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ARING in its conscious strength, the genius of Shakspere turned aside from no encounter, however difficult or unpromising, that held out the most distant chance of conquest in the vast domain of human nature. In "TROILUS AND CRESSIDA" he has made a bold irruption into classic ground; and although the play does not rank among his greatest productions, he has yet shewn surprising art in rescuing the heroes and beauteous dames of Greece and Troy from the "cold obstruction" of antiquity, and placing them freshly before us as living, breathing beings, of a common

nature with ourselves.

The wantonness of Cressida is from the first insinuated with consummate art, but with growing distinctness, till we are fully prepared to recognise the truth, as well as force, of the portrait of her presented by the sagacious Ulysses:

"Fie, fie upon her!

There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip;

Nay, her foot speaks: her wanton spirits look out
At every joint and motive of her body."

Ulysses himself is delineated with great felicity. He exhibits those manifold phases of character which afford the fairest opportunity for the manifestation of dramatic skill. He plays upon Achilles and Ajax with varied and admirable cunning; yet his craftiness is not exerted to obtain advantages peculiar to himself: his object is to make their thews and sinews subservient to the great undertaking in which his country was engaged, and which only such a head as his could have brought to so prosperous a conclusion.

The magnanimous Hector-the pleasure-tuned, good-humoured Paris-his fitting counterpart, Helen -Eneas, Agamemnon, Diomed, Nestor-indeed, all the multifarious characters who crowd the scene without encumbering it-are sketched in with every indication of vitality. We feel them to be instinct with life, and familiarly greet them on their resuscitation after a trance of so many centuries, as though all that passes were a matter of course, and they, like ourselves, were things of yesterday.

The weak good-nature of Pandarus stands in excellent contrast with the splenetic "cob-loaf," the "crusty batch of nature," Thersites; whose misanthropy, however, may claim the same palliation as Richard's-that "love foreswore him in his mother's womb." His wit, humour, and penetration make him agreeable even to those who suffer most from his sarcasm. Achilles calls him his "cheese," his "digestion;" and Ajax, although the constant object of his open and unmitigated contempt, is angry with Achilles for having inveigled him away. In these cases, we recognise the power of even misapplied intellect, forcing its way through every obstacle, and winning the regard of duller spirits, who are content to endure its scorching qualities, for the sake of sharing in the general light and brilliancy that accompany them.

"TROILUS AND CRESSIDA" was first printed in quarto (1609). There are strong grounds for believing that there was an older play on the same subject; but to what extent, or whether at all, Shakspere availed himself of it as a foundation for his own, can now be matter of conjecture only. The main incidents of the present drama were probably derived from Chaucer's tale of "TROILUS AND CRESEIDE," and the popular works of Lydgate and Caxton on the destruction of Troy.

J. O.

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SCENE I.-Troy. Before PRIAM's Palace.

Enter TROILUs armed, and PANDARUS. Tro. 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 va


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 unpractised 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. Aye, 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 e'er she

Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do.
At Priam's royal table do I sit;

And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughtsSo, 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) Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile: But sorrow that is couched 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 drowned, Reply not in how many fathoms deep They lie indrenched. 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 cheeks, 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

tell'st 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


The knife that made it.


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, 't is 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 be as fair on Friday as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not, an she were a blackamoor; 't is 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 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 starved a subject for my sword.
But Pandarus-O gods, how do you plague

I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar;
And he's as tetchy to be wooed 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 Ilium and where she resides,
Let it be called the wild and wandering flood;
Ourself, the merchant; and this sailing Pandar,
Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.
Alarum. Enter ENEAS.

Ene. 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-day?
Ene. That Paris is returnéd home, and hurt.
Tro. By whom, Æneas?

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