Enter Cressida and her man Alexander
Who were those went by?
Queen Hecuba and Helen.
And whither go they?
Up to the eastern tower,
Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
Is as a virtue fixed, today was moved:
He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer;
And, like as there were husbandry in war,
Before 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,
addition (n.) 2
attribute, mark of honour, distinction [as if added to a coat of arms]
churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant; a man into
whom nature hath so crowded humours that his valour
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 melancholy without cause, and merry
against the hair; he hath the joints of everything, but
everything so out of joint that he is a gouty Briareus,
many hands and no use, or purblind Argus, all eyes
and no sight.
But how should this man, that makes me
smile, make 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
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?
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 will 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
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
No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some
'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.
Himself! Alas, poor Troilus, I would he
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 end. Well, Troilus, well, I would my heart
were in her body. No, Hector is not a better man than
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 wit this year.
He shall not need it, if he have his own.
Nor his qualities.
Nor his beauty.
'Twould not become him; his own's better.
You have no judgement, niece. Helen herself
swore th' other day that Troilus, for a brown favour
– for so '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 colour enough.
So he has.
Then Troilus should have too much. If she
praised him above, his complexion is higher than his;
he having colour enough, and the other higher, is too
flaming a praise for a good complexion. I had as lief
Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a
I swear to you, I think Helen loves him better
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 –
Juno have mercy, how came it cloven?
Why, you know 'tis dimpled – I think his
smiling becomes him better than any man in all
O, 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 proof, if you'll prove
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 marvellous white
hand, I must needs confess –
Without the rack.
rack (n.) 4
machine of torture which stretches the limbs
And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on
Alas, poor chin, many a wart is richer.
But there was such laughing – Queen Hecuba
laughed that her eyes ran o'er –
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
An't had been a green hair I should have
They laughed not so much at the hair as at
his pretty 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 was 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
Well, cousin, I told you a thing yesterday;
So I do.
I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you an
'twere a man born in April.
And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a
nettle against May.
Sound a retreat
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.
Speak not so loud.
Aeneas passes across the stage
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.
Antenor passes across 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 judgements 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
Will he give you the nod?
You shall see.
If he do, the rich shall have more.
Hector passes across the stage
That's Hector, that, that, look you, that;
there's a fellow! – Go thy 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, a brave man!
Is a' not? It does a man's heart good. Look
you what hacks are on his helmet, look you yonder, do
you see? Look you there, there's no jesting; there's
laying on, take't off who will, as they say; there be
Be those with swords?
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!
Paris passes across the stage
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? He's not hurt. Why, this will do Helen's
heart good now, ha? Would I could see Troilus now.
You shall see Troilus anon.
Helenus passes across the stage
That's Helenus – I marvel where Troilus is
– that's Helenus – I think he went not forth today –
Can Helenus fight, uncle?
Helenus? No – yes, he'll fight indifferent
well – I marvel where Troilus is. Hark, do you not hear
the people cry ‘ Troilus ’? – Helenus is a priest.
What sneaking fellow comes yonder?
Troilus passes across the stage
Where? Yonder? That's Deiphobus. – 'Tis
Troilus! There's a man, niece, hem! – Brave Troilus,
the prince of chivalry!
Peace, for shame, peace!
Mark him, note him. O brave Troilus! Look
well upon him, niece, look you how his sword is
bloodied, 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 is dirt to him, and I
warrant Helen, to change, would give an eye to boot.
Common soldiers pass across the stage
Here come more.
Asses, fools, dolts; chaff and bran, chaff and
bran; porridge after meat! I could live and die i'the
eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, ne'er look, the eagles are
gone; crows and daws, crows and daws! – I had rather
daw (n.) 1
jackdaw [as noted for its stupidity]; dolt, fool
be such a man as Troilus than Agamemnon and all
There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better
man than Troilus.
Achilles? A drayman, a porter, a very camel!
Well, well! Why, have you any discretion?
Have you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not
birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning,
gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and so forth
the spice and salt that season a man?
Ay, a minced man; and then to be baked with
no date in the pie, for then the man's date is out.
You are such another woman! One knows
not at what ward you lie.
ward (n.) 1
[fencing] defensive posture, parrying movement
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
barrier worn to protect the complexion against the sun
to defend all these: and at all these wards I lie, at a
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
not have hit, I can watch you for telling how I took the
blow – unless it swell past hiding, and then it's past
You are such another!
Enter Troilus's Boy
Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.
At your own house; there he unarms him.
Good boy, tell him I come.
I doubt he be hurt. Fare you well, good niece.
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.
Words, 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;
Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.
That she beloved 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;
Therefore this maxim out of love I teach:
‘ Achievement is command; ungained, beseech.’
Then, though my heart's content firm love doth bear,
Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.