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  • Title: Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)
  • 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 (Quarto 1, 1609)

    of Troylus and Cresseida.
    And that great mindes of partiall indulgence,
    To their benummed wills resist the same,
    1170There is a lawe in each well-orderd nation,
    To curbe those raging appetites that are
    Most disobedient and refracturie;
    If Helen then be wife to Sparta's King,
    As it is knowne she is, these morrall lawes
    1175Of nature and of nations, speake alowd
    To haue her back returnd: thus to persist
    In doing wrong, extenuates not wrong,
    But makes it much more heauie. Hectors opinion
    Is this in way of truth: yet nere the lesse,
    1180My spritely brethren, I propend to you
    In resolution to keepe Helen still,
    For 'tis a cause that hath no meane dependance,
    Vpon our ioynt and seuerall dignities.
    Tro. Why there you toucht the life of our designe:
    1185Were it not glory that we more affected,
    Then the performance of our heauing spleenes,
    I would not wish a drop of Troyan bloud,
    Spent more in her defence. But worthy Hector,
    She is a theame of honour and renowne,
    1190A spurre to valiant and magnanimous deeds,
    Whose present courage may beate downe our foes,
    And fame in time to come canonize vs,
    For I presume braue Hector would not loose
    So rich aduantage of a promisd glory,
    1195As smiles vpon the fore-head of this action,
    For the wide worlds reuenew.
    Hect. I am yours,
    You valiant offspring of great Priamus,
    I haue a roisting challenge sent amongst
    1200The dull and factious nobles of the Greekes,
    VVill shrike amazement to their drowsie spirits,
    I was aduertizd, their great generall slept,
    VVhilst emulation in the armie crept:
    This I presume will wake him.