Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


of Troylus and Cresseida.
And that great mindes of partiall indulgence,
To their benummed wills resist the same,
1170There is a lawe in each well-orderd nation,
To curbe those raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and refracturie;
If Helen then be wife to Sparta's King,
As it is knowne she is, these morrall lawes
1175Of nature and of nations, speake alowd
To haue her back returnd: thus to persist
In doing wrong, extenuates not wrong,
But makes it much more heauie. Hectors opinion
Is this in way of truth: yet nere the lesse,
1180My spritely brethren, I propend to you
In resolution to keepe Helen still,
For 'tis a cause that hath no meane dependance,
Vpon our ioynt and seuerall dignities.
Tro. Why there you toucht the life of our designe:
1185Were it not glory that we more affected,
Then the performance of our heauing spleenes,
I would not wish a drop of Troyan bloud,
Spent more in her defence. But worthy Hector,
She is a theame of honour and renowne,
1190A spurre to valiant and magnanimous deeds,
Whose present courage may beate downe our foes,
And fame in time to come canonize vs,
For I presume braue Hector would not loose
So rich aduantage of a promisd glory,
1195As smiles vpon the fore-head of this action,
For the wide worlds reuenew.
Hect. I am yours,
You valiant offspring of great Priamus,
I haue a roisting challenge sent amongst
1200The dull and factious nobles of the Greekes,
VVill shrike amazement to their drowsie spirits,
I was aduertizd, their great generall slept,
VVhilst emulation in the armie crept:
This I presume will wake him.
Exeunt.
Enter