Enter Pandarus and Troilus's Man, meeting
How now, where's thy master? At my cousin
No, sir; he stays for you to conduct him thither.
O, here he comes. How now, how now?
Sirrah, walk off.
Have you seen my cousin?
No, Pandarus; I stalk about her door,
Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,
And give me swift transportance to those fields
Where I may wallow in the lily-beds
Proposed for the deserver! O gentle Pandar,
From Cupid's shoulder pluck his painted wings,
And fly with me to Cressid!
Walk here i'th' orchard; I'll bring her straight.
I am giddy; expectation whirls me round.
Th' imaginary relish is so sweet
That it enchants my sense. What will it be,
When that the watery palate tastes indeed
Love's thrice-repured nectar? – death, I fear me,
Swooning destruction, or some joy too fine,
Too subtle-potent, tuned too sharp in sweetness,
For the capacity of my ruder powers.
I fear it much; and I do fear besides
That I shall lose distinction in my joys,
As doth a battle, when they charge on heaps
The enemy flying.
She's making her ready; she'll come
straight. You must be witty now. She does so blush,
and fetches her wind so short, as if she were frayed
with a sprite. I'll fetch her. It is the prettiest villain; she
fetches her breath as short as a new-ta'en sparrow.
Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom.
passion (n.) 1
powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]
My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse,
And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
Like vassalage at unawares encountering
The eye of majesty.
Enter Pandarus and Cressida, veiled
Come, come, what need you blush? Shame's
a baby. (To Troilus) Here she is now: swear the oaths
now to her that you have sworn to me. (To Cressida)
What, are you gone again? You must be watched ere
you be made tame, must you? Come your ways, come
your ways; an you draw backward, we'll put you
i'th' fills. (To Troilus) Why do you not speak to her? (To
Cressida) Come, draw this curtain, and let's see your
picture. Alas the day, how loath you are to offend
daylight! An 'twere dark, you'd close sooner. (To
Troilus) So, so, rub on, and kiss the mistress. How
now, a kiss in fee-farm! Build there, carpenter, the air
is sweet. – Nay, you shall fight your hearts out ere I part
you: the falcon as the tercel, for all the ducks i'th' river
– go to, go to.
You have bereft me of all words, lady.
Words pay no debts, give her deeds: but
she'll bereave you o'th' deeds too, if she call your
activity in question. What, billing again? Here's ‘ In
witness whereof the parties interchangeably ’ – Come
in, come in: I'll go get a fire.
Will you walk in, my lord?
O Cressida, how often have I wished me thus!
Wished, my lord! – The gods grant – O my
What should they grant? What makes this
pretty abruption? What too curious dreg espies my
impurity, corruption, defiling matter
sweet lady in the fountain of our love?
More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.
Fears make devils of cherubins; they never see
Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds
safer footing than blind reason stumbling without fear:
to fear the worst oft cures the worst.
O, let my lady apprehend no fear; in all
Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.
Nor nothing monstrous neither?
Nothing, but our undertakings, when we vow
to weep seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers;
thinking it harder for our mistress to devise imposition
enough than for us to undergo any difficulty imposed.
This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that the will is
infinite, and the execution confined; that the desire is
boundless, and the act a slave to limit.
They say, all lovers swear more performance
than they are able, and yet reserve an ability that they
never perform; vowing more than the perfection of
ten, and discharging less than the tenth part of one.
They that have the voice of lions and the act of hares,
are they not monsters?
Are there such? Such are not we. Praise us as
we are tasted, allow us as we prove. Our head shall go
bare till merit crown it; no perfection in reversion shall
have a praise in present. We will not name desert
before his birth, and, being born, his addition shall be
humble: few words to fair faith. Troilus shall be such
to Cressid as what envy can say worst shall be a mock
mock (n.) 1
act of mockery, mocking remark, derisive action, scornful irony
for his truth, and what truth can speak truest, not truer
Will you walk in, my lord?
What, blushing still? Have you not done
Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to
I thank you for that. If my lord get a boy of
you, you'll give him me. Be true to my lord; if he flinch,
chide me for it.
You know now your hostages; your uncle's
word and my firm faith.
Nay, I'll give my word for her too. Our
kindred, though they be long ere they are wooed, they
are constant being won; they are burs, I can tell you,
they'll stick where they are thrown.
Boldness comes to me now, and brings me heart:
Prince Troilus, I have loved you night and day
For many weary months.
Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?
Hard to seem won; but I was won, my lord,
With the first glance that ever – pardon me;
If I confess much, you will play the tyrant.
I love you now; but not till now so much
But I might master it. In faith, I lie;
My thoughts were like unbridled children, grown
Too headstrong for their mother – see, we fools!
Why have I blabbed? Who shall be true to us
When we are so unsecret to ourselves? –
But though I loved you well, I wooed you not;
And yet, good faith, I wished myself a man,
Or that we women had men's privilege
Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
For in this rapture I shall surely speak
The thing I shall repent. See, see, your silence,
Cunning in dumbness, from my weakness draws
My soul of counsel from me! – Stop my mouth.
And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
He kisses her
My lord, I do beseech you, pardon me;
'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kiss.
I am ashamed – O heavens, what have I done?
For this time will I take my leave, my lord.
Your leave, sweet Cressid!
Leave? An you take leave till tomorrow
Pray you, content you.
What offends you, lady?
Sir, mine own company.
You cannot shun yourself.
Let me go and try.
I have a kind of self resides with you;
But an unkind self, that itself will leave
To be another's fool. Where is my wit?
I would be gone; I speak I know not what.
Well know they what they speak that speak so wisely.
Perchance, my lord, I show more craft than love,
And fell so roundly to a large confession,
To angle for your thoughts; but you are wise,
Or else you love not; for to be wise and love
Exceeds man's might – that dwells with gods above.
O that I thought it could be in a woman –
As, if it can, I will presume in you –
To feed for aye her lamp and flames of love;
To keep her constancy in plight and youth,
Outliving beauty's outward, with a mind
That doth renew swifter than blood decays!
blood (n.) 1
passion, feeling, strong emotion [especially sexual]
Or that persuasion could but thus convince me,
That my integrity and truth to you
Might be affronted with the match and weight
Of such a winnowed purity in love –
How were I then uplifted! But alas,
I am as true as truth's simplicity,
And simpler than the infancy of truth.
In that I'll war with you.
O virtuous fight,
When right with right wars who shall be most right!
True swains in love shall in the world to come
Approve their truths by Troilus; when their rhymes,
Full of protest, of oath, and big compare,
Want similes, truth tired with iteration –
As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
As iron to adamant, as earth to th' centre –
legendary substance of great hardness and magnetism
Yet, after all comparisons of truth,
As truth's authentic author to be cited,
‘ As true as Troilus ’ shall crown up the verse,
And sanctify the numbers.
Prophet may you be!
If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth,
When time is old and hath forgot itself,
When waterdrops have worn the stones of Troy,
And blind oblivion swallowed cities up,
And mighty states characterless are grated
grate (v.) 2
wear away, pulverise, erode through the rubbing away of time
To dusty nothing; yet let memory,
From false to false, among false maids in love,
Upbraid my falsehood! When they've said ‘ As false
As air, as water, wind, or sandy earth,
As fox to lamb, as wolf to heifer's calf,
Pard to the hind, or stepdame to her son ’ –
Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
‘ As false as Cressid.’
Go to, a bargain made; seal it, seal it, I'll be
the witness. Here I hold your hand, here my cousin's.
If ever you prove false one to another, since I have
taken such pains to bring you together, let all pitiful
goers-between be called to the world's end after my
name; call them all Pandars. Let all constant men be
Troiluses, all false women Cressids, and all brokers-between
Pandars! Say ‘ Amen.’
Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber
with a bed; which bed, because it shall not speak of
your pretty encounters, press it to death: away! –
Exeunt Troilus and Cressida
And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here
Bed, chamber, and Pandar to provide this gear!