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Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue
I can heat it, boy.
ARTH. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief3,
Being create for comfort, to be us'd
In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself;
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:
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.
3 — 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:
"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.
5 — TARRE him on.] i. e. stimulate, set him on. Supposed to be derived from Topár, excito. The word occurs again in Ham
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
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes :
You were disguised.
Peace: no more.
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." Mr. Horne Tooke derives it from Tyran. 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."
The Same. A Room of State in the Palace.
Enter King JOHN, crowned; PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and other Lords. The King takes his State.
K. 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: you were crown'd before,
SAL. Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before 1,
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 murder 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.
í TO GUARD a title that was rich before,] To guard, is to fringe.
Rather, to ornament with a border, or lace.
See Measure for Measure, vol. ix. p. 105, n. 6. MALONE.
give him a livery
"More guarded than his fellows." STEEVENS.
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
PEM. But that your royal pleasure must be done, This act is as an ancient tale new told2; And, in the last repeating, troublesome, Being urged at a time unseasonable.
SAL. In this, the antique and well-noted face Of plain old form is much disfigured: And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about;
Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected,
PEM. When workmen strive to do better than
They do confound their skill in covetousness3:
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse;
as an ancient tale new told ;] Had Shakspeare been a diligent examiner of his own compositions, he would not so soon have repeated an idea which he had first put into the mouth of the Dauphin :
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Mr. Malone has a remark to the same tendency.
3 They do confound their skill in coVETOUSNESS:] i. e. not by their avarice, but in an eager emulation, an intense desire of excelling, as in Henry V.:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
"I am the most offending soul alive." THEOBAld.
So, in our author's 103d Sonnet:
"Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
"To mar the subject that before was well?"
Again, in King Lear :
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well." MAlone.
Discredit more in hiding of the fault*,
SAL. To this effect, before you were new-crown'd, We breath'd our counsel: but it pleas'd your high
To overbear it; and we are all well pleas'd;
I have possess'd you with, and think them strong;
To sound the purposes of all their hearts,)
4- in hiding of the FAULT,] Fault means blemish.
5 Since all and every part of what we would,] Since the whole and each particular part of our wishes, &c. MALONE.
6 Some reasons of this double coronation
I have possess'd you with, and think them strong;
I shall indue you with] Mr. Theobald reads—“ (the lesser is my fear)" which, in the following note, Dr. Johnson has attempted to explain. STEEVENS.
I have told you some reasons, in my opinion strong, and shall tell more, yet stronger; for the stronger my reasons are, the less is my fear of your disapprobation. This seems to be the meaning. JOHNSON.
"And more, more strong, (when lesser is my fear,)
The true reading is obvious enough:
(when lesser is my fear)." TYRWHITT.
I have done this emendation the justice to place it in the text.
7 To sound the purposes-] To declare, to publish the desires of all those. JOHNSON.