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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,
Hect. O, 'tis fair play.
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 History, ch. 16: “The lion alone of all wild beasts is gentle to those that humble themselves before him, and will not touch any sucli upon their submission, but spareth what creature so ever lietla prostrate before him." Steevens.
Hence Spenser's Una, attended by a lion. Fairy Queen, I, iii, 7. See also Sir Perceval's lion in Morte Arthur, B. XIV, c. vi.
T. Warton, 8 When many times the captive 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 Andromache's speech in the 24th Iliad:
«Ου γαρ μέιλικος έσκε πατήρ τεός εν δαι λυγρή. ?
Thy father, boy, bore never into fight
And when we have our armours buckled on,
Hector, then 'tis wars.9
Tro. Who should withhold me?
Re-enter CASSANDRA, with PRIAM.
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.
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 brauely mounted on a stately steede,
“ With truncheon in her hand, -" Steevens. 2 with recourse of tears;] i e. tears that continue to course one another down the face. Warburton. So, in As you Like it :
the big round tears or Cours'd one another down his innocent nosen " Sterrens
Therefore, come back.
Æneas is a-field;
But thou shalt not go.
Cas. 0 Priam, yield not to him.
Do not, dear father.
Tro. This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl
O farewel, dear Hector.4
Tro. Away!-Away -
-Hector, I take
leave : Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive. [Exit.
Hect. You are amaz’d, my liege, at her exclaim:
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 sorrow of Cassandra were copied by our author from Lydgate.
Steevene. shrills her dolours -] 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. VOL. XII,
Go in, and cheer the town: we'll forth, and fight;
[Exeunt severally Pri. and HECT. Alarums. Tro. They are at it; hark! Proud Diomed; believe, I come to lose my arm, or win my
sleeve.? As TROILUS is going out, enter, from the other side,
Pan. A whoreson ptisick, 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 ihree 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 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
“ 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.
cursed, 8 I cannot tell what to think on 't. - What says she there? Tro. Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart;
[Tearing the letter.. The effect doth operate another way. Go, wind, to wind, there turn and change together.My love with words and errors still she feeds; But edifies another with her deeds. [Exeunt severally.
Between Troy and the Grecian. Camp.
Alarums: Excursions. Enter THERSITES.
Ther. Now they are clapper-clawing one another; I 'll go look on. That dissembling abominable varlet, Diomed, has got that same scurvy doting foolish young knave's sleeve of Troy there, in his helm: I would fain see them meet; that that same young Trojan ass, that loves the whore there, might send that Greekish whoremasterly villain, with the sleeve, back to the dissembling luxurious drab, on a sleeveless errand. O'the other side, The policy of those crafty swearing rascals,' that stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese, Nestor; and that same dogfox, Ulysses,-is not proved worth a blackberry :- They set me up, in policy, that mongrel cur, Ajax, against that dog of as bad a kind, Achilles: and now is the cur Ajax prouder than the cur Achilles, and will not arm to-day; whereupon the Grecians begin to proclaim bar
cursed,] i. e. under the influence of a malediction, such as mischievous beings have been supposed to pronounce upon those who had offended them. Steevens.
9 O'the other side, The policy of those crafty swearing rascals, &c.] But in what sense are Nestor and Ulysses accused of being swearing rascals ? What, or to whom, did they swear? I am positive that sneering is the true reading. They had collogued with Ajax, and trimmed him up with insincere praises, only in order to have stirred Achilles's emulation. In this, they were the true sneerers; betraying the first, to gain their ends on the latter by that artifice. Theobald.
Sneering was applicable to the characters of Nestor and Ulysses, and to their conduct in this play; but swearing was not.