Imatges de pÓgina

Re-enter CASSANDRA, with PRIAM.

CAS. Lay hold upon him, Priam, hold him fast: He is thy crutch; now if thou lose thy stay, Thou on him leaning, and all Troy on thee, Fall all together.


Come, Hector, come, go back:
Thy wife hath dream'd; thy mother hath had visions;
Cassandra doth foresee; and I myself
Am like a prophet suddenly enrapt,
To tell thee-that this day is ominous :
Therefore, come back.

Æneas is a-field;
And I do stand engag'd to many Greeks,
Even in the faith of valour, to appear
This morning to them.

PRI. Aye, but thou shalt not go. HECT. I must not break my faith. You know me dutiful; therefore, dear sir, Let me not shame respect2; but give me leave To take that course by your consent and voice, Which you do here forbid me, royal Priam. CAS. O Priam, yield not to him. AND. Do not, dear father. HECT. Andromache, I am offended with you: Upon the love you bear me, get you in.

[Exit ANDROMache. TRO. This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl Makes all these bodements.


CAS. O farewell, dear Hector 3. Look, how thou diest! look, how thy eye turns pale! Look, how thy wounds do bleed at many vents!

2-shame respect;] i. e. disgrace the respect I owe you, by acting in opposition to your commands. STEEVENS.

3 Ŏ farewell, dear Hector,] The interposition and clamorous sorrow of Cassandra were copied by our author from Lydgate.


Hark, how Troy roars! how Hecuba cries out! How poor Andromache shrills her dolours forth! Behold, destruction, frenzy, and amazement, Like witless anticks, one another meet,


And all cry-Hector! Hector's dead! O Hector! TRO. Away!-Away!—

CAS. Farewell.-Yet, soft:-Hector, I take my leave :

Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive. [Erit.

HECT. You are amaz`d, my liege, at her exclaim: Go in, and cheer the town: we'll forth, and fight; Do deeds worth praise, and tell you them at night. PRI. Farewell: the gods with safety stand about thee!

[Exeunt severally PRIAM and HECTOR. Alarums.

TRO. They are at it; hark! Proud Diomed, believe,

I come to lose my arm, or win my sleeve °.

SHRILLS her dolours -] So, in Spenser's Epithalamium:
"Hark, how the minstrels gin to shrill aloud
"Their merry musick," &c.

Again, in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:

"Through all th' abyss I have shrill'd thy daughter's loss, "With my concave trump." STEEVENS.

5 Behold, DESTRUCTION, frenzy, &c.] So the quarto. The editor of the folio, for destruction substituted distraction. original reading appears to me far preferable. MALONE.


In the folios, and one of the quartos, this scene is continued by the following dialogue between Pandarus and Troilus, which the poet certainly meant to have been inserted at the end of the play, where the three concluding lines of it are repeated in the copies already mentioned. There can be no doubt but that the players shuffled the parts backward and forward, ad libitum; for the poet would hardly have given us an unnecessary repetition of the same words, nor have dismissed Pandarus twice in the same manner. The conclusion of the piece will fully justify the liberty which any future commentator may take in omitting the scene here and placing it at the end, where at present only the few lines already mentioned are to be found. STEEVENS.

I do not conceive that any editor has a right to make the trans

As TROILUS is going out, enter, from the other side,


PAN. Do you hear, my lord? do you hear?
TRO. What now?

PAN. Here's a letter from yon' poor girl.

TRO. Let me read.

PAN. A whoreson ptisick, a whoreson rascally ptisick so troubles me, and the foolish fortune of this girl; and what one thing, what another, that I shall leave you one o'these days: And I have a rheum in mine eyes too; and such an ache in my bones, that, unless a man were cursed 7, I cannot tell what to think on't.-What says she there?

TRO. Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart; [Tearing the letter. The effect doth operate another way,Go, wind, to wind, there turn and change toge


My love with words and errors still she feeds;
But edifies another with her deeds.

[Exeunt severally.

position proposed, though it has been done by Mr. Capell. The three lines alluded to by Mr. Steevens, which are found in the folio at the end of this scene, as well as near the conclusion of the play, (with a very slight variation,) are these:

"Pand. Why but hear you

"Tro. Hence, broker lacquey! Ignomy and shame "Pursue thy life, and live aye with thy name!"

But in the original copy in quarto there is no repetition (except of the words-But hear you); no absurdity or impropriety. In that copy the following dialogue between Troilus and Pandarus is found in its present place precisely as it is here given; but the three lines above quoted do not constitute any part of the scene. For the repetition of those three lines, the players, or the editor of the folio, alone are answerable. It never could have been intended by the poet. I have therefore followed the original copy.


[ocr errors]

7 — cursed,] i. e. under the influence of a malediction, such as mischievous beings have been supposed to pronounce upon those who had offended them. STEEVENS.


Between Troy and the Grecian Camp.

Alarums: Excursions. Enter THERsites.

THER. Now they are clapper-clawing one another; I'll go look on. That dissembling abominable varlet, Diomed, has got that same scurvy doting foolish young knave's sleeve of Troy there, in his helm I would fain see them meet; that that same young Trojan ass, that loves the whore there, might send that Greekish whoremasterly villain, with the sleeve, back to the dissembling luxurious drab, of a sleeveless errand. O' the other side, The policy of those crafty swearing rascals,-that stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese, Nestor; and that same dog-fox, Ulysses,-is not proved worth a blackberry-They set me up, in policy, that mongrel cur, Ajax, against that dog of as bad a kind, Achilles and now is the cur Ajax prouder than the cur Achilles, and will not arm to-day; whereupon the Grecians begin to proclaim barbarism, and policy grows into an ill opinion. Soft! here comes sleeve, and t'other.

8 O' the other side, The policy of those crafty SWEARING rascals, &c.] But in what sense are Nestor and Ulysses accused of being swearing rascals? What, or to whom, did they swear? I am positive that sneering is the true reading. They had collogued with Ajax, and trimmed him up with insincere praises, only in order to have stirred Achilles's emulation. In this, they were the true sneerers; betraying the first, to gain their ends on the latter by that artifice. THEOBALD.

Sneering was applicable to the characters of Nestor and Ulysses, and to their conduct in this play; but swearing was not. M. MASON. to proclaim barbarism,] To set up the authority of ignorance, to declare that they will be governed by policy no longer.



Enter DIOMEDES, TROILUS following.

TRO. Fly not; for, shouldst thou take the river Styx,

I would swim after.


Thou dost miscall retire:

I do not fly; but advantageous care
Withdrew me from the odds of multitude:
Have at thee!

THER. Hold thy whore, Grecian !-now for thy whore, Trojan-now the sleeve, now the sleeve! [Exeunt TROILUS and DIOMEDES, fighting.


HECT. What art thou, Greek? art thou for Hector's match?

Art thou of blood, and honour1?

THER. No, no :-I am a rascal; a scurvy railing knave; a very filthy rogue.


HECT. I do believe thee ;-live.
THER. God-a-mercy, that thou wilt believe me ;

Art thou of blood, and honour ?] This is an idea taken from the ancient books of romantick chivalry, as is the following one in the speech of Diomedes :

"And am her knight by proof." STEEVENS.


It appears from Segar on Honor, Military and Civil, folio, 1602, 122, that a person of superior birth might not be challenged by an inferior, or if challenged, might refuse the combat : Alluding to this circumstance Cleopatra says:


These hands do lack nobility, that they strike "A meaner than thyself."

We learn from Melvil's Memoirs, p. 165, edit. 1735, that "the Laird of Grange offered to fight Bothwell, who answered, that he was neither Earl nor Lord, but a Baron; and so was not his equal. The like answer made he to Tullibardine. Then my Lord Lindsay offered to fight him, which he could not well refuse. But his heart failed him, and he grew cold on the business."

These punctilios are well ridiculed in Albumazar, Act IV. Sc. VII. REED.

« AnteriorContinua »