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A prologue arm'd,'-but not in confidence.
Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but fuited
In like conditions as our argument,-

To tell you, fair beholders, that our play

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Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of thofe broils,
'Ginning in the middle; ftarting thence away
To what may be digefted in a play.

Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are;
Now good, or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.

mayne Battailes in open Field against the Grecians; wherein there were flaine on both Sides Fourteene Hundred and Sixe Thoufand, Fourfcore and Sixe Men. -Fol. no date. This work Dr. Fuller, and feveral other criticks, have erroneously quoted as the original; and obferve in confequence, that "if Chaucer's coin were greater weight for deeper learning, Lydgate's were of a more refined Standard for purer language: fo that one might miflake him for a modern writer." FARMER.

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On other occafions, in the course of this play, I fhall infert quotations from the Troye Booke modernized, as being the moft intelligible of the two. STEEVENS.

7 A prologue arm'd, ] 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 fuited to the subject, in a dress of war, before a warlike play.

JOHNSON. Motteux feems to have borrowed this idea in his prologue to Farquhar's Twin Rivals:

With drums and trumpets in this warring age, "A martial prologue should alarm the ftage."

King Lear:

STEEVENS.

the vaunt.
"Vaunt-couriers to Oak-cleaving thunderbolts."

] i. e. the avant, what went before. So, in

STEEVENS.

The vaunt is the vanguard, called in our author's time the vauntguard. PERCY.

9-fir fllings] A fcriptural phrafe, fignifying the first produce or offspring. So, in Genefis, iv. 4: "And Abel, he allo brought of the firflings of his flock." STEEVENS.

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Helenus,

Æneas,

Antenor, } Trojan Commanders.

Calchas, a Trojan priest, taking part with the Greeks.

Pandarus, Uncle to Creffida.

Margarelon, a baftard fon of Priam.

Agamemnon, the Grecian General:
Menelaus, his brother.

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Therfites, a deformed and fcurrilous Grecian.
Alexander, fervant to Creffida.

Servant to Troilus; Servant to Paris; Servant to
Diomedes.

Helen, wife to Menelaus.

Andromache, wife to Hector.

Caffandra, daughter to Priam; a Prophetefs.
Creffida, daughter to Calchas.

Trojan and Greek Soldiers, aad Attendants.

SCENE, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.

*

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.

ACT I. 'SCENE 1.

Troy. Before Priam's Palace.

Enter TROILUS arm'd, and PANDARUS.

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TRO. Call here my varlet, I'll unarm again:
Why fhould I war without the walls of Troy,
That find fuch cruel battle here within?
Each Trojan, that is mafter of his heart,
Let him to field; Troilus, alas! hath none.
PAN. Will this geer ne'er be mended?3.
TRO. The Greeks are frong, and fkilful to their
ftrength, 4

Fierce to their fkill, and to their fiercenefs valiant;
But I am weaker than a woman's tear,

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my varlet,] This word anciently fignified a fervant or footman to a knight or warrior, So, Holinfhed, fpeaking of the battle of Agincourt: 1611 diverfe were releeved by their varlets, and conveied out of the field." Again, in an ancient epitaph in the church-yard of faint Nicas at Arras:

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Cy gift Hakin et fon varlet,

Tout dis-armé et tout di-pret,

"Avec fon efpé et falloche," &c. STEEVENS.

Concerning the word varlet, fee Recherches hiftoriques fur les cartes à jouer. Lyon, 1757. p. 61. M. C. TUTET.

3 Will this geer ne'er be mended?] There is fomewhat proverbial in this question, which I likewise meet with in the Interlude of King Darius, 1565:

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"Wyll not yet this geere be amended,

"Nor your finful acts corrected?" STEEVENS.

-Jkilful to their frength, &c.] i. e. in addition to their Atrength. The fame phrafeology occurs in Macbeth. See Vol. X. p. 330, n. 5. STEEVENS.

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4

Tamer than fleep, fonder than ignorance;
Lefs valiant than the virgin in the night,
And fkill-lefs as unpractis'd infancy.

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PAN. Well, I have told you enough of this: for my part, I'll not meddle nor make no further. He, that will have a cake out of the wheat, must tarry the grinding.

TRO. Have I not tarry'd?

PAN. Ay, the grinding; but

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must tarry

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PAN. Ay, the bolting; but you muft tarry the leavening.

TRO. Still have I tarry'd.

PAN. Ay, to the leavening: but here's yet in the word-hereafter, the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the baking; nay, you must ftay the cooling too, or you may. chance to burn your lips.

TRO. Patience herfelf, what goddess e'er fhe be, Doth leffer blench at fufferance than I do. At Priam's royal table do I fit;

And when fair Creffid comes into my thoughts,

4 fonder-1 i. e. more weak, or foolish. See Vol. VIII. p. 93, n. 7. MALONE.

5 And fkill-lefs &c.]

Mr. Dryden, in his alteration of this play, has taken this fpeech as it ftands, except that he has changed Skill-lefs to artless, not for the better, becaufe skill-lefs refers to Jkill and fkilful. JOHNSON.

6 Doth leffer blench] To blench is to shrink, ftart, or fly off. So, in Hamlet:

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if he. but blench,

"I know my courfe. ”

Again, in The Pilgrim, by Beaumont and Fletcher:

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men that will not totter,

Nor blench much at a bullet." STEEVENS.

So, traitor! when fhe comes!-- When is fhe

thence??

PAN. Well, she look'd yefternight fairer than ever I faw her look; or any woman else.

TRO. I was about to tell thee,-When my heart, As wedged with a figh, would rive in twain; Left Hector or my father should perceive me, I have (as when the fun doth light a ftorm,) Bury'd this figh in wrinkle of a fmile: 9 But forrow, that is couch'd in feeming gladness, Is like that mirth fate turns to fudden fadnefs.

PAN An her hair were not fomewhat darker than Helen's, (well, go to.) there were no more comparison between the women,-But, for my part, fhe is my kinfwoman; I would not, as they term it, praise her. But I would fomebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did. I will not difpraise your fifter Caffandra's wit: but

TRO. O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus,-When I do tell thee, There my hopes lie drown'd. Reply not in how many fathoms deep They lie indrench'd. I tell thee, I am mad In Creffid's love: Thou answer'ft, She is fair; Pour'ft in the open ulcer of my heart

Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice; Handleft in thy difcourfe, O, that her hand, *

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2

when he comes!· When is he thence?] Both the old copies read then he comes, when he is thence.

Mr Rowe correded the former error, and Mr. Pope the latter. MALONE. a ftorm,)] Old copies -a Scorn. Correded by Mr.

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Rowe. MALONE.

9 in wrinkle of a fmile: So, in Twelfth Night: "He doth Smile his face into more lines than the new map with the aug

mentation of the Indies." MALONE.

Again, in Merchant of Venice:

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." STEEVENS. Handleft in thy difcourfe, 0, that her hand, &c.] Handleft is

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