Internet Shakespeare Editions

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  • Title: Troilus and Cressida (Modern)
  • Editor: William Godshalk
  • ISBN: 1-55058-301-8

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: William Godshalk
    Peer Reviewed

    Troilus and Cressida (Modern)

    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.