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About this text

  • Title: Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)
  • Editor: William Godshalk
  • ISBN: 1-55058-301-8

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

    Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)

    The history
    Where is my wit? I know not what I speake,
    Tro. Well know they what they speake, that speake so(wisely,
    1785Cres. Perchance my Lord I show more craft then loue,
    And fell so roundly to a large confession.
    To angle for your thoughts, but you are wise,
    Or else you loue not: for to be wise and loue,
    Exceeds mans might that dwells with gods aboue,
    1790Tro. O that I thought it could be in a woman.
    As if it can I will presume in you,
    To feed for age her lampe and flames of loue.
    To keepe her constancy in plight and youth.
    Out-liuing beauties outward, with a mind,
    1795That doth renew swifter then blood decays,
    Or that persuasion could but thus conuince me,
    That my integrity and truth to you,
    Might be affronted with the match and waight,
    Of such a winnowed purity in loue,
    1800How were I then vp-lifted! but alasse,
    I am as true as truths simplicity,
    And simpler then the infancy of truth.
    Cres. In that ile war with you, Tro. O vertuous fight,
    1805When right with right warres who shalbe most right,
    True swains in loue shall in the world to come
    Approue their trueth by Troylus, when their rimes,
    Full of protest, of oath and big compare,
    Wants simele's truth tyrd with iteration.
    1810As true as steele, as plantage to the moone.
    As sunne to day: as turtle to her mate,
    As Iron to Adamant: as Earth to th' Center,
    After all comparisons of truth.
    (As truths anthentique author to be cited)
    1815As true as Troylus, shall croune vp the verse,
    And sanctifie the nombers,
    Cres. Prophet may you bee,
    If I bee falce or swarue a hayre from truth,
    When time is ould or hath forgot it selfe,
    1820When water drops haue worne the stones of Troy,
    And blind obliuion swallowd Citties vp.