Imágenes de páginas

And never suffers matter of the world
Enter his thoughts,-save such as do revolve
And ruminate himself,--shall he be worshipp'd
Of that we hold an idol more than he ?
No, this thrice worthy and right valiant lord
Must not so stale his palm, nobly acquir’d;
Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit,
As amply titled as Achilles is,
By going to Achilles :
That were to enlard his fat-already pride ;3
And add more coals to Cancer, when he burns
With entertaining great Hyperion.*
This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid;

in thunder-Achilles, go to him. NEST. O, this is well; he rubs the vein of him..

[Aside. Dio. And how his silence drinks

this applause!

[Aside. AJAX. If I go to him, with my arm’d fist I'll

pash him

Over the face.5

3 That were to enlard &c.] This is only the well-known, proverb—Grease a fat sow &c. in a more stately dress.

STEEVENS. to Cancer, when he burns With entertaining great Hyperion.] Cancer is the Crab, a sign in the zodiack.

The same thought is more clearly expressed by Thomson, whose words, on this occasion, are a sufficient illustration of our author's: “ And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze."

I'll pash him
Over the face.] i.e. strike him with violence. · So, in The
Virgin Martyr, by Massinger, 1623 :

when the batt'ring ram
“ Were fetching his career backward, to pash
“ Me with his horns to pieces.


[ocr errors]



0, no, you shall not go. AJAX. An he be proud with me, I'll pheeze his

pride : 6 Let me go to him. Ulyss. Not for the worth? that hangs upon our

quarrel. AJAX. A paltry, insolent fellow, NEST.

How he describes Himself!

[Aside. AJAX. Can he not be sociable ? ULYSS.

The raven Chides blackness.



Again, in Churchyard's Challenge, 1596, p. 91 : " -- the pot which goeth often to the water comes home with a knock, or at length is pashed all to pieces." Reed. pheeze his pride :] To pheeze is to comb or curry.

Johnson. Mr. Steevens has explained the word feaze, as Dr. Johnson does, to mean the unţwisting or unravelling a knotted skain of šilk or thread. I recollect no authority for this use of it. To feize is to drive away; and the expression-Pll feize his pride, may signify, I'll humble or lower his pride. See Vol. IX. p. 11, n. 1. WHALLEY.

To comb or curry, undoubtedly, is the meaning of the word here. Kersey, in his Dictionary, 1708, says that it is a sea term, and that it signifies, to separate a cable by untwisting the ends; and Dr. Johnson gives a similar account of its original meaning. (See the reference at the end of the foregoing note.] But whatever may have been the origin of the expression, it undoubtedly signified, in our author's time, to beat, knock, strike, or whip. Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, renders it, flagellare, virgis cædere, as he does to feage, of which the modern school-boy term, to fag, is a corruption. Malone.

? Not for the worth—] Not for the value of all for which we are fighting. Johnson.

[ocr errors]



I will let his humours blood.8 AGAM. He'll be physician, that should be the patient.

[Aside. AJAX. An all men Were o’my mind, ULYSS. Wit would be out of fashion.

[ Aside. AJAX. He should not bear it so, He should eat swords first: Shall pride carry it?

Nest. An ’twould, you'd carry half. [Aside. Ulyss.

He'd have ten shares.

[ Aside. AJAX. I'll knead him, I will make him sup.

ple: Nest. He's not yet thorough warm: force him

with praises : Pour in, pour in; his ambition is dry. [ Aside.

$ I will let his humours blood.] In the year 1600 a collection of Epigrams and Satires was published with this quaint title : The Letting of Humours Blood in the Head-vaine.

JOHNSON 9 He'll be physician,] Old copies the physician.

STEEVENS. 1 Pll knead him, &c.] Old copy : Ajax. I'U knead him, lu make him supple, he's not yet

thorough warm. Nest. force him with praises : &c. The latter part of Ajax's speech is certainly got out of place, ought to be assigned to Nestor, as I have ventured to transpose it. Ajax is feeding on his vanity, and boasting what he will do to Achilles ; he'll pash him o'er the face, he'll make him eat swords, he'll knead him, he'll supple him, &c. Nestor and Ulysses slily labour to keep him up in this vein ; and to this end Nestor craftily hints that Ajax is not warm yet, but must be crammed with more flattery. THEOBALD.

Nestor was of the same opinion with Dr. Johnson, who, speaking of a metaphysical Scotch writer, said, that he thought

ULYSS. My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.

[To AGAMEMNON. Nest. O noble general, do not do so. Dio. You must prepare to fight without Achilles. . Ulyss. Why, 'tis this naming of him does him

harm. Here is a man-But 'tis before his face; ; I will be silent.

NEST. Wherefore should you so ? He is not emulous, as Achilles is.

Ulyss. Know the whole world, he is as valiant. AJAX. A whoreson dog, that shall palters thus

with us!
I would, he were a Trojan !

What a vice
Were it in Ajax now

If he were proud ?
Dro. Or covetous of praise ?

Ay, or surly borne!

there was “ as much charity in helping

much charity in helping a man down hill as up hill, if his tendency be downwards." See Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides, third edit. p. 245. Malone.

- force him-] i.e. stuff him. Farcir, Fr. So, again, in this play: “ - malice forced with wit." STEEVENS.

? He is not emulous,] Emulous is here used, in an ill sense, for envious. See p. 316, n. 1. MALONE.

Emulous, in this instance, and perhaps in some others, may well enough be supposed to signify-jealous of higher authority.

STEEVENS. that shall palter -] That shall juggle with us, or fly from his engagements. So, in Julius Cæsar :

what other band
“ Than secret Romans, who have spoke the word,
“ And will not palter ?. MALONE.


Dio. Or strange, or self-affected?
ULYSS. Thank the heavens, lord, thou art of

sweet composure ;
Praise him that got thee, she that gave thee suck :*
Fam'd be thy tutor, and thy parts of nature
Thrice-fam’d, beyond all erudition : 5
But he that disciplin’d thy arms to fight,
Let Mars divide eternity in twain,
And give him half: and, for thy vigour,
Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield
To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom,
Which, like a bourn, a pale, a shore, confines
Thy spacious and dilated parts: Here's Nestor,-
Instructed by the antiquary times,
He must, he is, he cannot but be wise ;
But pardon, father Nestor, were your days
As green as Ajax', and your brain so temper’d,
You should not have the eminence of him,
But be as Ajax.

Shall I call you father?


she that gave thee suck :) This is from St. Luke, xi. 27: “ Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps

that thou hast sucked.” STEEVENS.

beyond all erudition :] Thus the folio. The quartos, erroneously :

beyond all thy erudition. STEVENS. • Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield-] i. e. yield his titles, his celebrity for strength. Addition, in legal language, is the title given to each party, showing his degree, occupation, &c. as esquire, gentleman, yeoman, merchant, &c.

Our author here, as usual, pays no regard to chronology. Milo of Croton lived long after the Trojan war. MALONE.

- like a bourn,] A bourn is a boundary, and sometimes a rivulet dividing one place from another. So, in King Lear, Act III. sc. vi:

• Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me." See note on this



« AnteriorContinuar »