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Springs of Water



1. Lines 1-31.-This prologue is not given in the Quarto; it is only found in the Folios. Ritson and Steevens condemn it as not genuine, and amongst modern critics Mr. Fleay finds in the lines "much work that is unlike Shakespeare's" (Life and Work of Shakespeare, p. 220). Grant White attributed the authorship to Chapman.

2. Line 1: In Troy, there lies the SCENE.-Not an unusual beginning: so the prologue to the Broken Heart (Ford) commences, "Our scene is Sparta."

3. Line 8: whose strong IMMURES.-We have the verb several times in Shakespeare; e.g. Venus and Adonis, 1194: Means to immure herself and not be seen;

Richard III. iv. 1. 100; Sonnet lxxxiv. 3. Mure, substantive, occurs in II. Henry IV. iv. 4. 119; circummure in Measure for Measure, iv. 1. 28.

4. Line 15: Priam's SIX-GATED city. So the Folios.. Theobald, to suit the plural verb, sperr up, below (line 19), needlessly changed to "six gates the city," and was followed by Hanmer.

5. Line 17: ANTENORIDES.-Ff. have Antenonidus; the

change (Theobald's), adopted by most editors, appears necessary. Shakespeare is obviously following the account in Caxton's Destruction of Troy, where, in the third book, a description of Troy is given: "In this city were six gates; the one was named Dardane, the second Timbria, the third Helias, the fourth Chetas, the fifth Troyen, and the sixth Antenorides" (Destruction, bk. 3, p. 4, ed. 1708). Dyce, too, quotes Lydgate, The historye, Sege and dystruccyon of Troye:

The fourthe gate hyghte also Cetheas;

The fyfte Troiana, the syxth Anthonydes, where the edition of 1555 alters Anthonydes to the nearly right reading Antinorydes.

6. Line 18: FULFILLING bolts; i.e. which fill the aperture so closely that no room is left; for this, the etymological sense of the word, we may compare Lucrece, 1258.

7. Line 19: SPERR up the sons of Troy.-F. 1 has stirre, out of which no meaning can be got. Theobald made the admirable suggestion sperr; Collier's MS. Corrector had sparr in the same sense. The use of the word is well supported. Thus Spenser, in the Faerie Queene, writes: The other which was entered laboured fast To sperr the gate.

-Bk. v. c. x. st. xxxvii.

And again in the Shepherd's Calendar (May):

And if he chance come when I am abroad,

Sperr the gate fast, for fear of fraud. Steevens, too, quotes from Warner's Albion's England (1602), bk. ii. ch. 12: “ When chased home into his holdes, there sparred up in gates.” The word is identical with German sperren. As to the plural verb I see no difficulty; coming after the list of names it is far more natural to the ear than the singular would have been, though grammati. cally, perhaps, less correct. Capell, however, prints sperrs. 8. Lines 22, 23:

and hither am I come A PROLOGUE ARM'D. The reference, as Johnson explains, is to the actor who spoke the prologue, and who usually wore a black cloak. An exact parallel may be found in the Præludium to Thomas Randolph's amusing skit, Aristippus:

Be not deceived, I have no bended knees,
No supple tongue, no speeches steeped in oil;
No candied flattery, no honied words.
I come an armed Prologue; arm'd with arts.

-Randolph's Works, ed. Carew Hazlitt, p. 3. So in the stage-directions to the introduction to Ben Jonson's Poetaster, we are told that the Prologue enters hastily in armour, and in the following speech the ex. pression armed Prologue occurs (Works, vol. ii. p. 394, with Gifford's note). [Surely the superfluous and in line 22 might be omitted. In F. 1 there is a full stop after hazard.-F. A. M.)

11. Line 7: and skilful to their strength.--For Shakespeare's use of "to"="in addition to," see Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar, pp. 121, 122. Compare Mac beth, iij. 1. 51-53:

't is much he dares;
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,

He lath a wisdom;
and same play, i. 6. 19.

12. Line 14: I'll not MEDDLE nor MAKE. -Evidently a proverbial phrase, equivalent to “I will keep clear of it." Cf. line 85. So in Much Ado, iii. 3. 56: "and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for yoär honesty."

9. Line 27: Leaps o'er the vaunt.-In conformity with the Horatian maxim:

Nec gemino bellum Trojanum orditur ab ovo;
Semper ad eventum festinat et in medias res
Non secus ac notas auditorem rapit.

-Ars Poetica, 147-149.
For vaunt (=avant) we may compare Lear, iii. 2. 5:

Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts. So vanguard.


13. Lines 30, 31:

And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts,

So, traitor!"when she comes!"- When is she thence! We have here an excellent correction of the text. 04. and F. 1 and F. 2 gave:

then she comes, when she is thence The change is unimpeachable; the credit is due to Rowe, second edn.

14. Line 41: An her hair were not somewhat DARKER This is one of the many allusions that might be quoted to the distaste felt by our ancestors for dark hair and eyes. Walker (A Critical Examination of the Text of Shakespeare, vol. iii. p. 190) aptly refers to Massinger's Parliament of Love, where, in act ii. scene 3, Beaupré says:

Like me, sir !
One of my dark complexion?

-Massinger's Works, Cunningham's ed. p. 172. Still more to the point, however, is Sonnet cxxvii., the first of the second great series of sonnets:

In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;
But now is black beauty's successive heir,
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame.
Therefore my niistress' brows are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,

Slandering creation with a false esteem.
Compare Love's Labour's Lost, iii. 198, 199, and the
note (197) on Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2. 257. Red
hair was regarded by the Puritans as a decided blemish;
cf. Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, iii. 2 (Dyce's
ed.), vol. iv. p. 47.

[In Mr. John Kemble's arrangement of this play, Act i. commences with Scene 3, and Scenes 1 and 2 become Scenes 2 and 3 respectively. This is certainly a better arrangement from a dramatic point of view, as it places a comparatively dull Scene at the beginning instead of the end of the Act, which by that means is made to conclude with a Scene in which the hero and heroine, Troilus and Cressida, are both concerned, and which marks a distinct step in the progress of the story.-F. A. M.]

10. Line 1: Call here my VARLET.-In Minsheu varlet is translated by famulus, and Steevens quotes from Holinshed's account of the battle of Agincourt: “divers were releeved by their varlets, and conveied out of the field." The word, in fact, meant then what valet (of which it is simply an earlier form) does now. So Cotgrave gives "a groom, a stripling" for the 0. F. varlet, upon which Ménage remarks, Dictionnaire, 1750: "des escuyers trenchans estoient appellés valets. C'estoit aussi un Gentil-homme qui n'estoit pas chevalier?” In this way the word came to be applied to the knave in a pack of cards.

15. Line 55: HANDLEST in thy discourse, O, that her HAND.—For a similar word-play compare Titus Andronicus, iii. 2. 29. Malone well remarks upon the curions reverence which Shakespeare seems to have felt for the beauty of a woman's hand. Note, for instance, the delicacy and suggestiveness of the epithets and imagery in the following passages : Romeo and Juliet, iii. 3. 35, 36, where we have the splendid lines:

they may seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand;
Winter's Tale, iv. 4. 373–376:

this hand,
As soft as dove's down and as white as it,
Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd snow, that's bolted
By the northern blasts thrice o'er;

assistance of cosmetics," on the principle apparently advocated in Randolph's Jealous Lovers, iv. 3:

Paint, ladies, while you live, and plaister fair,
But when the house is fallen, 't is past repair.

-Works (Hazlitt's ed.), vol. i. p. 141.

and Lucrece, 393-395, a perfect picture:

Without the bed her other fair hand was,
On the green coverlet; whose perfect white

Show'd like an April daisy on the grass. (In the Q. the punctuation is thus:

Handlest in thy discourse: O that her hand, The Ff. have:

Handlest in thy discourse. O that her Hand. Some editors, having regard to the punctuation of the old copies, make the verb handlest govern some of the nouns in the line above. Capell, for instance, puts a semicolon after gait in line 54, making her voice governed by handlest. Malone was the first to punctuate line 55 as it is in our text. Other conjectures have been made by various editors in order to make the passage intelligible. With regard to the punctuation of the old copies, certainly O that her hand seems more like an exclamation than the object of the sentence; but if we take that her hand to be the accusative case, and explain it as we have in our foot-note, then we must suppose o to be strictly a mere interjection, a parenthetical expression of rapture. For that her hand="that hand of hers" compare the following passages:-Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 3. 19: “Thy demon that thy spirit;" and in the same play, iv. 14. 79: "Draw that thy honest sword;" and also Macbeth, i. 7. 53: "that their fitness."-F. A. M.)

19. Lines 78, 79: as fair on FRIDAY as Helen is on SUNDAY.-Friday being a fast day when the "suit of humiliation" would be worn, while Sunday is a signal for donning smart attire. It is hardly necessary to point out the glaring anachronism; the play is full of such errors.

20. Line 99: And he's as TETCHY to be woo'd; i.e. “fretful;" a corruption, perhaps, of “touchy." So Romeo and Juliet, i. 3. 32:

To see it tetchy, and fall out.

16. Line 57: to whose soft SEIZURE.-Seizure is used passively; touch would be more natural.

21. Line 105: Let it be call'd the WILD and WANDERING flood.-A finely alliterative effect that comes in the last verse of the introductory stanzas to In Memoriam. Later on in the same poem Tennyson beautifully applies the epithet wandering to the sea:

O Mother, praying God will save

Thy sailor-while thy head is bow'd,

His heavy-shotted hammock shroud

Drops in his vast and wandering grave. -Canto vi. 22. Line 108: How now, Prince TROILUS! wharefore not a-field ?-Troilus is always a dissyllable in Shakespeare; so Walker, Shakespeare's Versification, pp. 164–166. Thus in Lucrece, 1486, we have:

Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus swounds. Again in the Merchant of Venice, in the almost incomparable first scene of the fifth act, lines 3, 4:

in such a night Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls. The only possible exception occurs in the present play, v. 2. 161, where the common reading is :

May worthy Troilus be half attach'd ? Probably Shakespeare thought the name was derived from Troy. Peele, we may note, treats the word rightly as a trisyllable; e.g. Tale of Troy: So hardy was the true knight Troilus.

-Peele's Works, p. 555.

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17. Lines 58, 59:

The cygnet's down is harsh, and SPIRIT OF SENSE

Hard as the palm of ploughman. These lines are not easy. What are we to make of spirit of sense! Warburton, of course, emended, proposing omte of sense ; upon which Johnson bluntly remarked: " it is not proper to make a lover profess to praise his mistress in spite of sense; for though he often does it in spite of the sense of others, his own senses are subdued to his desires." I see no necessity for any alteration. I think the sense is: “sense, i.e. sensitiveness personified, is not so delicate, so impalpable, as Cressida's hand.” I believe the words can bear this interpretation, and it seems to me to carry on the line of thought. To make spirit of sense a mere variant on whose soft seizure is surely wrong; the lines contain two distinct conceptions. Also we must not press hard as the palm, etc. too closely; the poet merely wishes to suggest something rough and coarse in contrast to that which, next to Cressida's hand, is the most ethereal thing we can conceive, viz. sensitiveness itself. Compare iii. 3. 106, and Julius Cæsar, iv. 3. 74.

18. Line 68: she has the MENDS in her own hands.—This, as Steevens satisfactorily shows, was a cant phrase meaning "to make the best of a bad bargain; do the best one can." In this sense is it used by Field in his Woman is A Weathercock, 1612: “ I shall stay here and have my head broke, and then I have the mends in my own hands" (Dodsley, Old Plays, ed. Carew Hazlitt (1875), vol. xi. D. 25). Johnson's interpretation of the passage is characteristic: "She may mend her complexion with the

23. Line 109: this WOMAN'S ANSWER sorts. - Troilus means that the logic of his reply_"not there because not there"—is the logic, or rather no-logic, in which women indulge; and then he proceeds to play upon woman, womanish.

24. Line 115: Paris is gor'd with Menelaus' HORN.Alluding to the idea of which our old dramatists make perpetual mention, that the husband of an unfaithful wife was a cuckold, or as Mirabel says in The Wild Goose Chase, i. 3: “a gentleman of antler." Perhaps the most elaborate treatment of the subject comes in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, where we hardly know whether most to ridicule or to despise the complacent Allwit. Similar references occur later on in this play.


25. Line 8: he was harness'd LIGHT.-Light may refer to the weight of their armour; more probably, however, it means "nimbly," "quickly." Theobald needlessly

altered to "harness-dight," a reading, he remarked, which "gives us the poet's meaning in the properest terms imaginable.” He was followed by Hanmer.

26. Lines 9, 10:

where EVERY FLOWER Did, as a prophet, WEEP. So in Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 1. 204:

And when she weeps, weeps every little flower. Dew on the ground naturally suggests tears.

27. Line 15: a very man PER SE.--Grey refers to the Testament of Cresseide:

of faire Cresseide, the floure and a per se
or Troi and Greece.

28. Line 20: their particular ADDITIONS.--Here, as often, in the sense of “titles," “ denominations." Malone says it was a law term, and in Cowell's Interpreter (ed. 1637) Addition is thus explained, "a title given to a man over and above his Christian and surname, shewing his estate, degree, occupation, trade, age, place of dwelling, &c." Compare Coriolanus, i. 9. 66; and for an instance outside Shakespeare, Bussy D'Ambois, iv. 1:

Man is a name of honour for a king:
Additions tako away from each thing.

-Chapman's Works, p. 163.

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29. Line 28: merry AGAINST THE HAIR.- Compare à contre-poil: as we should say, "against the grain.” The idea came from stroking the fur of animals the reverse way. Justice Shallow uses the expression in Merry Wives,

3. 41: if you should fight, you go against the hair of your professions. 30. Line 46: When were you at ILIUM?-Shakespeare, as Hanmer and the other editors point out, applies the name Ilium only to Priam's palace, and not to the city at large. In this he was following Caxton's Destruction of Troy, where the palace is thus described: “In this open space of the city, upon a rock, King Priamus did build his rich palace named Ilion, that was one of the richest and strongest in all the world. It was of height five hundred paces, besides the height of the towers, whereof there was great plenty, so high, as it seemed to them that saw from far, they reacht Heaven. And in this palace King Priamus did make the richest Hall that was at that time in all the world: within which was his throne; and the table whereupon he did eat, and held his estate among his nobles, princes, lords, and barons, was of gold and silver, precious stones, and of ivory" (bk. iii. p. 5, ed. 1708).

31. Line 58: he'll LAY ABOUT him to-day.-We have a similar expression in Henry V. v. 2. 147: “I could lay on like a butcher;" and compare Macbeth's, Lay on, Macduff," v. 8. 33.

32. Line 80: gone barefoot to India. -A like exploit is suggested in Othello, iv. 3. 38, 39: “I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip." We are reminded somewhat of the veracious Chronicles of Sir John Maundeville.

33. Line 92: Hector shall not have his wit; i.e. Troilus' wit. For wit Q. and Ff. read will. Rowe made the change.

34. Line 118: Then she's a MERRY GREEK. -Compare iv. 4. 58. It is a classical touch. See Horace, Satires, ii. 2 2, where the hard life of a Roman soldier is contrasted with the easier, somewhat effeminate ways of the Greek:

Si Romana fatigat

Militia assuetum Græcari.
So in Plautus, Mostellaria, i. 1. 21, pergræcari= per totam
noctem potare (Orelli). The idea passed into classical
English; e.g. Ben Jonson, Volpone, iii. 5:

Let's die like Romans
Since we have lived like Grecians.

-Works, iii. p. 261, and Gifford's note. Minsheu (1617) gives (under Greeke) "a merie Grecke, hilaris Græcus, a Jester;" and in Roister Doister one of the dramatis personæ is Mathew Merygrecke who throughout acts up to his name; cf. i. 1, Arber's Reprint, p. 13. Nares (Halliwell's ed.) has a vague generalism : "the Greeks were proverbially spoken of by the Romans as fond of good living and free potations."

35. Line 120: into the COMPASS'D windore. - For compassed=rounded," compare Venus and Adonis, 272: "compass'd crest;" also “compass'd cape" (Taming of the Shrew, iv. 3. 140). Bow window" would be more intelligible to us. Compassed, according to Malone, was also applied to a particular kind of ceiling.

36. Line 129: 80 old a LIFTER.-A word that has only survived in the special phrases, shoplifter and cattlelifter. Though not found elsewhere in Shakespeare it occurs with tolerable frequency in the Elizabethan dra. matists. So in Ben Jonson's Cynthia's Revels, i. 1, we have “one other peculiar virtue you possess, is lift. ing(Works, vol. ii. 231). In Middleton's Roaring Girl, “cheaters, lifters and foists" are mentioned in the same sentence (Works, vol. ii. 546). Etymologically the word is best seen in the Gothic hlifan=to steal; cognate with Latin clepere (Skeat).

37. Line 158: With mill-stones.-A proverbial phrase not to weep at all, to be hard-hearted. C1. Richard III. i. 3. 354:

Your eyes drop mill-stones, when fools' eyes fall tears; and see notes 160 and 204 of that play.

38. Line 171: Here's but one and fifty hairs.--Curiously enough Q. and Ff. unanimously give tuo and fifty." The correction (Theobald's) ought, I think, to be adopted, though the Cambridge editors keep to the copies. Fifty was the traditional number of Priam's sons. Shakespeare, however, may have made the mistake.

39. Line 178: The FORKED one."-See note 24; and compare Othello, iii. 3. 276:

Even then this forked plague is fated to us. So, too, Winter's Tale, i. 2. 186, spoken appropriately enough by Leontes.

40. Line 182: that it PASSED.—The meaning is clear: "it was excesssive, beggared description." So in Merry Wives of Windsor we have (i. 1. 310) "the women have so cried and shriek'd at it, that it pass'd;" and later in the same play the verb occurs twice in the present tense, with the same meaning: “Why, this passes! Master Ford,” iv, 2 127, and line 143. See Timon of Athens, i. 1. 12, and com.

pare the ordinary adjectival use of the participle, passing. For instances outside Shakespeare note Greene, Works, p. 100, and Peele, Works, p. 510.

41. Line 206: That's ANTENOR: he has a shrewd wit.Shakespeare, as Steevens points out, is thinking of Lydgate's description of Antenor:

Copious in words, and one that much time spent

To jest, whenas he was in companie,

So driely, that no man could it espie: And therewith held his countenance so well, That every man received great content To heare him speake, and pretty jests to tell, When he was pleasant and in merriment: For tho' that he most commonly was sad, Yet in his speech some jest he always had. Antenor was one of the Trojan leaders who escaped; see Virgil's Eneid, i. 242-249.

42. Line 212: Will he GIVE you THE NOD?-Steevens says that to give the nod was a card term. There certainly was a game called noddy, to which references are not infrequent. Compare, for instance, Westward Ho, iv. 1:

Bird. Come, shall's go to noddy!

Honey. Ay, an thou wilt, for half an hour.

-Webster's Works, p. 229. In any case, Cressida is simply playing on the slang meaning of noddy, which then, as now, signified "a simpleton;" hence she hints that if Pandarus gets another nod he will be more of a noddy than ever. I find very much the same sort of quibble in Northward Ho, ii. 1: 'Sfoot, what tricks at noddy are these? -Webster, p. 258. Minsheu, I may add, has a very characteristic explanation of the word: "A Noddie; because he nods when he should speake-A foole" (Dictionary, 1617).

43. Line 228: by God's lid.—A curious oath, which seems, however, to have been proverbial. So in Field's A Woman is a Weathercock, v. 2, we have:

Why then, by God's lid, thou art a base rogue. I knew I should live -Dodsley, ed. 1875, vol. xi. p. 81.

to tell thee so.

For lid=eyelid, cf. Hamlet, i. 2. 70, 71:

Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust.

44. Line 245: HELENUS is a priest.-So in Caxton's Destruction of Troy, bk. iii. p. 3, he is "a man that knew all the arts liberal." After the fall of Troy Helenus reappears in the third book of the Eneid, lines 295–505.

45. Line 280: baked with no DATE in the pie.-Pies with dates in them appear to have been almost as inevitable in Elizabethan cookery as the "green sauce" with which the dramatists garnished their dishes, or as those plates of prunes to which continual reference is made. Compare Romeo and Juliet, iv. 4. 2:

They call for dates and quinces in the pastry. So, too, All's Well that Ends Well, i. 1. 172.

46. Line 283: at what WARD you LIE.-The poet has borrowed a term from fencing. So in I. Henry IV. ii. 4. 215, 216:

Thou knowest my old ward; here I lay, and thus I bore my point.

47. Lines 304-306:

Pan. I'll be with you, niece, by and by.

Cres. To BRING, uncle?

Pan. Ay, a token from Troilus.

This very obscure and doubtful expression to bring occurs in Peele's Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes:

And I'll close with Bryan till I have gotten the thing
That he hath promised me, and then I'll be with him to bring.
-Peele's Works, p. 503.
Commenting on the passage just quoted, Dyce gives
several other places where the phrase is found: Kyd's
Spanish Tragedy, i. 2; Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful
Lady, v. 4; and Harington's Orlando Furioso, bk. xxxix.
48. In addition to these Grant White quotes from Tusser's
Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry:

For carman and colier harps both on a string,
In winter they cast to be with thee to bring.

See also Dyce's Middleton, ii. 147, with his glossary to Shakespeare, p. 52. The meaning of the phrase cannot be determined; it was a piece of contemporary slang, the key to which has been lost. To bring, uncle? should certainly be printed as a query.

48. Lines 313: Things won are done; JOY'S SOUL lies in the doing. That is to say, "the essence of the pleasure lies in the doing:" a fine expression. F. 2 and F. 3 have the soule's joy, a correction as obvious as it is tame and ineffective. Hanmer preferred it. The best commentary on the thought developed in the passage is the great sonnet cxxix.:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action.

For the converse idea we may compare the Friar's speech in Much Ado, iv. 1. 220–225.

49. Lines 319-321:

Achievement is command; ungain'd, beseech:

Then, though my heart's content firm love doth bear, Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.

If line 319 is to be altered, we should, I think, adopt (with Singer) Mr. Harness's very ingenious suggestion"Achieved, men us command." Collier's "Achieved men still command," seems to me far less satisfactory. I believe, however, that the text of the copies should be retained. The difficulty comes from the poet's characteristic compression of thought, and in such maxims the sense generally gains in concentration at the expense of the clearness of expression. Summarized, the lines mean: "When men have won us they are our rulers; before they win us they are our suppliants." For achievement compare Taming of the Shrew, i. 2. 268:

Achieve the elder, set the younger free.

In the next line (320) Warburton took heart's content to signify "heart's capacity." Perhaps, however, Cressida simply means that love is the basis of her happiness.

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