Imágenes de páginas

Of will and judgment : how may I avoid,
Although my will distaste what it elected,
The wife I chose ? there can be no evasion
To blench from this, and to stand firm by honour :
We turn not back the silks upon the merchant,
When we have soild * them; nor the remainder

We do not throw in unrespective sieve +
Because we now are full. It was thought meet,
Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks :
Your breath of full consent bellied his sails ;
The seas and winds (old wranglers) took a truce,
And did him service: he touch'd the ports desir'd;
And, for an old aunt,a whom the Greeks held

captive, He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and

freshness Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes stale the morning. Why keep we her ? the Grecians keep our aunt : Is she worth keeping ? why, she is a pearl,

Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.
If you'll avouch 'twas wisdom Paris went,
(As you must needs, for you all cried—Go, go !)
If you'll confess he brought home noble prize,
(As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands,
Ànd cried—Inestimable !) why do you now
The issue of your proper wisdoms rate,
And do a deed that fortune never did,
Beggar the estimation which you priz’d
Richer than sea and land ? O, theft most base,
That we have stol’n what we do fear to keep !
But, thieves, unworthy of a thing so stol'n,
That in their country did them that disgrace,
We fear to warrant in our native place!

Cas. [Without.) Cry, Trojans, cry!

What noise ? what shriek is this?
TROIL. 'Tis our mad sister, I do know her voice.
Cas. [Without.] Cry, Trojans !
HECT. It is Cassandra.

(*) Pirst folio, spoyld.

(+) First folio, same. - an old aunt,-) This was Hesione, Priam's sister.


makes stale the morning.] The quarto reads, "makes pule the morning," &c.

well ;

Enter CASSANDRA, raving.(2)


Paris, you speak

Like one besotted on your sweet delights : Cas. Cry, Trojans, cry! lend me ten thousand You have the honey still, but these the gall ; eyes,

So to be valiant is no praise at all. And I will fill them with prophetic tears.

PAR. Sir, I propose not merely to myself Hect. Peace, sister, peace !

The pleasures such a beauty brings with it ; Cas. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled But I would have the soil of her fair rape eld,

Wip'd off, in honourable keeping her. Soft infancy, that nothing canst * but cry,

What treason were it to the ransack'd queen, Add to my clamour ! let us pay betimes

Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me, A moiety of that mass of moan to come.

Now to deliver her possession up Cry, Trojans, cry! practise your eyes with tears ! On terms of base compulsion ! Can it be Troy must not be, nor goodly Iion stand ; That so degenerate a strain as this, Our fire-brand brother, Paris, burns us all. Should once set footing in your generous bosoms ? Cry, Trojans, cry! a Helen and a woe !

There's not the meanest spirit on our party, Cry, cry! Troy burns, or else let Helen go. Without a heart to dare, or sword to draw,


When Helen is defended ; nor none so noble, Hect. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high Whose life were ill bestow'd, or death unfam’d, strains

Where Helen is the subject : then, I say, Of divination in our sister work

Well may we fight for her, whoin, we know well, Some touches of remorse? or is your blood The world's large spaces cannot parallel. So madly hot, that no discourse of reason,

Hect. Paris, and Troilus, you have both said Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause, Can qualify the same?

And on the cause and question now in hand TROIL.

Why, brother Hector, Ilave gloz'd,—but superficially; not much
We may not think the justness of each act Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
Such and no other than event doth form it; Unfit to hear moral philosophy :"
Nor once deject the courage of our minds, The reasons you allege do more conduce
Because Cassandra's mad; her brain-sick raptures To the hot passion of distemper'd blood,
Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel, Than to make up a free determination
Which hath our several honours all engag'd "Twixt right and wrong; for pleasure and revenge
To make it gracious. For my private part, Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
I am no more touch'd than all Priam's sons : Of any true decision. Nature craves
And Jove forbid there should be done amongst us

All dues be render'd to their owners; now,
Such things as might offend the weakest spleen What nearer debt in all humanity,
To fight for and maintain !

Than wife is to the husband ? If this law
Par. Else might the world convince of levity Of nature be corrupted through affection ;
As well my undertakings as your counsels : And that great minds, of partial indulgence
But I attest the gods, your full consent

To their benumbed wills, resist the same ; Gave wings to my propension, and cut off

There is a law in each well-order'd nạtion,
All fears attending on so dire a project.

To curb those raging appetites that are
For what, alas, can these my single arms ? Most disobedient and refractory.
What propugnation is in one man's valour, If Helen, then, be wife to Sparta's king,-
To stand the push and enmity of those

As it is known she is,—these moral laws l'his quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest, Of nature and of nations * speak aloud Were I alone to pass the difficulties,

To have her back return'd: thus to persist And had as ample power as I have will,

In doing wrong extenuates not wrong, Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done, But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion Nor faint in the pursuit.

Is this, in way of truth : yet, ne'ertheless,

[blocks in formation]

(*) First folio, Nation.

not much
Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought

Unfit to hear moral philosophy :)
Did Shakespeare find this observation in the earlier play on which
he based his " Troilus and Cressida," or borrow it from Bacon, or
obtain it immediately from Aristotle? The inquiry is of some
importance. Aristotle speaks of politics-tīs notiks oủk éativ
oikeios a'kpoatns véos-though in the passage above, as in
Bacon's "Advancement of Learning,” the remark is applied to

[ocr errors]


I am yours,
You valiant offspring of great Priamus.-
I have a roisting challenge sent amongst
The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks,
Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits :
I was advertis'd their great general slept,
Whilst emulation in the army crept ;
This, I presume, will wake him.


My spritely brethren, I propend to you
In resolution to keep Helen still ;
For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependance
Upon our joint and several dignities.
TROIL. Why, there you

touch'd the life of our
Were it not glory that we more affected
Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
She is a theme of honour and renown;
A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds ;
Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
And fame in time to come canónize us :
For, I presume, brave Hector would not lose
So rich advantage of a promis’d glory,
As smiles upon the forehead of this action,
For the wide world's revenue.

SCENE III.The Grecian Camp. Before

Achilles' Tent.


THER. How now, Thersites! what, lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus ? he beats me, and I rail at him :

O, worthy satisfaction! would it were otherwise ; THER. Thy com

mmander, Achilles :—then tell that I could beat him, whilst he railed at me: me, Patroclus, what's Achilles ? 'sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll Patr. Thy lord, Thersites: then tell me, I see some issue of my spiteful execrations. Then pray thee, what's thyself? there's Achilles,—a rare enginer. If Troy be not Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus : then tell me, taken till these two undermine it, the walls will | Patroclus, what art thou ? stand till they fall of themselves. O, thou great PATR. Thou mayst tell that knowest. thunder-darter of Olympus, forget that thou art ACHIL. O, tell, tell. Jove, the king of gods; and, Mercury, lose all the THER. I'll decline the whole question :- Agaserpentine craft of thy caduceus ; if ye * take not memnon commands Achilles ; Achilles is my lord; that little-little less-than-little wit from them that I am Patroclus' knower; and Patroclus is a fool. they have! which short-armed ignorance itself PATR. You rascal ! knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in circum- THER. Peace, fool! I have not done. vention deliver a fly from a spider, without drawing ACHIL. He is a privileged man.— Proceed, theirt massy irous and cutting the web. After this,

Thersites. the vengeance on the whole camp! or, rather, the THER. Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; bone-ache ! for that, methinks, is the curse de- Thersites is a fool ; and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is pendant on those that war for a placket. I have said my prayers ; and devil envy, say Amen.- ACHIL. Derive this ; come. What, ho! my lord Achilles !

THER. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles ; Achilles is a fool to be commanded of

Agamemnon ; Thersites is a fool to serve such a Enter PATROCLUS.

fool ; and Patroclus is a fool positive.

Patr. Why am I a fool? Patr. Who's there? Thersites! Good Ther- THER. Make that demand of the prover. It sites, come in and rail.

suffices me thou art. Look you, who comes THER. If I could have remembered a gilt here? counterfeit, thou wouldst not have slipped out of Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody.:it Come in


a fool.

upon thyself! The common curse of mankind, folly OTHER

. Here is such patchery, such juggling


and ignorance, be thine in great revenue, heaven and such knavery ! all the argument is a cuckold bless thee from a tutor, and discipline come not and a whore; a good quarrel, to draw emulous * near thee ! Let thy blood be thy direction till thy factions, and bleed to death upon. Now the dry death! then if she that lays thee out says thou art serpigo on the subject ! and war and lechery cona fair corse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't, she found all !

[Exit. never shrouded any but lazars. Amen.- Where's Achilles ?

Patr. What, art thou devout ? wast thou in I Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR, Dioprayer?

MEDES, and AJAX. THER. Ay; the heavens hear me !

Agam. Where is Achilles ?

Patr. Within his tent; but ill-dispos'd, my lord. Enter ACHILLES.

AGAM. Let it be known to him that we are here.

He shenta our messengers; and we lay by ACHIL. Who's there?

Our appertainments, visiting of him : PATR. Thersites, my lord.

Let him be told so; lesto perchance he think ACHIL. Where, where?--Art thou come? Why, We dare not move the question of our place, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not served Or know not what we are. thyself in to my table so many meals ? Come,- PATR.

I shall so say to him. what's Agamemnon ?

[Exit. Ulyss. We saw him at the opening of his tent: His pettish lunes, his ebbs, his flows, as if He is not sick.

(*) First folio, thou.

(+) First folio, the. (1) First folio inserts, a. a If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, thou wouldst not have slipped out of my contemplation:) A similar play on slip and counterfeit, the cant names for false pieces of money, occurs in “Romeo and Juliet:" see note (b), p. 179, Vol. I. By “contemplation," he refers to his previous devout imprecations. b- of the prover.-) The folio reads, to the creator.

patchery,–] “Patchery " meant roguery, villany; not folly, as Mr. Collier persists in explaining it.

(*) First folio, emulations. d He shent our messengers ;] An emendation of Theobald ; the quarto reading,

“He sate our messengers," &c.;the folio,

“He sent our messengers," &c. e Let him be told so; lest perchance he think, &c.] From the quarto; the folio having “Let him be told of, so perchance," &c.

The passage and whole carriage of this action Ajax. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart: you Rode on his tide. Go, tell him this; and add, may call it melancholy, if you* will favour the That, if he overhold his price so much, man ; but, by my head, 'tis pride: but why, why? We'll none of him ; but let him, like an engine let him show us at cause.—A word, my lord. Not portable, lie under this report –

[Takes AGAMEMNON aside. Bring action hither, this cannot go to war: Nest. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him? A stirring dwarf we do allowance give Ulyss. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him. Before a sleeping giant:—tell him so. Nest. Who ? Thersites?

PATR. I shall; and bring his answer presently. Ulyss. He.

[Exit. Nest. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have Agam. In second voice we'll not be satisfied ; lost his argument.

We come to speak with him.—Ulysses, enter you. Ulyss. No; you see, he is his argument that

[Exit ULYSSES. has his argument,-Achilles.

AJAX. What is he more than another ? Nest. All the better ; their fraction is more AGAM. No more than what he thinks he is. our wish than their faction : but it was a strong AJAX. Is he so much? Do you not think he composure a fool could disunite.*

thinks himself a better man than I am ? Ulyss. The amity that wisdom knits not, folly

AGAM. No question. may easily untie.—Here comes Patroclus.

AJAX. Will you subscribe his thought, and say NEST. No Achilles with him.

he is? Ulyss. The elephant hath joints, but none for Agam. No, noble Ajax ; you are as strong, as courtesy: his legs are legs for necessity, not for valiant, as wise, no less noble, much more gentle, flexure. I

and altogether more tractable.

AJAX. Why should a man be proud ? How Re-enter PATROCLUS.

doth pride grow? I know not what pride is.*

AGAM. Your mind's the clearer, Ajax, and Patr. Achilles bids me say, he is much sorry,

your virtues the fairer. He that is proud eats up If any thing more than your sport and pleasure

himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, Did move your greatness and this noble state his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but To call upon him ; he hopes it is no other

in the deed, devours the deed in the praise. But, for your health and your digestion sake, AJAX. 1 do hate a proud man, as I hate the An after-dinner's breath.

engendering of toads. AGAM. Hear you, Patroclus ;

NEST. [ Aside.] Yet he loves himself: is't not We are too well acquainted with these answers :

But his evasion, wing'd thus swift with scorn,
Cannot outfly our apprehensions.

Re-enter Ulysses.
Much attribute he hath ; and much the reason
Why we ascribe it to him: yet all his virtues,-

Ulyss. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow. Not virtuously on his own part beheld,

Agam. What's his excuse ? Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss ;


He doth rely on none; Yea, || like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish, But carries on the stream of his dispose, Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him,

Without observance or respect of any, We came to speak with him: and you shall not sin, In will peculiar and in self-admission. If you we think him over-proud

AGAM. Why will he not, upon our fair request, And under-honest ; in self-assumption greater

Untent his

person, and share the air with us? Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than Ulyss. Things small as nothing, for request's himself

sake only,

[ness ; Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on,

He makes important: possess'd he is with greatDisguise the holy strength of their command, And speaks not to himself, but with a pride And underwrite in an observing kind

That quarrels at self-breath : imagin'd worth † His humorous predominance; yea, watch

Holds in his blood such swoln and hot discourse,

do say

(*) First folio omits, you.

(+) First folio, the. (1) First folio, flight.

(5) First folio, of. (1) First folio inserts, and. A strong composure a fool could disunite.) The folio reads,a strong counsell that a Foole could disunite.

(*) First folio, what it is.

(t) First folio, troth. b His petlish lunes,-) A correction of Hanmer ; the folio reading,

“ His pettish lines," &c. In the quarto, the passage runs,

“ His course and lime, his ebbs and flors, and if,” &c.

« AnteriorContinuar »