Troilus and Cressida


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
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.
stay for (v.) wait for, await

Enter Troilus


O, here he comes. How now, how now?


Sirrah, walk off.

Exit Man


Have you seen my cousin?


No, Pandarus; I stalk about her door,

Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
strange (adj.) 4 foreign, alien, from abroad

Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,
waftage (n.) passage, conveyance by water

And give me swift transportance to those fields
transportance (n.) transportation, conveyance

Where I may wallow in the lily-beds

Proposed for the deserver! O gentle Pandar,
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

From Cupid's shoulder pluck his painted wings,
painted (adj.) 1 colourful, multicoloured

And fly with me to Cressid!


Walk here i'th' orchard; I'll bring her straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count



I am giddy; expectation whirls me round.
giddy (adj.) 6 swaying, quaking, dizzying

Th' imaginary relish is so sweet
relish (n.) 4 taste, flavour, savour

That it enchants my sense. What will it be,

When that the watery palate tastes indeed
watery (adj.) 2 moist, clammy, salivating

Love's thrice-repured nectar? – death, I fear me,
thrice-repured (adj.) highly purified, extremely refined

Swooning destruction, or some joy too fine,
swooning (adj.) shown by fainting, marked by loss of the senses

Too subtle-potent, tuned too sharp in sweetness,
subtle-potent (adj.) powerfully refined

For the capacity of my ruder powers.
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability
rude (adj.) 7 amateurish, inexpert, lacking polish

I fear it much; and I do fear besides

That I shall lose distinction in my joys,
distinction (n.) act of distinguishing, discrimination, differentiation

As doth a battle, when they charge on heaps
heaps, on in a mass, all together

The enemy flying.

Enter Pandarus


She's making her ready; she'll come

straight. You must be witty now. She does so blush,
witty (adj.) 4 with all one's wits at the ready

and fetches her wind so short, as if she were frayed
fray (v.) frighten, terrify, scare [by]
wind (n.) 1 breath

with a sprite. I'll fetch her. It is the prettiest villain; she
sprite, spright (n.) 1 spirit, ghost, supernatural being
villain (n.) 2 scoundrel, rogue, rascal

fetches her breath as short as a new-ta'en sparrow.
new-ta'en (adj.) [new-taken] freshly caught, just captured



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,
feverous (adj.) feverish, restless
thick (adj.) 6 quick, rapid, fast

And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
bestowing (n.) 1 use, function, employment
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability

Like vassalage at unawares encountering
unawares, at unexpectedly
vassalage (n.) 1 humble people, low subjects

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
fee-farm (n.) [legal] state of tenure granted in perpetuity

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
tercel (n.) male hawk

– go to, go to.


You have bereft me of all words, lady.
bereave (v.) 1 take away [from], deprive, deny, rob


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
billing (n.) kissing, caressing [as doves]

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
abruption (n.) breaking-off, interruption, hesitation
curious (adj.) 3 hidden, subtle, minute
dreg (n.) impurity, corruption, defiling matter
espy (v.) catch sight of, discern, see

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
cherubin (n.) 2 celestial being, heavenly beauty



Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds

safer footing than blind reason stumbling without fear:

to fear the worst oft cures the worst.
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count


O, let my lady apprehend no fear; in all
apprehend (v.) 3 be apprehensive about, fear

Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.
pageant (n.) show, scene, spectacle, tableau


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
monstruosity (n.) monstrosity, extraordinary nature

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.
discharge (v.) 1 fulfil, execute, perform

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
allow (v.) 1 acknowledge, commend, receive [with praise]
prove (v.) 4 prove to be true, turn out to be the truth
taste (v.) 1 try out, test, put to the proof

bare till merit crown it; no perfection in reversion shall
reversion (n.) 2 prospective inheritance, expectation of possession

have a praise in present. We will not name desert

before his birth, and, being born, his addition shall be
addition (n.) 1 title, name
desert, desart (n.) 2 worth, merit, deserving

humble: few words to fair faith. Troilus shall be such
fair (adj.) 7 virtuous, honourable, upright

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

than Troilus.


Will you walk in, my lord?

Enter Pandarus


What, blushing still? Have you not done

talking yet?


Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to
folly (n.) wantonness, lewdness



I thank you for that. If my lord get a boy of
get (v.) 1 beget, conceive, breed

you, you'll give him me. Be true to my lord; if he flinch,

chide me for it.
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count


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,
bur, burr (n.) 3 clinger, person difficult to shake off

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
blab (v.) 2 talk indiscreetly, betray secrets

When we are so unsecret to ourselves? –
unsecret (adj.) lacking in secrecy, unconfidential

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


Pretty, i'faith.


My lord, I do beseech you, pardon me;

'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kiss.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

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

morning –


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
unkind (adj.) 2 unnatural, abnormal, aberrant

To be another's fool. Where is my wit?
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

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,
craft (n.) 3 cunning, deceit, guile
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count

And fell so roundly to a large confession,
large (adj.) 2 frank, free, unrestrained
roundly (adv.) 2 bluntly, outspokenly; or: fluently, glibly

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;
aye (adv.) always, ever, for eternity

To keep her constancy in plight and youth,
plight (n.) 1 good shape, health, fit condition

Outliving beauty's outward, with a mind
outward (n.) outward show, external appearance, demeanor

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
affront (v.) 2 equal, put in balance, set face to face

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
swain (n.) 4 lover, wooer, sweetheart

Approve their truths by Troilus; when their rhymes,
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate

Full of protest, of oath, and big compare,
compare (n.) comparison, simile, analogy
protest (n.) protestation, declaration, avowal

Want similes, truth tired with iteration –
iteration (n.) 1 cliche, repeated assertion, endless repetition
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
plantage (n.) vegetation, plant-life

As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
turtle (n.) turtle-dove, lover

As iron to adamant, as earth to th' centre –
adamant (n.) legendary substance of great hardness and magnetism
centre (n.) 1 centre of the Earth, axis

Yet, after all comparisons of truth,

As truth's authentic author to be cited,
authentic (adj.) 2 valid, authoritative, credible
author (n.) 1 creator, originator, instigator

‘ As true as Troilus ’ shall crown up the verse,

And sanctify the numbers.
crown up (v.) add regal status to, dignify
number (n.) 1 (plural) verses, lines


                         Prophet may you be!

If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful
hair (n.) 2 jot, iota, trace
swerve (v.) go astray, err, be wrong

When time is old and hath forgot itself,

When waterdrops have worn the stones of Troy,

And blind oblivion swallowed cities up,
blind (adj.) 2 dark, black

And mighty states characterless are grated
characterless (adj.) leaving no trace, lacking any distinctive signs
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,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful
false (n.) false person, deceiver

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 ’ –
hind (n.) 3 female deer
pard (n.) panther, leopard

Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
stick (v.) 3 pierce, stab, wound

‘ As false as Cressid.’
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful


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
pitiful (adj.) compassionate, merciful, tender

goers-between be called to the world's end after my
goer-between (n.) go-between

name; call them all Pandars. Let all constant men be

Troiluses, all false women Cressids, and all brokers-between
broker, broker-between (n.) go-between, intermediary, agent
pander, pandar (n.) pimp, procurer, go-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!
gear (n.) 2 equipment, furnishing


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