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 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.]