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Helen. In love, i' faith, to the very tip of the nose.
Par. He eats nothing but doves, los e; and that breeds hot blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.
Pan. Is this the generation of love? hot blood, hot thoughts, and hot deeds? - Why, they are vipers : Is love a generation of vipers ?6 Sweet lord, who's a-field to-day??
Par. Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the gallantry of Troy: I would fain have armed to-day but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my brother Troilus went not?
Helen. He hangs the lip at something ;-you know all, lord Pandarus.
Pan. Not I, honey-sweet queen.-I long to hear how they sped to-day - You ’ll remember your brother's excuse?
Par. To a hair.
[A Retreat sounded. Par. They are come from field : let us to Priam's hall, To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you To help unarm our Hector: his stubborn buckles, With these your white enchanting fingers touch'd, Shall more obey, than to the edge of steel,
6- a generation of vipers?] Here is an apparent allusion to the wbimsical physiology of Shakspeare's age. Thus, says Tho. mas Lupton, in The Seventh Booke of Notable Thinges, 4to. bl. 1: " The female vyper doth open her mouth to receive ye generative &c. of the male vyper, which receyved, she doth byte off his head. This is the maner of the froward generating of apers. And, after that, the young vipers that springs of the same, do eate or knaw asunder their mother's belly, therby comming or bursting forth. And so they (being revengers of theyr father's injurye) do kyll theyr owne mother. You may see, they were a towardly kynde of people, that were called the generation of vipers.” St. Matthew, iii, 7, &c. Steevens.
7 Pan. Is this the generation of love? &c. Sweet lord, who's a-field to-day?] However Pan. may have got shuffled to the head of this speech, no more of it, I am confident, than the last five or six words belongs to that character. The rest is clearly Helen's.
Or force of Greekish sinews; you shall do more
Helen. 'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris:
[Exit Serr. Pan. Have you seen my cousin ?
Tro. No, Pandarus; I stalk about her door, Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks Staying for waftage. O), be thou my Charon, And give me swift transportance to those fields, Where I may wallow in the lily beds Propos'd for the deserver! O gentle Pandarus, From Cupid's shoulder pluck his painted wings, And fly with me to Cressid! Pan. Walk here i' the orchard, I 'll bring her straight.
[Exit PAN. Tro. I am giddy; expectation whirls me round. The imaginary relish is so sweet That it enchants my sense; What will it be, When that the watry palate tastes indeed Love's thrice-reputed nectar? death, I fear me; Swooning destruction; or some joy too fine, Too subtle-potent, tun'd too sharp in sweetness, For the capacity of my ruder powers:
above thought I love thee.) So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
“She's cunning past man's thought.” Steevens. 9 tun'd too sharp-] So the quarto, and more accurately than the folio, which has and too sharp. Fohnson.
The quarto has to instead of too. Malone.
I fear it much; and I do fear besides,
Re-enter PANDARUS. Pan. She's making her ready, she 'll come straight: you must be witty now. She does so blush, and fetches her wind so short, as if she were frayed with a sprite: 1 I'll fetch her. It is the prettiest villain :-she fetches her breath as short as a new-ta'en sparrow. [Exit Pan.
Tro. Even such a passion doth embrace my besom: My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse; And all my powers do their bestowing lose, Like vassalage at unawares encount'ring The eye of majesty.3
Enter PANDARUS and CRESSIDA. Pan. Come, come, what need you blush? shame's a baby.--Here she is now: swear the oaths now to her, that you have sworn to me. What, are you gone again? you must be watched ere you be made tame," must you? Come your ways, come your ways; an you draw backward, we 'll put you i'the fills.5 - Why do you not speak
i- frayed -] i. e. frighted. So, in Chapman's version of the 21st Iliad:
- all the massacres “ Left for the Greeks, could put on looks of no more over
throw “ Than now fray'd life.” Steevens. 2 Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom:) So, in The Mers chant of Venice:
"- rash-embraced despair.” Malone. 3 Like vassalage at unawares encountring
The eye of majesty.) Mr. Rowe seems to have imitated this passage in his Ambitious Stepmother, Act I:
“ Well may th’ignoble herd
Steevens. * 4— you must be watched ere you be made tame,] Alluding to the manner of taming hawks. So, in The Taming of the Shrew:
" to watch her as we watch these kites" Steevens. Hawks were tamed by being kept from sleep, and thus Pandarus means that Cressida should be tamed. Malone.
to her?-Come, draw this curtain, and let's see your picture.6 Alas the day, how loth you are to offend daylight! an 'twere dark, you'd ciose sooner. So, só; rub on, and kiss the mistress.? How now, a kiss in feefarm !8 build there, carpenter; the air is sweet.9 Nay,
5 - the fills. That is, in the shafts. Fill is a provincial word used in some counties for thills, the shafts of a cart or waggon. See Vol. IV, p. 338, n. 9.
The editor of the second folio, for fills, the reading of the first folio, substituted files, which has been adopted in all the modern editions. The quarto has filles, which is only the more ancient spelling of fills. The words “ draw backward” show that the original is the true reading Malone.
Sir T. Hanmer supports the reading of the second folio, by saying—put you in the files, “alludes to the custom of putting men suspected of cowardice [i. e. of drawing backward, in the middle places.” Thus, Homer, Iliad IV, 299:
" xaris d'ús pétrov Ő 20000EV,
""Oppari sxe édény tis evaluain To Aspin.” Steevens. The word files uues not mean the middle places, but the ranks. The common soldiers of an army are called the rank and file; and when the serjeants or corporals misbehave, it is usual to punish them by reducing them to the files, that is, to the rank of private men. To draw backward, is hereby to fall back, and has no reference to drawing in a carriage. M. Mason.
6 Come, draw this curtain, and let's see your picture. It should seem, from these words, that Cressida, like Olivia in Twelfth Night, was intended to come in veiled. Pandarus however had, as usual, a double meaning. Malone.
7 So, 80; rub on, and kiss the mistress.] The allusion is to bowl. ing. What we now call the jack, seems, in Shakspeare's time, to have been termed the mistress. A bowl that kisses the jack or mistress, is in the most advantageous situation. Rub on is a term at the same game. So, in No Wit like a Woman's, a comedy, by Middleton, 1657:
“ So, a fair riddance;
“ Mini. Since he hath hit the mistress so often in the foregame, we'll even play out the rubbers.
“ Sir Vaugh. Play out your rubbers in God's name; by Jesu I'll never bowl in your alley.” Malone.
An instance to the same effect was long ago suggested in a note on Cymbeline, Act II, sc.i. Steevens.
a kiss in fee-farm!) is a kiss of a duration that has no bounds; a fee-farm being a grant of lands in fee, that is, for ever, reserving a certain rent. Malone.
you shall fight your hearts out, ere I part you. The falcon as the tercel, for all the ducks i’ the river:1* go to, go to.
Tro. You have bereft me of all words, lady.
Pan. Words pay no debts, give her deeds: but she 'll bereave you of the deeds too, if she call your activity in question. What, billing again? Here 'sIn witness whereof the parties interchangeably2-Come in, come in; I'll go get a fire.
How much more poetically is the same idea expressed in Coriolanus, when the jargon of law was absent from our author's thoughts!
“ 0, a kiss,
“ Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!” Steevens. 9- build there, carpenter; the air is sweet.] So, in Macbeth:
16- does approve
“ Smells wooingly here.” Steevens. 1 The falcon as the tercel, for all the ducks i' the river :) Pandarus means, that he 'll match his niece against her lover for any bett. The tercel is the male hawk; by the falcon we generally understand the female. Theobald.
I think we should rather read at the tercel Tyrwhitt. Mr. M. Mason observes, that the meaning of this difficult pas. sage is, “I will back the falcon against the tiercel, I will wager that the falcon is equal to the tiercel.” Steevens.
* The explanation of M. Mason is ingenious; and did I place confidence in the text, I would concur with him in opinion; but, in passing through the hands of transcribers, proof readers, and printers, the current of Shakspeare, could not be expected to flow onward without being contaminated: In the present instance if an error exists, it may be chargeable to the carelessness of the corrector of the press, or to the ignorance of his assistant (generally the most useless apprentice), who, if a cockney, would have read the passage, did it stand thus in the original;-" The falcon has the tercel, for all the ducks i' the river:' exactly as it is given in the text:-. e. without aspirating the consonant h in has, it would probably pass the proof-reader, as: From this defect in the person whose duty it is to read the copy to the corrector, numerous errors have crept into many of the best works in the English language; thus we meet with, wether, for whether; wich, for which; arm, for harm; air, for hair; &c. and, as frequently as, for has. I would therefore read, and because I think it restores the true meaning:
“ The falcon has the tercel, for all the ducks i' the river." ---i. e. The falcon has caught the tercel;--the falcon has conquered: the falcon has won; &c. Am. Ed.