Troilus and Cressida


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Music sounds within. Enter Pandarus and a Servant


PANDARUS

Friend, you, pray you, a word: do not you

follow the young Lord Paris?


SERVANT

Ay, sir, when he goes before me.


PANDARUS

You depend upon him, I mean.
depend on / upon (v.) 1 serve, wait on, be a dependant of


SERVANT

Sir, I do depend upon the Lord.


PANDARUS

You depend upon a noble gentleman; I must

needs praise him.


SERVANT

The Lord be praised!


PANDARUS

You know me, do you not?


SERVANT

Faith, sir, superficially.


PANDARUS

Friend, know me better: I am the Lord

Pandarus.


SERVANT

I hope I shall know your honour better.


PANDARUS

I do desire it.


SERVANT

You are in the state of grace?
grace (n.) 8 means of salvation, divine favour


PANDARUS

Grace? Not so, friend; honour and lordship

are my titles. What music is this?


SERVANT

I do but partly know, sir: it is music in parts.
partly (adv.) slightly, in some measure, a little


PANDARUS

Know you the musicians?


SERVANT

Wholly, sir.


PANDARUS

Who play they to?


SERVANT

To the hearers, sir.


PANDARUS

At whose pleasure, friend?


SERVANT

At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.


PANDARUS

Command, I mean, friend.


SERVANT

Who shall I command, sir?


PANDARUS

Friend, we understand not one another: I

am too courtly, and thou art too cunning. At whose
cunning (adj.) 1 knowledgeable, skilful, clever

request do these men play?


SERVANT

That's to't indeed, sir: marry, sir, at the

request of Paris my lord, who's there in person; with

him, the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty,

love's visible soul –


PANDARUS

Who, my cousin Cressida?


SERVANT

No, sir, Helen; could you not find out that by

her attributes?


PANDARUS

It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not

seen the Lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris

from the Prince Troilus. I will make a complimental
complimental (adj.) ceremonial, courteous, full of compliments

assault upon him, for my business seethes.
seethe (v.) 2 boil with urgency, bubble, be in a ferment


SERVANT

(aside)
sodden (adj.) 1 boiled, stewed up

Sodden business! There's a stewed

phrase indeed.

Enter Paris and Helen with attendants
fair (adj.) 4 fine, pleasing, splendid, excellent
fair (n.) 2 fortune, happiness, favour


PANDARUS

Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair

company; fair desires, in all fair measure, fairly guide
fair (adj.) 5 appropriate, courteous, pleasing
fair (adj.) 7 virtuous, honourable, upright
fairly (adv.) 5 fully, completely, entirely

them! – especially to you, fair queen: fair thoughts be
fair (adj.) 1 handsome, good-looking, beautiful
fair (adj.) 2 good, elegant, fine

your fair pillow!
fair (adj.) 8 fortunate, favoured


HELEN

Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
fair (adj.) 6 plausible, flattering, seductive


PANDARUS

You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. –
fair (adj.) 5 appropriate, courteous, pleasing

Fair prince, here is good broken music.
broken (adj.) 7 arranged for different groups of instruments


PARIS

You have broke it, cousin: and by my life you shall
break (v.) 7 interrupt, break in on, cut in on

make it whole again; you shall piece it out with a piece
piece out (v.) 1 augment, increase, supplement

of your performance. – Nell, he is full of harmony.


PANDARUS

Truly, lady, no.


HELEN

O sir –


PANDARUS

Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.
rude (adj.) 7 amateurish, inexpert, lacking polish


PARIS

Well said, my lord; well, you say so in fits.
fit (n.) 2 spasm, short burst


PANDARUS

I have business to my lord, dear queen. – My

lord, will you vouchsafe me a word?


HELEN

Nay, this shall not hedge us out; we'll hear you
hedge out (v.) exclude, keep out, shut out

sing, certainly.


PANDARUS

Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with me.
pleasant (adj.) 1 facetious, joking, droll

– But, marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord, and most

esteemed friend, your brother Troilus –


HELEN

My Lord Pandarus, honey-sweet lord –


PANDARUS

Go to, sweet queen, go to – commends

himself most affectionately to you –
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count


HELEN

You shall not bob us out of our melody; if you do,
bob (v.) 1 swindle, cheat, get by deception

our melancholy upon your head!


PANDARUS

Sweet queen, sweet queen; that's a sweet

queen, i'faith –


HELEN

And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy


PANDARUS

Nay, that shall not serve your turn, that shall
serve one's turn meet one's need, answer one's requirements
turn (n.) 1 need, requirement, purpose [especially in the phrase ‘serve one's turn’ = meet one's need]

it not, in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no,

no – and, my lord, he desires you that if the King call

for him at supper, you will make his excuse.


HELEN

My Lord Pandarus –


PANDARUS

What says my sweet queen, my very very

sweet queen?


PARIS

What exploit's in hand? Where sups he tonight?
sup (v.) 1 have supper See Topics: Frequency count


HELEN

Nay, but, my lord –


PANDARUS

What says my sweet queen? – My cousin will

fall out with you.


HELEN

(to Paris)

You must not know where he sups.


PARIS

I'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.
disposer (n.) 2 [unclear meaning] one who makes arrangements, one who can handle [a person]


PANDARUS

No, no, no such matter, you are wide; come,
wide (adj.) 3 wide of the mark, mistaken

your disposer is sick.
disposer (n.) 2 [unclear meaning] one who makes arrangements, one who can handle [a person]


PARIS

Well, I'll make excuse.


PANDARUS

Ay, good my lord. Why should you say

Cressida? No, your poor disposer's sick.


PARIS

I spy.


PANDARUS

You spy? What do you spy? – Come, give me

an instrument. – Now, sweet queen.


HELEN

Why, this is kindly done.


PANDARUS

My niece is horribly in love with a thing you

have, sweet queen.


HELEN

She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my Lord

Paris.


PANDARUS

He? No, she'll none of him; they two are

twain.
twain (adv.) of separate minds, at variance


HELEN

Falling in after falling out may make them
falling in (n.) reconciliation, coming together

three.


PANDARUS

Come, come, I'll hear no more of this; I'll

sing you a song now.


HELEN

Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou

hast a fine forehead.
forehead (n.) 1 commanding countenance, assurance, audacity


PANDARUS

Ay, you may, you may.


HELEN

Let thy song be love; this love will undo us all. O

Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!


PANDARUS

Love? Ay, that it shall, i'faith.


PARIS

Ay, good now, love, love, nothing but love.


PANDARUS

In good troth, it begins so.

Love, love, nothing but love, still love, still more!

For, O, love's bow

Shoots buck and doe;

The shaft confounds,
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin

Not that it wounds,

But tickles still the sore.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

These lovers cry – O ho, they die!

Yet that which seems the wound to kill

Doth turn O ho to ha, ha, he!

So dying love lives still:

O ho, a while, but ha, ha, ha!

O ho, groans out for ha, ha, ha! – Heigh ho!


HELEN

In love, i'faith, to the very tip of the nose.


PARIS

He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds

hot blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot
blood (n.) 1 passion, feeling, strong emotion [especially sexual]

thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.


PANDARUS

Is this the generation of love? Hot blood, hot
generation (n.) 3 genealogy, line of descent
hot (adj.) 3 lecherous, lustful, hot-blooded

thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers: is love

a generation of vipers? – Sweet lord, who's a-field

today?


PARIS

Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all

the gallantry of Troy. I would fain have armed today,
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count
gallantry (n.) gallants, nobility, gentry

but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
chance (v.) 1 happen [to], transpire, come about

brother Troilus went not?


HELEN

He hangs the lip at something – you know all,
lip, hang the look vexed, pout, sulk

Lord Pandarus.


PANDARUS

Not I, honey-sweet queen; I long to hear

how they sped today. – You'll remember your
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness

brother's excuse?


PARIS

To a hair.
hair / hair's breadth, to a in every little detail, in full, exactly


PANDARUS

Farewell, sweet queen.


HELEN

Commend me to your niece.
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count


PANDARUS

I will, sweet queen.

Exit

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


PARIS

They're come from field; let us to Priam's hall,

To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you

To help unarm our Hector; his stubborn buckles,
unarm (v.) disarm, remove armour

With these your white enchanting fingers touched,

Shall more obey than to the edge of steel

Or force of Greekish sinews. You shall do more
sinew (n.) 1 muscle

Than all the island kings – disarm great Hector.


HELEN

'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris;

Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty

Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
palm (n.) 2 praise, honour, esteem

Yea, overshines ourself.


PARIS

Sweet, above thought I love thee.

Exeunt

 
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