Troilus and Cressida


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Cressida and her man Alexander


CRESSIDA

Who were those went by?


ALEXANDER

                         Queen Hecuba and Helen.


CRESSIDA

And whither go they?


ALEXANDER

                         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:
moved (adj.) 3 in a bad temper, angered, exasperated

He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer;
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

And, like as there were husbandry in war,
husbandry (n.) 1 thrift, good economy, careful management

Before the sun rose he was harnessed light,
harness (v.) dress in armour, arm, equip
light (adv.) 2 lightly, without heavy equipment

And to the field goes he; where every flower
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

Did as a prophet weep what it foresaw

In Hector's wrath.


CRESSIDA

                         What was his cause of anger?


ALEXANDER

The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks
noise (n.) 1 report, rumour, news

A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;

They call him Ajax.


CRESSIDA

                         Good, and what of him?


ALEXANDER

They say he is a very man per se,
per se by himself See Topics: Latin
very (adj.) 1 [intensifying] thorough-going, absolute

And stands alone.
alone (adj.) unique, matchless, having no equal


CRESSIDA

So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or

have no legs.


ALEXANDER

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
churlish (adj.) 2 violent, rough, harsh

whom nature hath so crowded humours that his valour
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with discretion.
sauce (v.) 1 spice, season, flavour

There is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a

glimpse of, nor any man an attaint but he carries some
attaint (n.) 1 disgrace, dishonour, corruption
glimpse (n.) trace, tinge, pinch

stain of it. He is melancholy without cause, and merry
stain (n.) 4 hint, tinge, dash

against the hair; he hath the joints of everything, but
hair, against the against the grain, contrary to inclination

everything so out of joint that he is a gouty Briareus,

many hands and no use, or purblind Argus, all eyes
purblind (adj.) 1 half-blind, dim-sighted

and no sight.


CRESSIDA

But how should this man, that makes me

smile, make Hector angry?


ALEXANDER

They say he yesterday coped Hector in the
cope, cope with (v.) 1 encounter, face, have to do [with], come into contact [with]

battle and struck him down, the disdain and shame
disdain (n.) vexation, frustration, wounded feeling

whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and
waking (adj.) awake, wakeful

waking.


CRESSIDA

Who comes here?


ALEXANDER

Madam, your uncle Pandarus.

Enter Pandarus


CRESSIDA

Hector's a gallant man.


ALEXANDER

As may be in the world, lady.


PANDARUS

What's that? What's that?


CRESSIDA

Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


PANDARUS

Good morrow, cousin Cressid. What do you

talk of? – Good morrow, Alexander. – How do you,

cousin? When were you at Ilium?


CRESSIDA

This morning, uncle.


PANDARUS

What were you talking of when I came? Was

Hector armed and gone ere ye came to Ilium? Helen

was not up, was she?


CRESSIDA

Hector was gone, but Helen was not up.


PANDARUS

E'en so, Hector was stirring early.


CRESSIDA

That were we talking of, and of his anger.


PANDARUS

Was he angry?


CRESSIDA

So he says here.

Exit Alexander


PANDARUS

True, he was so. I know the cause too. He'll

lay about him today, I can tell them that, and there's
lay about (v.) strike out, fight hard

Troilus will not come far behind him; let them take

heed of Troilus, I can tell them that too.


CRESSIDA

What is he angry too?


PANDARUS

Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of

the two.


CRESSIDA

O Jupiter, there's no comparison.


PANDARUS

What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do

you know a man if you see him?


CRESSIDA

Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.


PANDARUS

Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.


CRESSIDA

Then you say as I say, for I am sure he is not

Hector.


PANDARUS

No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some

degrees.
degree (n.) 5 respect, way, manner


CRESSIDA

'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.


PANDARUS

Himself! Alas, poor Troilus, I would he

were.


CRESSIDA

So he is.


PANDARUS

Condition, I had gone barefoot to India.
condition (n.) 8 provision, stipulation, proviso


CRESSIDA

He is not Hector.


PANDARUS

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
friend (v.) 1 befriend, sustain, assist

were in her body. No, Hector is not a better man than

Troilus.


CRESSIDA

Excuse me.


PANDARUS

He is elder.


CRESSIDA

Pardon me, pardon me.


PANDARUS

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.
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


CRESSIDA

He shall not need it, if he have his own.


PANDARUS

Nor his qualities.


CRESSIDA

No matter.


PANDARUS

Nor his beauty.


CRESSIDA

'Twould not become him; his own's better.
become (v.) 3 put a good front on, give a pleasing appearance to


PANDARUS

You have no judgement, niece. Helen herself

swore th' other day that Troilus, for a brown favour
brown (adj.) 3 of dark complexion, sunburnt, burnished
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

– for so 'tis, I must confess – not brown neither –


CRESSIDA

No, but brown.


PANDARUS

Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.


CRESSIDA

To say the truth, true and not true.


PANDARUS

She praised his complexion above Paris.


CRESSIDA

Why, Paris hath colour enough.


PANDARUS

So he has.


CRESSIDA

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
flaming (adj.) extravagant, high-flown, vividly elaborate
lief, had as should like just as much See Topics: Frequency count

Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a
commend (v.) 4 praise, admire, extol

copper nose.
copper (adj.) copper-coloured


PANDARUS

I swear to you, I think Helen loves him better

than Paris.


CRESSIDA

Then she's a merry Greek indeed.
Greek, foolish / merry buffoon, merry person, silly joker


PANDARUS

Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him

th' other day into the compassed window – and you
compassed (adj.) curved, rounded, arched

know he has not past three or four hairs on his chin –


CRESSIDA

Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring
tapster (n.) inn waiter, drawer of ale

his particulars therein to a total.


PANDARUS

Why, he is very young, and yet will he within

three pound lift as much as his brother Hector.


CRESSIDA

Is he so young a man, and so old a lifter?


PANDARUS

But to prove to you that Helen loves him, she

came and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin –


CRESSIDA

Juno have mercy, how came it cloven?


PANDARUS

Why, you know 'tis dimpled – I think his

smiling becomes him better than any man in all
become (v.) 3 put a good front on, give a pleasing appearance to

Phrygia.


CRESSIDA

O, he smiles valiantly.


PANDARUS

Does he not?


CRESSIDA

O, yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.


PANDARUS

Why, go to, then: but to prove to you that

Helen loves Troilus –


CRESSIDA

Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll prove
proof (n.) 3 test, trial
stand to (v.) 1 maintain, uphold, be steadfast in

it so.


PANDARUS

Troilus? Why, he esteems her no more than

I esteem an addle egg.
addle (adj.) addled, rotten, putrid


CRESSIDA

If you love an addle egg as well as you love an

idle head you would eat chickens i'th' shell.


PANDARUS

I cannot choose but laugh, to think how she

tickled his chin – indeed, she has a marvellous white

hand, I must needs confess –
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count


CRESSIDA

Without the rack.
rack (n.) 4 machine of torture which stretches the limbs


PANDARUS

And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on
take upon (v.) 1 profess, pretend, affect [oneself]

his chin.


CRESSIDA

Alas, poor chin, many a wart is richer.


PANDARUS

But there was such laughing – Queen Hecuba

laughed that her eyes ran o'er –


CRESSIDA

With millstones.


PANDARUS

And Cassandra laughed –


CRESSIDA

But there was more temperate fire under the
temperate (adj.) 2 calm, moderate, composed

pot of her eyes; did her eyes run o'er too?


PANDARUS

And Hector laughed.


CRESSIDA

At what was all this laughing?


PANDARUS

Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on

Troilus' chin.


CRESSIDA

An't had been a green hair I should have

laughed too.


PANDARUS

They laughed not so much at the hair as at

his pretty answer.
pretty (adj.) 1 clever, ingenious, artful


CRESSIDA

What was his answer?


PANDARUS

Quoth she: ‘ Here's but two and fifty hairs on
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

your chin, and one of them is white.’


CRESSIDA

This is her question.


PANDARUS

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
forked (adj.) 1 two-horned

him.’ But there was such laughing, and Helen so

blushed, and Paris so chafed, and all the rest so
chafe (v.) 2 enrage, irritate, anger

laughed, that it passed.
pass (v.) 1 surpass, go beyond, outdo


CRESSIDA

So let it now; for it has been a great while

going by.


PANDARUS

Well, cousin, I told you a thing yesterday;

think on't.


CRESSIDA

So I do.


PANDARUS

I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you an

'twere a man born in April.


CRESSIDA

And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a

nettle against May.

Sound a retreat
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


PANDARUS

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.


CRESSIDA

At your pleasure.


PANDARUS

Here, here, here's an excellent place; here

we may see most bravely. I'll tell you them all by their
bravely (adv.) 1 splendidly, worthily, excellently

names as they pass by, but mark Troilus above the rest.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count


CRESSIDA

Speak not so loud.

Aeneas passes across the stage
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent


PANDARUS

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.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

Antenor passes across the stage


CRESSIDA

Who's that?


PANDARUS

That's Antenor. He has a shrewd wit, I can
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

tell you, and he's a man good enough; he's one

o'th' soundest judgements in Troy whosoever, and a
judgement (n.) 5 expert, critic, judge

proper man of person. When comes Troilus? I'll show
person (n.) 2 physical appearance, bodily figure
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

you Troilus anon; if he see me, you shall see him nod at
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

me.


CRESSIDA

Will he give you the nod?
nod (n.) fool, simpleton, idiot


PANDARUS

You shall see.


CRESSIDA

If he do, the rich shall have more.

Hector passes across the stage


PANDARUS

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
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

looks! There's a countenance! Is't not a brave man?


CRESSIDA

O, a brave man!


PANDARUS

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
laying on (n.) vigorous attack, dealing of blows
take off (v.) 1 reduce, diminish, lessen

hacks!


CRESSIDA

Be those with swords?


PANDARUS

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
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

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


CRESSIDA

Who's that?


PANDARUS

That's Helenus – I marvel where Troilus is

– that's Helenus – I think he went not forth today –

that's Helenus.


CRESSIDA

Can Helenus fight, uncle?


PANDARUS

Helenus? No – yes, he'll fight indifferent
indifferent (adv.) 1 moderately, tolerably, reasonably

well – I marvel where Troilus is. Hark, do you not hear

the people cry ‘ Troilus ’? – Helenus is a priest.


CRESSIDA

What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

Troilus passes across the stage


PANDARUS

Where? Yonder? That's Deiphobus. – 'Tis

Troilus! There's a man, niece, hem! – Brave Troilus,
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

the prince of chivalry!
chivalry (n.) 3 knighthood, knightly qualities


CRESSIDA

Peace, for shame, peace!


PANDARUS

Mark him, note him. O brave Troilus! Look
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

well upon him, niece, look you how his sword is

bloodied, and his helm more hacked than Hector's,
helm (n.) 1 helmet

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
grace (n.) 11 model of beauty, exquisite being [as one of the Three Graces] See Topics: Gods and goddesses

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.
boot, to in addition, as well See Topics: Swearing
change (v.) 1 exchange, trade
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

Common soldiers pass across the stage


CRESSIDA

Here come more.


PANDARUS

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

Greece.


CRESSIDA

There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better

man than Troilus.


PANDARUS

Achilles? A drayman, a porter, a very camel!
drayman (n.) man who drives a cart without wheels [a dray]


CRESSIDA

Well, well.


PANDARUS

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,
discourse (n.) 2 rationality, faculty of understanding

gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and so forth
gentleness (n.) 1 nobility, good breeding, courtesy

the spice and salt that season a man?


CRESSIDA

Ay, a minced man; and then to be baked with
minced (adj.) cut up into little pieces for baking

no date in the pie, for then the man's date is out.


PANDARUS

You are such another woman! One knows

not at what ward you lie.
ward (n.) 1 [fencing] defensive posture, parrying movement


CRESSIDA

Upon my back to defend my belly; upon my

wit to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy to defend
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

mine honesty; my mask to defend my beauty, and you
honesty (n.) 1 virtue, chastity
mask (n.) barrier worn to protect the complexion against the sun

to defend all these: and at all these wards I lie, at a

thousand watches.
watch (n.) 3 sleepless state, wakefulness


PANDARUS

Say one of your watches.


CRESSIDA

Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of

the chiefest of them too. If I cannot ward what I would
ward (v.) protect, defend, guard

not have hit, I can watch you for telling how I took the

blow – unless it swell past hiding, and then it's past

watching.


PANDARUS

You are such another!

Enter Troilus's Boy


BOY

Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.


PANDARUS

Where?


BOY

At your own house; there he unarms him.
unarm (v.) disarm, remove armour


PANDARUS

Good boy, tell him I come.

Exit Boy

I doubt he be hurt. Fare you well, good niece.
doubt (v.) 1 fear, be afraid [for], feel anxious [for]


CRESSIDA

Adieu, uncle.


PANDARUS

I'll be with you, niece, by and by.
by and by (adv.) 2 shortly, soon, before long


CRESSIDA

To bring, uncle?


PANDARUS

Ay, a token from Troilus.
token (n.) 5 keepsake, present, memento

Exit


CRESSIDA

By the same token you are a bawd.
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between See Topics: Frequency count

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.
glass (n.) 1 mirror, looking-glass See Topics: Frequency count

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.’
achievement (n.) feat, accomplishment, successful action
beseech (n.) beseeching, entreaty, petition

Then, though my heart's content firm love doth bear,
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness

Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.

Exit

 
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