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KE 7397

HARVARD
UNIVERSITY
LIBRARY
Feb 12,1946

Down Mebortidell Sampras

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.

PROLOGUE,

2

IN Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece
The princes orgulous, their high blood chaf'd,
Have to the port of Athens sent their ships,
Fraught with the ministers and instruments
Of cruel war: Sixty and nine, that wore
Their crownets regal, from the Athenian bay
Put forth toward Phrygia and their vow is made
To ransack Troy; within whose strong immures
The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen,

With wanton Paris sleeps; And that's the quarrel.
To Tenedos they come;

And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
Their warlike fraughtage: Now on Dardan plains
The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
Their brave pavilions. Priam's six-gated city,
Dardan, and Tymbria, Ilias, Chetas, Trojan,
And Antenorides, with massy staples,
And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,3
Sperre up the sons of Troy.
Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits,
On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
Sets all on hazard :-And hither am I come
A prologue arm'd,'-but not in confidence
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 the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,"
'Ginning in the middle; starting thence 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.

[1] I conceive this Prologue to have been written, and the dialogue, in more than one place, interpolated by some Kyd or Marlowe of the time; who may have been paid for altering and amending one of Shakespeare's plays; a very extraordinary instance of our author's negligence, and the managers' taste! RITSON.

STEEVENS.

[2] Orgulous, that is, proud, disdainful. Orgueilleux, Fr.
[3] To fulfil, in this place, means to fill till there be no room for more.

STEEVENS. To be "fulfilled with grace and benediction" is still the language of our liturgy BLACKSTONE. [4] To sperre, or spar, from the old Teutonic word speren, signifies to shut up, defend by bars, &c. THEOBALD.

[5] 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. [6] The vanguard. called, in our author's time, vaunt-guard." PERCY.

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