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Achil. Strike, fellows, strike; this is the man I seek.
[Hector falls. So, Ilion, fall thou next! now, Troy, sink down! Here lies thy heart, thy sinews, and thy bone.On, myrmidons; and cry you all amain, Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain.
[A retreat sounded. Hark! a retreat upon our Grecian part.
Myr. The Trojan trumpets sound the like, my lord. Achil. The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the
earth, And, stickler ? like, the armies separates. My half-supped sword, that frankly would have fed, Pleased with this dainty bit, thus goes to bed.
[Sheathes his sword. Come, tie his body to my horse's tail ; Along the field I will the Trojan trail. [Exeunt.
SCENE X. The same.
Enter AGAMEMNON, AJAX, MENELAUS, NESTOR, Dio
MEDES, and others, marching. Shouts within.
Peace, drums. [Within.]
Achilles ! Achilles ! Hector's slain! Achilles !
Dio. The bruit is--Hector's slain, and by Achilles.
Ajax. If it be so, yet bragless let it be ; Great Hector was as good a man as he.
1 Heywood, in his Rape of Lucrece, 1638, gives the same account of Achilles overpowering Hector by numbers. In Lydgate and the old story book, the same account is given of the death of Troilus. Lydgate, following Guido of Colonna, who in the grossest manner has violated all the characters drawn by Homer, reprehends the Grecian poet as the original offender.
2 Sticklers were persons who attended upon combatants in trials of skill, to part them when they had fought enough, and, doubtless, to see fair play. They were probably so called from the stick or wand which they carried in their hands. The name is still given to the arbitrators at wrestlingmatches in the west country.
Agam. March patiently along.–Let one be sent To
pray Achilles see us at our tent.If in his death the gods have us befriended, Great Troy is ours, and our sharp wars are ended.
SCENE XI. Another Part of the Field.
Enter Æneas and Trojans.
Tro. Hector is slain.
Hector ?—The gods forbid !
1 I say, at once let your brief plagues be mercy,
, And singer not our sure destructions on !
Æne. My lord, you do discomfort all the host.
Tro. You understand me not, that tell me so;
1 Hanmer and Warburton read :
u — smite at Troy."
Stay yet.—You vile, abominable tents,
proudly pight - upon our Phrygian plains,
-And thou, great-sized coward ! No space of earth shall sunder our two hates; I'll haunt thee like a wicked conscience still, That mouldeth goblins swift as frenzy thoughts. — Strike a free march'to Troy (with comfort go: Hope of revenge shall hide our inward woe.
[Exeunt Æneas and Trojans.
As Troilus is going out, enter, from the other side,
PANDARUS. Pan. But hear you, hear you!
Tro. Hence, brokerlackey! ignomy' and shame Pursue thy life, and live aye with thy name!
[Exit Troilus. Pan. A goodly med’cine for my aching bones !–0 world! world! world! thus is the poor agent despised ! O traitors and bawds, how earnestly are you set a' work, and how ill requited! Why should our endeavor be so loved, and the performance so loathed ? what verse for it? what instance for it?-Let me
Full merrily the humble-bee doth sing,
Sweet honey and sweet notes together fail. -
As many as be here of Pandar's hall,
1 Pitched, fixed. 2 Broker anciently signified a bawd of either sex. 3 Ignominy. 4 Canvass hangings for rooms, painted with emblems and mottoes.
Brethren, and sisters, of the hold-door trade,
1 See King Henry VI. Part I. Act i. Sc. 3.
This play is more correctly written than most of Shakspeare's compositions ; but it is not one of those in which either the extent of his views or elevation of his fancy is fully displayed. As the story abounded with materials, he has exerted little invention; but he has diversified his characters with great variety, and preserved them with great exactness. His vicious characters disgust, but cannot corrupt; for both Cressida and Pandarus are detested and condemned. The comic characters seem to have been the favorites of the writer: they are of the superficial kind, and exhibit more of manners than nature; but they are copiously filled and powerfully impressed. Shakspeare has, in his story, followed, for the greater part, the old book of Caxton, which was then very popular; but the character of Thersites, of which it makes no mention, is a proof that
a this play was written after Chapman had published his version of Homer."
* It should, however, be remembered that Thersites had been long in possession of the stage in an interlude bearing his name.
“ The first seven books of Chapman's Homer were published in 1596, and again in 1598, twelve books not long afterward, and the whole 24 books at latest in 1611. The classical reader may be surprised that Shakspeare, having had the means of being acquainted with the great father of poetry, through the medium of Chapman's translation, should not have availed himself of such an original instead of the Troy Booke; but it should be recollected that it was his object, as a writer for the stage, to coincide with the feelings and prejudices of his audience, who, believing themselves to have drawn their descent from Troy, would by no means have been pleased to be told that Achilles was a braver man than Hector. They were ready to think well of the Trojans as their ancestors, but not very anxious about knowing their history with much correctness; and Shakspeare might have applied to worse sources of information than even Lydgate.”_BOSWELL.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
The story of the Misanthrope is told in almost every collection of the time, and particularly in two books, with which Shakspeare was intimately acquainted— The Palace of Pleasure, and the Translation of Plutarch, by sir Thomas North. The latter furnished the Poet with the following hint to work upon :-“ Antonius forsook the city and companie of his friendes, saying that he would lead Timon's life, because he had the like wrong offered him that was offered unto Timon; and for the unthankfulness of those he had done good unto, and whom he tooke to be his friends, he was angry with all men, and would trust no man.”
Mr. Strutt, the engraver, was in possession of a MS. play on this subject, apparently written, or transcribed, about the year 1600. There is a scene in it resembling Shakspeare's banquet, given by Timon to his flatterers. Instead of warm water, he sets before them stones painted like artichokes, and afterwards beats them out of the room. He then retires to the woods, attended by his faithful steward, who (like Kent in King Lear) has disguised himself to continue his services to his master. Timon, in the last act, is followed by his fickle mistress, &c., after he was reported to have discovered a hidden treasure by digging. The piece itself (though it appears to be the work of an academic) is a wretched one. The persona dramatis are as follows :—“ Timon: Laches, his faithful servant. Eutrapelus, a dissolute young man. Gelasimus, a cittie heyre. Pseudocheus, a lying traveller. Demeas, an orator. Philargurus, a covetous churlish old man. Hermogenes, a fiddler. Abyssus, a usurer. Lollio, a country clowne, Philargurus' sonne. Stilpo, and Speusippus, two lying philosophers. Grunnio, a lean servant of Philargurus. Obba, Timon's butler. Pædio, Gelasimus' page. Two sergeants. A sailor. Callimela, Philargurus' daughter. Blatte, her prattling nurse.—Scene, Athens."
To this manuscript play Shakspeare was probably indebted for some parts of his plot. Here he found the faithful steward, the banquet scene, and the story of Timon's being possessed of great sums of gold, which he had dug up in the wood; a circumstance which it is not likely he had