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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)

    Enter Diomed.
    Diomed What, are you up here, ho? Speak?
    [Enter Calchas.]
    2975Calchas Who calls?
    Diomed Diomed. Calchas, I think. Where's your daughter?
    Calchas She comes to you.
    Enter Troilus and Ulysses [followed at a distance by Thersites].
    Ulysses [To Troilus] Stand where the torch may not discover us.
    Enter Cressida.
    [To Ulysses] Cressid comes forth to him.
    [To Cressida] How now, my charge?
    Cressida Now, my sweet guardian, hark, a word with you.
    [Cressida whispers to Diomed.]
    Troilus [Aside] Yea, so familiar?
    2985Ulysses [Aside] She will sing any man at first sight.
    Thersites [Aside] And any man may find her, if he can take her life; she's noted.
    Diomed Will you remember?
    Cressida Remember? Yes.
    2990Diomed Nay, but do then, and let your mind be coupled with your words.
    Troilus [Aside] What should she remember?
    Ulysses [Aside] List.
    Cressida Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.
    2995Thersites [Aside] Roguery.
    Diomed Nay then --
    Cressida I'll tell you what --
    Diomed Foh, foh, come tell a pin; you are a forsworn --
    Cressida In faith, I cannot. What would you have me do?
    3000Thersites [Aside] A juggling trick -- to be secretly open.
    Diomed What did you swear you would bestow on me?
    Cressida I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath;
    Bid me do any thing but that, sweet Greek.
    Diomed Good night.
    [Diomed turns to go.]
    3005Troilus [Aside] Hold, patience.
    [To Troilus] How now, Trojan?
    Cressida Diomed --
    Diomed No, no, good night. I'll be your fool no more.
    [Aside] Thy better must.
    Hark, one word in your ear.
    [Cressida whispers to Diomed.]
    Troilus [Aside] O plague and madness.
    Ulysses You are moved, prince; let us depart, I pray you,
    Lest your displeasure should enlarge itself
    To wrathful terms. This place is dangerous,
    3015The time right deadly. I beseech you, go.
    [To Ulysses] Behold, I pray you.
    Nay, good my lord, go off.
    You flow to great distraction. Come, my lord?
    I pray thee, stay.
    You have not patience, come.
    Troilus I pray you, stay. By hell and hell torments,
    I will not speak a word.
    And so, good night.
    [Diomed turns to leave.]
    Cressida Nay, but you part in anger.
    3025Troilus [Aside] Doth that grieve thee? O withered truth.
    Why, how now, lord?
    By Jove, I will be patient.
    Guardian? Why, Greek?
    Foh, foh, adieu; you palter.
    3030Cressida In faith, I do not. Come hither once again.
    Ulysses You shake, my lord, at something. Will you go?
    You will break out.
    She strokes his cheek.
    Come, come.
    3035Troilus Nay, stay. By Jove, I will not speak a word.
    There is between my will and all offences
    A guard of patience; stay a little while.
    Thersites [Aside] How the devil luxury, with his fat rump and potato finger, tickles these together. Fry, lechery, fry.
    3040Diomed But will you then?
    Cressida In faith, I will; lo, never trust me else.
    Diomed Give me some token for the surety of it.
    I'll fetch you one.
    You have sworn patience.
    3045Troilus Fear me not, sweet lord.
    I will not be myself, nor have cognition
    Of what I feel. I am all patience.
    Enter Cressida [carrying a sleeve.]
    Thersites [Aside] Now the pledge, now, now, now.
    Cressida Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve.
    3050Troilus O beauty, where is thy faith?
    Ulysses My lord.
    Troilus [Aside] I will be patient; outwardly I will.
    Cressida You, look upon that sleeve. Behold it well.
    He loved me. -- O false wench. -- Give't me again.
    [Cressida takes the sleeve from Diomed.]
    3055Diomed Whose was't?
    Cressida It is no matter, now I have't again.
    I will not meet with you tomorrow night.
    I prithee, Diomed, visit me no more.
    Thersites [Aside] Now she sharpens. Well said, whetstone.
    3060Diomed I shall have it.
    Cressida What, this?
    Diomed Ay, that.
    Cressida O all you gods. -- O pretty, pretty pledge.
    Thy master now lies thinking in his bed
    3065Of thee and me, and sighs, and takes my glove
    And gives memorial dainty kisses to it
    As I kiss thee.
    [Diomed forcibly takes the sleeve; Cressida tries to take it back.]
    Nay, do not snatch it from me.
    Cressida He that takes that doth take my heart withal.
    3070Diomed I had your heart before; this follows it.
    Troilus [Aside] I did swear patience.
    Cressida You shall not have it, Diomed; faith, you shall not.
    I'll give you something else.
    I will have this. Whose was it?
    It is no matter.
    Diomed Come, tell me whose it was.
    Cressida 'Twas one that loved me better than you will.
    But, now you have it, take it.
    Whose was it?
    3080Cressida By all Diana's waiting-women yon,
    And by herself, I will not tell you whose.
    Diomed Tomorrow will I wear it on my helm,
    And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it.
    Troilus [Aside] Wert thou the devil and wor'st it on thy horn,
    3085It should be challenged.
    Cressida Well, well, 'tis done; 'tis past; and yet it is not;
    I will not keep my word.
    Why then, farewell.
    Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.
    3090Cressida You shall not go. One cannot speak a word,
    But it straight starts you.
    I do not like this fooling.
    Thersites [Aside] Nor I, by Pluto, but that that likes not me pleases me best.
    3095Diomed What? Shall I come? The hour?
    Cressida Ay, come. -- O Jove. -- Do come. -- I shall be plagued.
    Diomed Farewell till then.
    Good night. I prithee, come.
    Troilus, farewell; one eye yet looks on thee;
    3100But with my heart, the other eye doth see.
    Ah, poor our sex, this fault in us I find:
    The error of our eye directs our mind.
    What error leads must err. Oh, then conclude,
    Minds swayed by eyes are full of turpitude.
    Exit [with Calchas?].
    3105Thersites A proof of strength she could not publish more,
    Unless she say, "My mind is now turned whore."
    All's done, my lord.
    It is.
    Why stay we then?
    3110Troilus To make a recordation to my soul
    Of every syllable that here was spoke.
    But, if I tell how these two did coact,
    Shall I not lie in publishing a truth?
    Sith yet there is a credence in my heart,
    3115An esperance so obstinately strong,
    That doth invert that test of eyes and ears,
    As if those organs had deceptious functions
    Created only to calumniate.
    Was Cressid here?
    I cannot conjure, Trojan.
    She was not sure.
    Most sure she was.
    Troilus Why, my negation hath no taste of madness.
    Ulysses Nor mine, my lord. Cressid was here but now.
    3125Troilus Let it not be believed for womanhood.
    Think, we had mothers. Do not give advantage
    To stubborn critics, apt, without a theme,
    For depravation, to square the general sex
    By Cressid's rule. Rather think this not Cressid.
    3130Ulysses What hath she done, prince, that can soil our mothers?
    Troilus Nothing at all, unless that this were she.
    Thersites Will he swagger himself out on's own eyes?
    Troilus This she? No, this is Diomed's Cressida.
    3135If beauty have a soul, this is not she;
    If souls guide vows, if vows are sanctimony,
    If sanctimony be the gods' delight,
    If there be rule in unity itself,
    This is not she. Oh, madness of discourse
    3140That cause sets up with and against thyself
    By foul authority, where reason can revolt
    Without perdition, and loss assume all reason
    Without revolt. This is, and is not Cressid.
    Within my soul there doth conduce a fight
    3145Of this strange nature, that a thing inseparate
    Divides more wider than the sky and earth,
    And yet the spacious breadth of this division
    Admits no orifice for a point as subtle
    As Ariachne's broken woof to enter.
    3150Instance, oh, instance, strong as Pluto's gates:
    Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven.
    Instance, oh, instance, strong as heaven itself:
    The bonds of heaven are slipped, dissolved, and loosed,
    And with another knot, five-finger-tied,
    3155The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
    The fragments, scraps, the bits, and greasy relics
    Of her o'er-eaten faith are bound to Diomed.
    Ulysses May worthy Troilus be half attached
    With that which here his passion doth express?
    3160Troilus Ay, Greek, and that shall be divulgèd well
    In characters as red as Mars his heart
    Inflamed with Venus. Never did young man fancy
    With so eternal and so fixed a soul.
    Hark, Greek, as much I do Cressida love,
    3165So much by weight hate I her Diomed.
    That sleeve is mine that he'll bear in his helm.
    Were it a casque composed by Vulcan's skill,
    My sword should bite it. Not the dreadful spout
    Which shipmen do the hurricano call,
    3170Constringed in mass by the almighty fen,
    Shall dizzy with more clamor Neptune's ear
    In his descent than shall my prompted sword
    Falling on Diomed.
    Thersites [Aside] He'll tickle it for his concupy.
    3175Troilus O Cressid. O false Cressid. False, false, false.
    Let all untruths stand by thy stainèd name,
    And they'll seem glorious.
    Oh, contain yourself.
    Your passion draws ears hither.
    Enter Aeneas.
    Aeneas [To Troilus] I have been seeking you this hour, my lord.
    Hector, by this, is arming him in Troy;
    Ajax, your guard, stays to conduct you home.
    Troilus [To Aeneas] Have with you, prince. [To Ulysses] -- My courteous lord, adieu. --
    3185[To Cressida] Farewell, revolted fair -- and, Diomed,
    Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head.
    I'll bring you to the gates.
    Accept distracted thanks.
    Exeunt Troilus, Aeneas, and Ulysses.
    3190Thersites [Aside] Would I could meet that rogue Diomed; I would croak like a raven; I would bode; I would bode. Patroclus will give me anything for the intelligence of this whore; the parrot will not do more for an almond than he for a commodious drab. Lechery, lechery, still 3195wars and lechery, nothing else holds fashion. A burning devil take them.
    [Exit Thersites.]