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And rob in the behalf of charity.
Cas. It is the purpose,“ that makes strong the vow; But vows, to every purpose, must not hold: Unarm, sweet Hector. Hect.
Hold you still, I say; Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate: 5 Life every man holds dear; but the dear man Holds honour far more precious-dear than life.
i. e. to use violent thefts, because we would give much. The word count had crept in from the last line but one. Tyrwhitt.
I have adopted the emendation proposed by Mr. Tyrwhitt. Mr. Rowe cut the knot, instead of untying it, by reading :
For us to count we give what's gain'd by theft, and all the subsequent editors have copied him. The last three lines are not in the quarto, the compositor's eye having probably passed over them; in consequence of which the next speech of Cassandra is in that copy given to Andromache, and joined with the first line of this.
In the first part of Andromache's speech she alludes to a doctrine which Shakspeare has often enforced. “Do not think you are acting virtuously by adhering to an oath, if you have sworn to do amiss.” So, in King Fohn:
wbere doing tends to ill, “ The truth is then most done, not doing it.” Malone. 4 It is the purpose,] The mad prophetess speaks here with all the coolness and judgment of a skilful casuist. * The essence of a lawful vow, is a lawful purpose, and the vow of which the end is wrong must not be regarded as cogent ” Johnson.
5 Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate:) If this be not a • nautical phrase, which I cannot well explain or apply, perhaps we should read:
Mine honour keeps the weather off my fate: i. e. I am secured by the cause I am engaged in; mine honour will avert the storms of fate, will protect my life amidst the dangers of the field.-A somewhat similar phrase occurs in The Tempest:
“In the lime grove that weather-fends our cell.” Steevens. * This is certainly a nautical phrase.—The meaning of which is, that fate should never meet him unprotected by honour.-Fate might command his life, but his honour would triumph over fates.
Am. Ed. 6_ dear man _1 Valuable man. The modern editions readbrave man. The repetition of the word is in our author's manner.
Fohnson. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
" This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not." Steevens. Brave was substituted for dear by Mr. Pope. Malone.
Enter TROILUS. How now, young man? mean'st thou to fight to-day? And. Cassandra, call my father to persuade.
[Exit Cas. Hect. No, 'faith, young Troilus; doff thy harness,
Tro. Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you,
Hect. What vice is that, good Troilus? chide me for it.
Tro. When many times the captive Grecians fall,
Fool's play, by heaven, Hector.
For the love of all the gods, Let's leave the hermit pity with our mother;
7 Which better fits a lion,] The traditions and stories of the darker ages abounded with examples of the lion's generosity. Upon the supposition that these acts of clemency were true, Troilus reasons not improperly, that to spare against reason, by mere instinct of pity, became rather a generous beast than a wise man.
Johnson. Thus, in Philemon Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural His. tory, ch. 16: “ The lion alone of all wild beasts is gentle to those that humble themselves before him, and will not touch any such upon their submission, but spareth what creature so ever lieth prostrate before him.” Steevens.
Hence Spenser's Una, attended by a lion. Fairy Quecn, I, ii, 7. See also Sir Perceval's lion in Morte Arthur, B. XIV, c. vi.
T. Warton. 8 When many times the caprive Grecians fall,
You bid them rise, and live. ] Shakspeare seems not to have studied the Homeric character of Hector, whose disposition was by no means inclined to clemency, as we may learn from Andro. mache's speech in the 24th Iliad:
«Ου γάρ μέιλικος έσκι πατήρ τεός εν δαι λυγρή.”
For thy stern father never spar'd a foc." Pope.
And when we have our armours buckled on,
Hect. Fy, savage, fy!
Hector, then 'tis wars. 9,
Tro. Who should withhold me?
Re-enter CASSANDRA, with PRIAM.
Come, Hector, come, go back:
* Spur them to piteous work, rein them from pity. Am. Ed.
9 Hector, then 'tis wars.] I suppose, for the sake of metre, we ought to read :
Why, Hector, then 'tis wars. Shakspeare frequently uses this adverb emphatically, as in A Midsummer Night's Dream: “Ninus' tomb, man: Why, you must not speak that yet.” Steevens.
1_ with fiery truncheon -] We have here but a modern Mars. Antiquity acknowledges no such ensign of command as a truncheon. The spirit of the passage however is such as might atone for a greater impropriety.
In Elizabetha Triumphans, 1588, a poem, in blank verse; written by James Aske, on the defeat of the Spanish armada, the Queen appears, indeed,
“ Most bravely mounted on a stately steede,
“ With truncheon in her hand, —." Steevens. 2 with recourse of tears;] i. e. tears that continue to course ore another down the face. Warburton. So, in As you Like it: “
the big round tears " Cours'd one another down his innocent nose " Steegend
Therefore, come back.
Æneas is a-field;
. But thou shalt not go.
Cas. O Priam, yield not to him.
Do not, dear father.
Tro. This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl
O farewel, dear Hector. 4
Cas. Farewel.-Yet, soft:-Hector, I take my leave : Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive. [Exit.
Hect. You are amaz'd, my liege, at her exclaim: .
3.- shame respect;] i. e. disgrace the respect I owe you, by acting in opposition to your commands. Steevens.
4 O farewel, dear Hector.] The interposition and clamorous sor.. row of Cassandra were copied by our author from Lydgate.
Steevers : 5- shrills her dolours -- 1 So, in Spenser's Epithalamium:
“Hark, how the minstrels gin to shrill aloud
" Their merry musick” &c. Again, in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:
" Through all th' abyss I have shrill'd thy daughter's loss,
“ With my concave trump.” Steevens. 6 Behold, destruction, frenzy, &c.] So the quarto. The editor of the folio, for destruction substituted distraction. The original reading appears to me far preferable. Malone.
Go in, and cheer the town: we'll forth, and fight;
[Exeunt severally PRI. and HECT. Alarums.
Pan. A whoreson ptisicks a whoreson rascally ptisick so troubles me, and the foolish fortune of this girl; and what one thing, what another, that I shall leave you one o'these days: And I have a rheum in mine eyes too; and such an ache in my bones, that, unless a man were
7 In the folios, and one of the quartos, this scene is continued by the following dialogue between Pandarus and Troilus, which the poet certainly meant to have been inserted at the end of the play, where the three concluding lines of it are repeated in the copies already mentioned. There can be no doubt but that the players shuffled the parts backward and forward, ad libitum; for the poet would hardly have given us an unnecessary repetition of the same words, nor have dismissed Pandarus twice in the same manner. The conclusion of the piece will fully justify the liberty which any future commentator may take in omitting the scene here and placing it at the end, where at present only the few lines already mentioned are to be found. Steevens.
I do not conceive that any editor has a right to make the transposition proposed, though it has been done by Mr. Capell. The three lines alluded to by Mr. Steevens, which are found in the folio at the end of this scene, as well as near the conclusion of the play, (with a very slight variation) are these:
" Pan. Why but hear you
“ Tro. Hence, broker lacquey! Ignomy and shame
“ Pursue thy life, and live aye with thy name!" But in the original copy in quarto there is no repetition (except of the words - But hear you); no absurdity or impropriety. In that copy the following dialogue between Troilus and Pandarus is found in its present place, precisely as it is here given; but the three lines above quoted do not constitute any part of the scene. For the repetition of those three lines, the players, or the editor of the folio, alone are answerable. It never could have been intended by the poet. I have therefore followed the original copy.