« AnteriorContinuar »
Divides more wider? than the sky and earth;
6 — a thing inseparate - ] i. e. the plighted troth of lovers. Troilus considers it inseparable, or at least that it ought never to be broken, though he has unfortunately found that it sometimes is. Malone.
7 more wider -] Thus the old copies. The modern editions, following Mr. Pope, read-far wider; though we have a similar phraseology with the present in almost every one of these plays. Malone. So, in Coriolanus :
"He bears bimself more proudlier.” See note on this passage. Steevens.
8 As is Arachne's broken woof, to enter ] Is,—the syllable wanting in this verse, the modern editors have supplied. I hope the mistake was not originally the poet's own; yet one of the quartos read with the folio, Ariachna's broken woof, and the other Ariathna's. It is not impossible that Shakspeare might have written Ariadne's broken woof, having confounded the two names, or the stories, in his imagination; or alluding to the clue of thread, by the assistance of which Theseus escaped from the Cretan laby. rinth. I do not remember that Ariadne's loom is mentioned by any of the Greek or Roman poets, though I find an allusion to it in Humour out of Breath, a comedy, 1607:
6 - instead of these poor weeds, in robes
“Or Cytherea's airy-moving vest." Again, in The Spanish Tragedy:
" thy tresses, Ariadne's twines,
“ Wherewith my liberty thou hast surpriz’d." Again, in Muleasses the Turk, 1610:
“Leads the despairing wretch into a maze;
“ The very maze of horror." Shakspeare, however, might have written- Arachnea; great liberties being taken in spelling proper names, and especially by ancient English writers. Thus we have both Alconene and Alcümene, Alcmena and Alcumena Steevens.
My quarto, which is printed for R. Bonian, 1609, reads-- Ariachna's broken woof; the other, whicli is said to be undated, reads, as Mr. Steevens says-- Ariathna's. The folio- Ariachne's. Mr. Steevens hopes the mistake was not originally the author's, but I think it extremely probable that he pronounced the word as a word of four syllables. Malone.
Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven:
Ulyss. May worthy Troilus2 be half attach'd
Tro. Ay, Greek; and that shall be divulged well
9 — knot, five-finger-tied,] A knot tied by giving her hand to Diomed. Johnson. So, in The Fatal Dowry, by Massinger, 1632:
“ Your fingers tie my heart-strings with this touch,
Malone 1. The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
The fragments, scraps, the bits, and greasy reliques
Of her o'er-eaten faith are bound to Diomed.] Vows which she has already swallowed once over. We still say of a faithless mart, that he has eaten his words. Johnson.
The image is not of the most delicate kind. “ Her oʻer-eaten faith” means, I think, her troth plighted to Troilus, of which she was surfeited, and, like one who has over-eaten himself, had thrown off. All the preceding words, the fragments, scraps, &c. show that this was Shakspeare's meaning. So, in Twelfth Night:
“Give me excess of it (musick]; that surfeiting
“ The appetite may sicken and so die."
“ The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
" That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up." Malone. 2 May worthy Troilus - Can Troilus really feel, on this occasion, half of what he utters? A question suitable to the calım. Ulysses. Johnsan.
Were it a casque compos’d by Vulcan's skill,
Ther. He'll tickle it for his concupy.5
Tro. O Cressid! 0 false Cressid! false, false, false ! Let all untruths stand by thy stained name, And they'll seem glorious. Ulyss.
O, contain yourself; Your passion draws ears hither.
Enter Æneas. Æne. I have been seeking you this hour, my lord: Hector, by this, is arming him in Troy; Ajax, your guard, stays to conduct you home. Tro. Have with you, prince:-My courteous lord,
adieu :Farewel, revolted fair!-and, Diomed, Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head !6
3 My sword should bite it:) So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : “ – I have a sword, and it shall bite," &c. In King Lear we have also “ biting faulchion." Steevens.
- the dreadful spout, Which shipmen do the hurricano call,] A particular account of “a spout,” is given in Captain John Smith's Sea Grammar, quarto, 1627: “A spout is, as it were a small river falling entirely from the clouds, like one of our water-spouts, which make the sea, where it falleth, to rebound in flashes exceeding high;" i, e in the language of Shakspeare, to dizzy the ear of Neptune. So also, Drayton:
“ And down the shower impetuously doth fail
“Like that which men the hurricano call.” Steevens. 5 concupy.] A cant word, formed by our author from concupiscence. Steevens.
6 — and wear a castle on thy head!] i.e. defend thy head with armour of more than common security.
So, in The most ancient and famous History of the renowned Prince Arthur, &c. edit. 1634, ch. clviii: “Do thou thy best, said Sir Gawaine, therefore hie thee fast that thou wert gone, and wit thou well we shall soone come after, and breake the strongest castle that thou hast upon thy head.”-Wear a castle, therefore, seems to be a figurative expression, signifying, Keep a castle over your head; i. e. live within the walls of your castle In Urry's Chau,
Ulyss. I 'll bring you? to the gates.
[Exeunt TRO. ÆNE. and ULYSS. Ther. ’Would, I could meet that rogue Diomed! I would croak like a raven; I would bode, I would bode. Patroclus will give me any thing for the intelligence of this whore: the parrot will not do more for an almond, than he for a commodious drab. Lechery, lechery; still, wars and lechery; nothing else holds fashion: A burning devil take them !!
[Exit. SCENE III. Troy. Before Priam's Palace.
Enter Hector and ANDROMACHE. And. When was my lord so much ungently temper'd, To stop his ears against admonishment? Unarm, unarm, and do not fight to-day.
Hect. You train me to offend you; get you in: By all the everlasting gods, I'll go.
And. My dreams will, sure, prove ominous to the day..
cer, Sir Thopas is represented with a castle by way of crest to his helmet. See, however, Titus Andronicus, Act III, sc. i. Steevens.
? I'll bring you &c.] Perhaps this, and the following short speech, originally stood thus:
Ulyss. I'll bring you to the gates, my lord.
Accept Distracted thanks. Steevens. 8 A burning devil take them!] Alluding to the venereal disease, formerly called the brenning or burning. M. Mason. So, in Isaiah, iii, 24: “ - and burning instead of beauty."
Steevens. My dreams will, sure, prove ominous to the day.) The hint for this dream of Andromache might be either taken from Lydgate, or the following passage in Chaucer's Nonnes Prestes Tale, Mr Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 15,147 :
“ Lo hire Andromacha, Hectores wif,
Hect. No more, I say.
Where is my brother Hector?
Cas. 0, it is true.
Ho! bid my trumpet sound!
Cas. The gods are deaf to hot and peevish? vows;
And. O! be persuaded: Do not count it holy
My dreams of last night will prove ominous to the day; forebode ill to it, and show that it will be a fatal day to Troy. So, in the seventh scene of this Act::
" the quarrel's most ominous to us.” Again, in King Richard III:
thou bloody prison, “ Fatal and ominous to noble peers!” Mr. Pope, and all the subsequent editors, read will prove ominous today. Malone.
Do we gain any thing more than rough versification by restoring the article-the? The meaning of Andromache (without it) is- My dreams will to-day be fatally verified. Steevens. i d ear petition, ] Dear, on this occasion, seems to mean important, consequential. So, in King Lear:
some dear cause “ Will in concealment wrap me up awhile.” Steevens. - peevish-7i. e. foolish. So, in King Henry VI, Part II: "
I will not so presume, “To send such peevish tokens to a king.” Steevens. 3 For we would give &c.] This is so oddly confused in the folio, that I transcribe it as a specimen of incorrectness:
" do not count it holy,
“And rob in the behalf of charity.” Johnson. I believe we should read:
For we would give much, to use violent thefts,