Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: W. L. Godshalk
Peer Reviewed

Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)



Here comes Patroclus.
Nes. No Achilles with him?
Vlis. The Elephant hath ioynts, but none for curtesie:
1310His legge are legs for necessitie, not for flight.
Patro. Achilles bids me say he is much sorry:
If any thing more then your sport and pleasure,
Did moue your greatnesse, and this noble State,
To call vpon him; he hopes it is no other,
1315But for your health, and your digestion sake;
An after Dinners breath.
Aga. Heare you Patroclus:
We are too well acquainted with these answers:
But his euasion winged thus swift with scorne,
1320Cannot outflye our apprehensions.
Much attribute he hath, and much the reason,
Why we ascribe it to him, yet all his vertues,
Not vertuously of his owne part beheld,
Doe in our eyes, begin to loose their glosse;
1325Yea, and like faire Fruit in an vnholdsome dish,
Are like to rot vntasted: goe and tell him,
We came to speake with him; and you shall not sinne,
If you doe say, we thinke him ouer proud,
And vnder honest; in selfe-assumption greater
1330Then in the note of iudgement: & worthier then himselfe
Here tends the sauage strangenesse he puts on,
Disguise the holy strength of their command:
And vnder write in an obseruing kinde
His humorous predominance, yea watch
1335His pettish lines, his ebs, his flowes, as if
The passage and whole carriage of this action
Rode on his tyde. Goe tell him this, and adde,
That if he ouerhold his price so much,
Weele none of him; but let him, like an Engin
1340Not portable, lye vnder this report.
Bring action hither, this cannot goe to warre:
A stirring Dwarfe, we doe allowance giue,
Before a sleeping Gyant: tell him so.
Pat. I shall, and bring his answere presently.
1345Aga. In second voyce weele not be satisfied,
We come to speake with him, Ulisses enter you.
Exit Vlisses.
Aiax. What is he more then another?
Aga. No more then what he thinkes he is.
1350Aia. Is he so much, doe you not thinke, he thinkes
himselfe a better man then I am?
Ag. No question.
Aiax. Will you subscribe his thought, and say he is?
Ag. No, Noble Aiax, you are as strong, as valiant, as
1355wise, no lesse noble, much more gentle, and altogether
more tractable.
Aiax. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride
grow? I know not what it is.
Aga. Your minde is the cleerer Aiax, and your vertues
1360the fairer; he that is proud, eates vp himselfe; Pride is his
owne Glasse, his owne trumpet, his owne Chronicle, and
what euer praises it selfe but in the deede, deuoures the
deede in the praise.
Enter Ulysses.
1365Aiax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the ingendring
of Toades.
Nest. Yet he loues himselfe: is't not strange?
Vlis. Achilles will not to the field to morrow.
Ag. What's his excuse?
1370Vlis. He doth relye on none,
But carries on the streame of his dispose,
Without obseruance or respect of any,
In will peculiar, and in selfe admission.
Aga. Why, will he not vpon our faire request,
1375Vntent his person, and share the ayre with vs?
Vlis. Things small as nothing, for requests sake onely
He makes important; possest he is with greatnesse,
And speakes not to himselfe, but with a pride
That quarrels at selfe-breath. Imagin'd wroth
1380Holds in his bloud such swolne and hot discourse,
That twixt his mentall and his actiue parts,
Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages,
And batters gainst it selfe; what should I say?
He is so plaguy proud, that the death tokens of it,
1385Cry no recouery.
Ag. Let Aiax goe to him.
Deare Lord, goe you and greete him in his Tent;
'Tis said he holds you well, and will be led
At your request a little from himselfe.
1390Vlis. O Agamemnon, let it not be so.
Weele consecrate the steps that Aiax makes,
When they goe from Achilles; shall the proud Lord,
That bastes his arrogance with his owne seame,
And neuer suffers matter of the world,
1395Enter his thoughts: saue such as doe reuolue
And ruminate himselfe. Shall he be worshipt,
Of that we hold an Idoll, more then hee?
No, this thrice worthy and right valiant Lord,
Must not so staule his Palme, nobly acquir'd,
1400Nor by my will assubiugate his merit,
As amply titled as Achilles is: by going to Achilles,
That were to enlard his fat already, pride,
And adde more Coles to Cancer, when he burnes
With entertaining great Hiperion.
1405This L. goe to him? Iupiter forbid,
And say in thunder, Achilles goe to him.
Nest. O this is well, he rubs the veine of him.
Dio. And how his silence drinkes vp this applause.
Aia. If I goe to him, with my armed fist, Ile pash him
1410ore the face.
Ag. O no, you shall not goe.
Aia. And a be proud with me, ile phese his pride: let
me goe to him.
Ulis. Not for the worth that hangs vpon our quarrel.
1415Aia. A paultry insolent fellow.
Nest. How he describes himselfe.
Aia. Can he not be sociable?
Vlis. The Rauen chides blacknesse.
Aia. Ile let his humours bloud.
1420Ag. He will be the Physitian that should be the pa-
tient.
Aia. And all men were a my minde.
Vlis. Wit would be out of fashion.
Aia. A should not beare it so, a should eate Swords
1425first: shall pride carry it?
Nest. And 'twould, you'ld carry halfe.
Ulis. A would haue ten shares.
Aia. I will knede him, Ile make him supple, hee's not
yet through warme.
1430Nest. Force him with praises, poure in, poure in: his am-
bition is dry.
Vlis. My L. you feede too much on this dislike.
Nest. Our noble Generall, doe not doe so.
Diom. You must prepare to fight without Achilles.
1435Vlis. Why, 'tis this naming of him doth him harme.
Here is a man, but 'tis before his face,
I will be silent.
Nest. Wherefore should you so?
He