Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

That my integrity and truth to you,
Might be affronted with the match and weight

of such a winnowed purity in love."-Act III., Scene 2.
The word " affronted” was formerly used in the sense of “con-
fronted.” Dr. Johnson thus explains the passage: -"I wish that
my integrity might be met and matched with such equality and force
of pure unmingled love."

Pandare, a morowe which that commen was,

Unto his nece, gan her faire to grete,
And saied, · All this night so rained it, alas!

That all my drede is, that ye, nece swete,
Have little leisir had to slepe and mete;

All night (quod he) hath rain so do me wako,

That some of us trowe their heddis ake.'
Cresseide answerde, · Nevir the bet for you,
Foxe that ye ben, God yeve your herte care;
God helpe me go, ye caused all this fare.'

"I am as true as truth's simplicity,

And simpler than the infancy of truth.--Act III., Scene 2. This (says Warburton) is fine, and means, “ Ere truth, to defend itself against deccit in the commerce of the world, had, out of necessity, learned worldly policy."

Alas, poor wretch! a poor capocchia.”—Act IV., Scene 2 This is an Italian word, tased metaphorically to signify a fool or innocent.

" As true as stel, as plantage to the moon."--Act III., Scene 2.

But the strong base and building of my love

Is as the very centre of the earth.-Act IV., Scene 2. * As true as steel” is an ancient proverbial simile. “ As plantage

In Shakspeare's 119th Sonnet, we find a similar allusion:to the moon" alludes to the old superstitious notion of the influence of the moon over whatever was planted, sown, or grafted. An ex

“And ruined love, when it is built anew." tract from Scott's “ DISCOVERIE OF WITCECRAFT” will illustrate the | And in “ ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA :" point:- The poor husbandman perceiveth that the increase of the

« Let not the piece of virtue which is set moon maketh plants fruitful; so as in the full moon they are in the

Betwixt us as the cement of our love. best strength; decaying in the ware; and in the conjunction do

To keep it builded, be the ram to batter utterly wither and vade."

The fortress of it."

- "A strange fellow here

Hark! you are called: come say, the Genius 80
Writes me, that man - how dearly ever parted.

CriesCome!' to him that instantly must die."
Act III., Scene 3.

Act IV., Scene 4. That is, however excellently endowed; with however dear or pre

Flatman has expressed a similar thought:cious parts enriched or adorned. Ben Jonson has used the word

“My soul just now about to take her flight parted” in the same manner, in the Dramatis Person of “ EVERY

Into the regions of eternal night, MAN OUT OF 118 IIUMOR:” — " Macilente, a man well partod, a suffi

Methinks I hear some gentle spirit say, cient scholar," &c.

Bo not fearful ; come away.'

Pope is supposed to have imitated Flatman, in one of his most “ And apprehended here immediately

popular productions: The unknown Ajax.”-Act III., Scene 3.

“Hark! they whisper; angels say, That is, Ajax who has abilities which were never brought into view

"Sister spirit, come away.'” or use.

" A wnful Cressid 'mongst the merry Grecks."— Act IV., Sceno 4. Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselves,

“Merry Grerks" was a proverbial expression. In“ A MAD WORLD, And drave great Mars to fuction.”--Act III., Scene 3.

MY MASTERS,” 1640, a man gives the watchmen some money; and This alludes to the descent of deities to combat on either side be- when they have received it, he says, " The merry Greeks understand fore Troy. In the fifth book of “The ILIAD,” Diomed wounds Mars, me. who, on his return to heaven, is rated by Jupiter for having inter

« For I will throw my glove to death himself, fered in the battle.

That there's no maculation in thy heart.”--Act IV., Scene 4. 'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love

That is, “I will challenge Death himself in defense of thy fidelity." With one of Priam's daughters."--Act III., Scene 3.

Valor and pride excel themselves in Hector; This was Polyxena; in the act of marrying whom Achilles was

The one almost as infinite as all, afterwards killed by Paris.

The other blank as nothing."— Act IV., Scene 5. There is a mystery (with whom relation

The meaning of this passage is thus explained by Dr. Johnson: Durst never meddle) in the soul of state."--Act III., Scene 3. Valor (says Æneas) is in Hector greater than valor in other men, and

pride in Hector is less than pride in other men. So that Hector is Meaning, probably, there is a secret administration of affairs which

distinguished by the excellence of having pride less than other pride, no history was ever able to discover.

and valor more than other valor. " Omission to do what is necessary,

Not Neoplolemus so mirable."-Act IV., Scene 5. Seals a commission to a blank of danger."-Act III., Scene 3.

The allusion here is supposed to be to Achilles himself; it could That is, by neglecting our duty, we commission or enable that

not possibly be to his son Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, who, in a former danger of dishonor to lay hold upon us, which could not reach us

passage, is spoken of as “ Young Pyrrhus, now at home." Shaksbefore.

peare probably thought that Neoptolemus was a family name.

« Enter PANDARUS.

I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft “ CRES. A pestilence on him, now will he be mocking."

Laboring for destiny."-Act IV., Scene 5.

- Act I., Scene 2. That is, as the minister or vicegerent of destiny; so, in “ CORIO The hint for this short conversation between Pandarus and Cres- LANUS:”sida appears to have been taken from Chaucer's tale on the subject

“ His sword, death's stamp, (b. iii.): -

Where it did mark, it took."

Thou crusty batch of nature, whats the news ?"

Act V., Scene 1. A “batch” signifies all that is baked at one time, without heating the oven afresh. In Ben Jonson's “ CATILINE,” we have,

“Except he were of the same meal and batch."

What art thou, Greek art thou for Hector's match

Art thou of blood and honor ?"-Act V., Scene 4. This idea is derived from the ancient books of chivalry. A person of superior birth might not be challenged by an inferior; or if challenged, might refuse the combat. In this spirit, Cleopatra says,

One that loves quails."--Act V., Scene 1.

“ These hands do lack nobility, that they strike

A meaner than themselves.” In old French, “caille” was synonymous to “ fille de joie."

In“ MELVIL'S MEMOIRS,” we find it stated (p. 165, ed. 1735), “ The laird " Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve.”—Act V., Scene 2.

of Grainge offered to fight Bothwell; who answered, that he was This sleeve, which had been previously given by Troilus to Cres

neither earl nor lord, but a baron; and so was not his equal. The sida, appears (says Malone) to have been an ornamented cuff, such ! like answer made he to Tullibardine. Then my lord Lindsay offered as was worn by some of our young nobility at a tilt in Shakspeare's to fight him, which he could not well refuse; but his heart failed age. See Spenser's “ VIEW OF IRELAND” (p. 43, edit. 1633):- Also him, and he grew cold in the business." the deep smock sleive, which the Irish women use, they say was old Spanish, and is used yet in Barbary: and yet that should seem to be

- The dreadful Sagittary rather an old English fashion; for in armoury, the fashion of the

Appals our numbers."-Act V., Scene 5. manche which is given in arms by many, being indeed nothing else

In the “THREE DESTRUCTIONS OF TROY” we are told, that “ Beyond but a sleive, is fashioned much like to that slieve.”

the royalme of Amasonne came an auncyent Kynge, wyse and dys

creete, named Epystrophus, and brought a M. (thousand] Knyghtes, « Troilus, farewell ! one eye yet looks on thee;

and a mervayllouse beste that was called Sagittayre, that behynde But with my heart the other eye doth see."--Act V., Scene 2.

the myddes was an horse, and tofore a man. This beste was heery * One eye," says Cressida,“ looks on Troilus; but the other follows like an horse, and had his eyen red as a cole, and shotte well with a Diomed, where my heart is fixed.” Steevens observes that the char bowe. This beste made the Grekes sore aferde, and slewe many of acters of Cressida and Pandarus are more immediately formed fi Chaucer than from Lydgate; for though the latter mentions them both characteristically, he does not sufficiently dwell on either to

Now, here he fights on Galathe, his horse.”-Act V., Scene 5. have furnished Shakspeare with many circumstances to be found in this tragedy. Lydgato, speaking of Cressida, says only:

The name of Hectors' horse is taken from Lydgate or Caxton. In

Lydgate (p. 175), we find,
“ She gave her heart and love to Diomed,
To shew what trust there is in womankind;

* And sought, by all the means he could, to take
For she of her new love no sooner sped,

Galathe, Hector's horse."
But Troilus was clean out of her mind
As if she never had him known or seen;

And there they fly, or die, like scaled sculls
Wherein I cannot guess what she did mean."

Before the belching whale."--Act V., Scene 5. “ And with andher knot, five-finger tied.”-Act V., Scene 2. The term “scull” signifies what is now called a shoal af fish. In

Knox's “ HISTORY OF FI8n" (1787), we find this passage: “The cod That is, a knot tied by giving her hand to Diomed. So, in Massin

from the banks of Newfoundland (says a late writer) pursues the ger's " FATAL DOWRY" (1632) :

whiting, which flies before it even to the southern shores of Spain. “ Your fingers tie my heartstrings with this touch,

The cachalot, a species of whale, is said in the same manner to purIn true knots, which nought but death shall loose.”

sue a shoal of herrings, and to swallow hundreds in a mouthful.”

Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head."--Act V., Scene 2.

A particular kind of close helmet was called a “castle.” In the “ HISTORY OF PRINCE ARTHUR” (1631, ch. 158), we find, “i Do thou thy best,' said Sir Gawaine; ' therefore hie thee fast that thou wert gone, and wit thou well we shall soon come after, and break the strongest castle that thou hast upon thy head.'”

He is my prive; I will not look upon."— Act V., Scene 6. Equivalent to saying, “I will not be a looker-on;" as, in “ HENRY VI.," Part 3:

“ Why stand we here

Wailing our losses -
And look upon, as if the tragedy
Were played in jest by counterfeited actors ?."

Brother, you have a rice of mercy in you,

Which better fits a lion than a man."-Act V., Scene 3. In Philemon Holland's translation of " Pliny's NATURAL HISTORY” (c. 16), we find, “ The lion alone, of all wild beasts, is gentle to them that humble themselves before him, and will not touch any such upon their submission, but spareth what creature soever lieth prostrate before him." “ The traditions and stories of the darker ages," says Johnson, "abounded with examples of the lion's generosity. Upon the supposition that these acts of clemency were true, Troilus reasons, that to spare against reason, by mere instinct of pity, became rather & generous beast than a wise man."

The dragon wing of night verspreads the earth,

And, stickler like, the army separates."-Act V., Scene 9. The business of a “stickler” was to part the combatants when victory could be determined without bloodshed. They are said to have been called "sticklers” from carrying sticks or staves in their hands, with which they interposed between the duellists. Minshew gives this explanation in his “ DICTIONARY” (1617):—“ A stickler between two; so called as putting a stick or staff between two fencing or fighting together."

TIMON OF ATHENS.

« VorigeDoorgaan »