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fhall have a great catch, if he knock out either of your brains; 'a were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.

ACHIL. What, with me too, Therfites?

THER. There's Ulyffes, and old Neftor,-whose wit was mouldy ere your grandfires had nails on their toes,-yoke you like draught oxen, and make you plough up the wars.

ACHIL. What, what?

THER. Yes, good footh; To, Achilles! to, Ajax! to!

AJAX. I shall cut out your tongue.

THER. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou, afterwards.

PATR. No more words, Therfites; peace.

THER. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me,' fhall I?

"Hector shall have a great catch, if he knock out either of your brains; &c.] The fame thought occurs in Cymbeline:


not Hercules

"Could have knock'd out his brains, for he had none.”


8 Neftor, whofe wit was mouldy ere your grandfires had nails-] [Old copies their grandfires.] This is one of these editors' wife riddles. What! was Neftor's wit mouldy before his grandfire's toes had any nails? Prepofterous nonfenfe! and yet fo eafy a change, as one poor pronoun for another, fets all right and clear. THEOBALD.


-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' bangers-on.


Brach I believe to be the true reading. He calls Patroclus, in contempt, Achilles's dog. So, in Timon of Athens:

When thou art Timon's dog" &c.

A brooch was a cluster of gems affixed to a pin, and anciently worn in the hats of people of diftinction. See the portrait of Sir Christopher Hatton. STEEVENS.

ACHIL. There's for



THER. I will fee 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.

PATR. A good riddance.


ACHIL. Marry, this, fir, is proclaim'd through all our host:

I have little doubt of broch being the true reading as a term of contempt.

The meaning of broche is well afcertained-a fpit-a bodkin; which being formerly used in the ladies' drefs, was adorned with jewels, and gold and filver ornaments. Hence in old lifts of jewels are found brotchets.

I have a very magnificent one, which is figured and described by Pennant, in the fecond volume of his Tour to Scotland, p. 14, in which the fpit or bodkin forms but a very fmall part of the whole. LORT..

Broch was properly a trinket with a pin affixed to it, and is confequently used by Shakspeare for an ornament in general. So, in Hamlet:

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he is the brooch indeed

" And gem of all the nation." So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

not the imperious show

"Of the full fortun'd Cæfar, ever shall
"Be brooch'd with me."

But Therfites could not mean to compliment Patroclus, and therefore this cannot, I think, be the true reading.-Brach, which was introduced by Mr. Rowe, might ferve well enough, but that it certainly meant a bitch. [See Vol. VI. p. 389, n. 2.] It is poffible however that Shakspeare might have used the word as fynonymous to follower, without any regard to fex.

I have fometimes thought that the word intended might have been Achilles's brock, i. e. that over-weening conceited coxcomb, who attends upon Achilles. Our author has ufed this term of contempt in Twelfth Night: "Marry, hang thee, brock!" So, in The Jefts of George Peele, quarto, 1657: This felf-conceited brock had George invited," &c. MALONE.

A brock, literally, means-a badger. STEEVENS.


That Hector, by the first hour of the fun,
Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy,
To-morrow morning call fome knight to arms,
That hath a stomach; and fuch a one, that dare
Maintain-I know not what; 'tis trafh: Farewell.
Ajax. Farewell. Who fhall answer him?

ACHIL. I know not, it is put to lottery; other-

He knew his man.

AJAX. O, meaning you :-I'll go learn more of it.



Troy. A Room in Priam's Palace.


PRI. After fo many hours, lives, fpeeches spent, Thus once again fays Neftor from the Greeks; Deliver Helen, and all damage elfe

As bonour, lofs of time, travel, expence,

Wounds, friends, and what elfe dear that is confum'd In bot digeftion of this cormorant war,

Shall be ftruck off:-Hector, what say you to't? HECT. Though no man leffer fears the Greeks than I,

As far as toucheth my particular, yet,

Dread Priam,

There is no lady of more fofter bowels,

8 the first-] So the quarto. Folio-the fifth


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 furety,
Surety fecure; but modeft doubt is call'd
The beacon of the wife, the tent that fearches
To the bottom of the worst. Let Helen go:
Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
Every tithe foul, 'mongst many thousand difmes,'
Hath been as dear as Helen; I mean, of ours:
If we have loft 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?


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 fum
The paft-proportion of his infinite? +
And buckle-in a waist most fathomless,
With spans and inches fo diminutive
As fears and reafons? fie, for godly fhame!

9 Spungy-] So, in Macbeth: "his fpungy officers."



Who knows what follorus?] Who knows what ill confequences may follow from purfuing this or that course?



many thousand difmes,] Difme, Fr. is the tithe, the tenth. So, in the Prologue to Gower's Confeffio Amantis, 1554: "The difme goeth to the battaile." Again, in Holinfhed's Reign of Richard II:

fo that there was levied, what of the difme, and by the devotion of the people," &c. STEEVENS.

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

The vast proportion. JOHNSON.

HEL. No marvel, though you bite fo fharp at reasons,+

You are fo empty of them. Should not our father Bear the great fway of his affairs with reasons, Because your speech hath none, that tells him fo? TRO. You are for dreams and flumbers, brother


You fur your gloves with reafon. Here are your reasons :

You know, an enemy intends you harm;
You know, a fword employ'd is perilous,
And reafon flies the object of all harm:
Who marvels then, when Helenus beholds
A Grecian and his fword, if he do fet
The very wings of reason to his heels;
And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,
Or like a ftar dif-orb'd? -Nay, if we talk of rea


Let's fhut our gates, and sleep: Manhood and ho


Should have hare hearts, would they but fat their


With this cramm'd reason: reason and respect
Make livers pale, and luftihood deject."

4though you bite fo fharp at reafons, &c.] Here is a wretched quibble between reafons and raifins, which in Shakspeare's time were, I believe, pronounced alike. Dogberry in Much Ado about Nothing, plays upon the fame words: If Juftice cannot tame you, the shall ne'er weigh more reafons in her balance."


The prefent fufpicion of a quibble on the word-reafon, is not, in my opinion, fufficiently warranted by the context. STEEVENS. 5 And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,

Or like a far dif-orb'd?] These two lines are mifplaced in all the folio editions. POPE.

6 reafon and refpect

Make livers pale, &c.] Refpe&t is caution, a regard to confequences. So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:

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