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Title: Troilus and Cressida

Author: William Shakespeare

Release date: June 1, 1999 [eBook #1790]
Most recently updated: November 12, 2020

Language: English




Troilus and Cressida, World Library edition, several typos fixed.

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by William Shakespeare


PRIAM, King of Troy

    His sons:

MARGARELON, a bastard son of Priam

     Trojan commanders:

  CALCHAS, a Trojan priest, taking part with the Greeks
  PANDARUS, uncle to Cressida
  AGAMEMNON, the Greek general
  MENELAUS, his brother

    Greek commanders:

  THERSITES, a deformed and scurrilous Greek
  ALEXANDER, servant to Cressida
  SERVANT to Troilus
  SERVANT to Paris
  SERVANT to Diomedes

  HELEN, wife to Menelaus
  ANDROMACHE, wife to Hector
  CASSANDRA, daughter to Priam, a prophetess
  CRESSIDA, daughter to Calchas

Trojan and Greek Soldiers, and Attendants

SCENE: Troy and the Greek camp before it

    In Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece
    The princes orgillous, their high blood chaf'd,
    Have to the port of Athens sent their ships
    Fraught with the ministers and instruments
    Of cruel war. Sixty and nine that wore
    Their crownets regal from th' Athenian bay
    Put forth toward Phrygia; and their vow is made
    To ransack Troy, within whose strong immures
    The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen,
    With wanton Paris sleeps-and that's the quarrel.
    To Tenedos they come,
    And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
    Their war-like fraughtage. Now on Dardan plains
    The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
    Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city,
    Dardan, and Tymbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien,
    And Antenorides, with massy staples
    And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
    Sperr up the sons of Troy.
    Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits
    On one and other side, Troyan and Greek,
    Sets all on hazard-and hither am I come
    A Prologue arm'd, but not in confidence
    Of author's pen or actor's voice, but suited
    In like conditions as our argument,
    To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
    Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
    Beginning in the middle; starting thence away,
    To what may be digested in a play.
    Like or find fault; do as your pleasures are;
    Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.


ACT I. SCENE 1. Troy. Before PRIAM'S palace

Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS

  TROILUS. Call here my varlet; I'll unarm again.
    Why should I war without the walls of Troy
    That find such cruel battle here within?
    Each Troyan that is master of his heart,
    Let him to field; Troilus, alas, hath none!
  PANDARUS. Will this gear ne'er be mended?
  TROILUS. The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,
    Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant;
    But I am weaker than a woman's tear,
    Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance,
    Less valiant than the virgin in the night,
    And skilless as unpractis'd infancy.
  PANDARUS. Well, I have told you enough of this; for my part,
    I'll not meddle nor make no farther. He that will have a cake
    out of the wheat must needs tarry the grinding.
  TROILUS. Have I not tarried?
  PANDARUS. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the bolting.
  TROILUS. Have I not tarried?
  PANDARUS. Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.
  TROILUS. Still have I tarried.
  PANDARUS. Ay, to the leavening; but here's yet in the word
    'hereafter' the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating
    of the oven, and the baking; nay, you must stay the cooling too,
    or you may chance to burn your lips.
  TROILUS. Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be,
    Doth lesser blench at suff'rance than I do.
    At Priam's royal table do I sit;
    And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts-
    So, traitor, then she comes when she is thence.
  PANDARUS. Well, she look'd yesternight fairer than ever I saw her
    look, or any woman else.
  TROILUS. I was about to tell thee: when my heart,
    As wedged with a sigh, would rive in twain,
    Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,
    I have, as when the sun doth light a storm,
    Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile.
    But sorrow that is couch'd in seeming gladness
    Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
  PANDARUS. An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's-well,
    go to- there were no more comparison between the women. But, for
    my part, she is my kinswoman; I would not, as they term it,
    praise her, but I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as
    I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit; but-
  TROILUS. O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus-
    When I do tell thee there my hopes lie drown'd,
    Reply not in how many fathoms deep
    They lie indrench'd. I tell thee I am mad
    In Cressid's love. Thou answer'st 'She is fair'-
    Pourest in the open ulcer of my heart-
    Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice,
    Handlest in thy discourse. O, that her hand,
    In whose comparison all whites are ink
    Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure
    The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense
    Hard as the palm of ploughman! This thou tell'st me,
    As true thou tell'st me, when I say I love her;
    But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
    Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
    The knife that made it.
  PANDARUS. I speak no more than truth.
  TROILUS. Thou dost not speak so much.
  PANDARUS. Faith, I'll not meddle in it. Let her be as she is: if
    she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not, she has the
    mends in her own hands.
  TROILUS. Good Pandarus! How now, Pandarus!
  PANDARUS. I have had my labour for my travail, ill thought on of
    her and ill thought on of you; gone between and between, but
    small thanks for my labour.
  TROILUS. What, art thou angry, Pandarus? What, with me?
  PANDARUS. Because she's kin to me, therefore she's not so fair as
    Helen. An she were not kin to me, she would be as fair a Friday
    as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not an she were a
    blackamoor; 'tis all one to me.
  TROILUS. Say I she is not fair?
  PANDARUS. I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay
    behind her father. Let her to the Greeks; and so I'll tell her
    the next time I see her. For my part, I'll meddle nor make no
    more i' th' matter.
  TROILUS. Pandarus!
  TROILUS. Sweet Pandarus!
  PANDARUS. Pray you, speak no more to me: I will leave all
    as I found it, and there an end.
                                     Exit. Sound alarum
  TROILUS. Peace, you ungracious clamours! Peace, rude sounds!
    Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair,
    When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
    I cannot fight upon this argument;
    It is too starv'd a subject for my sword.
    But Pandarus-O gods, how do you plague me!
    I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar;
    And he's as tetchy to be woo'd to woo
    As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
    Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphne's love,
    What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we?
    Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl;
    Between our Ilium and where she resides
    Let it be call'd the wild and wand'ring flood;
    Ourself the merchant, and this sailing Pandar
    Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.

Alarum. Enter AENEAS

  AENEAS. How now, Prince Troilus! Wherefore not afield?
  TROILUS. Because not there. This woman's answer sorts,
    For womanish it is to be from thence.
    What news, Aeneas, from the field to-day?
  AENEAS. That Paris is returned home, and hurt.
  TROILUS. By whom, Aeneas?
  AENEAS. Troilus, by Menelaus.
  TROILUS. Let Paris bleed: 'tis but a scar to scorn;
    Paris is gor'd with Menelaus' horn.
  AENEAS. Hark what good sport is out of town to-day!
  TROILUS. Better at home, if 'would I might' were 'may.'
    But to the sport abroad. Are you bound thither?
  AENEAS. In all swift haste.
  TROILUS. Come, go we then together.

ACT I. SCENE 2. Troy. A street

Enter CRESSIDA and her man ALEXANDER

  CRESSIDA. Who were those went by?
  ALEXANDER. Queen Hecuba and Helen.
  CRESSIDA. And whither go they?
  ALEXANDER. Up to the eastern tower,
    Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
    To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
    Is as a virtue fix'd, to-day was mov'd.
    He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer;
    And, like as there were husbandry in war,
    Before the sun rose he was harness'd light,
    And to the field goes he; where every flower
    Did as a prophet weep what it foresaw
    In Hector's wrath.
  CRESSIDA. What was his cause of anger?
  ALEXANDER. The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks
    A lord of Troyan blood, nephew to Hector;
    They call him Ajax.
  CRESSIDA. Good; and what of him?
  ALEXANDER. They say he is a very man per se,
    And stands alone.
  CRESSIDA. So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no
  ALEXANDER. This man, lady, hath robb'd many beasts of their
    particular additions: he is as valiant as a lion, churlish as the
    bear, slow as the elephant-a man into whom nature hath so crowded
    humours that his valour is crush'd into folly, his folly sauced
    with discretion. There is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a
    glimpse of, nor any man an attaint but he carries some stain of
    it; he is melancholy without cause and merry against the hair; he
    hath the joints of every thing; but everything so out of joint
    that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use, or purblind
    Argus, all eyes and no sight.
  CRESSIDA. But how should this man, that makes me smile, make Hector
  ALEXANDER. They say he yesterday cop'd Hector in the battle and
    struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since
    kept Hector fasting and waking.


  CRESSIDA. Who comes here?
  ALEXANDER. Madam, your uncle Pandarus.
  CRESSIDA. Hector's a gallant man.
  ALEXANDER. As may be in the world, lady.
  PANDARUS. What's that? What's that?
  CRESSIDA. Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.
  PANDARUS. Good morrow, cousin Cressid. What do you talk of?- Good
    morrow, Alexander.-How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium?
  CRESSIDA. This morning, uncle.
  PANDARUS. What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector arm'd
    and gone ere you came to Ilium? Helen was not up, was she?
  CRESSIDA. Hector was gone; but Helen was not up.
  PANDARUS. E'en so. Hector was stirring early.
  CRESSIDA. That were we talking of, and of his anger.
  PANDARUS. Was he angry?
  CRESSIDA. So he says here.
  PANDARUS. True, he was so; I know the cause too; he'll lay about
    him today, I can tell them that. And there's Troilus will not
    come far behind him; let them take heed of Troilus, I can tell
    them that too.
  CRESSIDA. What, is he angry too?
  PANDARUS. Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.
  CRESSIDA. O Jupiter! there's no comparison.
  PANDARUS. What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a man
    if you see him?
  CRESSIDA. Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.
  PANDARUS. Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.
  CRESSIDA. Then you say as I say, for I am sure he is not Hector.
  PANDARUS. No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some degrees.
  CRESSIDA. 'Tis just to each of them: he is himself.
  PANDARUS. Himself! Alas, poor Troilus! I would he were!
  CRESSIDA. So he is.
  PANDARUS. Condition I had gone barefoot to India.
  CRESSIDA. He is not Hector.
  PANDARUS. Himself! no, he's not himself. Would 'a were himself!
    Well, the gods are above; time must friend or end. Well, Troilus,
    well! I would my heart were in her body! No, Hector is not a
    better man than Troilus.
  CRESSIDA. Excuse me.
  PANDARUS. He is elder.
  CRESSIDA. Pardon me, pardon me.
  PANDARUS. Th' other's not come to't; you shall tell me another tale
    when th' other's come to't. Hector shall not have his wit this
  CRESSIDA. He shall not need it if he have his own.
  PANDARUS. Nor his qualities.
  CRESSIDA. No matter.
  PANDARUS. Nor his beauty.
  CRESSIDA. 'Twould not become him: his own's better.
  PANDARUS. YOU have no judgment, niece. Helen herself swore th'
    other day that Troilus, for a brown favour, for so 'tis, I must
    confess- not brown neither-
  CRESSIDA. No, but brown.
  PANDARUS. Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.
  CRESSIDA. To say the truth, true and not true.
  PANDARUS. She prais'd his complexion above Paris.
  CRESSIDA. Why, Paris hath colour enough.
  PANDARUS. So he has.
  CRESSIDA. Then Troilus should have too much. If she prais'd him
    above, his complexion is higher than his; he having colour
    enough, and the other higher, is too flaming praise for a good
    complexion. I had as lief Helen's golden tongue had commended
    Troilus for a copper nose.
  PANDARUS. I swear to you I think Helen loves him better than Paris.
  CRESSIDA. Then she's a merry Greek indeed.
  PANDARUS. Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him th' other day
    into the compass'd window-and you know he has not past three or
    four hairs on his chin-
  CRESSIDA. Indeed a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his
    particulars therein to a total.
  PANDARUS. Why, he is very young, and yet will he within three pound
    lift as much as his brother Hector.
  CRESSIDA. Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?
  PANDARUS. But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she came and
    puts me her white hand to his cloven chin-
  CRESSIDA. Juno have mercy! How came it cloven?
  PANDARUS. Why, you know, 'tis dimpled. I think his smiling becomes
    him better than any man in all Phrygia.
  CRESSIDA. O, he smiles valiantly!
  PANDARUS. Does he not?
  CRESSIDA. O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn!
  PANDARUS. Why, go to, then! But to prove to you that Helen loves
  CRESSIDA. Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll prove it so.
  PANDARUS. Troilus! Why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an
    addle egg.
  CRESSIDA. If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle
    head, you would eat chickens i' th' shell.
  PANDARUS. I cannot choose but laugh to think how she tickled his
    chin. Indeed, she has a marvell's white hand, I must needs
  CRESSIDA. Without the rack.
  PANDARUS. And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.
  CRESSIDA. Alas, poor chin! Many a wart is richer.
  PANDARUS. But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba laugh'd that
    her eyes ran o'er.
  CRESSIDA. With millstones.
  PANDARUS. And Cassandra laugh'd.
  CRESSIDA. But there was a more temperate fire under the pot of her
    eyes. Did her eyes run o'er too?
  PANDARUS. And Hector laugh'd.
  CRESSIDA. At what was all this laughing?
  PANDARUS. Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus'
  CRESSIDA. An't had been a green hair I should have laugh'd too.
  PANDARUS. They laugh'd not so much at the hair as at his pretty
  CRESSIDA. What was his answer?
  PANDARUS. Quoth she 'Here's but two and fifty hairs on your chin,
    and one of them is white.'
  CRESSIDA. This is her question.
  PANDARUS. That's true; make no question of that. 'Two and fifty
    hairs,' quoth he 'and one white. That white hair is my father,
    and all the rest are his sons.' 'Jupiter!' quoth she 'which of
    these hairs is Paris my husband?' 'The forked one,' quoth he,
    'pluck't out and give it him.' But there was such laughing! and
    Helen so blush'd, and Paris so chaf'd; and all the rest so
    laugh'd that it pass'd.
  CRESSIDA. So let it now; for it has been a great while going by.
  PANDARUS. Well, cousin, I told you a thing yesterday; think on't.
  CRESSIDA. So I do.
  PANDARUS. I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you, and 'twere a
    man born in April.
  CRESSIDA. And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettle
    against May. [Sound a retreat]
  PANDARUS. Hark! they are coming from the field. Shall we stand up
    here and see them as they pass toward Ilium? Good niece, do,
    sweet niece Cressida.
  CRESSIDA. At your pleasure.
  PANDARUS. Here, here, here's an excellent place; here we may see
    most bravely. I'll tell you them all by their names as they pass
    by; but mark Troilus above the rest.

AENEAS passes

  CRESSIDA. Speak not so loud.
  PANDARUS. That's Aeneas. Is not that a brave man? He's one of the
    flowers of Troy, I can tell you. But mark Troilus; you shall see

ANTENOR passes

  CRESSIDA. Who's that?
  PANDARUS. That's Antenor. He has a shrewd wit, I can tell you; and
    he's a man good enough; he's one o' th' soundest judgments in
    Troy, whosoever, and a proper man of person. When comes Troilus?
    I'll show you Troilus anon. If he see me, you shall see him nod
    at me.
  CRESSIDA. Will he give you the nod?
  PANDARUS. You shall see.
  CRESSIDA. If he do, the rich shall have more.

HECTOR passes

  PANDARUS. That's Hector, that, that, look you, that; there's a
    fellow! Go thy way, Hector! There's a brave man, niece. O brave
    Hector! Look how he looks. There's a countenance! Is't not a
    brave man?
  CRESSIDA. O, a brave man!
  PANDARUS. Is 'a not? It does a man's heart good. Look you what
    hacks are on his helmet! Look you yonder, do you see? Look you
    there. There's no jesting; there's laying on; take't off who
    will, as they say. There be hacks.
  CRESSIDA. Be those with swords?
  PANDARUS. Swords! anything, he cares not; an the devil come to him,
    it's all one. By God's lid, it does one's heart good. Yonder
    comes Paris, yonder comes Paris.

PARIS passes

Look ye yonder, niece; is't not a gallant man too, is't not? Why, this is brave now. Who said he came hurt home to-day? He's not hurt. Why, this will do Helen's heart good now, ha! Would I could see Troilus now! You shall see Troilus anon.

HELENUS passes

  CRESSIDA. Who's that?
  PANDARUS. That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's
    Helenus. I think he went not forth to-day. That's Helenus.
  CRESSIDA. Can Helenus fight, uncle?
  PANDARUS. Helenus! no. Yes, he'll fight indifferent well. I marvel
    where Troilus is. Hark! do you not hear the people cry 'Troilus'?
    Helenus is a priest.
  CRESSIDA. What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

TROILUS passes

  PANDARUS. Where? yonder? That's Deiphobus. 'Tis Troilus. There's a
    man, niece. Hem! Brave Troilus, the prince of chivalry!
  CRESSIDA. Peace, for shame, peace!
  PANDARUS. Mark him; note him. O brave Troilus! Look well upon him,
    niece; look you how his sword is bloodied, and his helm more
    hack'd than Hector's; and how he looks, and how he goes! O
    admirable youth! he never saw three and twenty. Go thy way,
    Troilus, go thy way. Had I a sister were a grace or a daughter a
    goddess, he should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris? Paris
    is dirt to him; and, I warrant, Helen, to change, would give an
    eye to boot.
  CRESSIDA. Here comes more.

Common soldiers pass

  PANDARUS. Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran!
    porridge after meat! I could live and die in the eyes of Troilus.
    Ne'er look, ne'er look; the eagles are gone. Crows and daws,
    crows and daws! I had rather be such a man as Troilus than
    Agamemnon and all Greece.
  CRESSIDA. There is amongst the Greeks Achilles, a better man than
  PANDARUS. Achilles? A drayman, a porter, a very camel!
  CRESSIDA. Well, well.
  PANDARUS. Well, well! Why, have you any discretion? Have you any
    eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not birth, beauty, good
    shape, discourse, manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth,
    liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man?
  CRESSIDA. Ay, a minc'd man; and then to be bak'd with no date in
    the pie, for then the man's date is out.
  PANDARUS. You are such a woman! A man knows not at what ward you
  CRESSIDA. Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon my wit, to defend
    my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend mine honesty; my mask, to
    defend my beauty; and you, to defend all these; and at all these
    wards I lie at, at a thousand watches.
  PANDARUS. Say one of your watches.
  CRESSIDA. Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of the
    chiefest of them too. If I cannot ward what I would not have hit,
    I can watch you for telling how I took the blow; unless it swell
    past hiding, and then it's past watching
 PANDARUS. You are such another!


  BOY. Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.
  PANDARUS. Where?
  BOY. At your own house; there he unarms him.
  PANDARUS. Good boy, tell him I come. Exit Boy
    I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece.
  CRESSIDA. Adieu, uncle.
  PANDARUS. I will be with you, niece, by and by.
  CRESSIDA. To bring, uncle.
  PANDARUS. Ay, a token from Troilus.
  CRESSIDA. By the same token, you are a bawd.
    Words, vows, gifts, tears, and love's full sacrifice,
    He offers in another's enterprise;
    But more in Troilus thousand-fold I see
    Than in the glass of Pandar's praise may be,
    Yet hold I off. Women are angels, wooing:
    Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.
    That she belov'd knows nought that knows not this:
    Men prize the thing ungain'd more than it is.
    That she was never yet that ever knew
    Love got so sweet as when desire did sue;
    Therefore this maxim out of love I teach:
    Achievement is command; ungain'd, beseech.
    Then though my heart's content firm love doth bear,
    Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.

ACT I. SCENE 3. The Grecian camp. Before AGAMEMNON'S tent


  AGAMEMNON. Princes,
    What grief hath set these jaundies o'er your cheeks?
    The ample proposition that hope makes
    In all designs begun on earth below
    Fails in the promis'd largeness; checks and disasters
    Grow in the veins of actions highest rear'd,
    As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
    Infects the sound pine, and diverts his grain
    Tortive and errant from his course of growth.
    Nor, princes, is it matter new to us
    That we come short of our suppose so far
    That after seven years' siege yet Troy walls stand;
    Sith every action that hath gone before,
    Whereof we have record, trial did draw
    Bias and thwart, not answering the aim,
    And that unbodied figure of the thought
    That gave't surmised shape. Why then, you princes,
    Do you with cheeks abash'd behold our works
    And call them shames, which are, indeed, nought else
    But the protractive trials of great Jove
    To find persistive constancy in men;
    The fineness of which metal is not found
    In fortune's love? For then the bold and coward,
    The wise and fool, the artist and unread,
    The hard and soft, seem all affin'd and kin.
    But in the wind and tempest of her frown
    Distinction, with a broad and powerful fan,
    Puffing at all, winnows the light away;
    And what hath mass or matter by itself
    Lies rich in virtue and unmingled.
  NESTOR. With due observance of thy godlike seat,
    Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply
    Thy latest words. In the reproof of chance
    Lies the true proof of men. The sea being smooth,
    How many shallow bauble boats dare sail
    Upon her patient breast, making their way
    With those of nobler bulk!
    But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
    The gentle Thetis, and anon behold
    The strong-ribb'd bark through liquid mountains cut,
    Bounding between the two moist elements
    Like Perseus' horse. Where's then the saucy boat,
    Whose weak untimber'd sides but even now
    Co-rivall'd greatness? Either to harbour fled
    Or made a toast for Neptune. Even so
    Doth valour's show and valour's worth divide
    In storms of fortune; for in her ray and brightness
    The herd hath more annoyance by the breeze
    Than by the tiger; but when the splitting wind
    Makes flexible the knees of knotted oaks,
    And flies fled under shade-why, then the thing of courage
    As rous'd with rage, with rage doth sympathise,
    And with an accent tun'd in self-same key
    Retorts to chiding fortune.
  ULYSSES. Agamemnon,
    Thou great commander, nerve and bone of Greece,
    Heart of our numbers, soul and only spirit
    In whom the tempers and the minds of all
    Should be shut up-hear what Ulysses speaks.
    Besides the applause and approbation
    The which, [To AGAMEMNON] most mighty, for thy place and sway,
    [To NESTOR] And, thou most reverend, for thy stretch'd-out life,
    I give to both your speeches- which were such
    As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece
    Should hold up high in brass; and such again
    As venerable Nestor, hatch'd in silver,
    Should with a bond of air, strong as the axle-tree
    On which heaven rides, knit all the Greekish ears
    To his experienc'd tongue-yet let it please both,
    Thou great, and wise, to hear Ulysses speak.
  AGAMEMNON. Speak, Prince of Ithaca; and be't of less expect
    That matter needless, of importless burden,
    Divide thy lips than we are confident,
    When rank Thersites opes his mastic jaws,
    We shall hear music, wit, and oracle.
  ULYSSES. Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down,
    And the great Hector's sword had lack'd a master,
    But for these instances:
    The specialty of rule hath been neglected;
    And look how many Grecian tents do stand
    Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions.
    When that the general is not like the hive,
    To whom the foragers shall all repair,
    What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded,
    Th' unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
    The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre,
    Observe degree, priority, and place,
    Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
    Office, and custom, in all line of order;
    And therefore is the glorious planet Sol
    In noble eminence enthron'd and spher'd
    Amidst the other, whose med'cinable eye
    Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
    And posts, like the commandment of a king,
    Sans check, to good and bad. But when the planets
    In evil mixture to disorder wander,
    What plagues and what portents, what mutiny,
    What raging of the sea, shaking of earth,
    Commotion in the winds! Frights, changes, horrors,
    Divert and crack, rend and deracinate,
    The unity and married calm of states
    Quite from their fixture! O, when degree is shak'd,
    Which is the ladder of all high designs,
    The enterprise is sick! How could communities,
    Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
    Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
    The primogenity and due of birth,
    Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
    But by degree, stand in authentic place?
    Take but degree away, untune that string,
    And hark what discord follows! Each thing melts
    In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
    Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
    And make a sop of all this solid globe;
    Strength should be lord of imbecility,
    And the rude son should strike his father dead;
    Force should be right; or, rather, right and wrong-
    Between whose endless jar justice resides-
    Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
    Then everything includes itself in power,
    Power into will, will into appetite;
    And appetite, an universal wolf,
    So doubly seconded with will and power,
    Must make perforce an universal prey,
    And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
    This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
    Follows the choking.
    And this neglection of degree it is
    That by a pace goes backward, with a purpose
    It hath to climb. The general's disdain'd
    By him one step below, he by the next,
    That next by him beneath; so ever step,
    Exampl'd by the first pace that is sick
    Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
    Of pale and bloodless emulation.
    And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
    Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length,
    Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength.
  NESTOR. Most wisely hath Ulysses here discover'd
    The fever whereof all our power is sick.
  AGAMEMNON. The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses,
    What is the remedy?
  ULYSSES. The great Achilles, whom opinion crowns
    The sinew and the forehand of our host,
    Having his ear full of his airy fame,
    Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent
    Lies mocking our designs; with him Patroclus
    Upon a lazy bed the livelong day
    Breaks scurril jests;
    And with ridiculous and awkward action-
    Which, slanderer, he imitation calls-
    He pageants us. Sometime, great Agamemnon,
    Thy topless deputation he puts on;
    And like a strutting player whose conceit
    Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
    To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
    'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage-
    Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming
    He acts thy greatness in; and when he speaks
    'Tis like a chime a-mending; with terms unsquar'd,
    Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropp'd,
    Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff
    The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling,
    From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause;
    Cries 'Excellent! 'tis Agamemnon just.
    Now play me Nestor; hem, and stroke thy beard,
    As he being drest to some oration.'
    That's done-as near as the extremest ends
    Of parallels, as like Vulcan and his wife;
    Yet god Achilles still cries 'Excellent!
    'Tis Nestor right. Now play him me, Patroclus,
    Arming to answer in a night alarm.'
    And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age
    Must be the scene of mirth: to cough and spit
    And, with a palsy-fumbling on his gorget,
    Shake in and out the rivet. And at this sport
    Sir Valour dies; cries 'O, enough, Patroclus;
    Or give me ribs of steel! I shall split all
    In pleasure of my spleen.' And in this fashion
    All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
    Severals and generals of grace exact,
    Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,
    Excitements to the field or speech for truce,
    Success or loss, what is or is not, serves
    As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.
  NESTOR. And in the imitation of these twain-
    Who, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns
    With an imperial voice-many are infect.
    Ajax is grown self-will'd and bears his head
    In such a rein, in full as proud a place
    As broad Achilles; keeps his tent like him;
    Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war
    Bold as an oracle, and sets Thersites,
    A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint,
    To match us in comparisons with dirt,
    To weaken and discredit our exposure,
    How rank soever rounded in with danger.
  ULYSSES. They tax our policy and call it cowardice,
    Count wisdom as no member of the war,
    Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
    But that of hand. The still and mental parts
    That do contrive how many hands shall strike
    When fitness calls them on, and know, by measure
    Of their observant toil, the enemies' weight-
    Why, this hath not a finger's dignity:
    They call this bed-work, mapp'ry, closet-war;
    So that the ram that batters down the wall,
    For the great swinge and rudeness of his poise,
    They place before his hand that made the engine,
    Or those that with the fineness of their souls
    By reason guide his execution.
  NESTOR. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse
    Makes many Thetis' sons.
  AGAMEMNON. What trumpet? Look, Menelaus.
  MENELAUS. From Troy.


  AGAMEMNON. What would you fore our tent?
  AENEAS. Is this great Agamemnon's tent, I pray you?
  AGAMEMNON. Even this.
  AENEAS. May one that is a herald and a prince
    Do a fair message to his kingly eyes?
  AGAMEMNON. With surety stronger than Achilles' an
    Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice
    Call Agamemnon head and general.
  AENEAS. Fair leave and large security. How may
    A stranger to those most imperial looks
    Know them from eyes of other mortals?
    I ask, that I might waken reverence,
    And bid the cheek be ready with a blush
    Modest as Morning when she coldly eyes
    The youthful Phoebus.
    Which is that god in office, guiding men?
    Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?
  AGAMEMNON. This Troyan scorns us, or the men of Troy
    Are ceremonious courtiers.
  AENEAS. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'd,
    As bending angels; that's their fame in peace.
    But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls,
    Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and, Jove's accord,
    Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Aeneas,
    Peace, Troyan; lay thy finger on thy lips.
    The worthiness of praise distains his worth,
    If that the prais'd himself bring the praise forth;
    But what the repining enemy commends,
    That breath fame blows; that praise, sole pure, transcends.
  AGAMEMNON. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Aeneas?
  AENEAS. Ay, Greek, that is my name.
  AGAMEMNON. What's your affair, I pray you?
  AENEAS. Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears.
  AGAMEMNON. He hears nought privately that comes from Troy.
  AENEAS. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper with him;
    I bring a trumpet to awake his ear,
    To set his sense on the attentive bent,
    And then to speak.
  AGAMEMNON. Speak frankly as the wind;
    It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour.
    That thou shalt know, Troyan, he is awake,
    He tells thee so himself.
  AENEAS. Trumpet, blow loud,
    Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents;
    And every Greek of mettle, let him know
    What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.
                                               [Sound trumpet]
    We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy
    A prince called Hector-Priam is his father-
    Who in this dull and long-continued truce
    Is resty grown; he bade me take a trumpet
    And to this purpose speak: Kings, princes, lords!
    If there be one among the fair'st of Greece
    That holds his honour higher than his ease,
    That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril,
    That knows his valour and knows not his fear,
    That loves his mistress more than in confession
    With truant vows to her own lips he loves,
    And dare avow her beauty and her worth
    In other arms than hers-to him this challenge.
    Hector, in view of Troyans and of Greeks,
    Shall make it good or do his best to do it:
    He hath a lady wiser, fairer, truer,
    Than ever Greek did couple in his arms;
    And will to-morrow with his trumpet call
    Mid-way between your tents and walls of Troy
    To rouse a Grecian that is true in love.
    If any come, Hector shall honour him;
    If none, he'll say in Troy, when he retires,
    The Grecian dames are sunburnt and not worth
    The splinter of a lance. Even so much.
  AGAMEMNON. This shall be told our lovers, Lord Aeneas.
    If none of them have soul in such a kind,
    We left them all at home. But we are soldiers;
    And may that soldier a mere recreant prove
    That means not, hath not, or is not in love.
    If then one is, or hath, or means to be,
    That one meets Hector; if none else, I am he.
  NESTOR. Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man
    When Hector's grandsire suck'd. He is old now;
    But if there be not in our Grecian mould
    One noble man that hath one spark of fire
    To answer for his love, tell him from me
    I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver,
    And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn,
    And, meeting him, will tell him that my lady
    Was fairer than his grandame, and as chaste
    As may be in the world. His youth in flood,
    I'll prove this truth with my three drops of blood.
  AENEAS. Now heavens forfend such scarcity of youth!
  ULYSSES. Amen.
  AGAMEMNON. Fair Lord Aeneas, let me touch your hand;
    To our pavilion shall I lead you, first.
    Achilles shall have word of this intent;
    So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent.
    Yourself shall feast with us before you go,
    And find the welcome of a noble foe.
                           Exeunt all but ULYSSES and NESTOR
  ULYSSES. Nestor!
  NESTOR. What says Ulysses?
  ULYSSES. I have a young conception in my brain;
    Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
  NESTOR. What is't?
  ULYSSES. This 'tis:
    Blunt wedges rive hard knots. The seeded pride
    That hath to this maturity blown up
    In rank Achilles must or now be cropp'd
    Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil
    To overbulk us all.
  NESTOR. Well, and how?
  ULYSSES. This challenge that the gallant Hector sends,
    However it is spread in general name,
    Relates in purpose only to Achilles.
  NESTOR. True. The purpose is perspicuous even as substance
    Whose grossness little characters sum up;
    And, in the publication, make no strain
    But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
    As banks of Libya-though, Apollo knows,
    'Tis dry enough-will with great speed of judgment,
    Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
    Pointing on him.
  ULYSSES. And wake him to the answer, think you?
  NESTOR. Why, 'tis most meet. Who may you else oppose
    That can from Hector bring those honours off,
    If not Achilles? Though 't be a sportful combat,
    Yet in this trial much opinion dwells;
    For here the Troyans taste our dear'st repute
    With their fin'st palate; and trust to me, Ulysses,
    Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd
    In this vile action; for the success,
    Although particular, shall give a scantling
    Of good or bad unto the general;
    And in such indexes, although small pricks
    To their subsequent volumes, there is seen
    The baby figure of the giant mas
    Of things to come at large. It is suppos'd
    He that meets Hector issues from our choice;
    And choice, being mutual act of all our souls,
    Makes merit her election, and doth boil,
    As 'twere from forth us all, a man distill'd
    Out of our virtues; who miscarrying,
    What heart receives from hence a conquering part,
    To steel a strong opinion to themselves?
    Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,
    In no less working than are swords and bows
    Directive by the limbs.
  ULYSSES. Give pardon to my speech.
    Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector.
    Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares
    And think perchance they'll sell; if not, the lustre
    Of the better yet to show shall show the better,
    By showing the worst first. Do not consent
    That ever Hector and Achilles meet;
    For both our honour and our shame in this
    Are dogg'd with two strange followers.
  NESTOR. I see them not with my old eyes. What are they?
  ULYSSES. What glory our Achilles shares from Hector,
    Were he not proud, we all should wear with him;
    But he already is too insolent;
    And it were better parch in Afric sun
    Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes,
    Should he scape Hector fair. If he were foil'd,
    Why, then we do our main opinion crush
    In taint of our best man. No, make a lott'ry;
    And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw
    The sort to fight with Hector. Among ourselves
    Give him allowance for the better man;
    For that will physic the great Myrmidon,
    Who broils in loud applause, and make him fall
    His crest, that prouder than blue Iris bends.
    If the dull brainless Ajax come safe off,
    We'll dress him up in voices; if he fail,
    Yet go we under our opinion still
    That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
    Our project's life this shape of sense assumes-
    Ajax employ'd plucks down Achilles' plumes.
  NESTOR. Now, Ulysses, I begin to relish thy advice;
    And I will give a taste thereof forthwith
    To Agamemnon. Go we to him straight.
    Two curs shall tame each other: pride alone
    Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.


ACT II. SCENE 1. The Grecian camp

Enter Ajax and THERSITES

  AJAX. Thersites!
  THERSITES. Agamemnon-how if he had boils full, an over, generally?
  AJAX. Thersites!
  THERSITES. And those boils did run-say so. Did not the general run
    then? Were not that a botchy core?
  AJAX. Dog!
  THERSITES. Then there would come some matter from him;
    I see none now.
  AJAX. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? Feel, then.
                                                  [Strikes him.]
  THERSITES. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted
  AJAX. Speak, then, thou whinid'st leaven, speak. I will beat thee
    into handsomeness.
  THERSITES. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness; but I
    think thy horse will sooner con an oration than thou learn a
    prayer without book. Thou canst strike, canst thou? A red murrain
    o' thy jade's tricks!
  AJAX. Toadstool, learn me the proclamation.
  THERSITES. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?
  AJAX. The proclamation!
  THERSITES. Thou art proclaim'd, a fool, I think.
  AJAX. Do not, porpentine, do not; my fingers itch.
  THERSITES. I would thou didst itch from head to foot and I had the
    scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in
    Greece. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as
    slow as another.
  AJAX. I say, the proclamation.
  THERSITES. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles; and
    thou art as full of envy at his greatness as Cerberus is at
    Proserpina's beauty-ay, that thou bark'st at him.
  AJAX. Mistress Thersites!
  THERSITES. Thou shouldst strike him.
  AJAX. Cobloaf!
  THERSITES. He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a
    sailor breaks a biscuit.
  AJAX. You whoreson cur! [Strikes him]
  THERSITES. Do, do.
  AJAX. Thou stool for a witch!
  THERSITES. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more
    brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinico may tutor thee. You
    scurvy valiant ass! Thou art here but to thrash Troyans, and thou
    art bought and sold among those of any wit like a barbarian
    slave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel and tell
    what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou!
  AJAX. You dog!
  THERSITES. You scurvy lord!
  AJAX. You cur! [Strikes him]
  THERSITES. Mars his idiot! Do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do.


  ACHILLES. Why, how now, Ajax! Wherefore do you thus?
    How now, Thersites! What's the matter, man?
  THERSITES. You see him there, do you?
  ACHILLES. Ay; what's the matter?
  THERSITES. Nay, look upon him.
  ACHILLES. So I do. What's the matter?
  THERSITES. Nay, but regard him well.
  ACHILLES. Well! why, so I do.
  THERSITES. But yet you look not well upon him; for who some ever
    you take him to be, he is Ajax.
  ACHILLES. I know that, fool.
  THERSITES. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
  AJAX. Therefore I beat thee.
  THERSITES. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! His
    evasions have ears thus long. I have bobb'd his brain more than
    he has beat my bones. I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and
    his pia mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This
    lord, Achilles, Ajax-who wears his wit in his belly and his guts
    in his head-I'll tell you what I say of him.
  THERSITES. I say this Ajax- [AJAX offers to strike him]
  ACHILLES. Nay, good Ajax.
  THERSITES. Has not so much wit-
  ACHILLES. Nay, I must hold you.
  THERSITES. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he
    comes to fight.
  ACHILLES. Peace, fool.
  THERSITES. I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not-
    he there; that he; look you there.
  AJAX. O thou damned cur! I shall-
  ACHILLES. Will you set your wit to a fool's?
  THERSITES. No, I warrant you, the fool's will shame it.
  PATROCLUS. Good words, Thersites.
  ACHILLES. What's the quarrel?
  AJAX. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of the
    proclamation, and he rails upon me.
  THERSITES. I serve thee not.
  AJAX. Well, go to, go to.
  THERSITES. I serve here voluntary.
  ACHILLES. Your last service was suff'rance; 'twas not voluntary. No
    man is beaten voluntary. Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as
    under an impress.
  THERSITES. E'en so; a great deal of your wit too lies in your
    sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shall have a great catch
    an he knock out either of your brains: 'a were as good crack a
    fusty nut with no kernel.
  ACHILLES. What, with me too, Thersites?
  THERSITES. There's Ulysses and old Nestor-whose wit was mouldy ere
    your grandsires had nails on their toes-yoke you like draught
    oxen, and make you plough up the wars.
  ACHILLES. What, what?
  THERSITES. Yes, good sooth. To Achilles, to Ajax, to-
  AJAX. I shall cut out your tongue.
  THERSITES. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou
  PATROCLUS. No more words, Thersites; peace!
  THERSITES. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall
  ACHILLES. There's for you, Patroclus.
  THERSITES. I will see you hang'd like clotpoles ere I come any more
    to your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave
    the faction of fools.
  PATROCLUS. A good riddance.
  ACHILLES. Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through all our host,
    That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun,
    Will with a trumpet 'twixt our tents and Troy,
    To-morrow morning, call some knight to arms
    That hath a stomach; and such a one that dare
    Maintain I know not what; 'tis trash. Farewell.
  AJAX. Farewell. Who shall answer him?
  ACHILLES. I know not; 'tis put to lott'ry. Otherwise. He knew his
  AJAX. O, meaning you! I will go learn more of it.

ACT II. SCENE 2. Troy. PRIAM'S palace


  PRIAM. After so many hours, lives, speeches, spent,
    Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks:
    'Deliver Helen, and all damage else-
    As honour, loss of time, travail, expense,
    Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is consum'd
    In hot digestion of this cormorant war-
    Shall be struck off.' Hector, what say you to't?
  HECTOR. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than I,
    As far as toucheth my particular,
    Yet, dread Priam,
    There is no lady of more softer bowels,
    More spongy to suck in the sense of fear,
    More ready to cry out 'Who knows what follows?'
    Than Hector is. The wound of peace is surety,
    Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd
    The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
    To th' bottom of the worst. Let Helen go.
    Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
    Every tithe soul 'mongst many thousand dismes
    Hath been as dear as Helen-I mean, of ours.
    If we have lost so many tenths of ours
    To guard a thing not ours, nor worth to us,
    Had it our name, the value of one ten,
    What merit's in that reason which denies
    The yielding of her up?
  TROILUS. Fie, fie, my brother!
    Weigh you the worth and honour of a king,
    So great as our dread father's, in a scale
    Of common ounces? Will you with counters sum
    The past-proportion of his infinite,
    And buckle in a waist most fathomless
    With spans and inches so diminutive
    As fears and reasons? Fie, for godly shame!
  HELENUS. No marvel though you bite so sharp at reasons,
    You are so empty of them. Should not our father
    Bear the great sway of his affairs with reasons,
    Because your speech hath none that tells him so?
  TROILUS. You are for dreams and slumbers, brother priest;
    You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your reasons:
    You know an enemy intends you harm;
    You know a sword employ'd is perilous,
    And reason flies the object of all harm.
    Who marvels, then, when Helenus beholds
    A Grecian and his sword, if he do set
    The very wings of reason to his heels
    And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,
    Or like a star disorb'd? Nay, if we talk of reason,
    Let's shut our gates and sleep. Manhood and honour
    Should have hare hearts, would they but fat their thoughts
    With this cramm'd reason. Reason and respect
    Make livers pale and lustihood deject.
  HECTOR. Brother, she is not worth what she doth, cost
    The keeping.
  TROILUS. What's aught but as 'tis valued?
  HECTOR. But value dwells not in particular will:
    It holds his estimate and dignity
    As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
    As in the prizer. 'Tis mad idolatry
    To make the service greater than the god-I
    And the will dotes that is attributive
    To what infectiously itself affects,
    Without some image of th' affected merit.
  TROILUS. I take to-day a wife, and my election
    Is led on in the conduct of my will;
    My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
    Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
    Of will and judgment: how may I avoid,
    Although my will distaste what it elected,
    The wife I chose? There can be no evasion
    To blench from this and to stand firm by honour.
    We turn not back the silks upon the merchant
    When we have soil'd them; nor the remainder viands
    We do not throw in unrespective sieve,
    Because we now are full. It was thought meet
    Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks;
    Your breath with full consent benied his sails;
    The seas and winds, old wranglers, took a truce,
    And did him service. He touch'd the ports desir'd;
    And for an old aunt whom the Greeks held captive
    He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and freshness
    Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes stale the morning.
    Why keep we her? The Grecians keep our aunt.
    Is she worth keeping? Why, she is a pearl
    Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
    And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.
    If you'll avouch 'twas wisdom Paris went-
    As you must needs, for you all cried 'Go, go'-
    If you'll confess he brought home worthy prize-
    As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands,
    And cried 'Inestimable!' -why do you now
    The issue of your proper wisdoms rate,
    And do a deed that never fortune did-
    Beggar the estimation which you priz'd
    Richer than sea and land? O theft most base,
    That we have stol'n what we do fear to keep!
    But thieves unworthy of a thing so stol'n
    That in their country did them that disgrace
    We fear to warrant in our native place!
  CASSANDRA. [Within] Cry, Troyans, cry.
  PRIAM. What noise, what shriek is this?
  TROILUS. 'Tis our mad sister; I do know her voice.
  CASSANDRA. [Within] Cry, Troyans.
  HECTOR. It is Cassandra.

Enter CASSANDRA, raving

  CASSANDRA. Cry, Troyans, cry. Lend me ten thousand eyes,
    And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
  HECTOR. Peace, sister, peace.
  CASSANDRA. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled eld,
    Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
    Add to my clamours. Let us pay betimes
    A moiety of that mass of moan to come.
    Cry, Troyans, cry. Practise your eyes with tears.
    Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilion stand;
    Our firebrand brother, Paris, burns us all.
    Cry, Troyans, cry, A Helen and a woe!
    Cry, cry. Troy burns, or else let Helen go.
  HECTOR. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high strains
    Of divination in our sister work
    Some touches of remorse, or is your blood
    So madly hot that no discourse of reason,
    Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,
    Can qualify the same?
  TROILUS. Why, brother Hector,
    We may not think the justness of each act
    Such and no other than event doth form it;
    Nor once deject the courage of our minds
    Because Cassandra's mad. Her brain-sick raptures
    Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel
    Which hath our several honours all engag'd
    To make it gracious. For my private part,
    I am no more touch'd than all Priam's sons;
    And Jove forbid there should be done amongst us
    Such things as might offend the weakest spleen
    To fight for and maintain.
  PARIS. Else might the world convince of levity
    As well my undertakings as your counsels;
    But I attest the gods, your full consent
    Gave wings to my propension, and cut of
    All fears attending on so dire a project.
    For what, alas, can these my single arms?
    What propugnation is in one man's valour
    To stand the push and enmity of those
    This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest,
    Were I alone to pass the difficulties,
    And had as ample power as I have will,
    Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done
    Nor faint in the pursuit.
  PRIAM. Paris, you speak
    Like one besotted on your sweet delights.
    You have the honey still, but these the gall;
    So to be valiant is no praise at all.
  PARIS. Sir, I propose not merely to myself
    The pleasures such a beauty brings with it;
    But I would have the soil of her fair rape
    Wip'd off in honourable keeping her.
    What treason were it to the ransack'd queen,
    Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me,
    Now to deliver her possession up
    On terms of base compulsion! Can it be
    That so degenerate a strain as this
    Should once set footing in your generous bosoms?
    There's not the meanest spirit on our party
    Without a heart to dare or sword to draw
    When Helen is defended; nor none so noble
    Whose life were ill bestow'd or death unfam'd
    Where Helen is the subject. Then, I say,
    Well may we fight for her whom we know well
    The world's large spaces cannot parallel.
  HECTOR. Paris and Troilus, you have both said well;
    And on the cause and question now in hand
    Have gloz'd, but superficially; not much
    Unlike young men, whom Aristode thought
    Unfit to hear moral philosophy.
    The reasons you allege do more conduce
    To the hot passion of distemp'red blood
    Than to make up a free determination
    'Twixt right and wrong; for pleasure and revenge
    Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
    Of any true decision. Nature craves
    All dues be rend'red to their owners. Now,
    What nearer debt in all humanity
    Than wife is to the husband? If this law
    Of nature be corrupted through affection;
    And that great minds, of partial indulgence
    To their benumbed wills, resist the same;
    There is a law in each well-order'd nation
    To curb those raging appetites that are
    Most disobedient and refractory.
    If Helen, then, be wife to Sparta's king-
    As it is known she is-these moral laws
    Of nature and of nations speak aloud
    To have her back return'd. Thus to persist
    In doing wrong extenuates not wrong,
    But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion
    Is this, in way of truth. Yet, ne'er the less,
    My spritely brethren, I propend to you
    In resolution to keep Helen still;
    For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependence
    Upon our joint and several dignities.
  TROILUS. Why, there you touch'd the life of our design.
    Were it not glory that we more affected
    Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
    I would not wish a drop of Troyan blood
    Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
    She is a theme of honour and renown,
    A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds,
    Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
    And fame in time to come canonize us;
    For I presume brave Hector would not lose
    So rich advantage of a promis'd glory
    As smiles upon the forehead of this action
    For the wide world's revenue.
  HECTOR. I am yours,
    You valiant offspring of great Priamus.
    I have a roisting challenge sent amongst
    The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks
    Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits.
    I was advertis'd their great general slept,
    Whilst emulation in the army crept.
    This, I presume, will wake him.

ACT II. SCENE 3. The Grecian camp. Before the tent of ACHILLES

Enter THERSITES, solus

THERSITES. How now, Thersites! What, lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? He beats me, and I rail at him. O worthy satisfaction! Would it were otherwise: that I could beat him, whilst he rail'd at me! 'Sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll see some issue of my spiteful execrations. Then there's Achilles, a rare engineer! If Troy be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget that thou art Jove, the king of gods, and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine craft of thy caduceus, if ye take not that little little less-than-little wit from them that they have! which short-arm'd ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider without drawing their massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or, rather, the Neapolitan bone-ache! for that, methinks, is the curse depending on those that war for a placket. I have said my prayers; and devil Envy say 'Amen.' What ho! my Lord Achilles!


  PATROCLUS. Who's there? Thersites! Good Thersites, come in and
  THERSITES. If I could 'a rememb'red a gilt counterfeit, thou
    wouldst not have slipp'd out of my contemplation; but it is no
    matter; thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankind, folly
    and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! Heaven bless thee from
    a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy
    direction till thy death. Then if she that lays thee out says
    thou art a fair corse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't she never
    shrouded any but lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles?
  PATROCLUS. What, art thou devout? Wast thou in prayer?
  THERSITES. Ay, the heavens hear me!


  ACHILLES. Who's there?
  PATROCLUS. Thersites, my lord.
  ACHILLES. Where, where? O, where? Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my
    digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my table so
    many meals? Come, what's Agamemnon?
  THERSITES. Thy commander, Achilles. Then tell me, Patroclus, what's
  PATROCLUS. Thy lord, Thersites. Then tell me, I pray thee, what's
  THERSITES. Thy knower, Patroclus. Then tell me, Patroclus, what art
  PATROCLUS. Thou must tell that knowest.
  ACHILLES. O, tell, tell,
  THERSITES. I'll decline the whole question. Agamemnon commands
    Achilles; Achilles is my lord; I am Patroclus' knower; and
    Patroclus is a fool.
  PATROCLUS. You rascal!
  THERSITES. Peace, fool! I have not done.
  ACHILLES. He is a privileg'd man. Proceed, Thersites.
  THERSITES. Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a
    fool; and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool.
  ACHILLES. Derive this; come.
  THERSITES. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles;
    Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon; Thersites is a
    fool to serve such a fool; and this Patroclus is a fool positive.
  PATROCLUS. Why am I a fool?
  THERSITES. Make that demand of the Creator. It suffices me thou
    art. Look you, who comes here?
  ACHILLES. Come, Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody. Come in with me,
  THERSITES. Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such knavery.
    All the argument is a whore and a cuckold-a good quarrel to draw
    emulous factions and bleed to death upon. Now the dry serpigo on
    the subject, and war and lechery confound all!

                   AJAX, and CALCHAS

  AGAMEMNON. Where is Achilles?
  PATROCLUS. Within his tent; but ill-dispos'd, my lord.
  AGAMEMNON. Let it be known to him that we are here.
    He shent our messengers; and we lay by
    Our appertainings, visiting of him.
    Let him be told so; lest, perchance, he think
    We dare not move the question of our place
    Or know not what we are.
  PATROCLUS. I shall say so to him.
  ULYSSES. We saw him at the opening of his tent.
    He is not sick.
  AJAX. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart. You may call it
    melancholy, if you will favour the man; but, by my head, 'tis
    pride. But why, why? Let him show us a cause. A word, my lord.
                               [Takes AGAMEMNON aside]
  NESTOR. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?
  ULYSSES. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.
  NESTOR.Who, Thersites?
  NESTOR. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument
  ULYSSES. No; you see he is his argument that has his argument-
  NESTOR. All the better; their fraction is more our wish than their
    faction. But it was a strong composure a fool could disunite!
  ULYSSES. The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie.


    Here comes Patroclus.
  NESTOR. No Achilles with him.
  ULYSSES. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy; his legs
    are legs for necessity, not for flexure.
  PATROCLUS. Achilles bids me say he is much sorry
    If any thing more than your sport and pleasure
    Did move your greatness and this noble state
    To call upon him; he hopes it is no other
    But for your health and your digestion sake,
    An after-dinner's breath.
  AGAMEMNON. Hear you, Patroclus.
    We are too well acquainted with these answers;
    But his evasion, wing'd thus swift with scorn,
    Cannot outfly our apprehensions.
    Much attribute he hath, and much the reason
    Why we ascribe it to him. Yet all his virtues,
    Not virtuously on his own part beheld,
    Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss;
    Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
    Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him
    We come to speak with him; and you shall not sin
    If you do say we think him over-proud
    And under-honest, in self-assumption greater
    Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than himself
    Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on,
    Disguise the holy strength of their command,
    And underwrite in an observing kind
    His humorous predominance; yea, watch
    His pettish lunes, his ebbs, his flows, as if
    The passage and whole carriage of this action
    Rode on his tide. Go tell him this, and ad
    That if he overhold his price so much
    We'll none of him, but let him, like an engine
    Not portable, lie under this report:
    Bring action hither; this cannot go to war.
    A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
    Before a sleeping giant. Tell him so.
  PATROCLUS. I shall, and bring his answer presently.
  AGAMEMNON. In second voice we'll not be satisfied;
    We come to speak with him. Ulysses, enter you.
                                      Exit ULYSSES
  AJAX. What is he more than another?
  AGAMEMNON. No more than what he thinks he is.
  AJAX. Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself a better
    man than I am?
  AGAMEMNON. No question.
  AJAX. Will you subscribe his thought and say he is?
  AGAMEMNON. No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant, as wise,
    no less noble, much more gentle, and altogether more tractable.
  AJAX. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? I know not
    what pride is.
  AGAMEMNON. Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the
    fairer. He that is proud eats up himself. Pride is his own glass,
    his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself
    but in the deed devours the deed in the praise.

Re-enter ULYSSES

  AJAX. I do hate a proud man as I do hate the engend'ring of toads.
  NESTOR. [Aside] And yet he loves himself: is't not strange?
  ULYSSES. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.
  AGAMEMNON. What's his excuse?
  ULYSSES. He doth rely on none;
    But carries on the stream of his dispose,
    Without observance or respect of any,
    In will peculiar and in self-admission.
  AGAMEMNON. Why will he not, upon our fair request,
    Untent his person and share the air with us?
  ULYSSES. Things small as nothing, for request's sake only,
    He makes important; possess'd he is with greatness,
    And speaks not to himself but with a pride
    That quarrels at self-breath. Imagin'd worth
    Holds in his blood such swol'n and hot discourse
    That 'twixt his mental and his active parts
    Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages,
    And batters down himself. What should I say?
    He is so plaguy proud that the death tokens of it
    Cry 'No recovery.'
  AGAMEMNON. Let Ajax go to him.
    Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent.
    'Tis said he holds you well; and will be led
    At your request a little from himself.
  ULYSSES. O Agamemnon, let it not be so!
    We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
    When they go from Achilles. Shall the proud lord
    That bastes his arrogance with his own seam
    And never suffers matter of the world
    Enter his thoughts, save such as doth revolve
    And ruminate himself-shall he be worshipp'd
    Of that we hold an idol more than he?
    No, this thrice-worthy and right valiant lord
    Shall not so stale his palm, nobly acquir'd,
    Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit,
    As amply titled as Achilles is,
    By going to Achilles.
    That were to enlard his fat-already pride,
    And add more coals to Cancer when he burns
    With entertaining great Hyperion.
    This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid,
    And say in thunder 'Achilles go to him.'
  NESTOR. [Aside] O, this is well! He rubs the vein of him.
  DIOMEDES. [Aside] And how his silence drinks up this applause!
  AJAX. If I go to him, with my armed fist I'll pash him o'er the
  AGAMEMNON. O, no, you shall not go.
  AJAX. An 'a be proud with me I'll pheeze his pride.
    Let me go to him.
  ULYSSES. Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.
  AJAX. A paltry, insolent fellow!
  NESTOR. [Aside] How he describes himself!
  AJAX. Can he not be sociable?
  ULYSSES. [Aside] The raven chides blackness.
  AJAX. I'll let his humours blood.
  AGAMEMNON. [Aside] He will be the physician that should be the
  AJAX. An all men were a my mind-
  ULYSSES. [Aside] Wit would be out of fashion.
  AJAX. 'A should not bear it so, 'a should eat's words first.
    Shall pride carry it?
  NESTOR. [Aside] An 'twould, you'd carry half.
  ULYSSES. [Aside] 'A would have ten shares.
  AJAX. I will knead him, I'll make him supple.
  NESTOR. [Aside] He's not yet through warm. Force him with praises;
    pour in, pour in; his ambition is dry.
  ULYSSES. [To AGAMEMNON] My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.
  NESTOR. Our noble general, do not do so.
  DIOMEDES. You must prepare to fight without Achilles.
  ULYSSES. Why 'tis this naming of him does him harm.
    Here is a man-but 'tis before his face;
    I will be silent.
  NESTOR. Wherefore should you so?
    He is not emulous, as Achilles is.
  ULYSSES. Know the whole world, he is as valiant.
  AJAX. A whoreson dog, that shall palter with us thus!
    Would he were a Troyan!
  NESTOR. What a vice were it in Ajax now-
  ULYSSES. If he were proud.
  DIOMEDES. Or covetous of praise.
  ULYSSES. Ay, or surly borne.
  DIOMEDES. Or strange, or self-affected.
  ULYSSES. Thank the heavens, lord, thou art of sweet composure
    Praise him that gat thee, she that gave thee suck;
    Fam'd be thy tutor, and thy parts of nature
    Thrice-fam'd beyond, beyond all erudition;
    But he that disciplin'd thine arms to fight-
    Let Mars divide eternity in twain
    And give him half; and, for thy vigour,
    Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield
    To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom,
    Which, like a bourn, a pale, a shore, confines
    Thy spacious and dilated parts. Here's Nestor,
    Instructed by the antiquary times-
    He must, he is, he cannot but be wise;
    But pardon, father Nestor, were your days
    As green as Ajax' and your brain so temper'd,
    You should not have the eminence of him,
    But be as Ajax.
  AJAX. Shall I call you father?
  NESTOR. Ay, my good son.
  DIOMEDES. Be rul'd by him, Lord Ajax.
  ULYSSES. There is no tarrying here; the hart Achilles
    Keeps thicket. Please it our great general
    To call together all his state of war;
    Fresh kings are come to Troy. To-morrow
    We must with all our main of power stand fast;
    And here's a lord-come knights from east to west
    And cull their flower, Ajax shall cope the best.
  AGAMEMNON. Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep.
    Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep.


ACT III. SCENE 1. Troy. PRIAM'S palace

Music sounds within. Enter PANDARUS and a SERVANT

  PANDARUS. Friend, you-pray you, a word. Do you not follow the young
    Lord Paris?
  SERVANT. Ay, sir, when he goes before me.
  PANDARUS. You depend upon him, I mean?
  SERVANT. Sir, I do depend upon the lord.
  PANDARUS. You depend upon a notable gentleman; I must needs praise
  SERVANT. The lord be praised!
  PANDARUS. You know me, do you not?
  SERVANT. Faith, sir, superficially.
  PANDARUS. Friend, know me better: I am the Lord Pandarus.
  SERVANT. I hope I shall know your honour better.
  PANDARUS. I do desire it.
  SERVANT. You are in the state of grace.
  PANDARUS. Grace! Not so, friend; honour and lordship are my titles.
    What music is this?
  SERVANT. I do but partly know, sir; it is music in parts.
  PANDARUS. Know you the musicians?
  SERVANT. Wholly, sir.
  PANDARUS. Who play they to?
  SERVANT. To the hearers, sir.
  PANDARUS. At whose pleasure, friend?
  SERVANT. At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.
  PANDARUS. Command, I mean, friend.
  SERVANT. Who shall I command, sir?
  PANDARUS. Friend, we understand not one another: I am too courtly,
    and thou art too cunning. At whose request do these men play?
  SERVANT. That's to't, indeed, sir. Marry, sir, at the request of
    Paris my lord, who is there in person; with him the mortal Venus,
    the heart-blood of beauty, love's invisible soul-
  PANDARUS. Who, my cousin, Cressida?
  SERVANT. No, sir, Helen. Could not you find out that by her
  PANDARUS. It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the Lady
    Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the Prince Troilus; I
    will make a complimental assault upon him, for my business
  SERVANT. Sodden business! There's a stew'd phrase indeed!

Enter PARIS and HELEN, attended

  PANDARUS. Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair company!
    Fair desires, in all fair measure, fairly guide them-especially
    to you, fair queen! Fair thoughts be your fair pillow.
  HELEN. Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
  PANDARUS. You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. Fair prince,
    here is good broken music.
  PARIS. You have broke it, cousin; and by my life, you shall make it
    whole again; you shall piece it out with a piece of your
  HELEN. He is full of harmony.
  PANDARUS. Truly, lady, no.
  HELEN. O, sir-
  PANDARUS. Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.
  PARIS. Well said, my lord. Well, you say so in fits.
  PANDARUS. I have business to my lord, dear queen. My lord, will you
    vouchsafe me a word?
  HELEN. Nay, this shall not hedge us out. We'll hear you sing,
  PANDARUS. Well sweet queen, you are pleasant with me. But, marry,
    thus, my lord: my dear lord and most esteemed friend, your
    brother Troilus-
  HELEN. My Lord Pandarus, honey-sweet lord-
  PANDARUS. Go to, sweet queen, go to-commends himself most
    affectionately to you-
  HELEN. You shall not bob us out of our melody. If you do, our
    melancholy upon your head!
  PANDARUS. Sweet queen, sweet queen; that's a sweet queen, i' faith.
  HELEN. And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.
  PANDARUS. Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall it not,
    in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no, no. -And, my
    lord, he desires you that, if the King call for him at supper,
    you will make his excuse.
  HELEN. My Lord Pandarus!
  PANDARUS. What says my sweet queen, my very very sweet queen?
  PARIS. What exploit's in hand? Where sups he to-night?
  HELEN. Nay, but, my lord-
  PANDARUS. What says my sweet queen?-My cousin will fall out with
  HELEN. You must not know where he sups.
  PARIS. I'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.
  PANDARUS. No, no, no such matter; you are wide. Come, your disposer
    is sick.
  PARIS. Well, I'll make's excuse.
  PANDARUS. Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida?
    No, your poor disposer's sick.
  PARIS. I spy.
  PANDARUS. You spy! What do you spy?-Come, give me an instrument.
    Now, sweet queen.
  HELEN. Why, this is kindly done.
  PANDARUS. My niece is horribly in love with a thing you have, sweet
  HELEN. She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my Lord Paris.
  PANDARUS. He! No, she'll none of him; they two are twain.
  HELEN. Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.
  PANDARUS. Come, come. I'll hear no more of this; I'll sing you a
    song now.
  HELEN. Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a
    fine forehead.
  PANDARUS. Ay, you may, you may.
  HELEN. Let thy song be love. This love will undo us all. O Cupid,
    Cupid, Cupid!
  PANDARUS. Love! Ay, that it shall, i' faith.
  PARIS. Ay, good now, love, love, nothing but love.
  PANDARUS. In good troth, it begins so.

    Love, love, nothing but love, still love, still more!
           For, oh, love's bow
           Shoots buck and doe;
           The shaft confounds
           Not that it wounds,
    But tickles still the sore.
    These lovers cry, O ho, they die!
       Yet that which seems the wound to kill
    Doth turn O ho! to ha! ha! he!
       So dying love lives still.
    O ho! a while, but ha! ha! ha!
    O ho! groans out for ha! ha! ha!-hey ho!

  HELEN. In love, i' faith, to the very tip of the nose.
  PARIS. He eats nothing but doves, love; and that breeds hot blood,
    and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot thoughts beget hot
    deeds, and hot deeds is love.
  PANDARUS. Is this the generation of love: hot blood, hot thoughts,
    and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers. Is love a generation of
    vipers? Sweet lord, who's a-field today?
  PARIS. Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the gallantry
    of Troy. I would fain have arm'd to-day, but my Nell would not
    have it so. How chance my brother Troilus went not?
  HELEN. He hangs the lip at something. You know all, Lord Pandarus.
  PANDARUS. Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they spend
    to-day. You'll remember your brother's excuse?
  PARIS. To a hair.
  PANDARUS. Farewell, sweet queen.
  HELEN. Commend me to your niece.
  PANDARUS. I will, sweet queen. Exit. Sound a retreat
  PARIS. They're come from the field. Let us to Priam's hall
    To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you
    To help unarm our Hector. His stubborn buckles,
    With these your white enchanting fingers touch'd,
    Shall more obey than to the edge of steel
    Or force of Greekish sinews; you shall do more
    Than all the island kings-disarm great Hector.
  HELEN. 'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris;
    Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
    Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
    Yea, overshines ourself.
  PARIS. Sweet, above thought I love thee.

ACT III. SCENE 2. Troy. PANDARUS' orchard

Enter PANDARUS and TROILUS' BOY, meeting

  PANDARUS. How now! Where's thy master? At my cousin Cressida's?
  BOY. No, sir; he stays for you to conduct him thither.


  PANDARUS. O, here he comes. How now, how now!
  TROILUS. Sirrah, walk off. Exit Boy
  PANDARUS. Have you seen my cousin?
  TROILUS. No, Pandarus. I stalk about her door
    Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
    Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,
    And give me swift transportance to these fields
    Where I may wallow in the lily beds
    Propos'd for the deserver! O gentle Pandar,
    From Cupid's shoulder pluck his painted wings,
    And fly with me to Cressid!
  PANDARUS. Walk here i' th' orchard, I'll bring her straight.
  TROILUS. I am giddy; expectation whirls me round.
    Th' imaginary relish is so sweet
    That it enchants my sense; what will it be
    When that the wat'ry palate tastes indeed
    Love's thrice-repured nectar? Death, I fear me;
    Swooning destruction; or some joy too fine,
    Too subtle-potent, tun'd too sharp in sweetness,
    For the capacity of my ruder powers.
    I fear it much; and I do fear besides
    That I shall lose distinction in my joys;
    As doth a battle, when they charge on heaps
    The enemy flying.


  PANDARUS. She's making her ready, she'll come straight; you must be
    witty now. She does so blush, and fetches her wind so short, as
    if she were fray'd with a sprite. I'll fetch her. It is the
    prettiest villain; she fetches her breath as short as a new-ta'en
  TROILUS. Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom.
    My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse,
    And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
    Like vassalage at unawares encount'ring
    The eye of majesty.


  PANDARUS. Come, come, what need you blush? Shame's a baby.-Here she
    is now; swear the oaths now to her that you have sworn to me.-
    What, are you gone again? You must be watch'd ere you be made
    tame, must you? Come your ways, come your ways; an you draw
    backward, we'll put you i' th' fills.-Why do you not speak to
    her?-Come, draw this curtain and let's see your picture.
    Alas the day, how loath you are to offend daylight! An 'twere
    dark, you'd close sooner. So, so; rub on, and kiss the mistress
    How now, a kiss in fee-farm! Build there, carpenter; the air is
    sweet. Nay, you shall fight your hearts out ere I part you. The
    falcon as the tercel, for all the ducks i' th' river. Go to, go
  TROILUS. You have bereft me of all words, lady.
  PANDARUS. Words pay no debts, give her deeds; but she'll bereave
    you o' th' deeds too, if she call your activity in question.
    What, billing again? Here's 'In witness whereof the parties
    interchangeably.' Come in, come in; I'll go get a fire.
  CRESSIDA. Will you walk in, my lord?
  TROILUS. O Cressid, how often have I wish'd me thus!
  CRESSIDA. Wish'd, my lord! The gods grant-O my lord!
  TROILUS. What should they grant? What makes this pretty abruption?
    What too curious dreg espies my sweet lady in the fountain of our
  CRESSIDA. More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.
  TROILUS. Fears make devils of cherubims; they never see truly.
  CRESSIDA. Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds safer footing
    than blind reason stumbling without fear. To fear the worst oft
    cures the worse.
  TROILUS. O, let my lady apprehend no fear! In all Cupid's pageant
    there is presented no monster.
  CRESSIDA. Nor nothing monstrous neither?
  TROILUS. Nothing, but our undertakings when we vow to weep seas,
    live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers; thinking it harder for our
    mistress to devise imposition enough than for us to undergo any
    difficulty imposed. This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that
    the will is infinite, and the execution confin'd; that the desire
    is boundless, and the act a slave to limit.
  CRESSIDA. They say all lovers swear more performance than they are
    able, and yet reserve an ability that they never perform; vowing
    more than the perfection of ten, and discharging less than the
    tenth part of one. They that have the voice of lions and the act
    of hares, are they not monsters?
  TROILUS. Are there such? Such are not we. Praise us as we are
    tasted, allow us as we prove; our head shall go bare till merit
    crown it. No perfection in reversion shall have a praise in
    present. We will not name desert before his birth; and, being
    born, his addition shall be humble. Few words to fair faith:
    Troilus shall be such to Cressid as what envy can say worst shall
    be a mock for his truth; and what truth can speak truest not
    truer than Troilus.
  CRESSIDA. Will you walk in, my lord?


  PANDARUS. What, blushing still? Have you not done talking yet?
  CRESSIDA. Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to you.
  PANDARUS. I thank you for that; if my lord get a boy of you, you'll
    give him me. Be true to my lord; if he flinch, chide me for it.
  TROILUS. You know now your hostages: your uncle's word and my firm
  PANDARUS. Nay, I'll give my word for her too: our kindred, though
    they be long ere they are wooed, they are constant being won;
    they are burs, I can tell you; they'll stick where they are
  CRESSIDA. Boldness comes to me now and brings me heart.
    Prince Troilus, I have lov'd you night and day
    For many weary months.
  TROILUS. Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?
  CRESSIDA. Hard to seem won; but I was won, my lord,
    With the first glance that ever-pardon me.
    If I confess much, you will play the tyrant.
    I love you now; but till now not so much
    But I might master it. In faith, I lie;
    My thoughts were like unbridled children, grown
    Too headstrong for their mother. See, we fools!
    Why have I blabb'd? Who shall be true to us,
    When we are so unsecret to ourselves?
    But, though I lov'd you well, I woo'd you not;
    And yet, good faith, I wish'd myself a man,
    Or that we women had men's privilege
    Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
    For in this rapture I shall surely speak
    The thing I shall repent. See, see, your silence,
    Cunning in dumbness, from my weakness draws
    My very soul of counsel. Stop my mouth.
  TROILUS. And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
  PANDARUS. Pretty, i' faith.
  CRESSIDA. My lord, I do beseech you, pardon me;
    'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kiss.
    I am asham'd. O heavens! what have I done?
    For this time will I take my leave, my lord.
  TROILUS. Your leave, sweet Cressid!
  PANDARUS. Leave! An you take leave till to-morrow morning-
  CRESSIDA. Pray you, content you.
  TROILUS. What offends you, lady?
  CRESSIDA. Sir, mine own company.
  TROILUS. You cannot shun yourself.
  CRESSIDA. Let me go and try.
    I have a kind of self resides with you;
    But an unkind self, that itself will leave
    To be another's fool. I would be gone.
    Where is my wit? I know not what I speak.
  TROILUS. Well know they what they speak that speak so wisely.
  CRESSIDA. Perchance, my lord, I show more craft than love;
    And fell so roundly to a large confession
    To angle for your thoughts; but you are wise-
    Or else you love not; for to be wise and love
    Exceeds man's might; that dwells with gods above.
  TROILUS. O that I thought it could be in a woman-
    As, if it can, I will presume in you-
    To feed for aye her lamp and flames of love;
    To keep her constancy in plight and youth,
    Outliving beauty's outward, with a mind
    That doth renew swifter than blood decays!
    Or that persuasion could but thus convince me
    That my integrity and truth to you
    Might be affronted with the match and weight
    Of such a winnowed purity in love.
    How were I then uplifted! but, alas,
    I am as true as truth's simplicity,
    And simpler than the infancy of truth.
  CRESSIDA. In that I'll war with you.
  TROILUS. O virtuous fight,
    When right with right wars who shall be most right!
    True swains in love shall in the world to come
    Approve their truth by Troilus, when their rhymes,
    Full of protest, of oath, and big compare,
    Want similes, truth tir'd with iteration-
    As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
    As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
    As iron to adamant, as earth to th' centre-
    Yet, after all comparisons of truth,
    As truth's authentic author to be cited,
    'As true as Troilus' shall crown up the verse
    And sanctify the numbers.
  CRESSIDA. Prophet may you be!
    If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth,
    When time is old and hath forgot itself,
    When waterdrops have worn the stones of Troy,
    And blind oblivion swallow'd cities up,
    And mighty states characterless are grated
    To dusty nothing-yet let memory
    From false to false, among false maids in love,
    Upbraid my falsehood when th' have said 'As false
    As air, as water, wind, or sandy earth,
    As fox to lamb, or wolf to heifer's calf,
    Pard to the hind, or stepdame to her son'-
    Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
    'As false as Cressid.'
  PANDARUS. Go to, a bargain made; seal it, seal it; I'll be the
    witness. Here I hold your hand; here my cousin's. If ever you
    prove false one to another, since I have taken such pains to
    bring you together, let all pitiful goers-between be call'd to
    the world's end after my name-call them all Pandars; let all
    constant men be Troiluses, all false women Cressids, and all
    brokers between Pandars. Say 'Amen.'
  TROILUS. Amen.
  PANDARUS. Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber
    and a bed; which bed, because it shall not speak of your
    pretty encounters, press it to death. Away!
    And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here,
    Bed, chamber, pander, to provide this gear!

ACT III. SCENE 3. The Greek camp


  CALCHAS. Now, Princes, for the service I have done,
    Th' advantage of the time prompts me aloud
    To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind
    That, through the sight I bear in things to come,
    I have abandon'd Troy, left my possession,
    Incurr'd a traitor's name, expos'd myself
    From certain and possess'd conveniences
    To doubtful fortunes, sequest'ring from me all
    That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition,
    Made tame and most familiar to my nature;
    And here, to do you service, am become
    As new into the world, strange, unacquainted-
    I do beseech you, as in way of taste,
    To give me now a little benefit
    Out of those many regist'red in promise,
    Which you say live to come in my behalf.
  AGAMEMNON. What wouldst thou of us, Troyan? Make demand.
  CALCHAS. You have a Troyan prisoner call'd Antenor,
    Yesterday took; Troy holds him very dear.
    Oft have you-often have you thanks therefore-
    Desir'd my Cressid in right great exchange,
    Whom Troy hath still denied; but this Antenor,
    I know, is such a wrest in their affairs
    That their negotiations all must slack
    Wanting his manage; and they will almost
    Give us a prince of blood, a son of Priam,
    In change of him. Let him be sent, great Princes,
    And he shall buy my daughter; and her presence
    Shall quite strike off all service I have done
    In most accepted pain.
  AGAMEMNON. Let Diomedes bear him,
    And bring us Cressid hither. Calchas shall have
    What he requests of us. Good Diomed,
    Furnish you fairly for this interchange;
    Withal, bring word if Hector will to-morrow
    Be answer'd in his challenge. Ajax is ready.
  DIOMEDES. This shall I undertake; and 'tis a burden
    Which I am proud to bear.
                                  Exeunt DIOMEDES and CALCHAS

ACHILLES and PATROCLUS stand in their tent

  ULYSSES. Achilles stands i' th' entrance of his tent.
    Please it our general pass strangely by him,
    As if he were forgot; and, Princes all,
    Lay negligent and loose regard upon him.
    I will come last. 'Tis like he'll question me
    Why such unplausive eyes are bent, why turn'd on him?
    If so, I have derision med'cinable
    To use between your strangeness and his pride,
    Which his own will shall have desire to drink.
    It may do good. Pride hath no other glass
    To show itself but pride; for supple knees
    Feed arrogance and are the proud man's fees.
  AGAMEMNON. We'll execute your purpose, and put on
    A form of strangeness as we pass along.
    So do each lord; and either greet him not,
    Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more
    Than if not look'd on. I will lead the way.
  ACHILLES. What comes the general to speak with me?
    You know my mind. I'll fight no more 'gainst Troy.
  AGAMEMNON. What says Achilles? Would he aught with us?
  NESTOR. Would you, my lord, aught with the general?
  NESTOR. Nothing, my lord.
  AGAMEMNON. The better.
                                  Exeunt AGAMEMNON and NESTOR
  ACHILLES. Good day, good day.
  MENELAUS. How do you? How do you?
  ACHILLES. What, does the cuckold scorn me?
  AJAX. How now, Patroclus?
  ACHILLES. Good morrow, Ajax.
  AJAX. Ha?
  ACHILLES. Good morrow.
  AJAX. Ay, and good next day too.
  ACHILLES. What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?
  PATROCLUS. They pass by strangely. They were us'd to bend,
    To send their smiles before them to Achilles,
    To come as humbly as they us'd to creep
    To holy altars.
  ACHILLES. What, am I poor of late?
    'Tis certain, greatness, once fall'n out with fortune,
    Must fall out with men too. What the declin'd is,
    He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
    As feel in his own fall; for men, like butterflies,
    Show not their mealy wings but to the summer;
    And not a man for being simply man
    Hath any honour, but honour for those honours
    That are without him, as place, riches, and favour,
    Prizes of accident, as oft as merit;
    Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
    The love that lean'd on them as slippery too,
    Doth one pluck down another, and together
    Die in the fall. But 'tis not so with me:
    Fortune and I are friends; I do enjoy
    At ample point all that I did possess
    Save these men's looks; who do, methinks, find out
    Something not worth in me such rich beholding
    As they have often given. Here is Ulysses.
    I'll interrupt his reading.
    How now, Ulysses!
  ULYSSES. Now, great Thetis' son!
  ACHILLES. What are you reading?
  ULYSSES. A strange fellow here
    Writes me that man-how dearly ever parted,
    How much in having, or without or in-
    Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
    Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
    As when his virtues shining upon others
    Heat them, and they retort that heat again
    To the first giver.
  ACHILLES. This is not strange, Ulysses.
    The beauty that is borne here in the face
    The bearer knows not, but commends itself
    To others' eyes; nor doth the eye itself-
    That most pure spirit of sense-behold itself,
    Not going from itself; but eye to eye opposed
    Salutes each other with each other's form;
    For speculation turns not to itself
    Till it hath travell'd, and is mirror'd there
    Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.
  ULYSSES. I do not strain at the position-
    It is familiar-but at the author's drift;
    Who, in his circumstance, expressly proves
    That no man is the lord of anything,
    Though in and of him there be much consisting,
    Till he communicate his parts to others;
    Nor doth he of himself know them for aught
    Till he behold them formed in th' applause
    Where th' are extended; who, like an arch, reverb'rate
    The voice again; or, like a gate of steel
    Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
    His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this;
    And apprehended here immediately
    Th' unknown Ajax. Heavens, what a man is there!
    A very horse that has he knows not what!
    Nature, what things there are
    Most abject in regard and dear in use!
    What things again most dear in the esteem
    And poor in worth! Now shall we see to-morrow-
    An act that very chance doth throw upon him-
    Ajax renown'd. O heavens, what some men do,
    While some men leave to do!
    How some men creep in skittish Fortune's-hall,
    Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
    How one man eats into another's pride,
    While pride is fasting in his wantonness!
    To see these Grecian lords!-why, even already
    They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder,
    As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
    And great Troy shrinking.
  ACHILLES. I do believe it; for they pass'd by me
    As misers do by beggars-neither gave to me
    Good word nor look. What, are my deeds forgot?
  ULYSSES. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
    Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
    A great-siz'd monster of ingratitudes.
    Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devour'd
    As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
    As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
    Keeps honour bright. To have done is to hang
    Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
    In monumental mock'ry. Take the instant way;
    For honour travels in a strait so narrow -
    Where one but goes abreast. Keep then the path,
    For emulation hath a thousand sons
    That one by one pursue; if you give way,
    Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
    Like to an ent'red tide they all rush by
    And leave you hindmost;
    Or, like a gallant horse fall'n in first rank,
    Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
    O'er-run and trampled on. Then what they do in present,
    Though less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours;
    For Time is like a fashionable host,
    That slightly shakes his parting guest by th' hand;
    And with his arms out-stretch'd, as he would fly,
    Grasps in the corner. The welcome ever smiles,
    And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not virtue seek
    Remuneration for the thing it was;
    For beauty, wit,
    High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
    Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
    To envious and calumniating Time.
    One touch of nature makes the whole world kin-
    That all with one consent praise new-born gawds,
    Though they are made and moulded of things past,
    And give to dust that is a little gilt
    More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.
    The present eye praises the present object.
    Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
    That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax,
    Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
    Than what stirs not. The cry went once on thee,
    And still it might, and yet it may again,
    If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive
    And case thy reputation in thy tent,
    Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
    Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselves,
    And drave great Mars to faction.
  ACHILLES. Of this my privacy
    I have strong reasons.
  ULYSSES. But 'gainst your privacy
    The reasons are more potent and heroical.
    'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
    With one of Priam's daughters.
  ACHILLES. Ha! known!
  ULYSSES. Is that a wonder?
    The providence that's in a watchful state
    Knows almost every grain of Plutus' gold;
    Finds bottom in th' uncomprehensive deeps;
    Keeps place with thought, and almost, like the gods,
    Do thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
    There is a mystery-with whom relation
    Durst never meddle-in the soul of state,
    Which hath an operation more divine
    Than breath or pen can give expressure to.
    All the commerce that you have had with Troy
    As perfectly is ours as yours, my lord;
    And better would it fit Achilles much
    To throw down Hector than Polyxena.
    But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
    When fame shall in our island sound her trump,
    And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing
    'Great Hector's sister did Achilles win;
    But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.'
    Farewell, my lord. I as your lover speak.
    The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.
  PATROCLUS. To this effect, Achilles, have I mov'd you.
    A woman impudent and mannish grown
    Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man
    In time of action. I stand condemn'd for this;
    They think my little stomach to the war
    And your great love to me restrains you thus.
    Sweet, rouse yourself; and the weak wanton Cupid
    Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
    And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane,
    Be shook to airy air.
  ACHILLES. Shall Ajax fight with Hector?
  PATROCLUS. Ay, and perhaps receive much honour by him.
  ACHILLES. I see my reputation is at stake;
    My fame is shrewdly gor'd.
  PATROCLUS. O, then, beware:
    Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves;
    Omission to do what is necessary
    Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
    And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
    Even then when they sit idly in the sun.
  ACHILLES. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus.
    I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him
    T' invite the Troyan lords, after the combat,
    To see us here unarm'd. I have a woman's longing,
    An appetite that I am sick withal,
    To see great Hector in his weeds of peace;
    To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
    Even to my full of view.


    A labour sav'd!
  THERSITES. A wonder!
  THERSITES. Ajax goes up and down the field asking for himself.
  ACHILLES. How so?
  THERSITES. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector, and is so
    prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling that he raves in
    saying nothing.
  ACHILLES. How can that be?
  THERSITES. Why, 'a stalks up and down like a peacock-a stride and a
    stand; ruminaies like an hostess that hath no arithmetic but her
    brain to set down her reckoning, bites his lip with a politic
    regard, as who should say 'There were wit in this head, an
    'twould out'; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as
    fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man's
    undone for ever; for if Hector break not his neck i' th' combat,
    he'll break't himself in vainglory. He knows not me. I said 'Good
    morrow, Ajax'; and he replies 'Thanks, Agamemnon.' What think you
    of this man that takes me for the general? He's grown a very land
    fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! A man may
    wear it on both sides, like leather jerkin.
  ACHILLES. Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites.
  THERSITES. Who, I? Why, he'll answer nobody; he professes not
    answering. Speaking is for beggars: he wears his tongue in's
    arms. I will put on his presence. Let Patroclus make his demands
    to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax.
  ACHILLES. To him, Patroclus. Tell him I humbly desire the valiant
    Ajax to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarm'd to my
    tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person of the
    magnanimous and most illustrious six-or-seven-times-honour'd
    Captain General of the Grecian army, et cetera, Agamemnon. Do
  PATROCLUS. Jove bless great Ajax!
  PATROCLUS. I come from the worthy Achilles-
  PATROCLUS. Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his
  PATROCLUS. And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon.
  THERSITES. Agamemnon!
  PATROCLUS. Ay, my lord.
  PATROCLUS. What you say to't?
  THERSITES. God buy you, with all my heart.
  PATROCLUS. Your answer, sir.
  THERSITES. If to-morrow be a fair day, by eleven of the clock it
    will go one way or other. Howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he
    has me.
  PATROCLUS. Your answer, sir.
  THERSITES. Fare ye well, with all my heart.
  ACHILLES. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?
  THERSITES. No, but he's out a tune thus. What music will be in him
    when Hector has knock'd out his brains I know not; but, I am sure,
    none; unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings
  ACHILLES. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.
  THERSITES. Let me carry another to his horse; for that's the more
    capable creature.
  ACHILLES. My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirr'd;
    And I myself see not the bottom of it.
                               Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS
  THERSITES. Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I
    might water an ass at it. I had rather be a tick in a sheep than
    such a valiant ignorance.


ACT IV. SCENE 1. Troy. A street

Enter, at one side, AENEAS, and servant with a torch; at another, PARIS, DEIPHOBUS, ANTENOR, DIOMEDES the Grecian, and others, with torches

  PARIS. See, ho! Who is that there?
  DEIPHOBUS. It is the Lord Aeneas.
  AENEAS. Is the Prince there in person?
    Had I so good occasion to lie long
    As you, Prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business
    Should rob my bed-mate of my company.
  DIOMEDES. That's my mind too. Good morrow, Lord Aeneas.
  PARIS. A valiant Greek, Aeneas -take his hand:
    Witness the process of your speech, wherein
    You told how Diomed, a whole week by days,
    Did haunt you in the field.
  AENEAS. Health to you, valiant sir,
    During all question of the gentle truce;
    But when I meet you arm'd, as black defiance
    As heart can think or courage execute.
  DIOMEDES. The one and other Diomed embraces.
    Our bloods are now in calm; and so long health!
    But when contention and occasion meet,
    By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life
    With all my force, pursuit, and policy.
  AENEAS. And thou shalt hunt a lion, that will fly
    With his face backward. In humane gentleness,
    Welcome to Troy! now, by Anchises' life,
    Welcome indeed! By Venus' hand I swear
    No man alive can love in such a sort
    The thing he means to kill, more excellently.
  DIOMEDES. We sympathise. Jove let Aeneas live,
    If to my sword his fate be not the glory,
    A thousand complete courses of the sun!
    But in mine emulous honour let him die
    With every joint a wound, and that to-morrow!
  AENEAS. We know each other well.
  DIOMEDES.We do; and long to know each other worse.
  PARIS. This is the most despiteful'st gentle greeting
    The noblest hateful love, that e'er I heard of.
    What business, lord, so early?
  AENEAS. I was sent for to the King; but why, I know not.
  PARIS. His purpose meets you: 'twas to bring this Greek
    To Calchas' house, and there to render him,
    For the enfreed Antenor, the fair Cressid.
    Let's have your company; or, if you please,
    Haste there before us. I constantly believe-
    Or rather call my thought a certain knowledge-
    My brother Troilus lodges there to-night.
    Rouse him and give him note of our approach,
    With the whole quality wherefore; I fear
    We shall be much unwelcome.
  AENEAS. That I assure you:
    Troilus had rather Troy were borne to Greece
    Than Cressid borne from Troy.
  PARIS. There is no help;
    The bitter disposition of the time
    Will have it so. On, lord; we'll follow you.
  AENEAS. Good morrow, all. Exit with servant
  PARIS. And tell me, noble Diomed-faith, tell me true,
    Even in the soul of sound good-fellowship-
    Who in your thoughts deserves fair Helen best,
    Myself or Menelaus?
  DIOMEDES. Both alike:
    He merits well to have her that doth seek her,
    Not making any scruple of her soilure,
    With such a hell of pain and world of charge;
    And you as well to keep her that defend her,
    Not palating the taste of her dishonour,
    With such a costly loss of wealth and friends.
    He like a puling cuckold would drink up
    The lees and dregs of a flat tamed piece;
    You, like a lecher, out of whorish loins
    Are pleas'd to breed out your inheritors.
    Both merits pois'd, each weighs nor less nor more;
    But he as he, the heavier for a whore.
  PARIS. You are too bitter to your country-woman.
  DIOMEDES. She's bitter to her country. Hear me, Paris:
    For every false drop in her bawdy veins
    A Grecian's life hath sunk; for every scruple
    Of her contaminated carrion weight
    A Troyan hath been slain; since she could speak,
    She hath not given so many good words breath
    As for her Greeks and Troyans suff'red death.
  PARIS. Fair Diomed, you do as chapmen do,
    Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy;
    But we in silence hold this virtue well:
    We'll not commend what we intend to sell.
    Here lies our way.

ACT IV. SCENE 2. Troy. The court of PANDARUS' house


  TROILUS. Dear, trouble not yourself; the morn is cold.
  CRESSIDA. Then, sweet my lord, I'll call mine uncle down;
    He shall unbolt the gates.
  TROILUS. Trouble him not;
    To bed, to bed! Sleep kill those pretty eyes,
    And give as soft attachment to thy senses
    As infants' empty of all thought!
  CRESSIDA. Good morrow, then.
  TROILUS. I prithee now, to bed.
  CRESSIDA. Are you aweary of me?
  TROILUS. O Cressida! but that the busy day,
    Wak'd by the lark, hath rous'd the ribald crows,
    And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer,
    I would not from thee.
  CRESSIDA. Night hath been too brief.
  TROILUS. Beshrew the witch! with venomous wights she stays
    As tediously as hell, but flies the grasps of love
    With wings more momentary-swift than thought.
    You will catch cold, and curse me.
  CRESSIDA. Prithee tarry.
    You men will never tarry.
    O foolish Cressid! I might have still held off,
    And then you would have tarried. Hark! there's one up.
  PANDARUS. [Within] What's all the doors open here?
  TROILUS. It is your uncle.


  CRESSIDA. A pestilence on him! Now will he be mocking.
    I shall have such a life!
  PANDARUS. How now, how now! How go maidenheads?
    Here, you maid! Where's my cousin Cressid?
  CRESSIDA. Go hang yourself, you naughty mocking uncle.
    You bring me to do, and then you flout me too.
  PANDARUS. To do what? to do what? Let her say what.
    What have I brought you to do?
  CRESSIDA. Come, come, beshrew your heart! You'll ne'er be good,
    Nor suffer others.
  PANDARUS. Ha, ha! Alas, poor wretch! a poor capocchia! hast not
    slept to-night? Would he not, a naughty man, let it sleep? A
    bugbear take him!
  CRESSIDA. Did not I tell you? Would he were knock'd i' th' head!
                                           [One knocks]
    Who's that at door? Good uncle, go and see.
    My lord, come you again into my chamber.
    You smile and mock me, as if I meant naughtily.
  TROILUS. Ha! ha!
  CRESSIDA. Come, you are deceiv'd, I think of no such thing.
    How earnestly they knock! Pray you come in:
    I would not for half Troy have you seen here.
                                          Exeunt TROILUS and
  PANDARUS. Who's there? What's the matter? Will you beat down the
    door? How now? What's the matter?

                          Enter AENEAS
  AENEAS. Good morrow, lord, good morrow.
  PANDARUS. Who's there? My lord Aeneas? By my troth,
    I knew you not. What news with you so early?
  AENEAS. Is not Prince Troilus here?
  PANDARUS. Here! What should he do here?
  AENEAS. Come, he is here, my lord; do not deny him.
    It doth import him much to speak with me.
  PANDARUS. Is he here, say you? It's more than I know, I'll be
    sworn. For my own part, I came in late. What should he do here?
  AENEAS. Who!-nay, then. Come, come, you'll do him wrong ere you are
    ware; you'll be so true to him to be false to him. Do not you
    know of him, but yet go fetch him hither; go.

Re-enter TROILUS

  TROILUS. How now! What's the matter?
  AENEAS. My lord, I scarce have leisure to salute you,
    My matter is so rash. There is at hand
    Paris your brother, and Deiphobus,
    The Grecian Diomed, and our Antenor
    Deliver'd to us; and for him forthwith,
    Ere the first sacrifice, within this hour,
    We must give up to Diomedes' hand
    The Lady Cressida.
  TROILUS. Is it so concluded?
  AENEAS. By Priam, and the general state of Troy.
    They are at hand and ready to effect it.
  TROILUS. How my achievements mock me!
    I will go meet them; and, my lord Aeneas,
    We met by chance; you did not find me here.
  AENEAS. Good, good, my lord, the secrets of neighbour Pandar
    Have not more gift in taciturnity.
                             Exeunt TROILUS and AENEAS
  PANDARUS. Is't possible? No sooner got but lost? The devil take
    Antenor! The young prince will go mad. A plague upon Antenor! I
    would they had broke's neck.


  CRESSIDA. How now! What's the matter? Who was here?
  PANDARUS. Ah, ah!
  CRESSIDA. Why sigh you so profoundly? Where's my lord? Gone? Tell
    me, sweet uncle, what's the matter?
  PANDARUS. Would I were as deep under the earth as I am above!
  CRESSIDA. O the gods! What's the matter?
  PANDARUS. Pray thee, get thee in. Would thou hadst ne'er been born!
    I knew thou wouldst be his death! O, poor gentleman! A plague
    upon Antenor!
  CRESSIDA. Good uncle, I beseech you, on my knees I beseech you,
    what's the matter?
  PANDARUS. Thou must be gone, wench, thou must be gone; thou art
    chang'd for Antenor; thou must to thy father, and be gone from
    Troilus. 'Twill be his death; 'twill be his bane; he cannot bear
  CRESSIDA. O you immortal gods! I will not go.
  PANDARUS. Thou must.
  CRESSIDA. I will not, uncle. I have forgot my father;
    I know no touch of consanguinity,
    No kin, no love, no blood, no soul so near me
    As the sweet Troilus. O you gods divine,
    Make Cressid's name the very crown of falsehood,
    If ever she leave Troilus! Time, force, and death,
    Do to this body what extremes you can,
    But the strong base and building of my love
    Is as the very centre of the earth,
    Drawing all things to it. I'll go in and weep-
  PANDARUS. Do, do.
  CRESSIDA. Tear my bright hair, and scratch my praised cheeks,
    Crack my clear voice with sobs and break my heart,
    With sounding 'Troilus.' I will not go from Troy.

ACT IV. SCENE 3. Troy. A street before PANDARUS' house


  PARIS. It is great morning; and the hour prefix'd
    For her delivery to this valiant Greek
    Comes fast upon. Good my brother Troilus,
    Tell you the lady what she is to do
    And haste her to the purpose.
  TROILUS. Walk into her house.
    I'll bring her to the Grecian presently;
    And to his hand when I deliver her,
    Think it an altar, and thy brother Troilus
    A priest, there off'ring to it his own heart.
  PARIS. I know what 'tis to love,
    And would, as I shall pity, I could help!
    Please you walk in, my lords.

ACT IV. SCENE 4. Troy. PANDARUS' house


  PANDARUS. Be moderate, be moderate.
  CRESSIDA. Why tell you me of moderation?
    The grief is fine, full, perfect, that I taste,
    And violenteth in a sense as strong
    As that which causeth it. How can I moderate it?
    If I could temporize with my affections
    Or brew it to a weak and colder palate,
    The like allayment could I give my grief.
    My love admits no qualifying dross;
    No more my grief, in such a precious loss.


  PANDARUS. Here, here, here he comes. Ah, sweet ducks!
  CRESSIDA. O Troilus! Troilus! [Embracing him]
  PANDARUS. What a pair of spectacles is here! Let me embrace too. 'O
    heart,' as the goodly saying is,
           O heart, heavy heart,
           Why sigh'st thou without breaking?
    where he answers again
         Because thou canst not ease thy smart
         By friendship nor by speaking.
    There was never a truer rhyme. Let us cast away nothing, for we
    may live to have need of such a verse. We see it, we see it. How
    now, lambs!
  TROILUS. Cressid, I love thee in so strain'd a purity
    That the bless'd gods, as angry with my fancy,
    More bright in zeal than the devotion which
    Cold lips blow to their deities, take thee from me.
  CRESSIDA. Have the gods envy?
  PANDARUS. Ay, ay, ay; 'tis too plain a case.
  CRESSIDA. And is it true that I must go from Troy?
  TROILUS. A hateful truth.
  CRESSIDA. What, and from Troilus too?
  TROILUS. From Troy and Troilus.
  CRESSIDA. Is't possible?
  TROILUS. And suddenly; where injury of chance
    Puts back leave-taking, justles roughly by
    All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips
    Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents
    Our lock'd embrasures, strangles our dear vows
    Even in the birth of our own labouring breath.
    We two, that with so many thousand sighs
    Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves
    With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
    Injurious time now with a robber's haste
    Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how.
    As many farewells as be stars in heaven,
    With distinct breath and consign'd kisses to them,
    He fumbles up into a loose adieu,
    And scants us with a single famish'd kiss,
    Distasted with the salt of broken tears.
  AENEAS. [Within] My lord, is the lady ready?
  TROILUS. Hark! you are call'd. Some say the Genius so
    Cries 'Come' to him that instantly must die.
    Bid them have patience; she shall come anon.
  PANDARUS. Where are my tears? Rain, to lay this wind, or my heart
    will be blown up by th' root?
  CRESSIDA. I must then to the Grecians?
  TROILUS. No remedy.
  CRESSIDA. A woeful Cressid 'mongst the merry Greeks!
    When shall we see again?
  TROILUS. Hear me, my love. Be thou but true of heart-
  CRESSIDA. I true! how now! What wicked deem is this?
  TROILUS. Nay, we must use expostulation kindly,
    For it is parting from us.
    I speak not 'Be thou true' as fearing thee,
    For I will throw my glove to Death himself
    That there's no maculation in thy heart;
    But 'Be thou true' say I to fashion in
    My sequent protestation: be thou true,
    And I will see thee.
  CRESSIDA. O, you shall be expos'd, my lord, to dangers
    As infinite as imminent! But I'll be true.
  TROILUS. And I'll grow friend with danger. Wear this sleeve.
  CRESSIDA. And you this glove. When shall I see you?
  TROILUS. I will corrupt the Grecian sentinels
    To give thee nightly visitation.
    But yet be true.
  CRESSIDA. O heavens! 'Be true' again!
  TROILUS. Hear why I speak it, love.
    The Grecian youths are full of quality;
    They're loving, well compos'd with gifts of nature,
    And flowing o'er with arts and exercise.
    How novelties may move, and parts with person,
    Alas, a kind of godly jealousy,
    Which I beseech you call a virtuous sin,
    Makes me afeard.
  CRESSIDA. O heavens! you love me not.
  TROILUS. Die I a villain, then!
    In this I do not call your faith in question
    So mainly as my merit. I cannot sing,
    Nor heel the high lavolt, nor sweeten talk,
    Nor play at subtle games-fair virtues all,
    To which the Grecians are most prompt and pregnant;
    But I can tell that in each grace of these
    There lurks a still and dumb-discoursive devil
    That tempts most cunningly. But be not tempted.
  CRESSIDA. Do you think I will?
    But something may be done that we will not;
    And sometimes we are devils to ourselves,
    When we will tempt the frailty of our powers,
    Presuming on their changeful potency.
  AENEAS. [Within] Nay, good my lord!
  TROILUS. Come, kiss; and let us part.
  PARIS. [Within] Brother Troilus!
  TROILUS. Good brother, come you hither;
    And bring Aeneas and the Grecian with you.
  CRESSIDA. My lord, will you be true?
  TROILUS. Who, I? Alas, it is my vice, my fault!
    Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion,
    I with great truth catch mere simplicity;
    Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
    With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.


    Fear not my truth: the moral of my wit
    Is 'plain and true'; there's all the reach of it.
    Welcome, Sir Diomed! Here is the lady
    Which for Antenor we deliver you;
    At the port, lord, I'll give her to thy hand,
    And by the way possess thee what she is.
    Entreat her fair; and, by my soul, fair Greek,
    If e'er thou stand at mercy of my sword,
    Name Cressid, and thy life shall be as safe
    As Priam is in Ilion.
  DIOMEDES. Fair Lady Cressid,
    So please you, save the thanks this prince expects.
    The lustre in your eye, heaven in your cheek,
    Pleads your fair usage; and to Diomed
    You shall be mistress, and command him wholly.
  TROILUS. Grecian, thou dost not use me courteously
    To shame the zeal of my petition to the
    In praising her. I tell thee, lord of Greece,
    She is as far high-soaring o'er thy praises
    As thou unworthy to be call'd her servant.
    I charge thee use her well, even for my charge;
    For, by the dreadful Pluto, if thou dost not,
    Though the great bulk Achilles be thy guard,
    I'll cut thy throat.
  DIOMEDES. O, be not mov'd, Prince Troilus.
    Let me be privileg'd by my place and message
    To be a speaker free: when I am hence
    I'll answer to my lust. And know you, lord,
    I'll nothing do on charge: to her own worth
    She shall be priz'd. But that you say 'Be't so,'
    I speak it in my spirit and honour, 'No.'
  TROILUS. Come, to the port. I'll tell thee, Diomed,
    This brave shall oft make thee to hide thy head.
    Lady, give me your hand; and, as we walk,
    To our own selves bend we our needful talk.
               Exeunt TROILUS, CRESSIDA, and DIOMEDES
                                [Sound trumpet]
  PARIS. Hark! Hector's trumpet.
  AENEAS. How have we spent this morning!
    The Prince must think me tardy and remiss,
    That swore to ride before him to the field.
  PARIS. 'Tis Troilus' fault. Come, come to field with him.
  DEIPHOBUS. Let us make ready straight.
  AENEAS. Yea, with a bridegroom's fresh alacrity
    Let us address to tend on Hector's heels.
    The glory of our Troy doth this day lie
    On his fair worth and single chivalry.

ACT IV. SCENE 5. The Grecian camp. Lists set out

ULYSSES, NESTOR, and others

  AGAMEMNON. Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair,
    Anticipating time with starting courage.
    Give with thy trumpet a loud note to Troy,
    Thou dreadful Ajax, that the appalled air
    May pierce the head of the great combatant,
    And hale him hither.
  AJAX. Thou, trumpet, there's my purse.
    Now crack thy lungs and split thy brazen pipe;
    Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek
    Out-swell the colic of puff Aquilon'd.
    Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood:
    Thou blowest for Hector. [Trumpet sounds]
  ULYSSES. No trumpet answers.
  ACHILLES. 'Tis but early days.


  AGAMEMNON. Is not yond Diomed, with Calchas' daughter?
  ULYSSES. 'Tis he, I ken the manner of his gait:
    He rises on the toe. That spirit of his
    In aspiration lifts him from the earth.
  AGAMEMNON. Is this the lady Cressid?
  DIOMEDES. Even she.
  AGAMEMNON. Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet lady.
  NESTOR. Our general doth salute you with a kiss.
  ULYSSES. Yet is the kindness but particular;
    'Twere better she were kiss'd in general.
  NESTOR. And very courtly counsel: I'll begin.
    So much for Nestor.
  ACHILLES. I'll take that winter from your lips, fair lady.
    Achilles bids you welcome.
  MENELAUS. I had good argument for kissing once.
  PATROCLUS. But that's no argument for kissing now;
    For thus popp'd Paris in his hardiment,
    And parted thus you and your argument.
  ULYSSES. O deadly gall, and theme of all our scorns!
    For which we lose our heads to gild his horns.
  PATROCLUS. The first was Menelaus' kiss; this, mine-
                                    [Kisses her again]
    Patroclus kisses you.
  MENELAUS. O, this is trim!
  PATROCLUS. Paris and I kiss evermore for him.
  MENELAUS. I'll have my kiss, sir. Lady, by your leave.
  CRESSIDA. In kissing, do you render or receive?
  PATROCLUS. Both take and give.
  CRESSIDA. I'll make my match to live,
    The kiss you take is better than you give;
    Therefore no kiss.
  MENELAUS. I'll give you boot; I'll give you three for one.
  CRESSIDA. You are an odd man; give even or give none.
  MENELAUS. An odd man, lady? Every man is odd.
  CRESSIDA. No, Paris is not; for you know 'tis true
    That you are odd, and he is even with you.
  MENELAUS. You fillip me o' th' head.
  CRESSIDA. No, I'll be sworn.
  ULYSSES. It were no match, your nail against his horn.
    May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?
  CRESSIDA. You may.
  ULYSSES. I do desire it.
  CRESSIDA. Why, beg then.
  ULYSSES. Why then, for Venus' sake give me a kiss
    When Helen is a maid again, and his.
  CRESSIDA. I am your debtor; claim it when 'tis due.
  ULYSSES. Never's my day, and then a kiss of you.
  DIOMEDES. Lady, a word. I'll bring you to your father.
                                      Exit with CRESSIDA
  NESTOR. A woman of quick sense.
  ULYSSES. Fie, fie upon her!
    There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,
    Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
    At every joint and motive of her body.
    O these encounters so glib of tongue
    That give a coasting welcome ere it comes,
    And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts
    To every ticklish reader! Set them down
    For sluttish spoils of opportunity,
    And daughters of the game. [Trumpet within]
  ALL. The Troyans' trumpet.

                 and other Trojans, with attendants

  AGAMEMNON. Yonder comes the troop.
  AENEAS. Hail, all the state of Greece! What shall be done
    To him that victory commands? Or do you purpose
    A victor shall be known? Will you the knights
    Shall to the edge of all extremity
    Pursue each other, or shall they be divided
    By any voice or order of the field?
    Hector bade ask.
  AGAMEMNON. Which way would Hector have it?
  AENEAS. He cares not; he'll obey conditions.
  ACHILLES. 'Tis done like Hector; but securely done,
    A little proudly, and great deal misprizing
    The knight oppos'd.
  AENEAS. If not Achilles, sir,
    What is your name?
  ACHILLES. If not Achilles, nothing.
  AENEAS. Therefore Achilles. But whate'er, know this:
    In the extremity of great and little
    Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector;
    The one almost as infinite as all,
    The other blank as nothing. Weigh him well,
    And that which looks like pride is courtesy.
    This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood;
    In love whereof half Hector stays at home;
    Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek
    This blended knight, half Troyan and half Greek.
  ACHILLES. A maiden battle then? O, I perceive you!


  AGAMEMNON. Here is Sir Diomed. Go, gentle knight,
    Stand by our Ajax. As you and Lord AEneas
    Consent upon the order of their fight,
    So be it; either to the uttermost,
    Or else a breath. The combatants being kin
    Half stints their strife before their strokes begin.
                        [AJAX and HECTOR enter the lists]
  ULYSSES. They are oppos'd already.
  AGAMEMNON. What Troyan is that same that looks so heavy?
  ULYSSES. The youngest son of Priam, a true knight;
    Not yet mature, yet matchless; firm of word;
    Speaking in deeds and deedless in his tongue;
    Not soon provok'd, nor being provok'd soon calm'd;
    His heart and hand both open and both free;
    For what he has he gives, what thinks he shows,
    Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty,
    Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath;
    Manly as Hector, but more dangerous;
    For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
    To tender objects, but he in heat of action
    Is more vindicative than jealous love.
    They call him Troilus, and on him erect
    A second hope as fairly built as Hector.
    Thus says Aeneas, one that knows the youth
    Even to his inches, and, with private soul,
    Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me.
                          [Alarum. HECTOR and AJAX fight]
  AGAMEMNON. They are in action.
  NESTOR. Now, Ajax, hold thine own!
  TROILUS. Hector, thou sleep'st;
    Awake thee.
  AGAMEMNON. His blows are well dispos'd. There, Ajax!
                                   [Trumpets cease]
  DIOMEDES. You must no more.
  AENEAS. Princes, enough, so please you.
  AJAX. I am not warm yet; let us fight again.
  DIOMEDES. As Hector pleases.
  HECTOR. Why, then will I no more.
    Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son,
    A cousin-german to great Priam's seed;
    The obligation of our blood forbids
    A gory emulation 'twixt us twain:
    Were thy commixtion Greek and Troyan so
    That thou could'st say 'This hand is Grecian all,
    And this is Troyan; the sinews of this leg
    All Greek, and this all Troy; my mother's blood
    Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
    Bounds in my father's'; by Jove multipotent,
    Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member
    Wherein my sword had not impressure made
    Of our rank feud; but the just gods gainsay
    That any drop thou borrow'dst from thy mother,
    My sacred aunt, should by my mortal sword
    Be drained! Let me embrace thee, Ajax.
    By him that thunders, thou hast lusty arms;
    Hector would have them fall upon him thus.
    Cousin, all honour to thee!
  AJAX. I thank thee, Hector.
    Thou art too gentle and too free a man.
    I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence
    A great addition earned in thy death.
  HECTOR. Not Neoptolemus so mirable,
    On whose bright crest Fame with her loud'st Oyes
    Cries 'This is he' could promise to himself
    A thought of added honour torn from Hector.
  AENEAS. There is expectance here from both the sides
    What further you will do.
  HECTOR. We'll answer it:
    The issue is embracement. Ajax, farewell.
  AJAX. If I might in entreaties find success,
    As seld I have the chance, I would desire
    My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.
  DIOMEDES. 'Tis Agamemnon's wish; and great Achilles
    Doth long to see unarm'd the valiant Hector.
  HECTOR. Aeneas, call my brother Troilus to me,
    And signify this loving interview
    To the expecters of our Troyan part;
    Desire them home. Give me thy hand, my cousin;
    I will go eat with thee, and see your knights.

AGAMEMNON and the rest of the Greeks come forward

  AJAX. Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.
  HECTOR. The worthiest of them tell me name by name;
    But for Achilles, my own searching eyes
    Shall find him by his large and portly size.
  AGAMEMNON.Worthy all arms! as welcome as to one
    That would be rid of such an enemy.
    But that's no welcome. Understand more clear,
    What's past and what's to come is strew'd with husks
    And formless ruin of oblivion;
    But in this extant moment, faith and troth,
    Strain'd purely from all hollow bias-drawing,
    Bids thee with most divine integrity,
    From heart of very heart, great Hector, welcome.
  HECTOR. I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.
  AGAMEMNON. [To Troilus] My well-fam'd lord of Troy, no less to you.
  MENELAUS. Let me confirm my princely brother's greeting.
    You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.
  HECTOR. Who must we answer?
  AENEAS. The noble Menelaus.
  HECTOR. O you, my lord? By Mars his gauntlet, thanks!
    Mock not that I affect the untraded oath;
    Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove.
    She's well, but bade me not commend her to you.
  MENELAUS. Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly theme.
  HECTOR. O, pardon; I offend.
  NESTOR. I have, thou gallant Troyan, seen thee oft,
    Labouring for destiny, make cruel way
    Through ranks of Greekish youth; and I have seen thee,
    As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed,
    Despising many forfeits and subduements,
    When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i' th' air,
    Not letting it decline on the declined;
    That I have said to some my standers-by
    'Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life!'
    And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath,
    When that a ring of Greeks have hemm'd thee in,
    Like an Olympian wrestling. This have I seen;
    But this thy countenance, still lock'd in steel,
    I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire,
    And once fought with him. He was a soldier good,
    But, by great Mars, the captain of us all,
    Never like thee. O, let an old man embrace thee;
    And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.
  AENEAS. 'Tis the old Nestor.
  HECTOR. Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle,
    That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time.
    Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.
  NESTOR. I would my arms could match thee in contention
    As they contend with thee in courtesy.
  HECTOR. I would they could.
    By this white beard, I'd fight with thee to-morrow.
    Well, welcome, welcome! I have seen the time.
  ULYSSES. I wonder now how yonder city stands,
    When we have here her base and pillar by us.
  HECTOR. I know your favour, Lord Ulysses, well.
    Ah, sir, there's many a Greek and Troyan dead,
    Since first I saw yourself and Diomed
    In Ilion on your Greekish embassy.
  ULYSSES. Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue.
    My prophecy is but half his journey yet;
    For yonder walls, that pertly front your town,
    Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
    Must kiss their own feet.
  HECTOR. I must not believe you.
    There they stand yet; and modestly I think
    The fall of every Phrygian stone will cost
    A drop of Grecian blood. The end crowns all;
    And that old common arbitrator, Time,
    Will one day end it.
  ULYSSES. So to him we leave it.
    Most gentle and most valiant Hector, welcome.
    After the General, I beseech you next
    To feast with me and see me at my tent.
  ACHILLES. I shall forestall thee, Lord Ulysses, thou!
    Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;
    I have with exact view perus'd thee, Hector,
    And quoted joint by joint.
  HECTOR. Is this Achilles?
  ACHILLES. I am Achilles.
  HECTOR. Stand fair, I pray thee; let me look on thee.
  ACHILLES. Behold thy fill.
  HECTOR. Nay, I have done already.
  ACHILLES. Thou art too brief. I will the second time,
    As I would buy thee, view thee limb by limb.
  HECTOR. O, like a book of sport thou'lt read me o'er;
    But there's more in me than thou understand'st.
    Why dost thou so oppress me with thine eye?
  ACHILLES. Tell me, you heavens, in which part of his body
    Shall I destroy him? Whether there, or there, or there?
    That I may give the local wound a name,
    And make distinct the very breach whereout
    Hector's great spirit flew. Answer me, heavens.
  HECTOR. It would discredit the blest gods, proud man,
    To answer such a question. Stand again.
    Think'st thou to catch my life so pleasantly
    As to prenominate in nice conjecture
    Where thou wilt hit me dead?
  ACHILLES. I tell thee yea.
  HECTOR. Wert thou an oracle to tell me so,
    I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well;
    For I'll not kill thee there, nor there, nor there;
    But, by the forge that stithied Mars his helm,
    I'll kill thee everywhere, yea, o'er and o'er.
    You wisest Grecians, pardon me this brag.
    His insolence draws folly from my lips;
    But I'll endeavour deeds to match these words,
    Or may I never-
  AJAX. Do not chafe thee, cousin;
    And you, Achilles, let these threats alone
    Till accident or purpose bring you to't.
    You may have every day enough of Hector,
    If you have stomach. The general state, I fear,
    Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him.
  HECTOR. I pray you let us see you in the field;
    We have had pelting wars since you refus'd
    The Grecians' cause.
  ACHILLES. Dost thou entreat me, Hector?
    To-morrow do I meet thee, fell as death;
    To-night all friends.
  HECTOR. Thy hand upon that match.
  AGAMEMNON. First, all you peers of Greece, go to my tent;
    There in the full convive we; afterwards,
    As Hector's leisure and your bounties shall
    Concur together, severally entreat him.
    Beat loud the tambourines, let the trumpets blow,
    That this great soldier may his welcome know.
                    Exeunt all but TROILUS and ULYSSES
  TROILUS. My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you,
    In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?
  ULYSSES. At Menelaus' tent, most princely Troilus.
    There Diomed doth feast with him to-night,
    Who neither looks upon the heaven nor earth,
    But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view
    On the fair Cressid.
  TROILUS. Shall I, sweet lord, be bound to you so much,
    After we part from Agamemnon's tent,
    To bring me thither?
  ULYSSES. You shall command me, sir.
    As gentle tell me of what honour was
    This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there
    That wails her absence?
  TROILUS. O, sir, to such as boasting show their scars
    A mock is due. Will you walk on, my lord?
    She was belov'd, she lov'd; she is, and doth;
    But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.


ACT V. SCENE 1. The Grecian camp. Before the tent of ACHILLES


  ACHILLES. I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine to-night,
    Which with my scimitar I'll cool to-morrow.
    Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.
  PATROCLUS. Here comes Thersites.


  ACHILLES. How now, thou core of envy!
    Thou crusty batch of nature, what's the news?
  THERSITES. Why, thou picture of what thou seemest, and idol of
    idiot worshippers, here's a letter for thee.
  ACHILLES. From whence, fragment?
  THERSITES. Why, thou full dish of fool, from Troy.
  PATROCLUS. Who keeps the tent now?
  THERSITES. The surgeon's box or the patient's wound.
  PATROCLUS. Well said, Adversity! and what needs these tricks?
  THERSITES. Prithee, be silent, boy; I profit not by thy talk; thou
    art said to be Achilles' male varlet.
  PATROCLUS. Male varlet, you rogue! What's that?
  THERSITES. Why, his masculine whore. Now, the rotten diseases of
    the south, the guts-griping ruptures, catarrhs, loads o' gravel
    in the back, lethargies, cold palsies, raw eyes, dirt-rotten
    livers, wheezing lungs, bladders full of imposthume, sciaticas,
    limekilns i' th' palm, incurable bone-ache, and the rivelled fee-
    simple of the tetter, take and take again such preposterous
  PATROCLUS. Why, thou damnable box of envy, thou, what meanest thou
    to curse thus?
  THERSITES. Do I curse thee?
  PATROCLUS. Why, no, you ruinous butt; you whoreson
    indistinguishable cur, no.
  THERSITES. No! Why art thou, then, exasperate, thou idle immaterial
    skein of sleid silk, thou green sarcenet flap for a sore eye,
    thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the poor world is
    pest'red with such water-flies-diminutives of nature!
  PATROCLUS. Out, gall!
  THERSITES. Finch egg!
  ACHILLES. My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite
    From my great purpose in to-morrow's battle.
    Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba,
    A token from her daughter, my fair love,
    Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
    An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it.
    Fall Greeks; fail fame; honour or go or stay;
    My major vow lies here, this I'll obey.
    Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent;
    This night in banqueting must all be spent.
    Away, Patroclus! Exit with PATROCLUS
  THERSITES. With too much blood and too little brain these two may
    run mad; but, if with too much brain and to little blood they do,
    I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnon, an honest fellow
    enough, and one that loves quails, but he has not so much brain
    as ear-wax; and the goodly transformation of Jupiter there, his
    brother, the bull, the primitive statue and oblique memorial of
    cuckolds, a thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, hanging at his
    brother's leg-to what form but that he is, should wit larded with
    malice, and malice forced with wit, turn him to? To an ass, were
    nothing: he is both ass and ox. To an ox, were nothing: he is both
    ox and ass. To be a dog, a mule, a cat, a fitchew, a toad, a
    lizard, an owl, a put-tock, or a herring without a roe, I would
    not care; but to be Menelaus, I would conspire against destiny.
    Ask me not what I would be, if I were not Thersites; for I care
    not to be the louse of a lazar, so I were not Menelaus. Hey-day!
    sprites and fires!

            NESTOR, MENELAUS, and DIOMEDES, with lights

  AGAMEMNON. We go wrong, we go wrong.
  AJAX. No, yonder 'tis;
    There, where we see the lights.
  HECTOR. I trouble you.
  AJAX. No, not a whit.


  ULYSSES. Here comes himself to guide you.
  ACHILLES. Welcome, brave Hector; welcome, Princes all.
  AGAMEMNON. So now, fair Prince of Troy, I bid good night;
    Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.
  HECTOR. Thanks, and good night to the Greeks' general.
  MENELAUS. Good night, my lord.
  HECTOR. Good night, sweet Lord Menelaus.
  THERSITES. Sweet draught! 'Sweet' quoth 'a?
    Sweet sink, sweet sewer!
  ACHILLES. Good night and welcome, both at once, to those
    That go or tarry.
  AGAMEMNON. Good night.
                     Exeunt AGAMEMNON and MENELAUS
  ACHILLES. Old Nestor tarries; and you too, Diomed,
    Keep Hector company an hour or two.
  DIOMEDES. I cannot, lord; I have important business,
    The tide whereof is now. Good night, great Hector.
  HECTOR. Give me your hand.
  ULYSSES. [Aside to TROILUS] Follow his torch; he goes to
    Calchas' tent; I'll keep you company.
  TROILUS. Sweet sir, you honour me.
  HECTOR. And so, good night.
                 Exit DIOMEDES; ULYSSES and TROILUS following
  ACHILLES. Come, come, enter my tent.
                            Exeunt all but THERSITES
  THERSITES. That same Diomed's a false-hearted rogue, a most unjust
    knave; I will no more trust him when he leers than I will a
    serpent when he hisses. He will spend his mouth and promise, like
    Brabbler the hound; but when he performs, astronomers foretell
    it: it is prodigious, there will come some change; the sun
    borrows of the moon when Diomed keeps his word. I will rather
    leave to see Hector than not to dog him. They say he keeps a
    Troyan drab, and uses the traitor Calchas' tent. I'll after.
    Nothing but lechery! All incontinent varlets!

ACT V. SCENE 2. The Grecian camp. Before CALCHAS' tent


  DIOMEDES. What, are you up here, ho? Speak.
  CALCHAS. [Within] Who calls?
  DIOMEDES. Diomed. Calchas, I think. Where's your daughter?
  CALCHAS. [Within] She comes to you.

      Enter TROILUS and ULYSSES, at a distance; after them

ULYSSES. Stand where the torch may not discover us.


  TROILUS. Cressid comes forth to him.
  DIOMEDES. How now, my charge!
  CRESSIDA. Now, my sweet guardian! Hark, a word with you.
  TROILUS. Yea, so familiar!
  ULYSSES. She will sing any man at first sight.
  THERSITES. And any man may sing her, if he can take her cliff;
    she's noted.
  DIOMEDES. Will you remember?
  CRESSIDA. Remember? Yes.
  DIOMEDES. Nay, but do, then;
    And let your mind be coupled with your words.
  TROILUS. What shall she remember?
  ULYSSES. List!
  CRESSIDA. Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.
  THERSITES. Roguery!
  DIOMEDES. Nay, then-
  CRESSIDA. I'll tell you what-
  DIOMEDES. Fo, fo! come, tell a pin; you are a forsworn-
  CRESSIDA. In faith, I cannot. What would you have me do?
  THERSITES. A juggling trick, to be secretly open.
  DIOMEDES. What did you swear you would bestow on me?
  CRESSIDA. I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath;
    Bid me do anything but that, sweet Greek.
  DIOMEDES. Good night.
  TROILUS. Hold, patience!
  ULYSSES. How now, Troyan!
  CRESSIDA. Diomed!
  DIOMEDES. No, no, good night; I'll be your fool no more.
  TROILUS. Thy better must.
  CRESSIDA. Hark! a word in your ear.
  TROILUS. O plague and madness!
  ULYSSES. You are moved, Prince; let us depart, I pray,
    Lest your displeasure should enlarge itself
    To wrathful terms. This place is dangerous;
    The time right deadly; I beseech you, go.
  TROILUS. Behold, I pray you.
  ULYSSES. Nay, good my lord, go off;
    You flow to great distraction; come, my lord.
  TROILUS. I prithee stay.
  ULYSSES. You have not patience; come.
  TROILUS. I pray you, stay; by hell and all hell's torments,
    I will not speak a word.
  DIOMEDES. And so, good night.
  CRESSIDA. Nay, but you part in anger.
  TROILUS. Doth that grieve thee? O withered truth!
  ULYSSES. How now, my lord?
  TROILUS. By Jove, I will be patient.
  CRESSIDA. Guardian! Why, Greek!
  DIOMEDES. Fo, fo! adieu! you palter.
  CRESSIDA. In faith, I do not. Come hither once again.
  ULYSSES. You shake, my lord, at something; will you go?
    You will break out.
  TROILUS. She strokes his cheek.
  ULYSSES. Come, come.
  TROILUS. Nay, stay; by Jove, I will not speak a word:
    There is between my will and all offences
    A guard of patience. Stay a little while.
  THERSITES. How the devil luxury, with his fat rump and potato
    finger, tickles these together! Fry, lechery, fry!
  DIOMEDES. But will you, then?
  CRESSIDA. In faith, I will, lo; never trust me else.
  DIOMEDES. Give me some token for the surety of it.
  CRESSIDA. I'll fetch you one.
  ULYSSES. You have sworn patience.
  TROILUS. Fear me not, my lord;
    I will not be myself, nor have cognition
    Of what I feel. I am all patience.


  THERSITES. Now the pledge; now, now, now!
  CRESSIDA. Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve.
  TROILUS. O beauty! where is thy faith?
  ULYSSES. My lord!
  TROILUS. I will be patient; outwardly I will.
  CRESSIDA. You look upon that sleeve; behold it well.
    He lov'd me-O false wench!-Give't me again.
  DIOMEDES. Whose was't?
  CRESSIDA. It is no matter, now I ha't again.
    I will not meet with you to-morrow night.
    I prithee, Diomed, visit me no more.
  THERSITES. Now she sharpens. Well said, whetstone.
  DIOMEDES. I shall have it.
  CRESSIDA. What, this?
  DIOMEDES. Ay, that.
  CRESSIDA. O all you gods! O pretty, pretty pledge!
    Thy master now lies thinking on his bed
    Of thee and me, and sighs, and takes my glove,
    And gives memorial dainty kisses to it,
    As I kiss thee. Nay, do not snatch it from me;
    He that takes that doth take my heart withal.
  DIOMEDES. I had your heart before; this follows it.
  TROILUS. I did swear patience.
  CRESSIDA. You shall not have it, Diomed; faith, you shall not;
    I'll give you something else.
  DIOMEDES. I will have this. Whose was it?
  CRESSIDA. It is no matter.
  DIOMEDES. Come, tell me whose it was.
  CRESSIDA. 'Twas one's that lov'd me better than you will.
    But, now you have it, take it.
  DIOMEDES. Whose was it?
  CRESSIDA. By all Diana's waiting women yond,
    And by herself, I will not tell you whose.
  DIOMEDES. To-morrow will I wear it on my helm,
    And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it.
  TROILUS. Wert thou the devil and wor'st it on thy horn,
    It should be challeng'd.
  CRESSIDA. Well, well, 'tis done, 'tis past; and yet it is not;
    I will not keep my word.
  DIOMEDES. Why, then farewell;
    Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.
  CRESSIDA. You shall not go. One cannot speak a word
    But it straight starts you.
  DIOMEDES. I do not like this fooling.
  THERSITES. Nor I, by Pluto; but that that likes not you
    Pleases me best.
  DIOMEDES. What, shall I come? The hour-
  CRESSIDA. Ay, come-O Jove! Do come. I shall be plagu'd.
  DIOMEDES. Farewell till then.
  CRESSIDA. Good night. I prithee come. Exit DIOMEDES
    Troilus, farewell! One eye yet looks on thee;
    But with my heart the other eye doth see.
    Ah, poor our sex! this fault in us I find,
    The error of our eye directs our mind.
    What error leads must err; O, then conclude,
    Minds sway'd by eyes are full of turpitude.
  THERSITES. A proof of strength she could not publish more,
    Unless she said 'My mind is now turn'd whore.'
  ULYSSES. All's done, my lord.
  TROILUS. It is.
  ULYSSES. Why stay we, then?
  TROILUS. To make a recordation to my soul
    Of every syllable that here was spoke.
    But if I tell how these two did coact,
    Shall I not lie in publishing a truth?
    Sith yet there is a credence in my heart,
    An esperance so obstinately strong,
    That doth invert th' attest of eyes and ears;
    As if those organs had deceptious functions
    Created only to calumniate.
    Was Cressid here?
  ULYSSES. I cannot conjure, Troyan.
  TROILUS. She was not, sure.
  ULYSSES. Most sure she was.
  TROILUS. Why, my negation hath no taste of madness.
  ULYSSES. Nor mine, my lord. Cressid was here but now.
  TROILUS. Let it not be believ'd for womanhood.
    Think, we had mothers; do not give advantage
    To stubborn critics, apt, without a theme,
    For depravation, to square the general sex
    By Cressid's rule. Rather think this not Cressid.
  ULYSSES. What hath she done, Prince, that can soil our mothers?
  TROILUS. Nothing at all, unless that this were she.
  THERSITES. Will 'a swagger himself out on's own eyes?
  TROILUS. This she? No; this is Diomed's Cressida.
    If beauty have a soul, this is not she;
    If souls guide vows, if vows be sanctimonies,
    If sanctimony be the god's delight,
    If there be rule in unity itself,
    This was not she. O madness of discourse,
    That cause sets up with and against itself!
    Bifold authority! where reason can revolt
    Without perdition, and loss assume all reason
    Without revolt: this is, and is not, Cressid.
    Within my soul there doth conduce a fight
    Of this strange nature, that a thing inseparate
    Divides more wider than the sky and earth;
    And yet the spacious breadth of this division
    Admits no orifex for a point as subtle
    As Ariachne's broken woof to enter.
    Instance, O instance! strong as Pluto's gates:
    Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven.
    Instance, O instance! strong as heaven itself:
    The bonds of heaven are slipp'd, dissolv'd, and loos'd;
    And with another knot, five-finger-tied,
    The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
    The fragments, scraps, the bits, and greasy relics
    Of her o'er-eaten faith, are bound to Diomed.
  ULYSSES. May worthy Troilus be half-attach'd
    With that which here his passion doth express?
  TROILUS. Ay, Greek; and that shall be divulged well
    In characters as red as Mars his heart
    Inflam'd with Venus. Never did young man fancy
    With so eternal and so fix'd a soul.
    Hark, Greek: as much as I do Cressid love,
    So much by weight hate I her Diomed.
    That sleeve is mine that he'll bear on his helm;
    Were it a casque compos'd by Vulcan's skill
    My sword should bite it. Not the dreadful spout
    Which shipmen do the hurricano call,
    Constring'd in mass by the almighty sun,
    Shall dizzy with more clamour Neptune's ear
    In his descent than shall my prompted sword
    Falling on Diomed.
  THERSITES. He'll tickle it for his concupy.
  TROILUS. O Cressid! O false Cressid! false, false, false!
    Let all untruths stand by thy stained name,
    And they'll seem glorious.
  ULYSSES. O, contain yourself;
    Your passion draws ears hither.


  AENEAS. I have been seeking you this hour, my lord.
    Hector, by this, is arming him in Troy;
    Ajax, your guard, stays to conduct you home.
  TROILUS. Have with you, Prince. My courteous lord, adieu.
    Fairwell, revolted fair!-and, Diomed,
    Stand fast and wear a castle on thy head.
  ULYSSES. I'll bring you to the gates.
  TROILUS. Accept distracted thanks.


  THERSITES. Would I could meet that rogue Diomed! I would croak like
    a raven; I would bode, I would bode. Patroclus will give me
    anything for the intelligence of this whore; the parrot will not
    do more for an almond than he for a commodious drab. Lechery,
    lechery! Still wars and lechery! Nothing else holds fashion. A
    burning devil take them!

ACT V. SCENE 3. Troy. Before PRIAM'S palace


  ANDROMACHE. When was my lord so much ungently temper'd
    To stop his ears against admonishment?
    Unarm, unarm, and do not fight to-day.
  HECTOR. You train me to offend you; get you in.
    By all the everlasting gods, I'll go.
  ANDROMACHE. My dreams will, sure, prove ominous to the day.
  HECTOR. No more, I say.


  CASSANDRA. Where is my brother Hector?
  ANDROMACHE. Here, sister, arm'd, and bloody in intent.
    Consort with me in loud and dear petition,
    Pursue we him on knees; for I have dreamt
    Of bloody turbulence, and this whole night
    Hath nothing been but shapes and forms of slaughter.
  CASSANDRA. O, 'tis true!
  HECTOR. Ho! bid my trumpet sound.
  CASSANDRA. No notes of sally, for the heavens, sweet brother!
  HECTOR. Be gone, I say. The gods have heard me swear.
  CASSANDRA. The gods are deaf to hot and peevish vows;
    They are polluted off'rings, more abhorr'd
    Than spotted livers in the sacrifice.
  ANDROMACHE. O, be persuaded! Do not count it holy
    To hurt by being just. It is as lawful,
    For we would give much, to use violent thefts
    And rob in the behalf of charity.
  CASSANDRA. It is the purpose that makes strong the vow;
    But vows to every purpose must not hold.
    Unarm, sweet Hector.
  HECTOR. Hold you still, I say.
    Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate.
    Life every man holds dear; but the dear man
    Holds honour far more precious dear than life.


    How now, young man! Mean'st thou to fight to-day?
  ANDROMACHE. Cassandra, call my father to persuade.
                                 Exit CASSANDRA
  HECTOR. No, faith, young Troilus; doff thy harness, youth;
    I am to-day i' th' vein of chivalry.
    Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong,
    And tempt not yet the brushes of the war.
    Unarm thee, go; and doubt thou not, brave boy,
    I'll stand to-day for thee and me and Troy.
  TROILUS. Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you
    Which better fits a lion than a man.
  HECTOR. What vice is that, good Troilus?
    Chide me for it.
  TROILUS. When many times the captive Grecian falls,
    Even in the fan and wind of your fair sword,
    You bid them rise and live.
  HECTOR. O, 'tis fair play!
  TROILUS. Fool's play, by heaven, Hector.
  HECTOR. How now! how now!
  TROILUS. For th' love of all the gods,
    Let's leave the hermit Pity with our mother;
    And when we have our armours buckled on,
    The venom'd vengeance ride upon our swords,
    Spur them to ruthful work, rein them from ruth!
  HECTOR. Fie, savage, fie!
  TROILUS. Hector, then 'tis wars.
  HECTOR. Troilus, I would not have you fight to-day.
  TROILUS. Who should withhold me?
    Not fate, obedience, nor the hand of Mars
    Beck'ning with fiery truncheon my retire;
    Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees,
    Their eyes o'ergalled with recourse of tears;
    Nor you, my brother, with your true sword drawn,
    Oppos'd to hinder me, should stop my way,
    But by my ruin.

Re-enter CASSANDRA, with PRIAM

  CASSANDRA. Lay hold upon him, Priam, hold him fast;
    He is thy crutch; now if thou lose thy stay,
    Thou on him leaning, and all Troy on thee,
    Fall all together.
  PRIAM. Come, Hector, come, go back.
    Thy wife hath dreamt; thy mother hath had visions;
    Cassandra doth foresee; and I myself
    Am like a prophet suddenly enrapt
    To tell thee that this day is ominous.
    Therefore, come back.
  HECTOR. Aeneas is a-field;
    And I do stand engag'd to many Greeks,
    Even in the faith of valour, to appear
    This morning to them.
  PRIAM. Ay, but thou shalt not go.
  HECTOR. I must not break my faith.
    You know me dutiful; therefore, dear sir,
    Let me not shame respect; but give me leave
    To take that course by your consent and voice
    Which you do here forbid me, royal Priam.
  CASSANDRA. O Priam, yield not to him!
  ANDROMACHE. Do not, dear father.
  HECTOR. Andromache, I am offended with you.
    Upon the love you bear me, get you in.
                                     Exit ANDROMACHE
  TROILUS. This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl
    Makes all these bodements.
  CASSANDRA. O, farewell, dear Hector!
    Look how thou diest. Look how thy eye turns pale.
    Look how thy wounds do bleed at many vents.
    Hark how Troy roars; how Hecuba cries out;
    How poor Andromache shrills her dolours forth;
    Behold distraction, frenzy, and amazement,
    Like witless antics, one another meet,
    And all cry, Hector! Hector's dead! O Hector!
  TROILUS. Away, away!
  CASSANDRA. Farewell!-yet, soft! Hector, I take my leave.
    Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive.
  HECTOR. You are amaz'd, my liege, at her exclaim.
    Go in, and cheer the town; we'll forth, and fight,
    Do deeds worth praise and tell you them at night.
  PRIAM. Farewell. The gods with safety stand about thee!
                           Exeunt severally PRIAM and HECTOR.
  TROILUS. They are at it, hark! Proud Diomed, believe,
    I come to lose my arm or win my sleeve.


  PANDARUS. Do you hear, my lord? Do you hear?
  TROILUS. What now?
  PANDARUS. Here's a letter come from yond poor girl.
  TROILUS. Let me read.
  PANDARUS. A whoreson tisick, a whoreson rascally tisick so troubles
    me, and the foolish fortune of this girl, and what one thing,
    what another, that I shall leave you one o' th's days; and I have
    a rheum in mine eyes too, and such an ache in my bones that
    unless a man were curs'd I cannot tell what to think on't. What
    says she there?
  TROILUS. Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart;
    Th' effect doth operate another way.
                                      [Tearing the letter]
    Go, wind, to wind, there turn and change together.
    My love with words and errors still she feeds,
    But edifies another with her deeds. Exeunt severally

ACT V. SCENE 4. The plain between Troy and the Grecian camp

Enter THERSITES. Excursions

THERSITES. Now they are clapper-clawing one another; I'll go look on. That dissembling abominable varlet, Diomed, has got that same scurvy doting foolish young knave's sleeve of Troy there in his helm. I would fain see them meet, that that same young Troyan ass that loves the whore there might send that Greekish whoremasterly villain with the sleeve back to the dissembling luxurious drab of a sleeve-less errand. A th' t'other side, the policy of those crafty swearing rascals-that stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese, Nestor, and that same dog-fox, Ulysses -is not prov'd worth a blackberry. They set me up, in policy, that mongrel cur, Ajax, against that dog of as bad a kind, Achilles; and now is the cur, Ajax prouder than the cur Achilles, and will not arm to-day; whereupon the Grecians begin to proclaim barbarism, and policy grows into an ill opinion.

Enter DIOMEDES, TROILUS following

    Soft! here comes sleeve, and t'other.
  TROILUS. Fly not; for shouldst thou take the river Styx
    I would swim after.
  DIOMEDES. Thou dost miscall retire.
    I do not fly; but advantageous care
    Withdrew me from the odds of multitude.
    Have at thee.
  THERSITES. Hold thy whore, Grecian; now for thy whore,
    Troyan-now the sleeve, now the sleeve!
                   Exeunt TROILUS and DIOMEDES fighting


  HECTOR. What art thou, Greek? Art thou for Hector's match?
    Art thou of blood and honour?
  THERSITES. No, no-I am a rascal; a scurvy railing knave; a very
    filthy rogue.
  HECTOR. I do believe thee. Live.
  THERSITES. God-a-mercy, that thou wilt believe me; but a plague
    break thy neck for frighting me! What's become of the wenching
    rogues? I think they have swallowed one another. I would laugh at
    that miracle. Yet, in a sort, lechery eats itself. I'll seek

ACT V. SCENE 5. Another part of the plain


  DIOMEDES. Go, go, my servant, take thou Troilus' horse;
    Present the fair steed to my lady Cressid.
    Fellow, commend my service to her beauty;
    Tell her I have chastis'd the amorous Troyan,
    And am her knight by proof.
  SERVANT. I go, my lord.


  AGAMEMNON. Renew, renew! The fierce Polydamus
    Hath beat down enon; bastard Margarelon
    Hath Doreus prisoner,
    And stands colossus-wise, waving his beam,
    Upon the pashed corses of the kings
    Epistrophus and Cedius. Polixenes is slain;
    Amphimacus and Thoas deadly hurt;
    Patroclus ta'en, or slain; and Palamedes
    Sore hurt and bruis'd. The dreadful Sagittary
    Appals our numbers. Haste we, Diomed,
    To reinforcement, or we perish all.


  NESTOR. Go, bear Patroclus' body to Achilles,
    And bid the snail-pac'd Ajax arm for shame.
    There is a thousand Hectors in the field;
    Now here he fights on Galathe his horse,
    And there lacks work; anon he's there afoot,
    And there they fly or die, like scaled sculls
    Before the belching whale; then is he yonder,
    And there the strawy Greeks, ripe for his edge,
    Fall down before him like the mower's swath.
    Here, there, and everywhere, he leaves and takes;
    Dexterity so obeying appetite
    That what he will he does, and does so much
    That proof is call'd impossibility.


  ULYSSES. O, courage, courage, courage, Princes! Great
    Achilles Is arming, weeping, cursing, vowing vengeance.
    Patroclus' wounds have rous'd his drowsy blood,
    Together with his mangled Myrmidons,
    That noseless, handless, hack'd and chipp'd, come to
    him, Crying on Hector. Ajax hath lost a friend
    And foams at mouth, and he is arm'd and at it,
    Roaring for Troilus; who hath done to-day
    Mad and fantastic execution,
    Engaging and redeeming of himself
    With such a careless force and forceless care
    As if that luck, in very spite of cunning,
    Bade him win all.

Enter AJAX

  AJAX. Troilus! thou coward Troilus!
  DIOMEDES. Ay, there, there.
  NESTOR. So, so, we draw together.
                      Enter ACHILLES

  ACHILLES. Where is this Hector?
    Come, come, thou boy-queller, show thy face;
    Know what it is to meet Achilles angry.
    Hector! where's Hector? I will none but Hector.

ACT V. SCENE 6. Another part of the plain

Enter AJAX

AJAX. Troilus, thou coward Troilus, show thy head.


  DIOMEDES. Troilus, I say! Where's Troilus?
  AJAX. What wouldst thou?
  DIOMEDES. I would correct him.
  AJAX. Were I the general, thou shouldst have my office
    Ere that correction. Troilus, I say! What, Troilus!


  TROILUS. O traitor Diomed! Turn thy false face, thou traitor,
    And pay thy life thou owest me for my horse.
  DIOMEDES. Ha! art thou there?
  AJAX. I'll fight with him alone. Stand, Diomed.
  DIOMEDES. He is my prize. I will not look upon.
  TROILUS. Come, both, you cogging Greeks; have at you
                                     Exeunt fighting


HECTOR. Yea, Troilus? O, well fought, my youngest brother!


  ACHILLES. Now do I see thee, ha! Have at thee, Hector!
  HECTOR. Pause, if thou wilt.
  ACHILLES. I do disdain thy courtesy, proud Troyan.
    Be happy that my arms are out of use;
    My rest and negligence befriends thee now,
    But thou anon shalt hear of me again;
    Till when, go seek thy fortune.
  HECTOR. Fare thee well.
    I would have been much more a fresher man,
    Had I expected thee.

Re-enter TROILUS

    How now, my brother!
  TROILUS. Ajax hath ta'en Aeneas. Shall it be?
    No, by the flame of yonder glorious heaven,
    He shall not carry him; I'll be ta'en too,
    Or bring him off. Fate, hear me what I say:
    I reck not though thou end my life to-day.

Enter one in armour

  HECTOR. Stand, stand, thou Greek; thou art a goodly mark.
    No? wilt thou not? I like thy armour well;
    I'll frush it and unlock the rivets all
    But I'll be master of it. Wilt thou not, beast, abide?
    Why then, fly on; I'll hunt thee for thy hide.

ACT V. SCENE 7. Another part of the plain

Enter ACHILLES, with Myrmidons

  ACHILLES. Come here about me, you my Myrmidons;
    Mark what I say. Attend me where I wheel;
    Strike not a stroke, but keep yourselves in breath;
    And when I have the bloody Hector found,
    Empale him with your weapons round about;
    In fellest manner execute your arms.
    Follow me, sirs, and my proceedings eye.
    It is decreed Hector the great must die.

Enter MENELAUS and PARIS, fighting; then THERSITES

  THERSITES. The cuckold and the cuckold-maker are at it. Now, bull!
    now, dog! 'Loo, Paris, 'loo! now my double-horn'd Spartan! 'loo,
    Paris, 'loo! The bull has the game. Ware horns, ho!
                        Exeunt PARIS and MENELAUS


  MARGARELON. Turn, slave, and fight.
  THERSITES. What art thou?
  MARGARELON. A bastard son of Priam's.
  THERSITES. I am a bastard too; I love bastards. I am a bastard
    begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard in valour, in
    everything illegitimate. One bear will not bite another, and
    wherefore should one bastard? Take heed, the quarrel's most
    ominous to us: if the son of a whore fight for a whore, he tempts
    judgment. Farewell, bastard.
  MARGARELON. The devil take thee, coward!

ACT V. SCENE 8. Another part of the plain


  HECTOR. Most putrified core so fair without,
    Thy goodly armour thus hath cost thy life.
    Now is my day's work done; I'll take good breath:
    Rest, sword; thou hast thy fill of blood and death!

Enter ACHILLES and his Myrmidons

  ACHILLES. Look, Hector, how the sun begins to set;
    How ugly night comes breathing at his heels;
    Even with the vail and dark'ning of the sun,
    To close the day up, Hector's life is done.
  HECTOR. I am unarm'd; forego this vantage, Greek.
  ACHILLES. Strike, fellows, strike; this is the man I seek.
                                        [HECTOR falls]
    So, Ilion, fall thou next! Come, Troy, sink down;
    Here lies thy heart, thy sinews, and thy bone.
    On, Myrmidons, and cry you an amain
    'Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain.'
                                 [A retreat sounded]
    Hark! a retire upon our Grecian part.
  MYRMIDON. The Troyan trumpets sound the like, my lord.
  ACHILLES. The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the earth
    And, stickler-like, the armies separates.
    My half-supp'd sword, that frankly would have fed,
    Pleas'd with this dainty bait, thus goes to bed.
                                    [Sheathes his sword]
    Come, tie his body to my horse's tail;
    Along the field I will the Troyan trail.

ACT V. SCENE 9. Another part of the plain

Sound retreat. Shout. Enter AGAMEMNON, AJAX, MENELAUS, NESTOR,
DIOMEDES, and the rest, marching

  AGAMEMNON. Hark! hark! what shout is this?
  NESTOR. Peace, drums!
  SOLDIERS. [Within] Achilles! Achilles! Hector's slain. Achilles!
  DIOMEDES. The bruit is Hector's slain, and by Achilles.
  AJAX. If it be so, yet bragless let it be;
    Great Hector was as good a man as he.
  AGAMEMNON. March patiently along. Let one be sent
    To pray Achilles see us at our tent.
    If in his death the gods have us befriended;
    Great Troy is ours, and our sharp wars are ended.

ACT V. SCENE 10. Another part of the plain


  AENEAS. Stand, ho! yet are we masters of the field.
    Never go home; here starve we out the night.


  TROILUS. Hector is slain.
  ALL. Hector! The gods forbid!
  TROILUS. He's dead, and at the murderer's horse's tail,
    In beastly sort, dragg'd through the shameful field.
    Frown on, you heavens, effect your rage with speed.
    Sit, gods, upon your thrones, and smile at Troy.
    I say at once let your brief plagues be mercy,
    And linger not our sure destructions on.
  AENEAS. My lord, you do discomfort all the host.
  TROILUS. You understand me not that tell me so.
    I do not speak of flight, of fear of death,
    But dare all imminence that gods and men
    Address their dangers in. Hector is gone.
    Who shall tell Priam so, or Hecuba?
    Let him that will a screech-owl aye be call'd
    Go in to Troy, and say there 'Hector's dead.'
    There is a word will Priam turn to stone;
    Make wells and Niobes of the maids and wives,
    Cold statues of the youth; and, in a word,
    Scare Troy out of itself. But, march away;
    Hector is dead; there is no more to say.
    Stay yet. You vile abominable tents,
    Thus proudly pight upon our Phrygian plains,
    Let Titan rise as early as he dare,
    I'll through and through you. And, thou great-siz'd coward,
    No space of earth shall sunder our two hates;
    I'll haunt thee like a wicked conscience still,
    That mouldeth goblins swift as frenzy's thoughts.
    Strike a free march to Troy. With comfort go;
    Hope of revenge shall hide our inward woe.


  PANDARUS. But hear you, hear you!
  TROILUS. Hence, broker-lackey. Ignominy and shame
    Pursue thy life and live aye with thy name!
                               Exeunt all but PANDARUS
  PANDARUS. A goodly medicine for my aching bones! world! world! thus
    is the poor agent despis'd! traitors and bawds, how earnestly are
    you set a work, and how ill requited! Why should our endeavour be
    so lov'd, and the performance so loathed? What verse for it? What
    instance for it? Let me see-

          Full merrily the humble-bee doth sing
          Till he hath lost his honey and his sting;
          And being once subdu'd in armed trail,
          Sweet honey and sweet notes together fail.

    Good traders in the flesh, set this in your painted
    cloths. As many as be here of pander's hall,
    Your eyes, half out, weep out at Pandar's fall;
    Or, if you cannot weep, yet give some groans,
    Though not for me, yet for your aching bones.
    Brethren and sisters of the hold-door trade,
    Some two months hence my will shall here be made.
    It should be now, but that my fear is this,
    Some galled goose of Winchester would hiss.
    Till then I'll sweat and seek about for eases,
    And at that time bequeath you my diseases.



End of this Etext of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The History of
Troilus and Cressida