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I'll interrupt his reading.
Now, great Thetis' son?
A strange fellow here
This is not strange, Ulysses.
show dearly ever parted,] However excellently endowed, with however dear or precious parts enriched or adorned.
JOHNSON, Johnson's explanation of the word parted is just. So, in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, he describes Macilente as a man well parted; and in Massinger's Great Duke of Florence, Sanazarro says of Lydia :
" And I, my lord, chose rather
66 Than to take from her.” M. MASON.
any thing, “ (Though in and of him there is much consisting,) “ Till he communicate his parts to others.” MALONE,
nor doth the eye itself &c.] So, in Julius Cæsar : “ No, Cassius ; for the eye sees not itself,
“ But by reflexion, by some other things." STEEVENS. i To others'
eyes (That most pure spirit &c.] These two lines are totally omitted in all the editions but the first quarto. Popr.
Not going from itself; but eye to eye oppos’d
Ulyss. I do not strain at the position,
reverberates The voice again; or like a gate of steel Fronting the sun, receives and renders back His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this; And apprehended here immediately The unknown Ajax.3 Heavens, what a man is there! a very horse; That has he knows not what. Nature, what things
8 For speculation turns not &c.] Speculation has here the same meaning as in Macbeth :
“ Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
in his circumstance,] In the detail or circumduction of his argument. Johnson.
which, like-] Old copies--who, like Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
a gate of steel Fronting the sun,] This idea appears to have been caught from some of our ancient romances, which often describe gates of similar materials and effulgence. STEEVENS.
3 The unknown Ajax.] Ajax, who has abilities, which were never brought into view or use. JOHNSON.
Most abject in regard, and dear in use!
Now shall we see to-morrow,
But by considering the middle line as parenthetical, the passage is sufficiently clear. MALONE.
By placing a break after him, the construction will be:- -Now we shall see to-morrow an act that very chance doth throw upon him-[we shall see].Ajax renown'd. HENLEY.
• How some men creep in skittish fortune's hall,] To creep is to keep out of sight from whatever motive. Some men keep out of notice in the hall of fortune, while others, though they but play the idiot, are always in her eye, in the way of distinction. JOHNSON. I cannot think that
used without any explanatory word, can mean to keep out of sight. While some men, says Ulysses, remain tamely inactive in fortune's hall, without any effort to excite her attention, others, &c. Such, I think, is the meaning.
MALONE -fasting-] Quarto. The folio has feasting. Either word may bear a good sense.
JOHNSON. I have preferred fasting, the reading of the quarto, to feasting, which we find in the folio, not only because the quarto copies are in general preferable to the folio, but because the original reading furnishes that kind of antithesis of which our poet was so fond.
One man eats, while another fasts. Achilles is he who fasts; who capriciously abstains from those active exertions which would furnish new food for his pride. MALONE.
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
ACHIL. I do believe it: for they pass’d by me, As misers do by beggars; neither gave to me Good word, nor look: What are my deeds forgot?
Ulyss. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts alms for oblivion, A great-sized monster of ingratitudes : Those scraps are good deeds past: which are devour'd As fast as they are made, forgot as soon As done: Perseverance, dear my lord, Keeps honour bright: To have done, is to hang Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail In monumental mockery. Take the instant way; For honour travels in a strait so narrow, Where one but goes abreast : keep then the path; For emulation hath a thousand sons,
? And great Troy shrinking.] The quarto-shrieking. The folio has, less poetically,--shrinking. The following passage in the subsequent scene supports the reading of the quarto:
“ Hark, how Troy roars ; how Hecuba cries out;
“ And all cry-Hector, Hector's dead.” MALONE. I prefer the reading of the folio. That the collective body of martial Trojans should shrink at sight of their hero's danger, is surely more natural to be supposed, than that, like frighted women, they would unite in a general shriek.
As to what Cassandra says, in the preceding note,—it is the fate of that lady's evidence-never to be received. Steevens.
8 Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,] This speech is printed in all the modern editions with such deviations from the old copy, as exceed the lawful power of an editor. Johnson. This image is literally from Spenser : " And eeke this wallet at
Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. viii. st. 24. BOADEN.
That one by one pursue: If you give way,
9 — to the abject rear,] So Hanmer. All the editors before him read-to the abject, near.
JOHNSON. O'er-run &c.] The quarto wholly omits the simile of the horse, and reads thus :
And leave you hindmost, then what they do at present- , The folio seems to have some omission, for the simile begins,
Or, like a gallant horse- JOHNSON. The construction is, Or, like a gallant horse, &c. you lie there for pavement—; the personal pronoun of a preceding line being understood here. There are many
in these plays in which a similar ellipsis is found. So, in this play, p. 365 : “ – but commends itself" instead of " -- but it commends itself.” MALONE.
: Welcome ever smiles,] The compositor inadvertently repeated the word the, which has just occurred, and printed the welcome, &c. The emendation was made by Mr. Pope.
MALONE. For beauty, wit, &c.] The modern editors read :
For beauty, wit, high birth, desert in service, &c. I do not deny but the changes produce a more easy lapse of numbers, but they do not exhibit the work of Shakspeare.
Johnson. Dr. Johnson might have said, the work of Shakspeare, as VOL. XV.