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Æne. He cares not, he'll obey conditions.
Achil. 'Tis done like Hector; but securely done, A little proudly, and great deal misprizing The knight oppos’d. Æne.
If not Achilles, sir, What is
If not Achilles, nothing. Æne. Therefore Achilles: But, whate'er, know this;In the extremity of great and little, Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector; The one almost as infinite as all, The other blank as nothing. Weigh him well, And that, which looks like pride, is courtesy. This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood : 5 In love whereof, half Hector stays at home; Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek This blended knight, half Trojan, and half Greek.
Achil. A maiden battle then ?-0, I perceive you.
Agam. Here is sir Diomed: --Go, gentle knight, Stand by our Ajax: as you and lord Æneas Consent upon the order of their fight, So be it; either to the uttermost, Or else a breathR; the combatants being kin, Half stints? their strife before their strokes begin.
[AJAX and HECTOR enter the lists.
4 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.
a breath :) i.e. a breathing, a slight exercise of arms.
Ulyss. They are oppos'd already.
Ulyss. The youngest son of Priam, a true knight;
[Alarum. HECTOR and AJAX fight. Agam. They are in action. Nest. Now, Ajax, hold thine own! Tro.
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;
decdless in his tongue ;] i. e. no boaster of his own deeds. 9-an impair thought - ) A thought unsuitable to the dignity of his character.
Hector- subscribes] That is, yields, gives way.
The obligation of our blood forbids
gory emulation 'twixt us twain:
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
yes Cries, This is he,) could promise to himself A thought of added honour torn from Hector.
Æne. There is expectance here from both the sides, What further you will do.
3 My sacred aunt,] It is remarkable that the Greeks give to the uncle the title of Sacred, Delos. And this circumstance may tend to establish the opinion, that this play was not the entire composition of Shakspeare, to whom the Grecism before us was probably unknown.
+ A great addition -] i.e. denomination.
5 Not Neoptolemus - 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.
We'll answer it; 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
Hect. Æneas, call my brother Troilus to me:
Ajar. 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.
Agam. Worthy of arms! 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 Agamemnon. Agam. My well-fam'd lord of Troy, no less to you.
[To TROILUS. Men. Let me confirm my princely brother's greet
Hect. Whom must we answer ?
The noble Menelaus. Hect. O you, my lord ? by Mars his gauntlet, thanks !
o— most imperious ---) Imperious and imperial had formerly the same signification.
Mock not, that I affect the untraded 7 oath;
Men. Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly theme.
Nest. I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft, Labouring for destiny, make cruel way Through ranks of Greekish youth: and I have seen thee, As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed, Despising many forfeits and subduements, When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i'the air, Not letting it decline on the declin'd; That I have said to some my standers-by, Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life! And I have seen thee pause, and take thy breath, When that a ring of Greeks have hemm’d thee in, Like an Olympian wrestling: This have I seen; But this thy countenance, still lock'd in steel, I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire, And once fought with him: he was a soldier good; But, by great Mars, the captain of us all, Never like thee: Let an old man embrace thee; And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.
Æne. 'Tis the old Nestor.
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 conten
tion, As they contend with thee in courtesy.
Hect. I would they could.
Nest. Ha !
7 the untraded oath ;] A singular oath not in common use.
the declin'd ;] The declin'd is the fallen.