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Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits,
“ And in storye | lyke as it is founde,
Lond. Empr. by R. Pynson, 1513, fol. B. II, ch. 11. The Troye Boke was somewhat modernized, and reduced into regular stanzas, about the beginning of the last century, under the name of, The Life and Death of Hector--who fought a Hundred mayne Battailes in open Field against the Grecians; wherein there were slaine on both sides Fourteene Hundred and Sixe Thousand, Fourscore and Sixe Men.--Fol. no date. This work Dr. Fuller, and several other criticks, have erroneously quoted as the original; and observe, in consequence, that “if Chaucer's coin were of greater weight for deeper learning, Lydgate's were of a more refined standard for purer language: so that one might mistake him for a modern writer." Farmer.
6 A prologue arm’d,] I come here to speak the prologue, and come in armour; not defying the audience, in confidence of either the author's or actor's abilities, but merely in a character suited to the subject, in a dress of war, before a warlike play.
Johnson. Motteus seems to have borrowed this idea in his Prologue to Farquhar's Twin Rivals:
“ With drums and trumpets in this warring age,
the vaunt --] i.e. the avant, what went before. So, in King Lear :
“ Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts.” Steevens. The vaunt is the vanguard, called, in our author's, time the vaunt-guard. Percy.
-firstlings-A scriptural phrase, signifying the first produce or offspring. So, in Geresis, ir, 4: “ And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock.” Steevens.
Priam, king of Troy:
Grecian commanders. Nestor, Diomedes, Patroclus, Thersites, a deformed and scurrilous Grecian. Alexander, servant to Cressida. Servant to Troilus; servant to Paris; servant to Diomedes.
Helen, wife to Menelaus.
Trojan and Greek soldiers, and attendants.
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
ACT I.....SCENE I.
Troy. Before Priam's Palace.
Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS.
Tro. Call here my varlet,' I 'll unarm again:
Pan. Will this geer ne'er be mended ?1
my varlet,] This word anciently signified a servant or footman to a knight or warrior. So, Holinshed, speaking of the battle of Agincourt: “ - diverse were releeved by their varlets, and conveied out of the field.” Again, in an ancient epitaph in the church-yard of Saint Nicas at Arras :
“ Cy gist Hakin et son varlet,
“ Avec son espé et salloche,” &c. Steevens. Concerning the word varlet, see Recherches historiques sur les cartes à jouer. Lyon, 1757, p. 61. M.G. Tutet.
I Will this geer ne'er be mended?] There is somewhat proverbial in this question, which I likewise meet with in the interlude of King Darius, 1565:
“ Wyll not yet this geere be amended,
Steevens. skilful to their strength, &c.] i. e. in addition to their strength. The same phraseology occurs in Macbeth. See Vol. VII, p. 15, n. 4. Steevens.
- fonder -] i. e. more weak, or foolish. See Vol. IV, p. 382, n. 8. Malone. VOL. XII.
And skill-less as unpractis'd infancy.
Pån. 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. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry 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 e’er she be, Doth lesser blencis 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 she thence ?
Pan. Well, she looked yesternight fairer that ever I saw her look, or any woman else.
Tro. I was about to tell thee,— When my heart,
4 And skill-less &c.] Mr. Dryden, in his alteration of this play, has taken this speech as it stands, except that he has changed skill-less to artless, not for the better, because skill-less refers to skill and skilful. Johnson.
5 Doth lesser blench —] To blench is to shrink, start, or fly off So, in Hamlet:
- if he but blench, “I know my course
men that will not totter,
- when she comes ! -When is she thence?] Both the old copies read-then she comes, when she is thence. Mr. Rowe corrected the former error, and Mr. Pope the latter. Malone. 1_ a storm,)] Old copies--a scorn. Corrected by Mr. Rowe.
Malone. See Ling Lear, Act III, 6c. i. Steevens.
Bury'd this sigh in wrinkle of a smile:8
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,
in wrinkle of a smile :) So, in Twelfth Night : “ He doth smile his face-into more lines than the new map with the augmen. tation of the Indies." Malone. Again, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” Steevens. 9 Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand, &c.] Handlest is here used metaphorically, with an allusion, at the same time, to its literal meaning; and the jingle between hand and handlest is perfectly in our author's manner.
The beauty of a female hand seems to have made a strong im. pression on his mind. Antony cannot endure that the hand of Cle. opatra should be touched:
To let a fellow that will take rewards,
“ And plighter of high hearts." Again, in Romeo anit Juliet:
- they may seize " On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand.” In The Winter's Tale, Florizel, with equal warmth, and not less poetically, descants on the hand of his mistress:
I take thy hand; this hand
“ That's bolted by the northern blasts twice o’er.” This passage has, I think, been wrong pointed in the late editions :
Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart