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Troilus and Cressida - Act 1, scene 2
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Navigate this workTroilus and Cressida - Act 1, scene 2
Act 1, scene 2
Cressida gossips with her servant Alexander, and then with Pandarus, who strives to interest her in Troilus. After Pandarus and Cressida watch the fighters return from battle, Cressida, when alone, acknowledges her attraction to Troilus.Enter Cressida and her man ⌜Alexander.⌝
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.
p. 27PANDARUS 0202 What were you talking of when I came?
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.
p. 29PANDARUS 0238 Th’ other’s not come to ’t. You shall tell 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?
p. 31PANDARUS 0273 But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she
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.
p. 33CRESSIDA 0308 An ’t had been a green hair, I should have
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.
p. 35Enter Aeneas ⌜and crosses the stage.⌝
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?
p. 370371 220 Why, this is brave now. Who said he came hurt
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
p. 390401 250 the eyes of Troilus. Ne’er look, ne’er look; the
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.
p. 41CRESSIDA 0435 Adieu, uncle.
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.