Imagens da página

Divides more wider? than the sky and earth;
And yet the spacious breadth of this division
Admits no orifice for a point, as subtle
As is Arachne's broken woof, to enter. 8
Instance, O instance! strong as Pluto's gates;

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
“ Richer than that which Ariadne wrought,

“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;
“ But not an Ariadne in the world
“To lend a clew to lead us out of it,

“ 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:
Instance, o instance! strong as heaven itself :
The bonds of heaven are slipp'd, dissolv'd, and loos’d;
And with another knot, five-linger-tied, o
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.

Ulyss. May worthy Troilus2 be half attach'd
With that which here his passion doth express?

Tro. Ay, Greek; and that shall be divulged well
In characters as red as Mars his heart
Inflam’d with Venus: never did young man fancy
With so eternal and so fix'd a soul.
Hark, Greek ;-As much as I do Cressid love,
So much by weight hate I her Diomed:
That sleeve is mine, that he 'll bear on his helm;

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,
“ In true-love knots, which nought but death shall Joose."

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."
Again, more appositely, in King Henry IV, P. II:

“ The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
“ Their over-greedy Love hath surfeited,
“O thou fond many! with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke,
“ Before he was what thou would'st have him be!
“ And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
66 Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,

" 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,
My sword should bite it:3 not the dreadful spout,
Which shipmeri do the hurricano call,
Constring'd in mass by the almighty sun,
Shall dizzy with more clamour Neptune's ear
In his descent, than shall my prompted sword
Falling on Diomed.

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.
Tro. Accept distracted thanks.

[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,
“ That day that Hector shulde lese bis lif,
“ She dremed on the same night beforne,
" How that the lif of Hector shuld be lorne,
“ If thilke day he went into battaile:
- She warned him, but it might not availle ;
“ He went forth for to fighten natheles,
$6 And was yslain anon of Achilles.” Steevens.


Hect. No more, I say.


Where is my brother Hector?
And. Here, sister; arm’d, and bloody in intent:
Consort with me in loud and dear petition, 1
Pursue we him on knees; for I have dreamt
Of bloody turbulence, and this whole night
Hath nothing been but shapes and forms of slaughter.

Cas. 0, it is true.

Ho! bid my trumpet sound!
Cas. No notes of sally, for the heavens, sweet brother,
Hect. Begone, I say: the gods have heard me swear.

Cas. The gods are deaf to hot and peevish? vows;
They are polluted offerings, more abhorr'd
Than spotted livers in the sacrifice.

And. O! be persuaded: Do not count it holy
To hurt by being just: it is as lawful,
For we would give much, to use violent thefts, 3

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,
“ To hurt by being just; it is as lawful
For we would count give much to as violent thefts,

“And rob in the behalf of charity.” Johnson. I believe we should read:

For we would give much, to use violent thefts,

« AnteriorContinuar »