Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter Aiax armed, Achilles, Patroclus, Agamemnon,
Menelaus, Vlisses, Nestcr, Calcas, &c.
Aga. Here art thou in appointment fresh and faire,
2550Anticipating time. With starting courage,
Giue with thy Trumpet a loud note to Troy
Thou dreadfull Aiax, that the appauled aire
May pierce the head of the great Combatant,
And hale him hither.
2555Aia. Thou, Trumpet, ther's my purse;
Now cracke thy lungs, and split thy brasen pipe:
Blow villaine, till thy sphered Bias cheeke
Out-swell the collicke of puft Aquilon:
Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout bloud:
2560Thou blowest for Hector.
Vlis. No Trumpet answers.
Achil. 'Tis but early dayes.
Aga. Is not yong Diomed with Calcas daughter?
Vlis. 'Tis he, I ken the manner of his gate,
2565He rises on the toe: that spirit of his
In aspiration lifts him from the earth.
Aga. Is this the Lady Cressid?
Dio. Euen she.
Aga. Most deerely welcome to the Greekes, sweete
Nest. Our Generall doth salute you with a kisse.
Ulis. Yet is the kindenesse but particular; 'twere bet-
ter she were kist in generall.
Nest. And very courtly counsell: Ile begin. So much
2575for Nestor.
Achil. Ile take that winter from your lips faire Lady
Achilles bids you welcome.
Mene. I had good argument for kissing once.
Patro. But that's no argument for kissing now;
2580For thus pop't Paris in his hardiment.
Vlis. Oh deadly gall, and theame of all our scornes,
For which we loose our heads, to gild his hornes.
Patro. The first was Menelaus kisse, this mine:
Patroclus kisses you.
2585Mene. Oh this is trim.
Patr. Paris and I kisse euermore for him.
Mene. Ile haue my kisse sir: Lady by your leaue.
Cres. In kissing doe you render, or receiue.
Patr. Both take and giue.
2590Cres. Ile make my match to liue,
The kisse you take is better then you giue: therefore no
Mene. Ile giue you boote, Ile giue you three for one.
Cres. You are an odde man, giue euen, or giue none.
2595Mene. An odde man Lady, euery man is odde.
Cres. No, Paris is not; for you know 'tis true,
That you are odde, and he is euen with you.
Mene. You fillip me a'th'head.
Cres. No, Ile be sworne.
2600Vlis. It were no match, your naile against his horne:
May I sweete Lady beg a kisse of you?
Cres. You may.
Ulis. I doe desire it.
Cres. Why begge then?
2605Vlis. Why then for Venus sake, giue me a kisse:
When Hellen is a maide againe, and his---
Cres. I am your debtor, claime it when 'tis due.
Ulis. Neuer's my day, and then a kisse of you.
Diom. Lady a word, Ile bring you to your Father.
2610Nest. A woman of quicke sence.
Vlis. Fie, fie, vpon her:
Ther's a language in her eye, her cheeke, her lip;
Nay, her foote speakes, her wanton spirites looke out
At euery ioynt, and motiue of her body:
2615Oh these encounterers so glib of tongue,
That giue a coasting welcome ete it comes;
And wide vnclaspe the tables of their thoughts,
To euery tickling reader: set them downe,
For sluttish spoyles of opportunitie;
2620And daughters of the game.
Enter all of Troy, Hector, Paris, Æneas, Helenus
and Attendants. Florish.
All. The Troians Trumpet.
Aga. Yonder comes the troope.
2625Æne. Haile all you state of Greece: what shalbe done
To him that victory commands? or doe you purpose,
A victor shall be knowne: will you the Knights
Shall to the edge of all extremitie
Pursue each other; or shall be diuided
2630By any voyce, or order of the field: Hector bad aske?
Aga. Which way would Hector haue it?
Æne. He cares not, heele obey conditions.
Aga. 'Tis done like Hector, but securely done,
A little proudly, and great deale disprising
2635The Knight oppos'd.
Æne. If not Achilles sir, what is your name?
Achil. If not Achilles, nothing.
Æne. Therefore Achilles: but what ere, know this,
In the extremity of great and little:
2640Valour and pride excell themselues in Hector;
The one almost as infinite as all;
The other blanke as nothing: weigh him well:
And that which lookes like pride, is curtesie:
This Aiax is halfe made of Hectors bloud;
2645In loue whereof, halfe Hector staies at home:
Halfe heart, halfe hand, halfe Hector, comes to seeke
This blended Knight, halfe Troian, and halfe Greeke.
Achil. A maiden battaile then? O I perceiue you.
Aga. Here is sir, Diomed: goe gentle Knight,
2650Stand by our Aiax: as you and Lord Æneas
Consent vpon the order of their fight,
So be it: either to the vttermost,
Or else a breach: the Combatants being kin,
Halfe stints their strife, before their strokes begin.
2655Vlis. They are oppos'd already.
Aga. What Troian is that same that lookes so heauy?
Vlis. The yongest Sonne of Priam;
A true Knight; they call him Troylus;
Not yet mature, yet matchlesse, firme of word,
2660Speaking in deedes, and deedelesse in his tongue;
Not soone prouok't, nor being prouok't, soone calm'd;
His heart and hand both open, and both free:
For what he has, he giues; what thinkes, he shewes;
Yet giues he not till iudgement guide his bounty,
2665Nor dignifies an impaire thought with breath:
Manly as Hector, but more dangerous;
For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
To tender obiects; but he, in heate of action,
Is more vindecatiue then iealous loue.
2670They call him Troylus; and on him erect,
A second hope, as fairely built as Hector.
Thus saies Æneas, one that knowes the youth,
Euen to his inches: and with priuate soule,
Did in great Illion thus translate him to me.
2675Aga. They are in action.
Nest. Now Aiax hold thine owne.
Troy. Hector, thou sleep'st, awake thee.
Aga. His blowes are wel dispos'd there Aiax. trũpets
Diom. You must no more.
2680Æne. Princes enough, so please you.
Aia. I am not warme yet, let vs fight againe.
Diom. As Hector pleases.
Hect. Why then will I no more:
Thou art great Lord, my Fathers sisters Sonne;
2685A cousen german to great Priams seede:
The obligation of our bloud forbids
A gorie emulation 'twixt vs twaine:
Were thy commixion, Greeke and Troian so,
That thou could'st say, this hand is Grecian all,
2690And this is Troian: the sinewes of this Legge,
All Greeke, and this all Troy: my Mothers bloud
Runs on the dexter cheeke, and this sinister
Bounds in my fathers: by Ioue multipotent,
Thou should'st not beare from me a Greekish member
2695Wherein my sword had not impressure made
Of our ranke feud: but the iust gods gainsay,
That any drop thou borrwd'st from thy mother,
My sacred Aunt, should by my mortall Sword
Be drained. Let me embrace thee Aiax:
2700By him that thunders, thou hast lustie Armes;
Hector would haue them fall vpon him thus.
Cozen, all honor to thee.
Aia. I thanke thee Hector:
Thou art too gentle, and too free a man:
2705I came to kill thee Cozen, and beare hence
A great addition, earned in thy death.
Hect. Not Neoptolymus so mirable,
On whose bright crest, fame with her lowd'st (O yes)
Cries, This is he; could'st promise to himselfe,
2710A thought of added honor, torne from Hector.
Æne. There is expectance here from both the sides,
What further you will doe?
Hect. Weele answere it:
The issue is embracement: Aiax, farewell.
2715Aia. If I might in entreaties finde successe,
As seld I haue the chance; I would desire
My famous Cousin to our Grecian Tents.
Diom. 'Tis Agamemnons wish, and great Achilles
Doth long to see vnarm'd the valiant Hector.
2720Hect. Æneas, call my brother Troylus to me:
And signifie this louing enterview
To the expecters of our Troian part:
Desire them home. Giue me thy hand, my Cousin:
I will goe eate with thee, and see your Knights.
Enter Agamemnon and the rest.
Aia. Great Agamemnon comes to meete vs here.
Hect. The worthiest of them, tell me name by name:
But for Achilles, mine owne serching eyes
Shall finde him by his large and portly size.
2730Aga. Worthy of Armes: as welcome as to one
That would be rid of such an enemie.
But that's no welcome: vnderstand more cleere
What's past, and what's to come, is strew'd with huskes,
And formelesse ruine of obliuion:
2735But in this extant moment, faith and troth,
Strain'd purely from all hollow bias drawing:
Bids thee with most diuine integritie,
From heart of very heart, great Hector welcome.
Hect. I thanke thee most imperious Agamemnon.
2740Aga. My well-fam'd Lord of Troy, no lesse to you.
Men. Let me confirme my Princely brothers greeting,
You brace of warlike Brothers, welcome hither.
Hect. Who must we answer?
Æne. The Noble Menelaus.
2745Hect. O, you my Lord, by Mars his gauntlet thanks,
Mocke not, that I affect th'vntraded Oath,
Your quondam wife sweares still by Venus Gloue
Shee's well, but bad me not commend her to you.
Men. Name her not now sir, she's a deadly Theame.
2750Hect. O pardon, I offend.
Nest. I haue (thou gallant Troyan) seene thee oft
Labouring for destiny, make cruell way
Through rankes of Greekish youth: and I haue seen thee
As hot as Perseus, spurre thy Phrygian Steed,
2755And seene thee scorning forfeits and subduments,
When thou hast hung thy aduanced sword i'th'ayre,
Not letting it decline, on the declined:
That I haue said vnto my standers by,
Loe Iupiter is yonder, dealing life.
2760And I haue seene thee pause, and take thy breath,
When that a ring of Greekes haue hem'd thee in,
Like an Olympian wrestling. This haue I seene,
But this thy countenance (still lockt in steele)
I neuer saw till now. I knew thy Grandsire,
2765And once fought with him; he was a Souldier good,
But by great Mars, the Captaine of vs all,
Neuer like thee. Let an oldman embrace thee,
And (worthy Warriour) welcome to our Tents.
Æne. 'Tis the old Nestor.
2770Hect. Let me embrace thee good old Chronicle,
That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time:
Most reuerend Nestor, I am glad to claspe thee.
Ne. I would my armes could match thee in contention
As they contend with thee in courtesie.
2775Hect. I would they could.
Nest. Ha? by this white beard I'ld fight with thee to
morrow. Well, welcom, welcome: I haue seen the time.
Vlys. I wonder now, how yonder City stands,
When we haue heere her Base and pillar by vs.
2780Hect. I know your fauour Lord Vlysses well.
Ah sir, there's many a Greeke and Troyan dead,
Since first I saw your selfe, and Diomed
In Illion, on your Greekish Embassie.
Vlys. Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue,
2785My prophesie is but halfe his iourney yet;
For yonder wals that pertly front your Towne,
Yond Towers, whose wanton tops do busse the clouds,
Must kisse their owne feet.
Hect. I must not beleeue you:
2790There they stand yet: and modestly I thinke,
The fall of euery Phrygian stone will cost
A drop of Grecian blood: the end crownes all,
And that old common Arbitrator, Time,
Will one day end it.
2795Vlys. So to him we leaue it.
Most gentle, and most valiant Hector, welcome;
After the Generall, I beseech you next
To Feast with me, and see me at my Tent.
Achil. I shall forestall thee Lord Vlysses, thou:
2800Now Hector I haue fed mine eyes on thee,
I haue with exact view perus'd thee Hector,
And quoted ioynt by ioynt.
Hect. Is this Achilles?
Achil. I am Achilles.
2805Hect. Stand faire I prythee, let me looke on thee.
Achil. Behold thy fill.
Hect. Nay, I haue done already.
Achil. Thou art to breefe, I will the second time,
As I would buy thee, view thee, limbe by limbe.
2810Hect. O like a Booke of sport thou'lt reade me ore:
But there's more in me then thou vnderstand'st.
Why doest thou so oppresse me with thine eye?
Achil. Tell me you Heauens, in which part of his body
Shall I destroy him? Whether there, or there, or there,
2815That I may giue the locall wound a name,
And make distinct the very breach, where-out
Hectors great spirit flew. Answer me heauens.
Hect. It would discredit the blest Gods, proud man,
To answer such a question: Stand againe;
2820Think'st thou to catch my life so pleasantly,
As to prenominate in nice coniecture
Where thou wilt hit me dead?
Achil. I tell thee yea.
Hect. Wert thou the Oracle to tell me so,
2825I'ld not beleeue thee: henceforth guard thee well,
For Ile not kill thee there, nor there, nor there,
But by the forge that stythied Mars his helme,
Ile kill thee euery where, yea, ore and ore.
You wisest Grecians, pardon me this bragge,
2830His insolence drawes folly from my lips,
But Ile endeuour deeds to match these words,
Or may I neuer---
Aiax. Do not chafe thee Cosin:
And you Achilles, let these threats alone
2835Till accident, or purpose bring you too't.
You may euery day enough of Hector
If you haue stomacke. The generall state I feare,
Can scarse intreat you to be odde with him.
Hect. I pray you let vs see you in the field,
2840We haue had pelting Warres since you refus'd
The Grecians cause.
Achil. Dost thou intreat me Hector?
To morrow do I meete thee fell as death,
To night, all Friends.
2845Hect. Thy hand vpon that match.
Aga. First, all you Peeres of Greece go to my Tent,
There in the full conuiue you: Afterwards,
As Hectors leysure, and your bounties shall
Concurre together, seuerally intreat him.
2850Beate lowd the Taborins, let the Trumpets blow,
That this great Souldier may his welcome know.
Troy. My Lord Ulysses, tell me I beseech you,
In what place of the Field doth Calchas keepe?
Ulys. At Menelaus Tent, most Princely Troylus,
2855There Diomed doth feast with him to night,
Who neither lookes on heauen, nor on earth,
But giues all gaze and bent of amorous view
On the faire Cressid.
Troy. Shall I (sweet Lord) be bound to thee so much,
2860After we part from Agamemnons Tent,
To bring me thither?
Vlys. You shall command me sir:
As gentle tell me, of what Honour was
This Cressida in Troy, had she no Louer there
2865That wailes her absence?
Troy. O sir, to such as boasting shew their scarres,
A mocke is due: will you walke on my Lord?
She was belou'd, she lou'd; she is, and dooth;
But still sweet Loue is food for Fortunes tooth.