Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


A neuer writer, to an euer
reader. Newes.

ETernall reader, you haue heere a new
play, neuer stal'd with the Stage,
.30neuer clapper-clawd with the palmes
of the vulger, and yet passing full of
the palme comicall; for it is a birth of
your braine, that neuer vnder-tooke
any thing commicall, vainely: And
.35were but the vaine names of commedies changde for the
titles of Commodities, or of Playes for Pleas; you should
see all those grand censors, that now stile them such
vanities, flock to them for the maine grace of their
grauities: especially this authors Commedies, that are
.40so fram'd to the life, that they serue for the most com-
monCommentaries, of all the actions of our liues, shew-
ingsuch a dexteritie, and power of witte, that the most
displeased with Playes, are pleasd with his Commedies.
And all such dull and heauy-witted worldlings, as were
.45neuer capable of the witte of a Commedie, comming by
report of them to his representations, haue found that
witte there, that they neuer found in them-selues, and
haue parted better wittied then they came: feeling an
edge of witte set vpon them, more then euer they
.50dreamd they had braine to grinde it on. So much and
such sauored salt of witte is in his Commedies, that they
seeme (for their height of pleasure) to be borne in that
sea that brought forth Venus. Amongst all there is
none more witty then this: And had I time I would
.55comment vpon it, though I know it needs not, (for so
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much