Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


of Troylus and Cresseida.
There is a mysterie (with whom relation
Durst neuer meddle) in the soule of state,
Which hath an operation more diuine,
Then breath or pen can giue expressure to:
2060All the commerse that you haue had with Troy,
As perfectly is ours, as yours my Lord,
And better would it fitt Achilles much,
To throw downe Hector then Polixena.
But it must grieue young Pirhus now at home,
2065When fame shall in our Ilands sound her trumpe,
And all the Greekish girles shall tripping sing,
Great Hectors sister did Achilles winne,
But our great Aiax brauely beate downe him:
Farewell my Lord: I as your louer speake,
2070The foole slides ore the Ice that you should breake.
Patr. To this effect Achilles haue I moou'd you,
A woman impudent and mannish growne,
Is not more loth'd then an effeminate man
In time of action: I stand condemnd for this
2075They thinke my little stomack to the warre,
And your great loue to me, restraines you thus,
Sweete rouse your selfe, and the weake wanton Cupid,
Shall from your neck vnloose his amorous fould,
And like dewdrop from the Lions mane,
2080Be shooke to ayre.
Ach. Shall Aiax fight with Hector.
Patro. I and perhaps receiue much honor by him.
Achil. I see my reputation is at stake,
My fame is shrowdly gor'd.
2085Patro. O then beware.
Those wounds heale ill, that men do giue themselues,
Omission to doe what is necessary.
Seales a commission to a blanke of danger,
And danger like an ague subtly taints
2090Euen then when they sit idely in the sunne.
Achil. Go call Thersites hether sweet Patroclus,
Ile send the foole to Aiax, and desire him
T''inuite the Troyan lords after the combate,
G3
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