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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)

    0.1[Enter Speaker of the Prologue in armor.]
    1Speaker of the Prologue
    In Troy there lies the scene. From isles of Greece,
    The princes orgulous, their high blood chafed,
    Have to the port of Athens sent their ships
    5Fraught with the ministers and instruments
    Of cruel war. Sixty and nine that wore
    Their crownets regal, from th'Athenian bay
    Put forth toward Phrygia, and their vow is made
    To ransack Troy, within whose strong immures
    10The ravished Helen, Menelaus' queen,
    With wanton Paris sleeps, and that's the quarrel.
    To Tenedos they come,
    And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
    Their warlike fraughtage. Now on Dardan plains
    15The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
    Their brave pavilions. Priam's six-gated city --
    Dardan and Timbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien,
    And Antenonidus -- with massy staples
    And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
    20Stir up the sons of Troy.
    Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits
    On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
    Sets all on hazard. And hither am I come,
    A prologue armed, but not in confidence
    25Of author's pen, or actor's voice, but suited
    In like conditions as our argument,
    To tell you (fair beholders) that our play
    Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
    Beginning in the middle, starting thence away
    30To what may be digested in a play.
    Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are.
    Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.
    Enter Pandarus and Troilus.
    Call here my varlet; I'll unarm again.
    Why should I war without the walls of Troy
    That find such cruel battle here within?
    Each Trojan that is master of his heart,
    40Let him to field; Troilus, alas, hath none.
    Will this gear ne'er be mended?
    The Greeks are strong, and skillful to their strength,
    Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant,
    But I am weaker than a woman's tear,
    45Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance,
    Less valiant than the virgin in the night,
    And skilless as unpracticed infancy.
    Well, I have told you enough of this. For my part, I'll not meddle nor make no farther. He that will 50have a cake out of the wheat must needs tarry the grinding.
    Have I not tarried?
    Ay, the grinding, but you must tarry the bolting.
    Have I not tarried?
    Ay, the bolting, but you must tarry the leav'ning.
    Still have I tarried.
    Ay, to the leavening, but here's yet in the word hereafter -- the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the baking; nay, you must stay 60the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your lips.
    Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be,
    Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do.
    At Priam's royal table do I sit,
    And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts,
    65So, traitor, then she comes, when she is thence.
    Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever I saw her look,
    or any woman else.
    I was about to tell thee: when my heart,
    70As wedgèd with a sigh, would rive in twain,
    Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,
    I have, as when the sun doth light a-scorn,
    Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile.
    But sorrow that is couched in seeming gladness
    75Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
    An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's -- well, go to -- there were no more comparison between the women. But -- for my part -- she is my kinswoman, I would not -- as they term it -- praise her, but I would 80somebody had heard her talk yesterday as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit, but --
    O Pandarus, I tell thee, Pandarus,
    When I do tell thee, "there my hopes lie drowned,"
    Reply not in how many fathoms deep
    85They lie indrenched. I tell thee, "I am mad
    In Cressid's love." Thou answer'st, "She is fair";
    Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart
    Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice;
    Handlest in thy discourse, oh, that her hand,
    90In whose comparison all whites are ink
    Writing their own reproach, to whose soft seizure
    The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense
    Hard as the palm of plowman. This thou tell'st me,
    As true thou tell'st me, when I say I love her.
    95But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
    Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
    The knife that made it.
    I speak no more than truth.
    Thou dost not speak so much.
    Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be as she is; if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not, she has the mends in her own hands.
    Good Pandarus. How now, Pandarus?
    I have had my labor for my travail, ill thought 105on of her, and ill thought on of you, gone between and between, but small thanks for my labor.
    What, art thou angry, Pandarus? What? With me?
    Because she's kin to me, therefore she's not so fair as Helen; an she were not kin to me, she would 110be as fair on Friday as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not an she were a blackamoor; 'tis all one to me.
    Say I she is not fair?
    I do not care whether you do or no. She's a 115fool to stay behind her father. Let her to the Greeks, and so I'll tell her the next time I see her. For my part, I'll meddle nor make no more i'th'matter.
    Not I.
    Sweet Pandarus.
    Pray you, speak no more to me. I will leave all as I found it, and there an end.
    Exit Pandarus. Sound alarum.
    Peace, you ungracious clamors; peace, rude sounds.
    Fools on both sides, Helen must needs be fair,
    125When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
    I cannot fight upon this argument;
    It is too starved a subject for my sword.
    But Pandarus (O gods) how do you plague me?
    I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar,
    130And he's as tetchy to be wooed to woo,
    As she is stubborn, chaste, against all suit.
    Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphne's love,
    What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we:
    Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl.
    135Between our Ilium and where she resides,
    Let it be called the wild and wand'ring flood,
    Ourself, the merchant, and this sailing Pandar,
    Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.
    Alarum. Enter Aeneas.
    How now, prince Troilus? Wherefore not afield?
    Because not there; this woman's answer sorts,
    For womanish it is to be from thence.
    What news, Aeneas, from the field today?
    That Paris is returnèd home, and hurt.
    By whom, Aeneas?
    Troilus, by Menelaus.
    Let Paris bleed; 'tis but a scar to scorn.
    Paris is gored with Menelaus' horn.
    Hark, what good sport is out of town today.
    Better at home, if "would I might" were "may."
    But to the sport abroad, are you bound thither?
    In all swift haste.
    Come, go we then together.
    155Enter Cressida and her man [Alexander].
    Who were those went by?
    Queen Hecuba and Helen.
    And whither go they?
    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.
    What was his cause of anger?
    The noise goes this: There is among the Greeks
    A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
    They call him Ajax.
    Good, and what of him?
    They say he is a very man per se and stands alone.
    So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.
    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.
    But how should this man that makes me smile 190make Hector angry?
    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.
    Who comes here?
    Madam, your uncle Pandarus.
    Hector's a gallant man.
    As may be in the world, lady.
    What's that? What's that?
    Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.
    Good morrow, cousin Cressid. What do you talk of? -- Good morrow, Alexander. -- How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium?
    This morning, uncle.
    What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector armed and gone ere ye came to Ilium? Helen was not up? Was she?
    Hector was gone, but Helen was not up?
    E'en so; Hector was stirring early.
    That were we talking of, and of his anger.
    Was he angry?
    [Motioning to Alexander] So he says here.
    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.
    What, is he angry too?
    Who, Troilus?
    Troilus is the better man of the two.
    O Jupiter, there's no comparison.
    What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a man if you see him?
    Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.
    Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.
    Then you say as I say, for I am sure he is not Hector.
    No, nor Hector is not Troilus -- in some degrees.
    'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.
    Himself? Alas, poor Troilus, I would he were.
    So he is.
    Condition I had gone barefoot to India.
    He is not Hector.
    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.
    Excuse me.
    He is elder.
    Pardon me, pardon me.
    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.
    He shall not need it if he have his own.
    Nor his qualities.
    No matter.
    Nor his beauty.
    'Twould not become him; his own's better.
    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 --
    No, but brown.
    Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.
    To say the truth, true and not true.
    She praised his complexion above Paris'.
    Why, Paris hath color enough.
    So he has.
    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.
    I swear to you, I think Helen loves him better than Paris.
    Then she's a merry Greek indeed.
    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.
    Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his particulars therein to a total.
    Why, he is very young, and yet will he within three pound lift as much as his brother Hector.
    Is he so young a man, and so old a lifter?
    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?
    Why, you know 'tis dimpled. I think his smiling becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia.
    Oh, he smiles valiantly.
    Does he not?
    O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.
    Why, go to then. But to prove to you that Helen loves Troilus --
    Troilus will stand to the 285proof, if you'll prove it so.
    Troilus? Why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an addle egg.
    If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i'th'shell.
    I cannot choose but laugh to think how she tickled his chin. Indeed, she has a marvelous white hand, I must needs confess.
    Without the rack.
    And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on 295his chin.
    Alas, poor chin. Many a wart is richer.
    But there was such laughing; queen Hecuba laughed that her eyes ran o'er.
    With millstones?
    And Cassandra laughed --
    But there was more temperate fire under the pot of her eyes. Did her eyes run o'er too?
    And Hector laughed.
    At what was all this laughing?
    Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus's chin.
    An't had been a green hair, I should have laughed too.
    They laughed not so much at the hair as at his 310pretty answer.
    What was his answer?
    Quoth she, "Here's but two and fifty hairs on your chin, and one of them is white."
    This is her question.
    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.
    So let it now, for it has been a great while going by.
    Well, cousin, 325I told you a thing yesterday; think on't.
    So I do.
    I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you an 'twere a man born in April.
    [Sound a retreat.]
    And I'll spring up in his tears, an'twere a nettle 330against May.
    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.
    At your pleasure.
    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].
    Speak not so loud.
    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.
    Who's that?
    [Enter Antenor and pass over the stage.]
    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.
    Will he give you the nod?
    You shall see.
    If he do, the rich shall have more.
    Enter Hector [and pass over the stage].
    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?
    O brave man.
    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.
    Be those with swords?
    Enter Paris [and pass over the stage].
    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.
    Who's that?
    Enter Helenus [and pass over the stage].
    That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's Helenus. -- I think he went not forth today. -- That's Helenus.
    Can Helenus fight, uncle?
    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.
    What sneaking fellow comes yonder?
    Enter Troilus [and pass over the stage].
    Where? Yonder? That's Deiphobus. -- 'Tis 385Troilus. There's a man, niece, hem? Brave Troilus, the prince of chivalry.
    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].
    Here come more.
    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.
    There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better 405man than Troilus.
    Achilles? A drayman, a porter, a very camel.
    Well, well.
    "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?
    Ay, a minced man, and then to be baked with no date in the pie, for then the man's date's out.
    You are such another woman; one knows not at what ward you lie.
    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.
    Say one of your watches.
    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.
    You are such another.
    430Troilus's Boy
    Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.
    Troilus's Boy
    At your own house.
    Good boy, tell him I come.
    [Exit Troilus's Boy.]
    I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece.
    Adieu, uncle.
    I'll be with you, niece, by and by.
    To bring, uncle?
    Ay, a token from Troilus.
    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].
    Sennet. Enter Agamemnon, Nestor, Ulysses, 455Diomed, Menelaus, with others.
    What grief hath set the jaundice on your cheeks?
    The ample proposition that hope makes
    In all designs begun on earth below
    460Fails in the promised largeness; checks and disasters
    Grow in the veins of actions highest reared,
    As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
    Infect the sound pine, and diverts his grain,
    Tortive and errant, from his course of growth.
    465Nor, princes, is it matter new to us
    That we come short of our suppose so far
    That after seven years' siege yet Troy walls stand,
    Sith every action that hath gone before,
    Whereof we have record, trial did draw
    470Bias and thwart, not answering the aim
    And that unbodied figure of the thought
    That gave't surmisèd shape. Why then, you princes,
    Do you with cheeks abashed behold our works
    And think them shame, which are indeed naught else
    475But the protractive trials of great Jove
    To find persistive constancy in men?
    The fineness of which mettle is not found
    In fortune's love, for, then, the bold and coward,
    The wise and fool, the artist and unread,
    480The hard and soft, seem all affined and kin.
    But in the wind and tempest of her frown,
    Distinction, with a loud and powerful fan,
    Puffing at all, winnows the light away;
    And what hath mass or matter by itself
    485Lies rich in virtue and unminglèd.
    With due observance of thy godly seat,
    Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply
    Thy latest words. In the reproof of chance
    490Lies the true proof of men. The sea being smooth,
    How many shallow bauble boats dare sail
    Upon her patient breast, making their way
    With those of nobler bulk?
    But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
    495The gentle Thetis, and anon behold
    The strong-ribbed bark through liquid mountains cut,
    Bounding between the two moist elements
    Like Perseus' horse. Where's then the saucy boat
    Whose weak, untimbered sides but even now
    500Corrivalled greatness? Either to harbor fled,
    Or made a toast for Neptune. Even so
    Doth valor's show and valor's worth divide
    In storms of fortune. For, in her ray and brightness,
    505The herd hath more annoyance by the breeze
    Than by the tiger. But, when the splitting wind
    Makes flexible the knees of knotted oaks,
    And flies fled under shade, why then the thing of courage,
    510As roused with rage, with rage doth sympathize,
    And with an accent tuned in selfsame key,
    Retires to chiding fortune.
    Thou great commander, nerve and bone of Greece,
    515Heart of our numbers, soul, and only spirit,
    In whom the tempers and the minds of all
    Should be shut up, hear what Ulysses speaks.
    Besides th'applause and approbation
    The which,[To Agamemnon] most mighty for thy place and sway,
    520[To Nestor] And thou most reverend for thy stretched-out life,
    I give to both your speeches, which were such
    As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece
    Should hold up high in brass, and such again
    As venerable Nestor (hatched in silver)
    525Should with a bond of air, strong as the axletree
    In which the heavens ride, knit all Greeks' ears
    To his experienced tongue; yet let it please both --
    [To Agamemnon] Thou great -- [To Nestor] and wise -- to hear Ulysses speak.
    Speak, prince of Ithaca, and be't of less expect
    530That matter needless, of importless burden,
    Divide thy lips than we are confident,
    When rank Thersites opes his mastic jaws,
    We shall hear music, wit, and oracle.
    Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down,
    535And the great Hector's sword had lacked a master,
    But for these instances:
    The specialty of rule hath been neglected,
    And look how many Grecian tents do stand
    Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions.
    540When that the general is not like the hive
    To whom the foragers shall all repair,
    What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded,
    Th'unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
    The heavens themselves, the planets, and this center
    545Observe degree, priority, and place,
    Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
    Office, and custom, in all line of order,
    And therefore is the glorious planet Sol
    In noble eminence enthroned and sphered
    550Amidst the other, whose med'cinable eye
    Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
    And posts like the commandment of a king,
    Sans check, to good and bad. But when the planets
    In evil mixture to disorder wander,
    555What plagues, and what portents, what mutiny,
    What raging of the sea, shaking of earth,
    Commotion in the winds, frights, changes, horrors,
    Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
    The unity and married calm of states
    560Quite from their fixure? Oh, when degree is shaked,
    (Which is the ladder to all high designs)
    The enterprise is sick. How could communities,
    Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
    Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
    565The primogenitive and due of birth,
    Prerogative of age, crowns, scepters, laurels,
    But by degree, stand in authentic place?
    Take but degree away, untune that string,
    And, hark, what discord follows: each thing meets
    570In mere oppugnancy; the bounded waters
    Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
    And make a sop of all this solid globe;
    Strength should be lord of imbecility,
    And the rude son should strike his father dead;
    575Force should be right, or rather, right and wrong
    (Between whose endless jar, justice resides)
    Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
    Then every thing includes itself in power,
    Power into will, will into appetite,
    580And appetite, an universal wolf,
    (So doubly seconded with will and power),
    Must make perforce an universal prey,
    And last, eat up himself.
    Great Agamemnon,
    585This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
    Follows the choking,
    And this neglection of degree is it
    That by a pace goes backward, in a purpose
    It hath to climb. The general's disdained
    590By him one step below; he, by the next;
    That next, by him beneath; so every step
    Exampled by the first pace that is sick
    Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
    Of pale and bloodless emulation.
    595And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
    Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length,
    Troy in our weakness lives, not in her strength.
    Most wisely hath Ulysses here discovered
    The fever whereof all our power is sick.
    The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses,
    What is the remedy?
    The great Achilles, whom opinion crowns
    The sinew and the forehand of our host,
    Having his ear full of his airy fame
    605Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent
    Lies mocking our designs. With him Patroclus
    Upon a lazy bed the livelong day
    Breaks scurril jests,
    And with ridiculous and awkward action
    610(Which, slanderer, he imitation calls),
    He pageants us. Sometime, great Agamemnon,
    Thy topless deputation he puts on,
    And, like a strutting player, whose conceit
    Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
    615To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
    'Twixt his stretched footing and the scaffoldage,
    Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming,
    He acts thy greatness in; and when he speaks,
    'Tis like a chime a-mending, with terms unsquared,
    620Which from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropped
    Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff,
    The large Achilles, on his pressed bed lolling,
    From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause,
    Cries, "Excellent. 'tis Agamemnon just.
    625Now play me Nestor; hum and stroke thy beard
    As he, being dressed to some oration."
    That's done as near as the extremest ends
    Of parallels, as like as Vulcan and his wife.
    Yet god Achilles still cries, "Excellent.
    630'Tis Nestor right. Now play him me, Patroclus,
    Arming to answer in a night alarm."
    And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age
    Must be the scene of mirth, to cough and spit,
    And with a palsy, fumbling on his gorget,
    635Shake in and out the rivet. And at this sport
    Sir Valor dies, cries, "O, enough, Patroclus,
    Or give me ribs of steel. I shall split all
    In pleasure of my spleen." And in this fashion,
    All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
    640Severals and generals of grace exact,
    Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,
    Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
    Success or loss, what is or is not, serves
    As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.
    And in the imitation of these twain --
    Who, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns
    With an imperial voice -- many are infect.
    Ajax is grown self-willed and bears his head
    In such a rein, in full as proud a place
    650As broad Achilles, and keeps his tent like him,
    Makes factious feasts, rails on our state of war
    Bold as an oracle, and sets Thersites
    (A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint)
    To match us in comparisons with dirt,
    655To weaken and discredit our exposure,
    How rank soever rounded in with danger.
    They tax our policy and call it cowardice,
    Count wisdom as no member of the war,
    Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
    660But that of hand. The still and mental parts
    That do contrive how many hands shall strike
    When fitness calls them on and know by measure
    Of their observant toil the enemy's weight,
    Why, this hath not a finger's dignity.
    665They call this bed-work, mapp'ry, closet-war.
    So that the ram that batters down the wall,
    For the great swing and rudeness of his poise,
    They place before his hand that made the engine,
    Or those that with the fineness of their souls
    670By reason guide his execution.
    Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse
    Makes many Thetis' sons.
    What trumpet? Look, Menelaus.
    From Troy.
    Enter Aeneas [and trumpeter].
    What would you 'fore our tent?
    Is this great Agamemnon's tent, I pray you?
    Even this.
    May one that is a herald and a prince
    Do a fair message to his kingly ears?
    With surety stronger than Achilles' arm,
    'Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice
    Call Agamemnon head and general.
    Fair leave and large security. How may
    A stranger to those most imperial looks
    685Know them from eyes of other mortals?
    Ay, I ask that I might waken reverence
    And, on the cheek, be ready with a blush
    Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
    690The youthful Phoebus.
    Which is that god in office guiding men?
    Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?
    This Trojan scorns us, or the men of Troy
    Are ceremonious courtiers.
    Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarmed,
    As bending angels; that's their fame in peace;
    But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls,
    Good arms, strong joints, true swords, and (Jove's accord)
    Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Aeneas;
    700Peace, Trojan; lay thy finger on thy lips.
    The worthiness of praise distains his worth
    If that he, praised, himself bring the praise forth.
    But what the repining enemy commends,
    That breath fame blows, that praise -- sole pure -- transcends.
    Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Aeneas?
    Ay, Greek, that is my name.
    What's your affair, I pray you?
    Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears.
    He hears nought privately 710that comes from Troy.
    Nor I from Troy come not to whisper him;
    I bring a trumpet to awake his ear,
    To set his sense on the attentive bent,
    And then to speak.
    Speak frankly as the wind.
    It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour;
    That thou shalt know. Trojan, he is awake,
    He tells thee so himself.
    Trumpet, blow loud.
    720Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents,
    And every Greek of mettle, let him know
    What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.
    Sound trumpet.
    We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy,
    725A prince called Hector (Priam is his father)
    Who in this dull and long-continued truce
    Is rusty grown. He bade me take a trumpet
    And to this purpose speak: Kings, princes, lords,
    If there be one amongst the fair'st of Greece
    730That holds his honor higher than his ease,
    That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril,
    That knows his valor, and knows not his fear,
    That loves his mistress more than in confession
    With truant vows to her own lips he loves,
    735And dare avow her beauty and her worth
    In other arms than hers -- to him, this challenge:
    Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,
    Shall make it good, or do his best to do it.
    He hath a lady, wiser, fairer, truer,
    740Than ever Greek did compass in his arms,
    And will tomorrow with his trumpet call,
    Midway between your tents and walls of Troy,
    To rouse a Grecian that is true in love.
    If any come, Hector shall honor him;
    745If none, he'll say in Troy when he retires,
    The Grecian dames are sun-burnt and not worth
    The splinter of a lance -- even so much.
    This shall be told our lovers, lord Aeneas.
    If none of them have soul in such a kind,
    750We left them all at home. But we are soldiers,
    And may that soldier a mere recreant prove
    That means not, hath not, or is not in love;
    If then, one is, or hath, or means to be,
    That one meets Hector; if none else, I'll be he.
    [To Aeneas]Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man
    When Hector's grandsire sucked. He is old now,
    But, if there be not in our Grecian mold
    One noble man that hath one spark of fire
    To answer for his love, tell him from me,
    760I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver,
    And in my vantbrace put this withered brawn,
    And, meeting him, will tell him that my lady
    Was fairer than his grandam, and as chaste
    As may be in the world. His youth in flood,
    765I'll pawn this truth with my three drops of blood.
    Now heavens forbid such scarcity of youth.
    Fair lord Aeneas, let me touch your hand.
    770To our pavilion shall I lead you first.
    Achilles shall have word of this intent;
    So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent.
    Yourself shall feast with us before you go,
    And find the welcome of a noble foe.
    775Exeunt [all but] Ulysses and Nestor.
    What says Ulysses?
    I have a young conception in my brain;
    Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
    What is't?
    This 'tis:
    Blunt wedges rive hard knots; the seeded pride
    That hath to this maturity blown up
    In rank Achilles must or now be cropped,
    785Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil
    To overbulk us all.
    Well, and how?
    This challenge that the gallant Hector sends,
    However it is spread in general name,
    790Relates in purpose only to Achilles.
    The purpose is perspicuous, even as substance
    Whose grossness little characters sum up,
    And, in the publication, make no strain,
    But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
    795As banks of Libya (though, Apollo knows,
    'Tis dry enough) will with great speed of judgment,
    Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
    Pointing on him.
    And wake him to the answer, think you?
    Yes, 'tis most meet. Who may you else oppose
    That can from Hector bring his honor off,
    If not Achilles? Though't be a sportful combat,
    Yet in this trial much opinion dwells,
    For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute
    805With their fin'st palate, and, trust to me, Ulysses,
    Our imputation shall be oddly poised
    In this wild action; for the success,
    Although particular, shall give a scantling
    Of good or bad unto the general,
    810And, in such indexes, although small pricks
    To their subsequent volumes, there is seen
    The baby figure of the giant mass
    Of things to come at large. It is supposed
    He that meets Hector issues from our choice;
    815And choice, being mutual act of all our souls,
    Makes merit her election, and doth boil,
    As 'twere, from forth us all a man distilled
    Out of our virtues, who miscarrying,
    What heart from hence receives the conqu'ring part
    820To steel a strong opinion to themselves?
    Which entertained, limbs are, in his instruments,
    In no less working than are swords and bows
    Directive by the limbs.
    Give pardon to my speech:
    825Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector.
    Let us (like merchants) show our foulest wares,
    And think perchance they'll sell; if not,
    The luster of the better yet to show
    Shall show the better. Do not consent
    830That ever Hector and Achilles meet;
    For both our honor and our shame in this
    Are dogged with two strange followers.
    I see them not with my old eyes. What are they?
    What glory our Achilles shares from Hector,
    835Were he not proud, we all should wear with him.
    But he already is too insolent,
    And we were better parch in Afric sun
    Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes
    Should he scape Hector fair. If he were foiled,
    840Why then we did our main opinion crush
    In taint of our best man. No, make a lott'ry,
    And by device let blockish Ajax draw
    The sort to fight with Hector; among ourselves
    Give him allowance as the worthier man,
    845For that will physic the great Myrmidon,
    Who broils in loud applause, and make him fall
    His crest that prouder than blue Iris bends.
    If the dull, brainless Ajax come safe off,
    We'll dress him up in voices; if he fail,
    850Yet go we under our opinion still
    That we have better men. But hit or miss,
    Our project's life this shape of sense assumes:
    Ajax employed plucks down Achilles' plumes.
    Now, Ulysses, I begin to relish thy advice,
    855And I will give a taste of it forthwith
    To Agamemnon. Go we to him straight.
    Two curs shall tame each other; pride alone
    Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.
    Enter Ajax and Thersites.
    Agamemnon, how if he had boils, full, all over, generally?
    And those boils did run (say so), did not the 865general run? Were not that a botchy core?
    Then there would come some matter from him; I see none now.
    Thou bitch wolf's son, canst thou not hear? 870Feel then.
    Strikes him.
    The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted lord.
    Speak then, you whinid'st leaven, speak. I will beat thee into handsomeness.
    I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness, but I think thy horse will sooner con an oration than thou learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike, canst thou? A red murrain o'thy jade's tricks.
    Toad's stool, learn me the proclamation.
    Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strik'st me thus?
    The proclamation.
    Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think.
    Do not, porcupine; do not; my fingers itch.
    I would thou didst itch from head to foot, and 885I had the scratching of thee. I would make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece.
    I say, the proclamation.
    Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his greatness as 890Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty, ay, that thou bark'st at him.
    Mistress Thersites.
    Thou shouldst strike him.
    He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as 895a sailor breaks a biscuit.
    You whoreson cur.
    Do, do.
    Thou stool for a witch.
    Ay, do, do, thou sodden-witted lord; thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an asinico 900may tutor thee. Thou scurvy valiant ass, thou art here but to thresh Trojans, and thou art bought and sold, among those of any wit, like a barbarian slave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou.
    You dog.
    You scurvy lord.
    You cur.
    Mars his idiot, do; rudeness, do; camel, do, do.
    Enter Achilles and Patroclus.
    Why, how now, Ajax? Wherefore do you this?
    How now, Thersites? What's the matter, man?
    You see him there, do you?
    Ay, what's the matter?
    Nay, look upon him.
    So I do. What's the matter?
    Nay, but regard him well.
    "Well?" Why, I do so.
    But yet you look not well upon him, for whosomever you take him to be, he is Ajax.
    I know that, fool.
    Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
    Therefore, I beat thee.
    Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters; his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his brain 925more than he has beat my bones. I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles -- Ajax, who wears his wit in his belly and his guts in his head -- I'll tell you what I say of him.
    I say this Ajax --
    Nay, good Ajax.
    -- has not so much wit --
    Nay, I must hold you.
    -- as will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he comes to fight.
    Peace, fool.
    I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not -- he there, that he, look you there.
    O thou damned cur, I shall --
    Will you set your wit to a fool's?
    No, I warrant you, for a fool's will shame it.
    Good words, Thersites.
    What's the quarrel?
    I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenor of the proclamation, and he rails upon me.
    I serve thee not.
    Well, go to, go to.
    I serve here voluntary.
    Your last service was sufferance; 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary. Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.
    E'en so, a great deal of your wit, too, lies in your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shall have a great 955catch, if he knock out either of your brains; he were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.
    What, with me too, Thersites?
    There's Ulysses and old Nestor, whose wit was moldy ere their grandsires had nails on their toes, yoke 960you like draft-oxen, and make you plough up the war.
    What? What?
    Yes, good sooth. To, Achilles, to, Ajax, to --
    I shall cut out your tongue.
    'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou 965afterwards.
    No more words, Thersites. Peace.
    I will hold my peace when Achilles' brooch bids me, shall I?
    There's for you, Patroclus.
    I will see you hanged like clotpolls ere I come any more to your tents; I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.
    A good riddance.
    [To Ajax] Marry, this, sir, is proclaimed through all our host:
    975That Hector by the fifth hour of the sun,
    Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy,
    Tomorrow morning call some knight to arms
    That hath a stomach, and such a one that dare
    Maintain -- I know not what. 'Tis trash. Farewell.
    Farewell? Who shall answer him?
    I know not; 'tis put to lott'ry; otherwise he knew his man.
    Oh, meaning you. I will go learn more of it.
    Enter Priam, Hector, Troilus, Paris, and Helenus.
    After so many hours, lives, speeches spent,
    Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks:
    "Deliver Helen, and all damage else
    (As honor, loss of time, travail, expense,
    Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is consumed
    990In hot digestion of this cormorant war)
    Shall be struck off." Hector, what say you to't?
    Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than I
    As far as touches my particular, yet, dread Priam,
    There is no lady of more softer bowels,
    995More spongy to suck in the sense of fear,
    More ready to cry out, "Who knows what follows?"
    Than Hector is. The wound of peace is surety,
    Surety secure; but modest doubt is called
    The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
    1000To th'bottom of the worst. Let Helen go.
    Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
    Every tithe soul, 'mongst many thousand dimes,
    Hath been as dear as Helen -- I mean, of ours.
    If we have lost so many tenths of ours
    1005To guard a thing not ours, nor worth to us
    (Had it our name) the value of one ten,
    What merit's in that reason which denies
    The yielding of her up?
    Fie, fie, my brother,
    1010Weigh you the worth and honor of a king
    So great as our dread father in a scale
    Of common ounces? Will you with counters sum
    The past proportion of his infinite,
    And buckle in a waist most fathomless
    1015With spans and inches so diminutive
    As fears and reasons? Fie, for godly shame.
    No marvel though you bite so sharp at reasons;
    You are so empty of them. Should not our father
    Bear the great sway of his affairs with reasons
    1020Because your speech hath none that tells him so?
    You are for dreams and slumbers, brother priest;
    You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your reasons:
    You know an enemy intends you harm;
    You know a sword employed is perilous,
    1025And reason flies the object of all harm.
    Who marvels, then, when Helenus beholds
    A Grecian and his sword, if he do set
    The very wings of reason to his heels
    1030And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,
    Or like a star disorbed? Nay, if we talk of reason,
    Let's shut our gates and sleep. Manhood and honor
    Should have hare hearts, would they but fat their thoughts
    With this crammed reason; reason and respect
    Make livers pale, and lustihood deject.
    Brother, she is not worth what she doth cost
    The holding.
    What's aught, but as 'tis valued?
    But value dwells not in particular will;
    It holds his estimate and dignity
    1040As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
    As in the prizer. 'Tis mad idolatry
    To make the service greater than the god;
    And the will dotes that is inclinable
    To what infectiously itself affects,
    1045Without some image of th'affected merit.
    I take today a wife, and my election
    Is led on in the conduct of my will,
    My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
    Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
    1050Of will and judgment. How may I avoid
    (Although my will distaste what it elected)
    The wife I chose? There can be no evasion
    To blench from this and to stand firm by honor.
    We turn not back the silks upon the merchant
    1055When we have spoiled them, nor the remainder viands
    We do not throw in unrespective same
    Because we now are full. It was thought meet
    Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks;
    Your breath of full consent bellied his sails;
    1060The seas and winds (old wranglers) took a truce,
    And did him service; he touched the ports desired,
    And for an old aunt whom the Greeks held captive,
    He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and freshness
    Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes stale the morning.
    1065Why keep we her? The Grecians keep our aunt.
    Is she worth keeping? Why, she is a pearl
    Whose price hath launched above a thousand ships
    And turned crowned kings to merchants.
    If you'll avouch 'twas wisdom Paris went
    1070(As you must needs, for you all cried, "Go, go."),
    If you'll confess, he brought home noble prize
    (As you must needs, for you all clapped your hands
    And cried, "Inestimable"), why do you now
    The issue of your proper wisdoms rate,
    1075And do a deed that fortune never did:
    Beggar the estimation which you prized
    Richer than sea and land? O theft most base,
    That we have stol'n what we do fear to keep.
    But thieves unworthy of a thing so stol'n,
    1080That in their country did them that disgrace,
    We fear to warrant in our native place.
    Enter Cassandra, with her hair about her ears.
    Cry, Trojans, cry.
    What noise? What shriek is this?
    'Tis our mad sister; I do know her voice.
    Cry, Trojans.
    It is Cassandra.
    Cry, Trojans, cry. Lend me ten thousand eyes
    1090And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
    Peace, sister, peace.
    Virgins and boys, mid-age, and wrinkled old,
    Soft infancy, that nothing can but cry,
    Add to my clamor. Let us pay betimes
    1095A moiety of that mass of moan to come.
    Cry, Trojans, cry. Practice your eyes with tears.
    Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilium stand.
    Our firebrand brother, Paris, burns us all.
    Cry, Trojans, cry. A Helen and a woe.
    1100Cry, cry. Troy burns, or else let Helen go.
    Exit [Cassandra].
    Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high strains
    Of divination in our sister work
    Some touches of remorse? Or is your blood
    So madly hot that no discourse of reason,
    1105Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,
    Can qualify the same?
    Why, brother Hector,
    We may not think the justness of each act
    Such and no other than event doth form it,
    1110Nor once deject the courage of our minds
    Because Cassandra's mad. Her brainsick raptures
    Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel
    Which hath our several honors all engaged
    To make it gracious. For my private part,
    1115I am no more touched than all Priam's sons,
    And Jove forbid there should be done amongst us
    Such things as might offend the weakest spleen
    To fight for and maintain.
    Else might the world convince of levity
    1120As well my undertakings as your counsels.
    But I attest the gods, your full consent
    Gave wings to my propension, and cut off
    All fears attending on so dire a project.
    For what, alas, can these my single arms?
    1125What propugnation is in one man's valor
    To stand the push and enmity of those
    This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest,
    Were I alone to pass the difficulties,
    And had as ample power as I have will,
    1130Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done,
    Nor faint in the pursuit.
    Paris, you speak
    Like one besotted on your sweet delights;
    You have the honey still, but these the gall,
    1135So to be valiant is no praise at all.
    Sir, I propose not merely to myself
    The pleasures such a beauty brings with it,
    But I would have the soil of her fair rape
    Wiped off in honorable keeping her.
    1140What treason were it to the ransacked queen,
    Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me,
    Now to deliver her possession up
    On terms of base compulsion? Can it be
    That so degenerate a strain as this
    1145Should once set footing in your generous bosoms?
    There's not the meanest spirit on our party
    Without a heart to dare, or sword to draw,
    When Helen is defended, nor none so noble
    Whose life were ill bestowed, or death unfamed,
    1150Where Helen is the subject. Then, I say,
    Well may we fight for her, whom we know well
    The world's large spaces cannot parallel.
    Paris and Troilus, you have both said well,
    And, on the cause and question now in hand
    1155Have glossed but superficially, not much
    Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
    Unfit to hear moral philosophy.
    The reasons you allege do more conduce
    To the hot passion of distempered blood
    1160Than to make up a free determination
    'Twixt right and wrong. For pleasure and revenge
    Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
    Of any true decision. Nature craves
    All dues be rendered to their owners. Now,
    1165What nearer debt in all humanity
    Than wife is to the husband? If this law
    Of nature be corrupted through affection,
    And that great minds, of partial indulgence
    To their benumbèd wills, resist the same,
    1170There is a law in each well-ordered nation
    To curb those raging appetites that are
    Most disobedient and refractory.
    If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king
    (As it is known she is), these moral laws
    1175Of nature and of nation speak aloud
    To have her back returned. Thus to persist
    In doing wrong extenuates not wrong,
    But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion
    Is this in way of truth. Yet ne'ertheless,
    1180My sprightly brethren, I propend to you
    In resolution to keep Helen still,
    For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependence
    Upon our joint and several dignities.
    Why, there you touched the life of our design.
    1185Were it not glory that we more affected
    Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
    I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
    Spent more in her defense. But, worthy Hector,
    She is a theme of honor and renown,
    1190A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds
    Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
    And fame in time to come canonize us.
    For I presume brave Hector would not lose
    So rich advantage of a promised glory
    1195As smiles upon the forehead of this action,
    For the wide world's revenue.
    I am yours,
    You valiant offspring of great Priamus.
    I have a roisting challenge sent amongst
    1200The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks
    Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits.
    I was advertised their great general slept
    Whilst emulation in the army crept.
    This, I presume, will wake him.
    1205Enter Thersites [talking to himself].
    How now, Thersites? What, lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? He beats me, and I rail at him. O worthy satisfaction. Would it were otherwise, that I could beat him whilst he railed 1210at me. 'Sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll see some issue of my spiteful execrations. Then there's Achilles, a rare engineer. If Troy be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget 1215that thou art Jove, the king of gods, and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine craft of thy caduceus, if thou take not that little-little-less-than-little wit from them that they have, which short-armed ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it will not, in circumvention, deliver a 1220fly from a spider without drawing the massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp, or rather the bone-ache, for that me thinks is the curse dependent on those that war for a placket. I have said my prayers, and devil envy say, "Amen." -- What ho? 1225My lord Achilles?
    Enter Patroclus.
    Who's there? Thersites? Good Thersites, come in and rail.
    If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, 1230thou wouldst not have slipped out of my contemplation, but it is no matter: thyself upon thyself. The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue; heaven bless thee from a tutor, and discipline come not near thee. Let thy blood be thy direction till 1235thy death; then, if she that lays thee out says thou art a fair corpse, I'll be sworn -- and sworn upon't -- she never shrouded any but lazars. Amen. -- Where's Achilles?
    [Patroclus comes forward.]
    What, art thou devout? Wast thou in a prayer?
    Ay, the heavens hear me.
    1240Enter Achilles.
    Who's there?
    Thersites, my lord.
    Where, where? -- [To Thersites] Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my 1245table so many meals? -- Come, what's Agamemnon?
    Thy commander, Achilles; then tell me, Patroclus, what's Achilles?
    Thy lord, Thersites; then tell me, I pray thee,
    what's thyself?
    Thy knower, Patroclus; then tell me, Patroclus, what art thou?
    Thou mayst tell that knowest.
    O tell, tell.
    I'll decline the whole question: Agamemnon 1255commands Achilles; Achilles is my lord; I am Patroclus' knower, and Patroclus is a fool.
    You rascal.
    Peace, fool, I have not done.
    [To Patroclus] He is a privileged man. -- Proceed, Thersites.
    Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a fool, and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool.
    Derive this. Come.
    Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles; Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon; 1265Thersites is a fool to serve such a fool, and Patroclus is a fool positive.
    Why am I a fool?
    Enter Agamemnon, Ulysses, Nestor, Diomed, Ajax, and Calchas.
    Make that demand to the creator. It suffices me thou art. Look you who comes here.
    Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody; -- come in with me, Thersites.
    Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such 1275knavery. All the argument is a cuckold and a whore, a good quarrel to draw emulations, factions, and bleed to death upon. Now, the dry serpigo on the subject, and war and lechery confound all..
    [Exit Thersites?]
    [To Patroclus] Where is Achilles?
    Within his tent, but ill disposed, my lord.
    Let it be known to him that we are here.
    He sent our messengers, and we lay by
    Our appertainments, visiting of him.
    Let him be told so, lest perchance he think
    1285We dare not move the question of our place,
    Or know not what we are.
    I shall so say to him.
    [Exit Patroclus.]
    We saw him at the opening of his tent;
    He is not sick.
    Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart; you may call it melancholy if will favor the man, but, by my head, it is pride. But why? Why? Let him show us the cause. --A word, my lord.
    [Ajax takes Agamemnon aside.]
    What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?
    Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.
    Who? Thersites?
    Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument.
    No, you see, he is his argument that has his argument -- Achilles.
    All the better; their fraction is more our wish than their faction; but it was a strong council that a fool could disunite.
    The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie.
    Enter Patroclus.
    Here comes Patroclus.
    No Achilles with him?
    The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy;
    1310His legs are legs for necessity, not for flight.
    [To Agamemnon] Achilles bids me say he is much sorry
    If anything more than your sport and pleasure
    Did move your greatness and this noble state
    To call upon him; he hopes it is no other
    1315But for your health and your digestion sake,
    An after dinner's breath.
    Hear you, Patroclus.
    We are too well acquainted with these answers,
    But his evasion, winged thus swift with scorn,
    1320Cannot outfly our apprehensions.
    Much attribute he hath, and much the reason
    Why we ascribe it to him, yet all his virtues,
    Not virtuously of his own part beheld,
    Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss,
    1325Yea, and like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
    Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him:
    We came to speak with him, and you shall not sin
    If you do say we think him over-proud
    And under-honest; in self-assumption greater
    1330Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than himself
    Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on,
    Disguise the holy strength of their command,
    And underwrite in an observing kind
    His humorous predominance, yea, watch
    1335His pettish lines, his ebbs, his flows, as if
    The passage and whole carriage of this action
    Rode on his tide. Go tell him this, and add
    That if he overhold his price so much,
    We'll none of him, but let him, like an engine
    1340Not portable, lie under this report:
    "Bring action hither; this cannot go to war."
    A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
    Before a sleeping giant. Tell him so.
    I shall, and bring his answer presently.
    In second voice we'll not be satisfied;
    We come to speak with him. -- Ulysses, enter you.
    Exit Ulysses.
    What is he more than another?
    No more than what he thinks he is.
    Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself a better man than I am?
    No question.
    Will you subscribe his thought and say he is?
    No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant, as 1355wise, no less noble, much more gentle and altogether more tractable.
    Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? I know not what it is.
    Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues 1360the fairer; he that is proud eats up himself; pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.
    Enter Ulysses.
    I do hate a proud man as I hate the engendering of toads.
    [Aside] Yet he loves himself. Is't not strange?
    Achilles will not to the field tomorrow.
    What's his excuse?
    He doth rely on none,
    But carries on the stream of his dispose
    Without observance or respect of any,
    In will peculiar, and in self-admission.
    Why will he not upon our fair request
    1375Untent his person and share the air with us?
    Things small as nothing, for request's sake only,
    He makes important; possessed he is with greatness,
    And speaks not to himself but with a pride
    That quarrels at self-breath. Imagined wroth
    1380Holds in his blood such swoll'n and hot discourse
    That 'twixt his mental and his active parts
    Kingdomed Achilles in commotion rages
    And batters 'gainst itself. What should I say?
    He is so plaguy proud that the death-tokens of it
    1385Cry, "No recovery."
    Let Ajax go to him.
    [To Ajax] Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent.
    'Tis said he holds you well, and will be led
    At your request a little from himself.
    O Agamemnon, let it not be so.
    We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
    When they go from Achilles. Shall the proud lord
    That bastes his arrogance with his own seam,
    And never suffers matter of the world
    1395Enter his thoughts, save such as do revolve
    And ruminate himself, shall he be worshipped
    Of that we hold an idol more than he?
    No, this thrice-worthy and right valiant lord
    Must not so stale his palm, nobly acquired,
    1400Nor by my will assubjugate his merit,
    As amply titled as Achilles' is, by going to Achilles.
    That were to enlard his fat-already pride,
    And add more coals to Cancer when he burns
    With entertaining great Hyperion.
    1405This lord go to him? Jupiter forbid,
    And say in thunder, "Achilles, go to him."
    [Aside] Oh, this is well; he rubs the vein of him.
    [Aside] And how his silence drinks up this applause.
    If I go to him, with my armèd fist,
    I'll pash him 1410o'er the face.
    O no, you shall not go.
    An a be proud with me, I'll feeze his pride.
    Let me go to him.
    Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.
    A paltry, insolent fellow.
    [Aside] How he describes himself.
    Can he not be sociable?
    [Aside] The raven chides blackness.
    I'll let his humors blood.
    [Aside] He will be the physician that should be the patient.
    An all men were o'my mind --
    [Aside] Wit would be out of fashion.
    -- a should not bear it so; a should eat swords 1425first. Shall pride carry it?
    [Aside] An 'twould, you'd carry half.
    [Aside] A would have ten shares.
    I will knead him; I'll make him supple; he's not yet through warm.
    [Aside] Force him with praises; pour in, pour in; his ambition is dry.
    [To Agamemnon] My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.
    Our noble general, do not do so.
    [To Agamemnon] You must prepare to fight without Achilles.
    Why, 'tis this naming of him doth him harm.
    Here is a man -- but 'tis before his face;
    I will be silent.
    Wherefore should you so?
    He is not emulous, as Achilles is.
    Know the whole world, he is as valiant.
    A whoreson dog, that shall palter thus with us. Would he were a Trojan.
    What a vice were it in Ajax now --
    If he were proud --
    Or covetous of praise --
    Ay, or surly borne --
    Or strange, or self-affected.
    [To Ajax]Thank the heavens, lord, thou art of sweet composure.
    Praise him that got thee, she that gave thee suck;
    1450Fame be thy tutor, and thy parts of nature
    Thrice famed beyond, beyond all erudition;
    But he that disciplined thy arms to fight,
    Let Mars divide eternity in twain
    And give him half, and, for thy vigor,
    1455Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield
    To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom,
    Which, like a bourn, a pale, a shore, confines
    Thy spacious and dilated parts. Here's Nestor
    Instructed by the antiquary times;
    1460He must, he is, he cannot but be wise.
    But pardon, father Nestor, were your days
    As green as Ajax' and your brain so tempered,
    You should not have the eminence of him,
    But be as Ajax.
    Shall I call you father?
    Ay, my good son.
    Be ruled by him, lord Ajax.
    There is no tarrying here; the hart Achilles
    Keeps thicket. Please it our general
    1470To call together all his state of war;
    Fresh kings are come to Troy; tomorrow
    We must with all our main of power stand fast,
    And here's a lord, come knights from east to west
    And cull their flow'r, Ajax shall cope the best.
    Go we to council; let Achilles sleep.
    Light boats may sail swift, though greater bulks draw deep.
    Music sounds within. Enter Pandarus and a Servant.
    Friend -- you -- pray you, a word. Do not you 1480follow the young lord Paris?
    Ay, sir, when he goes before me.
    You depend upon him, I mean.
    Sir, I do depend upon the Lord.
    You depend upon a noble gentleman. I must 1485needs praise him.
    The Lord be praised.
    You know me, do you not?
    Faith, sir, superficially.
    Friend, know me better; I am the lord Pandarus.
    I hope I shall know your honor better.
    I do desire it.
    You are in the state of grace?
    Grace? Not so, friend; "honor" and "lordship" are my titles. What music is this?
    I do but partly know, sir; it is music in parts.
    Know you the musicians?
    Wholly, sir.
    Who play they to?
    To the hearers, sir.
    At whose pleasure, friend?
    At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.
    "Command," I mean, friend.
    Who shall I command, sir?
    Friend, we understand not one another. I am too 1505courtly, and thou art too cunning. At whose request do these men play?
    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.
    Who? My cousin Cressida?
    No, sir, Helen. Could you not find out that by her attributes?
    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.
    Sodden business? There's a stewed phrase indeed.
    Enter Paris and Helen.
    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.
    Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
    You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. -- Fair prince, here is good broken music.
    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.
    Truly, lady, no.
    O sir --
    Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.
    Well said, my lord; well, you say so in fits.
    I have business to my lord, dear queen. -- My 1535lord, will you vouchsafe me a word?
    Nay, this shall not hedge us out; we'll hear you sing, certainly.
    Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with me. -- But, marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and most 1540esteemed friend, your brother Troilus --
    My lord Pandarus, honey-sweet lord --
    Go to, sweet queen, go to. -- commends himself most affectionately to you.
    You shall not bob us out of our melody. 1545If you do, our melancholy upon your head.
    Sweet queen, sweet queen, that's a sweet queen, i'faith --
    And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offense.
    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.
    My lord Pandarus?
    What says my sweet queen, my very, very 1555sweet queen?
    What exploit's in hand? Where sups he tonight?
    Nay, but my lord?
    What says my sweet queen? -- [To Paris?] My cousin will fall out with you.
    [To Paris]You must not know where he sups.
    With my disposer, Cressida?
    No, no, no such matter; you are wide. Come, your disposer is sick.
    Well, I'll make excuse.
    Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida? No, your poor disposer's sick.
    I spy.
    You spy? What do you spy? -- Come, give me an instrument now, sweet queen.
    Why, this is kindly done.
    My niece is horrible in love with a thing you have, sweet queen.
    She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.
    He? No, she'll none of him; they two are twain.
    Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.
    Come, come, I'll hear no more of this. I'll sing you a song now.
    Ay, ay, prithee, now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a fine forehead.
    Ay, you may, you may.
    Let thy song be love. This love will undo us all. O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid.
    Love? Ay, that it shall, i'faith.
    Ay, good now: "Love, love, nothing but love."
    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.
    In love, i'faith, to the very tip of the nose.
    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.
    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?
    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?
    He hangs the lip at something. -- You know all, lord Pandarus.
    Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they sped today. 1615 -- You'll remember your brother's excuse?
    To a hair.
    Farewell, sweet queen.
    Commend me to your niece.
    I will, sweet queen.
    Sound a retreat.
    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.
    '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.
    Enter Pandarus and Troilus's Man.
    How now, where's thy master? At my cousin Cressida's?
    1635Troilus's Man
    No, sir, he stays for you to conduct him thither.
    Enter Troilus.
    Oh, here he comes. -- How now, how now?
    [To his Man]Sirrah, walk off.
    Have you seen my cousin?
    No, Pandarus. I stalk about her door,
    Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks,
    Staying for waftage. O be thou my Charon,
    And give me swift transportance to those fields
    Where I may wallow in the lily-beds
    1645Proposed for the deserver. O gentle Pandarus,
    From Cupid's shoulder pluck his painted wings
    And fly with me to Cressid.
    Walk here i'th'orchard. I'll bring her straight.
    Exit Pandarus.
    I am giddy; expectation whirls me round.
    Th'imaginary relish is so sweet
    That it enchants my sense. What will it be
    When that the wat'ry palates taste indeed
    Love's thrice-reputed nectar? Death, I fear me,
    1655Sounding destruction, or some joy too fine,
    Too subtle, potent, and too sharp in sweetness,
    For the capacity of my ruder powers;
    I fear it much, and I do fear besides
    That I shall lose distinction in my joys,
    1660As doth a battle when they charge on heaps,
    The enemy flying.
    Enter Pandarus.
    She's making her ready; she'll come straight. You must be witty now; she does so blush, and fetches her wind so short, as if she were 'fraid with a spirit. I'll fetch her. It 1665is the prettiest villain. She fetches her breath so short as a new-ta'en sparrow.
    Exit Pandarus.
    Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom.
    My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse,
    And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
    1670Like vassalage at unawares encount'ring
    The eye of majesty.
    Enter Pandarus with Cressida [veiled].
    Come, come, what need you blush? Shame's a baby. -- [To Troilus] Here she is now; swear the oaths now 1675to her that you have sworn to me. -- [To Cressida] What, are you gone again? [Cressida pulls away.] You must be watched ere you be made tame, must you? Come your ways; come your ways; an you draw backward we'll put you i'th'fills. -- [To Troilus] Why do you not speak to her? -- [To Cressida] Come draw this curtain, and let's see your picture. [Pandarus unveils Cressida.] 1680Alas the day, how loath you are to offend daylight. An 'twere dark, you'd close sooner. So, so, rub on, and kiss the mistress. [They neck and pet.] How now, a kiss in fee-farm? Build there, carpenter; the air is sweet. Nay, you shall fight your hearts out ere I part you. The falcon as the tercel, for 1685all the ducks i'th'river. Go to, go to.
    You have bereft me of all words, lady.
    Words pay no debts; give her deeds. But she'll bereave you o'th'deeds too, if she call your activity in question. What, billing again? Here's "in witness 1690whereof the parties interchangeably --" Come in; come in. I'll go get a fire.
    Will you walk in, my lord?
    O Cressida, how often have I wished me thus?
    Wished, my lord? The gods grant -- O my lord.
    What should they grant? What makes this pretty abruption? What too curious dreg espies my sweet lady in the fountain of our love?
    More dregs than water, if my tears have eyes.
    Fears make devils of cherubins; they never see 1700truly.
    Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds safer footing than blind reason, stumbling without fear. To fear the worst oft cures the worse.
    Oh, let my lady apprehend no fear; 1705in all Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.
    Nor nothing monstrous neither?
    Nothing, but our undertakings, when we vow to weep seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers, thinking it harder for our mistress to devise imposition 1710enough than for us to undergo any difficulty imposed. This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite, and the execution confined, that the desire is boundless, and the act a slave to limit.
    They say all lovers swear more performance 1715than they are able, and yet reserve an ability that they never perform, vowing more than the perfection of ten, and discharging less than the tenth part of one. They that have the voice of lions and the act of hares, are they not monsters?
    Are there such? Such are not we. Praise us as we are tasted; allow us as we prove. Our head shall go bare till merit crown it; no perfection in reversion shall have a praise in present. We will not name desert before his birth, and, being born, his addition shall be 1725humble. Few words to fair faith. Troilus shall be such to Cressid as what envy can say worst shall be a mock for his truth, and what truth can speak truest: "not truer than Troylus."
    Will you walk in, my lord?
    1730Enter Pandarus.
    What, blushing still? Have you not done talking yet?
    Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to you.
    I thank you for that. If my lord get a boy of you, you'll give him me. Be true to my lord; if he flinch, chide me for it.
    [To Cressida] You know now your hostages: your uncle's word and my firm faith.
    Nay, I'll give my word for her too; our kindred, though they be long ere they are wooed, they are constant being won; they are burs, I can tell you; they'll stick where they are thrown.
    Boldness comes to me now, and brings me 1745heart. Prince Troilus, I have loved you night and day for many weary months.
    Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?
    Hard to seem won, but I was won, my lord,
    With the first glance that ever -- pardon me.
    1750If I confess much, you will play the tyrant.
    I love you now, but not till now so much
    But I might master it; in faith, I lie.
    My thoughts were like unbridled children, grown
    Too headstrong for their mother. See? We fools.
    1755Why have I blabbed? Who shall be true to us
    When we are so unsecret to ourselves?
    But though I loved you well, I wooed you not,
    And yet, good faith, I wished myself a man,
    Or that we women had men's privilege
    1760Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
    For in this rapture I shall surely speak
    The thing I shall repent. See, see? Your silence,
    Coming in dumbness, from my weakness draws
    My soul of counsel from me. Stop, my mouth.
    And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
    [He kisses her.]
    Pretty, i'faith.
    [To Troilus]My lord, I do beseech you pardon me.
    'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kiss.
    I am ashamed. O heavens, what have I done?
    1770For this time will I take my leave, my lord.
    [Cressida prepares to go.]
    Your leave, sweet Cressid?
    Leave? And you take leave till tomorrow morning --
    Pray you, content you.
    What offends you, lady?
    Sir, mine own company.
    You cannot shun yourself.
    Let me go and try.
    I have a kind of self resides with you,
    1780But an unkind self, that itself will leave
    To be another's fool. Where is my wit?
    I would be gone. I speak I know not what.
    Well know they what they speak that speaks so wisely.
    Perchance, my lord, I show more craft than love,
    And fell so roundly to a large confession
    To angle for your thoughts; but you are wise,
    Or else you love not, for to be wise and love
    Exceeds man's might; that dwells with gods above.
    Oh, that I thought it could be in a woman
    (As, if it can, I will presume in you)
    To feed for aye her lamp and flames of love,
    To keep her constancy in plight and youth,
    Outliving beauty's outward, with a mind
    1795That doth renew swifter than blood decays,
    Or that persuasion could but thus convince me
    That my integrity and truth to you
    Might be affronted with the match and weight
    Of such a winnowed purity in love.
    1800How were I then uplifted. But, alas,
    I am as true as truth's simplicity
    And simpler than the infancy of truth.
    In that I'll war with you.
    O virtuous fight,
    1805When right with right wars who shall be most right.
    True swains in love shall in the world to come
    Approve their truths by Troilus. When their times,
    Full of protest, of oath and big compare,
    Wants similes (truth tired with iteration) --
    1810"As true as steel," "as plantage to the moon,"
    "As sun to day," "as turtle to her mate,"
    "As iron to adamant," "as earth to th'center" --
    Yet, after all comparisons of truth --
    As truth's authentic author to be cited --
    1815"As true as Troilus" shall crown up the verse
    And sanctify the numbers.
    Prophet may you be.
    If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth,
    When time is old and hath forgot itself,
    1820When water-drops have worn the stones of Troy,
    And blind oblivion swallowed cities up,
    And mighty states characterless are grated
    To dusty nothing, yet let memory,
    From false to false among false maids in love,
    1825Upbraid my falsehood. When they've said, "As false
    As air, as water, as wind, as sandy earth,
    As fox to lamb, as wolf to heifer's calf,
    Pard to the hind, or stepdame to her son,"
    Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
    1830"As false as Cressid."
    Go to, a bargain made. Seal it. Seal it. I'll be the witness. Here I hold your hand; here, my cousin's. If ever you prove false one to another, since I have taken such pains to bring you together, let all 1835pitiful goers-between be called to the world's end after my name: call them all Pandars. Let all constant men be Troiluses, all false women Cressids, and all brokers-between panders. Say "Amen."
    Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber, which bed, because it shall not speak of your pretty encounters, press it to death. Away.
    1845And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here,
    Bed, chamber, and pander to provide this gear.
    Enter Ulysses, Diomed, Nestor, Agamemnon, [Ajax,] Menelaus, and Calchas. Flourish.
    Now, princes, for the service I have done you,
    1850Th'advantage of the time prompts me aloud
    To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind
    That, through the sight I bear in things to love,
    I have abandoned Troy, left my possession,
    Incurred a traitor's name, exposed myself,
    1855From certain and possessed conveniences,
    To doubtful fortunes, sequest'ring from me all
    That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition,
    Made tame and most familiar to my nature,
    And here, to do you service, am become
    1860As new into the world, strange, unacquainted.
    I do beseech you, as in way of taste,
    To give me now a little benefit
    Out of those many registered in promise,
    Which, you say, live to come in my behalf.
    What wouldst thou of us, Trojan? Make demand.
    You have a Trojan prisoner called Antenor,
    Yesterday took. Troy holds him very dear.
    Oft have you -- often have you thanks therefore --
    1870Desired my Cressid in right great exchange,
    Whom Troy hath still denied; but this Antenor,
    I know, is such a wrest in their affairs
    That their negotiations all must slack
    Wanting his manage, and they will almost
    1875Give us a prince of blood, a son of Priam,
    In change of him. Let him be sent, great princes,
    And he shall buy my daughter; and her presence
    Shall quite strike off all service I have done
    In most accepted pain.
    Let Diomed bear him,
    And bring us Cressid hither. Calchas shall have
    What he requests of us. Good Diomed,
    Furnish you fairly for this interchange;
    Withal bring word if Hector will tomorrow
    1885Be answered in his challenge. Ajax is ready.
    This shall I undertake, and 'tis a burden
    Which I am proud to bear.
    Exit [Diomed].
    Enter Achilles and Patroclus in their tent.
    Achilles stands i'th'entrance of his tent;
    1890Please it our general to pass strangely by him,
    As if he were forgot, and, princes all,
    Lay negligent and loose regard upon him.
    I will come last; 'tis like he'll question me
    Why such unplausive eyes are bent, why turned on him.
    1895If so, I have derision medicinable
    To use between your strangeness and his pride,
    Which his own will shall have desire to drink.
    It may do good. Pride hath no other glass
    To show itself but pride; for supple knees
    1900Feed arrogance, and are the proud man's fees.
    We'll execute your purpose, and put on
    A form of strangeness as we pass along.
    So do each lord, and either greet him not,
    Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more
    1905Than if not looked on. I will lead the way.
    [They walk separately past Achilles' tent.]
    What? Comes the general to speak with me?
    You know my mind; I'll fight no more 'gainst Troy.
    [To Nestor] What says Achilles? Would he aught with us?
    [To Achilles] Would you, my lord, aught with the general?
    [To Agamemnon]Nothing, my lord.
    The better.
    [To Menelaus]Good day, good day.
    How do you? How do you?
    [To Patroclus]What, does the cuckold scorn me?
    How now, Patroclus?
    Good morrow, Ajax.
    Good morrow.
    Ay, and good next day too.
    Exeunt. [Ulysses remains onstage pretending to read.]
    What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?
    They pass by strangely. They were used to bend,
    To send their smiles before them to Achilles,
    1925To come as humbly as they used to creep
    To holy altars.
    What, am I poor of late?
    'Tis certain, greatness, once fall'n out with fortune,
    Must fall out with men too. What the declined is
    He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
    1930As feel in his own fall; for men, like butterflies,
    Show not their mealy wings but to the summer,
    And not a man, for being simply man,
    Hath any honor, but honored for those honors
    That are without him, as place, riches, and favor,
    1935Prizes of accident as oft as merit,
    Which, when they fall, as being slippery standers,
    The love that leaned on them, as slippery too,
    Doth one pluck down another and together
    Die in the fall. But 'tis not so with me;
    1940Fortune and I are friends; I do enjoy
    At ample point all that I did possess,
    Save these men's looks, who do, me thinks, find out
    Something not worth in me such rich beholding
    As they have often given. Here is Ulysses;
    1945I'll interrupt his reading. --
    How now, Ulysses?
    Now, great Thetis' son.
    What are you reading?
    A strange fellow here
    Writes me that man (how dearly ever parted,
    1950How much in having, or without, or in)
    Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
    Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection,
    As when his virtues shining upon others
    Heat them, and they retort that heat again
    1955To the first giver.
    This is not strange, Ulysses.
    The beauty that is borne here in the face
    The bearer knows not, but commends itself
    1958.1To others' eyes, nor doth the eye itself,
    That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
    Not going from itself, but eye to eye opposed,
    1960Salutes each other with each other's form.
    For speculation turns not to itself
    Till it hath traveled and is married there
    Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.
    I do not strain it at the position
    1965(It is familiar), but at the author's drift,
    Who, in his circumstance, expressly proves
    That no man is the lord of anything
    (Though in and of him there is much consisting)
    Till he communicate his parts to others,
    1970Nor doth he of himself know them for aught
    Till he behold them formèd in th'applause
    Where they are extended, who, like an arch, reverberate
    The voice again, or, like a gate of steel,
    Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
    1975His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this,
    And apprehended here immediately
    The unknown Ajax.
    Heavens, what a man is there. A very horse,
    That has he knows not what. Nature, what things there are
    1980Most abject in regard and dear in use;
    What things again, most dear in the esteem
    And poor in worth. Now shall we see tomorrow
    An act that very chance doth throw upon him.
    Ajax renowned? O heavens, what some men do,
    1985While some men leave to do;
    How some men creep in skittish fortune's hall,
    Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes;
    How one man eats into another's pride,
    While pride is feasting in his wantonness
    1990To see these Grecian lords. Why, even already
    They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder,
    As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
    And great Troy shrinking.
    I do believe it,
    1995For they passed by me as misers do by beggars,
    Neither gave to me good word nor look.
    What, are my deeds forgot?
    Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
    Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
    2000A great-sized monster of ingratitudes.
    Those scraps are good deeds past,
    Which are devoured as fast as they are made,
    Forgot as soon as done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
    Keeps honor bright; to have done is to hang
    2005Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
    In monumental mock'ry. Take the instant way,
    For honor travels in a strait so narrow,
    Where one but goes abreast. Keep then the path,
    For emulation hath a thousand sons
    2010That one by one pursue; if you give way,
    Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
    Like to an entered tide they all rush by
    And leave you hindmost,
    Or like a gallant horse fall'n in first rank,
    2015Lie there for pavement to the abject -- near
    O'er-run and trampled on. Then what they do in present,
    Though less than yours in past, must o'er-top yours,
    For time is like a fashionable host
    That slightly shakes his parting guest by th'hand
    2020And, with his arms outstretched as he would fly,
    Grasps in the comer: the welcome ever smiles,
    And farewells goes out sighing. Oh, let not virtue seek
    Remuneration for the thing it was, for beauty, wit,
    High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
    2025Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
    To envious and calumniating time.
    One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
    That all with one consent praise newborn gauds,
    Though they are made and molded of things past
    2030And go to dust that is a little gilt
    More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.
    The present eye praises the present object.
    Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
    That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax,
    2035Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
    Than what not stirs. The cry went out on thee,
    And still it might, and yet it may again,
    If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive
    And case thy reputation in thy tent,
    2040Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
    Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselves
    And drave great Mars to faction.
    Of this my privacy,
    I have strong reasons.
    But 'gainst your privacy
    The reasons are more potent and heroical.
    'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
    With one of Priam's daughters.
    Ha? Known?
    Is that a wonder?
    The providence that's in a watchful state
    Knows almost every grain of Pluto's gold,
    Finds bottom in th'uncomprehensive deeps,
    Keeps place with thought, and, almost like the gods,
    2055Do thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
    There is a mystery (with whom relation
    Durst never meddle) in the soul of state
    Which hath an operation more divine
    Than breath or pen can give expressure to.
    2060All the commerce that you have had with Troy
    As perfectly is ours as yours, my lord;
    And better would it fit Achilles much
    To throw down Hector than Polixena.
    But it must grieve young Pyrrhus, now at home,
    2065When fame shall in her island sound her trump
    And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,
    "Great Hector's sister did Achilles win,
    But our great Ajax bravely beat down him."
    Farewell, my lord. I as your lover speak:
    2070"The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break."
    To this effect, Achilles, have I moved you;
    A woman impudent and mannish grown
    Is not more loathed than an effeminate man
    In time of action. I stand condemned for this;
    2075They think my little stomach to the war,
    And your great love to me, restrains you thus.
    Sweet, rouse yourself, and the weak wanton Cupid
    Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold
    And, like a dewdrop from the lion's mane,
    2080Be shook to airy air.
    Shall Ajax fight with Hector?
    Ay, and perhaps receive much honor by him.
    I see my reputation is at stake;
    My fame is shrewdly gored.
    Oh, then, beware.
    Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.
    Omission to do what is necessary
    Seals a commission to a blank of danger,
    And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
    2090Even then when we sit idly in the sun.
    Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus;
    I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him
    T'invite the Trojan lords after the combat
    To see us here unarmed. I have a woman's longing,
    2095An appetite that I am sick withal
    To see great Hector in his weeds of peace,
    Enter Thersites.
    To talk with him, and to behold his visage
    Even to my full of view. -- [Notices Thersites] A labor saved.
    A wonder.
    Ajax goes up and down the field asking for himself.
    How so?
    He must fight singly tomorrow with Hector 2105and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgeling that he raves in saying nothing.
    How can that be?
    Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, a stride and a stand, ruminates like an hostess that hath no 2110arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning; bites his lip with a politic regard as who should say, "there were wit in his head an 'twould out," and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint which will not show without knocking. The man's undone 2115forever, for if Hector break not his neck i'th'combat, he'll break't himself in vainglory. He knows not me. I said, "Good morrow, Ajax," and he replies, "Thanks, Agamemnon." What think you of this man that takes me for the general? He's grown a very 2120land-fish: languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion. A man may wear it on both sides like a leather jerkin.
    Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites.
    Who, I? Why, he'll answer nobody. He professes 2125not answering; speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in's arms. I will put on his presence. Let Patroclus make his demands to me; you shall see the pageant of Ajax.
    To him, Patroclus; tell him I humbly desire the 2130valiant Ajax to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarmed to my tent, and to procure safe conduct for his person of the magnanimous and most illustrious six-or-seven-times-honored captain, general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon, etc. Do this.
    [To Thersites] Jove bless great Ajax.
    [Pretending to be Ajax]Hum.
    I come from the worthy Achilles --
    -- who most humbly desires you to invite Hector 2140to his tent --
    -- and to procure safe-conduct from Agamemnon.
    Ay, my lord.
    What say you to't?
    God b'wi'you, with all my heart.
    Your answer, sir?
    If tomorrow be a fair day, by eleven o'clock 2150it will go one way or other; howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has me.
    Your answer, sir?
    [Pretending to exit] Fare you well, with all my heart.
    Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?
    No, but he's out o' tune thus. What music will be in him when Hector has knocked out his brains, I know not, but I am sure none, unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on.
    Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him 2160straight.
    Let me carry another to his horse, for that's the more capable creature.
    My mind is troubled like a fountain stirred,
    And I myself see not the bottom of it.
    Would the fountain of your mind were clear again that I might water an ass at it. I had rather be a tick in a sheep than such a valiant ignorance.
    Enter at one door Aeneas with a torch, at another [door] Paris, Deiphobus, Antenor, [and] Diomed the 2170Grecian with [attendants carrying] torches.
    See, ho. Who is that there?
    It is the lord Aeneas.
    Is the prince there in person?
    Had I so good occasion to lie long
    2175As you, prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business
    Should rob my bedmate of my company.
    That's my mind too. -- Good morrow, lord Aeneas.
    A valiant Greek, Aeneas, take his hand.
    2180Witness the process of your speech wherein
    You told how Diomed, in a whole week by days,
    Did haunt you in the field.
    [To Diomed] Health to you, valiant sir,
    During all question of the gentle truce,
    2185But when I meet you armed, as black defiance
    As heart can think or courage execute.
    The one and other Diomed embraces.
    Our bloods are now in calm, and so, long health.
    But when contention and occasion meet,
    2190By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life
    With all my force, pursuit, and policy.
    And thou shalt hunt a lion that will fly
    With his face backward in humane gentleness.
    Welcome to Troy. Now, by Anchises' life,
    2195Welcome indeed. By Venus' hand I swear,
    No man alive can love in such a sort
    The thing he means to kill more excellently.
    We sympathize. Jove, let Aeneas live
    (If to my sword his fate be not the glory)
    2200A thousand complete courses of the sun,
    But, in mine emulous honor, let him die
    With every joint a wound and that tomorrow.
    We know each other well.
    We do, and long to know each other worse.
    This is the most despiteful'st gentle greeting,
    The noblest hateful love, that e'er I heard of. --
    [To Aeneas] What business, lord, so early?
    I was sent for to the king, but why, I know not.
    His purpose meets you; it was to bring this Greek
    2210To Calchas' house, and there to render him,
    For the enfreed Antenor, the fair Cressid.
    Let's have your company, or, if you please,
    [Drawing Aeneas aside]
    Haste there before us. I constantly do think
    (Or rather call my thought a certain knowledge)
    2215My brother Troilus lodges there tonight.
    Rouse him, and give him note of our approach,
    With the whole quality whereof. I fear
    We shall be much unwelcome.
    That I assure you.
    2220Troilus had rather Troy were borne to Greece
    Than Cressid borne from Troy.
    There is no help.
    The bitter disposition of the time
    Will have it so. --
    On, lord, we'll follow you.
    Good morrow, all.
    Exit Aeneas.
    And tell me, noble Diomed, faith, tell me true --
    Even in the soul of sound good fellowship --
    Who, in your thoughts, merits fair Helen most,
    Myself or Menelaus?
    Both alike.
    He merits well to have her that doth seek her,
    Not making any scruple of her soilure,
    With such a hell of pain and world of charge,
    And you as well to keep her that defend her,
    2235Not palating the taste of her dishonor,
    With such a costly loss of wealth and friends.
    He, like a puling cuckold, would drink up
    The lees and dregs of a flat tamèd piece;
    You, like a lecher, out of whorish loins
    2240Are pleased to breed out your inheritors.
    Both merits poised, each weighs no less nor more,
    But he as he, the heavier for a whore.
    You are too bitter to your countrywoman.
    She's bitter to her country. Hear me, Paris.
    2245For every false drop in her bawdy veins,
    A Grecian's life hath sunk; for every scruple
    Of her contaminated carrion weight,
    A Trojan hath been slain. Since she could speak,
    She hath not given so many good words breath
    2250As, for her, Greeks and Trojans suffered death.
    Fair Diomed, you do as chapmen do,
    Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy.
    But we in silence hold this virtue well:
    We'll not commend what we intend to sell.
    2255Here lies our way.
    Enter Troilus and Cressida.
    Dear, trouble not yourself. The morn is cold.
    Then, sweet my lord, I'll call mine uncle down;
    He shall unbolt the gates.
    Trouble him not.
    To bed, to bed. Sleep, kill those pretty eyes,
    And give as soft attachment to thy senses
    As infants empty of all thought.
    Good morrow, then.
    I prithee, now to bed.
    Are you aweary of me?
    O Cressida, but that the busy day,
    Waked by the lark, hath roused the ribald crows,
    And dreaming night will hide our eyes no longer,
    2270I would not from thee.
    Night hath been too brief.
    Beshrew the witch. With venomous wights she stays
    As tediously as hell, but flies the grasps of love
    With wings more momentary swift than thought.
    2275You will catch cold, and curse me.
    Prithee tarry. You men will never tarry.
    O foolish Cressid, I might have still held off
    And then you would have tarried. -- Hark, there's one up.
    Within What's all the doors open here?
    It is your uncle.
    Enter Pandarus.
    A pestilence on him. Now will he be mocking; I shall have such a life.
    How now? How now? How go maidenheads? Hear you, maid?
    [Pretending not to recognize Cressida]
    Where's my cousin Cressid?
    Go hang yourself, you naughty, mocking uncle.
    You bring me to do -- and then you flout me too.
    To do what? To do what? Let her say what.
    What have I brought you to do?
    Come, come, beshrew your heart. You'll ne'er be 2290good, nor suffer others.
    Ha, ha. Alas, poor wretch, a poor chipochia, hast not slept tonight? Would he not (a naughty man) let it sleep? A bugbear take him.
    One knocks.
    Did not I tell you? Would he were 2295knocked i'th'head. --
    Who's that at door? Good uncle, go and see. --
    My lord, come you again into my chamber.
    You smile and mock me, as if I meant naughtily.
    Ha, ha.
    Come, you are deceived; I think of no such thing.
    2300How earnestly they knock. Pray you, come in.
    I would not for half Troy have you seen here.
    Exeunt [Troilus and Cressida].
    Who's there? What's the matter? Will you beat down the door? How now, what's the matter?
    [Enter Aeneas.]
    Good morrow, lord, good morrow.
    Who's there? My lord Aeneas? By my troth, I knew you not. What news with you so early?
    Is not prince Troilus here?
    Here? What should he do here?
    Come, he is here. My lord, do not deny him.
    2310It doth import him much to speak with me.
    Is he here, say you? 'Tis more than I know, I'll be sworn. For my own part, I came in late. What should he do here?
    Whoa. Nay then, come, come, you'll do him 2315wrong, ere you're ware. You'll be so true to him, to be false to him. Do not you know of him, but yet go fetch him hither, go.
    Enter Troilus.
    How now, what's the matter?
    My lord, I scarce have leisure to salute you,
    My matter is so rash. There is at hand
    Paris your brother, and Deiphobus,
    The Grecian Diomed, and our Antenor
    Delivered to us, and for him forthwith,
    2325Ere the first sacrifice, within this hour,
    We must give up to Diomed's hand
    The lady Cressida.
    Is it concluded so?
    By Priam and the general state of Troy.
    2330They are at hand and ready to effect it.
    How my achievements mock me. --
    I will go meet them. And, my lord Aeneas,
    We met by chance; you did not find me here.
    Good, good my lord, the secrets of nature
    2335Have not more gift in taciturnity.
    Exeunt [Troilus and Aeneas]. Pandarus remains.
    Enter Cressida.
    Is't possible? No sooner got but lost. The devil take Antenor. The young prince will go mad. A plague upon Antenor. I would they had broke's neck.
    How now? What's the matter? Who was here?
    [Sighing] Ah, ha.
    Why sigh you so profoundly? Where's my lord?
    Gone? Tell me, sweet uncle, what's the matter?
    Would I were as deep under the earth as I am 2345above.
    O the gods. What's the matter?
    Prithee, get thee in. Would thou hadst ne'er been born; I knew thou wouldst be his death. O poor gentleman. A plague upon Antenor.
    [Kneeling] Good uncle, I beseech you -- on my knees, I beseech you -- what's the matter?
    Thou must be gone, wench; thou must be gone; thou art changed for Antenor; thou must to thy father, and be gone from Troilus. 'Twill be his death; 'twill be 2355his bane; he cannot bear it.
    O you immortal gods, I will not go.
    Thou must.
    I will not, uncle. I have forgot my father.
    I know no touch of consanguinity,
    2360No kin, no love, no blood, no soul so near me
    As the sweet Troilus. O you gods divine,
    Make Cressid's name the very crown of falsehood
    If ever she leave Troilus. Time, force, and death
    Do to this body what extremity you can;
    2365But the strong base and building of my love
    Is as the very center of the earth,
    Drawing all things to it. I will go in and weep --
    Do, do.
    -- tear my bright hair, and scratch my praisèd 2370cheeks,
    Crack my clear voice with sobs, and break my heart
    With sounding "Troilus." I will not go from Troy.
    Enter Paris, Troilus, Aeneas, Deiphobus, Antenor, and Diomed.
    It is great morning, and the hour prefixed
    Of her delivery to this valiant Greek
    Comes fast upon. Good my brother Troilus,
    Tell you the lady what she is to do
    And haste her to the purpose.
    Walk into her house.
    I'll bring her to the Grecian presently;
    And, to his hand, when I deliver her,
    Think it an altar, and thy brother Troilus
    A priest, there offering to it his heart.
    I know what 'tis to love,
    And would, as I shall pity, I could help.
    Please you walk in, my lords.
    Enter Pandarus and Cressida.
    Be moderate, be moderate.
    Why tell you me of moderation?
    The grief is fine, full, perfect that I taste,
    And no less in a sense as strong
    As that which causeth it. How can I moderate it?
    If I could temporize with my affection,
    2395Or brew it to a weak and colder palate,
    The like allayment could I give my grief.
    My love admits no qualifying cross,
    Enter Troilus.
    No more my grief, in such a precious loss.
    Here, here, here, he comes, a sweet duck.
    O Troilus, Troilus.
    What a pair of spectacles is here? Let me embrace too. "O heart," as the goodly saying is,
    "O heart, heavy heart,
    Why sighest thou without breaking?"
    where he answers again:
    "Because thou canst not ease thy smart
    2405By friendship, nor by speaking."
    There was never a truer rhyme; let us cast away nothing, for we may live to have need of such a verse. We see it; we see it. How now, lambs?
    Cressid, I love thee in so strange a purity
    That the blest gods, as angry with my fancy --
    2410More bright in zeal than the devotion which
    Cold lips blow to their deities -- take thee from me.
    Have the gods envy?
    Ay, ay, ay, ay, 'tis too plain a case.
    And is it true that I must go from Troy?
    A hateful truth.
    What? And from Troilus too?
    From Troy and Troilus.
    Is't possible?
    And suddenly, where injury of chance
    2420Puts back leave-taking, jostles roughly by
    All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips
    Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents
    Our locked embrasures, strangles our dear vows
    Even in the birth of our own laboring breath.
    2425We two, that with so many thousand sighs
    Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves
    With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
    Injurious time, now with a robber's haste,
    Crams his rich thiev'ry up, he knows not how.
    2430As many farewells as be stars in heaven,
    With distinct breath, and consigned kisses to them,
    He fumbles up into a loose "adieu,"
    And scants us with a single famished kiss,
    Distasting with the salt of broken tears.
    Within My lord, is the lady ready?
    [To Cressida] Hark, you are called. Some say the genius so
    Cries, "Come," to him that instantly must die. --
    Bid them have patience. She shall come anon.
    Where are my tears? Rain, to lay this wind,
    2440Or my heart will be blown up by the root.
    I must then to the Grecians?
    No remedy.
    A woeful Cressid 'mongst the merry Greeks.
    When shall we see again?
    Hear me, my love. Be thou but true of heart --
    I, true? How now? What wicked deem is this?
    Nay, we must use expostulation kindly,
    For it is parting from us.
    I speak not "be thou true" as fearing thee,
    2450For I will throw my glove to death himself
    That there's no maculation in thy heart,
    But "be thou true," say I, to fashion in
    My sequent protestation: "be thou true,
    And I will see thee."
    Oh you shall be exposed, my lord, to dangers
    As infinite as imminent, but I'll be true.
    And I'll grow friend with danger.
    [Troilus gives Cressida a sleeve.]
    Wear this sleeve.
    [Cressida gives Troilus a glove.]
    And you this glove. 2460When shall I see you?
    I will corrupt the Grecian sentinels
    To give thee nightly visitation.
    But yet, be true.
    O heavens. "Be true" again?
    Hear why I speak it, love.
    The Grecian youths are full of quality,
    Their loving, well composed with gift of nature,
    Flowing and swelling o'er with arts and exercise.
    How novelties may move, and parts with person,
    2470Alas, a kind of godly jealousy --
    Which I beseech you call a virtuous sin --
    Makes me afraid.
    O heavens, you love me not.
    Die I a villain then.
    2475In this I do not call your faith in question
    So mainly as my merit. I cannot sing,
    Nor heel the high lavolt, nor sweeten talk,
    Nor play at subtle games -- fair virtues all,
    To which the Grecians are most prompt and pregnant.
    2480But I can tell that in each grace of these
    There lurks a still and dumb-discoursive devil
    That tempts most cunningly. But be not tempted.
    Do you think I will?
    No, but something may be done that we will not,
    2485And sometimes we are devils to ourselves,
    When we will tempt the frailty of our powers,
    Presuming on their changeful potency.
    Within Nay, good my lord --
    Come, kiss, and let us part.
    Within Brother Troilus?
    Good brother, come you hither,
    And bring Aeneas and the Grecian with you.
    My lord, will you be true?
    Who, I? Alas, it is my vice, my fault.
    2495Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion,
    I, with great truth, catch mere simplicity;
    Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
    With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.
    Enter [Diomed and] the Greeks [with Aeneas, Paris, Antenor, and Deiphobus following].
    2500Fear not my truth; the moral of my wit
    Is "plain and true": there's all the reach of it. --
    Welcome, Sir Diomed. Here is the lady
    Which for Antenor we deliver you.
    At the port, lord, I'll give her to thy hand,
    2505And by the way possess thee what she is.
    Entreat her fair, and, by my soul, fair Greek,
    If e'er thou stand at mercy of my sword,
    Name Cressid, and thy life shall be as safe
    As Priam is in Ilium.
    Fair lady Cressid,
    So please you, save the thanks this prince expects.
    The luster in your eye, heaven in your cheek,
    Pleads your fair visage, and to Diomed
    You shall be mistress and command him wholly.
    Grecian, thou dost not use me courteously
    To shame the seal of my petition towards,
    I praising her. I tell thee, lord of Greece,
    She is as far high-soaring o'er thy praises
    As thou unworthy to be called her servant.
    2520I charge thee use her well, even for my charge,
    For, by the dreadful Pluto, if thou dost not
    (Though the great bulk Achilles be thy guard),
    I'll cut thy throat.
    O be not moved, prince Troilus;
    2525Let me be privileged by my place and message
    To be a speaker free. When I am hence,
    I'll answer to my lust. And know, my lord,
    I'll nothing do on charge. To her own worth
    She shall be prized. But that you say, "Be't so,"
    2530I'll speak it in my spirit and honor, "No."
    Come to the port. -- I'll tell thee, Diomed,
    This brave shall oft make thee to hide thy head. --
    Lady, give me your hand, and, as we walk,
    To our own selves bend we our needful talk.
    2535Sound trumpet.
    Hark, Hector's trumpet.
    How have we spent this morning?
    The prince must think me tardy and remiss,
    That swore to ride before him in the field.
    'Tis Troilus's fault. Come, come, to field with him.
    Exeunt [all but Aeneas and Deiphobus].
    Let us make ready straight.
    Yea, with a bridegroom's fresh alacrity
    Let us address to tend on Hector's heels.
    2545The glory of our Troy doth this day lie
    On his fair worth and single chivalry.
    [Exeunt Aeneas and Deiphobus.]
    Enter Ajax armed, Achilles, Patroclus, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Ulysses, Nestor, Calchas, [and attendants including a trumpeter].
    [To Ajax]Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair,
    2550Anticipating time with starting courage.
    Give, with thy trumpet, a loud note to Troy,
    Thou dreadful Ajax, that the appallèd air
    May pierce the head of the great combatant,
    And hale him hither.
    Thou, trumpet, there's my purse.
    Now crack thy lungs, and split thy brazen pipe.
    Blow, villain, till thy spherèd bias cheek
    Outswell the colic of puffed Aquilon.
    Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood;
    2560Thou blowest for Hector.
    [Sound trumpet.]
    No trumpet answers.
    'Tis but early days.
    [Enter Cressida escorted by Diomed.]
    Is not young Diomed with Calchas' daughter?
    'Tis he. I ken the manner of his gait;
    2565He rises on the toe. That spirit of his
    In aspiration lifts him from the earth.
    Is this the lady Cressid?
    Even she.
    Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet 2570lady.
    [He kisses her.]
    Our general doth salute you with a kiss.
    Yet is the kindness but particular.
    'Twere better she were kissed in general.
    And very courtly counsel. I'll begin.
    [He kisses her.]
    So much 2575for Nestor.
    I'll take that winter from your lips, fair lady.
    Achilles bids you welcome.
    [He kisses her.]
    [To Cressida] I had good argument for kissing once.
    But that's no argument for kissing now,
    2580For thus popped Paris in his hardiment,
    2580.1And parted, thus, you and your argument.
    [He kisses her.]
    Oh, deadly gall, and theme of all our scorns,
    For which we lose our heads to gild his horns.
    The first was Menelaus' kiss; this, mine.
    Patroclus kisses you.
    [He kisses her.]
    Oh, this is trim.
    [To Cressida] Paris and I kiss evermore for him.
    I'll have my kiss, sir. -- Lady, by your leave.
    In kissing, do you render or receive?
    [Cressida holds him off?]
    Both take and give.
    I'll make my match to live,
    The kiss you take is better then you give.
    Therefore no kiss.
    [Holding him off?]
    I'll give you boot; I'll give you three for one.
    You are an odd man; give even, or give none.
    An odd man, lady? Every man is odd.
    No, Paris is not, for you know 'tis true
    That you are odd, and he is even with you.
    You fillip me o'th'head.
    No, I'll be sworn.
    It were no match, your nail against his horn.
    May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?
    You may.
    I do desire it.
    Why, beg then.
    Why then, for Venus' sake, give me a kiss,
    When Helen is a maid again, and his --
    I am your debtor; claim it when 'tis due.
    Never's my day, and then a kiss of you.
    Lady, a word. I'll bring you to your father.
    [He leads her across the stage to Calchas.]
    A woman of quick sense.
    Fie, fie upon her.
    There's a language in her eye, her cheek, her lip;
    Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
    At every joint and motive of her body.
    2615Oh, these encounterers, so glib of tongue,
    That give a coasting welcome ere it comes
    And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts
    To every tickling reader, set them down
    For sluttish spoils of opportunity
    2620And daughters of the game.
    Exeunt [Cressida and Calchas].
    Enter Hector [armed], Paris, Aeneas, Helenus, [Troilus] and Attendants. Flourish.
    All [Greeks].
    The Trojan's trumpet.
    Yonder comes the troop.
    Hail, all you state of Greece. What shall be done
    To him that victory commands? Or do you purpose
    A victor shall be known? Will you the knights
    Shall to the edge of all extremity
    Pursue each other, or shall they be divided
    2630By any voice or order of the field?
    Hector bade ask.
    Which way would Hector have it?
    He cares not; he'll obey conditions.
    'Tis done like Hector -- But securely done,
    A little proudly, and great deal disprizing
    2635The knight opposed.
    If not Achilles, sir, what is your name?
    If not Achilles, nothing.
    Therefore, Achilles. But whate'er, know this:
    In the extremity of great and little,
    2640Valor and pride excel themselves in Hector --
    The one, almost as infinite as all;
    The other, blank as nothing. Weigh him well,
    And that which looks like pride is courtesy.
    This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood,
    2645In love whereof, half Hector stays at home;
    Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek
    This blended knight, half Trojan, and half Greek.
    A maiden battle then? Oh, I perceive you.
    Here is Sir Diomed. -- Go, gentle knight;
    2650Stand by our Ajax. As you and lord Aeneas
    Consent upon the order of their fight,
    So be it: either to the uttermost,
    Or else a breach. The combatants being kin
    Half stints their strife before their strokes begin.
    [Ajax and Hector square off.]
    They are opposed already.
    What Trojan is that same that looks so heavy?
    The youngest son of Priam,
    A true knight; they call him Troilus,
    Not yet mature, yet matchless; firm of word,
    2660Speaking in deeds, and deedless in his tongue;
    Not soon provoked, nor, being provoked, soon calmed;
    His heart and hand both open, and both free,
    For what he has, he gives; what thinks, he shows;
    Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty,
    2665Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath;
    Manly as Hector, but more dangerous,
    For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
    To tender objects, but he, in heat of action,
    Is more vindicative than jealous love.
    2670They call him Troilus, and on him erect
    A second hope as fairly built as Hector.
    Thus says Aeneas, one that knows the youth
    Even to his inches and, with private soul,
    Did in great Ilium thus translate him to me.
    Alarum. [Hector and Ajax fight.]
    They are in action.
    Now, Ajax, hold thine own.
    Hector, thou sleep'st; awake thee.
    His blows are well disposed. -- There, Ajax.
    Trumpets cease.
    You must no more.
    Princes, enough, so please you.
    [They cease fighting.]
    I am not warm yet; let us fight again.
    As Hector pleases.
    Why, then will I no more.
    Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son,
    2685A cousin-german to great Priam's seed.
    The obligation of our blood forbids
    A gory emulation 'twixt us twain.
    Were thy commixtion Greek and Trojan so
    That thou couldst say, "This hand is Grecian all,
    2690And this is Trojan; the sinews of this leg,
    All Greek, and this all Troy; my mother's blood
    Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
    Bounds in my father's," by Jove multipotent,
    Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member
    2695Wherein my sword had not impressure made
    Of our rank feud, but the just gods gainsay
    That any drop thou borrowed'st from thy mother,
    My sacred aunt, should by my mortal sword
    Be drained. Let me embrace thee, Ajax.
    2700By him that thunders, thou hast lusty arms;
    Hector would have them fall upon him thus --
    [They embrace.]
    Cousin, all honor to thee.
    I thank thee, Hector.
    Thou art too gentle, and too free a man.
    2705I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence
    A great addition earnèd in thy death.
    Not Neoptolemus so mirable,
    On whose bright crest fame with her loud'st "oyez"
    Cries, "This is he," couldst promise to himself
    2710A thought of added honor torn from Hector.
    There is expectance here from both the sides
    What further you will do.
    We'll answer it.
    The issue is embracement. -- Ajax, farewell.
    [They embrace again.]
    If I might in entreaties find success
    (As seld I have the chance), I would desire
    My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.
    'Tis Agamemnon's wish, and great Achilles
    Doth long to see unarmed the valiant Hector.
    Aeneas, call my brother Troilus to me,
    And signify this loving interview
    To the expecters of our Trojan part;
    Desire them home. -- [To Ajax] Give me thy hand, my cousin;
    I will go eat with thee, and see your knights.
    2725Enter [to stage front] Agamemnon and the rest.
    Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.
    [To Aeneas]The worthiest of them, tell me name by name,
    But, for Achilles, mine own searching eyes
    Shall find him by his large and portly size.
    Worthy of arms, as welcome as to one
    That would be rid of such an enemy. --
    But that's no welcome. Understand more clear,
    What's past, and what's to come, is strewed with husks
    And formless ruin of oblivion,
    2735But in this extant moment, faith and troth,
    Strained purely from all hollow bias drawing,
    Bids thee, with most divine integrity,
    From heart of very heart, "great Hector, welcome."
    I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.
    [To Troilus] My well-famed lord of Troy, no less to you.
    Let me confirm my princely brother's greeting.
    You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.
    [He embraces Hector and Troilus?]
    Who must we answer?
    The noble Menelaus.
    Oh, you, my lord? By Mars his gauntlet, thanks.
    Mock not that I affect th'untraded oath;
    Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove.
    She's well, but bade me not commend her to you.
    Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly theme.
    Oh, pardon. I offend.
    I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft,
    Laboring for destiny, make cruel way
    Through ranks of Greekish youth, and I have seen thee,
    As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed,
    2755And seen thee scorning forfeits and subduements,
    When thou hast hung th'advancèd sword i'th'air,
    Not letting it decline on the declined,
    That I have said unto my standers-by,
    "Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life."
    2760And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath,
    When that a ring of Greeks have hemmed thee in,
    Like an Olympian wrestling. This have I seen,
    But this thy countenance, still locked in steel,
    I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire,
    2765And once fought with him; he was a soldier good,
    But -- by great Mars, the captain of us all --
    Never like thee. Let an old man embrace thee,
    And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.
    [To Hector] 'Tis the old Nestor.
    [Hector and Nestor embrace.]
    Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle,
    That hast so long walked hand in hand with time.
    Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.
    I would my arms could match thee in contention
    As they contend with thee in courtesy.
    I would they could.
    Ha? By this white beard, I'd fight with thee to
    morrow. Well, welcome, welcome. I have seen the time.
    I wonder now how yonder city stands
    When we have here her base and pillar by us.
    I know your favor, lord Ulysses, well.
    Ah, sir, there's many a Greek and Trojan dead
    Since first I saw yourself and Diomed
    In Ilium on your Greekish embassy.
    Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue.
    2785My prophecy is but half his journey yet,
    For yonder walls that pertly front your town,
    Yon towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
    Must kiss their own feet.
    I must not believe you.
    2790There they stand yet, and modestly I think
    The fall of every Phrygian stone will cost
    A drop of Grecian blood. The end crowns all,
    And that old common arbitrator, time,
    Will one day end it.
    So to him we leave it.
    Most gentle and most valiant Hector, welcome.
    After the general, I beseech you next
    To feast with me, and see me at my tent.
    I shall forestall thee, lord Ulysses, thou.
    2800Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;
    I have with exact view perused thee, Hector,
    And quoted joint by joint.
    Is this Achilles?
    I am Achilles.
    Stand fair. I prithee, let me look on thee.
    Behold thy fill.
    Nay, I have done already.
    Thou art too brief. I will the second time,
    As I would buy thee, view thee limb by limb.
    Oh, like a book of sport thou'lt read me o'er?
    But there's more in me than thou understand'st.
    Why dost thou so oppress me with thine eye?
    Tell me, you heavens, in which part of his body
    Shall I destroy him -- whether there, or there, or there --
    [Pointing to different parts of Hector's body]
    2815That I may give the local wound a name,
    And make distinct the very breach whereout
    Hector's great spirit flew. Answer me, heavens.
    It would discredit the blest gods, proud man,
    To answer such a question. Stand again.
    2820Think'st thou to catch my life so pleasantly
    As to prenominate in nice conjecture
    Where thou wilt hit me dead?
    I tell thee, yea.
    Wert thou the oracle to tell me so,
    2825I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well,
    For I'll not kill thee there, not there, nor there,
    [Pointing to different parts of Achilles' body]
    But by the forge that stithied Mars his helm,
    I'll kill thee everywhere, yea, o'er and o'er. --
    You wisest Grecians, pardon me this brag.
    2830His insolence draws folly from my lips,
    But I'll endeavor deeds to match these words,
    Or may I never --
    Do not chafe thee, cousin,
    And you, Achilles, let these threats alone
    2835Till accident or purpose bring you to't.
    You may every day enough of Hector,
    If you have stomach. The general state, I fear,
    Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him.
    [To Achilles] I pray you, let us see you in the field;
    2840We have had pelting wars, since you refused
    The Grecians' cause.
    Dost thou entreat me, Hector?
    Tomorrow do I meet thee, fell as death;
    Tonight, all friends.
    Thy hand upon that match.
    First, all you peers of Greece, go to my tent;
    There, in the full, convive you. Afterwards,
    As Hector's leisure and your bounties shall
    Concur together, severally entreat him.
    2850Beat loud the taborins; let the trumpets blow
    That this great soldier may his welcome know.
    Exeunt [all but Ulysses and Troilus.]s
    My lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you,
    In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?
    At Menelaus' tent, most princely Troilus.
    2855There Diomed doth feast with him tonight,
    Who neither looks on heaven nor on earth,
    But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view
    On the fair Cressid.
    Shall I, sweet lord, be bound to thee so much,
    2860After we part from Agamemnon's tent,
    To bring me thither?
    You shall command me, sir.
    As gentle, tell me of what honor was
    This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there
    2865That wails her absence?
    O sir, to such as boasting show their scars
    A mock is due. Will you walk on, my lord?
    She was belov'd; she loved; she is, and doth,
    But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.
    2870Enter Achilles and Patroclus.
    I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine tonight,
    Which with my scimitar I'll cool tomorrow.
    Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.
    Here comes Thersites.
    Enter Thersites.
    How now, thou core of envy?
    Thou crusty batch of nature, what's the news?
    Why, thou picture of what thou seem'st, and idol of idiot-worshippers, here's a letter for thee.
    From whence, fragment?
    Why, thou full dish of fool, from Troy.
    [Thersites hands him the letter, Achilles reads.]
    Who keeps the tent now?
    The surgeon's box or the patient's wound.
    Well said, adversity, and what need these tricks?
    Prithee, be silent, boy. I profit not by thy talk. 2885Thou art thought to be Achilles' male varlet.
    Male varlet, you rogue? What's that?
    Why, his masculine whore. Now the rotten diseases of the south, guts-griping ruptures, catarrhs, loads o'gravel i'th'back, lethargies, cold palsies, and 2890the like, take and take again such preposterous discoveries.
    Why, thou damnable box of envy, thou, what meanest thou to curse thus?
    Do I curse thee?
    Why, no, you ruinous butt, you whoreson indistinguishable cur.
    No? Why art thou then exasperate, thou idle, immaterial skein of sleaved-silk; thou green sarsenet flap for a sore eye; thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? 2900Ah, how the poor world is pestered with such waterflies, diminutives of nature.
    Out, gall.
    My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite
    2905From my great purpose in tomorrow's battle.
    Here is a item="letter" letter from queen Hecuba,
    A token from her daughter, my fair love,
    Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
    An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it.
    2910Fall Greeks, fail fame, honor or go or stay,
    My major vow lies here; this I'll obey. --
    Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent.
    This night in banqueting must all be spent. --
    Away, Patroclus.
    Exit [with Patroclus].
    With too much blood and too little brain, these two may run mad, but if with too much brain and too little blood they do, I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnon, an honest fellow enough, and one that loves quails, but he has not so much brain as earwax, and 2920the goodly transformation of Jupiter there, his brother, the bull -- the primitive statue and oblique memorial of cuckolds, a thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, hanging at his brother's leg -- to what form but that he is should wit larded with malice and malice forced with wit turn 2925him to? To an ass were nothing; he is both ass and ox. To an ox were nothing; he is both ox and ass. To be a dog, a mule, a cat, a fitchew, a toad, a lizard, an owl, a puttock, or a herring without a roe, I would not care, but to be Menelaus, I would conspire 2930against destiny. Ask me not what I would be if I were not Thersites, for I care not to be the louse of a lazar so I were not Menelaus. -- Hey-day, spirits and fires.
    Enter Hector, [Troilus], Ajax, Agamemnon, [Menelaus], Ulysses, Nestor, Diomed with lights.
    We go wrong; we go wrong.
    No, yonder 'tis --
    There, where we see the light.
    I trouble you.
    No, not a whit.
    Enter Achilles.
    Here comes himself to guide you.
    Welcome, brave Hector; welcome, princes all.
    So now, fair prince of Troy, I bid good night.
    Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.
    Thanks, and good night to the Greeks' general.
    Good night, my lord.
    Good night, sweet lord Menelaus.
    Sweet draft. "Sweet" quotha? Sweet sink. Sweet? Sure.
    Good night and welcome, both at once, to those 2950that go or tarry.
    Good night.
    [Exeunt Agamemnon and Menelaus.]
    Old Nestor tarries, and you too, Diomed,
    Keep Hector company an hour or two.
    I cannot, lord. I have important business,
    2955The tide whereof is now. -- Good night, great Hector.
    Give me your hand.
    [To Troilus] Follow his torch; he goes to Calchas' tent.
    I'll keep you company.
    [To Ulysses] Sweet sir, you honor me.
    [Troilus and Ulysses follow Diomed.]
    [To Diomed] And so, good night.
    Come, come, enter my tent.
    Exeunt [all except Thersites].
    [Aside] That same Diomed's a false-hearted rogue, a most unjust knave; I will no more trust him when he leers, than I will a serpent when he hisses. He will spend 2965his mouth and promise like Brabbler the hound, but when he performs, astronomers foretell it, that it is prodigious; there will come some change; the sun borrows of the moon when Diomed keeps his word. I will rather leave to see Hector than not to dog him. They say 2970he keeps a Trojan drab, and uses the traitor Calchas his tent. I'll after.-- Nothing but lechery. All incontinent varlets.
    Enter Diomed.
    What, are you up here, ho? Speak?
    [Enter Calchas.]
    Who calls?
    Diomed. Calchas, I think. Where's your daughter?
    She comes to you.
    Enter Troilus and Ulysses [followed at a distance by Thersites].
    [To Troilus]
    Stand where the torch may not discover us.
    2980Enter Cressida.
    [To Ulysses] Cressid comes forth to him.
    [To Cressida] How now, my charge?
    Now, my sweet guardian, hark, a word with you.
    [Cressida whispers to Diomed.]
    [Aside] Yea, so familiar?
    [Aside] She will sing any man at first sight.
    [Aside] And any man may find her, if he can take her life; she's noted.
    Will you remember?
    Remember? Yes.
    Nay, but do then, and let your mind be coupled with your words.
    [Aside] What should she remember?
    [Aside] List.
    Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.
    [Aside] Roguery.
    Nay then --
    I'll tell you what --
    Foh, foh, come tell a pin; you are a forsworn --
    In faith, I cannot. What would you have me do?
    [Aside] A juggling trick -- to be secretly open.
    What did you swear you would bestow on me?
    I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath;
    Bid me do any thing but that, sweet Greek.
    Good night.
    [Diomed turns to go.]
    [Aside] Hold, patience.
    [To Troilus] How now, Trojan?
    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.]
    [Aside] O plague and madness.
    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.
    I pray you, stay. By hell and hell torments,
    I will not speak a word.
    And so, good night.
    [Diomed turns to leave.]
    Nay, but you part in anger.
    [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.
    In faith, I do not. Come hither once again.
    You shake, my lord, at something. Will you go?
    You will break out.
    She strokes his cheek.
    Come, come.
    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.
    [Aside] How the devil luxury, with his fat rump and potato finger, tickles these together. Fry, lechery, fry.
    But will you then?
    In faith, I will; lo, never trust me else.
    Give me some token for the surety of it.
    I'll fetch you one.
    You have sworn patience.
    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.]
    [Aside] Now the pledge, now, now, now.
    Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve.
    O beauty, where is thy faith?
    My lord.
    [Aside] I will be patient; outwardly I will.
    You, look upon that sleeve. Behold it well.
    He loved me. -- O false wench. -- Give't me again.
    [Cressida takes the sleeve from Diomed.]
    Whose was't?
    It is no matter, now I have't again.
    I will not meet with you tomorrow night.
    I prithee, Diomed, visit me no more.
    [Aside] Now she sharpens. Well said, whetstone.
    I shall have it.
    What, this?
    Ay, that.
    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.
    He that takes that doth take my heart withal.
    I had your heart before; this follows it.
    [Aside] I did swear patience.
    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.
    Come, tell me whose it was.
    'Twas one that loved me better than you will.
    But, now you have it, take it.
    Whose was it?
    By all Diana's waiting-women yon,
    And by herself, I will not tell you whose.
    Tomorrow will I wear it on my helm,
    And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it.
    [Aside] Wert thou the devil and wor'st it on thy horn,
    3085It should be challenged.
    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.
    You shall not go. One cannot speak a word,
    But it straight starts you.
    I do not like this fooling.
    [Aside] Nor I, by Pluto, but that that likes not me pleases me best.
    What? Shall I come? The hour?
    Ay, come. -- O Jove. -- Do come. -- I shall be plagued.
    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?].
    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?
    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.
    Why, my negation hath no taste of madness.
    Nor mine, my lord. Cressid was here but now.
    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.
    What hath she done, prince, that can soil our mothers?
    Nothing at all, unless that this were she.
    Will he swagger himself out on's own eyes?
    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.
    May worthy Troilus be half attached
    With that which here his passion doth express?
    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.
    [Aside] He'll tickle it for his concupy.
    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.
    3180Enter 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.
    [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.
    [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.]
    Enter Hector [in armor] and Andromache.
    When was my lord so much ungently tempered
    To stop his ears against admonishment?
    3200Unarm, unarm, and do not fight today.
    You train me to offend you. Get you gone.
    By the everlasting gods, I'll go.
    My dreams will, sure, prove ominous to the day.
    No more, I say.
    Enter Cassandra.
    Where is my brother Hector?
    Here, sister, armed, and bloody in intent.
    Consort with me in loud and dear petition.
    Pursue we him on knees, for I have dreamt
    Of bloody turbulence, and this whole night
    3210Hath nothing been but shapes and forms of slaughter.
    Oh, 'tis true.
    Ho. Bid my trumpet sound.
    No notes of sally, for the heavens, sweet brother.
    Begone, I say. The gods have heard me swear.
    The gods are deaf to hot and peevish vows;
    They are polluted off'rings, more abhorred
    Than spotted livers in the sacrifice.
    [To Hector] Oh, be persuaded. Do not count it holy
    To hurt by being just; it is as lawful,
    3220For we would give much, to use violent thefts,
    And rob in the behalf of charity.
    It is the purpose that makes strong the vow,
    But vows to every purpose must not hold.
    Unarm, sweet Hector.
    Hold you still, I say;
    Mine honor keeps the weather of my fate.
    Life every man holds dear, but the dear man
    Holds honor far more precious, dear, than life. --
    Enter Troilus [in armor].
    3230How now, young man? Mean'st thou to fight today?
    Cassandra, call my father to persuade.
    Exit Cassandra.
    No, faith, young Troilus; doff thy harness, youth.
    I am today i'th'vein of chivalry.
    3235Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong,
    And tempt not yet the brushes of the war.
    Unarm thee, go, and doubt thou not, brave boy,
    I'll stand today, for thee, and me, and Troy.
    Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you
    3240Which better fits a lion than a man.
    What vice is that? Good Troilus, chide me for it.
    When many times the captive Grecian falls,
    Even in the fan and wind of your fair sword,
    You bid them rise and live.
    Oh, 'tis fair play.
    Fool's play, by heaven, Hector.
    How now? How now?
    For th'love of all the gods,
    Let's leave the hermit pity with our mothers;
    3250And when we have our armors buckled on,
    The venomed vengeance ride upon our swords,
    Spur them to ruthful work, rein them from ruth.
    Fie, savage, fie.
    Hector, then 'tis wars.
    Troilus, I would not have you fight today.
    Who should withhold me?
    Not fate, obedience, nor the hand of Mars
    Beck'ning with fiery truncheon my retire;
    Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees,
    3260Their eyes o'er-gallèd with recourse of tears,
    Nor you, my brother, with your true sword drawn
    Opposed to hinder me, should stop my way,
    But by my ruin.
    Enter Priam and Cassandra.
    Lay hold upon him, Priam; hold him fast;
    He is thy crutch; now if thou loose thy stay,
    Thou on him leaning, and all Troy on thee,
    Fall all together.
    Come, Hector, come; go back.
    3270Thy wife hath dreamt; thy mother hath had visions;
    Cassandra doth foresee; and I myself
    Am like a prophet suddenly enrapt
    To tell thee that this day is ominous.
    Therefore, come back.
    Aeneas is afield,
    And I do stand engaged to many Greeks,
    Even in the faith of valor, to appear
    This morning to them.
    Ay, but thou shalt not go.
    I must not break my faith.
    You know me dutiful; therefore, dear sir,
    Let me not shame respect, but give me leave
    To take that course by your consent and voice
    Which you do here forbid me, royal Priam.
    O Priam, yield not to him.
    Do not, dear father.
    Andromache, I am offended with you.
    Upon the love you bear me, get you in.
    Exit Andromache.
    This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl
    Makes all these bodements.
    O farewell, dear Hector.
    Look how thou diest. Look how thy eye turns pale.
    Look how thy wounds doth bleed at many vents.
    3295Hark, how Troy roars, how Hecuba cries out,
    How poor Andromache shrills her dolor forth.
    Behold, distraction, frenzy, and amazement
    Like witless antics one another meet,
    And all cry, "Hector, Hector's dead, O Hector."
    Away, away.
    Farewell. Yes, soft, Hector, I take my leave;
    Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive.
    Exit [Cassandra].
    [To Priam] You are amazed, my liege, at her exclaim.
    Go in and cheer the town; we'll forth and fight,
    3305Do deeds of praise, and tell you them at night.
    Farewell. The gods with safety stand about thee.
    [Exeunt Priam and Hector separately.]
    They are at it. Hark. -- Proud Diomed, believe
    I come to lose my arm or win my sleeve.
    3310Enter Pandarus [with a letter].
    Do you hear, my lord? Do you hear?
    What now?
    Here's a item="letter" letter come from yon poor girl.
    Let me read.
    [Troilus reads.]
    A whoreson phthisic, a whoreson rascally phthisic so troubles me, and the foolish fortune of this girl, and what one thing, what another, that I shall leave you one o'these days, and I have a rheum in mine eyes too, and such an ache in my bones that, unless a man were cursed, 3320I cannot tell what to think on't. -- What says she there?
    Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.
    Th'effect doth operate another way.
    [He tears the letter, and throws it into the wind.]
    3325Go wind to wind. There turn and change together.
    My love with words and errors still she feeds,
    But edifies another with her deeds.
    Why, but hear you?
    Hence, brother lackey, ignomy and shame
    3330Pursue thy life, and live aye with thy name.
    Enter Thersites in excursion.
    Now they are clapper-clawing one another, I'll go look on. That dissembling, abominable varlet, Diomed, 3335has got that same scurvy, doting, foolish young knave's sleeve of Troy there in his helm. I would fain see them meet, that that same young Trojan ass that loves the whore there might send that Greekish whoremasterly villain with the sleeve back to the dissembling, 3340luxurious drab of a sleeveless errant. O'th't'other side, the policy of those crafty swearing rascals -- that stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese, Nestor, and that same dog-fox, Ulysses -- is not proved worth a blackberry. They set me up in policy that mongrel cur, Ajax, against that 3345dog of as bad a kind, Achilles. And now is the cur Ajax prouder than the cur Achilles, and will not arm today. Whereupon, the Grecians began to proclaim barbarism, and policy grows into an ill opinion.
    Enter Diomed [with Cressida's sleeve in his helmet] and Troilus.
    3350Soft, here comes sleeve and th'other.
    [He stands aside.]
    Fly not, for shouldst thou take the river Styx,
    I would swim after.
    Thou dost miscall retire.
    I do not fly, but advantageous care
    3355Withdrew me from the odds of multitude.
    Have at thee.
    [They fight.]
    Hold thy whore, Grecian. Now for thy whore, Trojan. Now the sleeve, now the sleeve.
    [Exeunt Diomed and Troilus, fighting.]
    Enter Hector.
    What art thou, Greek? Art thou for Hector's match?
    Art thou of blood and honor?
    No, no, I am a rascal, a scurvy, railing knave, a very filthy rogue.
    I do believe thee. Live.
    God-a-mercy that thou wilt believe me. But a plague break thy neck for frighting me. What's become of the wenching rogues? I think they have swallowed one another. I would laugh at that miracle -yet, in a sort, lechery eats itself. I'll seek them.
    Enter Diomed and servants.
    Go, go, my servant, take thou Troilus's horse;
    Present the fair steed to my lady Cressid.
    Fellow, commend my service to her beauty;
    3375Tell her, I have chastised the amorous Trojan,
    And am her knight by proof.
    I go, my lord.
    Enter Agamemnon.
    Renew, renew. The fierce Polidamus
    Hath beat down Menon; bastard Margarelon
    3380Hath Doreus prisoner,
    And stands Colossus-wise waving his beam
    Upon the pashèd corpses of the kings
    Epistropus and Cedus. Polixines is slain,
    Amphimacus and Thous deadly hurt,
    3385Patroclus ta'en or slain, and Palamedes
    Sore hurt and bruised. The dreadful Sagittary
    Appalls our numbers. Haste we, Diomed,
    To reinforcement, or we perish all.
    Enter Nestor [with soldiers bearing Patroclus' body.]
    [To Greek soldiers] Go bear Patroclus' body to Achilles,
    And bid the snail-paced Ajax arm for shame.
    [Exeunt some soldiers with Patroclus' body.]
    There is a thousand Hectors in the field.
    Now here he fights on Galathe his horse,
    And there lacks work. Anon he's there afoot,
    3395And there they fly or die, like scalèd shoals
    Before the belching whale; then is he yonder,
    And there the straying Greeks, ripe for his edge,
    Fall down before him like the mower's swathe;
    Here, there, and everywhere, he leaves and takes,
    3400Dexterity so obeying appetite
    That what he will, he does, and does so much
    That proof is called impossibility.
    Enter Ulysses.
    Oh, courage, courage, princes. Great Achilles
    3405Is arming, weeping, cursing, vowing vengeance;
    Patroclus' wounds have roused his drowsy blood
    Together with his mangled Myrmidons,
    That noseless, handless, hacked, and chipped, come to him,
    Crying on Hector. Ajax hath lost a friend,
    3410And foams at mouth, and he is armed and at it,
    Roaring for Troilus, who hath done today
    Mad and fantastic execution,
    Engaging and redeeming of himself
    With such a careless force and forceless care
    3415As if that luck, in very spite of cunning,
    Bade him win all.
    Enter Ajax.
    Troilus, thou coward, Troilus.
    Exit [Ajax].
    Ay, there, there.
    So, so, we draw together.
    Exit [Diomed with Nestor].
    3420Enter Achilles.
    Where is this Hector?
    Come, come, thou boy-queller, show thy face.
    Know what it is to meet Achilles angry.
    Hector. Where's Hector? I will none but Hector.
    3425Enter Ajax.
    Troilus, thou coward Troilus. Show thy head.
    Enter Diomed.
    Troilus, I say. Where's Troilus?
    What wouldst thou?
    I would correct him.
    Were I the general, thou shouldst have my office
    Ere that correction. -- Troilus, I say. What, Troilus?
    Enter Troilus.
    O traitor Diomed. Turn thy false face, thou traitor,
    And pay thy life thou ow'st me for my horse.
    Ha? Art thou there?
    I'll fight with him alone. Stand, Diomed.
    He is my prize; I will not look upon.
    Come, both you cogging Greeks. Have at you both.
    Exit Troilus [with Ajax and Diomed, fighting].
    Enter Hector.
    Yea, Troilus. Oh, well fought, my youngest brother.
    3445Enter Achilles.
    Now do I see thee. Have at thee, Hector.
    [They fight; Achilles drops his sword?]
    Pause, if thou wilt.
    I do disdain thy courtesy, proud Trojan.
    Be happy that my arms are out of use.
    3450My rest and negligence befriends thee now,
    But thou anon shalt hear of me again.
    Till when, go seek thy fortune.
    Exit [Achilles].
    Fare thee well.
    I would have been much more a fresher man,
    3455Had I expected thee. --
    Enter Troilus.
    How now, my brother?
    Ajax hath ta'en Aeneas; shall it be?
    No, by the flame of yonder glorious heaven,
    He shall not carry him. I'll be ta'en too,
    3460Or bring him off. Fate, hear me what I say:
    I reck not, though thou end my life today.
    Exit [Troilus].
    Enter one [Greek] in armor.
    Stand, stand, thou Greek. Thou art a goodly mark.
    3465No? Wilt thou not? I like thy armor well;
    I'll frush it, and unlock the rivets all,
    But I'll be master of it. Wilt thou not, beast, abide?
    [Exit Greek in armor.]
    Why then, fly on; I'll hunt thee for thy hide.
    Exeunt [Hector and the Greek in armor.]
    Enter Achilles with Myrmidons.
    Come here about me, you, my Myrmidons.
    Mark what I say; attend me where I wheel;
    Strike not a stroke, but keep yourselves in breath,
    And when I have the bloody Hector found,
    Impale him with your weapons round about;
    3475In fellest manner execute your arms.
    Follow me, sirs, and my proceedings eye;
    It is decreed, Hector the great must die.
    Exit [with Myrmidons].
    Enter Thersites [watching] Menelaus and Paris [fight].
    The cuckold and the cuckold-maker are at it. 3480Now, bull. Now, dog. Loo, Paris, loo. Now, my double-henned sparrow. Loo, Paris, loo. The bull has the game. Ware horns, ho.
    Exit Paris and Menelaus.
    Enter [Margarelon].
    Turn, slave, and fight.
    What art thou?
    A bastard son of Priam's.
    I am a bastard, too; I love bastards; I am a bastard begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard 3490in valor, in everything illegitimate. One bear will not bite another, and wherefore should one bastard? Take heed. The quarrel's most ominous to us: if the son of a whore fight for a whore, he tempts judgment. Farewell, bastard.
    The devil take thee, coward.
    Exeunt [Thersites and Margarelon, separately].
    Enter Hector [with the armor he has won].
    Most putrifièd core, so fair without,
    Thy goodly armor thus hath cost thy life.
    Now is my day's work done; I'll take good breath.
    3500Rest, sword. Thou hast thy fill of blood and death.
    [Hector disarms.] Enter Achilles and his Myrmidons.
    Look, Hector, how the sun begins to set,
    How ugly night comes breathing at his heels,
    Even with the vail and darking of the sun
    3505To close the day up. Hector's life is done.
    I am unarmed; forgo this vantage, Greek.
    Strike, fellows, strike. This is the man I seek.
    [They kill Hector.]
    So, Ilium, fall thou; now, Troy, sink down;
    Here lies thy heart, thy sinews, and thy bone.
    3510On, Myrmidons, cry you all amain,
    "Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain."
    Retreat [sounds from both sides].
    Hark, a retreat upon our Grecian part.
    The Trojan trumpets sounds the like, my lord.
    The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the earth
    3515And, stickler-like, the armies separates.
    My half-supped sword, that frankly would have fed,
    Pleased with this dainty bait, thus goes to bed.
    [Achilles sheathes his sword.]
    Come, tie his body to my horse's tail;
    Along the field I will the Trojan trail.
    Exeunt [dragging the body].
    3520Sound retreat. Shout.