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(1) SCENE II.-So, 80; rub on, and kiss the mistress.) The small bowl aimed at in the game of Bouling, it has before been mentioned, was occasionally termed the Vis. tress. See note (“), p. 722, Vol. II. Perhaps the best illustration of this popular amusement and its technical phraseology, as practised in our author's day, is that given in Quarles' “ Emblems” (Emb. 10, b. 1.):
(3) SCENE II.-As false as Cressid.] The protestations of the fickle beauty in the old poem are not less confident; compare the following:
" To that Cryseyde answerid right anoone,
And with a sigh sche seide, 'O herte dere!
Er Troylus out of Cryseydis herte.""
" For thylke day that I for cherisynge,
Or diede of fader, or of other wight,
Eternaliche, in Stix, the put of Helle!
I swere it yow, and ek on ech goddesse,
“ Here's your right ground; wag gently o'er this black :
'Tis a short cast; y'are quickly at the jack. Rub, rub an inch or (wo; two crowns to one On this bowl's side; blow wind, 't is fairly thrown: The next bowl's worse that comes ; come, bowl away: Mammon, you know the ground, untutor'd play: Your last was gone, a yard of strength well spar'd Had touch'd the block; your hand is still too hard. Brave pastime, readers, to consume that day, Which, without pastime, flies too swift away! See how they labour; as if day and night Were both too short to serve their loose delight: See how their curved bodies wreath, and screw Such antic shapes as Proteus never knew : One raps an oath, another deals a curse; He never better bowl'd ; this never worse : One rubs his itchless elbow, shrugs and laughs, The other bends his beetle brows and chafes : Sometimes they whoop, sometimes their Stygian cries Send their black Santo's to the blushing skies: Thus mingling humours in a mad confusion, They make bad premises, and worse conclusion : But where's a palm that fortune's hand allows To bless the victor's honourable brows? Come, reader, come; I'll light thine eye the way To view the prize, the while the gamesters play: Close by the jack, behold, jill Fortune stands To wave the game : see in her partial hands The glorious garland's held in open show, To cheer the lads, and crown the conqu'ror's brow. The world's the jack; the gamesters that contend, Are Cupid, Mammon : that judicious fiend, That gives the ground, is Satan : and the bowls Are sinful thoughts; the prize, a crown for fools. Who breathes that bowls not? What bold tongue can say Without a blush, he has not bowl'd to-day? It is the trade of man, and ev'ry sinner Has play'd his rubbers: every soul's a winner. The vulgar proverb's crost, he hardly can Be a good bowler and an honest man. Good God! turn thou my Brazil" thoughts anew; New-sole my bowls, and make their bias true. I'll cease to game, till fairer ground be given; Nor wish to win, until the mark be Heav'n."
(4) SCENE III.- Which, you say, live to come in my behalf.] This appeal of Calchas to the Greeks recals the corresponding circumstance in Chaucer :
“ Then seyd he thus, 'Lo! lordis myn, I was
A Troyan, as it is knowe, out of drede :
Ben Troy ybrent, and drewyn doun to ground.
This toun to shent, and al your lust acheve,
To teche yow what you was best to done.
Right no regard in respect of your ese:
For yow to lese al that I had in Troy,-
Slepyng at home, whan out of toun I stert.
But if ye, lordis, wole ruwe on my sorow.
Her to delivere, iche holden have my pees;
may her have, for that is douteles :
(2) SCENE II.-To feed for aye her lamp and flames of love.) Here, as in other passages where Troilus exhibits a presentiment of his lady's inconstancy, we can trace the influence of the “ Troylus and Cryseyde :"
"But natheles, myn owene ladi bright!
Yit were it so that I wist utterly,
Yit schulde I the better endure al my peyne.”
" Ye shal ek seen so many a lusti knyght,
Amonge the Grekes, ful of worthynesse ;
* The bowls were formerly made of what was called Brazil wood. VOL. III.
ACT IV. ACT V.
(1) SCENE II.-A bugbear take him!] In the banter of Pandarus here, we have arch reminiscences of his prototype in “ Troylus and Cryseyde: "
* Pandare, on morwe whiche that comen was
Unto his nece, gon hir faire to grete,
“ And nigh he come and seid, 'How stant it now?
This Mey morwe, nece, how kunne ye fare?
(2) SCENE IV.-To our own selves bend we our needful talk.] The parting of the lovers, if not more natural, is managed with more pathos and delicacy in the elder poet:
* Cryseyde, when she relly was to ride,
Ful sorwfully she sighte, and seyde, “ Allas!'
“ This Troylus, in gise of curteysie,
With hauke on hond, and with an huge route
But tourne he moote, and it was eke to done. " And right with that was Antenor ycome
Oute of the Grekes oste, and every wight
With strength, on people proud of strength, sends him forth to
inferre Wreakfull contention; and comes on, with presence full of feare; So th' Achive rampire, Telamon, did twixt the hoasts appeare : Smil'd; yet of terrible aspect; on earth with ample pace, He boldly stalkt, and shooke aloft his dart with deadly grace. It did the Grecians good to see; but heartquakes shooke the
joynts of all the Troians; Hectors selfe felt thoughts, with horrid points, Tempt his bold bosome; but he now, must make no counterflight; Nor (with his honour) now refuse, that had provokt the fight. Ajax came neare; and like a towre his shield his bosome bard; The right side brasse, and seven oxe hides within it quilted hard: Od Tychius the best currier, that did in Hyla dwell, Did frame it for exceeding proofe, and wrought it wondrous well. With this stood he to Hector close, and with this Brave began: Now Hector thou shalt clearly know, thus meeting man to man, What other leaders arme our hoast, besides great Thetis sonne: Who, with his hardie Lions heart, hath armies overunne. But he lies at our crookt-sternd fleet a Rivall with our king In height of spirit : yet to Troy, he many knights did bring, Coequall with Eacides; all able to sustaine All thy bold challenge can import: begin then, words are vaine. The Helme-grac't Hector answerd him : Renowned Telamon, Prince of the souldiers came from Greece; assay not me like one, Yong and immartiall, with great words, as to an Amazon dame; I have the habit of all fights; and know the bloudie frame Of every slaughter: I well know the ready right hand charge; I know the left, and every sway, of my securefull targe; I triumph in the crueltie of fixed combat fight, And manage horse to all designes ; I think then with good right, I may be confident as farre as this thy challenge goes, Without being taxed with a vaunt, borne out with emptie showes. But (being a souldier so renownd) I will not worke on thee, With least advantage of that skill, I know doth strengthen me; And so with privitie of sleight, winne that for which I strive: But at thy best (even open strength) if my endevours thrive. Thus sent he his long Javelin forth; it strooke his foes huge
shield, Neere to the upper skirt of brasse, which was the eighth it held. Sixe folds th' untamed dart strooke through, and in the seventh
tough hide The point was checkt; then Ajax threw: his angry lance did
glide Quite through his bright orbicular targe, his curace, shirt of maile ; And did his manly stomachs mouth with dangerous taint assaile: But in the bowing of himselfe, black death too short did strike. Then both to pluck their Javelins forth, encountred Lion-like; Whose bloudie violence is increast, by that raw food they eate: Or Bores, whose strength, wilde nourishment, doth make so won
drous great. Againe Priamides did wound, in midst, his shield of brasse, Yet pierc't not through the upper plate, the head reflected was: But Ajax (following his Lance) smote through his target quite, And stayd bold Hector rushing in; the Lance held way outright. And burt his necke; out gusht the bloud; yet Hector ceast not so, But in his strong hand tooke a Flint (as he did backwards go) Blacke, sharpe and big, layd in the field: the sevenfold targe it
smit, Full on the bosse ; and round about the brasse did ring with it. But Ajax a farre greater stone lift up, and (wreathing round With all his bodie layd to it) he sent it forth to wound, And gave unmeasur'd force to it; the round stone broke within His rundled target : his lov'd knees to languish did begin; And he leand, stretcht out on his shield; but Phæbus raisd him
streight. Then had they layd on wounds with swords, in use of closer fight; Unless the Heralds (messengers of Gods and godlike men) The one of Troy, the other of Greece; had held betwixt them then Imperiall scepters: when the one (Idæus, grave and wise) Said to them; Now no more my sonnes : the Soveraigne of the
skies Doth love you both; both souldiers are, all witnesse with good
right: But now night lays her mace on earth; tis good t'obey the night."
" And therwithal he moot his leve take,
And caste his eye upon hire pitously,
" With that his courser turned he about,
With face pale, and unto Dyomede
(3) SCENE V.-HECTOR and AJAX fight.] In Chapman's Homer, the combat is described with uncommon pomp and spirit :
"—- This said, in bright armes shone The good strong Ajax : who, when all his warre attire was on, Marcht like the hugely figurd Mars, when angry Jupiter,
(1) SCENE II. —Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve.] Steevens cites several passages from our old writers to show that it was customary for warriors to wear a lady's sleeve for a favour; the sleeve which Cressida bestows on Diomed, however, was that she had received from Troilus at their parting. Malone supposes it to bave been such a one as was formerly used at tournaments :-“Also the deepe smocke sleive, which the Irish women use, they say, was old Spanish, and is used yet in Barbary; and yet that should seeme rather to be an old English fashion, for in armory the fashion of the manche, which is given in armes by many, being indeed nothing else but a sleive, is fashioned much like to that sleive.”-SPENSER'S View of Ireland, p. 43, edit. 1633.
(2) SCENE II.-Rather think this not Cressid.] The grief of Troylus for his “light o' love" is beautifully told by the elder poet :
“Than spak he thus:-'0, lady myn Cryseyde,
Wher is youre feith, and wher is youre beheste?
Of Diomede have ye now al this feste!
That ye thus holde han holden me in honde.
Allas ! I nevere wolde han wende, or this,
Is now fordon, and that is al my routhe.
• But thilke broche that I, with teris wete,
You yas, as for a remcmbraunce of me?
Al outrely to shewen youre entente.
Ye han me caste, and ne kan nor may
(3) SCENE IX.–And hangs his shield behind him.] The circumstance of Hector being overpowered by Achilles and bis followers when unarmed, the author is believed to have taken from Lydgate's poem :
** And in this while a grekishe kinge he mette,
CRITICAL OPINIONS ON TROILUS AND CRESSIDA
" THE Troilus and Cressida’ of Shakspeare can scarcely be classed with his dramas of Greek and Roman history ; but it forms an intermediate liuk between the fictitious Greek and Roman histories, which we may call legendary dramas, and the proper ancient histories. There is no one of Shakspeare's plays harder to characterise. The name and the remembrances counected with it prepare us for the representation of attachment no less faithful than fervent on the side of the youth, and of sudden and shameless inconstancy on the part of the lady. And this is, indeed, as the gold thread on which the scenes are strung, though often kept out of sight and out of mind by gems of greater value than itself. But as Shakspeare calls forth nothing from the mausoleum of history, or the catacombs of tradition, without giving or eliciting some permanent and general interest, and brings forward no subject which he does not moralize or intellectualize,—so here he has drawn in Cressida the portrait of a vehement passion, that, having its true origin and proper cause in warmth of temperament, fastens on, rather than fixes to, some one object by liking and temporary preference.
*There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,
Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
“This Shakspeare has contrasted with the profound affection represented in Troilus, and alone worthy the name of love ;-affection, passionate indeed, swoln with the confluence of youthful instincts and youthful fancy, and growing in the radiance of hope newly risen, in short enlarged by the collective sympathies of nature ;—but still having a depth of calmer element in a will stronger than desire, more entire than choice, and which gives permanence to its own act by converting it into faith and duty. Hence, with excellent judgment, and with an excellence higher than mere judgment can give, at the close of the play, when Cressida has sunk into infamy below retrieval and beneath hope, the same will, which had been the substance and the basis of his love, while the restless pleasures and passionate longings, like sea-waves, had tossed but on its surface,—this same moral energy is represented as snatching him aloof from all neighbourhood with her dishonour, from all lingering fondness and languishing regrets, whilst it rushes with him into other and nobler duties, and deepens the channel which his heroic brother's death had left empty for its collected flood. Yet another secondary and subordinate purpose Shakspeare has inwoven with his delineation of these two characters,—that of opposing the inferior.civilization, but purer morals, of the Trojans, to the refinements, deep policy, but duplicity and sensual corruptions, of the Greeks.
“To all this, however, so little comparative projection is given,-nay, the masterly group of Agamemnon, Nestor, and Ulysses, and, still more in advance, that of Achilles, Ajax, and Thersites, so manifestly occupy the foreground, that the subservience and vassalage of strength and animal courage to intellect and policy seems to be the lesson most often in our poet's view, and which he has taken little pains to connect with the former more interesting moral impersonated in the titular hero and heroine of the drama. But I am half inclined to believe, that Shakspeare's main object, or shall I rather say, his ruling impulse, was to translate the poetic heroes of paganism into the not less rude, but more intellectually vigorous, and more featurely, warriors of Christian chivalry,—and to substantiate the distinct and graceful profiles or outlines of the Homeric epic into the flesh and blood of the romantic drama,-in short, to give a grand history-piece in the robust style of Albert Durer.
“The character of Thersites, in particular, well deserves a more careful examination, as the Caliban of demagogic life ;—the admirable portrait of intellectual power deserted by all grace, all moral principle, all not momentary impulse ;-just wise enough to detect the weak head, and fool enough to provoke the armed fist of his betters ;-one whom malcontent Achilles can inveigle from malcontent Ajax, under the one condition, that he shall be called on to do nothing but abuse and slander, and that he shall be allowed to abuse as much and as purulently as he likes, that is, as he can ;-in short, a mule,-quarrelsome by the original discord of his nature, ,-a slave by tenure of his own baseness,-made to bray and be brayed at, to despise and be despicable."-COLERIDGE.