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TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.
THIS tragedy was written about the year 1602, and Shakspeare is supposed to have taken the greatest part of its materials from the Troye Boke of Lydgate, an author who derived many of his particulars from a History of Troy, in Latin, by Guido of Columpna. Chaucer had previously celebrated the loves of Troilus and Cressida, in a translation from a Latin poem of one Lollius, an old Lombard author. The characters in this play (which was not originally divided into acts) are strikingly assimilated to the portraits which history has preserved of them---the aged loquacity of Nestor---the insinuating eloquence of Ulysses---the boasting confidence of Ajax---the sullen self-importance of Achilles---the conscious dignity of Agamemnon, and the sneaking insignificance of the cuckold Menelaus, are excellently displayed in the development of the piece; whilst the scurrile malignity of Thersites most humorously and ingeniously advances its interest throughout. The mode of Hector's death is, however, at variance with historieal record, and was probably accompanied with such baseness on the part of Achilles, to perfect the amiable attributes in which the poet chose to invest the character of his Trojan opponent. Troilus, the hero of the play, has little to recommend him beyond personal intrepidity, and the sincerity of a youthful attachment---some authors rank him among the elder of Priam's sons: others (and among them Virgil, who describes in the 1st book of the Eneid, line 474, the manner of his death by the hand of Achilles) call him the youngest. Anachronisms are of frequent occurrence in this play; such as Hector's citing Aristotle, and Ulysses alluding to the "bull-bearing Milo," who did not live till many years after the Trojan war. It must, nevertheless, be remembered, that the greater part of Shakspeare's library consisted of ancient romances; and nothing could be less correct than their computation of dates. The language of the piece is greatly tinctured with the peculiarities of the age in which he lived; and although Dr. Johnson considers it more correctly written than many of its companions, he exempts it from any extent of view or elevation of fancy. "The vicious characters (says that discriminating critic) sometimes disgust, but cannot corrupt; for both Cressida and Pandarus are detested and condemned. The comic characters seem to have been the favourites of the writer: they are of the superficial kind, and exhibit more of manners than nature; but they are copiously filled, and powerfully impressed."
IN Troy there lies the scene. From isles of [Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city,
Dardan, and Tymbria, Ilias, Chetas, Trojan,
'Ginning in the middle; starting thence away
Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are;
SCENE I.-Troy.-Before PRIAM's Palace.
Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness vafiant ;
But I am weaker than a woman's tear,
Pan. Well, I have told you enough of this; for my part, I'll not meddle nor make no further. He that will have a cake out of the wheat must tarry the grinding.
Tro. Have I not tarried ?
Pan. Because she is kin to me, therefore, she's not so fair as Helen: an she were not kin to me, she would be as fair on Friday, as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not, an she were a black-a-moor; 'tis all one to me. Tro. Say I, she is not fair?
Pan. I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay behind her father; let her to the Greeks; and so I'll tell her the next time I see her for my part, I'll meddle nor make no more in the matter.
Tro. Sweet Pandarus,
Pan. Pray you, speak no more to me; I will
Pan. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry leave all as I found it, and there an end. the bolting.
Tro. Have I not tarried?
Pan. Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.
Tro. Still have I tarried.
Pan. Ay, to the leavening; but here's yet, in the word, hereafter, the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the baking: nay, you must stay the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your lips.
Tro. Patience herself, (what goddess she be)
Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do
Pan. Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever 1 saw her look, or any woman else.
Tro. I was about to tell thee,-When my heart,
As wedged with a sigh, wonld rive ◊ in twain, Lest Hector or my father should perceive me, I have (as when the sun doth light a storm,) Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile:
But sorrow that is couch'd in seeming glad.
Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness. Pan. An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's, (well, go to,) there were no more comparison between the women,-But, for my part, she is my kinswoman: I would not, as they term it, praise her,-But I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit; but
Tro. O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus,When I do tell thee, there my hopes lie drown'd, Reply not in how many fathoms deep They lie indrench'd. I tell thee, I anı mad In Cressid's love: Thou answer'st, she is fair; Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice ; Handlest in thy discourse, oh! that her hand, In whose comparison all whites are ink, Writing their own reproach; To whose soft
The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense Hard as the palm of ploughmen! This thou tell'st me,
As true thou tell'st me, when I say-I love her;
Pan. I speak no more than truth.
[Exit PANDARUS. An Alarum. Tro. Peace, you ungracious clamours! peace, rude sounds!
Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair,
Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.
Alarum. Enter ENEAS.
Ene. How now, prince Troilus ? wherefore not afield?
Tro. Because not there. This woman's answer sorts *
For womanish it is to be from thence.
Ene. Troilus, by Menelaus.
Tro. Let Paris bleed: 'tis but a sear to
Tro. Better at home, if would I might, were may.[ther? But to the sport abroad ;-Are you bound thi Ane. In all swift haste.
Tro. Come, go we then together. [Exeunt.
SCENE 11.-The same.-A Street.
Enter CRESSIDA and ALEXANDER. Cres. Who were those went by ? Alex. Queen Hecuba, and Helen. Cres. And whither go they? Aler. Up to the eastern tower, Whose height commands as subject all the vale To see the battle. Hector, whose patience Is as a virtue fix'd, to-day was mov'd: He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer; And, like as there were husbandry in war, Before the sun rose he was harness'd light, And to the field goes he; where every flower Did as a prophet weep what it foresaw In Hector's wrath.
Cres. What was his cause of anger!
Alex. The noise goes, this: There is among the Greeks
A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
Cres. Good; And what of him?
Alex. They say he is a very man per se,' And stands alone.
Cres. So do all men; unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.
Alex. This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts of their particular additions: + he is as valiant as the lion churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant a mar into whom nature hath so crouded humours, tha bis valour is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with discretion: there is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of; nor any man an attaint, but he carries some stain of it he is melancholy without cause, and merry against the hair: He hath the joints of every thing; but every thing so out of joint, that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use: or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight. Cres. But how should this man, that makes me smile, make Hector angry?
Alex. They say, he yesterday coped Hector in the battle, and struck him dowu; the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and waking.
Cres. Who comes here?
Alex. Madam, your uncle Pandarus. Cres. Hector's a gallant man. Alex. As may be in the world, lady. Pan. What's that? what's that? Cres. Good morrow, uncle Pandarus. Pan. Good morrow, cousin Cressid: What do you talk of?-Good morrow, Alexander.-How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium ? Cres. This morning, uncle.
Pan. What were you talking of when I came ? Was Hector armed, and gone, ere ye came, to Ilium? Helen was not up, was she?
Cres. Hector was gone; but Helen was not up. Pan. E'en so; Hector was stirring early. Cres. That were we talking of, and of his
Pan. Was he angry? Cres. So he says here.
Pan. True, he was so; I know the cause too; he'll lay about him to-day, I can tell them that: and there is Troilus will not come far behind him; let them take heed of Troilus; I can teil them that too.
Cres. What, is he angry too?
Pan. Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.
Cres. O Jupiter! there's no comparison. Pan. What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a man if you see him?
Cres. Ay; if ever I saw him before, and knew him.
Pan. Well, I say, Troilus is Troilus.
he is not Hector.
Cres. No, but brown.
Pan. 'Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.
Cres. To say the truth, true and not true.
Cres. Then, Troilus should have too much : if she praised him above, his complexion is higher than his; he having colour enough, and the other higher, is too flaming a praise for a good complexion. I had as lief Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a copper nose.
Pan. I swear to you, I think Helen loves him better than Paris.
Cres. Then she's a merry Greek, indeed. Pan. Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him the other day into a compassed window, ⚫ -and, you know, he has not past three or four bairs on his chin.
Cres. Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring bis particulars therein to a total.
Pan. Why, he is very young and yet will he, within three pound, lift as much as his brother Hector.
Cres. Is he so young a man, and so old a lifter? +
Pan. But, to prove to you that Helen loves him;-she, came, and puts me her white band to his cloven chin,
Cres. Juno have mercy !-How came it clo
Pan. Why, you know, 'tis dimpled: I think, his smiling becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia.
Cres. Oh! he smiles valiantly.
Pan. Does he not?
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 addle egg.
Cres. If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i'the shell.
Pan. I cannot choose but laugh, to think how she tickled his chiu ;-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. t
Pan. And Cassandra laughed.
Cres. But there was a more temperate fire under the pot of her eyes ;-Did her eyes ruu 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.
Bow window. ↑ Thief. 1 A proverbial saying
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.
Cres. Can Helenus fight, uncle? Pan Helenus? no;-yes, he'll fight indiffer ent well:-1 marvel, where Troilus is 1--Hark !— do you not hear the people cry, Troilus ?-Helenus is a priest.
Cres. What sneaking fellow comes yonder ? TROILUS passes over.
Pan. That's true; make no question of that. One and fifty hairs, quoth he, and one white: That white hair 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.'Tis But, there was such laughing! and Helen so blushed, and Paris so chafed, and all the rest so laughed, that it passed.*
Pan. Where? yonder? that's Deiphobus: Troilus! there's a man, niece!-Hem!Brave Troilus! the prince of chivalry! Cres. Peace, for shame, peace!
Pan. Mark him; note him;-0 brave Troi
Cres. So let it now; for it has been a great lus ?-look well upon him, niece; look you, how while going by.
Pan. Well, cousin, I told you a thing day; think on't.
Cres. So I do.
his sword is bloodied, and his helm more yester-hack'd than Hecto: 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.
Pan. I'll be sworn, 'tis true; he will weep you, an 'twere a man born in April. Cres. And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'were 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.
admirable man! Paris ?-Paris is dirt to him; and I warrant, Helen, to change, would give an eye to boot.
Forces pass over the stage.
Cres. Here come more.
Pan. Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran! porridge after meat! I could live and die i'the eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, neʼer look the eagles are gone; crows and daws, crows and daws! 1 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.
Pun. 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,-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 took the blow; unless it sweh hiding, and then it is past watching. Pan. You are such another !
Pan. Is a not? It does a man's heart good-past Look you what hacks are on his helmet? look you yonder, do you see? 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: look ye yonder, niece; Is't not a gallaut 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 1 could see Troilus now!-you shall see Troilus
Enter TROILUS' Boy. Boy. Sir, my lord would instantly speak with
Pan. I'll be with you, niece, by and by.
Pan. Ay, a token from Troilus.
He offers in another's enterprize :
• Helmet. + An ingredient in all ancient pastry. A metaphor from the art of defence.