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  • Title: Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: William Godshalk
  • ISBN: 1-55058-301-8

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: William Godshalk
    Peer Reviewed

    Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)

    Troylus and Cressida.
    Cres. More dregs then water, if my teares haue eyes.
    Troy. Feares make diuels of Cherubins, they neuer see
    Cres. Blinde feare, that seeing reason leads, findes safe
    footing, then blinde reason, stumbling without feare: to
    feare the worst, oft cures the worse.
    Troy. Oh let my Lady apprehend no feare,
    1705In all Cupids Pageant there is presented no monster.
    Cres. Not nothing monstrons neither?
    Troy. Nothing but our vndertakings, when we vowe
    to weepe seas, liue in fire, eate rockes, tame Tygers; think-
    ing it harder for our Mistresse to deuise imposition
    1710inough, then for vs to vndergoe any difficultie imposed.
    This is the monstruositie in loue Lady, that the will is in-
    finite, and the execution confin'd; that the desire is bound-
    lesse, and the act a slaue to limit.
    Cres. They say all Louers sweare more performance
    1715then they are able, and yet reserue an ability that they
    neuer performe: vowing more then the perfection of ten;
    and discharging lesse then the tenth part of one. They
    that haue the voyce of Lyons, and the act of Hares: are
    they not Monsters?
    1720Troy. Are there such? such are not we: Praise vs as we
    are tasted, allow vs as we proue: our head shall goe bare
    till merit crowne it: no perfection in reuersion shall haue
    a praise in present: wee will not name desert before his
    birth, and being borne his addition shall be humble: few
    1725words to faire faith. Troylus shall be such to Cressid, as
    what enuie can say worst, shall be a mocke for his truth;
    and what truth can speake truest, not truer then Troy-
    Cres. Will you walke in my Lord?
    Enter Pandarus.
    Pan. What blushing still? haue you not done talking
    Cres. Well Vnckle, what folly I commit, I dedicate
    to you.
    1735Pan. I thanke you for that: if my Lord get a Boy of
    you, youle giue him me: be true to my Lord, if he flinch,
    chide me for it.
    Tro. You know now your hostages: your Vnckles word
    and my firme faith.
    1740Pan. Nay, Ile giue my word for her too: our kindred
    though they be long ere they are wooed, they are con-
    stant being wonne: they are Burres I can tell you, they'le
    sticke where they are throwne.
    Cres. Boldnesse comes to mee now, and brings mee
    1745heart: Prince Troylus, I haue lou'd you night and day, for
    many weary moneths.
    Troy. Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?
    Cres. Hard to seeme won: but I was won my Lord
    With the first glance; that euer pardon me,
    1750If I confesse much you will play the tyrant:
    I loue you now, but not till now so much
    But I might maister it; infaith I lye:
    My thoughts were like vnbrideled children grow
    Too head-strong for their mother: see we fooles,
    1755Why haue I blab'd: who shall be true to vs
    When we are so vnsecret to our selues?
    But though I lou'd you well, I woed you not,
    And yet good faith I wisht my selfe a man;
    Or that we women had mens priuiledge
    1760Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
    For in this rapture I shall surely speake
    The thing I shall repent: see, see, your silence
    Comming in dumbnesse, from my weakenesse drawes
    My soule of counsell from me. Stop my mouth.
    1765Troy. And shall, albeit sweete Musicke issues thence.
    Pan. Pretty yfaith.
    Cres. My Lord, I doe beseech you pardon me,
    'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kisse:
    I am asham'd; O Heauens, what haue I done!
    1770For this time will I take my leaue my Lord.
    Troy. Your leaue sweete Cressid?
    Pan. Leaue: and you take leaue till to morrow mor-
    Cres. Pray you content you.
    1775Troy. What offends you Lady?
    Cres. Sir, mine owne company.
    Troy. You cannot shun your selfe.
    Cres. Let me goe and try:
    I haue a kinde of selfe recides with you:
    1780But an vnkinde selfe, that itselfe will leaue,
    To be anothers foole. Where is my wit?
    I would be gone: I speake I know not what.
    Troy. Well know they what they speake, that speakes
    so wisely.
    1785Cre. Perchance my Lord, I shew more craft then loue,
    And fell so roundly to a large confession,
    To Angle for your thoughts: but you are wise,
    Or else you loue not: for to be wise and loue,
    Exceedes mans might, that dwels with gods aboue.
    1790Troy. O that I thought it could be in a woman:
    As if it can, I will presume in you,
    To feede for aye her lampe and flames of loue.
    To keepe her constancie in plight and youth,
    Out-liuing beauties outward, with a minde
    1795That doth renew swifter then blood decaies:
    Or that perswasion could but thus conuince me,
    That my integritie and truth to you,
    Might be affronted with the match and waight
    Of such a winnowed puriritie in loue:
    1800How were I then vp-lifted! but alas,
    I am as true, as truths simplicitie,
    And simpler then the infancie of truth.
    Crs. In that Ile warre with you.
    Troy. O vertuous fight,
    1805When right with right wars who shall be most right:
    True swaines in loue, shall in the world to come
    Approue their truths by Troylus, when their rimes,
    Full of protest, of oath and big compare;
    Wants similes, truth tir'd with iteration,
    1810As true as steele, as plantage to the Moone:
    As Sunne to day: as Turtle to her mate:
    As Iron to Adamant: as Earth to th'Center:
    Yet after all comparisons of truth,
    (As truths authenticke author to be cited)
    1815As true as Troylus, shall crowne vp the Verse,
    And sanctifie the numbers.
    Cres. Prophet may you be:
    If I be false, or swerue a haire from truth,
    When time is old and hath forgot it selfe:
    1820When water drops haue worne the Stones of Troy;
    And blinde obliuion swallow'd Cities vp;
    And mightie States characterlesse are grated
    To dustie nothing; yet let memory,
    From false to false, among false Maids in loue,
    1825Vpbraid my falsehood, when they'aue said as false,
    As Aire, as Water, as Winde, as sandie earth;
    As Foxe to Lambe; as Wolfe to Heifers Calfe;
    Pard to the Hinde, or Stepdame to her Sonne;
    Yea, let them say, to sticke the heart of falsehood,