In the ceaseless demands which this play makes on our compassion, the pathos is not duly economized and brought to a climax: for instance, Andromache's lament over her living son is much more heart- rending than that of Hecuba for her dead one. The effect of the latter is, however, aided by the sight of the little corpse lying on Hector's shield.
The great orator had been his pupil, and was evidently regarded by him as a personal friend. With all the force of his consummate art, he threw into Andromache's lament for her absent father his own feelings for Cicero. The words in the part were strikingly appropriate, and he did not hesitate to insert a phrase or two of his own when he came to speak of the man
Hector's courage, and Andromache's tenderness, the bitter sorrow of Priam, the pity of Achilles, mother love and wife love, death and the scorn of death. He had felt her glow and tremble in the grip of that supreme poetry; for himself he had found her the dearest and most responsive of pupils. But what use was anything, if after all, as Radowitz vowed, she was in love with Douglas Falloden?
"When Sir Roger saw Andromache's obstinate refusal to her lovers importunities, he whispered me in the ear, that he was sure she would never have him; to which he added, with a more than ordinary vehemence, 'You can't imagine, sir, what it is to have to do with a widow. Upon Pyrrhus's threatening afterwards to leave her, the knight shook his head, and muttered to himself, 'Ay, do if you can. This part dwelt so much upon my friend's imagination, that at the close of the third act, as I was thinking of something else, he whispered me in my ear, 'These widows, sir, are the most perverse creatures in the world.
When Sir ROGER saw Andromache's obstinate refusal to her lover's importunities, he whispered me in the ear, that he was sure she would never have him; to which he added, with a more than ordinary vehemence, 'You cannot imagine, Sir, what it is to have to do with a widow. Upon Pyrrhus his threatening afterwards to leave her, the Knight shook his head and muttered to himself, 'Ay, do if you can. This part dwelt so much upon my friend's imagination, that at the close of the third act, as I was thinking of something else, he whispered me in the ear, 'These widows, Sir, are the most perverse creatures in the world.
However, I kept my seat the other night, in hopes of finding my own sentiments of this matter favoured by your friend's; when, to my great surprise, I found the knight, entering with equal pleasure into both parts, and as much satisfied with Mrs. Oldfield's gaiety, as he had been before with Andromache's greatness.
Smirke's, with whom he was reading. Here they would talk about Helen and Andromache. "Andromache's like my mother," Pen used to avouch; "but I say, Smirke, by Jove I'd cut off my nose to see Helen;" and he would spout certain favourite lines which the reader will find in their proper place in the third book.
Let men say of him when he returns from battle, 'Far greater is he than his father, and may he gladden his mother's heart." Then did Hector lay his babe in Andromache's arms, and she held him to her bosom, smiling through her tears. Full of love and pity and tenderness was the heart of Hector, and gently he caressed her and said: "Dear one, I pray thee be not of over-sorrowful heart.