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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare The History of Troilus and Cressida

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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.
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.
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.


Troy. A street

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

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.

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?

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.
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?
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-
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.

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.

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.
[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.

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 ]Eneas
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.


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!


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.
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.
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!

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?
CRESSIDA. Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.
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!
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.
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!

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.
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.
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

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

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.

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.

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.

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!


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!

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.

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.

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.



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