Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)

of Troylus and Cresseida.
Cass. Virgins, and boyes, mid-age, and wrinckled elders,
Soft infancie, that nothing canst but crie,
Adde to my clamours: let vs pay be-times
1095A moytie of that masse of mone to come:
Crie Troyans crye, practise your eyes with teares,
Troy must not bee, nor goodly I lion stand.
Our fire-brand brother Paris burnes vs all,
Crie Troyans crie, a Helen and a woe,
1100Crie, crie, Troy burnes, or else let Hellen goe.
Hect. Now youthfull Troylus, do not these high straines
Of diuination in our Sister, worke
Some touches of remorse? or is your bloud
So madly hott, that no discourse of reason,
1105Nor feare of bad successe in a bad cause,
Can qualifie the same?
Troy. Why brother Hector,
We may not thinke the iustnesse of each act
Such, and no other then euent doth forme it,
1110Nor once deiect the courage of our mindes,
Because Cassandra's madde, her brain-sick raptures
Cannot distast the goodnesse of a quarrell,
Which hath our seuerall honors all engag'd,
To make it gratious. For my priuate part,
1115I am no more toucht then all Priams sonnes:
And Ioue forbid there should be done amongst vs,
Such things as might offend the weakest spleene,
To fight for and maintaine.
Par. Else might the world conuince of leuitie,
1120As well my vnder-takings as your counsells,
But I attest the gods, your full consent,
Gaue wings to my propension, and cut off
All feares attending on so dire a proiect,
For what (alas) can these my single armes?
1125What propugnation is in one mans valour
To stand the push and enmitie of those
This quarrell would excite? Yet I protest
Were I alone to passe the difficulties,
And had as ample power, as I haue will,