Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


of Troylus and Cresseida.
Yet hold l off: women are angels woing,
445,,Things woone are done, ioyes soule lies in the dooing.
That shee belou'd, knows naught that knows not this,
,,Men price the thing vngaind more then it is,
That she was neuer yet that euer knew
Loue got so sweet, as when desire did sue,
450Therefore this maxim out of loue I teach,
"Atchiuement is command; ungaind beseech,
Then though my hearts content firme loue doth beare,
Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appeare.
Exit.
Enter Agamemnon. Nestor, Vlisses, Diomedes,
455
Menelaus with others.
Aga. Princes: what griefe hath set these Iaundies ore your
The ample proposition that hope makes,
In all designes begun on earth below,
460Failes in the promist largenesse, checks and disasters,
Grow in the vaines of actions highest reard.
As knots by the conflux of meeting sap,
Infects the sound Pine, and diuerts his graine,
Tortiue and errant from his course of growth.
465Nor Princes is it matter new to vs,
That we come short of our suppose so farre,
That after seauen yeares siege, yet Troy walls stand,
Sith euer action that hath gone before,
Whereof we haue record, triall did draw,
470Bias and thwart: not answering the ayme,
And that vnbodied figure of the thought,
That gau't surmised shape: why then you Princes,
Do you with cheekes abasht behold our workes,
And call them shames which are indeed naught else,
475But the protractiue tryals of great Ioue,
To finde persistiue constancie in men.
The finenesse of which mettall is not found,
In fortunes loue: for then the bould and coward,
The wise and foole, the Artist and vnread,
480The hard and soft seeme all affyn'd and kin,
But in the winde and tempest of her frowne,
Distinction with a broad and powerfull fan,
B3
Puffing