Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Cres. O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.

Pan. Why, go to then-But to prove to you that Helen loves Troilus,

Cres. Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll prove it so.

Pan. Troilus? why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an adule egg.

Cres. If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i' the shell.

Pun. I cannot choose but laugh, to think how she tickled his chin;-Indeed, she has a marvellous white hand, I must needs confess.

Cres. Without the rack.

Pan. And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.

Cres. Alas, poor chin! many a wart is richer.

Pan. But, there was such laughing;-Queen Hecuba laughed, that her eyes ran o'er.

Cres. With mill-stones.5

Pan. And Cassandra laughed.

Cres. But there was a more temperate fire under the pot of her eyes;-Did her eyes run o'er too? Pan. And Hector laughed.

Cres. At what was all this laughing?

Pan. Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus' chin.

Cres. An't had been a green hair, I should have laughed too.

Pan. They laughed not so much at the hair, as at his pretty answer.

Cres. What was his answer?

Pan. Quoth she, Here's but one and fifty hairs on your chin, and one of them is white.

Cres. This is her question.

Pan. That's true; make no question of that. One and fifty hairs, quoth he, and one white: That white

[blocks in formation]

Cres. With mill-stones ] So, in King Richard III:
"Your eyes drop mill-stones, when fools' eyes drop tears."

6 One and fifty hairs,] [Old copies-Two and fifty ] I have ventured to substitute-One and fifty, I think with some certainty. How else can the number make out Priam and his fifty sons? Theobald.

ħair is my father, and all the rest are his sons. Jupiter! quoth she, which of these hairs is Paris, my husband? The forked one, quoth he; pluck it out, and give it him. But, there was such laughing! and Helen so blushed, and Paris so`chafed, and all the rest so laughed, that it passed.7

Cres. So let it now; for it has been a great while going by.

Pan. Well, cousin, I told you a thing yesterday; think on 't.

Cres. So I do.

Pan. I'll be sworn, 'tis true; he will weep you, an 'twere a man born in April.8

Cres. And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettle against May. [A Retreat sounded. Pan. Hark, they are coming from the field: Shall we stand up here, and see them, as they pass toward Ilium? good niece, do; sweet niece Cressida.

Cres. At your pleasure.

Pan. Here, here, here 's an excellent place; here we may see most bravely: I'll tell you them all by their names, as they pass by; but mark Troilus above the rest. ENEAS passes over the Stage.

Cres. Speak not so loud.

Pan. That's Eneas; Is not that a brave man? he's one of the flowers of Troy, I can tell you; But mark Troilus; you shall see anon.

Cres. Who's that?

ANTENOR passes over.

Pan. That's Antenor; he has a shrewd wit, I can

7 that it passed.] i. e. that it went beyond bounds. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: "Why this passes, master Ford.” Cressida plays on the word, as used by Panlarus, by employing it herself in its common acceptation. Steevens.

8 — an 'twere a man born in April.] i. e. as if 'twere, &c. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream: "I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale."

The foregoing thought occurs also in Antony and Cleopatra: "The April's in her eyes: it is love's spring, "And these the showers to bring it on."

? That's Antenor; he has a shrewd wit,]

"Anthenor was



'Copious in words, and one that much time spent

tell you; and he's a man good enough: he's one o' the soundest judgments in Troy, whosoever, and a proper man of person:-When comes Troilus?—I'll show you Troilus anon; if he see me, you shall see him nod at me. Cres. Will he give you the nod?

Pan. You shall see.

Cres. If he do, the rich shall have more.1

HECTOR passes over.

Pan. That's Hector, that, that, look you, that; There's a fellow!-Go thy way, Hector;-There's a brave man, niece. O brave Hector!-Look, how he looks! there's a countenance: Is 't not a brave man?

Cres. O, a brave man!

Pan. Is 'a not? It does a man's heart good-Look you what hacks are on his helmet? look you yonder, do you sce? look you there! There's no jesting: there's laying on; take 't off who will, as they say: there be hacks!

Cres. Be those with swords?

PARIS passes over.

Pan. Swords? any thing, he cares not: an the devil come to him, it's all one: By god's lid, it does one's heart good:-Yonder comes Paris, yonder comes Paris:

"To jest, when as he was in companie,
"So driely, that no man could it espie;
"And there with held his countenaunce so well,
"That every man received great content
"To heare him speake, and pretty jests to tell,
"When he was pleasant, and in merriment:
"For tho' that he most commonly was sad,
"Yet in his speech some jest he always had."

Lydgate, p. 105. Such, in the hands of a rude English poet, is the grave Antenor, to whose wisdom it was thought necessary that the art of Ulysses should be opposed:


"Et moveo Priamum, Priamoque Antenora junctum.”


the rich shall have more ] The allusion is to the word noddy, which, as now, did, in our author's time, and long before, signify a silly fellow, and may, by its etymology, signify likewise full of nods Cressid means, that a noddy shall have more nods. Of such remarks as these is a comment to consist! Johnson.

To give the nod, was, I believe, a term in the game at cards called Noddy This game is perpetually alluded to in the old comedies. See Vol. II, p. 148, n. 5. Steevens.

look ye yonder, niece; Is 't not a gallant man too, is 't not? Why, this is brave now.-Who said, he came hurt home to-day? he's not hurt: why, this will do Helen's heart good now. Ha! 'would I could see Troilus now!-you shall see Troilus anon.

Cres. Who's that?

HELENUS passes over.

Pan. That's Helenus,-I marvel, where Troilus is:That's Helenus;-I think he went not forth to-day:That's Helenus.

Cres. Can Helenus fight, uncle?

Pan. Helenus? no;-yes, he'll fight indifferent well: -I marvel, where Troilus is!-Hark; do you not hear the people cry, Troilus?—Helenus is a priest. Cres. What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

TROILUS passes over.

Pan. Where? yonder? that 's Deiphobus: 'Tis Troilus! there's a man, niece!-Hem!-Brave Troilus! the prince of chivalry!

Cres. Peace, for shame, peace!

Pan. Mark him; note him;-O brave Troilus!look well upon him, niece; look you, how his sword is bloodied, and his heim more hack'd than Hector's;3 And how he looks, and how he goes!-O admirable youth! he ne'er saw three and twenty. Go thy way Troilus, go thy way; had I a sister were a grace, or a daughter a goddess, he should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris?-Paris is dirt to him; and, I warrant, Helen, to change, would give an eye to boot.4

Forces pass over the Stage.

Cres. Here come more.

Pan. Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and

2 how his sword is bloodied,] So, Lydgate, describing Troilus, in a couplet that reminds us of Dryden, or Pope:

"He was so ferse they might him not withstand,
"When that he helde his blody sworde in hand.”

I always quote from the original poem, edit. 1555.



his helm more hack'd than Hector's;] So, in Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide, Book III, 640:

"His helme to hewin was in twenty places," &c. Steevens. 4- an eye to boot.] So, the quarto. The folio, with lessforce,-Give money to boot. Johnson.

bran! porridge after meat! I could live and die i' the eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, ne'er look; the eagles are gone; crows and daws, crows and daws! I had rather be such a man as Troilus, than Agamemnon and all Greece. Cres. There is among the Greeks, Achilles; a better man than Troilus.

Pan. Achilles? a drayman, a porter, a very camel. Cres. Well, well.

Pan. Well, well?-Why, have you any discretion? have you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man?

Cres. Ay, a minced man: and then to be baked with no date in the pye,5-for then the man's date is out. Pan. You are such a woman! one knows not at what ward you lie.

Cres. Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon my wit, to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend mine honesty; my mask, to defend my beauty; and you, to defend all these: and at all these wards I lie, at a thousand watches.

Pan. Say one of your watches.

Cres. Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of the chiefest of them too: if I cannot ward what I would not have hit, I can watch you for telling how I

5 -no date in the pye,] To account for the introduction of this quibble, it should be remembered that dates were an ingredient in ancient pastry of almost every kind. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

"They call for dates and quinces in the pastry." Again, in All's Well that Ends Well, Act I: ". - your date is better in your pye and porridge, than in your cheek." Steevens.


at what ward you lie.] A metaphor from the art of defence. So, Falstaff, in King Henry IV, P. I: "Thou know'st my old ward; here I lay;" &c. Steevens.

upon my wit, to defend my wiles;] So read both the copies: yet perhaps the author wrote:

Upon my wit to defend my will.

The terms wit and will were, in the language of that time, put often in opposition. Johnson.

So, in The Rape of Lucrece:

"What wit sets down, is blotted straight with will.”

Yet I think the old copy right.


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »