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Preface to the quarto edition of this play, 1C09.

A newer writer, to an ever reader. Newes.

Eternall reader, you have heere a new play, never staled with the stage, never clapper-claw'd with the palmes of the vulger, and yet passing full of the palme comicall; for it is a birth of your brame, that never undertook any thing commicall, vaineJy: and were but the vaine names of commedies change for the tides of commodities, or of playes for pleas; you mould fee all those grand censors, that now stile them such vanities, flock to them for the maine grace of their gravities: especially this authors commedies, that are so fram'd to the life, that they serve for the most common commentaries of all the actions of our lives, showing such a dexteritie and power of witte, that the most displeased with playes, are pleasd with his commedies. And all such dull and heavy witted worldlings, as were never capable of the witte of a cemmedie, comming by report of them to his representations, have found that witte there, that they never found in them-selves, and have parted better-witted then they came: feeling an edge of witte set upon them, more than ever they dreamd they had braine to grind it on. So much and such favored salt of witte is in his comedies, that they seeme (for their height of pleasure) to be borne in that sea that brought forth Venus. Amongst all there is none more witty than this: and had I time I would comment upon it, though I know it needs not, (for so much as will make you think your testerne well bestow (i) but for so much worth, as even poore I know to be stuff in it. It deserves such a labour, as well as the best commedy in Terence or Plautus. And beleeve this, that when hee is gone, and his commedies out of sale, you will scramble for them, and set up a new English inquisition. Take this for a warning, and at the perill of your pleasures losse, and judgements, refuse not, nor like this the lesse, for not being sullied with the smoky breath of the multitude; but thanke fortune for the scape it hath made amongst you. Since by the grand possessors wills I believe you should have prayd for them rather then beene prayd. And sol leave all such to bee prayd for (for the states of their wits healths) that will not praise it. Vale.


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J N'Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece

The princes 1 orgillous, their high blood chafed,
Have to the port of Athens sent their Jhips
Fraught with the ministers and instruments
Of cruel war: Sixty and nine, that wore
Their crownets regal, from the Athenian bay
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: Now on Dardan plains
The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
Their brave pavilions: * Priam's fix-gated city
{Dardan, and Thymbria, Ilias, Cbetas, Troyan,
And Antenoridas) with massy staples*


1 The princes orgillous, ] Orgillous, i. e. proud, disdainful. Orgueilleux, Fr. This word is used in the ancient romance of Richard Lyon:

"His atyre was orgulous." Steevens.

* Priam's fix-gated city,'

{Dara'an and Timbria, Helias, Cbetas, Troieti,

And Antenonidus) ivitb mastic staples,

And corresponfive andfulfilling bolts,

Stirre up the sons of Troy's. ] This has been a most miserably mangled passage through all the editions; corrupted at once into false concord and false reasoning. Priam's fix-gated city ftirrt up the sons of Troy ?—Here's a verb plural governed of a nominative singular. But that is easily remedied. The next question to be asked is, In what sense a city, having fix strong gates, and those well barred and bolted, can be said to fire up its inhabitants? unless they may be supposed to derive some spirit from the strength of their fortifications. But this could not be the poet's thought. He must mean, I take it, that ^e Greeks had pitched their tents upon the plains before Troy; and that the Trojans were securely barricaded within the walls and gates of

B z their

And correfponsive and fulfilling boltsJ,
Sptrrs up the Jons tfTrp%.* * ,


their city. This fense my correction restores. -To fperre, or /far, from the old Teutonic word Sperm, signifies to /hut up, defends by bars, &c. Theo&ald. 'V

So, in Spenser's Faery Queef, b. 5. c. 10:" :1 "The other that was erttred, labout'd/aft . "To fperre the gate, &c." Again, in the romance of the Squhr eflcuie "Degrr: "Sperde with manic a dyvers pynne."'..'.'..'• And in the Visions of P. Plowman it is said that a blind mart "unfparryd his eine."

Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. II. chap. 12: "Where chafed home-intbhis'holdesi there^artrV/upin gates." Again, in the 2nd Part of Bale's Aclu ofEng; Vitaryes: " The dare thereof oft tymes opened and speared ag&fne." Stbevens.

"Therto his cyte | compassed en uyrowne

'" Hadde gates "VI to entre into the tbwue: _~

"The sirste of all- I and stFengest eke with all, , " Largest also I and moste pryncypall, • ** Of myghty byldyng | alone perelefsj l >

"Was by the kinge called | Dardanydes; "And in storyf| lyke is it is fbuftde,' 5. '•. "Tymbria I was named the feconde; "And the thyrde I called Helyas, "The fourthegate I hyghte also Cetheas j "The fyfthe Trojana, | the syxth Anthonyde?, "Stronge and myghty | both in werre and pes."

Lond. empr. byR.Pynson, 1513, Fol. b. ii. ch. 11. The Troye Boke was somewhat modernized, and reduced into regular stanzas, about the beginning of the last century, under the name of, The Life and Death of Hector nubi'fought a Hundred tnryne Battailes in open Field again/1 the Grecians; ivherein there iverejlaine on both Sides Fourteene Hundred and Sixe Thousand, Fourscore and Sixe Men.—Fol. no date. This work Dr. Fuller, and several other critics, have erroneously quoted as the art-' final; and observe inconsequence, that " if Chaucer's coin were of greater iveight for deeper learning, Lydgate's were cf a more refined standard for purer language: so that one might mistake him for a modern writer." Farmer.

On other occasions, in the course of this play, I shall insert quotations from the Troye Boke modernized, as being the most intelligible of the two. Steevens.

* —fulfilling bolts,] To fulfill in this place means to fill till


Now expectation, tickling skittishspirits,
On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
Sets all on hazard:And hither am I come
4 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 5 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.

there be nd room for more. Ia-this sense it is now obsolete. So, in Gower, De ConfeJJione Amanfis, lib. v. fol. 114:

"A lustie maide, a sobre, a meke,

"Fulfilled of all curtosie." Again:

"Fulfilled of all uhkindlhip." Steevens. To be "fulfilled with grace and benediction" is still the language of our Litany. Beackstone.

4 A prologue arm'd, J I come here to speak the prologue,

and come in armour; not defying the audience, in confidence of either the author's or actor's abilities, but merely in a character suited to the subject, in a dress of war, befare a warlike play.


J the vaunt ] i. e. the cfoant, what went before.



y Trojans.

Æneas, I

Pandarus, |

Calchas, I

Antenor, J

Margarelon, a bastard Jon of Priam.





Ulysses, )■ Greeks.





Helen, wife to Menelaus.
Andromache, wife to HeSlor.
Cassandra, daughter to Priam, a prophetess.
Cressida, daughter to Calchas.

Alexander, Creffida's servant.

Boy, page to Troilus.

Servant to Diomed.

Trojan and Greek Soldiers, with other attendants.

SCENE, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.

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