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TRO. Nothing at all, unless that this were she. THER. Will he swagger himself out on's own eyes ?
TRO. This she? no, this is Diomed's Cressida : If beauty have a soul, this is not she;
If souls guide vows, if vows be sanctimonies,
If there be rule in unity itself,
This was not she. O madness of discourse,
9 If there be rule in UNITY itself,] May mean-If there be certainty in unity, if there be a rule that one is one. JOHNSON.
If it be true that one individual cannot be two distinct persons. M. MASON. The rule alluded to is a very simple one; that one cannot be This woman therefore, says Troilus, this false one, cannot be that Cressida that formerly plighted her faith to me. MALONE. against ITSELF!] Thus the quarto. The folio readsagainst thyself. In the preceding line also I have followed the quarto. The folio reads-This is not she. MALONE.
2 BI-FOLD authority!] This is the reading of the quarto. The folio gives us : 66
By foul authority!"
There is madness in that disquisition in which a man reasons at once for and against himself upon authority which he knows not to be valid. The quarto is right. JOHNSON.
This is one of the passages in which the editor of the folio changed words that he found in the quartos, merely because he did not understand them. MALONE.
where reason can revolt
Without perdition, and loss assume all reason
Without revolt ;] The words loss and perdition are used in their common sense, but they mean the loss or perdition of reason. JOHNSON.
4 Within MY SOUL there doth commence A FIGHT-] So, in Hamlet:
Sir, in my heart, there was a kind of fighting." MALONE.
Divides more wider than the sky and earth;
5 -a thing inseparate-] i. e. the plighted troth of lovers. Troilus considers it inseparable, or at least that it ought never to be broken, though he has unfortunately found that it sometimes is. MALONE.
6 MORE wider] Thus the old copies. The modern editions, following Mr. Pope, read-far wider; though we have a similar phraseology with the present in almost every one of these plays. MALONE.
So, in Coriolanus :
"He bears himself more proudlier." See note on this passage. STEEvens.
7 As Is Arachne's broken woof, to enter.] Is,-the syllable wanting in this verse, the modern editors have supplied. I hope the mistake was not originally the poet's own; yet one of the quartos read with the folio, Ariachna's broken woof, and the other Ariathna's. It is not impossible that Shakspeare might have written Ariadne's broken woof, having confounded the two names, or the stories, in his imagination; or alluding to the clue of thread, by the assistance of which Theseus escaped from the Cretan labyrinth. I do not remember that Ariadne's loom is mentioned by any of the Greek or Roman poets, though I find an allusion to it in Humour out of Breath, a comedy, 1607: instead of these poor weeds, in robes, "Richer than that which Ariadne wrought, "Or Cytherea's airy-moving vest. Again, in The Spanish Tragedy:
-thy tresses, Ariadne's twines,
"Leads the despairing wretch into a maze;
"To lend a clew to lead us out of it,
Shakspeare, however, might have written-Arachnea; great liberties being taken in spelling proper names, and especially by ancient English writers. Thus we have both Alcmene and Ålcumene, Alcmena and Alcumena. STEEVENS.
My quarto, which is printed for R. Bonian, 1609, readsAriachna's broken woof; the other, which is said to be undated, reads, as Mr. Steevens says-Ariathna's. The folio-Ariachne's. Mr. Steevens hopes the mistake was not originally the author's,
Instance, O instance! strong as Pluto's gates;
And with another knot, five-finger-tied R,
The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
* Quarto, given.
but I think it extremely probable that he pronounced the word as a word of four syllables. MALONE.
8-knot, five-finger-tied,] A knot tied by giving her hand to Diomed. JOHNSON.
So, in The Fatal Dowry, by Massinger and Field, 1632: "Your fingers tie my heart-strings with this touch, "In true-love knots, which nought but death shall loose." MALONE.
9 The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
The fragments, scraps, the bits, and greasy reliques
Of her O'ER-EATEN faith, are bound to Diomed.] Vows which she has already swallowed once over. We still say of a faithless man, that he has eaten his words. JOHNSON.
The image is not of the most delicate kind. "Her o'er-eaten faith" means, I think, her troth plighted to Troilus, of which she was surfeited, and, like one who has over-eaten himself, had thrown off. All the preceding words, the fragments, scraps, &c. show that this was Shakspeare's meaning. So, in Twelfth-Night: "Give me excess of it [musick]; that surfeiting "The appetite may sicken, and so die." Again, more appositely, in King Henry IV. P. II.:
"The commonwealth is sick of their own choice; "Their over-greedy LOVE hath surfeited."O thou fond many! with what loud applause "Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke, "Before he was what thou would'st have him be! "And being now trimm'd in thine own desires, "Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him, "That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up." May worthy Troilus -] Can Troilus really feel, on this occasion, half of what he utters? A question suitable to the calm Ulysses. JOHNSON.
With that which here his passion doth express? TRO. Ay, Greek; and that shall be divulged well
In characters as red as Mars his heart
Hark, Greek ;-As much as I do Cressid love,
That sleeve is mine, that he'll bear on his helm;
THER. He'll tickle it for his concupy.
TRO. O Cressid! O false Cressid! false, false, false !
Let all untruths stand by thy stained name,
* First folio, in.
O, contain yourself;
+ First folio, fenne.
2 My sword should BITE it :] So, in The Merry Wives of Wind- I have a sword, and it shall bite," &c.
In King Lear we have also "biting faulchion." STEEVENS.
the dreadful SPOUT,
Which shipmen do the HURRICANO call,] A particular account of " a spout," is given in Captain John Smith's Sea Grammar, quarto, 1627: “A spout is, as it were a small river falling entirely from the clouds, like one of our water-spouts, which make the sea, where it falleth, to rebound in flashes exceeding high;" i. e. in the language of Shakspeare, to “dizzy the ear of Neptune." So also, Drayton :
"And down the shower impetuously doth fall
"Like that which men the hurricano call." STEEVENS. concupy.] A cant word, formed by our author from concupiscence. STEEVENS.
ENE. I have been seeking you this hour, my
Hector, by this, is arming him in Troy;
Farewell, revolted fair!-and, Diomed,
Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head!
[Exeunt TROILUS, ENEAS, and ULYSSES. THER. 'Would, I could meet that rogue Diomed! I would croak like a raven; I would bode, I would bode. Patroclus will give me any thing for the intelligence of this whore: the parrot will not do more for an almond, than he for a commodious drab. Lechery, lechery; still, wars and lechery; nothing else holds fashion: A burning devil take them '! [Exit.
and wear a CASTLE on thy head!] i. e. defend thy head with armour of more than common security.
So, in The Most Ancient and Famous History of The Renowned Prince Arthur, &c. edit. 1634, ch. clviii. : "Do thou thy best, said Sir Gawaine, therefore hie thee fast that thou wert gone, and wit thou well we shall soone come after, and breake the strongest castle that thou hast upon thy head."-Wear a castle, therefore, seems to be a figurative expression, signifying, Keep a castle over your head; i. e. live within the walls of your castle. In Urry's Chaucer, Sir Thopas is represented with a castle by way of crest to his helmet. See, however, Titus Andronicus, Act III. Sc. I. STEEVENS. I'll bring you, &c.] Perhaps this, and the following short speech, originally stood thus:
"Ulyss. I'll bring you to the gates, my lord.
- A BURNING devil take them!] Alluding to the venereal disease, formerly called the brenning or burning. M. MASON. So, in Isaiah, iii. 24: “—and burning instead of beauty."