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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Part 56 out of 63

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CLOWN. I warrant you, sir; let me alone.
TITUS. Sirrah, hast thou a knife? Come let me see it.
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;
For thou hast made it like a humble suppliant.
And when thou hast given it to the Emperor,
Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.
CLOWN. God be with you, sir; I will.
TITUS. Come, Marcus, let us go. Publius, follow me. Exeunt

Rome. Before the palace

Enter the EMPEROR, and the EMPRESS and her two sons, DEMETRIUS and CHIRON;
LORDS and others. The EMPEROR brings the arrows in his hand that TITUS
shot at him

SATURNINUS. Why, lords, what wrongs are these! Was ever seen
An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
Troubled, confronted thus; and, for the extent
Of egal justice, us'd in such contempt?
My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
However these disturbers of our peace
Buzz in the people's ears, there nought hath pass'd
But even with law against the wilful sons
Of old Andronicus. And what an if
His sorrows have so overwhelm'd his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
And now he writes to heaven for his redress.
See, here's 'To Jove' and this 'To Mercury';
This 'To Apollo'; this 'To the God of War'-
Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
What's this but libelling against the Senate,
And blazoning our unjustice every where?
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords?
As who would say in Rome no justice were.
But if I live, his feigned ecstasies
Shall be no shelter to these outrages;
But he and his shall know that justice lives
In Saturninus' health; whom, if she sleep,
He'll so awake as he in fury shall
Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives.
TAMORA. My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age,
Th' effects of sorrow for his valiant sons
Whose loss hath pierc'd him deep and scarr'd his heart;
And rather comfort his distressed plight
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts. [Aside] Why, thus it shall become
High-witted Tamora to gloze with all.
But, Titus, I have touch'd thee to the quick,
Thy life-blood out; if Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the anchor in the port.


How now, good fellow! Wouldst thou speak with us?
CLOWN. Yes, forsooth, an your mistriship be Emperial.
TAMORA. Empress I am, but yonder sits the Emperor.
CLOWN. 'Tis he.- God and Saint Stephen give you godden. I have
brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
[SATURNINUS reads the letter]
SATURNINUS. Go take him away, and hang him presently.
CLOWN. How much money must I have?
TAMORA. Come, sirrah, you must be hang'd.
CLOWN. Hang'd! by'r lady, then I have brought up a neck to a fair
end. [Exit guarded]
SATURNINUS. Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
Shall I endure this monstrous villainy?
I know from whence this same device proceeds.
May this be borne- as if his traitorous sons
That died by law for murder of our brother
Have by my means been butchered wrongfully?
Go drag the villain hither by the hair;
Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege.
For this proud mock I'll be thy slaughterman,
Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.


What news with thee, Aemilius?
AEMILIUS. Arm, my lords! Rome never had more cause.
The Goths have gathered head; and with a power
Of high resolved men, bent to the spoil,
They hither march amain, under conduct
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus;
Who threats in course of this revenge to do
As much as ever Coriolanus did.
SATURNINUS. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with storms.
Ay, now begins our sorrows to approach.
'Tis he the common people love so much;
Myself hath often heard them say-
When I have walked like a private man-
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor.
TAMORA. Why should you fear? Is not your city strong?
SATURNINUS. Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius,
And will revolt from me to succour him.
TAMORA. King, be thy thoughts imperious like thy name!
Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it?
The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
And is not careful what they mean thereby,
Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
He can at pleasure stint their melody;
Even so mayest thou the giddy men of Rome.
Then cheer thy spirit; for know thou, Emperor,
I will enchant the old Andronicus
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
Than baits to fish or honey-stalks to sheep,
When as the one is wounded with the bait,
The other rotted with delicious feed.
SATURNINUS. But he will not entreat his son for us.
TAMORA. If Tamora entreat him, then he will;
For I can smooth and fill his aged ears
With golden promises, that, were his heart
Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf,
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
[To AEMILIUS] Go thou before to be our ambassador;
Say that the Emperor requests a parley
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
SATURNINUS. Aemilius, do this message honourably;
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
AEMILIUS. Your bidding shall I do effectually. Exit
TAMORA. Now will I to that old Andronicus,
And temper him with all the art I have,
To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
And now, sweet Emperor, be blithe again,
And bury all thy fear in my devices.
SATURNINUS. Then go successantly, and plead to him.


Plains near Rome

Enter LUCIUS with an army of GOTHS with drums and colours

LUCIUS. Approved warriors and my faithful friends,
I have received letters from great Rome
Which signifies what hate they bear their Emperor
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness,
Imperious and impatient of your wrongs;
And wherein Rome hath done you any scath,
Let him make treble satisfaction.
FIRST GOTH. Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus,
Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort,
Whose high exploits and honourable deeds
Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,
Be bold in us: we'll follow where thou lead'st,
Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day,
Led by their master to the flow'red fields,
And be aveng'd on cursed Tamora.
ALL THE GOTHS. And as he saith, so say we all with him.
LUCIUS. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all.
But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?

Enter a GOTH, leading AARON with his CHILD in his arms

SECOND GOTH. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray'd
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;
And as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Upon the wasted building, suddenly
I heard a child cry underneath a wall.
I made unto the noise, when soon I heard
The crying babe controll'd with this discourse:
'Peace, tawny slave, half me and half thy dam!
Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art,
Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look,
Villain, thou mightst have been an emperor;
But where the bull and cow are both milk-white,
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Peace, villain, peace!'- even thus he rates the babe-
'For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth,
Who, when he knows thou art the Empress' babe,
Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake.'
With this, my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him,
Surpris'd him suddenly, and brought him hither
To use as you think needful of the man.
LUCIUS. O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
That robb'd Andronicus of his good hand;
This is the pearl that pleas'd your Empress' eye;
And here's the base fruit of her burning lust.
Say, wall-ey'd slave, whither wouldst thou convey
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speak? What, deaf? Not a word?
A halter, soldiers! Hang him on this tree,
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
AARON. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.
LUCIUS. Too like the sire for ever being good.
First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl-
A sight to vex the father's soul withal.
Get me a ladder.
[A ladder brought, which AARON is made to climb]
AARON. Lucius, save the child,
And bear it from me to the Emperess.
If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things
That highly may advantage thee to hear;
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
I'll speak no more but 'Vengeance rot you all!'
LUCIUS. Say on; an if it please me which thou speak'st,
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
AARON. An if it please thee! Why, assure thee, Lucius,
'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak;
For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres,
Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
Complots of mischief, treason, villainies,
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd;
And this shall all be buried in my death,
Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
LUCIUS. Tell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live.
AARON. Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
LUCIUS. Who should I swear by? Thou believest no god;
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
AARON. What if I do not? as indeed I do not;
Yet, for I know thou art religious
And hast a thing within thee called conscience,
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
Therefore I urge thy oath. For that I know
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,
And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
To that I'll urge him. Therefore thou shalt vow
By that same god- what god soe'er it be
That thou adorest and hast in reverence-
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up;
Or else I will discover nought to thee.
LUCIUS. Even by my god I swear to thee I will.
AARON. First know thou, I begot him on the Empress.
LUCIUS. O most insatiate and luxurious woman!
AARON. Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
'Twas her two sons that murdered Bassianus;
They cut thy sister's tongue, and ravish'd her,
And cut her hands, and trimm'd her as thou sawest.
LUCIUS. O detestable villain! Call'st thou that trimming?
AARON. Why, she was wash'd, and cut, and trimm'd, and 'twas
Trim sport for them which had the doing of it.
LUCIUS. O barbarous beastly villains like thyself!
AARON. Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them.
That codding spirit had they from their mother,
As sure a card as ever won the set;
That bloody mind, I think, they learn'd of me,
As true a dog as ever fought at head.
Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.
I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hole
Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay;
I wrote the letter that thy father found,
And hid the gold within that letter mention'd,
Confederate with the Queen and her two sons;
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue,
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it?
I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand,
And, when I had it, drew myself apart
And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter.
I pried me through the crevice of a wall,
When, for his hand, he had his two sons' heads;
Beheld his tears, and laugh'd so heartily
That both mine eyes were rainy like to his;
And when I told the Empress of this sport,
She swooned almost at my pleasing tale,
And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses.
GOTH. What, canst thou say all this and never blush?
AARON. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
LUCIUS. Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
AARON. Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day- and yet, I think,
Few come within the compass of my curse-
Wherein I did not some notorious ill;
As kill a man, or else devise his death;
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it;
Accuse some innocent, and forswear myself;
Set deadly enmity between two friends;
Make poor men's cattle break their necks;
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends' door
Even when their sorrows almost was forgot,
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters
'Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.'
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly;
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
LUCIUS. Bring down the devil, for he must not die
So sweet a death as hanging presently.
AARON. If there be devils, would I were a devil,
To live and burn in everlasting fire,
So I might have your company in hell
But to torment you with my bitter tongue!
LUCIUS. Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.


GOTH. My lord, there is a messenger from Rome
Desires to be admitted to your presence.
LUCIUS. Let him come near.
Welcome, Aemilius. What's the news from Rome?
AEMILIUS. Lord Lucius, and you Princes of the Goths,
The Roman Emperor greets you all by me;
And, for he understands you are in arms,
He craves a parley at your father's house,
Willing you to demand your hostages,
And they shall be immediately deliver'd.
FIRST GOTH. What says our general?
LUCIUS. Aemilius, let the Emperor give his pledges
Unto my father and my uncle Marcus.
And we will come. March away. Exeunt

Rome. Before TITUS' house

Enter TAMORA, and her two sons, DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, disguised

TAMORA. Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment,
I will encounter with Andronicus,
And say I am Revenge, sent from below
To join with him and right his heinous wrongs.
Knock at his study, where they say he keeps
To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge;
Tell him Revenge is come to join with him,
And work confusion on his enemies.

They knock and TITUS opens his study door, above

TITUS. Who doth molest my contemplation?
Is it your trick to make me ope the door,
That so my sad decrees may fly away
And all my study be to no effect?
You are deceiv'd; for what I mean to do
See here in bloody lines I have set down;
And what is written shall be executed.
TAMORA. Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
TITUS. No, not a word. How can I grace my talk,
Wanting a hand to give it that accord?
Thou hast the odds of me; therefore no more.
TAMORA. If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.
TITUS. I am not mad, I know thee well enough:
Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines;
Witness these trenches made by grief and care;
Witness the tiring day and heavy night;
Witness all sorrow that I know thee well
For our proud Empress, mighty Tamora.
Is not thy coming for my other hand?
TAMORA. Know thou, sad man, I am not Tamora:
She is thy enemy and I thy friend.
I am Revenge, sent from th' infernal kingdom
To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind
By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
Come down and welcome me to this world's light;
Confer with me of murder and of death;
There's not a hollow cave or lurking-place,
No vast obscurity or misty vale,
Where bloody murder or detested rape
Can couch for fear but I will find them out;
And in their ears tell them my dreadful name-
Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
TITUS. Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me
To be a torment to mine enemies?
TAMORA. I am; therefore come down and welcome me.
TITUS. Do me some service ere I come to thee.
Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
Now give some surance that thou art Revenge-
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot wheels;
And then I'll come and be thy waggoner
And whirl along with thee about the globes.
Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
And find out murderers in their guilty caves;
And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
I will dismount, and by thy waggon wheel
Trot, like a servile footman, all day long,
Even from Hyperion's rising in the east
Until his very downfall in the sea.
And day by day I'll do this heavy task,
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
TAMORA. These are my ministers, and come with me.
TITUS. Are they thy ministers? What are they call'd?
TAMORA. Rape and Murder; therefore called so
'Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
TITUS. Good Lord, how like the Empress' sons they are!
And you the Empress! But we worldly men
Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee;
And, if one arm's embracement will content thee,
I will embrace thee in it by and by.
TAMORA. This closing with him fits his lunacy.
Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick humours,
Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
For now he firmly takes me for Revenge;
And, being credulous in this mad thought,
I'll make him send for Lucius his son,
And whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
I'll find some cunning practice out of hand
To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.

Enter TITUS, below

TITUS. Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee.
Welcome, dread Fury, to my woeful house.
Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too.
How like the Empress and her sons you are!
Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor.
Could not all hell afford you such a devil?
For well I wot the Empress never wags
But in her company there is a Moor;
And, would you represent our queen aright,
It were convenient you had such a devil.
But welcome as you are. What shall we do?
TAMORA. What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?
DEMETRIUS. Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.
CHIRON. Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
And I am sent to be reveng'd on him.
TAMORA. Show me a thousand that hath done thee wrong,
And I will be revenged on them all.
TITUS. Look round about the wicked streets of Rome,
And when thou find'st a man that's like thyself,
Good Murder, stab him; he's a murderer.
Go thou with him, and when it is thy hap
To find another that is like to thee,
Good Rapine, stab him; he is a ravisher.
Go thou with them; and in the Emperor's court
There is a queen, attended by a Moor;
Well shalt thou know her by thine own proportion,
For up and down she doth resemble thee.
I pray thee, do on them some violent death;
They have been violent to me and mine.
TAMORA. Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall we do.
But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son,
Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike Goths,
And bid him come and banquet at thy house;
When he is here, even at thy solemn feast,
I will bring in the Empress and her sons,
The Emperor himself, and all thy foes;
And at thy mercy shall they stoop and kneel,
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
What says Andronicus to this device?
TITUS. Marcus, my brother! 'Tis sad Titus calls.


Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius;
Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths.
Bid him repair to me, and bring with him
Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths;
Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are.
Tell him the Emperor and the Empress too
Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them.
This do thou for my love; and so let him,
As he regards his aged father's life.
MARCUS. This will I do, and soon return again. Exit
TAMORA. Now will I hence about thy business,
And take my ministers along with me.
TITUS. Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me,
Or else I'll call my brother back again,
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
TAMORA. [Aside to her sons] What say you, boys? Will you abide
with him,
Whiles I go tell my lord the Emperor
How I have govern'd our determin'd jest?
Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
And tarry with him till I turn again.
TITUS. [Aside] I knew them all, though they suppos'd me mad,
And will o'er reach them in their own devices,
A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam.
DEMETRIUS. Madam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.
TAMORA. Farewell, Andronicus, Revenge now goes
To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
TITUS. I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.
CHIRON. Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ'd?
TITUS. Tut, I have work enough for you to do.
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine.


PUBLIUS. What is your will?
TITUS. Know you these two?
PUBLIUS. The Empress' sons, I take them: Chiron, Demetrius.
TITUS. Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceiv'd.
The one is Murder, and Rape is the other's name;
And therefore bind them, gentle Publius-
Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them.
Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
And now I find it; therefore bind them sure,
And stop their mouths if they begin to cry. Exit
[They lay hold on CHIRON and DEMETRIUS]
CHIRON. Villains, forbear! we are the Empress' sons.
PUBLIUS. And therefore do we what we are commanded.
Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
Is he sure bound? Look that you bind them fast.

with a knife, and LAVINIA, with a basin

TITUS. Come, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are bound.
Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me;
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd with mud;
This goodly summer with your winter mix'd.
You kill'd her husband; and for that vile fault
Two of her brothers were condemn'd to death,
My hand cut off and made a merry jest;
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Inhuman traitors, you constrain'd and forc'd.
What would you say, if I should let you speak?
Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace.
Hark, wretches! how I mean to martyr you.
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
Whiles that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth hold
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
You know your mother means to feast with me,
And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad.
Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust,
And with your blood and it I'll make a paste;
And of the paste a coffin I will rear,
And make two pasties of your shameful heads;
And bid that strumpet, your unhallowed dam,
Like to the earth, swallow her own increase.
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
For worse than Philomel you us'd my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be reveng'd.
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
Receive the blood; and when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be bak'd.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet, which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.
[He cuts their throats]
Now bring them in, for I will play the cook,
And see them ready against their mother comes.
Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies

The court of TITUS' house

Enter Lucius, MARCUS, and the GOTHS, with AARON prisoner,
and his CHILD in the arms of an attendant

LUCIUS. Uncle Marcus, since 'tis my father's mind
That I repair to Rome, I am content.
FIRST GOTH. And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
LUCIUS. Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil;
Let him receive no sust'nance, fetter him,
Till he be brought unto the Empress' face
For testimony of her foul proceedings.
And see the ambush of our friends be strong;
I fear the Emperor means no good to us.
AARON. Some devil whisper curses in my ear,
And prompt me that my tongue may utter forth
The venomous malice of my swelling heart!
LUCIUS. Away, inhuman dog, unhallowed slave!
Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.
Exeunt GOTHS with AARON. Flourish within
The trumpets show the Emperor is at hand.

Sound trumpets. Enter SATURNINUS and

SATURNINUS. What, hath the firmament more suns than one?
LUCIUS. What boots it thee to can thyself a sun?
MARCUS. Rome's Emperor, and nephew, break the parle;
These quarrels must be quietly debated.
The feast is ready which the careful Titus
Hath ordain'd to an honourable end,
For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome.
Please you, therefore, draw nigh and take your places.
SATURNINUS. Marcus, we will.
[A table brought in. The company sit down]

Trumpets sounding, enter TITUS
like a cook, placing the dishes, and LAVINIA
with a veil over her face; also YOUNG LUCIUS, and others

TITUS. Welcome, my lord; welcome, dread Queen;
Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius;
And welcome all. Although the cheer be poor,
'Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
SATURNINUS. Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus?
TITUS. Because I would be sure to have all well
To entertain your Highness and your Empress.
TAMORA. We are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
TITUS. An if your Highness knew my heart, you were.
My lord the Emperor, resolve me this:
Was it well done of rash Virginius
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforc'd, stain'd, and deflower'd?
SATURNINUS. It was, Andronicus.
TITUS. Your reason, mighty lord.
SATURNINUS. Because the girl should not survive her shame,
And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
TITUS. A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant
For me, most wretched, to perform the like.
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee; [He kills her]
And with thy shame thy father's sorrow die!
SATURNINUS. What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
TITUS. Kill'd her for whom my tears have made me blind.
I am as woeful as Virginius was,
And have a thousand times more cause than he
To do this outrage; and it now is done.
SATURNINUS. What, was she ravish'd? Tell who did the deed.
TITUS. Will't please you eat? Will't please your Highness feed?
TAMORA. Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
TITUS. Not I; 'twas Chiron and Demetrius.
They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue;
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
SATURNINUS. Go, fetch them hither to us presently.
TITUS. Why, there they are, both baked in this pie,
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true: witness my knife's sharp point.
[He stabs the EMPRESS]
SATURNINUS. Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed!
[He stabs TITUS]
LUCIUS. Can the son's eye behold his father bleed?
There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.
[He stabs SATURNINUS. A great tumult. LUCIUS,
MARCUS, and their friends go up into the balcony]
MARCUS. You sad-fac'd men, people and sons of Rome,
By uproars sever'd, as a flight of fowl
Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts?
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scattered corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body;
Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
And she whom mighty kingdoms curtsy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
Do shameful execution on herself.
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Grave witnesses of true experience,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,
[To Lucius] Speak, Rome's dear friend, as erst our ancestor,
When with his solemn tongue he did discourse
To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear
The story of that baleful burning night,
When subtle Greeks surpris'd King Priam's Troy.
Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in
That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.
My heart is not compact of flint nor steel;
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
But floods of tears will drown my oratory
And break my utt'rance, even in the time
When it should move ye to attend me most,
And force you to commiseration.
Here's Rome's young Captain, let him tell the tale;
While I stand by and weep to hear him speak.
LUCIUS. Then, gracious auditory, be it known to you
That Chiron and the damn'd Demetrius
Were they that murd'red our Emperor's brother;
And they it were that ravished our sister.
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded,
Our father's tears despis'd, and basely cozen'd
Of that true hand that fought Rome's quarrel out
And sent her enemies unto the grave.
Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
To beg relief among Rome's enemies;
Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears,
And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend.
I am the turned forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood
And from her bosom took the enemy's point,
Sheathing the steel in my advent'rous body.
Alas! you know I am no vaunter, I;
My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
That my report is just and full of truth.
But, soft! methinks I do digress too much,
Citing my worthless praise. O, pardon me!
For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
MARCUS. Now is my turn to speak. Behold the child.
[Pointing to the CHILD in an attendant's arms]
Of this was Tamora delivered,
The issue of an irreligious Moor,
Chief architect and plotter of these woes.
The villain is alive in Titus' house,
Damn'd as he is, to witness this is true.
Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
These wrongs unspeakable, past patience,
Or more than any living man could bear.
Now have you heard the truth: what say you, Romans?
Have we done aught amiss, show us wherein,
And, from the place where you behold us pleading,
The poor remainder of Andronici
Will, hand in hand, all headlong hurl ourselves,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our souls,
And make a mutual closure of our house.
Speak, Romans, speak; and if you say we shall,
Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
AEMILIUS. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
And bring our Emperor gently in thy hand,
Lucius our Emperor; for well I know
The common voice do cry it shall be so.
ALL. Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal Emperor!
MARCUS. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house,
And hither hale that misbelieving Moor
To be adjudg'd some direful slaught'ring death,
As punishment for his most wicked life. Exeunt some
attendants. LUCIUS, MARCUS, and the others descend
ALL. Lucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor!
LUCIUS. Thanks, gentle Romans! May I govern so
To heal Rome's harms and wipe away her woe!
But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
For nature puts me to a heavy task.
Stand all aloof; but, uncle, draw you near
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips. [Kisses TITUS]
These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face,
The last true duties of thy noble son!
MARCUS. Tear for tear and loving kiss for kiss
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips.
O, were the sum of these that I should pay
Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them!
LUCIUS. Come hither, boy; come, come, come, and learn of us
To melt in showers. Thy grandsire lov'd thee well;
Many a time he danc'd thee on his knee,
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow;
Many a story hath he told to thee,
And bid thee bear his pretty tales in mind
And talk of them when he was dead and gone.
MARCUS. How many thousand times hath these poor lips,
When they were living, warm'd themselves on thine!
O, now, sweet boy, give them their latest kiss!
Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;
Do them that kindness, and take leave of them.
BOY. O grandsire, grandsire! ev'n with all my heart
Would I were dead, so you did live again!
O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping;
My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth.

Re-enter attendants with AARON

A ROMAN. You sad Andronici, have done with woes;
Give sentence on the execrable wretch
That hath been breeder of these dire events.
LUCIUS. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him;
There let him stand and rave and cry for food.
If any one relieves or pities him,
For the offence he dies. This is our doom.
Some stay to see him fast'ned in the earth.
AARON. Ah, why should wrath be mute and fury dumb?
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
I should repent the evils I have done;
Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will.
If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.
LUCIUS. Some loving friends convey the Emperor hence,
And give him burial in his father's grave.
My father and Lavinia shall forthwith
Be closed in our household's monument.
As for that ravenous tiger, Tamora,
No funeral rite, nor man in mourning weed,
No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
But throw her forth to beasts and birds to prey.
Her life was beastly and devoid of pity,
And being dead, let birds on her take pity. Exeunt





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

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.


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. [Alarum]
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. Exeunt

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.
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.
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. Exit

The Grecian camp. Before AGAMEMNON'S tent


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. [Tucket]
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!
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. Exeunt


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]
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. Exit
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. Exeunt

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,

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