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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)

    A neuer writer, to an euer
    reader. Newes.
    ETernall reader, you haue heere a new
    play, neuer stal'd with the Stage,
    0.30neuer clapper-clawd with the palmes
    of the vulger, and yet passing full of
    the palme comicall; for it is a birth of
    your braine, that neuer vnder-tooke
    any thing commicall, vainely: And
    0.35were but the vaine names of commedies changde for the
    titles of Commodities, or of Playes for Pleas; you should
    see all those grand censors, that now stile them such
    vanities, flock to them for the maine grace of their
    grauities: especially this authors Commedies, that are
    0.40so fram'd to the life, that they serue for the most com-
    monCommentaries, of all the actions of our liues, shew-
    ingsuch a dexteritie, and power of witte, that the most
    displeased with Playes, are pleasd with his Commedies.
    And all such dull and heauy-witted worldlings, as were
    0.45neuer capable of the witte of a Commedie, comming by
    report of them to his representations, haue found that
    witte there, that they neuer found in them-selues, and
    haue parted better wittied then they came: feeling an
    edge of witte set vpon them, more then euer they
    0.50dreamd they had braine to grinde it on. So much and
    such sauored salt of witte is in his Commedies, that they
    seeme (for their height of pleasure) to be borne in that
    sea that brought forth Venus. Amongst all there is
    none more witty then this: And had I time I would
    0.55comment vpon it, though I know it needs not, (for so
    much as will make you thinke your testerne well be-
    stowd) but for so much worth, as euen poore I know to be
    stuft in it. It deserues such a labour, as well as the best
    Commedy in Terence or Plautus. And beleeue this,
    0.60that when hee is gone, and his Commedies out of sale,
    you will scramble for them, and set vp a new English
    Inquisition. Take this for a warning, and at the perrill
    of your pleasures losse, and Iudgements, refuse not, nor
    like this the lesse, for not being sullied, with the smoaky
    0.65breath of the multitude; but thanke fortune for the
    scape it hath made amongst you. Since by the grand
    possessors wills I beleeue you should haue prayd for them
    rather then beene prayd. And so I leaue all such to bee
    prayd for (for the states of their wits healths)
    0.70that will not praise it.