Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: William Godshalk
Peer Reviewed

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)

The history
And euery Greeke of mettell let him know,
What Troy meanes fairely, shall be spoke alowd. Soundtrumpet.
We haue great Agamemnon heere in Troy,
725A Prince calld Hector, Priam is his father,
Who in his dull and long continued truce,
Is restie growne: He bad me take a Trumpet,
And to this purpose speake. Kings, Princes, Lords,
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece,
730That holds his honour higher then his ease,
And feeds his praise, more then he feares his perill,
That knowes his valour, and knowes not his feare,
That loues his Mistresse more then in confession,
(With truant vowes to her owne lips he loues)
735And dare avowe her beautie, and her worth,
In other armes then hers: to him this challenge;
Hector in view of Troyans and of Greekes,
Shall make it good, or do his best to do it:
He hath a Lady, wiser, fairer, truer,
740Then euer Greeke did couple in his armes,
And will tomorrow with his Trumpet call,
Mid-way betweene your tents and walls of Troy,
To rouze a Grecian that is true in loue:
If any come, Hector shall honor him:
745If none, heele say in Troy when he retires,
The Grecian dames are sun-burnt, and not worth
The splinter of a Launce. Euen so much.
Agam. This shall be told our louers Lord AEneas,
If none of them haue soule in such a kinde,
750We left them all at home, but we are souldiers,
And may that souldier a meere recreant prooue,
That meanes not, hath not, or is not in loue:
If then one is, or hath a meanes to be,
That one meetes Hector: if none else I am he.
755Nest. Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man
When Hectors grand-sire suckt. He is old now,
But if there be not in our Grecian hoste,
A noble man that hath no sparke of fire
To answer for his loue, tell him from me,