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But I'll be master of it :-Wilt thou not, beast,
abide ? Why then, fly on, I'll hunt thee for thy hide.
Enter ACHILLES, with Myrmidons. Achil.Come here about me, you my Myrmidons; Mark what I say.-Attend me where I wheel: Strike not a stroke, but keep yourselves in breath; And when I have the bloody Hector found, Empale him with your weapons round about; In fellest manner execute your arms. Follow me, sirs, and my proceedings eye: It is decreed-Hector the great must die. [Exeunt.
threw him against a rocke so fiercely that hee to-frushed and all to-burst his bones, and so slew him.” Malone,
execute your arms.] To execute their arms is to employ them; to put them to use. A similar expression occurs in Othello, where Iago says :
“ Witness that here Iago doth give up
“ To wrong'd Othello's service."
“ Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
“ Which you on all estates will execute.” M, MASON, A phrase nearly similar occurs in Froissart's Chronicle, Vol. II. cap. Ixxviii: “ Then the nexte daye Syr John Holande and Syr Raynolde Roy were armed and mounted on theyr horses and soo came to a fayre place redy sanded where they sholde doo theyr armes.” Fo. Ixxxx. STEEVENS.
SCENE VIII. .
Enter MENELAUS and Paris, fighting: then
THER. The cuckold, and the cuckold-maker, are at it: Now, bull! now dog! 'Loo, Paris, 'loo ! now my double-henned sparrow! 'loo, Paris, 'loo ! The bull has the game :-'ware horns, ho!
[Exeunt Paris and MENELAUS.
MAR. Turn, slave, and fight.
THER. I am a bastard too; I love bastards: I am a bastard begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard in valour, in every thing illegitimate. One bear will not bite another, and wherefore should one bastard ? Take heed, the quarrel's most ominous to us: if the son of a whore fight for a whore, he tempts judgment: Farewell, bastard.
Mar. The devil take thee, coward! [Exeunt.
A bastard son of Priam’s.] Bastard, in ancient times, was à réputable appellation. So, in King Henry VI. Part I:
“ Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.” See note on this passage, Vol. XIII. p. 21. See also Pope's note on v. 93, Iliad V. and on v. 343, Iliad VIII. : STEEVENS.
Another Part of the Field.
Hect. Most putrified core, so fair without, Thy goodly armour thus hath cost thy life. Now is my day's work done; I'll take good breath : Rest, sword; thou hast thy fill of blood and death! [Puts off his Helmet, and hang's his Shield
Enter Achilles and Myrmidons.
Achil. Look, Hector, how the sun begins to set; How ugly night comes breathing at his heels: Even with the vail and dark’ning of the sun, To close the day up, Hector's life is done. HECT. I am unarm’d; forego this vantage,
. Even with the vail — The vail is, I think, the sinking of the sun; not veil or cover. Johnson.
So, in Measure for Measure, “vail your regard upon,” signifies,—Let your notice descend upon &c. · STEEVENS.
? I am unarm'd; forego this vantage, Greek.] Hector, in Lydgate's poem, falls by the hand of Achilles ; but it is Troilus who, having been inclosed round by the Myrmidons, is killed after his armour had been hewn from his body, which was afterwards drawn through the field at the horse's tail. The Oxford editor, I believe, was misinformed; for in the old story-book of The Three Destructions of Troy, I find likewise the same account given of the death of Troilus. Heywood, in his Rape of Lucrece, 1638, seems to have been indebted to some such work as Sir T, Hanmer mentions :
ACHIL. Strike, fellows, strike ;8 this is the man I seek.
[Hector falls, So, Ilion, fall thou next! now, Troy, sink down; Here lies thy heart, thy sinews, and thy bone.On, Myrmidons; and cry you all amain, Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain.9
[A Retreat sounded. Hark! a retreat upon our Grecian part. Myr. The Trojan trumpets sound the like, my
lord. Achil. The dragon wing of night' o'erspreads
“ Had puissant Hector by Achilles' hand
“ As faint Achilles, in the Trojan's death.” It is not unpleasant to observe with what vehemence Lydgate, who in the grossest manner has violated all the characters drawn by Homer, takes upon him to reprehend the Grecian poet as the original offender. Thus, in his fourth Book :
“ Oh thou, Homer, for shame be now red,
STEEVENS. * Strike, fellows, strike ; ] This particular of Achilles overpowering Hector by numbers, and without armour, is taken from the old story-book. HANMER. 9 On, Myrmidons; and cry you all amain, Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain.].
« Ηράμεθα μέγα κύδος: 'επέφνομεν "Εκτορα δίον,
Iliad XXÍİ. v. 393. MALONE. * The dragon wing of night-] See Vol. XIII. p. 309, n. 9.
And, stickler like, the armies separates.
fed, Pleas’d with this dainty bit, thus goes to bed.
[Sheaths his Sword. . And, stickler-like,) A stickler was one who stood by to part the combatants when victory could be determined without bloodshed. They are often mentioned by Sidney. “ Anthony (says Sir Thomas North, in his translation of Plutarch,) was himself in person a stickler to part the young men when they had fought enough.” They were called sticklers, from carrying sticks or staves in their hands, with which they interposed between the duellists. We now call these sticklers-sidesmen. So, again, in a comedy, called, Fortune by Land and Sea, by Heywood and Rowley: “ —'tis not fit that every apprentice should with his shop-club play between us the stickler.” Again, in the tragedy of Faire Mariam, 1613:
“ And was the stickler 'twixt my heart and him.” Again, in Fuimus Troes, 1633 :
“ As sticklers in their nation's enmity." STEEVENS. Minsheu gives the same etymology, in his Dictionary, 1617: “ A stickler betweene two, so called as putting a stick or staffé between two fighting or fencing together.” MALONE.
Sticklers are arbitrators, judges, or, as called in some places, sidesmen. At every wrestling in Cornwall, before the games begin, a certain number of sticklers are chosen, who regulate the proceedings, and determine every dispute. The nature of the English language, as I conceive, does not allow the derivation of stickler from stick, which, as a word, it has not the remotest connection with. Stickler (stic-kle-er) is immediately from the verb stickle, to interfere, to take part with, to busy one's self in any matter. Ritson.
3 My half-supp'd sword, &c.] These four despicable verses, as well as the rhyming fit with which “ the blockish Ajax” is afterwards seized, could scarce have fallen from the pen author, in his most unlucky moments of composition.
STEEVENS. Whatever may have been the remainder of this speech, as it came out of Shakspeare's hands, we may be confident that this bombast stuff made no part of it. Our author's gold was stolen, and the thief's brass left in its place. Ritson.
Perhaps this play was hastily altered by Shakspeare from an