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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's -In witness whereof the parties interchangeably Come in, come in ; I'll go get a fire.
[Exit PANDARUS. Cres. Will you walk in, my lord ?
Tro. O Cressida, how often have I wished me thus ?
Cres. Wished, my lord ?—The gods grant!-0
In Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide, L. IV. 410, is the following stanza, from which Shakspeare may have caught a glimpse of meaning, though he has not very clearly expressed it. Pandarus is the speaker :
“ What? God forbid, alway that eche plesaunce
6 In o thing were, and in non othir wight;
“ If this be godely, she is glad and light,
“ Eche for his vertue holdin is full dere,
“ Both heroner and faucon for rivere.” Again, in Fenton's Tragical Discourses, bl. 1. 4to. 1567:
how is that possible to make a froward kite a forward hawke to the ryver ?”. P. 159, b.
Mr. M. Mason observes, that the meaning of this difficult passage is, “I will back the falcon against the tiercel, I will wager that the falcon is equal to the tiercel.” STEEVENS.
the parties interchangeably-] have set their hands and seals. So afterwards : “Go to, a bargain made: seal it, seal it.” Shakspeare appears to have had here an idea in his thoughts that he has often expressed. So, in Measure for Measure :
“ But my kisses bring again,
“ Seals of love, but seald in vain." Again, in his Venus and Adonis :
“ Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,
Tro. What should they grant? what makes this pretty abruption? What too curious dreg espies my sweet lady in the fountain of our love?
CREs. More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.
Tro. Fears make devils cherubins; they never see truly
CRES. Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds safer footing than blind reason stumbling without fear: To fear the worst, oft cures the worst.
Tro. O, let my lady apprehend no fear: in all Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.
CREs. Nor nothing monstrous neither?
Tro. Nothing, but our undertakings; when we vow to weep seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers;? thinking it harder for our mistress to devise imposition enough, than for us to undergo any difficulty imposed. This is the monstruosity in love, lady,—that the will is infinite, and the execution confined ; that the desire is boundless, and the act a slave to limit.
if my fears have eyes.] The old copies have—tears. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
no fear: in all Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.] From this passage, however, a Fear appears to have been a personage in other pageants; or perhaps in our ancient moralities. To this circumstance Aspatia alludes in The Maid's Tragedy :
and then a Fear: “ Do that Fear bravely, wench." See also Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. sc. ii, STEEVENS.
weep seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers;] Here we have, not a Trojan prince talking to his mistress, but Orlando Furioso vowing that he will endure every calamity that can be imagined; boasting that he will achieve more than ever knight performed. MALONE.
Cres. They say, all lovers swear more performance than they are able, and yet reserve an ability that they never perform ; vowing more than the perfection of ten, and discharging less than the tenth part of one. They that have the voice of lions, and the act of hares, are they not monsters?
TRO. Are there such ? such are not we: Praise us as we are tasted, allow us as we prove; our head shall go bare, till merit crown it:* no perfection in reversion shall have a praise in present: we will not name desert, before his birth; and, being born, his addition shall be humble.9 Few words to fair faith : Troilus shall be such to Cressid, as what envy can say worst, shall be a mock for his truth;' and what truth can speak truest, not truer than Troilus.
CREs. Will you walk in, my lord ?
Pan. What, blushing still ? have you not done talking yet?
our head shall go bare, till merit crown it :) I cannot forbear to observe, that the quarto reads thus : Our head shall go bare, till merit louer part no affection, in reversion, &c. Had there been no other copy, how could this have been corrected? The true reading is in the folio. Johnson.
his addition shall be humble.] We will give him no high or pompous titles. JOHNSON.
Addition is still the term used by conveyancers in describing the quality and condition of the parties to deeds, &c. REED.
what envy can say worst, shall be a mock for his truth ;]. i. e. shall be only a mock for his truth. Even malice (for such is the meaning of the word envy) shall not be able to impeach his truth, or attack him in any other way, except by ridiculing him for his constancy. See p. 64, n. 2. MALONE.
CREs. Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to you. Pan. I thank
lord get a boy of you, you'll give him me: Be true to my lord: if he flinch, chide me for it.
Tro. You know now your hostages; your uncle's word, and my firm faith.
Pan. Nay, I'll give my word for her too; our kindred, though they be long ere they are wooed, they are constant, being won: they are burs, I can tell you ; they'll stick where they are thrown.2 CREs. Boldness comes to me now, and brings me
heart: Prince Troilus, I have lov'd you night and day For many weary months.
Tro. Why was my Cressid then so hard to win? CRES. Hard to seem won; but I was won, my
lord, With the first glance that ever-Pardon me;If I confess much, you will play the tyrant. I love you now; but not, till now, so much But I might master it :-in faith, I lie; My thoughts were like unbridled children, grown Too headstrong for their mother: See, we fools! Why have I blabb'd? who shall be true to us, When we are so unsecret to ourselves? But, though I lov'd you well, I woo'd you not; And yet, good faith, I wish'd myself a man ; Or that we women had men's privilege Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue;
i — they'll stick where they are thrown.] This allusion has already occurred in Measure for Measure: « Nay, friar, I am a kind of bur, I shall stick.”
For, in this rapture, I shall surely speak
TRO. And shall, albeit sweet musick issues thence.
Cres. My lord, I do beseech you, pardon me;
Tro. Your leave, sweet Cressid ?
Pan. Leave! an you take leave till to-morrow morning,
Cres. Pray you, content you.
What offends you, lady?
You cannot shun Yourself.
CRES. Let me go and try :*
• Cunning in dumbness,] The quarto and folio read-Coming in dumbness. The emendation was made by Mr. Pope.
MALONE. • Let me go and try:] This verse being imperfect, I suppose our author to have originally written:
Let me go in, my lord, and try. STEEVENS. I have a kind of self resides with you ;] So, in our author's 123d Sonnet:
for I, being pent in thee, “ Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.” MALONE. A similar thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra : “ That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me, &c.