« ZurückWeiter »
Dr. Johnson says, speaking of this play: "All the editors and critics agree with Mr. Theobald in supposing it spurious. I see no reason for differing from them; for the colour of the style is wholly different from that of the other plays, and there is an attempt at regular versification and artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. That Shakspere wrote any part,* though Theobald declares it incontestable, I see no reason for believing." The play is, however, now generally recognized as Shakspere's, and is included in all editions of his works, though its inferiority to his unquestioned plays cannot be disputed.
WILT thou draw near the nature of the gods?
Draw near them then in being merciful :
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.
Thanks, to men
Of noble minds, is honourable meed.
As when the golden sun salutes the morn, And, having gilt the ocean with his beams, Gallops the Zodiack in his glistering coach, And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
* Most of the critics who considered the authorship doubtful, admitted that Shakspere had written some portions of the play.
A Hunting Morning.
The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey. The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green: Uncouple here, and let us make a bay,
And wake the emperor, and his lovely bride.
The Charms of Nature.
The birds chant melody on every bush :
A Gloomy Vale Described.
A barren, detested vale, you see, it is: The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean, O'ercome with moss, and baleful mistletoe. Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds, Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven.
Lavinia Singing to her Lute.
O, had the monster seen those lily hands Tremble, like aspen leaves, upon a lute,
And make the silken strings delight to kiss them; He would not then have touch'd them for his life Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony,
Which that sweet tongue hath made,
He would have dropp'd his knife and fell asleep..
A Father's Appeal for Mercy.
Hear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept ;
Titus's Vain Appeal to the Tribunes.
If they did hear,
They would not mark me; or, if they did mark,
A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones;
A stone is silent, and offendeth not;
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.
But how, if that fly had a father and mother,
How would he hang his slender gilded wings,
And buzz lamenting doings in the air?
Poor harmless fly!
That with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry; and thou hast kill'd him.
I am revenge, sent from the infernal kingdom,
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
This play describes the siege of Troy by the Greeks. Troilus, son of Priam king of Troy, and brother of Hector, is in love with Cressida, daughter of Calchas a Trojan priest, who takes part with the Greeks. Pandarus, uncle of Cressida, encourages the suit of Troilus, and he and Cressida exchange vows of fidelity; she, however, proves inconstant, and is seen in her father's tent by Troilus in the act of giving a token of love he had presented her with, to the Grecian commander Diomedes. Hector sends a challenge, daring any of the Grecian warriors to meet him in combat, which is accepted by Ajax; the fight takes place, but is broken off by Hector, who embraces Ajax and is invited by the Greeks to visit their camp. Achilles, one of the Greek chieftains, has stood aloof from the conflict in consequence of a quarrel with Agamemnon, the general-in-chief of the Greeks, he, however, after Hector's combat with Ajax, provokes the Trojan warrior to challenge him. They meet on the field of battle, and Hector, having put aside his helmet, is surprised by Achilles and his myrmidons and slain. Dr. Johnson, speaking of this play, says, "It is more correctly written than most of Shakspere'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."
Troilus's love for Cressida.
I tell thee I am mad
In Cressid's love: thou answer'st, She is fair;
Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice;
Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure,
Thou layest in every gash that love hath given me
I ask, that I might waken reverence, And bid the cheek be ready with a blush Modest as morning when she coldly eyes The youthful Phoebus.
The potency of Love.
Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom :
Cressida's profession of Constancy.
If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth, When time is old and hath forgot itself,