Troilus and Cressida - Act 4, scene 1
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Act 4, scene 1
Aeneas, summoned to Priam’s palace, meets Paris and a deputation from the Greek camp bringing Antenor to be exchanged for Cressida. Paris sends Aeneas to warn Troilus of their approach.Enter at one door Aeneas ⌜with a Torchbearer,⌝ at
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.