Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)



Troylus and Cressida.

1960Salutes each other with each others forme.
For speculation turnes not to it selfe,
Till it hath trauail'd, and is married there
Where it may see it selfe: this is not strange at all.
Ulis. I doe not straine it at the position,
1965It is familiar; but at the Authors drift,
Who in his circumstance, expresly proues
That no may is the Lord of any thing,
(Though in and of him there is much consisting,)
Till he communicate his parts to others:
1970Nor doth he of himselfe know them for ought,
Till he behold them formed in th'applause,
Where they are extended: who like an arch reuerb'rate
The voyce againe; or like a gate of steele,
Fronting the Sunne, receiues and renders backe
1975His figure, and his heate. I was much rapt in this,
And apprehended here immediately:
The vnknowne Aiax;
Heauens what a man is there? a very Horse,
That has he knowes not what. Nature, what things there
1980Most abiect in regard, and deare in vse.
What things againe most deere in the esteeme,
And poore in worth: now shall we see to morrow,
An act that very chance doth throw vpon him?
Aiax renown'd? O heauens, what some men doe,
1985While some men leaue to doe!
How some men creepe in skittish fortunes hall,
Whiles others play the Ideots in her eyes:
How one man eates into anothers pride,
While pride is feasting in his wantonnesse
1990To see these Grecian Lords; why, euen already,
They clap the lubber Aiax on the shoulder,
As if his foote were on braue Hectors brest,
And great Troy shrinking.
Achil. I doe beleeue it:
1995For they past by me, as mysers doe by beggars,
Neither gaue to me good word, nor looke:
What are my deedes forgot?
Ulis. Time hath (my Lord) a wallet at his backe,
Wherein he puts almes for obliuion:
2000A great siz'd monster of ingratitudes:
Those scraps are good deedes past,
Which are deuour'd as fast as they are made,
Forgot as soone as done: perseuerance, deere my Lord,
Keepes honor bright, to haue done, is to hang
2005Quite out of fashion, like a rustie male,
In monumentall mockrie: take the instant way,
For honour trauels in a straight so narrow,
Where one but goes a breast, keepe then the path:
For emulation hath a thousand Sonnes,
2010That one by one pursue; if you giue way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forth right;
Like to an entred Tyde, they all rush by,
And leaue you hindmost:
Or like a gallant Horse falne in first ranke,
2015Lye there for pauement to the abiect, neere
Ore-run and trampled on: then what they doe in present,
Though lesse then yours in past, must ore-top yours:
For time is like a fashionable Hoste,
That slightly shakes his parting Guest by th'hand;
2020And with his armes out-stretcht, as he would flye,
Graspes in the commer: the welcome euer smiles,
And farewels goes out sighing: O let not vertue seeke
Remuneration for the thing it was: for beautie, wit,
High birth, vigor of bone, desert in seruice,
2025Loue, friendship, charity, are subiects all
To enuious and calumniating time:
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin:
That all with one consent praise new borne gaudes,
Though they are made and moulded of things past,
2030And goe to dust, that is a little guilt,
More laud then guilt oredusted.
The present eye praises the pres nt obiect:
Then maruell not thou great and compleat man,
That all the Greekes begin to worship Aiax;
2035Since things in motion begin to catch the eye,
Then what not stirs: the cry went out on thee,
And still it might, and yet it may againe,
If thou would'st not entombe thy selfe aliue,
And case thy reputation in thy Tent;
2040Whose glorious deedes, but in these fields of late,
Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselues,
And draue great Mars to faction.
Achil. Of this my priuacie,
I haue strong reasons.
2045Vlis. But 'gainst your priuacie
The reasons are more potent and heroycall:
'Tis knowne Achilles, that you are in loue
With one of Priams daughters.
Achil. Ha? knowne?
2050Ulis. Is that a wonder?
The prouidence that's in a watchfull State,
Knowes almost euery graine of Plutoes gold;
Findes bottome in th'vncomprehensiue deepes;
Keepes place with thought; and almost like the gods,
2055Doe thoughts vnuaile in their dumbe cradles:
There is a mysterie (with whom relation
Durst neuer meddle) in the soule of State;
Which hath an operation more diuine,
Then breath or pen can giue expressure to:
2060All the commerse that you haue had with Troy,
As perfectly is ours, as yours, my Lord.
And better would it fit Achilles much,
To throw downe Hector then Polixena.
But it must grieue yong Pirhus now at home,
2065When fame shall in her Iland sound her trumpe;
And all the Greekish Girles shall tripping sing,
Great Hectors sister did Achilles winne;
But our great Aiax brauely beate downe him.
Farewell my Lord: I as your louer speake;
2070The foole slides ore the Ice that you should breake.
Patr. To this effect Achilles haue I mou'd you;
A woman impudent and mannish growne,
Is not more loth'd, then an effeminate man,
In time of action: I stand condemn'd for this;
2075They thinke my little stomacke to the warre,
And your great loue to me, restraines you thus:
Sweete, rouse your selfe; and the weake wanton Cupid
Shall from your necke vnloose his amorous fould,
And like a dew drop from the Lyons mane,
2080Be shooke to ayrie ayre.
Achil. Shall Aiax fight with Hector?
Patr. I, and perhaps receiue much honor by him.
Achil. I see my reputation is at stake,
My fame is shrowdly gored.
2085Patr. O then beware:
Those wounds heale ill, that men doe giue themselues:
Omission to doe what is necessary,
Seales a commission to a blanke of danger,
And danger like an ague subtly taints
2090Euen then when we sit idely in the sunne.
Achil. Goe call Thersites hither sweet Patroclus,
¶¶
Ile