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him, the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love's invisible soul,2
Pan. Who,my cousin Cressida?
Serv. No, sir, Helen; Could you not find out that by her attributes?
Pan. It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the prince Troilus: I will make a complimental assault upon him, for my business seeths.
Serv. Sodden business! there's a stewed phrase,3* indeed!
Enter Paris and Helen, attended. Pan. Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair company! fair desires, in all fair measure, fairly guide them! especially to you, fair queen! fair thoughts be your fair pillow!
Helen. Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
Pan. You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. Fair prince, here is good broken musick.
Par. You have broke it, cousin: and, by my life, you shall make it whole again ; you shall piece it out with a piece of your performance :-Nell, he is full of harmony.
Pan. Truly, lady, no.
2 - love's invisible soul,] may mean, the soul of love invisible every where else. Fohnson.
3 Sodden business! there's a stewed phrase,] The quibbling speaker seems to mean that sodden is a phrase fit only for the stews. Thus, says the Bawd in Pericles : The stuff we have, a strong wind will blow it to pieces, they are so pitifully sodden.”
Steevens. * Seethed, is sodden; seeth, is sod, boil, stew; seething, state of ebullition, &c. the meaning, and the quibble, are obvious; nor does the context, any more than the expression, afford the least glimpse of indecency. Am. Ed.
4 in fits. 1 i. e. now and then, by fits; or perhaps a quibble is intended. A fit was a part or division of a song, sometimes a strain in musick, and sometimes a measure in dancing. The reader will find it sufficiently illustrated in the two former senses by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of ancient English Poetry:
Pan. I have business to my lord, dear queen:-My lord, will you vouchsafe me a word ?
Helen. Nay, this shall not hedge us out: we'll hear you sing, certainly.
Pan. Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with me. But (marry) thus, my lord,—My dear lord, and most esteemed friend, your brother Troilus
Helen. My lord Pandarus; honey-sweet lord,
Pan. Go to, sweet queen, go to :-commends himself most affectionately to you.
Helen. You shall not bob us out of our melody; If you do, our melancholy upon your head!
Pan. Sweet queen, sweet queen; that 's a sweet queen, i' faith.
Helen. And to make a sweet lady sad, is a sour of
Pan. Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall it not, in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no, no. -And, my lord, he desires you,s that, if the king call for him at supper, you will make his excuse.
Helen. My lord Pandarus,
Pan. What says my sweet queen ?-my very very sweet queen?
Par. What exploit's in hand? where sups he to-night? Helen. Nay, but my lord,
Pan. What says my sweet queen ?-My cousin will fall out with you. You must not know where he sups.
in the third of these significations it occurs in All for Money, a tragedy, by T. Lupton, 1578: « Satan. Upon these chearful words I needs must dance a fitte."
Steevens. 5 And my lord he deserves you, ] Here I think the speech of Pandarus should begin, and the rest of it should be added to that of Helen, but I have followed the copies. Fohnson.
Mr. Rowe had disposed these speeches in this manner. Han. mer annexes the words, " And to make a sweet lady” &c. to the preceding speech of Pandarus, and in the rest follows Rowe.
Malone. 6 You must not know where he sups. These words are in the quarto given to Helen, and the editor of the folio did not perceive the error. In like manner, in Act II, sc. i, p. 59, four speeches belonging to different persons are all in the quarto assigned to: Ajax, “ Cobloaf! He would pun thee,” &c. and in the last sceneof the same Act, words that evidently belong to Nestor are given by djax, (see p. 84, n. 9,] both in the quarto and folio. I buve
Par. I 'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.
not therefore hesitated to add the words, “ You must not know where he sups," to the speech of Pandarus. Mr. Steevens proposes to assign the next speech, “ I'll lay my life,” &c. to Helen instead of Paris. This arrangement appeared to me so plausible, that I once regulated the text accordingly. But it is observable that through the whole of the dialogue Helen steadily perseveres in soliciting Pandarus to sing: “ My lord Pandarus," –“ Nay, but my lord," --&c. I do not therefore believe that Shakspeare intended she should join in the present inquiry. Mr. M. Mason's objection also to such an arrangement is very weighty. “ Pandarus (he observes) in his next speech but one, clearly addresses Paris, and in thai speech he calls Cressida his disposer." In what sense, however, Paris can call Cressida his disposer, I am altogether ignorant. Mr. M. Mason supposes that “ Paris means to call Cres. sida his governor or director, as it appears, from what Helen says afterwards, that they had been good friends."
Perhaps Shakspeare wrote-despiser. What Pandarus says afterwards, that “ Paris and Cressida are twain," supports this conjecture
I do not believe that deposer (a reading suggested below was our author's word; for Cressida had not deposed Helen in the affections of Troilus. A speech in a former scene, in which Pandarus says, Helen loves Troilus more than Paris, (which is insisted on by an anonymous Remarker) (Mr. Ritson proves no. thing. Had he said that Troilus once loved Helen better than Cressida, and afterwards preferred Cressida to her, the observation might deserve some attention.
The words,-I'll lay my life-are omitted in the folio. The words - You must not know where he sups,-I find Sir Thomas Hanmer had assigned to Pandarus. Malone.
I believe, with Sir Thomas Hanmer, that-You must not know where he sups, should be added to the speech of Pandarus; and that the following one of Paris should be given to Helen. That Cressida wanted to separate Paris from Helen, or that the beauty of Cressida had any power over Paris, are circumstances not evident from the play. The one is the opinion of Dr. Warburton, the other a conjecture of Mr. Heath's. By giving, however, this line, I'll lay my life with my disposer Cressida, to Helen, and by changing the word disposer into deposer, some meaning may be ob. tained. She addresses herself, I suppose, to Pandarus, and, by her deposer, means-she who thinks her beauty (or whose beauty you suppose) to be superior to mine. But the passage in question (as Arthur says of himself in King John) is “ not worth the coil that is made for it.”
The word-disposer, however, occurs in The Epistle Dedicatorie to Chapnian s Homer:
“Nor let her poore disposer (learning) lie
“Still bed-rid.” Steevens. The dialogue should perhaps be regulated thus:
Pan. No, no, no such matter, you are wide ;? come, your disposer is sick.
Par. Well, I'll make excuse.
Pan. Ay, good my lord. Why should you say—Cressida ? no, your poor disposer's sick.
Par. I spy. 8
Pan. You spy! what do you spy?--Come, give me an instrument.-Now, sweet queen.
Helen. Why, this is kindly done.
Pan. My niece is horribly in love with a thing you have, sweet queen. o
Helen. She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.
Pan. He! no, she 'll none of him; they two are twain.
Helen. Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.9
Pan. Come, come, I'll hear no more of this; I'll sing you a song now.
Helen. Ay, ay, pr’ythee now. By my troth, sweet lord,' thou hast a fine forehead.2
“ Par. Where sups he to-night?
“ Helen I'll lay my life, with my deposer Cressida.” She calls Cressida her deposer, because she had deposed her in the affections of Troilus, whom Pandarus, in a preceding scene, is ready to swear she loved more than Paris. Ritson.
1 you are wide;] i.e. wide of your mark; a common exclamation when an archer missed his aim. So, in Spenser's State of Ireland: “ Surely he shoots wide on the bow-hand, and very far from the mark.” Sicevens.
8 Par. I spy. This is the usual exclamation at a childish game called Hie, spy, hie. Steevens.
9 Falling in, after falling out, &c.] i.e. the reconciliation and wanton dalliance of two lovers after a quarrel, may produce a child, and so make three of two. Tollet
1- sweet lord,] In the quarto--sweet lad. Fohnson. 2 a fine forehead. 7 Perhaps, considering the character of Pandarus, Helen means that he has a forehead illuminated by eruptions. To these Falstaff has already given the splendid names of-brooches, pearls, and ouches. See notes on King Henry IV, Part II, Vol. IX, p. 61, n. 4. Steevens.
Pan. Ay, you may, you may
Helen. Let thy song be love: this love will undo us all. 0, Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!
Pan. Love! ay, that it shall, i' faith.
For, oh, love's bow
Not that it wounds,
Yet that which seems the wound to kill,
So dying love lives still:6
Oh! oh! groans out for ha! ha! ha!
3 The shaft confounds --] To confound, it has already been observed, formerly meant to destroy. Malone.
4- that it wounds] i. e. that which it wounds. Musgrave.
Both Malone and Musgrave bave mistaken the sense of this passage. Pandarus means to say, that “the shaft confounds," not because the wounds it gives are severe, but because “it tickles still the sore.”
To confound does not signify here to destroy, but to annoy or per. plex; and that it wounds does not mean that which it wounds, but in that it wounds, or because it wounds. M. Mason. 5 These lovers cry-Oh! Oh! they die!
Yet that which seems the wound to kill,
So dying love lives still:] So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
« For I have heard, it (love) is a life in death,
“ That laughs and weeps, and all but in a breath!" Malone, The wound to kill may mean the wound that seems mortal.
Fohnson. The wound to kill is the killing wound. M. Mason.
A passage in Massinger's Fatal Dowry may prove the aptest. comment on the third line of this despicable ditty:
“ Beaumelle. [Within.) Ha! ha! ha!