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Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits,
On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
Sets all on hazard:- And hither am I come
A prologue arm’d,—but not in confidence
Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but suited
In like conditions as our argument,
To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
Leaps o'er the vaunts and firstlings of those broils,
'Ginning in the middle; starting thence away
To what may be digested in a play.
Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are;
Now good, or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.

sparran. A word not yet disused in the northern countice. The bar of a gate or door is called a spar. Thus Spenser:

The other that was entred, labour'd fast
To sperre the gate.'

F. Q. b. V. c. 10. 5 i. e. the avant, what went before. Thus in Lear:

Vaunt couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts.' What is now called the van of an army was formerly called the vaunt-guard.

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA,

ACT I.

SCENE I. Troy. Before Priam's Palace.
Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS.

Troilus.
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 geer 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, fonder3 than ignorance;

1 This word, which we have from the old French varlet or vadlet, anciently signified a groom, a servant of the meaner sort. Holinshed, speaking of the battle of Agincourt, says,

6 Diverse were releeved by their varlets and conveied out of the field.' Cotgrave says, “In old time it was a more honourable title; for all young gentlemen untill they came to be eighteen yeres of age were 80 tearmed.' He says, the term came into disesteem in the reign of Francis I. till when the gentlemen of the king': chamber were called valets de chambre. In one of our old statutes, 1 Henry, IV. c. 7, anno 1399, are these words :—- Et que nulle vadlet appellé yoman preigne ne úse nolle liveree du roi ne de null autre seignour sur peine demprisonement.'

2 i. e. in addition to. This kind of phraseology occurs in Macbeth, Act i. Sc. ii. p. 201 ; see note there.

3 i. e. more weak or foolish. Dryden has taken this speech as

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 not 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 yon may chance to burn your lips.

Tro. Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be, Doth lesser blench4 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.

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

it stands in his alteration of this play, except that he has changed skill-le88, in the last line, to artless; which, as Johnson observee, is no improvement.

4 To blench is to shrink, start, or fly off. See Hamlet, Act ii. Sc. 2; and vol. ii, p. 84.

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 Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice, Handlest in thy discourse;-0, that her hands! 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 tellst 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.

6

s Handlest is here used metaphorically, with an allusion, at the same time, to its literal meaning. The same play on the words is in Titus Andronicus :

. 0 handle not the theme, to talk of hands,

Lest we remember still that we have none ! Steevens remarks that the beauty of a female hand seems to have a strong impression on the poet's mind. Antony cannot endure that the hand of Cleopatra should be touched. In Romeo and Juliet we have:

the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand.' And, in the Winter's Tale, Florizel thus beautifully descants on that of his mistress

I take thy hand; this hand
As soft as dove's down, and as white as it;
Or Ethiopian's tooth; or the fanp'd snow

'That's bolted by the northern blasts twice o'er.' 6 Warburton rashly altered this to

spite of sense.' Hanmer reads :

to th' spirit of sense.' Which is considered right and necessary by Mason. Johnson does not rightly understand the passage, and therefore erroneously explains it. It appears to me to mean • The spirit of sense (i. e. sensation), in touching the cygnet's down, is "harsh and hard as the palm of a ploughman, compared to the sensation of softness in pressing Cressid's hand.'

6

OWD

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 hands7.

Tro. Good Pandarus ! How now, Pandarus ?

Pan. I have had my labour for my travel; illthought 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 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 I, she is not fair?

Pan. I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay behind her fathers; 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,-

1. She has the mends in her own hands' is a proverbial phrase common in our old writers, which probably signifies : It is her own fault; or the remedy lies with herself.' 6 And if men will be jealous in such cases, the mends is in their owne hands, they must thank themselves.'- Burton Anat. of Melan. p. 605, ed. 1632. · I shall stay here and have my head broke, and then Í bave the mends in my own hands.'-Woman's a Weathercock, 1612.

8 Calchas, according to the Old Troy Book, was a great learned bishop of Troy,' who was sent by Priam to consult the oracle of Delphi concerning the event of the war which threatened Agamemnon. As soon as he had made his oblations and demands for them of Troy, Apollo aunswered unto him saying, Calchas, Calchas, beware thou returne not back againe to Troy, but goe thou with Achylles unto the Greekes, and depart never from them, for the Greekes shall have victorie of the 'Trojans, by the agreement of the gods.'Hist. of the Destruction of Troy, translated by Caxton, ed. 1617. The prudent bishop immediately joined the Greeks

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