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But a plague break thy neck, for frighting me! What's become of the wenching rogues? I think, they have swallowed one another: I would laugh at that miracle. Yet, in a sort, lechery eats itself. I'll seek them.
Enter DIOMEDES and a Servant.
D10. Go, go, my servant, take thou Troilus' horse 2;
Present the fair steed to my lady Cressid:
I go, my lord.
AGAM. Renew, renew! The fierce Polydamus Hath beat down Menon: bastard Margarelon*
take thou TROILUS' HORSE ;] So, in Lydgate :
3 Hath beat down Menon:] So, in Caxton's Recuyl, &c. : "And by grete yre assayllid the kynge Menon, cosyn of Achilles, and gaf hym so many strokes wyth his sword upon hys helme, that he slewe hym," &c. STEEVENS.
4- bastard Margarelon] The introduction of a bastard. son of Priam, under the name of Margarelon, is one of the circumstances taken from the story book of The Three Destructions of Troy. THEOBALD.
The circumstance was taken from Lydgate, p. 194:
Hath Doreus prisoner ;
And stands colossus-wise, waving his beam,
waving his BEAM,] i. e. his lance like a weaver's beam, as Goliath's spear is described. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iii. vii. 40:
"All were the beame in bignes like a mast." STEEVENS. 6 pashed] i. e. bruised, crushed. So, before, Ajax says: I'll pash him o'er the face." STEEVENS. 7 the dreadful Sagittary
Appals our numbers :] "Beyonde the royalme of Amasonne came an auncyent kynge, wyse and dyscreete, named Epystrophus, and brought a M. knyghtes, and a mervayllouse beste that was called sagittayre, that behynde the myddes was an horse, and to fore, a man: this beste was heery like an horse, and had his eyen rede as a cole, and shotte well with a bowe: this beste made the Grekes sore aferde, and slewe many of them with his bowe." The Three Destructions of Troy, printed by Caxton. THEOBALD.
A more circumstantial account of this Sagittary is to be found in Lydgate's Auncient Historie, &c. 1555:
And with hym Guydo sayth that he hadde
"Or the lyghtnyng that falleth from ye heauen ;
'Upon Grekes he wrought moche sorrowe,
NEST. Go, bear Patroclus' body to Achilles ;
"And gasted them with many hydous loke :
on GALATHE his horse,] From The Three Destructions
of Troy is taken this name given to Hector's horse. THEOBALD.
"Cal'd Galathe (the which is said to have been) "The goodliest horse," &c. Lydgate, p. 142. Again, p. 175:
"And sought, by all the means he could, to take
Heywood, in his Iron Age, 1632, has likewise continued the same appellation to Hector's horse :
My armour, and my trusty Galatee,"
Heywood has taken many circumstances in his play from Lydgate. John Stephens, the author of Cinthia's Revenge, 1613, (a play commended by Ben Jonson in some lines prefixed to it,) has mounted Hector on an elephant. STEEVENS.
9 scaled sculls -] Sculls are great numbers of fishes swimming together. The modern editors not being acquainted with the term, changed it into shoals. My knowledge of this word is derived from Bullokar's English Expositor, London, printed by John Legatt, 1616. The word likewise occurs in Lyly's Midas, 1592: "He hath, by this, started a covey of bucks, or roused a scull of pheasants." The humour of this short speech consists in a misapplication of the appropriate terms of one amusement to another. Again, in Milton's Paradise Lost, b. vii. v. 399, &c.:
"With fry innumerable swarms, and shoals
Again, in the 26th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion :
My silver-scaled sculs about my streams do sweep." STEEVENS. Scaled means here dispersed, put to flight. See Coriolanus,
Before the belching whale'; then is he yonder, And there the strawy Greeks 2, ripe for his edge, Fall down before him, like the mower's swath3: Here, there, and every where, he leaves, and takes ; Dexterity so obeying appetite,
Act I. Sc. I. This is proved decisively by the original reading of the quarto, scaling, which was either changed by the poet himself to scaled, (with the same sense,) or by the editor of the folio. If the latter was the case, it is probable that not being sufficiently acquainted with our author's manner, who frequently uses the active for the passive participle, he supposed that the epithet was merely descriptive of some quality in the thing described.
The passage quoted above from Drayton does not militate against this interpretation. There the added epithet silver shows that the word scaled is used in its common sense; as the context here (to say nothing of the evidence arising from the reading of the oldest copy) ascertains it to have been employed with the less usual signification already stated.
"The cod from the banks of Newfoundland (says a late writer) pursues the whiting, which flies before it even to the southern shores of Spain. The cachalot, a species of whale, is said, in the same manner, to pursue a shoal of herrings, and to swallow hundreds in a mouthful." Knox's Hystory of Fish, 8vo. 1787. The throat of the cachalot (the species of whale alluded to by Shakspeare) is so large, that, according to Goldsmith, he could with ease swallow an ox. MALONE.
Sculls and shoals have not only one and the same meaning, but are actually, or at least originally, one and the same word. A scull of herrings (and it is to those fish that the speaker alludes) so termed on the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, is elsewhere called a shoal. RITSON.
"And humming water, must o'erwhelm thy corse."
Homer also compares Achilles to a dolphin driving other fishes before him, Iliad xxi. v. 22 :
the BELCHING whale ;] So, in Pericles :
Ως δ ̓ ὑπὸ δελφῖνος μεγακήτεος ἰχθύες ἄλλοι
-the STRAWY Greeks,] In the folio it is the straying Greeks. JOHNSON.
-the mower's sWATH:] Swath is the quantity of grass cut down by a single stroke of the mower's scythe. So, Tusser:
"With tossing and raking,
and setting on cocks,
Grass, lately in swathes, is meat for an ox." STEEVENS. VOL. VIII.
That what he will, he does; and does so much,
ULYSS. O, courage, courage, princes! great
Is arming, weeping, cursing, vowing vengeance:
Crying on Hector. Ajax hath lost a friend,
Engaging and redeeming of himself,
AJAX. Troilus! thou coward Troilus!
Ay, there, there, NEST. So, so, we draw together *.
ACHIL. Where is this Hector ? Come, come, thou boy-queller', show thy face;
4 we DRAW TOGETHER.] This remark seems to be made by Nestor in consequence of the return of Ajax to the field, he having lately refused to co-operate or draw together with the Greeks, though at present he is roused from his sullen fit by the loss of a friend. So, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson : ""Tis the swaggering coach-horse Anaides, that draws with him there." STEEVENS.
5-boy-QUELLER,] i. e. murderer of a boy. So, in King Henry IV. Part II. Act II. Sc. I.: “. -a man-queller and a woman-queller." STEEVENS.