Page images

And to the field goes he; where every flower
Did, as a prophet, weep what it foresaw

In Hector's wrath.


What was his cause of anger? Alex. The noise goes, this: There is among the


A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;

They call him, Ajax.


Good; And what of him?
Alex. They say he is a very man per se,3
And stands alone.

Cres. So do all men; unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.

Alex. This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts of their particular additions; he is as valiant as the lion,

their antagonists the Rutulians, had cavalry among their troops. Little can be inferred from the manner in which Ascanius and the young nobility of Troy are introduced at the conclusion of the funeral games; as Virgil very probably, at the expence of an anachronism, meant to pay a compliment to the military exercises instituted by Julius Cæsar, and improved by Augustus. It appears from different passages in this play, that Hector fights on horseback; and it should be remembered that Shakspeare was indebted for most of his materials to a book which enumerates Esdras and Pythagoras among the bastard children of King Priamus. Our author, however, might have been led into his mistake by the manner in which Chapman has translated several parts of the Iliad, where the heroes mount their chariots or descend from them. Thus, Book VI, speaking of Glaucus and Diomed:

" from horse then both descend." Steevens.

If Dr. Warburton had looked into The Destruction of Troy, already quoted, he would have found, in every page, that the leaders on each side were alternately tumbled from their horses by the prowess of their adversaries. Malone.

2 where every flower

Did, as a prophet, weep -] So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vol. II, p. 410:

"And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,

66 Lamenting" &c.


3 per se,] So, in Chaucer's Testament of Cresseide: "Of faire Cresseide the floure and a per se

"Of Troie and Greece."

Again, in the old comedy of Wily Beguiled: "In faith, my sweet honeycomb, I'll love the a per se a."

Again, in Blurt Master Constable, 1602:

"That is the a per se of all, the creame of all." Steevens.


churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant: a man into whom nature hath so crowded humours, that his valour is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with discretion: there is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of; nor any man an attaint, but he carries some stain of it: he is melancholy without cause, and merry against the hair: He hath the joints of every thing; but every thing so out of joint, that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use; or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight.

Cres. But how should this man, that makes me smile, make Hector angry?

Alex. They say, he yesterday coped Hector in the battle, and struck him down; the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and waking. Enter PANDARUS.

Cres. Who comes here?

Alex. Madam, your uncle Pandarus.

Cres. Hector's a gallant man.

Alex. As may be in the world, lady.

Pan. What's that? what's that?

Cres. Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.

Pan. Good morrow, cousin Cressid: What do you talk of?-Good morrow, Alexander.-How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium? &


their particular additions;] Their peculiar and characte ristic qualities or denominations. The term in this sense is originally forensick. Malone.

So, in Macbeth:


66 whereby he doth receive

"Particular addition, from the bill
"That writes them all alike."


that his valour is crushed into folly,] To be crushed into folly, is to be confused and mingled with folly, so as that they make one mass together. Johnson.

So, in Cymbeline:

[blocks in formation]

against the hair:] Is a phrase equivalent to another now in use-against the grain. The French say-à contrepoil. See Vol. VIII, p. 294, n. 6


See Vol. III, p. 77, n. 5.



Good morrow, cousin Cressid: What do you talk of? Good mor
Alexander. How do you, cousin?] Good morrow, Alexander,

Cres. This morning, uncle.

Pan. What were you talking of, when I came? Was Hector armed, and gone, ere you came to Ilium? Helen was not up, was she?

Cres. Hector was gone; but Helen was not up.

Pan. E'en so; Hector was stirring early.

Cres. That were we talking of, and of his anger.
Pan. Was he angry?

Cres. So he says here.

Pan. True, he was so; I know the cause too; he'll lay about him to-day, I can tell them that: and there is Troilus will not come far behind him; let them take heed of Troilus; I can tell them that too.

Cres. What, is he angry too?

Pan. Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the


Cres. O, Jupiter! there's no comparison.

Pan. What, not between Troilus and Hector?

Do you know a man, if you see him?

Cres. Ay; if ever I saw him before, and knew him. Pan. Well, I say, Troilus is Troilus.

is added, in all the editions, (says Mr. Pope,) very absurdly, Pa ris not being on the stage. Wonderful acuteness! But, with submission, this gentleman's note is much more absurd; for it falls. out very unluckily for his remark, that though Paris is, for the generality, in Homer called Alexander; yet, in this play, by any one of the characters introduced, he is called nothing but Paris. The truth of the fact is this: Pandarus is of a busy, impertinent, insinuating character: and it is natural for him, so soon as he has given his cousin the good-morrow, to pay his civilities too to her attendant. This is purely ves as the grammarians call it; and gives us an admirable touch of Pandarus's character. And why might not Alexander be the name of Cressida's man? Paris had no patent, I suppose, for engrossing it to himself But the late editor, perhaps, because we have had Alexander the Great, Pope Alexander, and Alexander Pope, would not have so emment a name prostituted to a common varlet. Theobald.

This note is not preserved on account of any intelligence it brings, but as a curious specimen of Mr. Theobald's mode of animadversion on the remarks of Mr. Pope. Steevens.

8 — at Ilium ?] Ilium, or Ilion, (for it is spelt both ways) was, according to Lydgate, and the author of The Destruction of Troy, the name of Priam's palace, which is said by these writers to have been built upon a high rock. See a note in Act IV, sc. y, on the words " Yon towers," &c. Malone.

Cres. Then you say as I say; for, I am sure, he is not Hector.

Pan. No, nor Hector is not Troilus, in some degrees.
Cres. 'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.
Pan. Himself? Alas, poor Troilus! I would, he


Cres. So he is.


'Condition, I had gone bare-foot to India.

Cres. He is not Hector.

Pan. Himself? no, he 's not himself.-'Would a' were himself! Well, the gods are above; Time must friend, or end: Well, Troilus, well, I would, my heart were in her body!—No, Hector is not a better man than Troilus.

Cres. Excuse me.

Pan. He is elder.

Cres. Pardon me, pardon me.

Pan. The other's not come to 't; you shall tell me another tale, when the other's come to 't. Hector shali not have his wit this year.

Cres. He shall not need it, if he have his own.
Pan. Nor his qualities;

Cres. No matter.

Pan. Nor his beauty.

Cres. 'Twould not become him, his own 's better.

Pan. You have no judgment, niece: Helen herself swore the other day, that Troilus, for a brown favour, (for so 'tis, I must confess,)-Not brown neither.

Cres. No, but brown.

Pan. 'Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.
Cres. To say the truth, true and not true.

Pan. She prais'd his complexion above Paris.
Cres. Why, Paris hath colour enough.

Pan. So he has.

Cres. Then, Troilus should have too much: if she praised him above, his complexion is higher than his; he having colour enough, and the other higher, is too flaming a praise for a good complexion. I had as lief,

9 Well, the gods are above;] So, in Othello: "Heaven's above




his wit-] Both the old copies have-will. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.

Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a copper nose.

Pan. I swear to you, I think, Helen loves him better than Paris.

Cres. Then she's a merry Greek, indeed.

Pan. Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him the other day into the compassed window, 3-and, you know, he has not past three or four hairs on his chin.

Cres. Indeed, a tapster's arithmetick may soon bring his particulars therein to a total.

Pan. Why, he is very young: and yet will he, within three pound, lift as much as his brother Hector.

Cres. Is he so young a man, and so old a lifter?4 Pan. But, to prove to you that Helen loves him ;she came, and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin,

Cres. Juno have mercy!-How came it cloven?

Pan. Why, you know, 'tis dimpled: I think, his smiling becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia. Cres. O, he smiles valiantly.

Pan. Does he not?

2a merry Greek,] Græcari, among the Romans, signified to play the reveller. Steevens.

The expression occurs in many old English books. See Act IV, sc. iv:


"A woeful Cressid 'mongst the merry Greeks." Malone.

- compassed window,] The compassed window is the same as the bow-window. Johnson.

A compassed window is a circular bow window. In The Taming of the Shrew the same epithet is applied to the cape of a woman's gown: "a small compassed cape." Steevens.

A coved cieling is yet in some places called a compassed cieling.


so old a lifter?] The word lifter is used for a thief, by Greene, in his Art of Coneycatching, printed 1591: on this the humour of the passage may be supposed to turn. We still call a person who plunders shops, a shop-lifter. Ben Jonson uses the expression in Cynthia's Revels:

"One other peculiar virtue you possess is, lifting."

Again, in The Roaring Girl, 1611: " - cheaters, lifters, nips, foists, puggards, courbers."

Again, in Holland's Leaguer, 1633: "Broker or pandar, cheater or lifter." Steevens.

Hiiftus, in the Gothick language, signifies a thief. See Archelog. Vol. V, p. 311. Blackstone.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »