Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)


The history
To see vs heere vnarmd. I haue a womans longing,
2095An appetite that I am sick with-all,
To see great Hector in his weeds of peace,
To talke with him, and to behold his visage,
Euen to my full of view. A labour sau'd.
2098.1
Enter Thersites.
Thersi. A wonder. Achil. What?
Thersi. Aiax goes vp and downe the field asking for
himselfe.
Achil. How so?
Thersi. He must fight singly to morrow with Hector, and
2105is so prophetically proud of an heroycall cudgeling, that
he raues in saying nothing.
Achil. How can that be?
Thersi. Why a stalkes vp and downe like a peacock, a
stride and a stand: ruminates like an hostisse, that hath no
2110Arithmatique but her braine to set downe her reckoning:
bites his lip with a politique regarde, as who should say
there were witte in this head and twoo'd out: and so there
is. But it lyes as coldly in him, as fire in a flint, which will
not show without knocking, the mans vndone for euer, for
2115if Hector breake not his neck ith' combate, hee'le breakt
himselfe in vaine glory. Hee knowes not mee. I sayd
good morrow Aiax: And hee replyes thankes Agamem-
non. What thinke you of this man that takes mee for the
Generall? Hees growne a very land-fish languagelesse, a
2120monster, a plague of opinion, a man may weare it on both
sides like a lether Ierkin.
Achil. Thou must be my Ambassador Thersites.
Thersi. Who I: why heele answer no body: hee profef-
2125ses not answering, speaking is for beggers: he weares his
tongue in's armes. I will put on his presence, let Patroclus
make demands to me. You shall see the pageant of Aiax.
Achil. To him Patroclus, tell him I humbly desire the va-
2130liant Aiax, to inuite the valorous Hector to come vnarm'd
to my tent, and to procure safe-conduct for his person, of
the magnanimous and most illustrious, sixe or seauen times
honour'd Captaine Generall of the armie. Agamemnon,
do this.
Patr.