Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


The history
1130Paris should nere retract, what he hath done,
Nor faint in the pursuite,
Pria. Paris you speake
Like one be-sotted on your sweet delights,
You haue the hony still, but these the gall,
1135So to be valiant, is no praise at all.
Par. Sir, I propose not meerly to my selfe,
The pleasures such a beautie brings with it,
But I would haue the soile of her faire rape,
Wip't of in honorable keeping her,
1140What treason were it to the ransackt queene,
Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me,
Now to deliuer her possession vp
On tearmes of base compulsion? can it be,
That so degenerate a straine as this,
1145Should once set footing in your generous bosomes?
There's not the meanest spirit on our party,
Without a heart to dare, or sword to drawe,
When Helen is defended: nor none so noble,
Whose life were ill bestowd, or death vnfam'd,
1150Where Helen is the subiect. Then I say,
Well may we fight for her, whom we know well,
The worlds large spaces cannot paralell.
Hect. Paris and Troylus, you haue both said well,
And on the cause and question now in hand,
1155Haue glozd, but superficially, not much
Vnlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
Vnfit to heere Morrall Philosophie;
The reasons you alleadge, do more conduce
To the hot passion of distempred blood,
1160Then to make vp a free determination
Twixt right and wrong: for pleasure and reuenge,
Haue eares more deafe then Adders to the voyce
Of any true decision. Nature craues
All dues be rendred to their owners. Now
1165What neerer debt in all humanitie,
Then wife is to the husband? if this lawe
Of nature be corrupted through affection
And