Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


The history
Will with a trumpet twixt our Tents and Troy,
To morrow morning call some Knight to armes,
That hath a stomack, and such a one that dare,
Maintaine I know not what, (tis trash) farewell-------
980Aiax. Farewell, who shall answer him.
Achil. I know not, tis put to lottry, otherwise,
He knew his man.
Aiax. O meaning you? I will go learne more of it.
Enter Priam, Hector, Troylus, Paris and Helenus.
985Priam. After so many houres, liues, speeches spent,
Thus once againe saies Nestor from the Greckes:
Deliuer Hellen, (and all domage els,
As honour, losse of time, trauell, expence,
Wounds, friends and what els deere that is consum'd:
990In hot digestion of this cormorant warre)
Shalbe stroke off, Hector what say you to't?
Hect: Though no man lesser feares the Greekes then I
As farre as toucheth my particular: yet dread Priam
There is no Lady of more softer bowells,
995More spungy to suck in the sence of feare:
More ready to cry out, who knowes what followes
Then Hector is: the wound of peace is surely
Surely secure, but modest doubt is calld
The beacon of the wise, the tent that serches,
1000Too'th bottome of the worst let Hellen go,
Since the first sword was drawne about this question
Euery tith soule 'mongst many thousand dismes,
Hath beene as deere as Hellen. I meane of ours:
If we haue loste so many tenthes of ours,
1005To guard a thing not ours, nor worth to vs,
(Had it our name) the valew of one ten,
What merits in that reason which denies,
The yeelding of her vp?
Troy. Fie, fie, my brother,
1010Way you the worth and honour of a King:
So great as our dread fathers in a scale
Of common ounces? will you with Compters summe,
The past proportion of his infinite
And