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A little proudly, and great deal misprizing
If not Achilles, sir,
If not Achilles, nothing. ÆNE. Therefore Achilles : But, whate'er, know
In the extremity of great and little,
Ben Jonson more than once uses both the substantive and the adjective in this sense.
As to the word Cavalero, with the Spanish termination, it is to be found in Heywood, Withers, Davies, Taylor, and many other writers. FARMER.
9 Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector;] Shakspeare's thought is not exactly deduced. Nicety of expression is not his character. The meaning is plain: “ Valour (says Æneas,) is in Hector greater than valour in other men, and pride in Hector is less than pride in other men. So that Hector is distinguished by the excellence of having pride less than other pride, and valour more than other valour.” JOHNSON.
This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood : ] Ajax and Hector were cousin-germans. MALONE.
half Trojan, and half Greek.] Hence Thersites, in a former scene, called Ajax a mongrel. See p. 291, n. 8.
AGAM. Here is sir Diomed:-Go, gentle knight, Stand by our Ajax: as you and lord Æneas
the order of their fight, So be it; either to the uttermost, Or else a breath :3 the combatants being kin, Half stints4 their strife before their strokes begin.
[Ajax and HECTOR enter the lists. Ulyss. They are oppos’d already. AGAM. What Trojan is that same that looks so
heavy? Ulyss. The youngest son of Priam, a true knight; Not yet mature, yet matchless ; firm of word; Speaking in deeds, and deedless in his tongue;5 Not soon provok'd, nor, being provok’d, soon
calm’d: His heart and hand both open, and both free; For what he has, he gives, what thinks, he shows; Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty, Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath : Manly as Hector, but more dangerous ;
- a breath :] i. e, a breathing, a slight exercise of arms. See p. 319, n. 7. STEEVENS.
stints--] i. e. stops. So, in Timon of Athens :
STEEVENS. deedless in his tongue ;] i. e. no boaster of his own deeds. STEEVENS.
an impair thought-] A thought unsuitable to the dignity of his character. This word I should have changed to impure, were I not overpowered by the unanimity of the editors, and concurrence of the old copies. Johnson.
So, in Chapman's preface to his translation of the Shield of Homer, 1598: “ —nor is it more impaire to an honest and absolute man” &c. STEEVENS.
For Hector, in his blaze of wrath, subscribes
[Alarum. Hector and Ajax fight.
Hector, thou sleep'st; Awake thee!
AGAM. His blows are well dispos’d:—there, Ajax! Dio. You must no more. [Trumpets cease. ÆNE.
Princes, enough, so please you. AJAX. I am not warm yet, let us fight again. Dio. As Hector pleases. HECT.
Why then, will I no more :Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son, A cousin-german to great Priam's seed; The obligation of our blood forbids A gory emulation 'twixt us twain : Were thy commixtion Greek and Trojan so, That thou could'st say—This hand is Grecian all,
Hector,--subscribes To tender objects ; ] That is, yields, gives way. JOHNSON. So, in King Lear: “ - subscrib'd his power;" i. e. submitted. STEEVENS. thus translate him to me.] Thus explain his character.
JOHNSON. So, in Hamlet :
“ There's matter in these sighs, these profound heaves; 6 You must translate." STEEVENS.
And this is Trojan; the sinews of this leg
him thus : Cousin, all honour to thee! AJAX.
I thank thee, Hector : Thou art too gentle, and too free a man: I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence A great addition' earned in thy death.
Hect. Not Neoptolemus so mirable (On whose bright crest Fame with her loud'st O yes Cries, This is he,) could promise to himself? A thought of added honour torn from Hector.
. My sacred aunt,] It is remarkable that the Greeks give to the uncle the title of Sacred, Jelos. Patruus avunculus é açòs Talpos, leios, Gaz. de Senec. patruus "o Trpos uniós belos, avunculus, Budæi Lexic.—JELOS is also used absolutely for 'o Trgos Talpos gelos, Euripid. Iphigen. Taurid. l. 930 :
« Ιφι. "Η που νοσούνιας θείος βρισεν δόμους.” And Xenoph. Kupou Taid. Lib. I. passim. VAILLANT.
This circumstance may tend to establish an opinion I have elsewhere expressed, that this play was not the entire composition of Shakspeare, to whom the Grecism before us was proba. bly unknown. STEEVENS. ' A great addition-] i. e. denomination. See p. 244, n. 5.
STEEVENS. . Not Neoptolemus so mirable (On whose bright crest Fame with her loud'st ( yes Cries, This is he,) could promise to himself &c.] Dr. War
ÆNE. There is expectance here from both the
sides, What further you will do. .
burton observes, that " the sense and spirit of Hector's speech requires that the most celebrated of his adversaries should be picked out to be defied, and this was Achilles himself, not his son Neoptolemus, who was yet but an apprentice in warfare." In the rage of correction therefore he reads :
Not Neoptolemus's sire irascible. Such a licentious conjecture deserves no attention. MALONE.
My opinion is, that by Neoptolemus the author meant Achilles himself; and remembering that the son was Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, considered Neoptolemus as the nomen gentilitium, and thought the father was likewise Achilles Neoptolemus.
Johnson. Shakspeare might have used Neoptolemus for Achilles. Wilfride Holme, the author of a poem called The Fall and evil Successe of Rebellion, &c. 1537, had made the same mistake before him, as the following stanza will show :
“ Also the triumphant Troyans victorious,
« Sending Polidamus to Neoptolemus,
vanquished and subdued by their conspiracie. “ O dolorous fortune, and fatal miserie ! “ For multitude of people was there mortificate
“ With condigne Priamus and all his progenie,
“ And Aagrant Polixene, that lady delicate.” In Lydgate, however, Achilles, Neoptolemus, and Pyrrhus, are distinct characters. Neoptolemus is enumerated among
the Grecian princes who first embarked to revenge the rape of Helen :
“ The valiant Grecian called Neoptolemus,
102. and Pyrrhus, very properly, is not heard of till after the death of his father :
“ Sith that Achilles in such traiterous wise
STEEVENS. I agree with Dr. Johnson and Mr. Steevens, in thinking that Shakspeare supposed Neoptolemus was the nomen gentilitium; an error into which he might have been led by some book of the