Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

'TIS ten to one, this play can never please
All that are here: Some come to take their ease,
And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
We have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
They'll say, 'tis naught: others, to hear the citv
Abus'd extremely, and to cry,-that's witly.
Which we have not done neither: that, I fear,
All the expected good we are like to hear
For this play at this time, is only in

The merciful construction of good women;

For such a one we show'd them: If they smile,
And say, 'twill do, I know, within a while
All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their ladies bid them clap.

The play of Henry the Eighth is one of those which still keeps possession of the stage by the splendor of its pageantry. The coronation, about forty years ago, drew the people together in multitudes for a great part of the winter. Yet pomp is not the only merit of this play. The meek sorrows, and virtuous distress of Katharine, have furnished some scenes, which may be justly numbered among the greatest efforts of tragedy. But the genius of Shakspeare comes in and goes out with Katharine. Every other part may be easily conceived and easily written.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Antenor, Trojan commanders.


Thersites, a deformed and scurrillous virgin.
Alexander, servant to Cressida.

Servant to Troilus; Servant to Paris; Servant to

Helen, wife to Menelaus.

Andromache, wife to Hector.

Calchas, a Trojan priest, taking part with the Cassandra, daughter to Priam; a prophetess,

Pandarus, uncle to Cressida.

Margarelon, a bastard son of Priam.

Cressida, daughter to Calchas.

Trojan and Greek Soldiers, and Attendants.

[blocks in formation]

Scene, Troy, and the Grecian camp before it.

[blocks in formation]

IN Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of SCENE I.-Troy. Before Priam's palace. En


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;2 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,
Sperr3 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) Proud, disdainful. (2) Freight, (3) Shut. Avaunt, what went before,

ter Troilus armed, and Pandarus.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

you must stay the cooling too, or you may chance | Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair, to burn your lips.

When with your blood you daily paint her thus.

Tro. Patience herself, what goddess ere she be, I cannot fight upon this argument;

Doth lesser blench' 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

Pan. Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever I saw her look, or any woman else.

Tro. I was about to tell thee,-When my heart,
As wedged with a sigh, would rive in twain;
Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,
I have (as when the sun doth light a storm,)
Bury'd this sigh in wrinkle of a smile:
But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness,
Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.

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-
When I do tell thee, There my hopes lie drown'd,
Reply not in how many fathoms deep
They lie indrench'd. I tell thee, I am mad
In Cressid's love: Thou answer'st, She is fair;
Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart

Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice ;
Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand,
In whose comparison all whites are ink,
Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure
The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense
Hard as the palm of ploughmen! 'This thou tell'st

As true thou tell'st me, when I say I love her;
But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me.
The knife that made it.

Pan. I speak no more than truth.
Tro. Thou dost not speak so much.
Pan. 'Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be
as she is: if she be fair, 'tis better for her; an she
be not, she has the mends in her own hands.

Tro. Good Pandarus! How now, Pandarus? Pan. I have had my labour for my travail; illthought on of her, and ill-thought on of you: gone between and between, but small thanks for my labour.

Tro. What, art thou angry, Pandarus? what, with me?

Pan. Because she is kin to me, therefore, she's

It is too starv'd a subject for my sword.
But Pandarus-O gods, how do you plague me!
I cannot come to Cressid, but by Pandar;
And he's as tetchy to be woo'd to woo,
As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphne's love,
What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we?
Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl :
Between our Ilium, and where she resides,
Let it be call'd the wild and wandering flood;
Ourself, the merchant; and this sailing Pandar,
Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.
Alarum. Enter Æneas.

Ene. How now, prince Troilus? wherefore not afield?

Tro. Because not there; This woman's answer

For womanish it is to be from thence.
What news, Æneas, from the field to-day?
Ene. That Paris is returned home, and hurt.
Tro. By whom, Æneas?

Troilus, by Menelaus.
Tro. Let Paris bleed: "Tis but a scar to scorn;
Paris is gor'd with Menelaus' horn. [Alarum.
Ene. Hark! what good sport is out of town to-


Tro. Better at home, if would I might, were

But, to the sport abroad;-Are ye bound thither?
Ene. In all swift haste.

Come, go we then together. [Exe.
SCENE II.-The same. A street. Enter Cres-
sida and Alexander.

Cres. Who were those went by?

Queen Hecuba, and Helen.
Cres. And whither go they?
Up to the eastern tower,
Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
Is, as a virtue, fix'd, to-day was mov'd:
He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer;
And, like as there were husbandry in war,
Before the sun rose, he was harness'd light,
And to the field goes he; where every flower
Did, as a prophet, weep what it foresaw
In Hector's wrath.
What was his cause of anger?
Alex. The noise goes, this: There is among the

not so fair as Helen: an she were not kin to me, A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
she would be as fair on Friday, as Helen is on Sun-They call him, Ajax.
day. But what care I? I care not, an she were a Cres.
black-a-moor; 'tis all one to me.

Tro. Say I, she is not fair?

Pan. I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay behind her father; let her to the Greeks; and so I'll tell her the next time I see her: for my part, I'll meddle nor make no more in the matter.

Tro. Pandarus,—
Pan. Not I.

Tro. Sweet Pandarus,-

Good; And what of him?
Alex. They say he is a very man per se,*
And stands alone.

Cres. So do all men; unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.

Alex. This man, lady, hath robb'd many beasts of their particular additions; he is as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant: a man into whom nature hath so crowded humours, that his valour is crush'd into folly, his folly sauced with discretion: there is no man hath a virtue that Pan. Pray you, speak no more to me; I will he hath not a glimpse of; nor any man an attaint, leave all as I found it, and there an end. but he carries some stain of it: he is melancholy [Exit Pandarus. An Alarum. without cause, and merry against the hair: He Tro, Peace, you ungracious clamours! peace, hath the joints of every thing: but every thing so rude sounds!

(1) Shrink, (2) Split, (5) Suits,

(4) By himself,
(6) Mingled.

(5) Characters,

out of joint, that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use; or purblind Argus, all cyes and no sight.

Cres. But how should this man, that makes me smile, make Hector angry?

Alex. They say, he yesterday coped Hector in the battle, and struck him down: the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and waking.

Enter Pandarus.
Cres. Who comes here?

Alex. Madam, your uncle Pandarus.
Cres. Hector's a gallant man.
Alex. As may be in the world, lady.
Pan. What's that? what's that?

Cres. Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.

Pan. Good morrow, Cousin Cressid: What do you talk of?-Good morrow, Alexander.-How do vou, cousin? When were you at lium?

Cres. This morning, uncle.

Pan. What were you talking of, when I came?
Was Hector armed, and gone, ere ye came to Hium?
Helen was not up, was she?

Cres. Hector was gone; but Helen was not up.
Pan. E'en so; Hector was stirring early.

Cres. No, but brown.

Pan. 'Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.
Cres. To say the truth, true and not true.
Pan. She prais'd his complexion above Paris.
Cres. Why, Paris, hath colour enough.
Pan. So he has.

Cres. Then, Troilus should have too much; if she praised him above, his complexion is higher than his; he having colour enough, and the other higher, is too flaming a praise for a good complexion. I had as lief, Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a copper nose.

Pan. I swear to you, I think Helen loves him better than Paris.

Cres. Then she's a merry Greek, indeed.

Pan. Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him the other day into a compassed' window,-and, you know, he has not past three or four hairs on his chin.

Cres. Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his particulars therein to a total.

Pan. Why, he is very young; and yet will he, within three pound, lift as much as his brother Hector.

Cres. Is he so young a man, and so old a lifter ??
Pan. But, to prove to you that Helen loves him;

Cres. That were we talking of, and of his anger.—she came, and puts me her white hand to his Pan. Was he angry? cloven chin,

Cres. So he says here.

Pan. True, he was so; I know the cause too; he'll lay about him to-day, I can tell them that and there is Troilus will not come far behind him; let them take heed of Troilus; I can tell them that too.

Cres. What, is he angry too?

Pan. Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.

Cres. O, Jupiter! there's no comparison.
Pan. What, not between Troilus and Hector?
Do you know a man if you see him?

Cres. Ay; if ever I saw him before, and knew him

Pe. Well, I say, Troilus is Troilus.

Cres. Then you say as I say; for I am sure, he is not lector.

Pan. , nor Hector is not Troilus, in some degrees.

Cres. 'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.
Pan. Himself? Alas, poor Troilus! I would he


Cres. So he is.

Pan. 'Condition, I had gone barefoot to India.
Cres. He is not Hector.

Pan. Himself? no, he's not himself.-'Would 'a were himself! Well, the gods are above; Time must friend, or end: Well, Troilus, well,-I would my heart were in her body!-No, Hector is not a better man than Troilus.

Cres. Excuse me.

Pan. He is elder.

Cres. Pardon me, pardon me.

Pan. The other's not come to't; you shall tell me another tale, when the other's come to't. Hector shall not have his wit this year.

Cres. He shall not need it, if he have his own.
Pan. Nor his qualities ;-
Cres. No matter.

Pan. Nor his beauty.

Cres. 'Twould not become him, his own's better. Pan. You have no judgment, niece: Helen herself swore the other day, that Troilus, for a brown favour, (for so 'tis, I must confess,)-Not brown neither.

Cres. Juno have mercy!-How came it cloven?
Pan. Why, you know, 'tis dimpled: I think, his
smiling becomes him better than any man in all

Cres. O, he smiles valiantly.
Pan. Does he not?

Cres. O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.
Pan. Why, go to then :-But to prove to you
that Helen loves Troilus,-

Cres. Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll prove it so.

Pan. Troilus? why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an addle egg.

Cres. If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i'the shell. Pan. I cannot choose but laugh, to think how she tickled his chin;-Indeed, she has a marvellous white hand, I must needs confess.

Cres. Without the rack.

Pan. And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.

Cres. Alas, poor chin! many a wart is richer. Pan. But, there was such laughing;-Queen Hecuba laughed, that her eyes ran o'er.

Cres. With mill-stones."

Pan. And Cassandra laughed.

Cres. But there was a more temperate fire under the pot of her eyes;-Did her eyes run o'er too? Pan. And Hector laughed.

Cres. At what was all this laughing?

Pan. Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus' chin.

Cres. An't had been a green hair, I should have laughed too.

Pan. They laughed not so much at the hair, as at his pretty answer.

Cres. What was his answer?

Pan. Quoth she, Here's but one and fifty hairs on your chin, and one of them is white. Cres. This is her question.

Pan. That's true; make no question of that. One and fifty hairs, quoth he, and one white : That white hair is my father, and all the rest are his sons. Jupiter! quoth she, which of these hairs is Paris my husband? The forked one, quoth he; pluck it out, and give it him. But, there was (1) Bow. (2) Thief, (3) A proverbial saying. such laughing! and Helen so blushed, and Paris

so chafed, and all the rest so laughed, that it passed. 'I not hear the people cry, Troilus?-Helenus is a Cres. So let it now; for it has been a great while priest. going by.

Pan. Well, cousin I told you a thing yesterday; think on't.

Cres. So I do.

Pan. I'll be sworn, 'tis true; he will weep you, an 'twere a man in April.

Cres. And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettle against May. [A Retreat sounded. Pan. Hark, they are coming from the field: Shall we stand up here, and see them as they pass toward Ilium? good niece, do; sweet niece Cressida. Cres. At your pleasure.

Pan. Here, here, here's an excellent place; here we may see most bravely: I'll tell you them all by their names, as they pass by; but mark Troilus

above the rest.

Eneas passes over the stage.

Cres. Speak not so loud.

Pan. That's Eneas; Is not that a brave man? he's one of the flowers of Troy, I can tell you; But mark Troilus; you shall see anon.

Cres. Who's that?

Antenor passes over.

Pan. That's Antenor; he has a shrewd wit, can tell you; and he's a man good enough: he's one o'the soundest judgments in Troy, whosoever, and a proper man of person :-When comes Troilus ?-I'll show you Troilus anon; if he see me, you shall see him nod at me.

Cres. Will he give you the nod?"
Pan. You shall see.

Cres. If he do, the rich shall have more.

[blocks in formation]

Cres. O, a brave man!

Cres. What sneaking fellow comes yonder?
Troilus passes over.

Troilus! there's a man, niece!-Hem! brave Troi-
Pan. Where? yonder? that's Deiphobus: "Tis
lus! the prince of chivalry!

Cres. Peace, for shame, peace!

look well upon him, niece; look you, how his sword Pan. Mark him; note him ;-O brave Troilus!is bloodied, and his helm more hack'd than Heetor's; And how he looks, and how he goes!-0 Go thy way, Troilus, go thy way; had I a sister admirable youth! he ne'er saw three and twenty. were a Grace, or a daughter a goddess, he should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris ?-Paris is dirt to him; and, I warrant, Helen, to change would give an eye to boot.

Forces pass over the stage.

Cres. Here come more.

Pan. Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran! porridge after meat! I could live and die i'the eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, ne'er look ; the eagles are gone; crows and daws, crows and daws! I had rather be such a man as Troilus, than Agamemnon and all Greece.

Cres. There is among the Greeks, Achilles; a better man than Troilus.

Pan. Achilles? a drayman, a porter, a very camel.
Cres. Well, well.

Pan. Well, well?-Why, have you any discretion? have you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man?

with no date in the pie,-for then the man's date Cres. Ay, a minced man: and then to be baked is out.

Pan. You are such a woman! one knows not at what ward you lie.

Cres. Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon

Pan. Is a not? It does a man's heart good-my wit, to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to Look you what hacks are on his helmet: look you yonder, do you see? look you there! There's no jesting: there's laying on; take't off who will, as they say there he hacks!

Cres. Be those with swords?

Paris passes over.

Pan. Swords? any thing, he cares not: an the devil come to him, it's all one: By god's lid it does one's heart good:-Yonder comes Paris, yonder comes Paris: look ye yonder, niece; Is't not a gallant man too, is't not?-Why, this is brave now.Who said, he came hurt home to-day? he's not hurt: why this will do Helen's heart good now. Ha! 'would I could see Troilus now!-you shall see Troilus anon.

Cres. Who's that?

[blocks in formation]

defend mine honesty; my mask, to defend my beauty; and you to defend all these: and at all these wards I lie, at a thousand watches.

Pan. Say one of your watches.

Cres. Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of the chiefest of them too: if I cannot ward telling how I took the blow; unless it swell past what I would not have hit, I can watch you for hiding, and then it is past watching.

Enter Troilus' Boy.

Boy. Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.
Pan. Where?

Boy. At your own house; there he unarms him.
Pan. Good boy, tell him I come: [Exit Boy.] I
doubt, he be hurt.-Fare ye well, good niece.
Cres. Adieu, uncle.

Pan. I'll be with you, niece, by and by.
Cres. To bring, uncle,

Pan. Ay, a token from Troilus.

Cres. By the same token-you are a bawdWords, vows, griefs, tears, and love's full sacrifice, [Erit Pandarus, He offers in another's enterprise:

(5) Dates were an ingredient in ancient pastry of almost every kind. (6) Guard,

« AnteriorContinuar »