Troilus and Cressida - Entire Play
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Navigate this workTroilus and Cressida - Entire Play
Set during the Trojan War, Troilus and Cressida recounts the love affair of its title characters. Inside the besieged city of Troy, the Trojan prince Troilus is lovesick for Cressida. Cressida is drawn to Troilus, too, and her uncle, Pandarus, brings them together.
In the Greek camp outside, Cressida’s father, Calchas, asks that Cressida be brought to him in return for the help he has given the Greeks. The morning after the lovers’ night together, Cressida is exchanged for a Trojan prisoner and taken to the camp by the Greek warrior Diomedes.
The great Trojan warrior Hector, Troilus’s brother, engages in single combat with the Greek Ajax, a fight that ends inconclusively. Hector and Troilus join the Greeks for a feast. Cressida, meanwhile, is seduced by Diomedes.
Distraught at Cressida’s betrayal, Troilus fights Diomedes and others. Patroclus, favorite of the Greek warrior Achilles, dies in battle. Achilles fights with and loses to Hector, who is then, on Achilles’s orders, dishonorably slain. Grieving, Troilus and the other Trojans return to Troy.
Eternal reader, you have here a new play, never staled
with the stage, never clapperclawed with the palms of
the vulgar, and yet passing full of the palm comical, for
it is a birth of your brain that never undertook anything
comical vainly. And were but the vain names of comedies
changed for the titles of commodities, or of plays
for pleas, you should see all those grand censors, that
now style them such vanities, flock to them for the
main grace of their gravities, especially this author’s
comedies, that are so framed to the life that they serve
for the most common commentaries of all the actions
of our lives, showing such a dexterity and power of wit
that the most displeased with plays are pleased with
his comedies. And all such dull and heavy-witted
worldlings as were never capable of the wit of a comedy,
coming by report of them to his representations,
have found that wit there that they never found in
themselves and have parted better witted than they
came, feeling an edge of wit set upon them more than
ever they dreamed they had brain to grind it on. So
much and such savored salt of wit is in his comedies
that they seem, for their height of pleasure, to be born
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 testern well
bestowed, but for so much worth as even poor I know
to be stuffed in it. It deserves such a labor as well as the
best comedy in Terence or Plautus. And believe this,
that when he is gone and his comedies out of sale, you
will scramble for them and set up a new English
Inquisition. Take this for a warning, and at the peril of
your pleasure’s loss, and judgment’s, refuse not nor like
this the less for not being sullied with the smoky breath
of the multitude, but thank fortune for the scape it
hath made amongst you, since by the grand possessors’
wills I believe you should have prayed for them rather
than been prayed. And so I leave all such to be prayed
for, for the states of their wits’ healths, that will not
praise it. Vale.]
⌜Enter the Prologue in armor.⌝
0001 In Troy there lies the scene. From isles of Greece
0002 The princes orgulous, their high blood chafed,
0003 Have to the port of Athens sent their ships
0004 Fraught with the ministers and instruments
0005 5 Of cruel war. Sixty and nine, that wore
0006 Their crownets regal, from th’ Athenian bay
0007 Put forth toward Phrygia, and their vow is made
0008 To ransack Troy, within whose strong immures
0009 The ravished Helen, Menelaus’ queen,
0010 10 With wanton Paris sleeps; and that’s the quarrel.
0011 To Tenedos they come,
0012 And the deep-drawing ⌜barks⌝ do there disgorge
0013 Their warlike fraughtage. Now on Dardan plains
0014 The fresh and yet unbruisèd Greeks do pitch
0015 15 Their brave pavilions. Priam’s six-gated city—
0016 Dardan and Timbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien,
0017 And Antenorides—with massy staples
0018 And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
0019 ⌜Spar⌝ up the sons of Troy.
0020 20 Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits
0021 On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
0022 Sets all on hazard. And hither am I come,
0023 A prologue armed, but not in confidence
0024 Of author’s pen or actor’s voice, but suited
0025 25 In like conditions as our argument,
0026 To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
0027 Leaps o’er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
0028 Beginning in the middle, starting thence away
0029 To what may be digested in a play.
0030 30 Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are.
0031 Now, good or bad, ’tis but the chance of war.⟩
0032 Call here my varlet; I’ll unarm again.
0033 Why should I war without the walls of Troy
0034 That find such cruel battle here within?
0035 Each Trojan that is master of his heart,
0036 5 Let him to field; Troilus, alas, hath none.
PANDARUS 0037 Will this gear ne’er be mended?
0038 The Greeks are strong and skilful to their strength,
0039 Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant;
0040 But I am weaker than a woman’s tear,
0041 10 Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance,
0042 Less valiant than the virgin in the night,
0043 And skilless as unpracticed infancy.
PANDARUS 0044 Well, I have told you enough of this. For my
0045 part, I’ll not meddle nor make no farther. He that will
0046 15 have a cake out of the wheat must tarry the grinding.
TROILUS 0047 Have I not tarried?
PANDARUS 0048 Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the
TROILUS 0050 Have I not tarried?
PANDARUS 0051 20Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the
PANDARUS 0054 Ay, to the leavening; but here’s yet in the word
0055 hereafter the kneading, the making of the cake, the
0056 25 heating the oven, and the baking. Nay, you must stay
0057 the cooling too, or you may chance burn your lips.
0058 Patience herself, what goddess e’er she be,
0059 Doth lesser blench at suff’rance than I do.
0060 At Priam’s royal table do I sit
0061 30 And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts—
0062 So, traitor! “⌜When⌝ she comes”? When ⌜is she⌝
PANDARUS 0064 Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever
0065 I saw her look, or any woman else.
0066 35 I was about to tell thee: when my heart,
0067 As wedgèd with a sigh, would rive in twain,
0068 Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,
0069 I have, as when the sun doth light a-scorn,
0070 Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile;
0071 40 But sorrow that is couched in seeming gladness
0072 Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
PANDARUS 0073 An her hair were not somewhat darker than
0074 Helen’s—well, go to—there were no more comparison
0075 between the women. But, for my part, she is
0076 45 my kinswoman; I would not, as they term it, praise
0077 her, but I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday,
0078 as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra’s
0079 wit, but—
0080 O, Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus:
0081 50 When I do tell thee there my hopes lie drowned,
0082 Reply not in how many fathoms deep
0083 They lie indrenched. I tell thee I am mad
0084 In Cressid’s love. Thou answer’st she is fair;
0085 Pourest in the open ulcer of my heart
0087 Handiest in thy discourse—O—that her hand,
0088 In whose comparison all whites are ink
0089 Writing their own reproach, to whose soft seizure
0090 The cygnet’s down is harsh, and spirit of sense
0091 60 Hard as the palm of plowman. This thou tell’st me,
0092 As true thou tell’st me, when I say I love her.
0093 But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm
0094 Thou lay’st in every gash that love hath given me
0095 The knife that made it.
PANDARUS 0096 65I speak no more than truth.
TROILUS 0097 Thou dost not speak so much.
PANDARUS 0098 Faith, I’ll not meddle in it. Let her be as she
0099 is. If she be fair, ’tis the better for her; an she be
0100 not, she has the mends in her own hands.
TROILUS 0101 70Good Pandarus—how now, Pandarus?
PANDARUS 0102 I have had my labor for my travail, ill thought
0103 on of her, and ill thought ⟨on⟩ of you; gone between
0104 and between, but small thanks for my labor.
TROILUS 0105 What, art thou angry, Pandarus? What, with
0106 75 me?
PANDARUS 0107 Because she’s kin to me, therefore she’s not
0108 so fair as Helen; an she were ⟨not⟩ kin to me, she
0109 would be as fair o’ Friday as Helen is on Sunday.
0110 But what ⟨care⟩ I? I care not an she were a blackamoor;
0111 80 ’tis all one to me.
TROILUS 0112 Say I she is not fair?
PANDARUS 0113 I do not care whether you do or no. She’s a
0114 fool to stay behind her father. Let her to the Greeks,
0115 and so I’ll tell her the next time I see her. For my
0116 85 part, I’ll meddle nor make no more i’ th’ matter.
TROILUS 0117 Pandarus—
PANDARUS 0118 Not I.
TROILUS 0119 Sweet Pandarus—
PANDARUS 0120 Pray you speak no more to me. I will leave
0121 90 all as I found it, and there an end.He exits.
0122 Peace, you ungracious clamors! Peace, rude sounds!
0123 Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair
0124 When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
0125 I cannot fight upon this argument;
0126 95 It is too starved a subject for my sword.
0127 But Pandarus—O gods, how do you plague me!
0128 I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar,
0129 And he’s as tetchy to be wooed to woo
0130 As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
0131 100 Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphnes love,
0132 What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we.
0133 Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl.
0134 Between our Ilium and where she resides,
0135 Let it be called the wild and wand’ring flood,
0136 105 Ourself the merchant, and this sailing Pandar
0137 Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.
Alarum. Enter Aeneas.
0138 How now, Prince Troilus? Wherefore not afield?
0139 Because not there. This woman’s answer sorts,
0140 For womanish it is to be from thence.
0141 110 What news, Aeneas, from the field today?
0142 That Paris is returnèd home, and hurt.
0143 By whom, Aeneas?
AENEAS 0144 Troilus, by Menelaus.
0145 Let Paris bleed. ’Tis but a scar to scorn;
0146 115 Paris is gored with Menelaus’ horn.
0147 Hark what good sport is out of town today!
0148 Better at home, if “would I might” were “may.”
0149 But to the sport abroad. Are you bound thither?
0150 In all swift haste.
TROILUS 0151 120 Come, go we then together.
0152 Who were those went by?
ALEXANDER 0153 Queen Hecuba and Helen.
0154 And whither go they?
ALEXANDER 0155 Up to the eastern tower,
0156 5 Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
0157 To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
0158 Is as a virtue fixed, today was moved.
0159 He chid Andromache and struck his armorer;
0160 And, like as there were husbandry in war,
0161 10 Before the sun rose he was harnessed light,
0162 And to the field goes he, where every flower
0163 Did as a prophet weep what it foresaw
0164 In Hector’s wrath.
CRESSIDA 0165 What was his cause of anger?
0166 15 The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks
0167 A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector.
0168 They call him Ajax.
CRESSIDA 0169 Good; and what of him?
0170 They say he is a very man per se
0171 20 And stands alone.
CRESSIDA 0172 So do all men unless ⟨they⟩ are drunk, sick,
0173 or have no legs.
ALEXANDER 0174 This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts
0175 of their particular additions. He is as valiant as the
0176 25 lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant, a
0177 man into whom nature hath so crowded humors
0178 that his valor is crushed into folly, his folly sauced
0179 with discretion. There is no man hath a virtue that
0180 he hath not a glimpse of, nor any man an attaint
0181 30 but he carries some stain of it. He is melancholy
0182 without cause and merry against the hair. He hath
0183 the joints of everything, but everything so out of
0184 joint that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and
0185 no use, or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight.
CRESSIDA 0186 35But how should this man that makes me
0187 smile make Hector angry?
ALEXANDER 0188 They say he yesterday coped Hector in the
0189 battle and struck him down, the disdain and
0190 shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting
0191 40 and waking.
CRESSIDA 0192 Who comes here?
ALEXANDER 0193 Madam, your Uncle Pandarus.
CRESSIDA 0194 Hector’s a gallant man.
ALEXANDER 0195 As may be in the world, lady.
PANDARUS 0196 45What’s that? What’s that?
CRESSIDA 0197 Good morrow, Uncle Pandarus.
PANDARUS 0198 Good morrow, Cousin Cressid. What do you
0199 talk of?— Good morrow, Alexander.—How do you,
0200 cousin? When were you at Ilium?
CRESSIDA 0201 50This morning, uncle.
0203 Was Hector armed and gone ere you came to
0204 Ilium? Helen was not up, was she?
CRESSIDA 0205 Hector was gone, but Helen was not up.
PANDARUS 0206 55E’en so. Hector was stirring early.
CRESSIDA 0207 That were we talking of, and of his anger.
PANDARUS 0208 Was he angry?
CRESSIDA 0209 So he says here.
PANDARUS 0210 True, he was so. I know the cause too. He’ll
0211 60 lay about him today, I can tell them that; and
0212 there’s Troilus will not come far behind him. Let
0213 them take heed of Troilus, I can tell them that too.
CRESSIDA 0214 What, is he angry too?
PANDARUS 0215 Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of
0216 65 the two.
CRESSIDA 0217 O Jupiter, there’s no comparison.
PANDARUS 0218 What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do
0219 you know a man if you see him?
CRESSIDA 0220 Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.
PANDARUS 0221 70Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.
CRESSIDA 0222 Then you say as I say, for I am sure he is not
PANDARUS 0224 No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some degrees.
CRESSIDA 0225 ’Tis just to each of them; he is himself.
PANDARUS 0226 75Himself? Alas, poor Troilus, I would he were.
CRESSIDA 0227 So he is.
PANDARUS 0228 Condition I had gone barefoot to India.
CRESSIDA 0229 He is not Hector.
PANDARUS 0230 Himself? No, he’s not himself. Would he
0231 80 were himself! Well, the gods are above. Time must
0232 friend or end. Well, Troilus, well, I would my heart
0233 were in her body. No, Hector is not a better man
0234 than Troilus.
CRESSIDA 0235 Excuse me.
PANDARUS 0236 85He is elder.
CRESSIDA 0237 Pardon me, pardon me.
0239 another tale when th’ other’s come to ’t. Hector
0240 shall not have his ⌜wit⌝ this year.
CRESSIDA 0241 90He shall not need it, if he have his own.
PANDARUS 0242 Nor his qualities.
CRESSIDA 0243 No matter.
PANDARUS 0244 Nor his beauty.
CRESSIDA 0245 ’Twould not become him. His own ’s better.
PANDARUS 0246 95You have no judgment, niece. Helen herself
0247 swore th’ other day that Troilus, for a brown favor—
0248 for so ’tis, I must confess—not brown neither—
CRESSIDA 0249 No, but brown.
PANDARUS 0250 Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.
CRESSIDA 0251 100To say the truth, true and not true.
PANDARUS 0252 She praised his complexion above Paris’.
CRESSIDA 0253 Why, Paris hath color enough.
PANDARUS 0254 So he has.
CRESSIDA 0255 Then Troilus should have too much. If she
0256 105 praised him above, his complexion is higher than
0257 his. He having color enough, and the other higher,
0258 is too flaming a praise for a good complexion. I
0259 had as lief Helen’s golden tongue had commended
0260 Troilus for a copper nose.
PANDARUS 0261 110I swear to you, I think Helen loves him better
0262 than Paris.
CRESSIDA 0263 Then she’s a merry Greek indeed.
PANDARUS 0264 Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him
0265 th’ other day into the compassed window—and
0266 115 you know he has not past three or four hairs on his
CRESSIDA 0268 Indeed, a tapster’s arithmetic may soon bring
0269 his particulars therein to a total.
PANDARUS 0270 Why, he is very young, and yet will he within
0271 120 three pound ⟨lift⟩ as much as his brother Hector.
CRESSIDA 0272 Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?
0274 came and puts me her white hand to his cloven
CRESSIDA 0276 125Juno have mercy! How came it cloven?
PANDARUS 0277 Why, you know ’tis dimpled. I think his
0278 smiling becomes him better than any man in all
CRESSIDA 0280 O, he smiles valiantly.
PANDARUS 0281 130Does he not?
CRESSIDA 0282 O yes, an ’twere a cloud in autumn.
PANDARUS 0283 Why, go to, then. But to prove to you that
0284 Helen loves Troilus—
CRESSIDA 0285 Troilus will stand to ⌜the⌝ proof if you’ll
0286 135 prove it so.
PANDARUS 0287 Troilus? Why, he esteems her no more than
0288 I esteem an addle egg.
CRESSIDA 0289 If you love an addle egg as well as you love
0290 an idle head, you would eat chickens i’ th’ shell.
PANDARUS 0291 140I cannot choose but laugh to think how she
0292 tickled his chin. Indeed, she has a marvellous
0293 white hand, I must needs confess—
CRESSIDA 0294 Without the rack.
PANDARUS 0295 And she takes upon her to spy a white hair
0296 145 on his chin.
CRESSIDA 0297 Alas, poor chin! Many a wart is richer.
PANDARUS 0298 But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba
0299 laughed that her eyes ran o’er—
CRESSIDA 0300 With millstones.
PANDARUS 0301 150And Cassandra laughed—
CRESSIDA 0302 But there was a more temperate fire under
0303 the pot of her eyes. Did her eyes run o’er too?
PANDARUS 0304 And Hector laughed.
CRESSIDA 0305 At what was all this laughing?
PANDARUS 0306 155Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on
0307 Troilus’ chin.
0309 laughed too.
PANDARUS 0310 They laughed not so much at the hair as at
0311 160 his pretty answer.
CRESSIDA 0312 What was his answer?
PANDARUS 0313 Quoth she “Here’s but two-and-fifty hairs
0314 on your chin, and one of them is white.”
CRESSIDA 0315 This is her question.
PANDARUS 0316 165That’s true, make no question of that. “Two-and-fifty
0317 hairs,” quoth he, “and one white. That
0318 white hair is my father, and all the rest are his
0319 sons.” “Jupiter!” quoth she, “which of these hairs
0320 is Paris, my husband?” “The forked one,” quoth he.
0321 170 “Pluck ’t out, and give it him.” But there was such
0322 laughing, and Helen so blushed, and Paris so
0323 chafed, and all the rest so laughed that it passed.
CRESSIDA 0324 So let it now, for it has been a great while
0325 going by.
PANDARUS 0326 175Well, cousin, I told you a thing yesterday.
0327 Think on ’t.
CRESSIDA 0328 So I do.
PANDARUS 0329 I’ll be sworn ’tis true. He will weep you an
0330 ’twere a man born in April.
CRESSIDA 0331 180And I’ll spring up in his tears an ’twere a nettle
0332 against May.Sound a retreat.
PANDARUS 0333 Hark, they are coming from the field. Shall
0334 we stand up here and see them as they pass toward
0335 Ilium? Good niece, do, sweet niece Cressida.
CRESSIDA 0336 185At your pleasure.
PANDARUS 0337 Here, here, here’s an excellent place. Here
0338 we may see most bravely. I’ll tell you them all by
0339 their names as they pass by, but mark Troilus
0340 above the rest.
⌜They cross the stage; Alexander exits.⌝
CRESSIDA 0341 190Speak not so loud.
PANDARUS 0342 That’s Aeneas. Is not that a brave man? He’s
0343 one of the flowers of Troy, I can tell you. But mark
0344 Troilus; you shall see anon.
Enter Antenor ⌜and crosses the stage.⌝
CRESSIDA 0345 Who’s that?
PANDARUS 0346 195That’s Antenor. He has a shrewd wit, I can
0347 tell you, and he’s ⟨a⟩ man good enough. He’s one o’
0348 th’ soundest judgments in Troy whosoever; and a
0349 proper man of person. When comes Troilus? I’ll
0350 show you Troilus anon. If he see me, you shall see
0351 200 him nod at me.
CRESSIDA 0352 Will he give you the nod?
PANDARUS 0353 You shall see.
CRESSIDA 0354 If he do, the rich shall have more.
Enter Hector ⌜and crosses the stage.⌝
PANDARUS 0355 That’s Hector, that, that, look you, that.
0356 205 There’s a fellow!—Go thy way, Hector!—There’s a
0357 brave man, niece. O brave Hector! Look how he
0358 looks. There’s a countenance! Is ’t not a brave man?
CRESSIDA 0359 O, a brave man!
PANDARUS 0360 Is he not? It does a ⟨man’s⟩ heart good. Look
0361 210 you what hacks are on his helmet. Look you yonder,
0362 do you see? Look you there. There’s no jesting;
0363 there’s laying on, take ’t off who will, as they say.
0364 There be hacks.
CRESSIDA 0365 Be those with swords?
PANDARUS 0366 215Swords, anything, he cares not. An the devil
0367 come to him, it’s all one. By God’s lid, it does one’s
0368 heart good.
Enter Paris ⌜and crosses the stage.⌝
0369 Yonder comes Paris, yonder comes Paris! Look you
0370 yonder, niece. Is ’t not a gallant man too? Is ’t not?
0372 home today? He’s not hurt. Why, this will do
0373 Helen’s heart good now, ha? Would I could see
0374 Troilus now! You shall see Troilus anon.
Enter Helenus ⌜and crosses the stage.⌝
CRESSIDA 0375 Who’s that?
PANDARUS 0376 225That’s Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is.
0377 That’s Helenus. I think he went not forth today.
0378 That’s Helenus.
CRESSIDA 0379 Can Helenus fight, uncle?
PANDARUS 0380 Helenus? No. Yes, he’ll fight indifferent
0381 230 well. I marvel where Troilus is. Hark, do you not
0382 hear the people cry “Troilus”? Helenus is a priest.
Enter Troilus ⌜and crosses the stage.⌝
CRESSIDA 0383 What sneaking fellow comes yonder?
PANDARUS 0384 Where? Yonder? That’s Deiphobus. ’Tis
0385 Troilus! There’s a man, niece. Hem! Brave Troilus,
0386 235 the prince of chivalry!
CRESSIDA 0387 Peace, for shame, peace.
PANDARUS 0388 Mark him. Note him. O brave Troilus! Look
0389 well upon him, niece. Look you how his sword is
0390 bloodied and his helm more hacked than Hector’s,
0391 240 and how he looks, and how he goes. O admirable
0392 youth! He never saw three and twenty.—Go thy
0393 way, Troilus; go thy way!—Had I a sister were a
0394 Grace, or a daughter a goddess, he should take his
0395 choice. O admirable man! Paris? Paris is dirt to
0396 245 him; and I warrant Helen, to change, would give
0397 an eye to boot.
⟨Enter Common Soldiers ⌜and cross the stage.⌝⟩
CRESSIDA 0398 Here comes more.
PANDARUS 0399 Asses, fools, dolts, chaff and bran, chaff and
0400 bran, porridge after meat. I could live and die in
0402 eagles are gone. Crows and daws, crows and daws!
0403 I had rather be such a man as Troilus than
0404 Agamemnon and all Greece.
CRESSIDA 0405 There is amongst the Greeks Achilles, a better
0406 255 man than Troilus.
PANDARUS 0407 Achilles? A drayman, a porter, a very camel!
CRESSIDA 0408 Well, well.
PANDARUS 0409 “Well, well”? Why, have you any discretion?
0410 Have you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is
0411 260 not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood,
0412 learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality and
0413 such-like the spice and salt that season a man?
CRESSIDA 0414 Ay, a minced man; and then to be baked with
0415 no date in the pie, for then the man’s date is out.
PANDARUS 0416 265You are such a woman a man knows not at
0417 what ward you lie.
CRESSIDA 0418 Upon my back to defend my belly, upon my
0419 wit to defend my wiles, upon my secrecy to defend
0420 mine honesty, my mask to defend my beauty, and
0421 270 you to defend all these; and at all these wards I lie,
0422 at a thousand watches.
PANDARUS 0423 Say one of your watches.
CRESSIDA 0424 Nay, I’ll watch you for that, and that’s one of
0425 the chiefest of them too. If I cannot ward what I
0426 275 would not have hit, I can watch you for telling how
0427 I took the blow—unless it swell past hiding, and
0428 then it’s past watching.
PANDARUS 0429 You are such another!
Enter ⌜Troilus’s⌝ Boy.
BOY 0430 Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.
PANDARUS 0431 280Where?
BOY 0432 At your own house. There he unarms him.
PANDARUS 0433 Good boy, tell him I come.⌜Boy exits.⌝
0434 I doubt he be hurt.—Fare you well, good niece.
PANDARUS 0436 285I will be with you, niece, by and by.
CRESSIDA 0437 To bring, uncle?
PANDARUS 0438 Ay, a token from Troilus.
CRESSIDA 0439 By the same token, you are a bawd.
0440 Words, vows, gifts, tears, and love’s full sacrifice
0441 290 He offers in another’s enterprise;
0442 But more in Troilus thousandfold I see
0443 Than in the glass of Pandar’s praise may be.
0444 Yet hold I off. Women are angels, wooing;
0445 Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.
0446 295 That she beloved knows naught that knows not this:
0447 Men prize the thing ungained more than it is.
0448 That she was never yet that ever knew
0449 Love got so sweet as when desire did sue.
0450 Therefore this maxim out of love I teach:
0451 300 Achievement is command; ungained, beseech.
0452 Then though my heart’s content firm love doth bear,
0453 Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.
Menelaus, with others.
0454 Princes, what grief hath set ⟨the⟩ jaundice o’er your
0456 The ample proposition that hope makes
0457 In all designs begun on Earth below
0458 5 Fails in the promised largeness. Checks and disasters
0459 Grow in the veins of actions highest reared,
0460 As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
0461 Infects the sound pine and diverts his grain
0463 10 Nor, princes, is it matter new to us
0464 That we come short of our suppose so far
0465 That after seven years’ siege yet Troy walls stand,
0466 Sith ⟨every⟩ action that hath gone before,
0467 Whereof we have record, trial did draw
0468 15 Bias and thwart, not answering the aim
0469 And that unbodied figure of the thought
0470 That gave ’t surmisèd shape. Why then, you princes,
0471 Do you with cheeks abashed behold our works
0472 And call them shames, which are indeed naught else
0473 20 But the protractive trials of great Jove
0474 To find persistive constancy in men?
0475 The fineness of which metal is not found
0476 In Fortune’s love; for then the bold and coward,
0477 The wise and fool, the artist and unread,
0478 25 The hard and soft seem all affined and kin.
0479 But in the wind and tempest of her frown,
0480 Distinction, with a broad and powerful fan,
0481 Puffing at all, winnows the light away,
0482 And what hath mass or matter by itself
0483 30 Lies rich in virtue and unmingled.
0484 With due observance of ⟨thy⟩ godlike seat,
0485 Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply
0486 Thy latest words. In the reproof of chance
0487 Lies the true proof of men. The sea being smooth,
0488 35 How many shallow bauble boats dare sail
0489 Upon her ⟨patient⟩ breast, making their way
0490 With those of nobler bulk!
0491 But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
0492 The gentle Thetis, and anon behold
0493 40 The strong-ribbed bark through liquid mountains cut,
0494 Bounding between the two moist elements,
0495 Like Perseus’ horse. Where’s then the saucy boat
0496 Whose weak untimbered sides but even now
0498 45 Or made a toast for Neptune. Even so
0499 Doth valor’s show and valor’s worth divide
0500 In storms of Fortune. For in her ray and brightness
0501 The herd hath more annoyance by the breese
0502 Than by the tiger, but when the splitting wind
0503 50 Makes flexible the knees of knotted oaks,
0504 And flies ⌜flee⌝ under shade, why, then the thing of
0506 As roused with rage, with rage doth sympathize,
0507 And with an accent tuned in selfsame key
0508 55 ⌜Retorts⌝ to chiding Fortune.
ULYSSES 0509 Agamemnon,
0510 Thou great commander, nerves and bone of Greece,
0511 Heart of our numbers, soul and only sprite,
0512 In whom the tempers and the minds of all
0513 60 Should be shut up, hear what Ulysses speaks.
0514 Besides th’ applause and approbation,
0515 The which, (⌜to Agamemnon⌝) most mighty for thy
0516 place and sway,
0517 (⌜To Nestor⌝) And thou most reverend for ⟨thy⟩
0518 65 stretched-out life,
0519 I give to both your speeches, which were such
0520 As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece
0521 Should hold up high in brass; and such again
0522 As venerable Nestor, hatched in silver,
0523 70 Should with a bond of air, strong as the axletree
0524 On which heaven rides, knit all the Greekish ears
0525 To his experienced tongue, yet let it please both,
0526 Thou great, and wise, to hear Ulysses speak.
0527 Speak, Prince of Ithaca, and be ’t of less expect
0528 75 That matter needless, of importless burden,
0529 Divide thy lips than we are confident
0530 When rank Thersites opes his mastic jaws
0531 We shall hear music, wit, and oracle.⟩
0532 Troy, yet upon his ⟨basis,⟩ had been down,
0533 80 And the great Hector’s sword had lacked a master
0534 But for these instances:
0535 The specialty of rule hath been neglected,
0536 And look how many Grecian tents do stand
0537 Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions.
0538 85 When that the general is not like the hive
0539 To whom the foragers shall all repair,
0540 What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded,
0541 Th’ unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
0542 The heavens themselves, the planets, and this center
0543 90 Observe degree, priority, and place,
0544 Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
0545 Office, and custom, in all line of order.
0546 And therefore is the glorious planet Sol
0547 In noble eminence enthroned and sphered
0548 95 Amidst the other, whose med’cinable eye
0549 Corrects the influence of evil planets,
0550 And posts, like the commandment of a king,
0551 Sans check, to good and bad. But when the planets
0552 In evil mixture to disorder wander,
0553 100 What plagues and what portents, what mutiny,
0554 What raging of the sea, shaking of Earth,
0555 Commotion in the winds, frights, changes, horrors
0556 Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
0557 The unity and married calm of states
0558 105 Quite from their fixture! O, when degree is shaked,
0559 Which is the ladder of all high designs,
0560 The enterprise is sick. How could communities,
0561 Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities,
0562 Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
0563 110 The primogeneity and due of birth,
0564 Prerogative of age, crowns, scepters, laurels,
0565 But by degree stand in authentic place?
0566 Take but degree away, untune that string,
0568 115 In mere oppugnancy. The bounded waters
0569 Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores
0570 And make a sop of all this solid globe;
0571 Strength should be lord of imbecility,
0572 And the rude son should strike his father dead;
0573 120 Force should be right, or, rather, right and wrong,
0574 Between whose endless jar justice resides,
0575 Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
0576 Then everything ⟨includes⟩ itself in power,
0577 Power into will, will into appetite,
0578 125 And appetite, an universal wolf,
0579 So doubly seconded with will and power,
0580 Must make perforce an universal prey
0581 And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
0582 This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
0583 130 Follows the choking.
0584 And this neglection of degree it is
0585 That by a pace goes backward, with a purpose
0586 It hath to climb. The General’s disdained
0587 By him one step below, he by the next,
0588 135 That next by him beneath; so every step,
0589 Exampled by the first pace that is sick
0590 Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
0591 Of pale and bloodless emulation.
0592 And ’tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
0593 140 Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length,
0594 Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength.
0595 Most wisely hath Ulysses here discovered
0596 The fever whereof all our power is sick.
0597 The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses,
0598 145 What is the remedy?
0599 The great Achilles, whom opinion crowns
0601 Having his ear full of his airy fame,
0602 Grows dainty of his worth and in his tent
0603 150 Lies mocking our designs. With him Patroclus,
0604 Upon a lazy bed, the live-long day
0605 Breaks scurril jests,
0606 And with ridiculous and silly action,
0607 Which, slanderer, he imitation calls,
0608 155 He pageants us. Sometime, great Agamemnon,
0609 Thy topless deputation he puts on,
0610 And, like a strutting player whose conceit
0611 Lies in his hamstring and doth think it rich
0612 To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
0613 160 ’Twixt his stretched footing and the scaffollage,
0614 Such to-be-pitied and o’erwrested seeming
0615 He acts thy greatness in; and when he speaks,
0616 ’Tis like a chime a-mending, with terms ⟨unsquared⟩
0617 Which from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropped
0618 165 Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff,
0619 The large Achilles, on his pressed bed lolling,
0620 From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause,
0621 Cries “Excellent! ’Tis Agamemnon right.
0622 Now play me Nestor; hem and stroke thy beard,
0623 170 As he being dressed to some oration.”
0624 That’s done, as near as the extremest ends
0625 Of parallels, as like as Vulcan and his wife;
0626 Yet god Achilles still cries “Excellent!
0627 ’Tis Nestor right. Now play him me, Patroclus,
0628 175 Arming to answer in a night alarm.”
0629 And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age
0630 Must be the scene of mirth—to cough and spit,
0631 And, with a palsy fumbling on his gorget,
0632 Shake in and out the rivet. And at this sport
0633 180 Sir Valor dies, cries “O, enough, Patroclus,
0634 Or give me ribs of steel! I shall split all
0635 In pleasure of my spleen.” And in this fashion,
0636 All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
0638 185 Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,
0639 Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
0640 Success or loss, what is or is not, serves
0641 As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.
0642 And in the imitation of these twain,
0643 190 Who, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns
0644 With an imperial voice, many are infect:
0645 Ajax is grown self-willed and bears his head
0646 In such a rein, in full as proud a place
0647 As broad Achilles; keeps his tent like him,
0648 195 Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war,
0649 Bold as an oracle, and sets Thersites—
0650 A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint—
0651 To match us in comparisons with dirt,
0652 To weaken ⟨and⟩ discredit our exposure,
0653 200 How rank soever rounded in with danger.
0654 They tax our policy and call it cowardice,
0655 Count wisdom as no member of the war,
0656 Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
0657 But that of hand. The still and mental parts
0658 205 That do contrive how many hands shall strike
0659 When fitness calls them on and know by measure
0660 Of their observant toil the enemy’s weight—
0661 Why, this hath not a fingers dignity.
0662 They call this bed-work, mapp’ry, closet war;
0663 210 So that the ram that batters down the wall,
0664 For the great swinge and rudeness of his poise,
0665 They place before his hand that made the engine
0666 Or those that with the fineness of their souls
0667 By reason guide his execution.
0668 215 Let this be granted, and Achilles’ horse
0669 Makes many Thetis’ sons.⟨Tucket.⟩
MENELAUS 0671 From Troy.
⟨Enter Aeneas, ⌜with a Trumpeter.⌝⟩
AGAMEMNON 0672 What would you ’fore our tent?
0673 220 Is this great Agamemnon’s tent, I pray you?
AGAMEMNON 0674 Even this.
0675 May one that is a herald and a prince
0676 Do a fair message to his kingly eyes?
0677 With surety stronger than Achilles’ arm
0678 225 ’Fore all the Greekish ⌜host,⌝ which with one voice
0679 Call Agamemnon head and general.
0680 Fair leave and large security. How may
0681 A stranger to those most imperial looks
0682 Know them from eyes of other mortals?
AGAMEMNON 0683 230 How?
0684 Ay. I ask that I might waken reverence
0685 And bid the cheek be ready with a blush
0686 Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
0687 The youthful Phoebus.
0688 235 Which is that god in office, guiding men?
0689 Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?
0690 This Trojan scorns us, or the men of Troy
0691 Are ceremonious courtiers.
0692 Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarmed,
0693 240 As bending angels—that’s their fame in peace.
0694 But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls,
0696 Jove’s accord—
0697 Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Aeneas.
0698 245 Peace, Trojan. Lay thy finger on thy lips.
0699 The worthiness of praise distains his worth
0700 If that the praised himself bring the praise forth.
0701 But what the repining enemy commends,
0702 That breath fame blows; that praise, sole pure,
0703 250 transcends.
0704 Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Aeneas?
AENEAS 0705 Ay, Greek, that is my name.
AGAMEMNON 0706 What’s your ⟨affair,⟩ I pray you?
0707 Sir, pardon. ’Tis for Agamemnon’s ears.
0708 255 He hears naught privately that comes from Troy.
0709 Nor I from Troy come not to whisper with him.
0710 I bring a trumpet to awake his ear,
0711 To set his ⟨sense⟩ on ⟨the⟩ attentive bent,
0712 And then to speak.
AGAMEMNON 0713 260 Speak frankly as the wind;
0714 It is not Agamemnon’s sleeping hour.
0715 That thou shalt know, Trojan, he is awake,
0716 He tells thee so himself.
AENEAS 0717 Trumpet, blow ⟨loud⟩!
0718 265 Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents;
0719 And every Greek of mettle, let him know
0720 What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.
0721 We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy
0722 A prince called Hector—Priam is his father—
0723 270 Who in ⟨this⟩ dull and long-continued truce
0724 Is resty grown. He bade me take a trumpet
0725 And to this purpose speak: “Kings, princes, lords,
0727 That holds his honor higher than his ease,
0728 275 ⟨That seeks⟩ his praise more than he fears his peril,
0729 That knows his valor and knows not his fear,
0730 That loves his mistress more than in confession
0731 With truant vows to her own lips he loves
0732 And dare avow her beauty and her worth
0733 280 In other arms than hers—to him this challenge.
0734 Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,
0735 Shall make it good, or do his best to do it,
0736 He hath a lady wiser, fairer, truer
0737 Than ever Greek did couple in his arms
0738 285 And will tomorrow with his trumpet call,
0739 Midway between your tents and walls of Troy,
0740 To rouse a Grecian that is true in love.
0741 If any come, Hector shall honor him;
0742 If none, he’ll say in Troy when he retires
0743 290 The Grecian dames are sunburnt and not worth
0744 The splinter of a lance.” Even so much.
0745 This shall be told our lovers, Lord Aeneas.
0746 If none of them have soul in such a kind,
0747 We left them all at home. But we are soldiers,
0748 295 And may that soldier a mere recreant prove
0749 That means not, hath not, or is not in love!
0750 If then one is, or hath, ⟨or⟩ means to be,
0751 That one meets Hector. If none else, I am he.
NESTOR, ⌜to Aeneas⌝
0752 Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man
0753 300 When Hector’s grandsire sucked. He is old now,
0754 But if there be not in our Grecian host
0755 A noble man that hath ⟨one⟩ spark of fire
0756 To answer for his love, tell him from me
0757 I’ll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver
0758 305 And in my vambrace put my withered brawns
0759 And, meeting him, ⟨will⟩ tell him that my lady
0761 As may be in the world. His youth in flood,
0762 I’ll prove this troth with my three drops of blood.
0763 310 Now heavens forfend such scarcity of ⟨youth!⟩
ULYSSES 0764 Amen.
0765 Fair Lord Aeneas, let me touch your hand.
0766 To our pavilion shall I lead you, sir.
0767 Achilles shall have word of this intent;
0768 315 So shall each lord of Greece from tent to tent.
0769 Yourself shall feast with us before you go,
0770 And find the welcome of a noble foe.
⟨All but Ulysses and Nestor exit.⟩
ULYSSES 0771 Nestor.
NESTOR 0772 What says Ulysses?
0773 320 I have a young conception in my brain;
0774 Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
NESTOR 0775 What is ’t?
ULYSSES 0776 ⟨This ’tis:⟩
0777 Blunt wedges rive hard knots; the seeded pride
0778 325 That hath to this maturity blown up
0779 In rank Achilles must or now be cropped
0780 Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil
0781 To overbulk us all.
NESTOR 0782 Well, and how?
0783 330 This challenge that the gallant Hector sends,
0784 However it is spread in general name,
0785 Relates in purpose only to Achilles.
0786 True. The purpose is perspicuous as substance
0787 Whose grossness little characters sum up;
0788 335 And, in the publication, make no strain
0789 But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
0791 ’Tis dry enough—will, with great speed of judgment,
0792 Ay, with celerity, find Hector’s purpose
0793 340 Pointing on him.
ULYSSES 0794 And wake him to the answer, think you?
0795 Why, ’tis most meet. Who may you else oppose
0796 That can from Hector bring ⟨his honor⟩ off
0797 If not Achilles? Though ’t be a sportful combat,
0798 345 Yet in the trial much opinion dwells,
0799 For here the Trojans taste our dear’st repute
0800 With their fin’st palate. And, trust to me, Ulysses,
0801 Our imputation shall be oddly poised
0802 In this vile action. For the success,
0803 350 Although particular, shall give a scantling
0804 Of good or bad unto the general;
0805 And in such indexes, although small pricks
0806 To their subsequent volumes, there is seen
0807 The baby figure of the giant mass
0808 355 Of things to come at large. It is supposed
0809 He that meets Hector issues from our choice;
0810 And choice, being mutual act of all our souls,
0811 Makes merit her election and doth boil,
0812 As ’twere from forth us all, a man distilled
0813 360 Out of our virtues, who, miscarrying,
0814 What heart receives from hence a conquering part
0815 To steel a strong opinion to themselves?—
0816 ⟨Which entertained, limbs are his instruments,
0817 In no less working than are swords and bows
0818 365 Directive by the limbs.⟩
0819 Give pardon to my speech: therefore ’tis meet
0820 Achilles meet not Hector. Let us like merchants
0821 First show foul wares and think perchance they’ll sell;
0822 If not, the luster of the better shall exceed
0823 370 By showing the worse first. Do not consent
0825 For both our honor and our shame in this
0826 Are dogged with two strange followers.
0827 I see them not with my old eyes. What are they?
0828 375 What glory our Achilles shares from Hector,
0829 Were he not proud, we all should share with him;
0830 But he already is too insolent,
0831 And it were better parch in Afric sun
0832 Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes
0833 380 Should he scape Hector fair. If he were foiled,
0834 Why then we do our main opinion crush
0835 In taint of our best man. No, make a lott’ry,
0836 And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw
0837 The sort to fight with Hector. Among ourselves
0838 385 Give him allowance for the better man,
0839 For that will physic the great Myrmidon,
0840 Who broils in loud applause, and make him fall
0841 His crest that prouder than blue Iris bends.
0842 If the dull brainless Ajax come safe off,
0843 390 We’ll dress him up in voices; if he fail,
0844 Yet go we under our opinion still
0845 That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
0846 Our project’s life this shape of sense assumes:
0847 Ajax employed plucks down Achilles’ plumes.
0848 395 Now, Ulysses, I begin to relish thy advice,
0849 And I will give a taste thereof forthwith
0850 To Agamemnon. Go we to him straight.
0851 Two curs shall tame each other; pride alone
0852 Must ⟨tar⟩ the mastiffs on, as ’twere a bone.
AJAX 0853 Thersites!
THERSITES 0854 Agamemnon—how if he had boils, full, all
0855 over, generally?
AJAX 0856 Thersites!
THERSITES 0857 5And those boils did run? Say so. Did not the
0858 general run, then? Were not that a botchy core?
AJAX 0859 Dog!
THERSITES 0860 Then ⟨there⟩ would come some matter
0861 from him. I see none now.
AJAX 0862 10Thou bitchwolf’s son, canst thou not hear? Feel,
0863 then.⟨Strikes him.⟩
THERSITES 0864 The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel
0865 beef-witted lord!
AJAX 0866 Speak, then, thou unsalted leaven, speak. I will
0867 15 beat thee into handsomeness.
THERSITES 0868 I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness,
0869 but I think thy horse will sooner con an oration
0870 than thou learn ⟨a⟩ prayer without book. Thou canst
0871 strike, canst thou? A red murrain o’ thy jade’s tricks.
AJAX 0872 20Toadstool, learn me the proclamation.
THERSITES 0873 Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest
0874 me thus?
AJAX 0875 The proclamation!
THERSITES 0876 Thou art proclaimed ⟨a⟩ fool, I think.
THERSITES 0878 I would thou didst itch from head to foot,
0879 and I had the scratching of thee; I would make
0880 thee the loathsomest scab in Greece. [When thou
0881 art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as
0882 30 another.]
AJAX 0883 I say, the proclamation!
THERSITES 0884 Thou grumblest and railest every hour on
0885 Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his greatness
0886 as Cerberus is at Proserpina’s beauty, ay, that
0887 35 thou bark’st at him.
AJAX 0888 Mistress Thersites!
THERSITES 0889 Thou shouldst strike him—
AJAX 0890 Cobloaf!
⟨THERSITES⟩ 0891 He would pound thee into shivers with his
0892 40 fist as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
⟨AJAX⟩ 0893 You whoreson cur!⌜Strikes him.⌝
⟨THERSITES⟩ 0894 Do, do.
AJAX 0895 Thou stool for a witch!
THERSITES 0896 Ay, do, do, thou sodden-witted lord. Thou
0897 45 hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an
0898 asinego may tutor thee, ⟨thou⟩ scurvy-valiant ass.
0899 Thou art here but to thrash Trojans, and thou art
0900 bought and sold among those of any wit, like a
0901 barbarian slave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin
0902 50 at thy heel and tell what thou art by inches, thou
0903 thing of no bowels, thou.
AJAX 0904 You dog!
THERSITES 0905 You scurvy lord!
AJAX 0906 You cur!⌜Strikes him.⌝
THERSITES 0907 55Mars his idiot! Do, rudeness, do, camel, do,
⟨Enter Achilles and Patroclus.⟩
ACHILLES 0909 Why, how now, Ajax? Wherefore do you
0910 thus?—How now, Thersites? What’s the matter,
ACHILLES 0913 Ay, what’s the matter?
THERSITES 0914 Nay, look upon him.
ACHILLES 0915 So I do. What’s the matter?
THERSITES 0916 Nay, but regard him well.
ACHILLES 0917 65Well, why, so I do.
THERSITES 0918 But yet you look not well upon him, for
0919 whosomever you take him to be, he is Ajax.
ACHILLES 0920 I know that, fool.
THERSITES 0921 Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
AJAX 0922 70Therefore I beat thee.
THERSITES 0923 Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters!
0924 His evasions have ears thus long. I have
0925 bobbed his brain more than he has beat my bones.
0926 ⟨I⟩ will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia
0927 75 mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow.
0928 This lord, Achilles—Ajax, who wears his wit in his
0929 belly, and his guts in his head—⟨I’ll⟩ tell you what I
0930 say of him.
ACHILLES 0931 What?
THERSITES 0932 80I say, this Ajax—⌜Ajax menaces him.⌝
ACHILLES 0933 Nay, good Ajax.
THERSITES 0934 Has not so much wit—
ACHILLES, ⌜to Ajax⌝ 0935 Nay, I must hold you.
THERSITES 0936 As will stop the eye of Helen’s needle, for
0937 85 whom he comes to fight.
ACHILLES 0938 Peace, fool!
THERSITES 0939 I would have peace and quietness, but the
0940 fool will not—he there, that he. Look you there.
AJAX 0941 O, thou damned cur, I shall—
ACHILLES 0942 90Will you set your wit to a fool’s?
THERSITES 0943 No, I warrant you. The fool’s will shame it.
PATROCLUS 0944 Good words, Thersites.
ACHILLES, ⌜to Ajax⌝ 0945 What’s the quarrel?
AJAX 0946 I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenor of the
0947 95 proclamation, and he rails upon me.
AJAX 0949 Well, go to, go to.
THERSITES 0950 I serve here voluntary.
ACHILLES 0951 Your last service was suff’rance; ’twas not
0952 100 voluntary. No man is beaten voluntary. Ajax was
0953 here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.
THERSITES 0954 E’en so. A great deal of your wit, too, lies in
0955 your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shall
0956 have a great catch an ⟨he⟩ knock ⟨out⟩ either of
0957 105 your brains; he were as good crack a fusty nut with
0958 no kernel.
ACHILLES 0959 What, with me too, Thersites?
THERSITES 0960 There’s Ulysses and old Nestor—whose wit
0961 was moldy ere ⌜your⌝ grandsires had nails ⟨on
0962 110 their toes⟩—yoke you like draft-oxen and make
0963 you plow up the wars.
ACHILLES 0964 What? What?
THERSITES 0965 Yes, good sooth. To, Achilles! To, Ajax! To—
AJAX 0966 I shall cut out your tongue.
THERSITES 0967 115’Tis no matter. I shall speak as much as
0968 thou afterwards.
PATROCLUS 0969 No more words, Thersites. Peace.
THERSITES 0970 I will hold my peace when Achilles’ ⌜brach⌝
0971 bids me, shall I?
ACHILLES 0972 120There’s for you, Patroclus.
THERSITES 0973 I will see you hanged like clodpolls ere I
0974 come any more to your tents. I will keep where
0975 there is wit stirring and leave the faction of fools.
PATROCLUS 0976 A good riddance.
ACHILLES, ⌜to Ajax⌝
0977 125 Marry, this, sir, is proclaimed through all our host:
0978 That Hector, by the ⟨fifth⟩ hour of the sun,
0979 Will with a trumpet ’twixt our tents and Troy
0980 Tomorrow morning call some knight to arms
0981 That hath a stomach, and such a one that dare
0982 130 Maintain—I know not what; ’tis trash. Farewell.
0984 I know not. ’Tis put to lott’ry. Otherwise,
0985 He knew his man.⌜Achilles and Patroclus exit.⌝
AJAX 0986 O, meaning you? I will go learn more of it.
0987 After so many hours, lives, speeches spent,
0988 Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks:
0989 “Deliver Helen, and all damage else—
0990 As honor, loss of time, travel, expense,
0991 5 Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is consumed
0992 In hot digestion of this cormorant war—
0993 Shall be struck off.”—Hector, what say you to ’t?
0994 Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than I
0995 As far as toucheth my particular,
0996 10 Yet, dread Priam,
0997 There is no lady of more softer bowels,
0998 More spongy to suck in the sense of fear,
0999 More ready to cry out “Who knows what follows?”
1000 Than Hector is. The wound of peace is ⟨surety,
1001 15 Surety⟩ secure; but modest doubt is called
1002 The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
1003 To th’ bottom of the worst. Let Helen go.
1004 Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
1005 Every tithe soul, ’mongst many thousand dismes,
1006 20 Hath been as dear as Helen; I mean, of ours.
1007 If we have lost so many tenths of ours
1008 To guard a thing not ours—nor worth to us,
1009 Had it our name, the value of one ten—
1011 25 The yielding of her up?
TROILUS 1012 Fie, fie, my brother,
1013 Weigh you the worth and honor of a king
1014 So great as our dread father’s in a scale
1015 Of common ounces? Will you with counters sum
1016 30 The past-proportion of his infinite,
1017 And buckle in a waist most fathomless
1018 With spans and inches so diminutive
1019 As fears and reasons? Fie, for godly shame!
1020 No marvel though you bite so sharp ⟨at⟩ reasons,
1021 35 You are so empty of them. Should not our father
1022 Bear the great sway of his affairs with reason,
1023 Because your speech hath none that tell him so?
1024 You are for dreams and slumbers, brother priest.
1025 You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your
1026 40 reasons:
1027 You know an enemy intends you harm;
1028 You know a sword employed is perilous,
1029 And reason flies the object of all harm.
1030 Who marvels, then, when Helenus beholds
1031 45 A Grecian and his sword, if he do set
1032 The very wings of reason to his heels
1033 And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove
1034 Or like a star disorbed? Nay, if we talk of reason,
1035 ⟨Let’s⟩ shut our gates and sleep. Manhood and honor
1036 50 Should have hare hearts, would they but fat their
1038 With this crammed reason. Reason and respect
1039 Make livers pale and lustihood deject.
1040 Brother, she is not worth what she doth cost
1041 55 The keeping.
TROILUS 1042 What’s aught but as ’tis valued?
1043 But value dwells not in particular will;
1044 It holds his estimate and dignity
1045 As well wherein ’tis precious of itself
1046 60 As in the prizer. ’Tis mad idolatry
1047 To make the service greater than the god;
1048 And the will dotes that is attributive
1049 To what infectiously itself affects
1050 Without some image of th’ affected merit.
1051 65 I take today a wife, and my election
1052 Is led on in the conduct of my will—
1053 My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
1054 Two traded pilots ’twixt the dangerous ⟨shores⟩
1055 Of will and judgment. How may I avoid,
1056 70 Although my will distaste what it elected,
1057 The wife I choose? There can be no evasion
1058 To blench from this and to stand firm by honor.
1059 We turn not back the silks upon the merchant
1060 When we have soiled them, nor the remainder
1061 75 viands
1062 We do not throw in unrespective sieve
1063 Because we now are full. It was thought meet
1064 Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks.
1065 Your breath with full consent bellied his sails;
1066 80 The seas and winds, old wranglers, took a truce
1067 And did him service. He touched the ports desired,
1068 And for an old aunt whom the Greeks held captive,
1069 He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and
1071 85 Wrinkles Apollo’s and makes pale the morning.
1072 Why keep we her? The Grecians keep our aunt.
1073 Is she worth keeping? Why, she is a pearl
1074 Whose price hath launched above a thousand ships
1075 And turned crowned kings to merchants.
1076 90 If you’ll avouch ’twas wisdom Paris went—
1078 If you’ll confess ⟨he⟩ brought home worthy prize—
1079 As you must needs, for you all clapped your hands
1080 And cried “Inestimable”—why do you now
1081 95 The issue of your proper wisdoms rate
1082 And do a deed that never Fortune did,
1083 Beggar the estimation which you prized
1084 Richer than sea and land? O, theft most base,
1085 That we have stol’n what we do fear to keep!
1086 100 But thieves unworthy of a thing so stol’n,
1087 That in their country did them that disgrace
1088 We fear to warrant in our native place.
1089 Cry, Trojans, cry!
PRIAM 1090 What noise? What shriek is this?
1091 105 ’Tis our mad sister. I do know her voice.
CASSANDRA, ⌜within⌝ 1092 Cry, Trojans!
HECTOR 1093 It is Cassandra.
Enter Cassandra raving.
1094 Cry, Trojans, cry! Lend me ten thousand eyes,
1095 And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
HECTOR 1096 110Peace, sister, peace!
1097 Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled elders,
1098 Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
1099 Add to my clamors. Let us pay betimes
1100 A moiety of that mass of moan to come.
1101 115 Cry, Trojans, cry! Practice your eyes with tears.
1102 Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilium stand.
1103 Our firebrand brother Paris burns us all.
1104 Cry, Trojans, cry! A Helen and a woe!
1105 Cry, cry! Troy burns, or else let Helen go.She exits.
1106 120 Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high strains
1107 Of divination in our sister work
1108 Some touches of remorse? Or is your blood
1109 So madly hot that no discourse of reason
1110 Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause
1111 125 Can qualify the same?
TROILUS 1112 Why, brother Hector,
1113 We may not think the justness of each act
1114 Such and no other than event doth form it,
1115 Nor once deject the courage of our minds
1116 130 Because Cassandra’s mad. Her brainsick raptures
1117 Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel
1118 Which hath our several honors all engaged
1119 To make it gracious. For my private part,
1120 I am no more touched than all Priam’s sons;
1121 135 And Jove forbid there should be done amongst us
1122 Such things as might offend the weakest spleen
1123 To fight for and maintain!
1124 Else might the world convince of levity
1125 As well my undertakings as your counsels.
1126 140 But I attest the gods, your full consent
1127 Gave wings to my propension and cut off
1128 All fears attending on so dire a project.
1129 For what, alas, can these my single arms?
1130 What propugnation is in one man’s valor
1131 145 To stand the push and enmity of those
1132 This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest,
1133 Were I alone to pass the difficulties
1134 And had as ample power as I have will,
1135 Paris should ne’er retract what he hath done
1136 150 Nor faint in the pursuit.
PRIAM 1137 Paris, you speak
1138 Like one besotted on your sweet delights.
1139 You have the honey still, but these the gall.
1140 So to be valiant is no praise at all.
1141 155 Sir, I propose not merely to myself
1142 The pleasures such a beauty brings with it,
1143 But I would have the soil of her fair rape
1144 Wiped off in honorable keeping her.
1145 What treason were it to the ransacked queen,
1146 160 Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me,
1147 Now to deliver her possession up
1148 On terms of base compulsion? Can it be
1149 That so degenerate a strain as this
1150 Should once set footing in your generous bosoms?
1151 165 There’s not the meanest spirit on our party
1152 Without a heart to dare or sword to draw
1153 When Helen is defended, nor none so noble
1154 Whose life were ill bestowed or death unfamed
1155 Where Helen is the subject. Then I say,
1156 170 Well may we fight for her whom, we know well,
1157 The world’s large spaces cannot parallel.
1158 Paris and Troilus, you have both said well,
1159 And on the cause and question now in hand
1160 Have glozed—but superficially, not much
1161 175 Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
1162 Unfit to hear moral philosophy.
1163 The reasons you allege do more conduce
1164 To the hot passion of distempered blood
1165 Than to make up a free determination
1166 180 ’Twixt right and wrong, for pleasure and revenge
1167 Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
1168 Of any true decision. Nature craves
1169 All dues be rendered to their owners. Now,
1170 What nearer debt in all humanity
1171 185 Than wife is to the husband? If this law
1172 Of nature be corrupted through affection,
1173 And that great minds, of partial indulgence
1174 To their benumbèd wills, resist the same,
1176 190 To curb those raging appetites that are
1177 Most disobedient and refractory.
1178 If Helen, then, be wife to Sparta’s king,
1179 As it is known she is, these moral laws
1180 Of nature and of nations speak aloud
1181 195 To have her back returned. Thus to persist
1182 In doing wrong extenuates not wrong,
1183 But makes it much more heavy. Hector’s opinion
1184 Is this in way of truth; yet, ne’ertheless,
1185 My sprightly brethren, I propend to you
1186 200 In resolution to keep Helen still,
1187 For ’tis a cause that hath no mean dependence
1188 Upon our joint and several dignities.
1189 Why, there you touched the life of our design!
1190 Were it not glory that we more affected
1191 205 Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
1192 I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
1193 Spent more in her defense. But, worthy Hector,
1194 She is a theme of honor and renown,
1195 A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds,
1196 210 Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
1197 And fame in time to come canonize us;
1198 For I presume brave Hector would not lose
1199 So rich advantage of a promised glory
1200 As smiles upon the forehead of this action
1201 215 For the wide world’s revenue.
HECTOR 1202 I am yours,
1203 You valiant offspring of great Priamus.
1204 I have a roisting challenge sent amongst
1205 The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks
1206 220 Will ⟨strike⟩ amazement to their drowsy spirits.
1207 I was advertised their great general slept,
1208 Whilst emulation in the army crept.
1209 This, I presume, will wake him.
⌜THERSITES⌝ 1210 How now, Thersites? What, lost in the
1211 labyrinth of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry
1212 it thus? He beats me, and I rail at him. O, worthy
1213 satisfaction! Would it were otherwise, that I could
1214 5 beat him whilst he railed at me. ’Sfoot, I’ll learn to
1215 conjure and raise devils but I’ll see some issue of
1216 my spiteful execrations. Then there’s Achilles, a
1217 rare enginer! If Troy be not taken till these two undermine
1218 it, the walls will stand till they fall of
1219 10 themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus,
1220 forget that thou art Jove, the king of gods;
1221 and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine craft of thy
1222 caduceus, if you take not that little, little, less than
1223 little wit from them that they have, which short-armed
1224 15 ignorance itself knows is so abundant
1225 scarce it will not in circumvention deliver a fly
1226 from a spider without drawing their massy irons
1227 and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on
1228 the whole camp! Or rather, the Neapolitan bone-ache!
1229 20 For that, methinks, is the curse depending
1230 on those that war for a placket. I have said my
1231 prayers, and devil Envy say “Amen.”—What ho,
1232 my lord Achilles!
PATROCLUS, ⌜within⌝ 1233 Who’s there? Thersites? Good
1234 25 Thersites, come in and rail.
THERSITES 1235 If I could ’a remembered a gilt counterfeit,
1236 thou couldst not have slipped out of my contemplation.
1237 But it is no matter. Thyself upon thyself! The
1238 common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance,
1239 30 be thine in great revenue! Heaven bless thee from
1240 a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy
1241 blood be thy direction till thy death; then if she
1242 that lays thee out says thou art a fair corse, I’ll be
1244 35 but lazars. Amen.
1245 Where’s Achilles?
PATROCLUS 1246 What, art thou devout? Wast thou in
THERSITES 1248 Ay. The heavens hear me!
[PATROCLUS 1249 40Amen.]
ACHILLES, ⌜within⌝ 1250 Who’s there?
PATROCLUS 1251 Thersites, my lord.
ACHILLES, ⌜within⌝ 1252 Where? Where? O, where?
1253 ⌜To Thersites.⌝ Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my
1254 45 digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my
1255 table so many meals? Come, what’s Agamemnon?
THERSITES 1256 Thy commander, Achilles.—Then, tell me,
1257 Patroclus, what’s Achilles?
PATROCLUS 1258 Thy lord, Thersites. Then, tell me, I pray
1259 50 thee, what’s Thersites?
THERSITES 1260 Thy knower, Patroclus. Then, tell me, Patroclus,
1261 what art thou?
PATROCLUS 1262 Thou must tell that knowest.
ACHILLES 1263 O tell, tell.
THERSITES 1264 55I’ll decline the whole question. Agamemnon
1265 commands Achilles, Achilles is my lord, I am
1266 Patroclus’ knower, and Patroclus is a fool.
⟨PATROCLUS 1267 You rascal!
THERSITES 1268 Peace, fool. I have not done.
ACHILLES, ⌜to Patroclus⌝ 1269 60He is a privileged man.—Proceed,
THERSITES 1271 Agamemnon is a fool, Achilles is a fool,
1272 Thersites is a fool, and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a
ACHILLES 1274 65Derive this. Come.
1276 Achilles, Achilles is a fool to be commanded ⟨of
1277 Agamemnon,⟩ Thersites is a fool to serve such a fool,
1278 and this Patroclus is a fool positive.
PATROCLUS 1279 70Why am I a fool?
THERSITES 1280 Make that demand of the ⟨creator.⟩ It suffices
1281 me thou art.
Enter ⌜at a distance⌝ Agamemnon, Ulysses, Nestor,
Diomedes, Ajax, and Calchas.
1282 Look you, who comes here?
ACHILLES 1283 Patroclus, I’ll speak with nobody.—Come in
1284 75 with me, Thersites.⟨He exits.⟩
THERSITES 1285 Here is such patchery, such juggling, and
1286 such knavery. All the argument is a whore and a
1287 cuckold, a good quarrel to draw emulous factions
1288 and bleed to death upon. ⟨Now the dry serpigo on
1289 80 the subject, and war and lechery confound all!⟩
AGAMEMNON, ⌜to Patroclus⌝ 1290 Where is Achilles?
1291 Within his tent, but ill-disposed, my lord.
1292 Let it be known to him that we are here.
1293 He ⌜shent⌝ our messengers, and we lay by
1294 85 Our ⟨appertainments,⟩ visiting of him.
1295 Let him be told so, lest perchance he think
1296 We dare not move the question of our place
1297 Or know not what we are.
PATROCLUS 1298 I shall say so to him.⌜He exits.⌝
1299 90 We saw him at the opening of his tent.
1300 He is not sick.
AJAX 1301 Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart. You may call
1302 it melancholy if you will favor the man, but, by my
1304 95 cause.—⟨A word, my lord.⟩
⌜He and Agamemnon walk aside.⌝
NESTOR 1305 What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?
ULYSSES 1306 Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.
NESTOR 1307 Who, Thersites?
ULYSSES 1308 He.
NESTOR 1309 100Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his
ULYSSES 1311 No. You see, he is his argument that has his
1312 argument: Achilles.
NESTOR 1313 All the better. Their fraction is more our wish
1314 105 than their faction. But it was a strong composure a
1315 fool could disunite.
ULYSSES 1316 The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may
1317 easily untie.
1318 Here comes Patroclus.
NESTOR 1319 110No Achilles with him.
ULYSSES 1320 The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy;
1321 his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure.
PATROCLUS, ⌜to Agamemnon⌝
1322 Achilles bids me say he is much sorry
1323 If anything more than your sport and pleasure
1324 115 Did move your greatness and this noble state
1325 To call upon him. He hopes it is no other
1326 But for your health and your digestion sake,
1327 An after-dinner’s breath.
AGAMEMNON 1328 Hear you, Patroclus:
1329 120 We are too well acquainted with these answers,
1330 But his evasion, winged thus swift with scorn,
1331 Cannot outfly our apprehensions.
1332 Much attribute he hath, and much the reason
1333 Why we ascribe it to him. Yet all his virtues,
1334 125 Not virtuously on his own part beheld,
1336 Yea, ⟨and⟩ like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
1337 Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him
1338 We come to speak with him; and you shall not sin
1339 130 If you do say we think him overproud
1340 And underhonest, in self-assumption greater
1341 Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than
1343 Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on,
1344 135 Disguise the holy strength of their command,
1345 And underwrite in an observing kind
1346 His humorous predominance—yea, watch
1347 His course and time, his ebbs and flows, ⟨as⟩ if
1348 The passage and whole ⟨carriage of this action⟩
1349 140 Rode on his tide. Go tell him this, and add
1350 That, if he overhold his price so much,
1351 We’ll none of him. But let him, like an engine
1352 Not portable, lie under this report:
1353 “Bring action hither; this cannot go to war.”
1354 145 A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
1355 Before a sleeping giant. Tell him so.
1356 I shall, and bring his answer presently.
1357 In second voice we’ll not be satisfied;
1358 We come to speak with him.—Ulysses, ⟨enter you.⟩
⟨Ulysses exits, ⌜with Patroclus.⌝⟩
AJAX 1359 150What is he more than another?
AGAMEMNON 1360 No more than what he thinks he is.
AJAX 1361 Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself
1362 a better man than I am?
AGAMEMNON 1363 No question.
AJAX 1364 155Will you subscribe his thought and say he is?
AGAMEMNON 1365 No, noble Ajax. You are as strong, as
1366 valiant, as wise, no less noble, much more gentle,
1367 and altogether more tractable.
1369 160 grow? I know not what pride is.
AGAMEMNON 1370 Your mind is the clearer, ⟨Ajax,⟩ and your
1371 virtues the fairer. He that is proud eats up himself.
1372 Pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own
1373 chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the
1374 165 deed devours the deed in the praise.
AJAX 1375 I do hate a proud man as I hate the engendering
1376 of toads.
1377 And yet he loves himself. Is ’t not strange?
1378 Achilles will not to the field tomorrow.
1379 170 What’s his excuse?
ULYSSES 1380 He doth rely on none,
1381 But carries on the stream of his dispose,
1382 Without observance or respect of any,
1383 In will peculiar and in self-admission.
1384 175 Why, will he not, upon our fair request,
1385 Untent his person and share th’ air with us?
1386 Things small as nothing, for request’s sake only,
1387 He makes important. Possessed he is with greatness
1388 And speaks not to himself but with a pride
1389 180 That quarrels at self-breath. Imagined worth
1390 Holds in his blood such swoll’n and hot discourse
1391 That ’twixt his mental and his active parts
1392 Kingdomed Achilles in commotion rages
1393 And batters down himself. What should I say?
1394 185 He is so plaguy proud that the death-tokens of it
1395 Cry “No recovery.”
AGAMEMNON 1396 Let Ajax go to him.—
1398 ’Tis said he holds you well and will be led
1399 190 At your request a little from himself.
1400 O Agamemnon, let it not be so!
1401 We’ll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
1402 When they go from Achilles. Shall the proud lord
1403 That bastes his arrogance with his own seam
1404 195 And never suffers matter of the world
1405 Enter his thoughts, save such as doth revolve
1406 And ruminate himself—shall he be worshipped
1407 Of that we hold an idol more than he?
1408 No. This thrice-worthy and right valiant lord
1409 200 Shall not so stale his palm, nobly acquired,
1410 Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit,
1411 As amply ⟨titled⟩ as Achilles is,
1412 By going to Achilles.
1413 That were to enlard his fat-already pride
1414 205 And add more coals to Cancer when he burns
1415 With entertaining great Hyperion.
1416 This lord go to him? Jupiter forbid
1417 And say in thunder “Achilles, go to him.”
NESTOR, ⌜aside to Diomedes⌝
1418 O, this is well; he rubs the vein of him.
DIOMEDES, ⌜aside to Nestor⌝
1419 210 And how his silence drinks up ⟨this⟩ applause!
1420 If I go to him, with my armèd fist
1421 I’ll ⟨pash⟩ him o’er the face.
AGAMEMNON 1422 O, no, you shall not go.
1423 An he be proud with me, I’ll feeze his pride.
1424 215 Let me go to him.
1425 Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.
AJAX 1426 A paltry, insolent fellow.
AJAX 1428 Can he not be sociable?
ULYSSES, ⌜aside⌝ 1429 220The raven chides blackness.
AJAX 1430 I’ll ⟨let⟩ his humorous blood.
AGAMEMNON, ⌜aside⌝ 1431 He will be the physician that
1432 should be the patient.
AJAX 1433 An all men were of my mind—
ULYSSES, ⌜aside⌝ 1434 225Wit would be out of fashion.
AJAX 1435 —he should not bear it so; he should eat swords
1436 first. Shall pride carry it?
NESTOR, ⌜aside⌝ 1437 An ’twould, you’d carry half.
⟨ULYSSES,⟩ ⌜aside⌝ 1438 He would have ten shares.
AJAX 1439 230I will knead him; I’ll make him supple.
⌜NESTOR, aside⌝ 1440 He’s not yet through warm. Force him
1441 with ⟨praises.⟩ Pour in, pour ⟨in;⟩ his ambition is dry.
ULYSSES, ⌜to Agamemnon⌝
1442 My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.
NESTOR, ⌜to Agamemnon⌝
1443 Our noble general, do not do so.
DIOMEDES, ⌜to Agamemnon⌝
1444 235 You must prepare to fight without Achilles.
1445 Why, ’tis this naming of him does him harm.
1446 Here is a man—but ’tis before his face;
1447 I will be silent.
NESTOR 1448 Wherefore should you so?
1449 240 He is not emulous, as Achilles is.
1450 Know the whole world, he is as valiant—
AJAX 1451 A whoreson dog, that shall palter with us thus!
1452 Would he were a Trojan!
NESTOR 1453 What a vice were it in Ajax now—
ULYSSES 1454 245If he were proud—
DIOMEDES 1455 Or covetous of praise—
ULYSSES 1456 Ay, or surly borne—
DIOMEDES 1457 Or strange, or self-affected—
1458 Thank the heavens, lord, thou art of sweet
1459 250 composure.
1460 Praise him that gat thee, she that gave thee suck;
1461 Famed be thy tutor, and thy parts of nature
1462 Thrice famed beyond, ⟨beyond⟩ thy erudition;
1463 But he that disciplined thine arms to fight,
1464 255 Let Mars divide eternity in twain
1465 And give him half; and for thy vigor,
1466 Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield
1467 To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom,
1468 Which like a ⟨bourn,⟩ a pale, a shore confines
1469 260 ⟨Thy⟩ spacious and dilated parts. Here’s Nestor,
1470 Instructed by the antiquary times;
1471 He must, he is, he cannot but be wise.—
1472 But pardon, father Nestor, were your days
1473 As green as Ajax’ and your brain so tempered,
1474 265 You should not have the eminence of him,
1475 But be as Ajax.
AJAX 1476 Shall I call you father?
1477 Ay, my good son.
DIOMEDES 1478 Be ruled by him, Lord Ajax.
1479 270 There is no tarrying here; the hart Achilles
1480 Keeps thicket. Please it our great general
1481 To call together all his state of war.
1482 Fresh kings are come to Troy. Tomorrow
1483 We must with all our main of power stand fast.
1484 275 And here’s a lord—come knights from east to west
1485 And ⟨cull⟩ their flower, Ajax shall cope the best.
1486 Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep.
1487 Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep.
PANDARUS 1488 Friend, you, pray you, a word. Do you not
1489 follow the young Lord Paris?
MAN 1490 Ay, sir, when he goes before me.
PANDARUS 1491 You depend upon him, I mean.
MAN 1492 5Sir, I do depend upon the Lord.
PANDARUS 1493 You depend upon a notable gentleman. I
1494 must needs praise him.
MAN 1495 The Lord be praised!
PANDARUS 1496 You know me, do you not?
MAN 1497 10Faith, sir, superficially.
PANDARUS 1498 Friend, know me better. I am the Lord
MAN 1500 I hope I shall know your Honor better.
PANDARUS 1501 I do desire it.
MAN 1502 15You are in the state of grace?
PANDARUS 1503 Grace? Not so, friend. “Honor” and “Lordship”
1504 are my titles. What music is this?
MAN 1505 I do but partly know, sir. It is music in parts.
PANDARUS 1506 Know you the musicians?
MAN 1507 20Wholly, sir.
PANDARUS 1508 Who play they to?
MAN 1509 To the hearers, sir.
PANDARUS 1510 At whose pleasure, friend?
PANDARUS 1512 25Command, I mean, ⟨friend.⟩
MAN 1513 Who shall I command, sir?
PANDARUS 1514 Friend, we understand not one another. I
1515 am too courtly and thou ⟨art⟩ too cunning. At whose
1516 request do these men play?
MAN 1517 30That’s to ’t indeed, sir. Marry, sir, at the request of
1518 Paris my lord, who is there in person; with him the
1519 mortal Venus, the heart blood of beauty, love’s ⌜visible⌝
PANDARUS 1521 Who, my cousin Cressida?
MAN 1522 35No, sir, Helen. Could not you find out that by her
PANDARUS 1524 It should seem, fellow, ⟨that⟩ thou hast not
1525 seen the Lady Cressid. I come to speak with Paris
1526 from the Prince Troilus. I will make a complimental
1527 40 assault upon him, for my business seethes.
MAN 1528 Sodden business! There’s a stewed phrase indeed.
Enter Paris and Helen ⌜with Attendants.⌝
PANDARUS 1529 Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair
1530 company! Fair desires in all fair measure fairly
1531 guide them!—Especially to you, fair queen, fair
1532 45 thoughts be your fair pillow!
HELEN 1533 Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
PANDARUS 1534 You speak your fair pleasure, sweet
1535 queen.—Fair prince, here is good broken music.
PARIS 1536 You have broke it, cousin, and, by my life, you
1537 50 shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out
1538 with a piece of your performance.
HELEN 1539 He is full of harmony.
PANDARUS 1540 Truly, lady, no.
HELEN 1541 O, sir—
PANDARUS 1542 55Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.
PARIS 1543 Well said, my lord; well, you say so in fits.
1545 My lord, will you vouchsafe me a word?
HELEN 1546 Nay, this shall not hedge us out. We’ll hear you
1547 60 sing, certainly.
PANDARUS 1548 Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with
1549 me.—But, marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and
1550 most esteemed friend, your brother Troilus—
HELEN 1551 My Lord Pandarus, honey-sweet lord—
PANDARUS 1552 65Go to, sweet queen, go to—commends himself
1553 most affectionately to you—
HELEN 1554 You shall not bob us out of our melody. If you
1555 do, our melancholy upon your head!
PANDARUS 1556 Sweet queen, sweet queen, that’s a sweet
1557 70 queen, i’ faith—
HELEN 1558 And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.
PANDARUS 1559 Nay, that shall not serve your turn, that
1560 shall it not, in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such
1561 words, no, no.—And, my lord, he desires you that
1562 75 if the King call for him at supper, you will make his
HELEN 1564 My Lord Pandarus—
PANDARUS 1565 What says my sweet queen, my very, very
1566 sweet queen?
PARIS 1567 80What exploit’s in hand? Where sups he tonight?
HELEN 1568 Nay, but, my lord—
PANDARUS 1569 What says my sweet queen? My cousin will
1570 fall out with you.
HELEN, ⌜to Paris⌝ 1571 You must not know where he sups.
PARIS 1572 85I’ll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.
PANDARUS 1573 No, no, no such matter; you are wide.
1574 Come, your disposer is sick.
PARIS 1575 Well, I’ll make ’s excuse.
PANDARUS 1576 Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida?
1577 90 No, your ⟨poor⟩ disposer’s sick.
PARIS 1578 I spy.
1580 an instrument. ⌜An Attendant gives him an instrument.⌝
1581 Now, sweet queen.
HELEN 1582 95Why, this is kindly done.
PANDARUS 1583 My niece is horribly in love with a thing you
1584 have, sweet queen.
HELEN 1585 She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my Lord
PANDARUS 1587 100He? No, she’ll none of him. They two are
HELEN 1589 Falling in after falling out may make them
PANDARUS 1591 Come, come, I’ll hear no more of this. I’ll
1592 105 sing you a song now.
HELEN 1593 Ay, ay, prithee. Now, by my troth, sweet ⟨lord,⟩
1594 thou hast a fine forehead.
PANDARUS 1595 Ay, you may, you may.
HELEN 1596 Let thy song be love. “This love will undo us all.”
1597 110 O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!
PANDARUS 1598 Love? Ay, that it shall, i’ faith.
PARIS 1599 Ay, good now, “Love, love, nothing but love.”
PANDARUS 1600 ⟨In good troth, it begins so.⟩
1601 Love, love, nothing but love, still love, still more!
1602 115 For, O, love’s bow
1603 Shoots buck and doe.
1604 The ⟨shaft confounds⟩
1605 Not that it wounds
1606 But tickles still the sore.
1607 120 These lovers cry “O ho!” they die,
1608 Yet that which seems the wound to kill
1609 Doth turn “O ho!” to “Ha ha he!”
1610 So dying love lives still.
1611 “O ho!” awhile, but “Ha ha ha!”
1612 125 “O ho!”groans out for “ha ha ha!”—Hey ho!
PARIS 1614 He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds
1615 hot blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and
1616 hot thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.
PANDARUS 1617 130Is this the generation of love? Hot blood,
1618 hot thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers.
1619 Is love a generation of vipers? Sweet lord, who’s
1620 afield today?
PARIS 1621 Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the
1622 135 gallantry of Troy. I would fain have armed today,
1623 but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
1624 brother Troilus went not?
HELEN 1625 He hangs the lip at something.—You know all,
1626 Lord Pandarus.
PANDARUS 1627 140Not I, honey sweet queen. I long to hear how
1628 they sped today.—You’ll remember your brother’s
PARIS 1630 To a hair.
PANDARUS 1631 Farewell, sweet queen.
HELEN 1632 145Commend me to your niece.
PANDARUS 1633 I will, sweet queen.⌜He exits.⌝
Sound a retreat.
1634 ⟨They’re⟩ come from the field. Let us to Priam’s hall
1635 To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you
1636 To help unarm our Hector. His stubborn buckles,
1637 150 With ⟨these⟩ your white enchanting fingers touched,
1638 Shall more obey than to the edge of steel
1639 Or force of Greekish sinews. You shall do more
1640 Than all the island kings: disarm great Hector.
1641 ’Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris.
1642 155 Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
1643 Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
1644 Yea, overshines ourself.
PARIS 1645 Sweet, above thought I love ⟨thee.⟩
PANDARUS 1646 How now? Where’s thy master? At my
1647 cousin Cressida’s?
MAN 1648 No, sir, ⟨he⟩ stays for you to conduct him thither.
PANDARUS 1649 O, here he comes.—How now, how now?
TROILUS, ⌜to his Man⌝ 1650 5Sirrah, walk off.⌜Man exits.⌝
PANDARUS 1651 Have you seen my cousin?
1652 No, Pandarus. I stalk about her door
1653 Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
1654 Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,
1655 10 And give me swift transportance to ⟨those⟩ fields
1656 Where I may wallow in the lily beds
1657 Proposed for the deserver! O, gentle Pandar,
1658 From Cupid’s shoulder pluck his painted wings
1659 And fly with me to Cressid!
PANDARUS 1660 15Walk here i’ th’ orchard. I’ll bring her
1662 I am giddy; expectation whirls me round.
1663 Th’ imaginary relish is so sweet
1664 That it enchants my sense. What will it be
1665 20 When that the wat’ry ⌜palate⌝ taste indeed
1666 Love’s thrice-repurèd nectar? Death, I fear me,
1667 Swooning destruction, or some joy too fine,
1668 Too subtle-potent, tuned too sharp in sweetness
1669 For the capacity of my ruder powers.
1670 25 I fear it much; and I do fear besides
1671 That I shall lose distinction in my joys,
1672 As doth a battle when they charge on heaps
1673 The enemy flying.
PANDARUS 1674 She’s making her ready; she’ll come straight.
1675 30 You must be witty now. She does so blush and
1676 fetches her wind so short as if she were frayed with
1677 a spirit. I’ll fetch her. It is the prettiest villain. She
1678 fetches her breath as short as a new-ta’en sparrow.
1679 Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom.
1680 35 My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse,
1681 And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
1682 Like vassalage at ⟨unawares⟩ encount’ring
1683 The eye of majesty.
Enter Pandarus, and Cressida ⌜veiled.⌝
PANDARUS, ⌜to Cressida⌝ 1684 Come, come, what need you
1685 40 blush? Shame’s a baby.—Here she is now. Swear
1686 the oaths now to her that you have sworn to me.
1687 ⌜Cressida offers to leave.⌝ What, are you gone again?
1688 You must be watched ere you be made tame, must
1689 you? Come your ways; come your ways. An you
1690 45 draw backward, we’ll put you i’ th’ ⌜thills.⌝—Why
1691 do you not speak to her?—Come, draw this curtain
1692 and let’s see your picture. ⌜He draws back her veil.⌝
1693 Alas the day, how loath you are to offend daylight!
1694 An ’twere dark, you’d close sooner.—So, so, rub on,
1695 50 and kiss the mistress. (⌜They kiss.⌝) How now? A
1696 kiss in fee-farm? Build there, carpenter; the air is
1697 sweet. Nay, you shall fight your hearts out ere I
1698 part you. The falcon as the tercel, for all the ducks
1699 i’ th’ river. Go to, go to.
TROILUS 1700 55You have bereft me of all words, lady.
PANDARUS 1701 Words pay no debts; give her deeds. But
1702 she’ll bereave you o’ th’ deeds too, if she call your
1703 activity in question. (⌜They kiss.⌝) What, billing
1705 60 interchangeably—.” Come in, come in. I’ll go get a fire.
CRESSIDA 1706 Will you walk in, my lord?
TROILUS 1707 O Cressid, how often have I wished me thus!
CRESSIDA 1708 “Wished,” my lord? The gods grant—O, my
TROILUS 1710 65What should they grant? What makes this
1711 pretty abruption? What too-curious dreg espies
1712 my sweet lady in the fountain of our love?
CRESSIDA 1713 More dregs than water, if my ⌜fears⌝ have eyes.
TROILUS 1714 Fears make devils of cherubins; they never
1715 70 see truly.
CRESSIDA 1716 Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds
1717 safer footing than blind reason, stumbling without
1718 fear. To fear the worst oft cures the worse.
TROILUS 1719 O, let my lady apprehend no fear. In all
1720 75 Cupid’s pageant there is presented no monster.
CRESSIDA 1721 Nor nothing monstrous neither?
TROILUS 1722 Nothing but our undertakings, when we vow
1723 to weep seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers,
1724 thinking it harder for our mistress to devise imposition
1725 80 enough than for us to undergo any difficulty
1726 imposed. This ⟨is⟩ the monstruosity in love, lady, that
1727 the will is infinite and the execution confined, that
1728 the desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit.
CRESSIDA 1729 They say all lovers swear more performance
1730 85 than they are able and yet reserve an ability that
1731 they never perform, vowing more than the perfection
1732 of ten and discharging less than the tenth part
1733 of one. They that have the voice of lions and the
1734 act of hares, are they not monsters?
TROILUS 1735 90Are there such? Such are not we. Praise us as
1736 we are tasted, allow us as we prove; our head shall
1737 go bare till merit ⟨crown it. No perfection⟩ in reversion
1738 shall have a praise in present. We will not
1740 95 addition shall be humble. Few words to fair faith.
1741 Troilus shall be such to Cressid as what envy can
1742 say worst shall be a mock for his truth, and what
1743 truth can speak truest not truer than Troilus.
CRESSIDA 1744 Will you walk in, my lord?
PANDARUS 1745 100What, blushing still? Have you not done
1746 talking yet?
CRESSIDA 1747 Well, uncle, what folly I commit I dedicate
1748 to you.
PANDARUS 1749 I thank you for that. If my lord get a boy of
1750 105 you, you’ll give him me. Be true to my lord. If he
1751 flinch, chide me for it.
TROILUS, ⌜to Cressida⌝ 1752 You know now your hostages:
1753 your uncle’s word and my firm faith.
PANDARUS 1754 Nay, I’ll give my word for her too. Our kindred,
1755 110 though they be long ere they be wooed, they
1756 are constant being won. They are burrs, I can tell
1757 you; they’ll stick where they are thrown.
1758 Boldness comes to me now and brings me heart.
1759 Prince Troilus, I have loved you night and day
1760 115 For many weary months.
1761 Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?
1762 Hard to seem won; but I was won, my lord,
1763 With the first glance that ever—pardon me;
1764 If I confess much, you will play the tyrant.
1765 120 I love you now, but till now not so much
1766 But I might master it. In faith, I lie;
1767 My thoughts were like unbridled children grown
1768 Too headstrong for their mother. See, we fools!
1769 Why have I blabbed? Who shall be true to us
1771 But though I loved you well, I wooed you not;
1772 And yet, good faith, I wished myself a man;
1773 Or that we women had men’s privilege
1774 Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
1775 130 For in this rapture I shall surely speak
1776 The thing I shall repent. See, see, your silence,
1777 ⌜Cunning⌝ in dumbness, from my weakness draws
1778 My very soul of counsel! Stop my mouth.
1779 And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
PANDARUS 1780 135Pretty, i’ faith!
CRESSIDA, ⌜to Troilus⌝
1781 My lord, I do beseech you pardon me.
1782 ’Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kiss.
1783 I am ashamed. O heavens, what have I done!
1784 For this time will I take my leave, my lord.
TROILUS 1785 140Your leave, sweet Cressid?
PANDARUS 1786 Leave? An you take leave till tomorrow
CRESSIDA 1788 Pray you, content you.
TROILUS 1789 What offends you, lady?
CRESSIDA 1790 145Sir, mine own company.
TROILUS 1791 You cannot shun yourself.
CRESSIDA 1792 Let me go and try.
1793 I have a kind of self resides with you,
1794 But an unkind self that itself will leave
1795 150 To be another’s fool. I would be gone.
1796 Where is my wit? I know not what I speak.
1797 Well know they what they speak that speak so wisely.
1798 Perchance, my lord, I show more craft than love
1799 And fell so roundly to a large confession
1800 155 To angle for your thoughts. But you are wise,
1802 Exceeds man’s might. That dwells with gods above.
1803 O, that I thought it could be in a woman—
1804 As, if it can, I will presume in you—
1805 160 To feed for ⟨aye⟩ her lamp and flames of love,
1806 To keep her constancy in plight and youth,
1807 Outliving beauty’s outward, with a mind
1808 That doth renew swifter than blood decays!
1809 Or that persuasion could but thus convince me
1810 165 That my integrity and truth to you
1811 Might be affronted with the match and weight
1812 Of such a winnowed purity in love;
1813 How were I then uplifted! But, alas,
1814 I am as true as truth’s simplicity
1815 170 And simpler than the infancy of truth.
1816 In that I’ll war with you.
TROILUS 1817 O virtuous fight,
1818 When right with right wars who shall be most right!
1819 True swains in love shall in the world to come
1820 175 Approve their truth by Troilus. When their rhymes,
1821 Full of protest, of oath and big compare,
1822 Wants similes, truth tired with iteration—
1823 “As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
1824 As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
1825 180 As iron to adamant, as Earth to th’ center”—
1826 ⟨Yet,⟩ after all comparisons of truth,
1827 As truth’s authentic author to be cited,
1828 “As true as Troilus” shall crown up the verse
1829 And sanctify the numbers.
CRESSIDA 1830 185 Prophet may you be!
1831 If I be false or swerve a hair from truth,
1832 When time is old ⟨and⟩ hath forgot itself,
1833 When water drops have worn the stones of Troy
1834 And blind oblivion swallowed cities up,
1836 To dusty nothing, yet let memory,
1837 From false to false, among false maids in love,
1838 Upbraid my falsehood! When they’ve said “as false
1839 As air, as water, wind or sandy earth,
1840 195 As fox to lamb, or wolf to heifer’s calf,
1841 Pard to the hind, or stepdame to her son,”
1842 Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
1843 “As false as Cressid.”
PANDARUS 1844 Go to, a bargain made. Seal it, seal it. I’ll be
1845 200 the witness. Here I hold your hand, here my
1846 cousin’s. If ever you prove false one to another, since
1847 I have taken such ⟨pains⟩ to bring you together, let
1848 all pitiful goers-between be called to the world’s
1849 end after my name: call them all panders. Let all
1850 205 constant men be Troiluses, all false women Cressids,
1851 and all brokers-between panders. Say “Amen.”
TROILUS 1852 Amen.
CRESSIDA 1853 Amen.
PANDARUS 1854 Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber
1855 210 ⌜with a bed,⌝ which bed, because it shall not
1856 speak of your pretty encounters, press it to death.
1857 Away.⌜Troilus and Cressida⌝ exit.
1858 And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here
1859 Bed, chamber, pander to provide this gear.
Agamemnon, Calchas, ⟨Menelaus,⟩ ⌜and Ajax.⌝
1860 Now, princes, for the service I have done ⟨you,⟩
1861 Th’ advantage of the time prompts me aloud
1862 To call for recompense. Appear it to ⟨your⟩ mind
1864 5 I have abandoned Troy, left my ⌜possessions,⌝
1865 Incurred a traitor’s name, exposed myself,
1866 From certain and possessed conveniences,
1867 To doubtful fortunes, sequest’ring from me all
1868 That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition
1869 10 Made tame and most familiar to my nature,
1870 And here, to do you service, am become
1871 As new into the world, strange, unacquainted.
1872 I do beseech you, as in way of taste,
1873 To give me now a little benefit
1874 15 Out of those many regist’red in promise,
1875 Which you say live to come in my behalf.
1876 What wouldst thou of us, Trojan, make demand?
1877 You have a Trojan prisoner called Antenor
1878 Yesterday took. Troy holds him very dear.
1879 20 Oft have you—often have you thanks therefor—
1880 Desired my Cressid in right great exchange,
1881 Whom Troy hath still denied; but this Antenor,
1882 I know, is such a wrest in their affairs
1883 That their negotiations all must slack,
1884 25 Wanting his manage; and they will almost
1885 Give us a prince of blood, a son of Priam,
1886 In change of him. Let him be sent, great princes,
1887 And he shall buy my daughter; and her presence
1888 Shall quite strike off all service I have done
1889 30 In most accepted pain.
AGAMEMNON 1890 Let Diomedes bear him,
1891 And bring us Cressid hither. Calchas shall have
1892 What he requests of us. Good Diomed,
1893 Furnish you fairly for this interchange.
1894 35 Withal, bring word if Hector will tomorrow
1895 Be answered in his challenge. Ajax is ready.
1896 This shall I undertake, and ’tis a burden
1897 Which I am proud to bear.He exits ⌜with Calchas.⌝
Achilles and Patroclus stand in their tent.
1898 Achilles stands i’ th’ entrance of his tent.
1899 40 Please it our General pass strangely by him
1900 As if he were forgot, and, princes all,
1901 Lay negligent and loose regard upon him.
1902 I will come last. ’Tis like he’ll question me
1903 Why such unplausive eyes are bent, why turned on
1904 45 him.
1905 If so, I have derision medicinable
1906 To use between your strangeness and his pride,
1907 Which his own will shall have desire to drink.
1908 It may do good; pride hath no other glass
1909 50 To show itself but pride, for supple knees
1910 Feed arrogance and are the proud man’s fees.
1911 We’ll execute your purpose and put on
1912 A form of strangeness as we pass along;
1913 So do each lord, and either greet him not
1914 55 Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more
1915 Than if not looked on. I will lead the way.
⌜They pass before Achilles and Patroclus. Ulysses
remains in place, reading.⌝
1916 What, comes the General to speak with me?
1917 You know my mind: I’ll fight no more ’gainst Troy.
AGAMEMNON, ⌜to Nestor⌝
1918 What says Achilles? Would he aught with us?
NESTOR, ⌜to Achilles⌝
1919 60 Would you, my lord, aught with the General?
ACHILLES 1920 No.
AGAMEMNON 1922 The better.⌜Agamemnon and Nestor exit.⌝
ACHILLES, ⌜to Menelaus⌝ 1923 Good day, good day.
MENELAUS 1924 65How do you? How do you?⌜He exits.⌝
ACHILLES 1925 What, does the cuckold scorn me?
AJAX 1926 How now, Patroclus?
ACHILLES 1927 Good morrow, Ajax.
AJAX 1928 Ha?
ACHILLES 1929 70Good morrow.
AJAX 1930 Ay, and good next day too.⌜He exits.⌝
1931 What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?
1932 They pass by strangely. They were used to bend,
1933 To send their smiles before them to Achilles,
1934 75 To come as humbly as they ⌜use⌝ to creep
1935 To holy altars.
ACHILLES 1936 What, am I poor of late?
1937 ’Tis certain, greatness, once fall’n out with Fortune,
1938 Must fall out with men too. What the declined is
1939 80 He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
1940 As feel in his own fall, for men, like butterflies,
1941 Show not their mealy wings but to the summer,
1942 And not a man, for being simply man,
1943 Hath any honor, but honor for those honors
1944 85 That are without him—as place, riches, and favor,
1945 Prizes of accident as oft as merit,
1946 Which, when they fall, as being slippery slanders,
1947 The love that leaned on them, as slippery too,
1948 Doth one pluck down another and together
1949 90 Die in the fall. But ’tis not so with me.
1950 Fortune and I are friends. I do enjoy,
1951 At ample point, all that I did possess,
1952 Save these men’s looks, who do, methinks, find out
1953 Something not worth in me such rich beholding
1955 I’ll interrupt his reading.—How now, Ulysses?
ULYSSES 1956 Now, great Thetis’ son—
ACHILLES 1957 What are you reading?
ULYSSES 1958 A strange fellow here
1959 100 Writes me that man, how dearly ever parted,
1960 How much in having, or without or in,
1961 Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
1962 Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
1963 As when his virtues, ⟨shining⟩ upon others,
1964 105 Heat them, and they retort that heat again
1965 To the first ⟨giver.⟩
ACHILLES 1966 This is not strange, Ulysses.
1967 The beauty that is borne here in the face
1968 The bearer knows not, but commends itself
1969 110 [To others’ eyes; nor doth the eye itself,
1970 That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,]
1971 Not going from itself, but eye to eye opposed
1972 Salutes each other with each other’s form.
1973 For speculation turns not to itself
1974 115 Till it hath traveled and is ⌜mirrored⌝ there
1975 Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.
1976 I do not strain at the position—
1977 It is familiar—but at the author’s drift,
1978 Who in his circumstance expressly proves
1979 120 That no man is the lord of anything—
1980 Though in and of him there be much consisting—
1981 Till he communicate his parts to others;
1982 Nor doth he of himself know them for aught
1983 Till he behold them formed in the applause
1984 125 Where they’re extended; who, like an arch, reverb’rate
1985 The voice again or, like a gate of steel
1986 Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
1987 His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this
1988 And apprehended here immediately
1990 A very horse, that has he knows not what!
1991 Nature, what things there are
1992 Most ⟨abject⟩ in regard, and dear in use,
1993 What things again most dear in the esteem
1994 135 And poor in worth! Now shall we see tomorrow—
1995 An act that very chance doth throw upon him—
1996 Ajax renowned. O, heavens, what some men do
1997 While some men leave to do!
1998 How some men creep in skittish Fortune’s hall,
1999 140 Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
2000 How one man eats into another’s pride,
2001 While pride is fasting in his wantonness!
2002 To see these Grecian lords—why, even already
2003 They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder
2004 145 As if his foot were on brave Hector’s breast
2005 And great Troy shrieking.
2006 I do believe it, for they passed by me
2007 As misers do by beggars, neither gave to me
2008 Good word nor look. What, are my deeds forgot?
2009 150 Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back
2010 Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
2011 A great-sized monster of ingratitudes.
2012 Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devoured
2013 As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
2014 155 As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
2015 Keeps honor bright. To have done is to hang
2016 Quite out of fashion like a rusty ⌜mail⌝
2017 In monumental mock’ry. Take the instant way,
2018 For honor travels in a strait so narrow
2019 160 Where one but goes abreast. Keep, then, the path,
2020 For Emulation hath a thousand sons
2021 That one by one pursue. If you give way
2022 Or turn aside from the direct forthright,
2024 165 And leave you ⟨hindmost;
2025 Or, like a gallant horse fall’n in first rank,
2026 Lie there for pavement to the abject ⌜rear,⌝
2027 O’errun and trampled on.⟩ Then what they do in
2029 170 Though less than yours in ⟨past,⟩ must o’ertop yours;
2030 For Time is like a fashionable host
2031 That slightly shakes his parting guest by th’ hand
2032 And, with his arms outstretched as he would fly,
2033 Grasps in the comer. Welcome ever smiles,
2034 175 And Farewell goes out sighing. Let not virtue seek
2035 Remuneration for the thing it was,
2036 For beauty, wit,
2037 High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
2038 Love, friendship, charity are subjects all
2039 180 To envious and calumniating Time.
2040 One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
2041 That all, with one consent, praise newborn gauds,
2042 Though they are made and molded of things past,
2043 And ⌜give⌝ to dust that is a little gilt
2044 185 More laud than gilt o’erdusted.
2045 The present eye praises the present object.
2046 Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
2047 That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax,
2048 Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
2049 190 ⟨Than⟩ what stirs not. The cry went once on thee,
2050 And still it might, and yet it may again,
2051 If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive
2052 And case thy reputation in thy tent,
2053 Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
2054 195 Made emulous missions ’mongst the gods themselves
2055 And drave great Mars to faction.
ACHILLES 2056 Of this my privacy,
2057 I have strong reasons.
ULYSSES 2058 But ’gainst your privacy
2060 ’Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
2061 With one of Priam’s daughters.
ACHILLES 2062 Ha? Known?
ULYSSES 2063 Is that a wonder?
2064 205 The providence that’s in a watchful state
2065 Knows almost every ⟨grain of Pluto’s gold,⟩
2066 Finds bottom in the uncomprehensive ⌜deep,⌝
2067 Keeps place with thought and almost, like the gods,
2068 Do thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
2069 210 There is a mystery—with whom relation
2070 Durst never meddle—in the soul of state,
2071 Which hath an operation more divine
2072 Than breath or pen can give expressure to.
2073 All the commerce that you have had with Troy
2074 215 As perfectly is ours as yours, my lord;
2075 And better would it fit Achilles much
2076 To throw down Hector than Polyxena.
2077 But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home
2078 When Fame shall in our islands sound her trump,
2079 220 And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing
2080 “Great Hector’s sister did Achilles win,
2081 But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.”
2082 Farewell, my lord. I as your lover speak.
2083 The fool slides o’er the ice that you should break.
2084 225 To this effect, Achilles, have I moved you.
2085 A woman impudent and mannish grown
2086 Is not more loathed than an effeminate man
2087 In time of action. I stand condemned for this.
2088 They think my little stomach to the war,
2089 230 And your great love to me, restrains you thus.
2090 Sweet, rouse yourself, and the weak wanton Cupid
2091 Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold
2093 Be shook to air.
ACHILLES 2094 235 Shall Ajax fight with Hector?
2095 Ay, and perhaps receive much honor by him.
2096 I see my reputation is at stake;
2097 My fame is shrewdly gored.
PATROCLUS 2098 O, then, beware!
2099 240 Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.
2100 Omission to do what is necessary
2101 Seals a commission to a blank of danger,
2102 And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
2103 Even then when they sit idly in the sun.
2104 245 Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus.
2105 I’ll send the fool to Ajax and desire him
2106 T’ invite the Trojan lords after the combat
2107 To see us here unarmed. I have a woman’s longing,
2108 An appetite that I am sick withal,
2109 250 To see great Hector in his weeds of peace,
2110 To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
2111 Even to my full of view.
2112 A labor saved.
THERSITES 2113 A wonder!
ACHILLES 2114 255What?
THERSITES 2115 Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for
ACHILLES 2117 How so?
THERSITES 2118 He must fight singly tomorrow with Hector
2119 260 and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgeling
2120 that he raves in saying nothing.
ACHILLES 2121 How can that be?
2123 a stride and a stand; ruminates like an hostess
2124 265 that hath no arithmetic but her brain to set
2125 down her reckoning; bites his lip with a politic regard,
2126 as who should say “There were wit in this
2127 head an ’twould out”—and so there is, but it lies
2128 as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not
2129 270 show without knocking. The man’s undone forever,
2130 for if Hector break not his neck i’ th’ combat,
2131 he’ll break ’t himself in vainglory. He knows not
2132 me. I said “Good morrow, Ajax,” and he replies
2133 “Thanks, Agamemnon.” What think you of this
2134 275 man that takes me for the General? He’s grown a
2135 very land-fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of
2136 opinion! A man may wear it on both sides, like a
2137 leather jerkin.
ACHILLES 2138 Thou must be my ambassador ⟨to him,⟩
2139 280 Thersites.
THERSITES 2140 Who, I? Why, he’ll answer nobody. He professes
2141 not answering; speaking is for beggars; he
2142 wears his tongue in ’s arms. I will put on his presence.
2143 Let Patroclus make ⟨his⟩ demands to me. You
2144 285 shall see the pageant of Ajax.
ACHILLES 2145 To him, Patroclus. Tell him I humbly desire
2146 the valiant Ajax to invite the ⟨most⟩ valorous Hector
2147 to come unarmed to my tent, and to procure safe-conduct
2148 for his person of the magnanimous and
2149 290 most illustrious, six-or-seven-times-honored captain
2150 general of the ⟨Grecian⟩ army, Agamemnon,
2151 ⟨et cetera.⟩ Do this.
PATROCLUS, ⌜to Thersites, who is playing Ajax⌝ 2152 Jove
2153 bless great Ajax.
THERSITES 2154 295Hum!
PATROCLUS 2155 I come from the worthy Achilles—
THERSITES 2156 Ha?
2158 Hector to his tent—
THERSITES 2159 300Hum!
PATROCLUS 2160 And to procure safe-conduct from
THERSITES 2162 Agamemnon?
PATROCLUS 2163 Ay, my lord.
THERSITES 2164 305Ha!
PATROCLUS 2165 What say you to ’t?
THERSITES 2166 God b’ wi’ you, with all my heart.
PATROCLUS 2167 Your answer, sir.
THERSITES 2168 If tomorrow be a fair day, by eleven of the
2169 310 clock it will go one way or other. Howsoever, he
2170 shall pay for me ere he has me.
PATROCLUS 2171 Your answer, sir.
THERSITES 2172 Fare you well with all my heart.
⌜He pretends to exit.⌝
ACHILLES 2173 Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?
THERSITES 2174 315No, but ⟨he’s⟩ out of tune thus. What music
2175 will be in him when Hector has knocked out his
2176 brains I know not. But I am sure none, unless the
2177 fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on.
ACHILLES 2178 Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him
2179 320 straight.
THERSITES 2180 Let me bear another to his horse, for that’s
2181 the more capable creature.
2182 My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirred,
2183 And I myself see not the bottom of it.
⌜Achilles and Patroclus exit.⌝
THERSITES 2184 325Would the fountain of your mind were clear
2185 again, that I might water an ass at it. I had rather
2186 be a tick in a sheep than such a valiant ignorance.
another Paris, Deiphobus, Antenor, Diomedes ⌜and
Grecians⌝ with torches.
PARIS 2187 See, ho! Who is that there?
DEIPHOBUS 2188 It is the Lord Aeneas.
AENEAS 2189 Is the Prince there in person?—
2190 Had I so good occasion to lie long
2191 5 As ⟨you,⟩ Prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business
2192 Should rob my bedmate of my company.
2193 That’s my mind too.—Good morrow, Lord Aeneas.
2194 A valiant Greek, Aeneas; take his hand.
2195 Witness the process of your speech, wherein
2196 10 You told how Diomed a whole week by days
2197 Did haunt you in the field.
AENEAS 2198 Health to you, valiant sir,
2199 During all question of the gentle truce;
2200 But when I meet you armed, as black defiance
2201 15 As heart can think or courage execute.
2202 The one and other Diomed embraces.
2203 Our bloods are now in calm, and, so long, health;
2204 ⟨But⟩ when contention and occasion meet,
2206 20 With all my force, pursuit, and policy.
2207 And thou shalt hunt a lion that will fly
2208 With his face backward. In human gentleness,
2209 Welcome to Troy. Now, by Anchises’ life,
2210 Welcome indeed. By Venus’ hand I swear
2211 25 No man alive can love in such a sort
2212 The thing he means to kill more excellently.
2213 We sympathize. Jove, let Aeneas live,
2214 If to my sword his fate be not the glory,
2215 A thousand complete courses of the sun!
2216 30 But in mine emulous honor let him die
2217 With every joint a wound and that tomorrow.
AENEAS 2218 We know each other well.
2219 We do, and long to know each other worse.
2220 This is the most despiteful gentle greeting,
2221 35 The noblest hateful love, that e’er I heard of.
2222 ⌜To Aeneas.⌝ What business, lord, so early?
2223 I was sent for to the King, but why I know not.
2224 His purpose meets you. ’Twas to bring this Greek
2225 To Calchas’ house, and there to render him,
2226 40 For the enfreed Antenor, the fair Cressid.
2227 Let’s have your company, or, if you please,
2228 Haste there before us. (⌜Aside to Aeneas.⌝) I constantly
2230 Or, rather, call my thought a certain knowledge—
2231 45 My brother Troilus lodges there tonight.
2232 Rouse him, and give him note of our approach,
2233 With the whole quality ⟨whereof.⟩ I fear
2234 We shall be much unwelcome.
2236 50 Troilus had rather Troy were borne to Greece
2237 Than Cressid borne from Troy.
PARIS, ⌜aside to Aeneas⌝ 2238 There is no help.
2239 The bitter disposition of the time
2240 Will have it so.—On, lord, we’ll follow you.
AENEAS 2241 55Good morrow, all.
⟨Aeneas exits ⌜with the Torchbearer.⌝⟩
2242 And tell me, noble Diomed, faith, tell me true,
2243 Even in ⟨the⟩ soul of sound good-fellowship,
2244 Who, in your thoughts, deserves fair Helen best,
2245 Myself or Menelaus?
DIOMEDES 2246 60 Both alike.
2247 He merits well to have her that doth seek her,
2248 Not making any scruple of her ⟨soilure,⟩
2249 With such a hell of pain and world of charge;
2250 And you as well to keep her that defend her,
2251 65 Not palating the taste of her dishonor,
2252 With such a costly loss of wealth and friends.
2253 He, like a puling cuckold, would drink up
2254 The lees and dregs of a flat tamèd piece;
2255 You, like a lecher, out of whorish loins
2256 70 Are pleased to breed out your inheritors.
2257 Both merits poised, each weighs nor less nor more;
2258 But he as he, the heavier for a whore.
2259 You are too bitter to your countrywoman.
2260 She’s bitter to her country. Hear me, Paris:
2261 75 For every false drop in her bawdy veins
2262 A Grecian’s life hath sunk; for every scruple
2263 Of her contaminated carrion weight
2264 A Trojan hath been slain. Since she could speak,
2265 She hath not given so many good words breath
2266 80 As for her Greeks and Trojans suffered death.
2267 Fair Diomed, you do as chapmen do,
2268 Dispraise the thing that they desire to buy.
2269 But we in silence hold this virtue well:
2270 We’ll not commend ⌜that not⌝ intend to sell.
2271 85 Here lies our way.
2272 Dear, trouble not yourself. The morn is cold.
2273 Then, sweet my lord, I’ll call mine uncle down.
2274 He shall unbolt the gates.
TROILUS 2275 Trouble him not.
2276 5 To bed, to bed! Sleep kill those pretty eyes
2277 And give as soft attachment to thy senses
2278 As infants’ empty of all thought!
2279 Good morrow, then.
TROILUS 2280 I prithee now, to bed.
CRESSIDA 2281 10Are you aweary of me?
2282 O Cressida! But that the busy day,
2283 Waked by the lark, hath roused the ribald crows,
2284 And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer,
2285 I would not from thee.
CRESSIDA 2286 15 Night hath been too brief.
2287 Beshrew the witch! With venomous wights she stays
2288 As tediously as hell, but flies the grasps of love
2289 With wings more momentary-swift than thought.
2290 You will catch cold and curse me.
2291 20 Prithee, tarry. You men will never tarry.
2292 O foolish Cressid! I might have still held off,
2293 And then you would have tarried. Hark, there’s one up.
PANDARUS, ⟨within⟩ 2294 What’s all the doors open here?
TROILUS 2295 It is your uncle.
2296 25 A pestilence on him! Now will he be mocking.
2297 I shall have such a life!
PANDARUS 2298 How now, how now? How go maidenheads?
2299 Here, you maid! Where’s my Cousin Cressid?
2300 Go hang yourself, you naughty mocking uncle.
2301 30 You bring me to do—and then you flout me too.
PANDARUS 2302 To do what, to do what?—Let her say
2303 what.—What have I brought you to do?
2304 Come, come, beshrew your heart! You’ll ne’er be good
2305 Nor suffer others.
PANDARUS 2306 35Ha, ha! Alas, poor wretch! Ah, poor capocchia!
2307 Has ’t not slept tonight? Would he not—a
2308 naughty man—let it sleep? A bugbear take him!
CRESSIDA, ⌜to Troilus⌝
2309 Did not I tell you? Would he were knocked i’ th’ head!
2310 Who’s that at door?—Good uncle, go and see.—
2311 40 My lord, come you again into my chamber.
2312 You smile and mock me, as if I meant naughtily.
TROILUS 2313 Ha, ha!
2314 Come, you are deceived. I think of no such thing.
2315 How earnestly they knock! Pray you, come in.
2316 45 I would not for half Troy have you seen here.
⌜Troilus and Cressida⌝ exit.
2318 beat down the door?
2319 How now? What’s the matter?
AENEAS 2320 Good morrow, lord, good morrow.
PANDARUS 2321 50Who’s there? My Lord Aeneas? By my troth,
2322 I knew you not. What news with you so early?
AENEAS 2323 Is not Prince Troilus here?
PANDARUS 2324 Here? What should he do here?
2325 Come, he is here, my lord. Do not deny him.
2326 55 It doth import him much to speak with me.
PANDARUS 2327 Is he here, say you? It’s more than I know,
2328 I’ll be sworn. For my own part, I came in late.
2329 What should he do here?
AENEAS 2330 ⌜Ho,⌝ nay, then! Come, come, you’ll do him
2331 60 wrong ere you are ware. You’ll be so true to him to
2332 be false to him. Do not you know of him, but yet go
2333 fetch him hither. Go.
TROILUS 2334 How now? What’s the matter?
2335 My lord, I scarce have leisure to salute you,
2336 65 My matter is so rash. There is at hand
2337 Paris your brother and Deiphobus,
2338 The Grecian Diomed, and our Antenor
2339 Delivered to ⟨us;⟩ and ⟨for him⟩ forthwith,
2340 Ere the first sacrifice, within this hour,
2341 70 We must give up to Diomedes’ hand
2342 The Lady Cressida.
TROILUS 2343 Is it so concluded?
2344 By Priam and the general state of Troy.
2345 They are at hand and ready to effect it.
2347 I will go meet them. And, my Lord Aeneas,
2348 We met by chance; you did not find me here.
2349 Good, good, my lord; the secrets of ⟨nature⟩
2350 Have not more gift in taciturnity.
⌜Troilus and Aeneas⌝ exit.
PANDARUS 2351 80Is ’t possible? No sooner got but lost? The
2352 devil take Antenor! The young prince will go mad.
2353 A plague upon Antenor! I would they had broke ’s
2355 How now? What’s the matter? Who was here?
PANDARUS 2356 85Ah, ah!
2357 Why sigh you so profoundly? Where’s my lord?
2358 Gone? Tell me, sweet uncle, what’s the matter?
PANDARUS 2359 Would I were as deep under the earth as I
2360 am above!
CRESSIDA 2361 90O the gods! What’s the matter?
PANDARUS 2362 Pray thee, get thee in. Would thou hadst
2363 ne’er been born! I knew thou wouldst be his death.
2364 O, poor gentleman! A plague upon Antenor!
CRESSIDA 2365 Good uncle, I beseech you, on my knees ⟨I
2366 95 beseech you,⟩ what’s the matter?
PANDARUS 2367 Thou must be gone, wench; thou must be
2368 gone. Thou art changed for Antenor. Thou must to
2369 thy father and be gone from Troilus. ’Twill be his
2370 death; ’twill be his bane. He cannot bear it.
2371 100 O you immortal gods! I will not go.
PANDARUS 2372 Thou must.
2373 I will not, uncle. I have forgot my father.
2375 No kin, no love, no blood, no soul so near me
2376 105 As the sweet Troilus. O you gods divine,
2377 Make Cressid’s name the very crown of falsehood
2378 If ever she leave Troilus! Time, force, and death
2379 Do to this body what extremes you can,
2380 But the strong base and building of my love
2381 110 Is as the very center of the Earth,
2382 Drawing all things to it. I’ll go in and weep—
PANDARUS 2383 Do, do.
2384 Tear my bright hair, and scratch my praisèd cheeks,
2385 Crack my clear voice with sobs, and break my heart
2386 115 With sounding “Troilus.” I will not go from Troy.
2387 It is great morning, and the hour prefixed
2388 For her delivery to this valiant Greek
2389 Comes fast upon. Good my brother Troilus,
2390 Tell you the lady what she is to do
2391 5 And haste her to the purpose.
TROILUS 2392 Walk into her house.
2393 I’ll bring her to the Grecian presently;
2394 And to his hand when I deliver her,
2395 Think it an altar and thy brother Troilus
2396 10 A priest there off’ring to it his own heart.⌜He exits.⌝
PARIS 2397 I know what ’tis to love,
2398 And would, as I shall pity, I could help.—
2399 Please you walk in, my lords?
PANDARUS 2400 Be moderate, be moderate.
2401 Why tell you me of moderation?
2402 The grief is fine, full, perfect that I taste,
2403 And violenteth in a sense as strong
2404 5 As that which causeth it. How can I moderate it?
2405 If I could temporize with my ⟨affection⟩
2406 Or brew it to a weak and colder palate,
2407 The like allayment could I give my grief.
2408 My love admits no qualifying dross;
2409 10 No more my grief in such a precious loss.
PANDARUS 2410 Here, here, here he comes. ⌜Ah,⌝ sweet
CRESSIDA, ⌜embracing Troilus⌝ 2412 O Troilus, Troilus!
PANDARUS 2413 What a pair of spectacles is here! Let me
2414 15 embrace too. “O heart,” as the goodly saying is,
2415 O heart, heavy heart,
2416 Why sigh’st thou without breaking?
2417 where he answers again,
2418 Because thou canst not ease thy smart
2419 20 By friendship nor by speaking.
2420 There was never a truer rhyme. Let us cast away
2421 nothing, for we may live to have need of such a
2422 verse. We see it, we see it. How now, lambs?
2423 Cressid, I love thee in so strained a purity
2424 25 That the blest gods, as angry with my fancy—
2425 More bright in zeal than the devotion which
2426 Cold lips blow to their deities—take thee from me.
CRESSIDA 2427 Have the gods envy?
PANDARUS 2428 Ay, ay, ay, ay, ’tis too plain a case.
2429 30 And is it true that I must go from Troy?
2430 A hateful truth.
CRESSIDA 2431 What, and from Troilus too?
TROILUS 2432 From Troy and Troilus.
CRESSIDA 2433 Is ’t possible?
2434 35 And suddenly, where injury of chance
2435 Puts back leave-taking, jostles roughly by
2436 All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips
2437 Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents
2438 Our locked embrasures, strangles our dear vows
2439 40 Even in the birth of our own laboring breath.
2440 We two, that with so many thousand sighs
2441 Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves
2442 With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
2443 Injurious Time now with a robber’s haste
2444 45 Crams his rich thiev’ry up, he knows not how.
2445 As many farewells as be stars in heaven,
2446 With distinct breath and consigned kisses to them,
2447 He fumbles up into a loose adieu
2448 And scants us with a single famished kiss,
2449 50 Distasted with the salt of broken tears.
AENEAS, within 2450 My lord, is the lady ready?
2451 Hark, you are called. Some say the genius
2452 Cries so to him that instantly must die.—
2453 Bid them have patience. She shall come anon.
PANDARUS 2454 55Where are my tears? Rain, to lay this wind,
2455 or my heart will be blown up by ⟨the root.⟩
2456 I must, then, to the Grecians?
TROILUS 2457 No remedy.
2458 A woeful Cressid ’mongst the merry Greeks.
2459 60 When shall we see again?
2460 Hear me, ⟨my⟩ love. Be thou but true of heart—
2461 I true? How now, what wicked deem is this?
2462 Nay, we must use expostulation kindly,
2463 For it is parting from us.
2464 65 I speak not “Be thou true” as fearing thee,
2465 For I will throw my glove to Death himself
2466 That there is no maculation in thy heart;
2467 But “Be thou true,” say I, to fashion in
2468 My sequent protestation: “Be thou true,
2469 70 And I will see thee.”
2470 O, you shall be exposed, my lord, to dangers
2471 As infinite as imminent! But I’ll be true.
2472 And I’ll grow friend with danger. Wear this sleeve.
CRESSIDA 2473 And you this glove. When shall I see you?
⌜They exchange love-tokens.⌝
2474 75 I will corrupt the Grecian sentinels,
2475 To give thee nightly visitation.
2476 But yet, be true.
CRESSIDA 2477 O heavens! “Be true” again?
TROILUS 2478 Hear why I speak it, love.
2479 80 The Grecian youths are full of quality,
2480 ⟨Their loving well composed, with gift of nature
2482 And swelling o’er with arts and exercise.
2483 How novelty may move, and parts with ⟨person,⟩
2484 85 Alas, a kind of godly jealousy—
2485 Which I beseech you call a virtuous sin—
2486 Makes me afeard.
TROILUS 2488 Die I a villain then!
2489 90 In this I do not call your faith in question
2490 So mainly as my merit. I cannot sing,
2491 Nor heel the high lavolt, nor sweeten talk,
2492 Nor play at subtle games—fair virtues all,
2493 To which the Grecians are most prompt and pregnant.
2494 95 But I can tell that in each grace of these
2495 There lurks a still and dumb-discursive devil
2496 That tempts most cunningly. But be not tempted.
CRESSIDA 2497 Do you think I will?
TROILUS 2498 No.
2499 100 But something may be done that we will not,
2500 And sometimes we are devils to ourselves
2501 When we will tempt the frailty of our powers,
2502 Presuming on their changeful potency.
2503 Nay, good my lord—
TROILUS 2504 105 Come, kiss, and let us part.
2505 Brother Troilus!
TROILUS, ⌜calling⌝ 2506 Good brother, come you hither,
2507 And bring Aeneas and the Grecian with you.
CRESSIDA 2508 My lord, will you be true?
2509 110 Who, I? Alas, it is my vice, my fault.
2510 Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion,
2511 I with great truth catch mere simplicity.
2512 Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
2513 With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.
2514 115 Fear not my truth. The moral of my wit
2515 Is “plain and true”; there’s all the reach of it.
⟨Enter ⌜Aeneas, Paris, Antenor, Deiphobus, and
2517 Which for Antenor we deliver you.
2518 At the port, lord, I’ll give her to thy hand
2519 120 And by the way possess thee what she is.
2520 Entreat her fair and, by my soul, fair Greek,
2521 If e’er thou stand at mercy of my sword,
2522 Name Cressid, and thy life shall be as safe
2523 As Priam is in Ilium.
DIOMEDES 2524 125 Fair Lady Cressid,
2525 So please you, save the thanks this prince expects.
2526 The luster in your eye, heaven in your cheek,
2527 Pleads your fair usage, and to Diomed
2528 You shall be mistress and command him wholly.
2529 130 Grecian, thou dost not use me courteously,
2530 To shame the ⌜zeal⌝ of my petition to thee
2531 In praising her. I tell thee, lord of Greece,
2532 She is as far high-soaring o’er thy praises
2533 As thou unworthy to be called her servant.
2534 135 I charge thee use her well, even for my charge,
2535 For, by the dreadful Pluto, if thou dost not,
2536 Though the great bulk Achilles be thy guard,
2537 I’ll cut thy throat.
DIOMEDES 2538 O, be not moved, Prince Troilus.
2539 140 Let me be privileged by my place and message
2540 To be a speaker free. When I am hence,
2541 I’ll answer to my lust, and know you, lord,
2542 I’ll nothing do on charge. To her own worth
2543 She shall be prized; but that you say “Be ’t so,”
2544 145 I speak it in my spirit and honor: “no.”
2545 Come, to the port. I’ll tell thee, Diomed,
2546 This brave shall oft make thee to hide thy head.—
2547 Lady, give me your hand, and, as we walk,
2548 To our own selves bend we our needful talk.
⌜Cressida, Diomedes, and Troilus exit.⌝
2549 150 Hark, Hector’s trumpet.
AENEAS 2550 How have we spent this
2552 The Prince must think me tardy and remiss
2553 That swore to ride before him to the field.
2554 155 ’Tis Troilus’ fault. Come, come to field with him.
⟨DEIPHOBUS 2555 Let us make ready straight.
2556 Yea, with a bridegroom’s fresh alacrity
2557 Let us address to tend on Hector’s heels.
2558 The glory of our Troy doth this day lie
2559 160 On his fair worth and single chivalry.⟩
Menelaus, Ulysses, Nestor, etc. ⌜and Trumpeter.⌝
AGAMEMNON, ⌜to Ajax⌝
2560 Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair,
2561 Anticipating time with starting courage.
2562 Give with thy trumpet a loud note to Troy,
2563 Thou dreadful Ajax, that the appallèd air
2564 5 May pierce the head of the great combatant
2565 And hale him hither.
AJAX 2566 Thou, trumpet, there’s my purse.
⌜He gives money to Trumpeter.⌝
2567 Now crack thy lungs and split thy brazen pipe.
2568 Blow, villain, till thy spherèd bias cheek
2569 10 Outswell the colic of puffed Aquilon.
2570 Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood.
2571 Thou blowest for Hector.⌜Sound trumpet.⌝
2572 No trumpet answers.
ACHILLES 2573 ’Tis but early days.
⌜Enter Cressida and Diomedes.⌝
2574 15 Is not yond Diomed with Calchas’ daughter?
2575 ’Tis he. I ken the manner of his gait.
2576 He rises on the toe; that spirit of his
2577 In aspiration lifts him from the earth.
2578 Is this the Lady Cressid?
DIOMEDES 2579 20 Even she.
2580 Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet lady.
⌜He kisses her.⌝
2581 Our general doth salute you with a kiss.
2582 Yet is the kindness but particular.
2583 ’Twere better she were kissed in general.
2584 25 And very courtly counsel. I’ll begin.⌜He kisses her.⌝
2585 So much for Nestor.
2586 I’ll take that winter from your lips, fair lady.
2587 Achilles bids you welcome.⌜He kisses her.⌝
2588 I had good argument for kissing once.
PATROCLUS, ⌜stepping between Menelaus and Cressida⌝
2589 30 But that’s no argument for kissing now,
2590 For thus popped Paris in his hardiment
2591 [And parted thus you and your argument.]
⌜He kisses her.⌝
2592 O deadly gall and theme of all our scorns,
2593 For which we lose our heads to gild his horns!
2594 35 The first was Menelaus’ kiss; this mine.
2595 Patroclus kisses you.⌜He kisses her again.⌝
MENELAUS 2596 O, this is trim!
2597 Paris and I kiss evermore for him.
2598 I’ll have my kiss, sir.—Lady, by your leave.
2599 40 In kissing, do you render or receive?
2600 Both take and give.
CRESSIDA 2601 I’ll make my match to live,
2602 The kiss you take is better than you give.
2603 Therefore no kiss.
2604 45 I’ll give you boot: I’ll give you three for one.
2605 You are an odd man. Give even, or give none.
2606 An odd man, lady? Every man is odd.
2607 No, Paris is ⟨not,⟩ for you know ’tis true
2608 That you are odd, and he is even with you.
2609 50 You fillip me o’ th’ head.
CRESSIDA 2610 No, I’ll be sworn.
2611 It were no match, your nail against his horn.
2612 May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?
2613 You may.
ULYSSES 2614 55 I do desire it.
2616 Why, then, for Venus’ sake, give me a kiss
2617 When Helen is a maid again and his.
2618 I am your debtor; claim it when ’tis due.
2619 60 Never’s my day, and then a kiss of you.
2620 Lady, a word. I’ll bring you to your father.
⌜Diomedes and Cressida talk aside.⌝
2621 A woman of quick sense.
ULYSSES 2622 Fie, fie upon her!
2623 There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lip;
2624 65 Nay, her foot speaks. Her wanton spirits look out
2625 At every joint and motive of her body.
2626 O, these encounterers, so glib of tongue,
2627 That give ⌜accosting⌝ welcome ere it comes
2628 And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts
2629 70 To every ⟨tickling⟩ reader! Set them down
2630 For sluttish spoils of opportunity
2631 And daughters of the game.
⟨⌜Diomedes and Cressida⌝ exit.⟩
2632 The Trojan’s trumpet.
Enter all of Troy: ⟨Hector, ⌜armed,⌝ Paris, Aeneas,
Helenus, ⌜Troilus,⌝ and Attendants.⟩
AGAMEMNON 2633 Yonder comes the troop.
2634 75 Hail, all the state of Greece! What shall be done
2635 To him that victory commands? Or do you purpose
2636 A victor shall be known? Will you the knights
2637 Shall to the edge of all extremity
2639 80 By any voice or order of the field?
2640 Hector bade ask.
AGAMEMNON 2641 Which way would Hector have it?
2642 He cares not; he’ll obey conditions.
2643 ’Tis done like Hector.
⌜ACHILLES⌝ 2644 85 But securely done,
2645 A little proudly, and great deal misprizing
2646 The knight opposed.
AENEAS 2647 If not Achilles, sir,
2648 What is your name?
ACHILLES 2649 90 If not Achilles, nothing.
2650 Therefore Achilles. But whate’er, know this:
2651 In the extremity of great and little,
2652 Valor and pride excel themselves in Hector,
2653 The one almost as infinite as all,
2654 95 The other blank as nothing. Weigh him well,
2655 And that which looks like pride is courtesy.
2656 This Ajax is half made of Hector’s blood,
2657 In love whereof half Hector stays at home;
2658 Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek
2659 100 This blended knight, half Trojan and half Greek.
2660 A maiden battle, then? O, I perceive you.
2661 Here is Sir Diomed.—Go, gentle knight;
2662 Stand by our Ajax. As you and Lord Aeneas
2663 Consent upon the order of their fight,
2664 105 So be it, either to the uttermost
2665 Or else a breath. The combatants being kin
2666 Half stints their strife before their strokes begin.
⟨ULYSSES 2667 They are opposed already.⟩
2668 What Trojan is that same that looks so heavy?
2669 110 The youngest son of Priam, a true knight,
2670 Not yet mature, yet matchless firm of word,
2671 Speaking ⟨in⟩ deeds, and deedless in his tongue,
2672 Not soon provoked, nor being provoked soon calmed,
2673 His heart and hand both open and both free.
2674 115 For what he has, he gives; what thinks, he shows;
2675 Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty,
2676 Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath;
2677 Manly as Hector, but more dangerous,
2678 For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
2679 120 To tender objects, but he in heat of action
2680 Is more vindicative than jealous love.
2681 They call him Troilus, and on him erect
2682 A second hope, as fairly built as Hector.
2683 Thus says Aeneas, one that knows the youth
2684 125 Even to his inches, and with private soul
2685 Did in great Ilium thus translate him to me.
Alarum. ⌜The fight begins.⌝
AGAMEMNON 2686 They are in action.
NESTOR 2687 Now, Ajax, hold thine own!
TROILUS 2688 Hector, thou sleep’st. Awake thee!
2689 130 His blows are well disposed.—There, Ajax!
2690 You must no more.
AENEAS 2691 Princes, enough, so please you.
2692 I am not warm yet. Let us fight again.
2693 As Hector pleases.
2695 Thou art, great lord, my father’s sister’s son,
2696 A cousin-german to great Priam’s seed.
2697 The obligation of our blood forbids
2698 A gory emulation ’twixt us twain.
2699 140 Were thy commixtion Greek and Trojan so
2700 That thou couldst say “This hand is Grecian all,
2701 And this is Trojan; the sinews of this leg
2702 All Greek, and this all Troy; my mother’s blood
2703 Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
2704 145 Bounds in my father’s,” by Jove multipotent,
2705 Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member
2706 Wherein my sword had not impressure made
2707 ⟨Of our rank feud.⟩ But the just gods gainsay
2708 That any ⟨drop⟩ thou borrowd’st from thy mother,
2709 150 My sacred aunt, should by my mortal sword
2710 Be drained. Let me embrace thee, Ajax.
2711 By him that thunders, thou hast lusty arms!
2712 Hector would have them fall upon him thus.
2713 Cousin, all honor to thee!⌜They embrace.⌝
AJAX 2714 155 I thank thee, Hector.
2715 Thou art too gentle and too free a man.
2716 I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence
2717 A great addition earnèd in thy death.
2718 Not Neoptolemus so mirable—
2719 160 On whose bright crest Fame with her loud’st “Oyez”
2720 Cries “This is he”—could promise to himself
2721 A thought of added honor torn from Hector.
2722 There is expectance here from both the sides
2723 What further you will do.
HECTOR 2724 165 We’ll answer it;
2725 The issue is embracement.—Ajax, farewell.
⌜They embrace again.⌝
2726 If I might in entreaties find success,
2727 As seld I have the chance, I would desire
2728 My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.
2729 170 ’Tis Agamemnon’s wish; and great Achilles
2730 Doth long to see unarmed the valiant Hector.
2731 Aeneas, call my brother Troilus to me,
2732 And signify this loving interview
2733 To the expecters of our Trojan part;
2734 175 Desire them home.
⌜Aeneas speaks to Trojans, who exit; he then
returns with Troilus.⌝
2735 ⌜To Ajax.⌝ Give me thy hand, my cousin.
2736 I will go eat with thee and see your knights.
⟨Agamemnon and the rest ⌜come forward.⌝⟩
2737 Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.
HECTOR, ⌜to Aeneas⌝
2738 The worthiest of them tell me name by name;
2739 180 But for Achilles, my own searching eyes
2740 Shall find him by his large and portly size.
2741 Worthy all arms! As welcome as to one
2742 That would be rid of such an enemy—
2743 ⟨But that’s no welcome. Understand more clear:
2744 185 What’s past and what’s to come is strewed with husks
2745 And formless ruin of oblivion;
2746 But in this extant moment, faith and troth,
2747 Strained purely from all hollow bias-drawing,
2748 Bids thee, with most divine integrity,⟩
2749 190 From heart of very heart, great Hector, welcome.
2750 I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.
2751 My well-famed lord of Troy, no less to you.
2752 Let me confirm my princely brother’s greeting:
2753 You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.
HECTOR, ⌜to Aeneas⌝
2754 195 Who must we answer?
AENEAS 2755 The noble Menelaus.
2756 O, you, my lord? By Mars his gauntlet, thanks!
2757 Mock not ⟨that I⟩ affect th’ untraded ⟨oath;⟩
2758 Your quondam wife swears still by Venus’ glove.
2759 200 She’s well, but bade me not commend her to you.
2760 Name her not now, sir; she’s a deadly theme.
HECTOR 2761 O, pardon! I offend.
2762 I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft,
2763 Laboring for destiny, make cruel way
2764 205 Through ranks of Greekish youth; and I have seen
2766 As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed,
2767 Despising many forfeits and subduments,
2768 When thou hast hung ⟨thy⟩ advanced sword i’ th’ air,
2769 210 Not letting it decline on the declined,
2770 That I have said to some my standers-by
2771 “Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life!”
2772 And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath
2773 When that a ring of Greeks have ⟨hemmed⟩ thee in,
2774 215 Like an Olympian wrestling. This have I seen.
2775 But this thy countenance, still locked in steel,
2776 I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire
2777 And once fought with him; he was a soldier good,
2778 But, by great Mars, the captain of us all,
2779 220 Never like thee! O, let an old man embrace thee;
2780 And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.
2782 Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle
2783 That hast so long walked hand in hand with time.
2784 225 Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.
2785 I would my arms could match thee in contention
2786 ⟨As they contend with thee in courtesy.⟩
HECTOR 2787 I would they could.
2788 Ha! By this white beard, I’d fight with thee tomorrow.
2789 230 Well, welcome, welcome. I have seen the time!
2790 I wonder now how yonder city stands
2791 When we have here her base and pillar by us.
2792 I know your favor, Lord Ulysses, well.
2793 Ah, sir, there’s many a Greek and Trojan dead
2794 235 Since first I saw yourself and Diomed
2795 In Ilium, on your Greekish embassy.
2796 Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue.
2797 My prophecy is but half his journey yet,
2798 For yonder walls, that pertly front your town,
2799 240 Yon towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
2800 Must kiss their own feet.
HECTOR 2801 I must not believe you.
2802 There they stand yet, and modestly I think
2803 The fall of every Phrygian stone will cost
2804 245 A drop of Grecian blood. The end crowns all,
2805 And that old common arbitrator, Time,
2806 Will one day end it.
ULYSSES 2807 So to him we leave it.
2808 Most gentle and most valiant Hector, welcome.
2809 250 After the General, I beseech you next
2810 To feast with me and see me at my tent.
2811 I shall forestall thee, Lord Ulysses, thou!—
2812 Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;
2813 I have with exact view perused thee, Hector,
2814 255 And quoted joint by joint.
HECTOR 2815 Is this Achilles?
ACHILLES 2816 I am Achilles.
2817 Stand fair, I pray thee. Let me look on thee.
2818 Behold thy fill.
HECTOR 2819 260 Nay, I have done already.
2820 Thou art too brief. I will the second time,
2821 As I would buy thee, view thee limb by limb.
2822 O, like a book of sport thou ’lt read me o’er;
2823 But there’s more in me than thou understand’st.
2824 265 Why dost thou so oppress me with thine eye?
2825 Tell me, you heavens, in which part of his body
2826 Shall I destroy him—whether there, or there, or
2828 That I may give the local wound a name
2829 270 And make distinct the very breach whereout
2830 Hector’s great spirit flew. Answer me, heavens!
2831 It would discredit the blest gods, proud man,
2832 To answer such a question. Stand again.
2833 Think’st thou to catch my life so pleasantly
2834 275 As to prenominate in nice conjecture
2835 Where thou wilt hit me dead?
ACHILLES 2836 I tell thee, yea.
2837 Wert thou an oracle to tell me so,
2838 I’d not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well,
2840 But, by the forge that stithied Mars his helm,
2841 I’ll kill thee everywhere, yea, o’er and o’er.—
2842 You wisest Grecians, pardon me this brag;
2843 His insolence draws folly from my lips.
2844 285 But I’ll endeavor deeds to match these words,
2845 Or may I never—
AJAX 2846 Do not chafe thee, cousin.—
2847 And you, Achilles, let these threats alone
2848 Till accident or purpose bring you to ’t.
2849 290 You may have every day enough of Hector
2850 If you have stomach. The general state, I fear,
2851 Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him.
HECTOR, ⌜to Achilles⌝
2852 I pray you, let us see you in the field.
2853 We have had pelting wars since you refused
2854 295 The Grecians’ cause.
ACHILLES 2855 Dost thou entreat me, Hector?
2856 Tomorrow do I meet thee, fell as death;
2857 Tonight all friends.
HECTOR 2858 Thy hand upon that match.
2859 300 First, all you peers of Greece, go to my tent;
2860 There in the full convive we. Afterwards,
2861 As Hector’s leisure and your bounties shall
2862 Concur together, severally entreat him.
2863 ⟨Beat loud the taborins;⟩ let the trumpets blow,
2864 305 That this great soldier may his welcome know.
⌜All but Troilus and Ulysses⌝ exit.
2865 My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you,
2866 In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?
2867 At Menelaus’ tent, most princely Troilus.
2868 There Diomed doth feast with him tonight,
2870 But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view
2871 On the fair Cressid.
2872 Shall I, sweet lord, be bound to you so much,
2873 After we part from Agamemnon’s tent,
2874 315 To bring me thither?
ULYSSES 2875 You shall command me, sir.
2876 ⟨As⟩ gentle tell me, of what honor was
2877 This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there
2878 That wails her absence?
2879 320 O sir, to such as boasting show their scars
2880 A mock is due. Will you walk on, my lord?
2881 She was beloved, ⟨she loved;⟩ she is, and doth;
2882 But still sweet love is food for Fortune’s tooth.
2883 I’ll heat his blood with Greekish wine tonight,
2884 Which with my scimitar I’ll cool tomorrow.
2885 Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.
2886 Here comes Thersites.
ACHILLES 2887 5 How now, thou ⟨core⟩ of envy?
2888 Thou crusty ⌜botch⌝ of nature, what’s the news?
THERSITES 2889 Why, thou picture of what thou seemest and
2890 idol of idiot-worshippers, here’s a letter for thee.
ACHILLES 2891 From whence, fragment?
THERSITES 2892 10Why, thou full dish of fool, from Troy.
⌜Achilles takes the letter and moves aside to read it.⌝
PATROCLUS 2893 Who keeps the tent now?
THERSITES 2894 The surgeon’s box or the patient’s wound.
PATROCLUS 2895 Well said, adversity. And what ⟨need these⟩
THERSITES 2897 15Prithee, be silent, ⟨boy.⟩ I profit not by thy
2898 talk. Thou art said to be Achilles’ male varlet.
PATROCLUS 2899 “Male varlet,” you rogue! What’s that?
THERSITES 2900 Why, his masculine whore. Now the rotten
2901 diseases of the south, the guts-griping, ruptures,
2903 cold palsies, [raw eyes, dirt-rotten livers, whissing
2904 lungs, bladders full of impostume, sciaticas,
2905 limekilns i’ th’ palm, incurable bone-ache, and the
2906 rivelled fee-simple of the tetter,] take and take
2907 25 again such preposterous discoveries.
PATROCLUS 2908 Why, thou damnable box of envy, thou,
2909 what means thou to curse thus?
THERSITES 2910 Do I curse thee?
PATROCLUS 2911 Why, no, you ruinous butt, you whoreson
2912 30 indistinguishable cur, no.
THERSITES 2913 No? Why art thou then exasperate, thou idle
2914 immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou green sarsenet
2915 flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal’s purse,
2916 thou? Ah, how the poor world is pestered with such
2917 35 waterflies, diminutives of nature!
PATROCLUS 2918 Out, gall!
THERSITES 2919 Finch egg!
ACHILLES, ⌜coming forward⌝
2920 My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite
2921 From my great purpose in tomorrow’s battle.
2922 40 Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba,
2923 A token from her daughter, my fair love,
2924 Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
2925 An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it.
2926 Fall, Greeks; fail, fame; honor, or go or stay;
2927 45 My major vow lies here; this I’ll obey.
2928 Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent.
2929 This night in banqueting must all be spent.
2930 Away, Patroclus.⟨He exits ⌜with Patroclus.⌝⟩
THERSITES 2931 With too much blood and too little brain,
2932 50 these two may run mad; but if with too much brain
2933 and too little blood they do, I’ll be a curer of madmen.
2934 Here’s Agamemnon, an honest fellow enough
2935 and one that loves quails, but he has not so much
2936 brain as earwax. And the goodly transformation
2938 statue and oblique memorial of cuckolds, a
2939 thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, ⟨hanging⟩ at his
2940 ⟨brother’s⟩ leg—to what form but that he is should
2941 wit larded with malice and malice ⟨forced⟩ with
2942 60 wit turn him to? To an ass were nothing; he is both
2943 ass and ox. To an ox were nothing; ⟨he is⟩ both ox
2944 and ass. To be a ⟨dog,⟩ a ⟨mule,⟩ a cat, a fitchew, a
2945 toad, a lizard, an owl, a puttock, or a herring without
2946 a roe, I would not care; but to be Menelaus! I
2947 65 would conspire against destiny. Ask me ⟨not⟩ what I
2948 would be, if I were not Thersites, for I care not to be
2949 the louse of a lazar so I were not Menelaus.
Enter ⟨Hector,⟩ ⌜Troilus,⌝ ⟨Ajax,⟩ Agamemnon, Ulysses,
Nestor, ⌜Menelaus,⌝ and Diomedes, with lights.
2950 Heyday! Sprites and fires!
AGAMEMNON 2951 We go wrong, we go wrong.
2952 70 No, yonder—’tis there, where we see the lights.
HECTOR 2953 I trouble you.
AJAX 2954 No, not a whit.
ULYSSES, ⌜to Hector⌝ 2955 Here comes himself to guide you.
2956 Welcome, brave Hector. Welcome, princes all.
AGAMEMNON, ⌜to Hector⌝
2957 75 So now, fair prince of Troy, I bid good night.
2958 Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.
2959 Thanks, and good night to the Greeks’ general.
2960 Good night, my lord.
HECTOR 2961 Good night, sweet lord
2962 80 Menelaus.
2964 Sweet sink, sweet sewer.
2965 Good night and welcome, both ⟨at once⟩, to those
2966 That go or tarry.
AGAMEMNON 2967 85Good night.
Agamemnon ⌜and⌝ Menelaus exit.
2968 Old Nestor tarries, and you too, Diomed.
2969 Keep Hector company an hour or two.
2970 I cannot, lord. I have important business,
2971 The tide whereof is now.—Good night, great Hector.
HECTOR 2972 90Give me your hand.
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝
2973 Follow his torch; he goes to Calchas’ tent.
2974 I’ll keep you company.
TROILUS 2975 Sweet sir, you honor me.
2976 And so, good night.
⌜Diomedes exits, followed by Troilus and Ulysses.⌝
ACHILLES 2977 95 Come, come, enter my tent.
⌜Achilles, Ajax, Nestor, and Hector⌝ exit.
THERSITES 2978 That same Diomed’s a false-hearted rogue,
2979 a most unjust knave. I will no more trust him when
2980 he leers than I will a serpent when he hisses. He
2981 will spend his mouth and promise like Brabbler
2982 100 the hound, but when he performs, astronomers
2983 foretell it; it is prodigious, there will come some
2984 change. The sun borrows of the moon when
2985 Diomed keeps his word. I will rather leave to see
2986 Hector than not to dog him. They say he keeps a
2987 105 Trojan drab and uses the traitor Calchas ⟨his⟩ tent.
2988 I’ll after. Nothing but lechery! All incontinent varlets!
DIOMEDES 2989 What, are you up here, ho? Speak.
CALCHAS, ⌜within⌝ 2990 Who calls?
DIOMEDES 2991 Diomed. Calchas, I think? Where’s your
CALCHAS, ⌜within⌝ 2993 5She comes to you.
⟨Enter Troilus and Ulysses,⟩ ⌜at a distance, and then,
apart from them, Thersites.⌝
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝
2994 Stand where the torch may not discover us.
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝
2995 Cressid comes forth to him.
DIOMEDES 2996 How now, my charge?
2997 Now, my sweet guardian. Hark, a word with you.
⌜She whispers to him.⌝
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2998 10Yea, so familiar?
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝ 2999 She will sing any man at
3000 first sight.
THERSITES, ⌜aside⌝ 3001 And any man may sing her, if he
3002 can take her clef. She’s noted.
DIOMEDES 3003 15Will you remember?
⌜CRESSIDA⌝ 3004 Remember? Yes.
DIOMEDES 3005 Nay, but do, then, and let your mind be
3006 coupled with your words.
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3007 What ⟨should⟩ she remember?
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝ 3008 20List!
3009 Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.
THERSITES, ⌜aside⌝ 3010 Roguery!
DIOMEDES 3011 Nay, then—
3013 25 Foh, foh, come, tell a pin! You are forsworn.
3014 In faith, I cannot. What would you have me do?
THERSITES, ⌜aside⌝ 3015 A juggling trick: to be secretly open!
3016 What did you swear you would bestow on me?
3017 I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath.
3018 30 Bid me do anything but that, sweet Greek.
DIOMEDES 3019 Good night.
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3020 Hold, patience!
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝ 3021 How now, Trojan?
CRESSIDA 3022 Diomed—
3023 35 No, no, good night. I’ll be your fool no more.
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3024 Thy better must.
CRESSIDA 3025 Hark, a word in your ear.
⌜She whispers to him.⌝
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3026 O plague and madness!
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝
3027 You are moved, prince. Let us depart, I pray ⟨you,⟩
3028 40 Lest your displeasure should enlarge itself
3029 To wrathful terms. This place is dangerous;
3030 The time right deadly. I beseech you, go.
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝
3031 Behold, I pray you.
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝ 3032 ⟨Nay,⟩ good my lord, go off.
3033 45 You flow to great ⟨distraction.⟩ Come, my lord.
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝
3034 I prithee, stay.
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝ 3035 You have not patience. Come.
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝
3036 I pray you, stay. By hell and all hell’s torments,
3037 I will not speak a word.
3038 50 And so good night.⌜He starts to leave.⌝
CRESSIDA 3039 Nay, but you part in anger.
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3040 Doth that grieve thee? O withered
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝
3042 How now, my lord?
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝ 3043 55 By Jove, I will be patient.
3044 Guardian! Why, Greek!
DIOMEDES 3045 Foh foh! ⟨Adieu.⟩ You palter.
3046 In faith, I do not. Come hither once again.
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝
3047 You shake, my lord, at something. Will you go?
3048 60 You will break out.
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3049 She strokes his cheek!
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝ 3050 Come, come.
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝
3051 Nay, stay. By Jove, I will not speak a word.
3052 There is between my will and all offenses
3053 65 A guard of patience. Stay a little while.
THERSITES, ⌜aside⌝ 3054 How the devil Luxury, with his fat
3055 rump and potato finger, tickles ⟨these⟩ together.
3056 Fry, lechery, fry!
DIOMEDES 3057 ⟨But⟩ will you, then?
3058 70 In faith, I will, ⌜la.⌝ Never trust me else.
3059 Give me some token for the surety of it.
CRESSIDA 3060 I’ll fetch you one.She exits.
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝
3061 You have sworn patience.
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝ 3062 Fear me not, my lord.
3063 75 I will not be myself nor have cognition
3064 Of what I feel. I am all patience.
THERSITES, ⌜aside⌝ 3065 Now the pledge, now, now, now!
CRESSIDA, ⌜giving the sleeve⌝ 3066 Here, Diomed. Keep this
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3068 80O beauty, where is thy faith?
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝ 3069 My lord—
TROILUS, ⌜aside to Ulysses⌝
3070 ⟨I will be patient; outwardly I will.
3071 You look upon that sleeve? Behold it well.
3072 He loved me—O false wench!—Give ’t me again.
⌜She snatches the sleeve from Diomedes.⌝
DIOMEDES 3073 85Whose was ’t?
3074 It is no matter, now I ha ’t again.
3075 I will not meet with you tomorrow night.
3076 I prithee, Diomed, visit me no more.
THERSITES, ⌜aside⌝ 3077 Now she sharpens. Well said,
3078 90 whetstone.
DIOMEDES 3079 I shall have it.
CRESSIDA 3080 What, this?
DIOMEDES 3081 Ay, that.
3082 O all you gods!—O pretty, pretty pledge!
3083 95 Thy master now lies thinking on his bed
3084 Of thee and me, and sighs, and takes my glove,
3085 And gives memorial dainty kisses to it
3086 As I kiss thee.
⌜He grabs the sleeve, and she tries to retrieve it.⌝
DIOMEDES 3087 Nay, do not snatch it from me.
3088 100 He that takes that doth take my heart withal.
3089 I had your heart before. This follows it.
TROILUS, ⌜aside⌝ 3090 I did swear patience.
3091 You shall not have it, Diomed, faith, you shall not.
3092 I’ll give you something else.
DIOMEDES 3093 105I will have this. Whose was it?
CRESSIDA 3094 It is no matter.
DIOMEDES 3095 Come, tell me whose it was.
3096 ’Twas one’s that loved me better than you will.
3097 But now you have it, take it.
DIOMEDES 3098 110 Whose was it?
3099 By all Diana’s waiting-women yond,
3100 And by herself, I will not tell you whose.
3101 Tomorrow will I wear it on my helm
3102 And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it.
3103 115 Wert thou the devil and wor’st it on thy horn,
3104 It should be challenged.
3105 Well, well, ’tis done, ’tis past. And yet it is not.
3106 I will not keep my word.
DIOMEDES 3107 Why, then, farewell.
3108 120 Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.
⌜He starts to leave.⌝
3109 You shall not go. One cannot speak a word
3110 But it straight starts you.
DIOMEDES 3111 I do not like this fooling.
3112 Nor I, by Pluto! But that that likes not you
3113 125 Pleases me best.
DIOMEDES 3114 What, shall I come? The hour?
3115 Ay, come.—O Jove!—Do, come.—I shall be plagued.
3116 Farewell, till then.
CRESSIDA 3117 Good night. I prithee, come.—
3118 130 Troilus, farewell. One eye yet looks on thee,
3119 But with my heart the other eye doth see.
3120 Ah, poor our sex! This fault in us I find:
3121 The error of our eye directs our mind.
3122 What error leads must err. O, then conclude:
3123 135 Minds swayed by eyes are full of turpitude.She exits.
3124 A proof of strength she could not publish more,
3125 Unless she said “My mind is now turned whore.”
3126 All’s done, my lord.
TROILUS 3127 It is.
ULYSSES 3128 140 Why stay we then?
3129 To make a recordation to my soul
3130 Of every syllable that here was spoke.
3131 But if I tell how these two did ⟨co-act,⟩
3132 Shall I not lie in publishing a truth?
3133 145 Sith yet there is a credence in my heart,
3134 An esperance so obstinately strong.
3135 That doth invert th’ attest of eyes and ears,
3136 As if those organs ⟨had deceptious⟩ functions,
3137 Created only to calumniate.
3138 150 Was Cressid here?
ULYSSES 3139 I cannot conjure, Trojan.
TROILUS 3140 She was not, sure.
ULYSSES 3141 Most sure she was.
3142 Why, my negation hath no taste of madness.
3143 155 Nor mine, my lord. Cressid was here but now.
3144 Let it not be believed for womanhood!
3145 Think, we had mothers. Do not give advantage
3146 To stubborn critics, apt, without a theme
3147 For depravation, to square the general sex
3148 160 By Cressid’s rule. Rather, think this not Cressid.
3149 What hath she done, prince, that can ⟨soil