Internet Shakespeare Editions

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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)

    Music sounds within. Enter Pandarus and a Servant.
    Pandarus Friend -- you -- pray you, a word. Do not you 1480follow the young lord Paris?
    Servant Ay, sir, when he goes before me.
    Pandarus You depend upon him, I mean.
    Servant Sir, I do depend upon the Lord.
    Pandarus You depend upon a noble gentleman. I must 1485needs praise him.
    Servant The Lord be praised.
    Pandarus You know me, do you not?
    Servant Faith, sir, superficially.
    Pandarus Friend, know me better; I am the lord Pandarus.
    1490Servant I hope I shall know your honor better.
    Pandarus I do desire it.
    Servant You are in the state of grace?
    Pandarus Grace? Not so, friend; "honor" and "lordship" are my titles. What music is this?
    1495Servant I do but partly know, sir; it is music in parts.
    Pandarus Know you the musicians?
    Servant Wholly, sir.
    Pandarus Who play they to?
    Servant To the hearers, sir.
    1500Pandarus At whose pleasure, friend?
    Servant At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.
    Pandarus "Command," I mean, friend.
    Servant Who shall I command, sir?
    Pandarus Friend, we understand not one another. I am too 1505courtly, and thou art too cunning. At whose request do these men play?
    Servant That's to't indeed, sir. Marry, sir, at the request of Paris, my lord, who's there in person, with him the mortal Venus, the heart blood of beauty, love's invisible 1510soul.
    Pandarus Who? My cousin Cressida?
    Servant No, sir, Helen. Could you not find out that by her attributes?
    Pandarus It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the 1515lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the prince Troilus. I will make a complimental assault upon him, for my business seethes.
    Servant Sodden business? There's a stewed phrase indeed.
    Enter Paris and Helen.
    1520Pandarus Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair company; fair desires in all fair measure fairly guide them, especially to you, fair queen; fair thoughts be your fair pillow.
    Helen Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
    1525Pandarus You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. -- Fair prince, here is good broken music.
    Paris You have broke it, cousin, and, by my life, you shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out with a piece of your performance. -- Nell, he is full of harmony.
    1530Pandarus Truly, lady, no.
    Helen O sir --
    Pandarus Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.
    Paris Well said, my lord; well, you say so in fits.
    Pandarus I have business to my lord, dear queen. -- My 1535lord, will you vouchsafe me a word?
    Helen Nay, this shall not hedge us out; we'll hear you sing, certainly.
    Pandarus Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with me. -- But, marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and most 1540esteemed friend, your brother Troilus --
    Helen My lord Pandarus, honey-sweet lord --
    Pandarus Go to, sweet queen, go to. -- commends himself most affectionately to you.
    Helen You shall not bob us out of our melody. 1545If you do, our melancholy upon your head.
    Pandarus Sweet queen, sweet queen, that's a sweet queen, i'faith --
    Helen And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offense.
    Pandarus Nay, that shall not serve your turn, that shall it 1550not, in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words, no, no. -- And, my lord, he desires you, that if the king call for him at supper, you will make his excuse.
    Helen My lord Pandarus?
    Pandarus What says my sweet queen, my very, very 1555sweet queen?
    Paris What exploit's in hand? Where sups he tonight?
    Helen Nay, but my lord?
    Pandarus What says my sweet queen? -- [To Paris?] My cousin will fall out with you.
    1560Helen [To Paris]You must not know where he sups.
    Paris With my disposer, Cressida?
    Pandarus No, no, no such matter; you are wide. Come, your disposer is sick.
    Paris Well, I'll make excuse.
    1565Pandarus Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida? No, your poor disposer's sick.
    Paris I spy.
    Pandarus You spy? What do you spy? -- Come, give me an instrument now, sweet queen.
    1570Helen Why, this is kindly done.
    Pandarus My niece is horrible in love with a thing you have, sweet queen.
    Helen She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.
    1575Pandarus He? No, she'll none of him; they two are twain.
    Helen Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.
    Pandarus Come, come, I'll hear no more of this. I'll sing you a song now.
    1580Helen Ay, ay, prithee, now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a fine forehead.
    Pandarus Ay, you may, you may.
    Helen Let thy song be love. This love will undo us all. O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid.
    1585Pandarus Love? Ay, that it shall, i'faith.
    Paris Ay, good now: "Love, love, nothing but love."
    Pandarus In good truth, it begins so.
    Love, love, nothing but love, still more:
    For, O, love's bow,
    1590Shoots buck and doe;
    The shaft confounds not that it wounds,
    But tickles still the sore.
    These lovers cry, "Oh, ho," they die;
    Yet that which seems the wound to kill
    1595Doth turn "Oh, ho," to "ha ha he."
    So dying love lives still.
    "Oh, ho," awhile, but "ha ha ha."
    "Oh, ho," groans out for "ha ha ha" -- hey-ho.
    Helen In love, i'faith, to the very tip of the nose.
    1600Paris He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.
    Pandarus Is this the generation of love? Hot blood, hot thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers. Is love a 1605generation of vipers? -- Sweet lord, who's afield today?
    Paris Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the gallantry of Troy. I would fain have armed today, but my Nell would not have it so. 1610How chance my brother Troilus went not?
    Helen He hangs the lip at something. -- You know all, lord Pandarus.
    Pandarus Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they sped today. 1615 -- You'll remember your brother's excuse?
    Paris To a hair.
    Pandarus Farewell, sweet queen.
    Helen Commend me to your niece.
    Pandarus I will, sweet queen.
    Sound a retreat.
    1620Paris They're come from field; let us to Priam's hall
    To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you
    To help unarm our Hector; his stubborn buckles,
    With these your white enchanting fingers touched,
    Shall more obey than to the edge of steel
    1625Or force of Greekish sinews. You shall do more
    Than all the island kings -- disarm great Hector.
    Helen 'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris:
    Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
    Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
    1630Yea, overshines ourself.
    Sweet, above thought, I love thee.