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We turn not back the silks upon the merchant, When we have soil'd them;' nor the remainder
viands 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 with full consento 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, whom the Greeks held cap
-soild them;] So reads the quarto. The folio:
- spoil'd them. Johnson. --unrespective sieve,) That is, unto a common voider. Sieve is in the quarto. The folio reads:
-unrespective same; for which the second folio and modern editions have silently printed:
unrespective place. Johnson. It is well known that sieves and half-sieves are baskets to be met with in every quarter of Covent Garden market; and that, in some families, baskets lined with tin are still employed as voiders. With the former of these senses sieve is used in The Wits, by Sir W. D'Avenant:
apple-wives “ That wrangle for a sieve." Dr. Farmer adds, that, in several counties of England, the baskets used for carrying out dirt, &c. are called sieves. The. correction, therefore, in the second folio, appears to have been unnecessary. STEEVENS.
. Your breath with full consent-] Your breaths all blowing together; your unanimous approbation. See Vol. XII. p. 217, n. 5. Thus the quarto. The folio reads of full consent.
MALONE. * And, for an old aunt, ] Priam's sister, Hesione, whom : Hercules, being enraged at Priam's breach of faith, gave to Telamon, who by her had Ajax. MALONE.
This circumstance is also found in Lydgate, Book II. where
He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and
freshness Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes pale 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 cry'd-Go, go,) If you'll confess, he brought home noble prize, (As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands, And cry'd-Inestimable ?) why do you now The issue of your proper wisdoms rate; And do a deed that fortune never did,5 Beggar the estimation which you priz'd Richer than sea and land? Ootheft most base; That we have stolen what we do fear to keep!
“ My syster eke, called Exiona
STEEVENS. makes pale the morning. ] So the quarto. The folio and modern editors
makes stale the morning. JOHNSON. $ And do a deed that fortune never did,] If I understand this passage, the meaning is : “ Why do you, by censuring the determination of your own wisdoms, degrade Helen, whom fortune hath not yet deprived of her value, or against whom, as the wife of Paris, fortune has not in this war so declared, as to make us value her less ?” This is very harsh, and much strained.
JOHNSON The meaning, I believe, is : “ Act with more inconstancy and caprice than ever did fortune.” HENLEY.
Fortune was never so unjust and mutable as to rate a thing on one day above all price, and on the next to set no estimation whatsoever. upon it. You are now going to do what fortune never did. Such, I think, is the meaning. Malone. VOL. XV.
But, thieves, unworthy of a thing so stolen,
Cas. [Within.] Cry, Trojans, cry!
What noise ? what shriek is this?
Enter Cassandra, raving.?
Cas. Cry, Trojans, cry! lend me ten thousand
HECT. Peace, sister, peace.
6 But, thieves,] Sir T. Hanmer reads-Base thieves,
JOHNSON. That did, in the next line, means that which did.
MALONE. Enter Cassandra, raving.] This circumstance also is from the third Book of Lydgate's Auncient Historie, &c. 1555 :
66 This was the noise and the pyteous crye
STEEVENS. wrinkled elders,] So the quarto. Folio-wrinkled old. MALONE.
Elders, the erroneous reading of the quarto, would seem to have been properly corrected in the copy whence the first folio was printed; but it is a rule with printers, whenever they meet with a strange word in a manuscript, to give the nearest word to it they are acquainted with ; a liberty which has been not very
Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
Why, brother Hector,
sparingly exercised in all the old editions of our author's plays. There cannot be a question that he wrote:
mid-age and wrinkled eld. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :
“ The superstitious idle-headed eld.” Again, in Measure for Measure :
“ Doth beg the alms of palsied eld.” Ritson. • Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilion stand ;] See p. 240, n. 5, and p. 246, n. 9. This line unavoidably reminds us of another in the second Book of the Æneid : Trojaque nunc stares, Priamique arx alta maneres.
STEEVENS. Our fire-brand brother,] Hecuba, when pregnant with Paris, dreamed she should be delivered of a burning torch :
et face prægnans
Æneid X. 705. STEEVENS,
Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel,
PAR. Else might the world convince of levity
Paris, you speak Like one besotted on your sweet delights: You have the honey still, but these the gall; So to be valiant, is no praise at all.
distaste-] Corrupt; change to a worse state.
JOHNSON * To make it gracious.] i. e. to set it off; to show it to advantage. So, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604 : “—he is most exquisite, &c. in sleeking of skinnes, blushing of cheeks, &c. that ever made an ould lady gracious by torch-light.”.
STEVENS. convince of levity-] This word, which our author frequently employs in the obsolete sense of—to overpower, subdue, seems, in the present instance, to signify-convict, or subject to the charge of levity. STEEVENS.
your full consent-) Your unanimous approbation. See p. 304, n. 2. MALONE