Troilus and Cressida


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Pandarus and Troilus
unarm (v.) disarm, remove armour
varlet (n.) 2 manservant, page, attendant


Call here my varlet, I'll unarm again.

Why should I war without the walls of Troy,

That find such cruel battle here within?

Each Trojan that is master of his heart,

Let him to field; Troilus, alas, hath none.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


Will this gear ne'er be mended?
gear (n.) 1 business, affair, matter
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right


The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,

Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant;

But I am weaker than a woman's tear,

Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance,
fond (adj.) 4 infatuated, doting, passionate

Less valiant than the virgin in the night,

And skilless as unpractised infancy.
unpractised (adj.) inexperienced, naive, innocent


Well, I have told you enough of this; for my

part, I'll not meddle nor make no farther. He that will

have a cake out of the wheat must needs tarry the
tarry (v.) 2 stay for, wait for, allow time for



Have I not tarried?


Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the

bolting (n.) [of flour] sifting


Have I not tarried?


Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the

leavening (n.) process of fermentation in dough


Still have I tarried.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Ay, to the leavening; but here's yet in the

word hereafter the kneading, the making of the cake,

the heating of the oven, and the baking. Nay, you must

stay the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your
chance (v.) 1 happen [to], transpire, come about
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await



Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be,

Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do.
blench (v.) 1 flinch, start, shrink
sufferance (n.) 1 distress, suffering, hardship

At Priam's royal table do I sit,

And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts –

So, traitor! – ‘ when she comes ’? – when is she thence?


Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever
yesternight (n.) last night

I saw her look, or any woman else.


I was about to tell thee – when my heart,

As wedged with a sigh, would rive in twain,
rive (v.) 1 split, rend, cleave
wedge (v.) cleave, split [as with a wedge]

Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,

I have, as when the sun doth light a storm,

Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile;

But sorrow that is couched in seeming gladness
couch (v.) 1 conceal, hide, lie hidden
seeming (adj.) apparent, convincing in appearance

Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.


An her hair were not somewhat darker than

Helen's – well, go to, there were no more comparison

between the women. But, for my part, she is my kinswoman;

I would not, as they term it, praise her, but I

would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did;

I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit, but –
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus –

When I do tell thee, there my hopes lie drowned,

Reply not in how many fathoms deep

They lie indrenched. I tell thee I am mad
indrenched (adj.) drowned, immersed, submerged

In Cressid's love: thou answer'st ‘ She is fair,’

Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart

Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice;
gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement

Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand,
discourse (n.) 1 conversation, talk, chat

In whose comparison all whites are ink

Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure
seizure (n.) grasping of hands, clasp, hold

The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense
sense (n.) 1 senses, sensation, organs of sense
spirit (n.) 3 life-supporting substance thought to be carried by the blood, animating essence

Hard as the palm of ploughman! This thou tell'st me,

As ‘ true ’ thou tell'st me, when I say I love her;

But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
balm (n.) 2 soothing ointment, salve; soothing treatment

Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me

The knife that made it.


I speak no more than truth.


Thou dost not speak so much.


Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be as she

is: if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not,
fair (adj.) 1 handsome, good-looking, beautiful

she has the mends in her own hands.
mend (n.) remedy, way of improving


Good Pandarus – how now, Pandarus?


I have had my labour for my travail,
travail, travel (n.) 1 labour, effort, exertion [often overlapping with sense 2]

ill-thought-on of her, and ill-thought-on of you; gone

between and between, but small thanks for my labour.


What, art thou angry, Pandarus? What, with



Because she's kin to me, therefore she's not

so fair as Helen; an she were not kin to me, she would

be as fair on Friday as Helen is on Sunday, but what

care I? I care not an she were a blackamoor; 'tis all one
all is one; that's / it's all one it makes no difference, it's one and the same, it doesn't matter See Topics: Discourse markers
blackamoor (n.) black-skinned African, negro

to me.


Say I she is not fair?


I do not care whether you do or no. She's a

fool to stay behind her father; let her to the Greeks,

and so I'll tell her the next time I see her. For my part,

I'll meddle nor make no more i'th' matter.


Pandarus –


Not I.


Sweet Pandarus –


Pray you, speak no more to me; I will leave

all as I found it, and there an end.

Exit. Sound alarum


Peace, you ungracious clamours! Peace, rude sounds!
rude (adj.) 8 cacophonous, raucous, barbarous
ungracious (adj.) 2 inconsiderate, graceless, unmannerly

Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair,

When with your blood you daily paint her thus.

I cannot fight upon this argument;
argument (n.) 8 cause, reason [for a dispute]
argument (n.) 5 quarrel, dispute, point of contention

It is too starved a subject for my sword.
starved (adj.) 2 meagre, insubstantial, wanting

But Pandarus – O gods, how do you plague me!

I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar,

And he's as tetchy to be wooed to woo.
tetchy, teachy (adj.) irritable, peevish, fretful

As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphne's love,

What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we –

Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl:

Between our Ilium and where she resides,

Let it be called the wild and wandering flood,
flood (n.) 1 sea, deep, waves, rushing water

Ourself the merchant, and this sailing Pandar

Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel

Alarum. Enter Aeneas
afield, a-field (adv.) 1 on the field of battle


How now, Prince Troilus! wherefore not a-field?


Because not there. This woman's answer sorts,
sort (v.) 1 suit, be fitting, be appropriate

For womanish it is to be from thence.

What news, Aeneas, from the field today?
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


That Paris is returned home, and hurt.


By whom, Aeneas?


                         Troilus, by Menelaus.


Let Paris bleed, 'tis but a scar to scorn;

Paris is gored with Menelaus' horn.

sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count


Hark what good sport is out of town today!


Better at home, if ‘ would I might ’ were ‘ may ’ –

But to the sport abroad, are you bound thither?
abroad (adv.) 3 away from home, out of the house


In all swift haste.


                         Come, go we then together.


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