Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


of Troylus and Cresseida.
Th'vnknowne Aiax, heauens what a man is there?
A very horse, that has he knowes not what
Nature what things there are.
1980Most obiect in regard, and deere in vse,
What things againe most deere in the esteeme:
And poore in worth, now shall we see to morrow,
An act that very chance doth throw vpon him
Aiax renown'd? O heauens what some men doe,
1985While some men leaue to doe.
How some men creepe in skittish fortunes hall,
Whiles others play the Ideots in her eyes,
How one man eates into anothers pride,
While pride is fasting in his wantonesse.
1990To see these Grecian Lords, why euen already:
They clap the lubber Aiax on the shoulder
As if his foote were one braue Hectors brest,
And great Troy shriking.
Achill. I doe beleeue it,
1995For they past by me as misers do by beggars,
Neither gaue to me good word nor looke:
What are my deeds forgot?
Vliss. Time hath (my Lord) a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts almes for obliuion:
2000A great siz'd monster of ingratitudes,
Those scraps are good deeds past,
Which are deuour'd as fast as they are made,
Forgot as soone as done, perseuerance deere my Lord:
Keepes honour bright, to haue done, is to hang,
2005Quite out of fashion like a rusty male,
In monumentall mockry? take the instant way,
For honour trauells in a straight so narrow:
Where on but goes a brest, keepe then the path
For emulation hath a thousand Sonnes,
2010That one by one pursue, if you giue way,
Or turne a side from the direct forth right:
Like to an entred tide they all rush by,
And leaue you him, most, then what they do in present:
Though lesse then yours in passe, must ore top yours.
G2
For