« AnteriorContinuar »
I am to-day i'the vein of chivalry:
Tro. Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you,
me for it.
HECT. O, 'tis fair play.
Fool's play, by heaven, Hector.
6 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 such upon their submission, but spareth what creature so ever lieth 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. -. vi. T. WARTON.
7 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 γάρ μέιλικος έσκε πατηρ τεός εν δαι λυγρή.”
HECT. How now? how now?
For the love of all the gods,
HECT. Fye, savage, fye!
Hector, then 'tis wars. HECT. Troilus, I would not have you fight to-day.
TRO. Who should withhold me? Not fate, obedience, nor the hand of Mars Beckoning with fiery truncheon my retire; Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees, Their eyes o’ergalled with recourse of tears;' Nor you, my brother, with your true sword drawn,
• 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.
9 - 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 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
Oppos’d to hinder me, should stop my way,
Re-enter Cassandra, with Priam.
Cas. Lay hold upon him, Priam, hold him fast: He is thy crutch ; now if thou lose thy stay, Thou on him leaning, and all Troy on thee, Fall all together. PRI.
Come, Hector, come, go back:
Æneas is a-field l;
But thou shalt not go.
you do here forbid me, royal Priam. CAS. O Priam, yield not to him. AND.
Do not, dear father. HECT. Andromache, I am offended with you: Upon the love you bear me, get you in.
shame respect ;] i. e. disgrace the respect I owe you, by acting in opposition to your commands. STEEVENS.
Tro. This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl Makes all these bodements. CAS.
O farewell, dear Hector.s
Tro. Away !Away!
leave : Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive. [Exit.
HECT. You are amaz’d, my liege, at her exclaim: Go in, and cheer the town: we'll forth, and fight; Do deeds worth praise, and tell you
them at night. Pri. Farewell: the gods with safety stand about
thee! [Exeunt severally Priam and HECTOR.
3 O farewell, dear Hector.] The interposition and clamorous sorrow of Cassandra were copied by our author from Lydgate.
STEEVENS. - 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.
The editor of the folio, for destruction substituted distraction. The original reading appears to me far preferable. Malone.
Tro. They are at it; hark! Proud Diomed, be
lieve, I come to lose my arm, or win my
As Troilus is going out, enter, from the other side,
Pan. Do you hear, my lord ? do
• 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 three 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 scene 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:
« Pand. Why but hear you
“ Tro. Hence, broker lacquey! Ignomy and shame
“ 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
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. Malone,