borrowed so much from the sacred writings, without doubt remembered, “ And why beholdelt thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye,” &c. Matth. vii. 3. So, in Hamlet :
" A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye." A mote is a small particle of ftraw or chaff. It is likewise used by old writers for an atom.
I have since found my conjecture confirmed. Moth was merely the old spelling of mote. In the passage quoted from Hamlet, the word is spelt moth in the original copy, as it is here. So also, in the preface to Lodge's Incarnate Devils of the Age, 4to. 1596: “ they are in the aire, like atomi in fole, MOTHES in the sonne." See also Florio's Italian Dict. 1598: “ Festucco. il moih, a little beam." MALONE.
d not har the instrukto 100k
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
I can heat it, boy. Arth. No, in good footh; the fire is dead with
grief, Being create for comfort, to be us'd In undeserv'd extremes : See else yourself; There is no malice in this burning coal;' The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, And strew'd repentant ashes on his head. Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
ARTH. And if you do, you will but make it blush, And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert: Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes; And, like a dog that is compellid to fight, Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.
i Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,] This is according to nature. We imagine no evil so great as that which is near us.
JOHNSON. 8 — the fire is dead with grief, &c.] The sense is: the fire, being created not to hurt, but to comfort, is dead with grief for finding itself used in acts of cruelty, which, being innocent, I have not deserved. Johnson.
9 There is no malice in this burning coal;] Dr. Grey says, “ that no malice in a burning coal is certainly absurd, and that we should read:
There is no malice burning in this coal,” Steevens. Dr. Grey's remark on this passage is an hypercriticism, The coal was still burning, for Hubert says, “ he could revive it with his breath:” but it had lost for a time its power of injuring by the abatement of its heat. M. Mason.
2- tarre him on.] i. e. ftimulate, set him on. Supposed to he derived from Tapéile, excito. The word occurs again in Hamlet : " and the nation holds it no fin to tarre them on to controversy." Again, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ Pride alone must tarre the mastiffs on." STEEVENS.