Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)



Troylus and Cressida.

If soules guide vowes; if vowes are sanctimonie;
If sanctimonie be the gods delight:
If there be rule in vnitie it selfe,
This is not she: O madnesse of discourse!
3140That cause sets vp, with, and against thy selfe
By foule authoritie: where reason can reuolt
Without perdition, and losse assume all reason,
Without reuolt. This is, and is not Cressid:
Within my soule, there doth conduce a fight
3145Of this strange nature, that a thing inseperate,
Diuides more wider then the skie and earth:
And yet the spacious bredth of this diuision,
Admits no Orifex for a point as subtle,
As Ariachnes broken woofe to enter:
3150Instance, O instance! strong as Plutoes gates:
Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heauen;
Instance, O instance, strong as heauen it selfe:
The bonds of heauen are slipt, dissolu'd, and loos'd,
And with another knot fiue finger tied,
3155The fractions of her faith, orts of her loue:
The fragments, scraps, the bits, and greazie reliques,
Of her ore-eaten faith, are bound to Diomed
Vlis. May worthy Troylus be halfe attached
With that which here his passion doth expresse?
3160Troy. I Greeke: and that shall be divulged well
In Characters, as red as Mars his heart
Inflam'd with Uenus: neuer did yong man fancy
With so eternall, and so fixt a soule.
Harke Greek: as much I doe Cressida loue;
3165So much by weight, hate I her Diomed,
That Sleeue is mine, that heele beare in his Helme:
Were it a Caske compos'd by Vulcans skill,
My Sword should bite it: Not the dreadfull spout,
Which Shipmen doe the Hurricano call,
3170Constring'd in masse by the almighty Fenne,
Shall dizzie with more clamour Neptunes eare
In his discent; then shall my prompted sword,
Falling on Diomed.
Ther. Heele tickle it for his concupie.
3175Troy. O Cressid! O false Cressid! false, false, false:
Let all vntruths stand by thy stained name,
And theyle seeme glorious.
Vlis. O containe your selfe:
Your passion drawes eares hither.
3180
Enter Æneas.
Æne. I haue beene seeking you this houre my Lord:
Hector by this is arming him in Troy.
Aiax your Guard, staies to conduct you home.
Troy. Haue with you Prince: my curteous Lord adew:
3185Farewell reuolted faire: and Diomed,
Stand fast, and weare a Castle on thy head.
Vli. Ile bring you to the Gates.
Troy. Accept distracted thankes.
Exeunt Troylus, Æneas, and Ulisses.
3190Ther. Would I could meete that roague Diomed, I
would croke like a Rauen: I would bode, I would bode:
Patroclus will giue me any thing for the intelligence of
this whore: the Parrot will not doe more for an Almond,
then he for a commodious drab: Lechery, lechery, still
3195warres and lechery, nothing else holds fashion. A burning
diuell take them.
Enter Hecter and Andromache.
And. When was my Lord so much vngently temper'd,
To stop his eares against admonishment?
3200Vnarme, vnarme, and doe not fight to day.
Hect. You traine me to offend you: get you gone.
By the euerlasting gods, Ile goe.
And. My dreames will sure proue ominous to the day.
Hect. No more I say.
Enter Cassandra.
3205Cassa. Where is my brother Hector?
And. Here sister, arm'd, and bloudy in intent:
Consort with me in loud and deere petition:
Pursue we him on knees: for I haue dreampt
Of bloudy turbulence; and this whole night
3210Hath nothing beene but shapes, and formes of slaughter.
Cass. O, 'tis true.
Hect. Ho? bid my Trumpet sound.
Cass. No notes of sallie, for the heauens, sweet brother.
Hect. Begon I say: the gods haue heard me sweare.
3215Cass. The gods are deafe to hot and peeuish vowes;
They are polluted offrings, more abhord
Then spotted Liuers in the sacrifice.
And. O be perswaded, doe not count it holy,
To hurt by being iust; it is as lawfull:
3220For we would count giue much to as violent thefts,
And rob in the behalfe of charitie.
Cass. It is the purpose that makes strong the vowe;
But vowes to euery purpose must not hold:
Vnatme sweete Hector.
3225Hect. Hold you still I say;
Mine honour keepes the weather of my fate:
Life euery man holds deere, but the deere man
Holds honor farre more precious, deere, then life.
Enter Troylus.
3230How now yong man? mean'st thou to fight to day?
And. Cassandra, call my father to perswade.
Exit Cassandra.
Hect. No faith yong Troylus; doffe thy harnesse youth:
I am to day ith'vaine of Chiualrie:
3235Let grow thy Sinews till their knots be strong;
And tempt not yet the brushes of the warre.
Vnarme thee, goe; and doubt thou not braue boy,
Ile stand today, for thee, and me, and Troy.
Troy. Brother, you haue a vice of mercy in you;
3240Which better fits a Lyon, then a man.
Hect. What vice is that? good Troylus chide me for it.
Troy. When many times the captiue Grecian fals,
Euen in the fanne and winde of your faire Sword:
You bid them rise, and liue.
3245Hect. O 'tis faire play.
Troy. Fooles play, by heauen Hector.
Hect. How now? how now?
Troy. For th'loue of all the gods
Let's leaue the Hermit Pitty with our Mothers;
3250And when we haue our Armors buckled on,
The venom'd vengeance ride vpon our swords,
Spur them to ruthfull worke, reine them from ruth.
Hect. Fie sauage, fie.
Troy. Hector, then 'tis warres.
3255Hect. Troylus, I would not haue you fight to day.
Troy. Who should with-hold me?
Not fate, obedience, nor the hand of Mars,
Beckning with fierie trunchion my retire;
Not Priamus, and Hecuba on knees;
3260Their eyes ore-galled with recourse of teares;
Nor you my brother, with your true sword drawne
Oppos'd to hinder me, should stop my way:
But by my ruine.
Enter Priam and Cassandra.
3265Cass. Lay hold vpon him Priam, hold him fast:
He is thy crutch; now if thou loose thy stay,
Thou on him leaning, and all Troy on thee,
Fall