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Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but suited
In like conditions as our argument ;
To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
Leaps o’er 3 the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
'Ginning i' the middle : starting i hence away,
To what may be digested in a play.
Like, or find fault,-do, as your pleasures are ;
Now good, or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.

the vaunt-] i. e, the avaunt, what went before.


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Deiphobus, TROJANS.
Margarelon, a bastard Son of Priam.

Helen, wife to Menelaus.
Andromache, wife to Hektor.
Cassandra, daughter to Priam, c prophetess.
Cressida, daughter to Calchas.
Alexander, Creside's servant.
Boy, page to Troilus.
Trojan and Greek Soldiers, with other attendants.

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SCENE, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.



Priam's palace.

Enter Pandarus and Troilus.

ALL here my varlet, I'll unarm again :
Why should I war without the walls of Troy,

That find such cruel battle here within ?
Each Trojan, that is master of his heart,
Let him to field; Troilus, alas ! hath none.



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The story was originally written by Lollius, an old Lombard author, and since by Chaucer. Pope.

Mr. Pope (after Dryden) informs us, that the story of Troilus and Crefda was originally the work of one Lollius, á Lombard. Dryden goes yet further; declares it to have been written in Latin verse, and that Chaucer translated it. Lollius was a historiographer of Urbino in Italy. Shakespeare received the greatest part of his materials for the structure of this play from the Troye Beke of Lydgate. Lydgate was not much more than a translator of Guido of Columpna, who was of Mesina in Sicily, and wrote his Hijtory of Troy in Latin, after Dictys Cretenfis, 1278. Guido's work was published at Cologne in 1477, again in 1480, at Strasburgh 1486, and ibidem 1489. This work appears to have been translated by Raoul le Feure, at Cologne, into French, from whom Caxton rendered it into English in 1471, under the title of his Recuzel, &c. so that there must have been yet some earlier edition of Guido's performance than I have hitherto seen or heard of, unless his first translator had recourse to a manuscript.

Guido of Columpna is referred to as an authority by our own chronicler Grafton. Chaucer had made the loves of Troilus and Cressida famous, which very probably might have been Shakespeare's inducement to try their fate on the stage. — Lydgate's Troye Boke was printed by Pynson, 1513. STEEVENS.


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Pan. Will this geer ne'er be mended?
Troi. The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their

Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant

. But I am weaker than a woman's tear, Tamer than Neep, 2 fonder than ignorance ; Less valiant than the virgin in the night, 3 And skill-less as unpractis'd infancy.

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 needs tarry the grinding.

Trci. Have I not tarried?

Pan. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the boulting

Troi. Have I not tarried ?

Pan. Ay, the boulting; but you must tarry the leavening.

Troilus and Cressida.] Before this play of Troilus and Creffida, printed in 1609, is a bookseller's preface, shewing that first impression to have been before the play had been acted, and that it was published without Shakespeare's knowledge, from a copy that had fallen into the bookseller's hands. Mr. Dryden thinks this one of the first of our author's plays : but, on the contrary, it may be judged from the fore-mentioned preface that it was one of his last; and the great number of observations, both moral and politic (with which this piece is crowded more than any other of his) seems to confirm my opinion. Pope.

We may rather learn from this preface, that the original proprietcrs of Shakespeare's plays thought it their interest to keep them unprinted. The author of it adds, at the con

lufion, these words : Thank fortune for the 'scape it hath “ made among you, fince, by the grand possessors will, I be“ lieve you Mould rather have prayed for them, than have “ been prayed,” &c. By the grand polefors, I suppose, were meant, Herning and Condell. STEEVENS. fonder than ignorance ;] Fonder, for more childish.

WARBURTON. 3 And kill-lefs, &c.) Mr. Dryden, in his alteration of this play, has taken this speech as it stands, except that he has chaliged fill-lejs to artifs, not for the better, because skill-lefs refers to ikill and hilful. JOHNSON,

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Troi. 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.

Troi. Patience herself, what goddess ere she be,
Doth lefler blench at sufferance than I do.
At Priam's royal table do I sit;
And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts,
So, traitor!-when she comes! When is the thence?

Pan. Well, she look'd yesternight fairer than ever
I saw her look, or any woman else.

Troi. I was about to tell thee, when my heart,
As wedged with a figh, would rive in twain,
Left Hector or my father should perceive me,
I have (as when the sun doth light a storm)
Buried this figh in wrinkle of a sinile :
But forrow, that is couch'd in feeming gladness,
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 ny pari, Mhe is. my
kinswoman; I would not, as they term it, praile her,
but I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday,
as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's
wit; but

Troi. 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 am mad
In Cressid's love. Thou answer'st, she is fair ;
Pour'it in the open ulcer of my heart
Her eyes, her hair; her cheek, her gait; her voice
Handlest in thy discourse :-- that her hand!
In whose comparison all whites are ink
Writing their own reproach; to whofe foft seizure


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