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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 will 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 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 copythis 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:
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron ?
An if an angel should have come to me,
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believ'd him; no tongue, but

Hubert's 9.
Hub. Come forth.

[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,
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 Arrend. I am best pleas'd to be from such a
deed.

[Exeunt Attendants.
Arth. Alas ! I then have chid away my friend ;
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart :-
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Give life to yours.
Hub.

Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy ?
HUB.

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 ?,
So I may keep mine eyes; 0, 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.
Hue.

I can heat it, boy.
Arth. No, in good sooth; 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 compell’d to fight, Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on 5.

us.

3

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

Johnson.

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

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All things, that you should use to do me wrong,
Deny their office : only you do lack
That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends,
Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine

eyes
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes :
Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out.
ARTH, O, now you look like Hubert ! all this

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.

let:

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.
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.

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