Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)

The history
Puffing at all, winnowss the light away,
And what hath masse or matter by it selfe,
485Lyes rich in vertue and vnmingled.
Nestor. With due obseruance of the godlike seate,
Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply
Thy latest words. In the reproofe of chance,
490Lies the true proofe of men: the sea being smooth,
How many shallow bauble boates dare saile,
Vpon her ancient brest, making their way
With those of nobler bulke?
But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
495The gentle Thetis, and anon, behold
The strong ribbd barke through liquid mountaines cut,
Bounding betweene the two moyst elements,
Like Perseus horse. Where's then the sawcie boate,
Whose weake vntymberd sides but euen now
500Corriuald greatnesse? either to harbor fled,
Or made a toste for Neptune: euen so
Doth valours shew, and valours worth deuide
In stormes of fortune; for in her ray and brightnesse
505The heard hath more annoyance by the Bryze
Then by the Tyger, but when the splitting winde,
Makes flexible the knees of knotted Okes,
And Flies fled vnder shade, why then the thing of courage,
510As rouzd with rage, with rage doth simpathize,
And with an accent tun'd in selfe same key,
Retires to chiding fortune.
Uliss. Agamemnon,
Thou great Commander, nerues and bone of Greece,
515Heart of our numbers, soule and onely spright,
In whom the tempers and the minds of all
Should be shut vp: heere what Vlisses speakes,
Besides th'applause and approbation,
The which most mighty (for thy place and sway
520And thou most reuerend) for the stretcht out life,
I giue to both your speeches; which were such
As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece,
Should hold vp high in brasse, and such againe