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PEMB. All murders past do stand excus'd in this:
BAST. It is a damned and a bloody work;
SAL. If that it be the work of any hand?-
of TIMES;] That is, of all future times. So, in King Henry V.:
By custom and the ordinance of times."
Again, in The Rape of Lucrece :
"For now against himself he sounds his doom,
"That through the length of times he stands disgrac'd." Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors more elegantly read-sins of time; but the peculiarities of Shakspeare's diction ought, in my apprehension, to be faithfully preserved. MALONE.
I follow Mr. Pope, whose reading is justified by a line in the celebrated soliloquy of Hamlet:
"For who would bear the whips and scorns of time?" Again, by another in this play of King John, p. 346:
"I am not glad that such a sore of time-." STEEVENS. 6 — a holy vow ;
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,] This is a copy of the vows made in the ages of superstition and chivalry.
By giving it the worship of revenge".
HUB. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you:
7 Till I have set a GLORY to this HAND,
By giving it the worship of revenge.] The worship, is the dignity, the honour. We still say worshipful of magistrates.
I think it should be-a glory to this head ;-pointing to the dead prince, and using the word worship in its common acceptation. A glory is a frequent term:
"Round a quaker's beaver cast a glory,"
says Mr. Pope: the solemn confirmation of the other lords seems to require this sense. The late Mr. Gray was much pleased with this correction. FARMER.
The old reading seems right to me, and means,-" till I have famed and renowned my own hand by giving it the honour of revenge for so foul a deed." Glory means splendor and magnificence in St. Matthew, vi. 29. So, in Markham's Husbandry, 1631, p. 353: "But if it be where the tide is scant, and doth no more but bring the river to a glory," i. e. fills the banks without overflowing. So, in Act II. Sc. II. of this play:
"O, two such silver currents, when they join,
A thought almost similar to the present, occurs in Ben Jonson's Catiline, who, Act IV. Sc. IV. says to Cethegus: "When we meet again we'll sacrifice to liberty. Cet. And revenge. That we may praise our hands once!" i. e. O! that we may set a glory, or procure honour and praise, to our hands, which are the instruments of action. TOLLET.
I believe, at repeating these lines, Salisbury should take hold of the hand of Arthur, to which he promises to pay the worship of revenge. M. MASON.
I think the old reading the true one. In the next Act we have the following lines:
I will not return,
"Till my attempt so much be glorified
The following passage in Troilus and Cressida is decisive in support of the old reading:
Jove, let Æneas live,
"If to my sword his fate be not the glory,
"A thousand complete courses of the sun." MALONE.
Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you.
SAL. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death:Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! HUB. I am no villain.
Must I rob the law?
[Drawing his sword. BAST. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again 8.
SAL. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin. HUB. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
By heaven, I think, my sword's as sharp as yours:
BIG. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman ?
HUB. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend
SAL. Thou art a murderer.
Do not prove me so; Yet, I am none': Whose tongue soe'er speaks false,
Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies.
PEMB. Cut him to pieces.
Keep the peace, I say. SAL. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulcon
8 Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again,] i. e. lest it lose its brightness. So, in Othello:
"Keep up your bright swords; for the dew will rust them." MALONE.
true defence ;] Honest defence; defence in a good
Do not prove me so;
YET, I am none:] Do not make me a murderer, by compelling me to kill you; I am hitherto not a murderer. JOHNSON.
BAST. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury:
Second a villain, and a murderer ?
SAL. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes, For villainy is not without such rheum;
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
BIG. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin there! PEM. There, tell the king, he may inquire us out. [Exeunt Lords.
your TOASTING-IRON,] The same thought is found in King Henry V.: "I dare not fight, but I will wink and hold out mine iron. It is a simple one, but what though? it will toast cheese."
Again, in Fletcher's Woman's Prize, or the Tamer tamed: "dart ladles, toasting irons,
"And tongs, like thunder-bolts." STEEVENS. 3 That you shall think THE DEVIL IS COME FROM HELL.] So, in the ancient MS. romance of The Sowdon of Babyloyne :
"And saide thai wer no men
"But develis abroken oute of helle." STEEVENS.
4 Like rivers of REMORSE-] Remorse here, as almost every where in these plays, and the contemporary books, signifies pity.
BAST. Here's a good world!-Knew you of this fair work?
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
Do but hear me, sir.
HUB. BAST. Ha! I'll tell thee what; Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black;
Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer':
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child".
If thou didst but consent To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread That ever spider twisted from her womb
Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be
A beam to hang thee on; or would'st thou drown thyself",
Put but a little water in a spoon,
5 Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer:] So, in the old play :
Hell, Hubert, trust me, all the plagues of hell
"Ensureth Satan chieftain of thy soul." MALONE.
6 There is not yet, &c.] I remember once to have met with a book, printed in the time of Henry VIII. (which Shakspeare possibly might have seen,) where we are told that the deformity of the condemned in the other world, is exactly proportioned to the degrees of their guilt. The author of it observes how difficult it would be, on this account, to distinguish between Belzebub and Judas Iscariot. STEEVENS. 7-drown THYSELF.]
Perhaps thyself is an interpolation. It certainly spoils the measure; and drown is elsewhere used by our author as a verb neuter. Thus, in King Richard III. :
"Good lord, methought, what pain it was to drown."