Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)



Troylus and Cressida.

Ile send the foole to Aiax, and desire him
T'inuite the Troian Lords after the Combat
To see vs here vnarm'd: I haue a womans longing,
2095An appetite that I am sicke withall,
To see great Hector in his weedes of peace;
Enter Thersi.
To talke with him, and to behold his visage,
Euen to my full of view. A labour sau'd.
Ther. A wonder.
2100Achil. What?
Ther. Aiax goes vp and downe the field, asking for
himselfe.
Achil. How so?
Ther. Hee must fight singly to morrow with Hector,
2105and is so prophetically proud of an heroicall cudgelling,
that he raues in saying nothing.
Achil. How can that be?
Ther. Why he stalkes vp and downe like a Peacock, a
stride and a stand: ruminates like an hostesse, that hath no
2110Arithmatique but her braine to set downe her recko-
ning: bites his lip with a politique regard, as who should
say, there were wit in his head and twoo'd out; and so
there is: but it lyes as coldly in him, as fire in a flint,
which will not shew without knocking. The mans vn-
2115done for euer; for if Hector breake not his necke i'th'com-
bat, heele break't himselfe in vaine-glory. He knowes
not mee: I said, good morrow Aiax; And he replyes,
thankes Agamemnon. What thinke you of this man,
that takes me for the Generall? Hee's growne a very
2120land-fish, languagelesse, a monster: a plague of o-
pinion, a man may weare it on both sides like a leather
Ierkin.
Achil. Thou must be my Ambassador to him Thersites.
Ther. Who, I: why, heele answer no body: he pro-
2125fesses not answering; speaking is for beggers: he weares
his tongue in's armes: I will put on his presence; let Pa-
troclus make his demands to me, you shall see the Page-
ant of Aiax.
Achil. To him Patroclus; tell him, I humbly desire the
2130valiant Aiax, to inuite the most valorous Hector, to come
vnarm'd to my Tent, and to procure safe conduct for his
person, of the magnanimious and most illustrious, sixe or
seauen times honour'd Captaine, Generall of the Grecian
Armie Agamemnon, &c. doe this.
2135Patro. Ioue blesse great Aiax.
Ther. Hum.
Patr. I come from the worthy Aehilles.
Ther. Ha?
Patr. Who most humbly desires you to inuite Hector
2140to his Tent.
Ther. Hum.
Patr. And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon.
Ther. Agamemnon?
Patr. I my Lord.
2145Ther. Ha?
Patr. What say you too't.
Ther. God buy you with all my heart.
Patr. Your answer sir.
Ther. If to morrow be a faire day, by eleuen a clocke
2150it will goe one way or other; howsoeuer, he shall pay for
me ere he has me.
Patr. Your answer sir.
Ther. Fare you well withall my heart.
Achil. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?
2155Ther. No, but he's out a tune thus: what musicke will
be in him when Hector has knockt out his braines, I know
not: but I am sure none, vnlesse the Fidler Apollo get his
sinewes to make catlings on.
Achil. Come, thou shalt beare a Letter to him
2160straight.
Ther. Let me carry another to his Horse; for that's the
more capable creature.
Achil. My minde is troubled like a Fountaine stir'd,
And I my selfe see not the bottome of it.
2165Ther. Would the Fountaine of your minde were cleere
againe, that I might water an Asse at it: I had rather be a
Ticke in a Sheepe, then such a valiant ignorance.

Enter at one doore Æneas with a Torch, at another
Paris, Diephœbus, Anthenor, Diomed the
2170Grecian, with Torches.

Par. See hoa, who is that there?
Dieph. It is the Lord Æneas.
Æne. Is the Prince there in person?
Had I so good occasion to lye long
2175As you Prince Paris, nothing but heauenly businesse,
Should rob my bed-mate of my company.
Diom. That's my minde too: good morrow Lord
Æneas.
Par. A valiant Greeke Æneas, take his hand,
2180Witnesse the processe of your speech within;
You told how Diomed, in a whole weeke by dayes
Did haunt you in the Field.
Æne. Health to you valiant sir,
During all question of the gentle truce:
2185But when I meete you arm'd, as blacke defiance,
As heart can thinke, or courage execute.
Diom. The one and other Diomed embraces,
Our blouds are now in calme; and so long health:
But when contention, and occasion meetes,
2190By Ioue, Ile play the hunter for thy life,
With all my force, pursuite and pollicy.
Æne. And thou shalt hunt a Lyon that will flye
With his face backward, in humaine gentlenesse:
Welcome to Troy; now by Anchises life,
2195Welcome indeede: by Venus hand I sweare,
No man aliue can loue in such a sort,
The thing he meanes to kill, more excellently.
Diom. We simpathize. Ioue let Æneas liue
(If to my sword his fate be not the glory)
2200A thousand compleate courses of the Sunne,
But in mine emulous honor let him dye:
With euery ioynt a wound, and that to morrow.
Æne. We know each other well.
Dio. We doe, and long to know each other worse.
2205Par. This is the most, despightful'st gentle greeting;
The noblest hatefull loue, that ere I heard of.
What businesse Lord so early?
Æne. I was sent for to the King; but why, I know not.
Par. His purpose meets you; it was to bring this Greek
2210To Calcha's house; and there to render him,
For the enfreed Anthenor, the faire Cressid:
Lers haue your company; or if you please,
Haste there before vs. I constantly doe thinke
(Or rather call my thought a certaine knowledge)
2215My brother Troylus lodges there to night.
Rouse him, and giue him note of our approach,
With the whole quality whereof, I feare
We shall be much vnwelcome.
Æne. That I assure you:
2220Troylus had rather Troy were borne to Greece,
Then Cressid borne from Troy.
Par. There