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We'll answer it ;3 : The issue is embracement :- Ajax, farewell.
AJAX. If I might in entreaties find success, (As seld I have the chance,) I would desire My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.
Dio. 'Tis Agamemnon's wish: and great Achilles Doth long to see unarm’d the valiant Hector.
HECT. Æneas, call my brother Troilus to me: And signify this loving interview To the expecters of our Trojan part; Desire them home.--Give me thy hand, my cousin; I will go eat with thee, and see your knights.*
AJAX. Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here. HECT. The worthiest of them tell me name by
name ; But for Achilles, my own searching eyes Shall find him by his large and portly size.
time. That by Neoptolemus he meant Achilles, and not Pyrrhus, may be inferred from a former passage in p. 373, by which it appears that he knew Pyrrhus had not yet engaged in the siege of Troy: “ But it must grieve young Pyrrhus, now at home,” &c.
MALONE. 3 We'll answer it ;] That is, answer the expectance.
JOHNSON. your knights.] The word knight, as often as it occurs, is sure to bring with it the idea of chivalry, and revives the memory of Amadis and his fantastick followers, rather than that of the mighty confederates who fought on either side in the Trojan war. I wish that eques and armiger could have been rendered by any other words than knight and 'squire. Mr. Pope, in his translation of the Iliad, is very liberal of the latter. STEEVENS.
These knights, to the amount of about two hundred thousand, (for there were not less in both armies,) Shakspeare found, with all the appendages of chivalry, in The Three Destructions of Troy. Malone.
AGAM. Worthy of arms !5 as welcome as to one That would be rid of such an enemy; But that's no welcome: Understand more clear, What's past, and what's to come, is strew'd with
husks And formless ruin of oblivion ; But in this extant moment, faith and troth, Strain'd purely from all hollow bias-drawing, Bids thee, with most divine integrity, From heart of very heart, great Hector welcome. HECT. I thank thee, most imperious Agamem
non.8 AGAM. My well-fam'd lord of Troy, no less to you.
[To Troilus. Men. Let me confirm my princely brother's
greeting ;— You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.
Hect. Whom must we answer ?
The noble Menelaus...
5 Worthy of arms ! ] Folio. Worthy all arms! Quarto. The quarto has only the first, second, and the last line of this salutation; the intermediate verses seem added on a revision.
JOHNSON. divine integrity,] i. e. integrity like that of heaven.
STEEVENS. 7 heart of very heart,] So, in Hamlet : “ In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart."
STEEVENS. most imperious Agamemnon.] Imperious and imperial had formerly the same signification. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ Imperious supreme of all mortal things.” MALONE. Again, in Titus Andronicus : “ King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name."
STEEVENS. Men. The noble Menelaus.] Mr. Ritson supposes this speech to belong to Æneas. REED.
HECT. O you, my lord ? by Mars his gauntlet,
thanks! Mock not, that I affect the untraded oath ; Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove : 1 She's well, but bade me not commend her to you. MEN. Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly
theme. HECT. O, pardon ; I offend.
NEST. I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft, Labouring for destiny, make cruel way Through ranks of Greekish youth :2 and I have
As I cannot suppose that Menelaus would style himself “ the noble Menelaus," I think Ritson right in giving this speech to Æneas. M. Mason. · Mock not, &c.] The quarto has here a strange corruption :
Mock not thy affect, the untreaded earth. Johnson.
the untraded oath ;] A singular oath, not in common use. So, in King Richard II:
some way of common trade.” Under the lady's oath perhaps more is meant than meets the ear; unless the poet caught his idea from Grange's Golden Aphroditis, 4to. 1577, sign. Mij: “ At this upper borde next unto Jupiter on the right hande sat Juno, that honourable and gracious goddesse his wyfe: Nexte unto hyr satte Venus, the goddesse of love, with a GLOVE made of floures sticking in hyr bosome.” MALONE.
Glove, in the preceding extract, must be a corruption of some other word, perhaps of-Globe. A flowery globe might have been worn by Venus as an emblem of the influence of Love, which, by adding graces and pleasures to the world, may, poetically, be said to cover it with flowers.
Our ancient nosegays also (as may be known from several old engravings) were nearly globular. "But what idea can be communicated by a glove made of flowers ? or how could any form resembling a glove, be produced out of such materials ?
STEEVENS. Labouring for destiny, &c.] The vicegerent of Fate. So, in Coriolanus :
As hot as Perseus, spurthy Phrygian steed,
His sword, death's stamp,
“ With shunless destiny." MALONE. * As hot as Perseus, spur-] As the equestrian fame of Perseus, on the present occasion, must be alluded to, this simile will serve to countenance my opinion, that in a former instance his horse was meant for a real one, and not, allegorically, for a ship. See p. 261, n. 4. STEEVENS.
* Despising many forfeits and subduements,] Thus the quarto. The folio reads: “ And seen thee scorning forfeits and subduements."
JOHNSON. * When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i'the air,
Not letting it decline on the declin'd;] Dr. Young appears to have imitated this passage in the second Act of his Busiris:
-my rais'd arm
STEEVENS, So, in King Henry IV. Part II:
“ And hangs resolv'd correction in the air,
". That was upreard to execution.' The declin'd is the fallen. So, in Timon of Athens :
“ Not one accompanying his declining foot.”. MALONE. thy grandsire,] Laomedon. STEEVENS.
But, by great Mars, the captain of us all,
ÆNE. 'Tis the old Nestor.7
HECT. Let me embrace thee,good old chronicle, That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time: Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee. NEST. I would, my arms could match thee in
contention, As they contends with thee in courtesy.
HECT. I would they could.
NEST. Ha ! By this white beard, I'd fight with thee to-morrow. Well, welcome, welcome! I have seen the time
Ulyss. I wonder now how yonder city stands, When we have here her base and pillar by us.
HECT. I know your favour, lord Ulysses, well. Ah, sir, there's many a Greek and Trojan dead, Since first I saw yourself and Diomed In Ilion, on your Greekish embassy.
ULYSS. Sir, I foretold you then whatwould ensue: My prophecy is but half his journey yet;
? 'Tis the old Nestor.) So, in Julius Cæsar:
« Old Cassius still.” If the poet had the same idea in both passages,
Æneas means, “ Nestor is still the same talkative old man, we have long known him to be.” He may, however, only mean to inform Hector that Nestor is the person who has addressed him.
MALONE, I believe, that Æneas, who acts as master of the ceremonies, is now merely announcing Nestor to Hector, as he had before announced Menelaus to him ; for, as Mr. Ritson has observed, the last speech in p. 416, most evidently belongs to Æneas.
STEEVENS. * As they contendo] This line is not in the quarto.