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a great catch, if he knock out either of

your brains; he were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.

Achil. What, with me too, Thersites?

Ther. There's Ulysses and old 9 Nestor (whose wit was mouldy ere your grandfires had nails on their toes) yoke you like draft oxen, and make you plough up the war.

Achil. What! what!

Ther. Yes, good looth; to, Achilles ! to, Ajax! to

Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue. Ther. 'Tis no matter, I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.

Petr. No more words, Thersites:- Peace.

Ther. I will hold my peace, 'when Achilles' brach bids me, shall I?. Acbil. There's for


Patroclus. Ther. I will see you hang’d, like clotpoles, ere I come any more to your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.

[Exit. Patr. 'A good riddance. Achil. Marry this, Sir, is proclaim'd through all

our host; That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun, Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy, To-morrow morning call fome knight to arms, That hath a stomach ; such a one that dare Maintain, I know not what. 'Tis trash; farewell.

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Neffor (whose wit was mouldy ere their grandfires had nails)] This is one of these editors wise riddles.

What! was Neitor's wit mouldy before his grandfire's toes had any nails? Preposterous nonsense! and yet so easy a change, as one poor pronoun for another, sets all right and clear. TheQBALD.

when Achilles' brach bids me,-) The folio and quarto read, Achilles' BROOCH. Brooch is an appendant ornament. The meaning may be, equivalent to one of Achilles' hangers on. JOHNSON.

Brach I believe to be the true reading. He calls Patroclus, in contempt, Achilles' dog. STEEVENS.



Ajax. Farewell! who shall answer him?

. I know 'not, 'tis put to lottery; otherwise
He knew his man.
Ajax. O, meaning you :-I'll go learn more of it.


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Enter Priam, Heator, Troilus, Paris, and Helenus.

Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches spent,
Thus once again fays Nestor from the Greeks:
Deliver Helen, and all damage else,
As bonour, loss of time, travel, expence,
Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is consumid
In hot digestion of this cormorant war,
Shall be struck off. Hector, what say you to't ?

Heet. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than 1,
As far as touches my particular, yet, dread Priam,
There is no lady of more softer bowels,
More fpungy to fuck in the sense of fear,
More ready to cry out, Who knows what follows?
Than Hector is.' The wound of peace is surety,
Surety secure; but modest doubt is callid
Thy beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
To the bottom of the worst. Let Helen go.
Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
Every tithe soul ’mongst 'many thousand dismes
Hath been as dear as Helen ; I mean, of ours.
If we have lost so many tenths of ours,
To guard a thing not ours ; not worth to us,
Had it our name, the value of one ten;
What merit's in that reason which denies
The yielding of her up?

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many thousand dismes] Disme, Fr. is the tithe, the tenth. STEEVENS.

Troi. Fie, fie, my brother!
Weigh you the worth and honour of a king
So great as our 'dread father, in a scale
Of common ounces? will you

with counters sum
* The past-proportion of his infinite ?
And buckle in a waist most fathomless,
With sparis and inches so diminutive
As fears and reasons? Fie, for godly shame!

Hel. No marvel, though you bite so sharp at reasons, You are so empty of thern. Should not our father Bear the great iway of his affairs with reasons, Because your speech hath none, that tells him fo? Troi. You are for dreams and numbers, brother

priest, You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your

reasons. You know, an enemy


you You know, a sword employ'd is perilous ; And reason fies the object of all harm. Who marvels then, when Helenus beholds A Grecian and his sword, if he do set The very wings of reason to his heels; 3 And Aly like chidden Mercury from Jove, Or like a star dif-orb'd ?-Nay, if we talk of reason, Let's shut our gates, and neep: manhood and honour * Should have hare-hearts, would they but fat their

thoughts With this cramm'd reason: reason and respect Make livers pale, and lustyhood deject.

Yeat. Brother, 'The is not worth what she doth cost The holding


* The pal-proportion of bis infinite?] Thus read both the copies. The meaning is, that greatness to which no measure bears any proportion. The modern editors filently give,

The vaft proportion JOHNSON. 3 And Aly like chidden Mercury from Jove,

Or like a far dis-orb’d?- } These two lines are misplaced in all che folio editions. POPE.


Troi. What is aught, but as 'tis valued ?

Heft. But value dwells not in particular will;
It holds liis estimate and dignity
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself,
As in the prizer : 'tis mad idolatry,
To make the service greater than the god;
4 And the will dotes that is inclinable
To what infectiously itself affects,
s Without some image of the affected merit.
Troi. I take to-day a wife, and my

Is led on in the conduct of my will;
My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
Of will and judgment; how may I avoid,
Although my will distaste what it elected,
The wife I chose ? there can be no evasion
To blench from this, and to stand firm by honour.
We turn not back the silks upon the merchant,
When we have 6 soild them; nor the remainder viands
We do not throw in 7 unrespective sieve,

4 And the will dotes that is inclinable] Old edition, not so well, has it, attributive. Pope.

By the old edition Mr. Pope means the old quarto. The folio has, as it ftands, inclinable.--I think the first reading better; the will dotes that attributes or gives the qualities which it affeels; that first causes excellence, and then admires it.

JOHNSON. s. Without some image of th' affected merit.] We Mould read,

th' Affected's merit. i, e. without some mark of merit in the thing affected. WARB.

The present reading is right. The will affects an object for fome supposed merit, which Hector says, is uncensurable, unless the merit so affected be really there. JOHNSON.

foild them; -) So reads the quarto. The folio -spoil'd them. JOHNSON.

unrespective lieve,] That is, into a common voider. Sieve is in the quarto. The folio reads,

-unrespective fame; for which the modern editions have filently printed, unrespective place. JOHNSON.



Because we now are full. It was thought meet,
Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks:
Your breath of full consent bellied his fails;
The seas and winds (old wranglers) took a truce,
And did himn service: he touch'd the ports desir’d,
And, for an old aunt, whom the Greeks held captive,
He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and freness
Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes 8 pale the morning.
Why keep we her? the Grecians keep our aunt.
Is she worth keeping? why, she is a pearl,
Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
And turn’d crown’d kings to merchants.
If you'll avouch, 'twas wisdom Paris went;
(As you must ne
must needs, for

for you all cry’d, go, go If you'll confess he brought home noble prize, (As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands, And cry'd, inestimable !) why do you now The issue of your proper wisdoms rate;

And do a deed that fortune never did,
Beggar that estimation which you priz’d
Richer than sea and land ? O theft most base!
That we have stolen what we do fear to keep!
* But thieves, unworthy of a thing so stolen;
Who in their country did them that disgrace,
We fear to warrant in our native place!

Caf. [within.] Cry, Trojans, cry!
Pri. What noise ? what shriek is this?
Troi. 'Tis our mad sister, I do know her voice.

pale the morning.) So the quarto. The folio and modern editors,

ftale the morning. JOHNSON. 9. And do a deed that fortune never did,] If I understand this paffage, the meaning is, “ Why do you, by censuring the deter“ mination of your own wisdoms, degrade Helen, whom fortune “has not yet deprived of her value, or against whom, as the " wife of Paris, fortune has not in this war so declared, as to make “ us value her less ?” This is very harsh, and much strained,

JOHNSON. But thieves, -- ] Hanmer reads, Bafe thieves, --- Johns. VOL. IX.




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