Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Modern)


3196.1
[5.3]
Enter Hector [in armor] and Andromache.
Andromache When was my lord so much ungently tempered
To stop his ears against admonishment?
3200Unarm, unarm, and do not fight today.
Hector You train me to offend you. Get you gone.
By the everlasting gods, I'll go.
Andromache My dreams will, sure, prove ominous to the day.
Hector
No more, I say.
Enter Cassandra.
3205Cassandra
Where is my brother Hector?
Andromache Here, sister, armed, and bloody in intent.
Consort with me in loud and dear petition.
Pursue we him on knees, for I have dreamt
Of bloody turbulence, and this whole night
3210Hath nothing been but shapes and forms of slaughter.
Cassandra
Oh, 'tis true.
Hector
Ho. Bid my trumpet sound.
Cassandra No notes of sally, for the heavens, sweet brother.
Hector Begone, I say. The gods have heard me swear.
3215Cassandra The gods are deaf to hot and peevish vows;
They are polluted off'rings, more abhorred
Than spotted livers in the sacrifice.
Andromache [To Hector] Oh, be persuaded. Do not count it holy
To hurt by being just; it is as lawful,
3220For we would give much, to use violent thefts,
And rob in the behalf of charity.
Cassandra It is the purpose that makes strong the vow,
But vows to every purpose must not hold.
Unarm, sweet Hector.
3225Hector
Hold you still, I say;
Mine honor keeps the weather of my fate.
Life every man holds dear, but the dear man
Holds honor far more precious, dear, than life. --
Enter Troilus [in armor].
3230How now, young man? Mean'st thou to fight today?
Andromache Cassandra, call my father to persuade.
Exit Cassandra.
Hector No, faith, young Troilus; doff thy harness, youth.
I am today i'th'vein of chivalry.
3235Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong,
And tempt not yet the brushes of the war.
Unarm thee, go, and doubt thou not, brave boy,
I'll stand today, for thee, and me, and Troy.
Troilus Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you
3240Which better fits a lion than a man.
Hector What vice is that? Good Troilus, chide me for it.
Troilus When many times the captive Grecian falls,
Even in the fan and wind of your fair sword,
You bid them rise and live.
3245Hector
Oh, 'tis fair play.
Troilus
Fool's play, by heaven, Hector.
Hector
How now? How now?
Troilus For th'love of all the gods,
Let's leave the hermit pity with our mothers;
3250And when we have our armors buckled on,
The venomed vengeance ride upon our swords,
Spur them to ruthful work, rein them from ruth.
Hector
Fie, savage, fie.
Troilus
Hector, then 'tis wars.
3255Hector Troilus, I would not have you fight today.
Troilus Who should withhold me?
Not fate, obedience, nor the hand of Mars
Beck'ning with fiery truncheon my retire;
Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees,
3260Their eyes o'er-gallèd with recourse of tears,
Nor you, my brother, with your true sword drawn
Opposed to hinder me, should stop my way,
But by my ruin.
Enter Priam and Cassandra.
3265Cassandra Lay hold upon 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 all together.
Priam
Come, Hector, come; go back.
3270Thy wife hath dreamt; thy mother hath had visions;
Cassandra doth foresee; and I myself
Am like a prophet suddenly enrapt
To tell thee that this day is ominous.
Therefore, come back.
3275Hector
Aeneas is afield,
And I do stand engaged to many Greeks,
Even in the faith of valor, to appear
This morning to them.
Priam
Ay, but thou shalt not go.
3280Hector I must not break my faith.
You know me dutiful; therefore, dear sir,
Let me not shame respect, but give me leave
To take that course by your consent and voice
Which you do here forbid me, royal Priam.
3285Cassandra
O Priam, yield not to him.
Andromache
Do not, dear father.
Hector Andromache, I am offended with you.
Upon the love you bear me, get you in.
Exit Andromache.
3290Troilus This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl
Makes all these bodements.
Cassandra
O farewell, dear Hector.
Look how thou diest. Look how thy eye turns pale.
Look how thy wounds doth bleed at many vents.
3295Hark, how Troy roars, how Hecuba cries out,
How poor Andromache shrills her dolor forth.
Behold, distraction, frenzy, and amazement
Like witless antics one another meet,
And all cry, "Hector, Hector's dead, O Hector."
3300Troilus Away, away.
Cassandra Farewell. Yes, soft, Hector, I take my leave;
Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive.
Exit [Cassandra].
Hector [To Priam] You are amazed, my liege, at her exclaim.
Go in and cheer the town; we'll forth and fight,
3305Do deeds of praise, and tell you them at night.
Priam Farewell. The gods with safety stand about thee.
[Exeunt Priam and Hector separately.]
Alarum.
Troilus They are at it. Hark. -- Proud Diomed, believe
I come to lose my arm or win my sleeve.
3310
Enter Pandarus [with a letter].
Pandarus Do you hear, my lord? Do you hear?
Troilus What now?
Pandarus Here's a item="letter" letter come from yon poor girl.
Troilus Let me read.
[Troilus reads.]
3315Pandarus A whoreson phthisic, a whoreson rascally phthisic so troubles me, and the foolish fortune of this girl, and what one thing, what another, that I shall leave you one o'these days, and I have a rheum in mine eyes too, and such an ache in my bones that, unless a man were cursed, 3320I cannot tell what to think on't. -- What says she there?
Troilus Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.
Th'effect doth operate another way.
[He tears the letter, and throws it into the wind.]
3325Go wind to wind. There turn and change together.
My love with words and errors still she feeds,
But edifies another with her deeds.
Pandarus Why, but hear you?
Troilus Hence, brother lackey, ignomy and shame
3330Pursue thy life, and live aye with thy name.
Alarum.
Exeunt.