« AnteriorContinuar »
Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven:
Ulyss. May worthy Troilus? be half attach'd
Tro. Ay, Greek; and that shall be divulged well
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. i 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 man, that he has eaten his words. Johnson.
The image is not of the most delicate kind. “Her o'er-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 of 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;
“ 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 calza Ulysses. Johnson.
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.
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 Nepture. So also, Drayton :
“ And down the shower impetuously doth fall
- concupy.] A cant word, formed by our author from concu. piscence. Steevens.
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 Ga. waine, 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 hend; i. e. live within the walls of your castle. In Urry's Ghau.
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 !8
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. 9
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.
A burning clevil take them!] Alluding to the venereal dis. ease, formerly called the brenning or burning. M. Mason. So, in Isaiah, ii, 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,
Enter CASSANDRA. Cas.
Where is my brother Hector?
Cas. 0, it is true.
Ho! bid my trumpet sound!
Cas. The gods are deaf to hot and peevish2 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:
O thou bloody prison, « Fatal and ominous to noble peers !" Mr. Pope, and all the subsequent editors, read--will prove ominous to.day. Malone.
Do we gain any thing more than rough versification by restor. ing the article-the? The meaning of Andromache (without it) is- My dreams will to-day be fatally verified. Steevens.
dear 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 — 1 i. 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,
And rob in the behalf of charity.
Cas. It is the purpose, 4 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 :: 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 bad 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 doc. trine which Shakspeare bas 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:
where 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 law ful purpose, and the vow of which the end is wrong must not be regarded as cogent Fohnson.
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. dear man -] Valuable man. The modern editions read brave man. The repetition of the word is in our author's manner.
Johnson So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.” Steevens. Brave was substituted for dear by Mr. Pope. Malone.