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women Cressids, and all brokers-between Pandars! say, amen.
I entirely agree with Mr. Tyrwhitt, and am happy to have his opinion in support of the reading of the old copy, from which, in my apprehension, we ought not to deviate, except in cases of extreme necessity. Of the assertion in the latter part of his note, relative to the constancy of Troilus, various proofs are furnished by our old poets. So, in A gorgeous Gallery of gallant Inventions, &c. 4to. 1578:
“ But if thou me forsake,
“ As Cressid that forgot
“ True Troilus, her make,” &c. Again, ibid :
“ As Troilus' truth shall be
“ To kepe my pen from blame,
“ For to resound thy shame.” Mr. M. Mason objects, that constant cannot be the true reading, because Pandarus has already supposed that they should both prove false to each other, and it would therefore be absurd for him to say that Troilus should be quoted as an example of constancy. But to this the answer is, that Shakspeare himself knew what the event of the story was, and who the person was that did prove false ; that many expressions in his plays have dropped from him, in consequence of that knowledge, that are improper in the mouth of the speaker; and that, in his licentious mode of writing, the words, “ if ever you prove false to one another," may mean, not, if you both prove false, but, if it should happen that any falshood or breach of faith should disunite you, who are now thus attached to each other. This might and did happen, by one of the parties proving false, and breaking her engagement.
The modern editions read-if ever you prove false to one another ; but the reading of the text is that of the quarto and folio, and was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. MALONE.
It is clearly the intention of the poet that this imprecation should be such a one as was verified by the event, as it is in part to this very day. But neither was Troilus ever used to denote an inconstant lover, nor, if we believe the story, did he ever deserve the character, as both the others did in truth deserve that shame here imprecated upon them. Besides, Pandarus seems to adjust his imprecation to those of the other two pre
PAN. Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber and a bed, which bed, because it shall not speak of your pretty encounters, press it to
death : away:
And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here, Bed, chamber, Pandar to provide this geer!
The Grecian Camp.
Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, DIOMEDES, NESTOR,
AJAX, MENELAUS, and Calchas.
CAL. Now, princes, for the service I have done
you, The advantage of the time prompts me aloud To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind,
ceding, just as they dropped from their lips; as false as Cressid, and, consequently, as true (or as constant) as Troilus.
HEATH. - and a bed,] These words are not in the old copy,
but what follows shows that they were inadvertently omitted.
MALONE. This deficiency was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. He reads, however, a chamber with a bed; which bed, because" &c. STEEVENS.
Appear it to your mind,] Sir Thomas Hanmer, very properly in my opinion, reduces this line to measure, by reading :
-Appear it to you,— STEEVENS.
That, through the sight I bear in things, to Jove I have abandon'd. Troy, left my possession,
through the sight I bear in things, to Jove &c.] This passage, in all the modern editions, is silently depraved, and printed thus :
through the sight I bear in things to come, The word is so printed that nothing but the sense can determine whether it be love or Jove. I believe that the editors read it as love, and therefore made the alteration to obtain some meaning.
JOHNSON. I do not perceive why love, the clear and evident reading of both the quartos and folios, should be passed over without some attempt to explain it. In my opinion it may signify—“ No longer assisting Troy with my advice, I have left it to the dominion of love, to the consequences of the amour of Paris and Helen.”
STEEVENS. * That, through the sight I bear in things, to Jove
I have abandon'd Troy, &c.] This reasoning perplexes Mr. Theobald: “ He foresaw his country was undone; he ran over to the Greeks; and this he makes a merit of says the editor). I own (continues he) the motives of his oratory seem to be somewhat perverse and unnatural. Nor do I know how to reconcile it, unless our poet purposely intended to make Calchas act the part of a true priest, and so from motives of self-interest insinuate the merit of service." The editor did not know how to reconcile this. Nor I neither, For I do not know what he means by “ the motives of his oratory,” or, “ from motives of self-interest to insinuate merit.” But if he would insinuate, that it was the poet's design to make his priest self-interested, and to represent to the Greeks that what he did for his own preservation, was done for their service, he is mistaken. Shakspeare thought of nothing so silly, as it would be to draw his priest a knave, in order to make him talk like a fool. Though that be the fate which generally attends their abusers. But Shakspeare was no such; and consequently wanted not this cover for dulness. The perverseness is all the editor's own, who interprets,
through the sight I have in things to come,
I have abandon’d Troy,to signify, “by my power of prescience finding my country must be ruined, I have therefore abandoned it to seek refuge with you ;" whereas the true sense is, “ Be it known unto you, that on account of a gift or faculty I have of seeing things to
Incurr'd a traitor's name; expos’d myself,
come, which faculty I suppose would be esteemed by you as acceptable and useful, I have abandoned Troy my native country.”
That he could not mean what the editor supposes, appears from these considerations : First, if he had represented himself as running from a falling city, he could never have said: “ I have
“ To doubtful fortunes ;Secondly, the absolute knowledge of the fall of Troy was a secret hid from the inferior gods themselves; as appears from the poetical history of that war. It depended on many contingencies, whose existence they did not foresee. All that they knew was, that if such and such things happened, Troy would fall. And this secret they communicated to Cassandra only, but along with it, the fate not to be believed. Several others knew each a several part of the secret; one, that Troy could not be taken unless Achilles went to the war; another, that it could not fall while it had the palladium; and so on.
But the secret, that it was absolutely to fall, was known to none.
---The sense here given will admit of no dispute among those who know how acceptable a seer was amongst the Greeks. So that this Calchas, like a true priest, if it needs must be so, went where he could exercise his profession with most advantage. For it being much less common amongst the Greeks than the
Asiaticks, there would be a greater demand for it. WARBURTON.
I am afraid, that after all the learned commentator's efforts to clear the argument of Calchas, it will still appear
liable to objection ; nor do I discover more to be urged in his defence, than that though his skill in divination determined him to leave Troy, yet that he joined himself to Agamemnon and his army by unconstrained good-will; and though he came as a fugitive escaping from destruction, yet his services after his reception, being voluntary and important, deserved reward. This argument is not regularly and distinctly deduced, but this is, I think, the best explication that it will yet admit. Johnson.
In p. 239, n. 4, an account has been given of the motives which induced Calchas to abandon Troy. The services to which he alludes, a short quotation from Lydgate will sufficiently explain. Auncient Hist. &c. 1555:
To doubtful fortunes; séquest'ring from me all That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition,
“ He entred into the oratorye,
“ And be right helping to their good spede." Mr. Theobald thinks it strange that Calchas should claim any merit for having joined the Greeks after he had said that he knew his country was undone; but there is no inconsistency: he had left, from whatever cause, what was dear to him, his country, friends, children, &c. and, having joined and served the Greeks, was entitled to protection and reward.
On the phrase-As new into the world, (for so the old copy reads,) I must observe, that it appears from a great number of passages in our old writers, the word into was formerly often used in the sense of unto, as it evidently is here. In proof of this assertion the following passages may be adduced:
" It was a pretty part in the old church-playes when the nimble Vice would skip up nimbly like a jackanapes into the devil's necke, and ride the devil a course.' Harsnet's Declaration of Popish Impostures, 4to. 1602.
Again, in a letter written by J. Paston, July 8, 1468; Paston Letters, Vol. II. p. 5: “—and they that have justed with him into this day, have been as richly beseen,” &c.
Again, in Laneham's Account of the Entertainment at Kenelworth, 1575: “ --what time it pleased her to ryde forth into the chase, to hunt the hart of fors; which found, anon,” &c.
Chase, indeed, may mean here, the place in which the Queen hunted; but I believe it is employed in the more ordinary