Page images
PDF
EPUB

of cookery.-In this speech I do not well understand what is meant by loving quails.

JOHNSON In old French, caille was synonimous to fille de joie. Thus in Rabelais translated—“Coated quails and laced mutton, waggishly singing."

MALONE. Line 70

spirits and fires !] This Thersites speaks upon the first sight of the distant lights.

JOHNSON Line 105. -he will spend his mouth, and promise, like Brabler the hound;] If a hound gives his mouth, and is not upon the scent of the game, he is by sportsmen called a babler or brabler. The proverb says, Brabling curs never want sore ears.

ANONYMOUS

ACT V. SCENE II.
Line 127. her cliff;] That is, her key. Clef, French.

JOHNSON. - 164. You fluw to great destruction;) Means, I think, your impetuosity is such as must necessarily expose you to imminent danger.

MALONE. Line 201. -keep this sleeve.] The custom of wearing a · lady's sleeve for a favour, is mentioned in Hall's Chronicle, fol. 12. .-" One ware on his head-piece his lady's sleeve, and another “ bare on his helme the glove of his deareling.”

Line 234. By all Diana's waiting-women yonder,] i. e. the stars which she points to.

WARBURTON. Line 257. Troilus, farewell!] The characters of Cressida and Pandarus are more immediately formed from Chaucer than from Lidgate; for though the latter mentions them both characteristically, he does not sufficiently dwell on the infamy of the latter to have furnished Shakspeare with many circumstances to be found in this tragedy. Lidgate, speaking of Cressida, says only,

“ She
gave

her heart and love to Diomede,
To shew what trust there is in woman kind;

“ For she of her new love no sooner sped,
“But Troilus was clean out of her mind,

As if she never had him never known or seen,
“ Wherein I cannot guess what she did mean.”

STEEVENS. Line 263. A proof of strength she could not publish more,] She could not publish a stronger proof.

JOHNSON. Line 275. That doth incert the attest of eyes and ears;] That turns the very testimony of seeing and hearing against themselves.

THEOBALD. Line 279. I cannot conjure, Trojan.] That is, I cannot raise spirits in the form of Cressida.

JOHNSON. Line 298. If there be rule in unity itself,] May mean, if there be certainty in unity, if it be a rule that one is one. Johns.

Line 301. Bi-fold authority! This is the reading of the quarto. The folio gives us,

By foul authority! There is madness in that disquisition in which a man reasons at once for and against himself upon authority which he knows not to be valid. The quarto is right.

JOHNSON. Line 301. where reason can revolt

Without perdition, and loss assume all reason

Without revolt;] The words loss and perdition are used in their common sense, but they mean the loss or perdition of reason.

JOHNSON. Line 315. --knot, five-finger-tied,] A knot tied by giving her hand to Diomed.

Johnson. Line 318. o'er-eaten faith,] Vows which she has already swallowed once over. We still say of a faithless man,' that he has eaten his words.

JOHNSON, Line 319. May worthy Troilus-] Can Troilus really feel on this occasion half of what he utters? A question suitable to the calm Ulysses.

JOHNSON. Line 349.

and wear a castle on thy head!] i. e. defend thy head with armour of more than common proof. STEEVENS.

ACT V. SCENE III. Line 366. My dreams will, sure, prove ominous to the day.] i. e. forbode ill to it, and shew that it will be a fatal day to Troy.

MALONE. The hint for this dream of Andromache is taken from Lydgate.

· STEEVENS. · · Line 389. It is the purpose,] The mad prophetess speaks here - The with all the coolness and judgment of a skilful casuist. essence of a lawful vow, is a lawful purpose, and the vow of which the end is wrong must not be regarded as cogent.”

JOHNSON. Line 395.

dear man- Valuable man. The modern editions read,

-brave man. The repetition of the word is in our author's manner. Johnson.

Line 408. 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 Line 431. —with recourse of tears;] i. e. tears that continue to course one another down the face. WARBURTON.

ACT V. SCENE IV. Line 515. —to proclaim barbarism,] To set up the authority of ignorance to declare that they will be governed by policy no longer.

JOHNSON. Line 528. Art thou of blood, and honour ?] This is an idea taken from the ancient books of romantic chivalry, as is the following one in the speech of Diomed: And am her knight by proof.

STEEVENS.

ACT V. SCENE V.

Line 547. bastard Margarelon—] The introduction of a bastard son of Priam, under the name of Margarelon, is one of the circumstances taken from the story book of The Three Destructions of Troy.

THEOBALD. Line 554. the dreadful Sagittary

Appals our numbers;] “ Beyonde the royalme of Amasonne came an auncyent kynge, wyse and dyscreete, “ named Epystrophus, and brought a M. knyghtes, and a mervayllouse beste that was called sagittayre, that behynde the

myddes was an horse, and to fore, a man: this beste was heery like an horse, and had his eyen rede as a cole, and shotte well " with a bowe: this beste made the Grekes sore aferde, and slewe

many of them with his bowe.” The Three Destructions of Troy, printed by Caxton.

THEOBALD. Line 562. scaled sculls-) Sculls are great numbers of fishes swimming together. The modern editors, not being acquainted with the term, changed it into shoals. STEEVENS. Scaled means here dispersed, put to flight.

MALONE. Line 565. the mower's swath :] The swath is the lane of grass cut down by the mower.

ACT V. SCENE VI.

Line 606. - you cogging Greeks;] This epithet has no particular propriety in this place, but the author had heard of Græcia Mendax.

JOHNSON, Surely the epithet had propriety in respect of Diomed at least, who had defrauded him of his mistress. Troilus bestows it on both, unius ob culpam.

STREVENS. Line 629. I'll frush it,] The word frush I never found elsewhere, nor understand it. Hanmer explains it, to break or bruise,

JOHNSON.

ACT V. SCENE IX.

Line 662. Even with the vail-] The vail is, I think, the sinking of the sun; not veil or cover.

JOHNSON. Line 664. I am unarm'd; forego this vantage, Greek.] Hector, in Lydgate's poem, falls by the hand of Achilles; but it is Troilus who, having been inclosed round by the Myrmidons, is killed after his armour had been hewn from his body, which was afterwards drawn through the field at the horse's tail. STEEVENS.

Line 676. And, stickler-like,] A stickler was one who stood by to part the combatants when victory could be deter. mined without bloodshed. They are often mentioned by Sidney, “ Anthony (says sir Tho. North in his translation of Plutarch) “ was himself in person a stickler to part the young men when

" they had fought enough." They were called sticklers, from carrying sticks or staves in their hands, with which they interposed between the combatants. We now call them sidesmen.

STEEVENS.

Line 718.

ACT V. SCENE XI.

-pight-] i. e. pitched, fired. 728. Hence, broker lackey.'] Broker, in our author's time, signified a bawd of either sex.

MALONE. Line 728. ignomy-] Ignomy was formerly used for ignominy.

MALONE. Line 750. Some galled goose of Winchester-] The public stews were anciently under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Winchester.

POPE. A particular symptom in the lues venerea was called a Winchester goose.

STEEVENS. Cole, in his Latin Dict. 1669, renders a Winchester goose by pudendagra.

MALONE.

END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.

« PreviousContinue »