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And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall,
I have sworn to do it ;
it! The iron of itself, though heat red-hot”, Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, And quench his firy indignation®,
7 - though heat red-hot,] The participle heat, though now obsolete, was in use in our author's time. See Twelfth-Night, vol. xi. p. 342, 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. iii. 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 FIRY INDIGNATION] The old copy—this fiery indignation. This phrase is from The New Testament, Heb. x. 27: “- a certain fearful looking-for of judgment, and fiery indignation—" STEEVENS.
We should read either “its fiery,” or “his fiery indignation."
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 !
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.
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 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
“ That can do hurt." Steevens. Mr. Steevens's former note on this passage is worth preservation. Shakspeare probably meant this line to be broken off imperfectly; thus :
“ I would not have believ'd him; no tongue but Hubert's—" The old reading is, however, sense.” BOSWELL.
Nay, hear me, Hubert ! drive these men away,
HUB. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
None, but to lose your eyes. Arth. O heaven that there were but a mote
in yours, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair, Any annoyance in that precious sense! Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous there, Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. 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 not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert !
! - a more in yours,] The old copy reads moth.
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.” So, in Hamlet :
A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye.” A mote is a small particle of straw or chaff. It is likewise used by old writers for an atom. MALONE.
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue ?,
I can heat it, boy.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
blush, And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert: Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes ; And, like a dog that is compell’d to fight, Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on 5.
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
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 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 :
6. 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.
Yet in defence of Dr. Grey's remark it may be said, that Arthur imagined “that the coal was no longer burning," although Hubert tells him afterwards “ that it was not so far extinguished, but that he could revive it with his breath.” BoswELL.
– TARRE him on.] i.e. stimulate, set him on. Supposed to be derived from tapátiw, excito. The word occurs again in Ham
All things, that you should use to do me wrong,
while You were disguised. Hub.
Peace : no more. Adieu; Your uncle must not know but you are dead: I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports. And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure, That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, Will not offend thee.
ARTH. O heaven ! I thank you, Hubert.
Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with me?; Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt.
and the nation holds it no sin to tarre them on to controversy." Again, in Troilus and Cressida :
“ Pride alone must tarre the mastiffs on.” Steevens. Mr. Horne Tooke derives it from Tyfan. A. S. exacerbare, irritare. BoswELL.
see to live ;] “See to live ” means only— Continue to enjoy the means of life.' STEEVENS.
I believe the author meant—"Well, live, and live with the means of seeing ;” that is, 'with your eyes uninjured.' Malone.
7 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.
“ 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.