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  • Title: Troilus and Cressida (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)

    154.1[1.2]
    155Enter Cressida and her man [Alexander].
    Cressida
    Who were those went by?
    Alexander
    Queen Hecuba and Helen.
    Cressida
    And whither go they?
    Alexander
    Up to the eastern tower,
    160Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
    To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
    Is as a virtue fixed, today was moved.
    He chides Andromache and struck his armorer,
    And, like as there were husbandry in war,
    165Before the sun rose, he was harnessed light,
    And to the field goes he, where every flower
    Did as a prophet weep what it foresaw
    In Hector's wrath.
    Cressida
    What was his cause of anger?
    170Alexander
    The noise goes this: There is among the Greeks
    A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
    They call him Ajax.
    Cressida
    Good, and what of him?
    175Alexander
    They say he is a very man per se and stands alone.
    Cressida
    So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.
    Alexander
    This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts of their particular additions: he is as valiant as the lion, churlish 180as the bear, slow as the elephant; a man into whom nature hath so crowded humors that his valor is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with discretion. There is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of, nor any man an attaint, but he carries some stain of it. He is 185melancholy without cause, and merry against the hair; he hath the joints of every thing, but everything so out of joint, that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use, or purblinded Argus, all eyes and no sight.
    Cressida
    But how should this man that makes me smile 190make Hector angry?
    Alexander
    They say he yesterday coped Hector in the battle and struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and waking.
    Enter Pandarus.
    195Cressida
    Who comes here?
    Alexander
    Madam, your uncle Pandarus.
    Cressida
    Hector's a gallant man.
    Alexander
    As may be in the world, lady.
    Pandarus
    What's that? What's that?
    200Cressida
    Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.
    Pandarus
    Good morrow, cousin Cressid. What do you talk of? -- Good morrow, Alexander. -- How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium?
    Cressida
    This morning, uncle.
    205Pandarus
    What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector armed and gone ere ye came to Ilium? Helen was not up? Was she?
    Cressida
    Hector was gone, but Helen was not up?
    Pandarus
    E'en so; Hector was stirring early.
    210Cressida
    That were we talking of, and of his anger.
    Pandarus
    Was he angry?
    Cressida
    [Motioning to Alexander] So he says here.
    Pandarus
    True, he was so; I know the cause too. He'll lay about him today, I can tell them that, and there's Troilus 215will not come far behind him. Let them take heed of Troilus; I can tell them that too.
    Cressida
    What, is he angry too?
    Pandarus
    Who, Troilus?
    Troilus is the better man of the two.
    220Cressida
    O Jupiter, there's no comparison.
    Pandarus
    What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a man if you see him?
    Cressida
    Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.
    Pandarus
    Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.
    225Cressida
    Then you say as I say, for I am sure he is not Hector.
    Pandarus
    No, nor Hector is not Troilus -- in some degrees.
    Cressida
    'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.
    Pandarus
    Himself? Alas, poor Troilus, I would he were.
    230Cressida
    So he is.
    Pandarus
    Condition I had gone barefoot to India.
    Cressida
    He is not Hector.
    Pandarus
    Himself? No, he's not himself; would a were himself. -- Well, the gods are above; time must friend or 235end. Well, Troilus, well, I would my heart were in her body; no, Hector is not a better man than Troilus.
    Cressida
    Excuse me.
    Pandarus
    He is elder.
    Cressida
    Pardon me, pardon me.
    240Pandarus
    Th'other's not come to't; you shall tell me another tale when th'other's come to't. Hector shall not have his will this year.
    Cressida
    He shall not need it if he have his own.
    Pandarus
    Nor his qualities.
    245Cressida
    No matter.
    Pandarus
    Nor his beauty.
    Cressida
    'Twould not become him; his own's better.
    Pandarus
    You have no judgment, niece; Helen herself swore th'other day, that Troilus for a brown favor (for 250so 'tis, I must confess) -- not brown neither --
    Cressida
    No, but brown.
    Pandarus
    Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.
    Cressida
    To say the truth, true and not true.
    Pandarus
    She praised his complexion above Paris'.
    255Cressida
    Why, Paris hath color enough.
    Pandarus
    So he has.
    Cressida
    Then Troilus should have too much, if she praised him above. His complexion is higher than his. He having color enough, and the other, higher, is too flaming a 260praise for a good complexion. I had as lief Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a copper nose.
    Pandarus
    I swear to you, I think Helen loves him better than Paris.
    Cressida
    Then she's a merry Greek indeed.
    265Pandarus
    Nay, I am sure she does; she came to him th'other day into the compassed window, and, you know, he has not past three or four hairs on his chin.
    Cressida
    Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his particulars therein to a total.
    270Pandarus
    Why, he is very young, and yet will he within three pound lift as much as his brother Hector.
    Cressida
    Is he so young a man, and so old a lifter?
    Pandarus
    But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she came and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin --
    275 Cressida
    Juno have mercy. How came it cloven?
    Pandarus
    Why, you know 'tis dimpled. I think his smiling becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia.
    Cressida
    Oh, he smiles valiantly.
    280Pandarus
    Does he not?
    Cressida
    O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.
    Pandarus
    Why, go to then. But to prove to you that Helen loves Troilus --
    Cressida
    Troilus will stand to the 285proof, if you'll prove it so.
    Pandarus
    Troilus? Why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an addle egg.
    Cressida
    If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i'th'shell.
    290Pandarus
    I cannot choose but laugh to think how she tickled his chin. Indeed, she has a marvelous white hand, I must needs confess.
    Cressida
    Without the rack.
    Pandarus
    And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on 295his chin.
    Cressida
    Alas, poor chin. Many a wart is richer.
    Pandarus
    But there was such laughing; queen Hecuba laughed that her eyes ran o'er.
    Cressida
    With millstones?
    300Pandarus
    And Cassandra laughed --
    Cressida
    But there was more temperate fire under the pot of her eyes. Did her eyes run o'er too?
    Pandarus
    And Hector laughed.
    Cressida
    At what was all this laughing?
    305Pandarus
    Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus's chin.
    Cressida
    An't had been a green hair, I should have laughed too.
    Pandarus
    They laughed not so much at the hair as at his 310pretty answer.
    Cressida
    What was his answer?
    Pandarus
    Quoth she, "Here's but two and fifty hairs on your chin, and one of them is white."
    Cressida
    This is her question.
    315Pandarus
    That's true; make no question of that. "Two and fifty hairs," quoth he, "and one white; that white hair is my father, and all the rest are his sons." "Jupiter," quoth she, "which of these hairs is Paris, my husband?" "The forked one," quoth he; "pluck't out and give it him." But there 320was such laughing, and Helen so blushed, and Paris so chafed, and all the rest so laughed, that it passed.
    Cressida
    So let it now, for it has been a great while going by.
    Pandarus
    Well, cousin, 325I told you a thing yesterday; think on't.
    Cressida
    So I do.
    Pandarus
    I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you an 'twere a man born in April.
    [Sound a retreat.]
    Cressida
    And I'll spring up in his tears, an'twere a nettle 330against May.
    Pandarus
    Hark, they are coming from the field. Shall we stand up here and see them as they pass toward Ilium? Good niece, do, sweet niece Cressida.
    Cressida
    At your pleasure.
    335Pandarus
    Here, here, here's an excellent place; here we may see most bravely. I'll tell you them all by their names as they pass by, but mark Troilus above the rest.
    Enter Aeneas [and pass over the stage].
    Cressida
    Speak not so loud.
    340Pandarus
    That's Aeneas. Is not that a brave man? He's one of the flowers of Troy, I can tell you. But mark Troilus. You shall see anon.
    Cressida
    Who's that?
    [Enter Antenor and pass over the stage.]
    345Pandarus
    That's Antenor. He has a shrewd wit, I can tell you, and he's a man good enough; he's one o'th'soundest judgments in Troy whosoever, and a proper man of person. When comes Troilus? I'll show you Troilus anon. If he see me, you shall see him nod at me.
    350Cressida
    Will he give you the nod?
    Pandarus
    You shall see.
    Cressida
    If he do, the rich shall have more.
    Enter Hector [and pass over the stage].
    Pandarus
    That's Hector; that, that, look you, that: there's a fellow. Go 355thy way, Hector. There's a brave man, niece. O brave Hector. Look how he looks. There's a countenance. Is't not a brave man?
    Cressida
    O brave man.
    Pandarus
    Is a not? It does a man's heart good. Look you 360what hacks are on his helmet. Look you yonder. Do you see? Look you there. There's no jesting; there's laying on; tak't off who will, as they say; there be hacks.
    Cressida
    Be those with swords?
    Enter Paris [and pass over the stage].
    365Pandarus
    Swords, anything, he cares not; an the devil come to him, it's all one; by God's lid, it does one's heart good. Yonder comes Paris. Yonder comes Paris. Look ye yonder, niece. Is't not a gallant man too, is't not? Why, this is brave now: who said he came hurt home today? 370He's not hurt. Why, this will do Helen's heart good now, ha? Would I could see Troilus now; you shall see Troilus anon.
    Cressida
    Who's that?
    Enter Helenus [and pass over the stage].
    375Pandarus
    That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's Helenus. -- I think he went not forth today. -- That's Helenus.
    Cressida
    Can Helenus fight, uncle?
    Pandarus
    Helenus? No. Yes, he'll fight indifferent well. I 380marvel where Troilus is. Hark, do you not hear the people cry "Troilus"? -- Helenus is a priest.
    Cressida
    What sneaking fellow comes yonder?
    Enter Troilus [and pass over the stage].
    Pandarus
    Where? Yonder? That's Deiphobus. -- 'Tis 385Troilus. There's a man, niece, hem? Brave Troilus, the prince of chivalry.
    Cressida
    Peace, for shame, peace.
    Pandarus [Pointing toward Troilus]
    Mark him, [Pointing toward another Trojan warrior] not him. O brave Troilus. Look well upon him, niece; look you how his sword is 390bloodied, and his helm more hacked than Hector's, and how he looks, and how he goes. O admirable youth. He ne'er saw three and twenty. Go thy way, Troilus, go thy way. Had I a sister were a grace, or a daughter a goddess, he should take his choice. O admirable man. Paris? Paris 395is dirt to him, and, I warrant Helen, to change, would give money to boot.
    Enter common soldiers [passing over the stage].
    Cressida
    Here come more.
    Pandarus
    Asses, fools, dolts; chaff and bran, chaff and 400bran; porridge after meat. I could live and die i'th'eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look; ne'er look; the eagles are gone. Crows and daws, crows and daws. I had rather be such a man as Troilus than Agamemnon and all Greece.
    Cressida
    There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better 405man than Troilus.
    Pandarus
    Achilles? A drayman, a porter, a very camel.
    Cressida
    Well, well.
    Pandarus
    "Well, well?" Why, have you any discretion? Have you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not birth, 410beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and so forth, the spice and salt that seasons a man?
    Cressida
    Ay, a minced man, and then to be baked with no date in the pie, for then the man's date's out.
    415Pandarus
    You are such another woman; one knows not at what ward you lie.
    Cressida
    Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon my wit, to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend mine honesty; my mask, to defend my beauty, and you 420to defend all these; and all these wards I lie at, at a thousand watches.
    Pandarus
    Say one of your watches.
    Cressida
    Nay, I'll watch you for that, and that's one of the chiefest of them too. If I cannot ward what I would 425not have hit, I can watch you for telling how I took the blow, unless it swell past hiding, and then it's past watching.
    Enter [Troilus's] Boy.
    Pandarus
    You are such another.
    430Troilus's Boy
    Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.
    Pandarus
    Where?
    Troilus's Boy
    At your own house.
    Pandarus
    Good boy, tell him I come.
    [Exit Troilus's Boy.]
    I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece.
    435Cressida
    Adieu, uncle.
    Pandarus
    I'll be with you, niece, by and by.
    Cressida
    To bring, uncle?
    Pandarus
    Ay, a token from Troilus.
    Cressida
    By the same token, you are a bawd.
    Exit Pandarus.
    440Words, vows, gifts, tears, and love's full sacrifice,
    He offers in another's enterprise,
    But more in Troilus thousandfold I see
    Than in the glass of Pandar's praise may be;
    Yet hold I off. Women are angels, wooing;
    445Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.
    That she belov'd knows naught that knows not this:
    Men prize the thing ungained more than it is.
    That she was never yet that ever knew
    Love got so sweet as when desire did sue.
    450Therefore this maxim out of love I teach:
    "Achievement is command; ungained, beseech."
    That though my heart's contents firm love doth bear,
    Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.
    Exit [Cressida with Alexander, attending].