Imatges de pÓgina


TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.] Before this play of Troilus and Cressida, printed in 1609, is a bookseller's preface, shewing that first impression to have been before the play had been acted, and that it was published without Shakespeare's knowledge, from a copy that had fallen into the bookseller's hands. Mr. Dryden thinks this one of the first of our author's plays: but, on the contrary, it is to be judged, from the forementioned preface, that it was one of his last; and the great number of observations, both moral and politic (with which this piece is crowded more than any other of his) seems to confirm my opinion. Pope.

Shakespeare received the greatest part of his materials for the structure of this play from the Troye Boke of Lydgate. Lydgate was not much more than a translator of Guido of Columpna, who was of Messina in Sicily, and rote his History of Troy in Latin, after Dictys Cretensis, and Dares Phrygius, in 1287. On these, as Mr. Warton observes, he engrafted many new romantic inventions, which the taste of his age dictated, and which the connexion between Grecian and Gothie fiction easily admitted ; at the same time comprehending in his plan the Theban and Argonautic stories from Ovid, Statius, and Valerius Flaccus. It appears to have been translated by Raoul le *Feure, at Cologne, into French, from whom Caxton rendered it into English in 1471.

Chaucer had made the loves of Troilus and Cressida famous, which very probably might have been Shakespeare's inducement to try their fortune on the stage.

STEEVENS. The Troye Boke was somewhat modernized, and reduced into regular stanzas, about the beginning of the last century, under the name of The Life and Death of Hectorwho fought a Hundred mayne Batlailes in open Field against the Grecians; wherein there were slain on both sides Fourteene Hundred and Sixe Thousand, Fourscore and Sise Men.

FARMER. This play is more correctly written than most of Shakespeare's compositions, but it is not one of those in which either the extent of his views or elevation of his fancy is fully displayed. As the story abounded with materials, he has exerted little invention ; but he has diversified his characters with great variety, and preserved them with great exactness. His vicious characters sometimes disgust, but cannot corrupt, for both Cressida and Pandarus are detested and contemned. The comic characters seem to have been the favourites of the writer; they are of the superficial kind, and exhibit more of manners than nature; but they are copiously filled, and powerfully impressed. Shakespeare has in his story followed, for the greater part, the old book of Caxton, which was then very popular; but the character of Thersites, of which it makes no mention, is a proof that this play was written after Chapman had published his version of Homer.



PRIAM, king of Troy.

his sons.

Trojan commanders.
Calchas, a Trojan priest, taking part with the Greeks.
PANDARUS, uncle to Cressida.
MARGARELON, a bastard son of Priam.

AGAMEMNON, the Grecian general :
Menelaus, his brother.

Grecian commanders.
THERSITES, a deformed, and scurrilous Grecian.
ALEXANDER, servant to Cressida.
Servant to Troilus ; Servant to Paris; Servant to Diomedes.

HELEN, wife to Menelaus.
ANDROMACHE, wife to Hector.
CASSANDRA, daughter to Priam; a prophetess.
CRESSIDA, daughter to Calchas.

Trojan and Greek Soldiers, and Attendants.

SCENE, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.


SCENE I.-Troy. Before Priam's Palace. Enter TROILUS

armed, and PANDARUS.

CALL here my varlet,' I'll unarm again :
Why should I war without the walls of Troy,
That find such cruel battle here within ?
Each Trojan, that is master of his heart,
Let him to field ; Troilus, alas ! hath none.

Pan. Will this gear ne'er be mended ?

Tro. The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,
Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant ;
But I am weaker than a woman's tear,
Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance ;*
Less valiant than the virgin in the night,
And skill-less as unpractis'd infancy.

Pan. Well, I have told you enough of this : for my part, I'll not meddle nor make no further. He, that will have a cake out of the wheat, must tarry the grinding.

Tro. Have I pot tarried ?
Pan. Ay, the grinding'; but you must tarry the bolting.
Tro. Have I not tarried ?
Pan. Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.
Tro. Still have I tarried.

Pan. Ay, to the leavening : but here's yet in the word-hereafter, the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the baking ; nay, you must stay the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your lips.

Tro. Patience herself, what goddess ere she be,
Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do.
At Priam's royal table do I sit ;
And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts,
So, traitor !-when she comes !-When is she thence ?

Pan. Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever I saw her look, or any woman else.


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(1) This word anciently signified a servant or footman to a knight or warrior. STEEVENS.

[2] More weak, or foolish. MALONE. Vol. IX.

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Tro. I was about to tell thee,-When my heart,
As wedged with a sigh, would rive in twain ;
Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,
I have (as when the sun doth light a storm,)
Bury'd this sigh in wrinkle of a smile :
But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness,
Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.

Pan. An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's, (well, go to,) there were no more comparison between the women,-But, for my part, she is my

kinswoman ; I would not, as they term it, praise her, But I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit ; but

Tro. O Pandarus ! I tell thee, Pandarus,-
When I do tell thee, There my hopes lie drown'd,
Reply not in how many fathoms deep
They lie indrench’d. I tell thee, I am mad
In Cressid's love : Thou answer'st, She is fair ;
Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart
fler eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice ;
Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand,
In whose comparison all whites are ink,
Writing their own reproach ; To whose soft seizure
The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense
Hard as the palm of ploughman ! This thou tellist me,
As true thou tell’st me, when I say—I love her ;
But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
The knife that made it.

Pan. I speak no more than truth.
Tro. Thou dost not speak so much.

Pan. 'Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be as she is : if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not, she has the mends in her own hands.

Tro. Good Pandarus! How now, Pandarus ?

Pan. I have had my labour for my travel ; ill-thought on of her, and ill-thought on of you : gone between and between, but small thanks for my labour.

Tro. What, art thou angry, Pandarus ? 'what, with me ?

Pan. Because she is kin to me, therefore, she's not so fair as Helen : an she were not kin to me, she would

[3] In comparison with Cressida's hand, says he, the spirit of sense, the utmost de. gree, the most exquisite power of sensibility, which implies a soft band, since the sense of touching, as Scaliger says in his Exercitations, resides chiefly in the fingers, is hard as the callous and insensible palm of the ploughman.

(4) She may mend ber complexion by the assistance of cosmetics. JOHNSON.


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be as fair on Friday, as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I ? I care not, an she were a black-a-moor ; 'tis all one to me.

Tro. Say 1, she is not fair ?

Pan. I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay behind her father ; let her to the Greeks ; and so I'll tell her the next time I see her: For my part, I'll meddle nor make no more in the matter.

Tro. Pandarus,
Pan. Not I.
Tro. Sweet Pandarus,

Pan. Pray you, speak no more to me ; I will leave all as I found it, and there an end. [Exit PANDARUS.

[. An alarum.
Tro. Peace, you ungracious clamours! peace, rude sounds!
Fools on both sides ! Helen must needs be fair,
When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
I cannot fight upon this argument ;
It is too stary'd a subject for my sword.
But Pandarus--O gods, how do you plague mę !
I cannot come to Cressid, but by Pandar ;
And he's as tetchy to be woo'd to woo,
As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphne's love,
What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we?
Her bed is India ; there she lies, a pearl :

Between our lium, and where she resides,
Let it be calls the wild and wandering flood;
Ourself, the merchant ; and this sailing Pandar,
Our doubtful nope, our convoy, and our bark.

Alarum. Enter Æneas.
Æne. How now, prince Troilus? wherefore not afield ?

Tro. Because not there ; This woman's answer sorts,"
For womanish it is to be from thence.
What news, Æneas, from the field to-ly?

Æne. That Paris is re 'urned home, and hurt.
Tro. By whom, Æneas ?
Æne. Troilus, by Menelaus.

Tro. Let Paris bleed : 'tis but a scar to scorn ;
Paris is gor'd with Menelaus' horn.

[Alarum. Æne. Hark! what good sport is out of town to-day! Tro. Better at home, if would I might, were may. [5] That is, fits, suits, is congruous.


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