« PreviousContinue »
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect :
Hub. Young boy, I must.
And will you?
And I will. Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but ake, I knit my handkerchief about your brows, (The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) And I did never ask it you again : And with my hand at midnight held your head; And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time; Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your grief? Or, What good love may I perform for you? Many a poor man's son would have lain still, And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you; But you at your sick service had a prince. Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love, And call it, cunning; Do, an if you will: If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill, Why, then you must.— Will you put out mine eyes? These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, So much as frown on you? Hub.
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 fiery indignation, 8
though heat red-hot, ] The participle heat, though now ob. solete, was in use in our author's time. See Twelfth Night, Vol. III, p. 168, n. 8.
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. üi, 19. Malone. Again, in Chapman's version of the 20th Iliad:
but when blowes, sent from his fiery hand “(Thrice heat by slaughter of his friend)—." Again, in the same translator's version of the 19th Book of the Odyssey:
- And therein bath’d, being temperately heat,
“ Her sovereign's feet.” Steevens. 8 And quench his fiery indignation,] The old copy--this fiery indignation. This phrase is from The New Testament, Heb. x, 27,
Even in the matter of mine innocence:
[Stamps. 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 so boist'rous-rough? I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound! Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away, And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, Nor look upon the iron angerly: Thrust but these men away, and I 'll forgive you, Whatever torment you do put me to.
Hub. Go, stand within; let me alone with him. 1 Attend. I am best pleas’d to be from such a deed.
[Exeunt Attendants. Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend;
“ – a certain fearful looking-for of judgment, and fiery indignation, Steevens.
We should read either “its fiery,” or “his fiery indignation." The late reading was probably an error of the press. His is most in Shakspeare's style. M. Mason.
By this fiery indignation, however, he might mean,—the indignation thus produced by the iron being made red-hot for such an inhuman purpose.
Malone. 9 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 pro. noun him. As you like it, affords an instance of the phraseology I have defended:
“Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes
“ That can do hurt." Steevens. VOL. VII.
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:-
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
None, but to lose your eyes. Arth. O heaven!-that there were but a mote in
Hub. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes: Let me nou hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert! Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, 2 So I may keep mine eyes; O, spare mine eyes; Though to no use, but still to look on you! Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold, And would not harm me. Hub.
I can heat it, boy. Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief,
a mote in yours,] Old copy-a moth. Steevens. Surely we should read-a mote. Our author, who has bor. rowed so much from the sacred writings, without doubt remembered," And why beholdest 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 moté is a small particle of straw 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 sole, MOTHES in the sonne.” See also Florio's Italian Dict. 1598: “ Festucco.-A moth, a little beam.” Malone.
2 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.
the fire is dead with grief, &c.] The sense is : the fire, be. ing created not to hurt, but to comfort, is dead with grief for find. ing itself used in acts of cruelty, which being innocent, I have not deserved. Fohnson.
Being create for comfort, to be us’d
Hub. But with my eath I can revive it, boy.
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush,
Hub. Well, see to live ;6 I will not touch thine eyes
Arth. (), now you look like Hubert! all this while
Peace: no more. Adieu;
4 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.
tarre him on.) i. e. stimulate, set him on. Supposed to be derived from papiriw, excito. The word occurs again in Hamlet: "— - and the nation holds it no sin to tarre them on to controversy.” Again, in Troilus and Cressida :
“ Pride alone must tarre the mastifi's on.” Steevens. 6 - see to live;] The meaning is not, I believe,-keep your eye-sight, that you may live (for he might have lived, though blind ) The words, agreeably to a common idiom of our language, mean, I conceive, no more than live. Malone. See to live means only-Continue to enjoy the means of life.
Steevens. On further consideration of these words, I believe the author meant-Well, live, and live with the means of seeing; that is, with your eyes uninjured. Malone.
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports.
O heaven! I thank you, Hubert. Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with me;7 Much danger do I undergo for thee.
A Room of State in the Palace. Enter King John, crowned; PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and
other Lords. The King takes his State. X. John. Here once again we sit, once again crown'd, 8 And look'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.
Pem. This once again, but that your highness pleas'd, Was once superfluous: 9 you were crown'd before, And that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd off; The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt; Fresh expectation troubled not the land, With any long’d-for change, or better state.
Sal. Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp, To guard a title that was rich before, 1
Go closely in with me;] i.e. secretly, privately. So, in Albumazar, 1610, Act III, sc. i:
“I'll entertain him here, mean while, steal you
“ Closely into the room,” &c. Again, in The Atheist's Tragedy, 1612, Act IV, sc. i:
“Enter Frisco closely." Again, in Sir Henry Wotton's Parallel: “ That when he was free from restraint, he should closely take an out lodging at Greenwich." Reed.
- once again crown'd,] Old copy-against. Corrected in the fourth folio. Malone. 9 This once again,
Was once superfluous: ] This one time more was one time more than enough. Johnson.
It should be remembered, that King John was at present crowned for the fourth time. Steevens.
John's second coronation was at Canterbury, in the year 1201. He was crowned a third time, at the same place, after the mur. der of his nephew, in April, 1202; probably with a view of confirming his title to the throne, his competitor no longer standing in his way. Malone.