Troilus and Cressida

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Original text
Act III, Scene I
Musicke sounds within. Enter Pandarus and a Seruant.

Pan.
Friend, you, pray you a word: Doe not you
follow the yong Lord Paris?

Ser.
I sir, when he goes before me.

Pan.
You depend vpon him I meane?

Ser.
Sir, I doe depend vpon the Lord.

Pan.
You depend vpon a noble Gentleman: I must
needes praise him.

Ser.
The Lord be praised.

Pa.
You know me, doe you not?

Ser.
Faith sir, superficially.

Pa.
Friend know me better, I am the Lord
Pandarus.

Ser.
I hope I shall know your honour better.

Pa.
I doe desire it.

Ser.
You are in the state of Grace?

Pa.
Grace, not so friend, honor and Lordship
are my title: What Musique is this?

Ser.
I doe but partly know sir: it is Musicke in parts.

Pa.
Know you the Musitians.

Ser.
Wholly sir.

Pa.
Who play they to?

Ser.
To the hearers sir.

Pa.
At whose pleasur friend?

Ser.
At mine sir, and theirs that loue Musicke.

Pa.
Command, I meane friend.

Ser.
Who shallI command sir?

Pa.
Friend, we vnderstand not one another: I
am too courtly, and thou art too cunning. At whose
request doe these men play?

Ser.
That's too't indeede sir: marry sir, at the
request of Paris my L. who's there in person; with
him the mortall Venus, the heart bloud of beauty,
loues inuisible soule.

Pa.
Who? my Cosin Cressida.

Ser.
No sir, Helen, could you not finde out that by
her attributes?

Pa.
It should seeme fellow, that thou hast not
seen the Lady Cressida. I come to speake with Paris
from the Prince Troylus: I will make a complementall
assault vpon him, for my businesse seethes.

Ser.

Sodden businesse, there's a stewed
phrase indeede.
Enter Paris and Helena.

Pan.
Faire be to you my Lord, and to all this faire
company: faire desires in all faire measure fairely guide
them, especially to you faire Queene, faire thoughts be
your faire pillow.

Hel.
Deere L. you are full of faire words.

Pan.
You speake your faire pleasure sweete Queene:
faire Prince, here is good broken Musicke.

Par.
You haue broke it cozen: and by my life you shall
make it whole againe, you shall peece it out with a peece
of your performance. Nel, he is full of harmony.

Pan.
Truely Lady no.

Hel.
O sir.

Pan.
Rude in sooth, in good sooth very rude.

Paris.
Well said my Lord: well, you say so in fits.

Pan.
I haue businesse to my Lord, deere Queene: my
Lord will you vouchsafe me a word.

Hel.
Nay, this shall not hedge vs out, weele heare you
sing certainely.

Pan.
Well sweete Queene you are pleasant with me,
but, marry thus my Lord, my deere Lord, and most
esteemed friend your brother Troylus.

Hel.
My Lord Pandarus, hony sweete Lord.

Pan.
Go too sweete Queene, goe to. / Commends
himselfe most affectionately to you.

Hel.
You shall not bob vs out of our melody: / If you doe,
our melancholly vpon your head.

Pan.
Sweete Queene, sweete Queene, that's a sweete
Queene I faith---

Hel.
And to make a sweet Lady sad, is a sower offence.

Pan.
Nay, that shall not serue your turne, that shall
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.

Hel.
My Lord Pandarus?

Pan.
What saies my sweete Queene, my very, very
sweete Queene?

Par.
What exploit's in hand, where sups he to night?

Hel.
Nay but my Lord?

Pan.
What saies my sweete Queene? my cozen will
fall out with you.

Hel.
You must not know where he sups.

Par.
With my disposer Cressida.

Pan.
No, no; no such matter, you are wide, come
your disposer is sicke.

Par.
Well, Ile make excuse.

Pan.
I good my Lord: why should you say
Cressida? no, your poore disposer's sicke.

Par.
I spie.

Pan.
You spie, what doe you spie: come, giue me
an Instrument now sweete Queene.

Hel.
Why this is kindely done?

Pan.
My Neece is horrible in loue with a thing you
haue sweete Queene.

Hel.
She shall haue it my Lord, if it be not my Lord
Paris.

Pand.
Hee? no, sheele none of him, they two are
twaine.

Hel.
Falling in after falling out, may make them
three.

Pan.
Come, come, Ile heare no more of this, Ile sing
you a song now.

Hel.
I, I, prethee now: by my troth sweet Lord thou
hast a fine fore-head.

Pan.
I you may, you may.

Hel.
Let thy song be loue: this loue will vndoe vs al. Oh
Cupid, Cupid, Cupid.

Pan.
Loue? I that it shall yfaith.

Par.
I, good now loue, loue, no thing but loue.

Pan.
In good troth it begins so.
Loue, loue, no thing but loue, still more:
For O loues Bow,
Shootes Bucke and Doe:
The Shaft confounds
not that it wounds,
But tickles still the sore:
These Louers cry, oh ho they dye;
Yet that which seemes the wound to kill,
Doth turne oh ho, to ha ha he:
So dying loue liues still,
O ho a while, but ha ha ha,
O ho grones out for ha ha ha----hey ho.

Hel.
In loue yfaith to the very tip of the nose.

Par.
He eates nothing but doues loue, and that breeds
hot bloud, and hot bloud begets hot thoughts, and hot
thoughts beget hot deedes, and hot deedes is loue.

Pan.
Is this the generation of loue? Hot bloud, hot
thoughts, and hot deedes, why they are Vipers, is Loue
a generation of Vipers? / Sweete Lord whose a field
to day?

Par.
Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Anthenor, and all
the gallantry of Troy. I would faine haue arm'd to day,
but my Nell would not haue it so. / How chance my
brother Troylus went not?

Hel.
He hangs the lippe at something; you know all
Lord Pandarus?

Pan.
Not I hony sweete Queene: I long to heare
how they sped to day: / Youle remember your
brothers excuse?

Par.
To a hayre.

Pan.
Farewell sweete Queene.

Hel.
Commend me to your Neece.

Pan.
I will sweete Queene.
Sounda retreat.

Par.
They're come from fielde: let vs to Priams Hall
To greete the Warriers. Sweet Hellen, I must woe you,
To helpe vnarme our Hector: his stubborne Buckles,
With these your white enchanting fingers toucht,
Shall more obey then to the edge of Steele,
Or force of Greekish sinewes: you shall doe more
Then all the Iland Kings, disarme great Hector.

Hel.
'Twill make vs proud to be his seruant Paris:
Yea what he shall receiue of vs in duetie,
Giues vs more palme in beautie then we haue:
Yea ouershines our selfe.
Sweete aboue thought I loue thee.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Pandarus and Troylus Man.

Pan.
How now, where's thy Maister, at my Couzen
Cressidas?

Man.
No sir, he stayes for you to conduct him thither.
Enter Troylus.

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

Troy.
Sirra walke off.

Pan.
Haue you seene my Cousin?

Troy.
No Pandarus: I stalke about her doore
Like a strange soule vpon the Stigian bankes
Staying for waftage. O be thou my Charon,
And giue me swift transportance to those fields,
Where I may wallow in the Lilly beds
Propos'd for the deseruer. O gentle Pandarus,
From Cupids shoulder plucke his painted wings,
And flye with me to Cressid.

Pan.
Walke here ith'Orchard, Ile bring her straight.
Exit Pandarus.

Troy.
I am giddy; expectation whirles me round,
Th'imaginary relish is so sweete,
That it inchants my sence: what will it be
When that the watry pallats taste indeede
Loues thrice reputed Nectar? Death I feare me
Sounding distruction, or some ioy too fine,
Too subtile, potent, and too sharpe in sweetnesse,
For the capacitie of my ruder powers;
I feare it much, and I doe feare besides,
That I shall loose distinction in my ioyes,
As doth a battaile, when they charge on heapes
The enemy flying.
Enter Pandarus.

Pan.
Shee's making her ready, sheele come
straight; you must be witty now, she does so blush,
& fetches her winde so short, as if she were fraid
with a sprite: Ile fetch her; it is the prettiest villaine, she
fetches her breath so short as a new tane Sparrow.
Exit Pand.

Troy.
Euen such a passion doth imbrace my bosome:
My heart beates thicker then a feauorous pulse,
And all my powers doe their bestowing loose,
Like vassalage at vnawares encountring
The eye of Maiestie.
Enter Pandarus and Cressida.

Pan.
Come, come, what neede you blush? / Shames
a babie; here she is now, sweare the oathes
now to her, that you haue sworne to me.
What are you gone againe, you must be watcht ere
you be made tame, must you? come your wayes, come
your wayes, and you draw backward weele put you
i'th fils: why doe you not speak to her?
Come draw this curtaine, & let's see your
picture. Alasse the day, how loath you are to offend
day light? and 'twere darke you'ld close sooner:
So, so, rub on, and kisse the mistresse; how
now, a kisse in fee-farme? build there Carpenter, the ayre
is sweete. Nay, you shall fight your hearts out ere I part
you. The Faulcon, as the Tercell, for all the Ducks ith Riuer:
go too, go too.

Troy.
You haue bereft me of all words Lady.

Pan.
Words pay no debts; giue her deedes: but
sheele bereaue you 'oth' deeds too, if shee call your
actiuity in question: what billing againe? here's in
witnesse whereof the Parties interchangeably. Come
in, come in, Ile go get a fire?

Cres.
Will you walke in my Lord?

Troy.
O Cressida, how often haue I wisht me thus?

Cres.
Wisht my Lord? the gods grant? O my
Lord.

Troy.
What should they grant? what makes this
pretty abruption: what too curious dreg espies my
sweete Lady in the fountaine of our loue?

Cres.
More dregs then water, if my teares haue eyes.

Troy.
Feares make diuels of Cherubins, they neuer see
truely.

Cres.
Blinde feare, that seeing reason leads, findes
safe footing, then blinde reason, stumbling without feare:
to feare the worst, oft cures the worse.

Troy.
Oh let my Lady apprehend no feare, / In all
Cupids Pageant there is presented no monster.

Cres.
Not nothing monstrons neither?

Troy.
Nothing but our vndertakings, when we vowe
to weepe seas, liue in fire, eate rockes, tame Tygers;
thinking it harder for our Mistresse to deuise imposition
inough, then for vs to vndergoe any difficultie imposed.
This is the monstruositie in loue Lady, that the will is
infinite, and the execution confin'd; that the desire is
boundlesse, and the act a slaue to limit.

Cres.
They say all Louers sweare more performance
then they are able, and yet reserue an ability that they
neuer performe: vowing more then the perfection of
ten; and discharging lesse then the tenth part of one.
They that haue the voyce of Lyons, and the act of Hares:
are they not Monsters?

Troy.
Are there such? such are not we: Praise vs as
we are tasted, allow vs as we proue: our head shall goe
bare till merit crowne it: no perfection in reuersion shall
haue a praise in present: wee will not name desert
before his birth, and being borne his addition shall be
humble: few words to faire faith. Troylus shall be such
to Cressid, as what enuie can say worst, shall be a mocke
for his truth; and what truth can speake truest, not truer
then Troylus.

Cres.
Will you walke in my Lord?
Enter Pandarus.

Pan.
What blushing still? haue you not done
talking yet?

Cres.
Well Vnckle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to
you.

Pan.
I thanke you for that: if my Lord get a Boy of
you, youle giue him me: be true to my Lord, if he flinch,
chide me for it.

Tro.
You know now your hostages: your Vnckles
word and my firme faith.

Pan.
Nay, Ile giue my word for her too: our
kindred though they be long ere they are wooed, they
are constant being wonne: they are Burres I can tell you,
they'le sticke where they are throwne.

Cres.
Boldnesse comes to mee now, and brings mee heart:
Prince Troylus, I haue lou'd you night and day,
for many weary moneths.

Troy.
Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?

Cres.
Hard to seeme won: but I was won my Lord
With the first glance; that euer pardon me,
If I confesse much you will play the tyrant:
I loue you now, but not till now so much
But I might maister it; infaith I lye:
My thoughts were like vnbrideled children grow
Too head-strong for their mother: see we fooles,
Why haue I blab'd: who shall be true to vs
When we are so vnsecret to our selues?
But though I lou'd you well, I woed you not,
And yet good faith I wisht my selfe a man;
Or that we women had mens priuiledge
Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
For in this rapture I shall surely speake
The thing I shall repent: see, see, your silence
Comming in dumbnesse, from my weakenesse drawes
My soule of counsell from me. Stop my mouth.

Troy.
And shall, albeit sweete Musicke issues thence.

Pan.
Pretty yfaith.

Cres.
My Lord, I doe beseech you pardon me,
'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kisse:
I am asham'd; O Heauens, what haue I done!
For this time will I take my leaue my Lord.

Troy.
Your leaue sweete Cressid?

Pan.
Leaue: and you take leaue till to morrow
morning.

Cres.
Pray you content you.

Troy.
What offends you Lady?

Cres.
Sir, mine owne company.

Troy.
You cannot shun your selfe.

Cres.
Let me goe and try:
I haue a kinde of selfe recides with you:
But an vnkinde selfe, that itselfe will leaue,
To be anothers foole. Where is my wit?
I would be gone: I speake I know not what.

Troy.
Well know they what they speake, that speakes so wisely.

Cre.
Perchance my Lord, I shew more craft then loue,
And fell so roundly to a large confession,
To Angle for your thoughts: but you are wise,
Or else you loue not: for to be wise and loue,
Exceedes mans might, that dwels with gods aboue.

Troy.
O that I thought it could be in a woman:
As if it can, I will presume in you,
To feede for aye her lampe and flames of loue.
To keepe her constancie in plight and youth,
Out-liuing beauties outward, with a minde
That doth renew swifter then blood decaies:
Or that perswasion could but thus conuince me,
That my integritie and truth to you,
Might be affronted with the match and waight
Of such a winnowed puriritie in loue:
How were I then vp-lifted! but alas,
I am as true, as truths simplicitie,
And simpler then the infancie of truth.

Crs.
In that Ile warre with you.

Troy.
O vertuous fight,
When right with right wars who shall be most right:
True swaines in loue, shall in the world to come
Approue their truths by Troylus, when their rimes,
Full of protest, of oath and big compare;
Wants similes, truth tir'd with iteration,
As true as steele, as plantage to the Moone:
As Sunne to day: as Turtle to her mate:
As Iron to Adamant: as Earth to th'Center:
Yet after all comparisons of truth,
(As truths authenticke author to be cited)
As true as Troylus, shall crowne vp the Verse,
And sanctifie the numbers.

Cres.
Prophet may you be:
If I be false, or swerue a haire from truth,
When time is old and hath forgot it selfe:
When water drops haue worne the Stones of Troy;
And blinde obliuion swallow'd Cities vp;
And mightie States characterlesse are grated
To dustie nothing; yet let memory,
From false to false, among false Maids in loue,
Vpbraid my falsehood, when they'aue said as false,
As Aire, as Water, as Winde, as sandie earth;
As Foxe to Lambe; as Wolfe to Heifers Calfe;
Pard to the Hinde, or Stepdame to her Sonne;
Yea, let them say, to sticke the heart of falsehood,
As false as Cressid.

Pand.
Go too, a bargaine made: seale it, seale it, Ile be
the witnesse here I hold your hand: here my Cousins,
if euer you proue false one to another, since I haue
taken such paines to bring you together, let all pittifull
goers betweene be cal'd to the worlds end after my
name: call them all Panders; let all constant men be
Troylusses, all false women Cressids, and all brokers betweene,
Panders: say, Amen.

Troy.
Amen.

Cres.
Amen.

Pan.
Amen. Whereupon I will shew you a Chamber,
which bed, because it shall not speake of
your prettie encounters, presse it to death: away.


And Cupid grant all tong-tide Maidens heere,
Bed, Chamber, and Pander, to prouide this geere.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene III
Enter Vlysses, Diomedes, Nestor, Agamemnon,
Menelaus and Chalcas. Florish.

Cal.
Now Princes for the seruice I haue done you,
Th'aduantage of the time promps me aloud,
To call for recompence: appeare it to your minde,
That through the sight I beare in things to loue,
I haue abandon'd Troy, left my possession,
Incur'd a Traitors name, expos'd my selfe,
From certaine and possest conueniences,
To doubtfull fortunes, sequestring from me all
That time, acquaintance, custome and condition,
Made tame, and most familiar to my nature:
And here to doe you seruice am become,
As new into the world, strange, vnacquainted.
I doe beseech you, as in way of taste,
To giue me now a little benefit:
Out of those many registred in promise,
Which you say, liue to come in my behalfe.

Agam.
What would'st thou of vs Troian? make demand?

Cal.
You haue a Troian prisoner, cal'd Anthenor,
Yesterday tooke: Troy holds him very deere.
Oft haue you (often haue you, thankes therefore)
Desir'd my Cressia in right great exchange.
Whom Troy hath still deni'd: but this Anthenor,
I know is such a wrest in their affaires;
That their negotiations all must slacke,
Wanting his mannage: and they will almost,
Giue vs a Prince of blood, a Sonne of Priam,
In change of him. Let him be sent great Princes,
And he shall buy my Daughter: and her presence,
Shall quite strike off all seruice I haue done,
In most accepted paine.

Aga.
Let Diomedes beare him,
And bring vs Cressid hither: Calcas shall haue
What he requests of vs: good Diomed
Furnish you fairely for this enterchange;
Withall bring word, if Hector will to morrow
Be answer'd in his challenge. Aiax is ready.

Dio.
This shall I vndertake, and 'tis a burthen
Which I am proud to beare.
Exit.
Enter Achilles and Patroclus in their
Tent.

Vlis.
Achilles stands i'th entrance of his Tent;
Please it our Generall to passe strangely by him,
As if he were forgot: and Princes all,
Lay negligent and loose regard vpon him;
I will come last, 'tis like heele question me,
Why such vnplausiue eyes are bent? why turn'd on him?
If so, I haue derision medicinable,
To vse betweene your strangenesse and his pride,
Which his owne will shall haue desire to drinke;
It may doe good, pride hath no other glasse
To show it selfe, but pride: for supple knees,
Feede arrogance, and are the proud mans fees.

Agam.
Weele execute your purpose, and put on
A forme of strangenesse as we passe along,
So doe each Lord, and either greete him not,
Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more,
Then if not lookt on. I will lead the way.

Achil.
What comes the Generall to speake with me?
You know my minde, Ile fight no more 'gainst Troy.

Aga.
What saies Achilles, would he ought with vs?

Nes.
Would you my Lord ought with the Generall?

Achil.
No.

Nes.
Nothing my Lord.

Aga.
The better.

Achil.
Good day, good day.

Men.
How doe you? how doe you?

Achi.
What, do's the Cuckold scorne me?

Aiax.
How now Patroclus?

Achil.
Good morrow Aiax?

Aiax.
Ha.

Achil.
Good morrow.

Aiax.
I, and good next day too.
Exeunt.

Achil.
What meane these fellowes? know they not Achilles?

Patr.
They passe by strangely: they were vs'd to bend
To send their smiles before them to Achilles:
To come as humbly as they vs'd to creepe
to holy Altars.

Achil.
What am I poore of late?
'Tis certaine, greatnesse once falne out with fortune,
Must fall out with men too: what the declin'd is,
He shall as soone reade in the eyes of others,
As feele in his owne fall: for men like butter-flies,
Shew not their mealie wings, but to the Summer:
And not a man for being simply man,
Hath any honour; but honour'd for those honours
That are without him; as place, riches, and fauour,
Prizes of accident, as oft as merit:
Which when they fall, as being slippery standers;
The loue that leand on them as slippery too,
Doth one plucke downe another, and together
Dye in the fall. But 'tis not so with me;
Fortune and I are friends, I doe enioy
At ample point, all that I did possesse,
Saue these mens lookes: who do me thinkes finde out
Something not worth in me such rich beholding,
As they haue often giuen. Here is Ulisses,
Ile interrupt his reading:
how now Vlisses?

Vlis.
Now great Thetis Sonne.

Achil.
What are you reading?

Vlis.
A strange fellow here
Writes me, that man, how dearely euer parted,
How much in hauing, or without, or in,
Cannot make boast to haue that which he hath;
Nor feeles not what he owes, but by reflection:
As when his vertues shining vpon others,
Heate them, and they retort that heate againe
To the first giuer.

Achil.
This is not strange Vlisses:
The beautie that is borne here in the face,
The bearer knowes not, but commends it selfe,
Not going from it selfe: but eye to eye oppos'd,
Salutes each other with each others forme.
For speculation turnes not to it selfe,
Till it hath trauail'd, and is married there
Where it may see it selfe: this is not strange at all.

Ulis.
I doe not straine it at the position,
It is familiar; but at the Authors drift,
Who in his circumstance, expresly proues
That no may is the Lord of any thing,
(Though in and of him there is much consisting,)
Till he communicate his parts to others:
Nor doth he of himselfe know them for ought,
Till he behold them formed in th'applause,
Where they are extended: who like an arch reuerb'rate
The voyce againe; or like a gate of steele,
Fronting the Sunne, receiues and renders backe
His figure, and his heate. I was much rapt in this,
And apprehended here immediately:
The vnknowne Aiax; / Heauens what a man is there?
a very Horse, / That has he knowes not what.
Nature, what things there are.
Most abiect in regard, and deare in vse.
What things againe most deere in the esteeme,
And poore in worth: now shall we see to morrow,
An act that very chance doth throw vpon him?
Aiax renown'd? O heauens, what some men doe,
While some men leaue to doe!
How some men creepe in skittish fortunes hall,
Whiles others play the Ideots in her eyes:
How one man eates into anothers pride,
While pride is feasting in his wantonnesse
To see these Grecian Lords; why, euen already,
They clap the lubber Aiax on the shoulder,
As if his foote were on braue Hectors brest,
And great Troy shrinking.

Achil.
I doe beleeue it: / For they past by me,
as mysers doe by beggars, / Neither gaue to me
good word, nor looke: What are my deedes forgot?

Ulis.
Time hath (my Lord) a wallet at his backe,
Wherein he puts almes for obliuion:
A great siz'd monster of ingratitudes:
Those scraps are good deedes past, / Which are deuour'd
as fast as they are made, / Forgot as soone
as done: perseuerance, deere my Lord,
Keepes honor bright, to haue done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rustie male,
In monumentall mockrie: take the instant way,
For honour trauels in a straight so narrow,
Where one but goes a breast, keepe then the path:
For emulation hath a thousand Sonnes,
That one by one pursue; if you giue way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forth right;
Like to an entred Tyde, they all rush by,
And leaue you hindmost:
Or like a gallant Horse falne in first ranke,
Lye there for pauement to the abiect, neere
Ore-run and trampled on: then what they doe in present,
Though lesse then yours in past, must ore-top yours:
For time is like a fashionable Hoste,
That slightly shakes his parting Guest by th'hand;
And with his armes out-stretcht, as he would flye,
Graspes in the commer: the welcome euer smiles,
And farewels goes out sighing: O let not vertue seeke
Remuneration for the thing it was:
for beautie, wit,
High birth, vigor of bone, desert in seruice,
Loue, friendship, charity, are subiects all
To enuious and calumniating time:
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin:
That all with one consent praise new borne gaudes,
Though they are made and moulded of things past,
And goe to dust, that is a little guilt,
More laud then guilt oredusted.
The present eye praises the pres nt obiect:
Then maruell not thou great and compleat man,
That all the Greekes begin to worship Aiax;
Since things in motion begin to catch the eye,
Then what not stirs: the cry went out on thee,
And still it might, and yet it may againe,
If thou would'st not entombe thy selfe aliue,
And case thy reputation in thy Tent;
Whose glorious deedes, but in these fields of late,
Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselues,
And draue great Mars to faction.

Achil.
Of this my priuacie,
I haue strong reasons.

Vlis.
But 'gainst your priuacie
The reasons are more potent and heroycall:
'Tis knowne Achilles, that you are in loue
With one of Priams daughters.

Achil.
Ha? knowne?

Ulis.
Is that a wonder?
The prouidence that's in a watchfull State,
Knowes almost euery graine of Plutoes gold;
Findes bottome in th'vncomprehensiue deepes;
Keepes place with thought; and almost like the gods,
Doe thoughts vnuaile in their dumbe cradles:
There is a mysterie (with whom relation
Durst neuer meddle) in the soule of State;
Which hath an operation more diuine,
Then breath or pen can giue expressure to:
All the commerse that you haue had with Troy,
As perfectly is ours, as yours, my Lord.
And better would it fit Achilles much,
To throw downe Hector then Polixena.
But it must grieue yong Pirhus now at home,
When fame shall in her Iland sound her trumpe;
And all the Greekish Girles shall tripping sing,
Great Hectors sister did Achilles winne;
But our great Aiax brauely beate downe him.
Farewell my Lord: I as your louer speake;
The foole slides ore the Ice that you should breake.

Patr.
To this effect Achilles haue I mou'd you;
A woman impudent and mannish growne,
Is not more loth'd, then an effeminate man,
In time of action: I stand condemn'd for this;
They thinke my little stomacke to the warre,
And your great loue to me, restraines you thus:
Sweete, rouse your selfe; and the weake wanton Cupid
Shall from your necke vnloose his amorous fould,
And like a dew drop from the Lyons mane,
Be shooke to ayrie ayre.

Achil.
Shall Aiax fight with Hector?

Patr.
I, and perhaps receiue much honor by him.

Achil.
I see my reputation is at stake,
My fame is shrowdly gored.

Patr.
O then beware:
Those wounds heale ill, that men doe giue themselues:
Omission to doe what is necessary,
Seales a commission to a blanke of danger,
And danger like an ague subtly taints
Euen then when we sit idely in the sunne.

Achil.
Goe call Thersites hither sweet Patroclus,
Ile send the foole to Aiax, and desire him
T'inuite the Troian Lords after the Combat
To see vs here vnarm'd: I haue a womans longing,
An appetite that I am sicke withall,
To see great Hector in his weedes of peace;
Enter Thersi.
To talke with him, and to behold his visage,
Euen to my full of view. A labour sau'd.

Ther.
A wonder.

Achil.
What?

Ther.
Aiax goes vp and downe the field, asking for
himselfe.

Achil.
How so?

Ther.
Hee must fight singly to morrow with Hector,
and is so prophetically proud of an heroicall cudgelling,
that he raues in saying nothing.

Achil.
How can that be?

Ther.
Why he stalkes vp and downe like a Peacock, a
stride and a stand: ruminates like an hostesse, that hath
no Arithmatique but her braine to set downe her reckoning:
bites his lip with a politique regard, as who should say,
there were wit in his head and twoo'd out; and so
there is: but it lyes as coldly in him, as fire in a flint,
which will not shew without knocking. The mans
vndone for euer; for if Hector breake not his necke
i'th'combat, heele break't himselfe in vaine-glory. He
knowes not mee: I said, good morrow Aiax; And he
replyes, thankes Agamemnon. What thinke you of
this man, that takes me for the Generall? Hee's growne a
very land-fish, languagelesse, a monster: a plague of
opinion, a man may weare it on both sides like a leather
Ierkin.

Achil.
Thou must be my Ambassador to him
Thersites.

Ther.
Who, I: why, heele answer no body: he
professes not answering; speaking is for beggers: he
weares his tongue in's armes: I will put on his presence;
let Patroclus make his demands to me, you shall see
the Pageant of Aiax.

Achil.
To him Patroclus; tell him, I humbly desire
the valiant Aiax, to inuite the most valorous Hector, to
come vnarm'd to my Tent, and to procure safe conduct
for his person, of the magnanimious and most
illustrious, sixe or seauen times honour'd Captaine, Generall
of the Grecian Armie Agamemnon, &c.
doe this.

Patro.
Ioue blesse great Aiax.

Ther.
Hum.

Patr.
I come from the worthy Aehilles.

Ther.
Ha?

Patr.
Who most humbly desires you to inuite
Hector to his Tent.

Ther.
Hum.

Patr.
And to procure safe conduct from
Agamemnon.

Ther.
Agamemnon?

Patr.
I my Lord.

Ther.
Ha?

Patr.
What say you too't.

Ther.
God buy you with all my heart.

Patr.
Your answer sir.

Ther.
If to morrow be a faire day, by eleuen a clocke it
will goe one way or other; howsoeuer, he shall pay for
me ere he has me.

Patr.
Your answer sir.

Ther.
Fare you well withall my heart.

Achil.
Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?

Ther.
No, but he's out a tune thus: what musicke
will be in him when Hector has knockt out his braines,
I know not: but I am sure none, vnlesse the Fidler
Apollo get his sinewes to make catlings on.

Achil.
Come, thou shalt beare a Letter to him straight.

Ther.
Let me carry another to his Horse; for that's
the more capable creature.

Achil.
My minde is troubled like a Fountaine stir'd,
And I my selfe see not the bottome of it.

Ther.
Would the Fountaine of your minde were cleere
againe, that I might water an Asse at it: I had rather be a
Ticke in a Sheepe, then such a valiant ignorance.
Modern text
Act III, Scene I
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.

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?

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.

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
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
assault upon him, for my business seethes.

SERVANT
(aside)
Sodden business! There's a stewed
phrase indeed.
Enter Paris and Helen with attendants

PANDARUS
Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair
company; fair desires, in all fair measure, fairly guide
them! – especially to you, fair queen: fair thoughts be
your fair pillow!

HELEN
Dear lord, you are full of fair words.

PANDARUS
You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. –
Fair prince, here is good broken music.

PARIS
You have broke it, cousin: and by my life you shall
make it whole again; you shall piece it out with a piece
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.

PARIS
Well said, my lord; well, you say so in fits.

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
sing, certainly.

PANDARUS
Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with me.
– 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 –

HELEN
You shall not bob us out of our melody; if you do,
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.

PANDARUS
Nay, that shall not serve your turn, that shall
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?

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.

PANDARUS
No, no, no such matter, you are wide; come,
your disposer is sick.

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.

HELEN
Falling in after falling out may make them
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.

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,
Not that it wounds,
But tickles still the sore.
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
thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.

PANDARUS
Is this the generation of love? Hot blood, hot
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,
but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
brother Troilus went not?

HELEN
He hangs the lip at something – you know all,
Lord Pandarus.

PANDARUS
Not I, honey-sweet queen; I long to hear
how they sped today. – You'll remember your
brother's excuse?

PARIS
To a hair.

PANDARUS
Farewell, sweet queen.

HELEN
Commend me to your niece.

PANDARUS
I will, sweet queen.
Exit
Sound a retreat

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,
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
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,
Yea, overshines ourself.

PARIS
Sweet, above thought I love thee.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Pandarus and Troilus's Man, meeting

PANDARUS
How now, where's thy master? At my cousin
Cressida's?

MAN
No, sir; he stays for you to conduct him thither.
Enter Troilus

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

TROILUS
Sirrah, walk off.
Exit Man

PANDARUS
Have you seen my cousin?

TROILUS
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!

PANDARUS
Walk here i'th' orchard; I'll bring her straight.
Exit

TROILUS
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.
Enter Pandarus

PANDARUS
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.
Exit

TROILUS
Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom.
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

PANDARUS
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.

TROILUS
You have bereft me of all words, lady.

PANDARUS
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.
Exit

CRESSIDA
Will you walk in, my lord?

TROILUS
O Cressida, how often have I wished me thus!

CRESSIDA
Wished, my lord! – The gods grant – O my
lord!

TROILUS
What should they grant? What makes this
pretty abruption? What too curious dreg espies my
sweet lady in the fountain of our love?

CRESSIDA
More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.

TROILUS
Fears make devils of cherubins; they never see
truly.

CRESSIDA
Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds
safer footing than blind reason stumbling without fear:
to fear the worst oft cures the worst.

TROILUS
O, let my lady apprehend no fear; in all
Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.

CRESSIDA
Nor nothing monstrous neither?

TROILUS
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.

CRESSIDA
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?

TROILUS
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
for his truth, and what truth can speak truest, not truer
than Troilus.

CRESSIDA
Will you walk in, my lord?
Enter Pandarus

PANDARUS
What, blushing still? Have you not done
talking yet?

CRESSIDA
Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to
you.

PANDARUS
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.

TROILUS
You know now your hostages; your uncle's
word and my firm faith.

PANDARUS
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.

CRESSIDA
Boldness comes to me now, and brings me heart:
Prince Troilus, I have loved you night and day
For many weary months.

TROILUS
Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?

CRESSIDA
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.

TROILUS
And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
He kisses her

PANDARUS
Pretty, i'faith.

CRESSIDA
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.

TROILUS
Your leave, sweet Cressid!

PANDARUS
Leave? An you take leave till tomorrow
morning –

CRESSIDA
Pray you, content you.

TROILUS
What offends you, lady?

CRESSIDA
Sir, mine own company.

TROILUS
You cannot shun yourself.

CRESSIDA
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.

TROILUS
Well know they what they speak that speak so wisely.

CRESSIDA
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.

TROILUS
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!
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.

CRESSIDA
In that I'll war with you.

TROILUS
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 –
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.

CRESSIDA
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
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.’

PANDARUS
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.’

TROILUS
Amen.

CRESSIDA
Amen.

PANDARUS
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!
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene III
Flourish. Enter Agamemnon, Ulysses, Diomedes,
Nestor, Ajax, Menelaus, and Calchas

CALCHAS
Now, princes, for the service I have done you,
Th' advantage of the time prompts me aloud
To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind
That, through the sight I bear in things to come,
I have abandoned Troy, left my possession,
Incurred a traitor's name, exposed myself,
From certain and possessed conveniences,
To doubtful fortunes; sequest'ring from me all
That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition
Made tame and most familiar to my nature;
And here, to do you service, am become
As new into the world, strange, unacquainted.
I do beseech you, as in way of taste,
To give me now a little benefit,
Out of those many registered in promise,
Which, you say, live to come in my behalf.

AGAMEMNON
What wouldst thou of us, Trojan? Make demand.

CALCHAS
You have a Trojan prisoner, called Antenor,
Yesterday took; Troy holds him very dear.
Oft have you – often have you thanks therefore –
Desired my Cressid in right great exchange,
Whom Troy hath still denied; but this Antenor,
I know, is such a wrest in their affairs
That their negotiations all must slack,
Wanting his manage; and they will almost
Give us a prince of blood, a son of Priam,
In change of him. Let him be sent, great princes,
And he shall buy my daughter; and her presence
Shall quite strike off all service I have done
In most accepted pain.

AGAMEMNON
Let Diomedes bear him,
And bring us Cressid hither; Calchas shall have
What he requests of us. Good Diomed,
Furnish you fairly for this interchange;
Withal bring word if Hector will tomorrow
Be answered in his challenge. Ajax is ready.

DIOMEDES
This shall I undertake, and 'tis a burden
Which I am proud to bear.
Exeunt Diomedes and Calchas
Achilles and Patroclus stand in the entrance to their
tent

ULYSSES
Achilles stands i'th' entrance of his tent.
Please it our general to pass strangely by him,
As if he were forgot; and, princes all,
Lay negligent and loose regard upon him.
I will come last – 'tis like he'll question me
Why such unplausive eyes are bent, why turned on him;
If so, I have derision medicinable
To use between your strangeness and his pride,
Which his own will shall have desire to drink.
It may do good: pride hath no other glass
To show itself but pride; for supple knees
Feed arrogance, and are the proud man's fees.

AGAMEMNON
We'll execute your purpose, and put on
A form of strangeness as we pass along –
So do each lord, and either greet him not,
Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more
Than if not looked on. I will lead the way.

ACHILLES
What, comes the general to speak with me?
You know my mind; I'll fight no more 'gainst Troy.

AGAMEMNON
What says Achilles? Would he aught with us?

NESTOR
Would you, my lord, aught with the general?

ACHILLES
No.

NESTOR
Nothing, my lord.

AGAMEMNON
The better.
Exeunt Agamemnon and Nestor

ACHILLES
Good day, good day.

MENELAUS
How do you? How do you?
Exit

ACHILLES
What, does the cuckold scorn me?

AJAX
How now, Patroclus?

ACHILLES
Good morrow, Ajax.

AJAX
Ha?

ACHILLES
Good morrow.

AJAX
Ay, and good next day too.
Exit

ACHILLES
What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?

PATROCLUS
They pass by strangely. They were used to bend,
To send their smiles before them to Achilles;
To come as humbly as they use to creep
To holy altars.

ACHILLES
What, am I poor of late?
'Tis certain, greatness, once fallen out with fortune,
Must fall out with men too. What the declined is,
He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
As feel in his own fall; for men, like butterflies,
Show not their mealy wings but to the summer,
And not a man, for being simply man,
Hath any honour, but honoured for those honours
That are without him, as place, riches, and favour –
Prizes of accident as oft as merit –
Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
The love that leaned on them, as slippery too,
Do one pluck down another, and together
Die in the fall. But 'tis not so with me:
Fortune and I are friends. I do enjoy
At ample point all that I did possess,
Save these men's looks; who do, methinks, find out
Something not worth in me such rich beholding
As they have often given. Here is Ulysses:
I'll interrupt his reading –
How now, Ulysses!

ULYSSES
Now, great Thetis' son.

ACHILLES
What are you reading?

ULYSSES
A strange fellow here
Writes me that man – how dearly ever parted,
How much in having, or without or in –
Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
As when his virtues shining upon others
Heat them, and they retort that heat again
To the first giver.

ACHILLES
This is not strange, Ulysses.
The beauty that is borne here in the face
The bearer knows not, but commends itself
To others' eyes; nor doth the eye itself,
That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
Not going from itself, but eye to eye opposed
Salutes each other with each other's form.
For speculation turns not to itself
Till it hath travelled, and is mirrored there
Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.

ULYSSES
I do not strain at the position –
It is familiar – but at the author's drift,
Who in his circumstance expressly proves
That no man is the lord of any thing,
Though in and of him there is much consisting,
Till he communicate his parts to others;
Nor doth he of himself know them for aught
Till he behold them formed in th' applause
Where they're extended; who like an arch reverb'rate
The voice again; or, like a gate of steel
Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this,
And apprehended here immediately
The unknown Ajax. Heavens, what a man is there!
A very horse, that has he knows not what!
Nature, what things there are
Most abject in regard, and dear in use!
What things again most dear in the esteem,
And poor in worth! Now shall we see tomorrow –
An act that very chance doth throw upon him –
Ajax renowned. O heavens, what some men do,
While some men leave to do!
How some men creep in skittish Fortune's hall,
Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is fasting in his wantonness!
To see these Grecian lords! – Why, even already
They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder,
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
And great Troy shrinking.

ACHILLES
I do believe it; for they passed by me
As misers do by beggars, neither gave to me
Good word nor look. What, are my deeds forgot?

ULYSSES
Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-sized monster of ingratitudes:
Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devoured
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honour bright: to have done is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
In monumental mockery. Take the instant way;
For honour travels in a strait so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast. Keep then the path,
For emulation hath a thousand sons,
That one by one pursue; if you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an entered tide, they all rush by
And leave you hindmost;
Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
O'er-run and trampled on. Then what they do in present,
Though less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours;
For time is like a fashionable host,
That slightly shakes his parting guest by th' hand,
And with his arms outstretched, as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer: the welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not virtue seek
Remuneration for the thing it was;
For beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all, with one consent, praise new-born gauds,
Though they are made and moulded of things past,
And give to dust that is a little gilt
More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.
The present eye praises the present object:
Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax,
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
Than what stirs not. The cry went once on thee,
And still it might, and yet it may again,
If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselves,
And drave great Mars to faction.

ACHILLES
Of this my privacy
I have strong reasons.

ULYSSES
But 'gainst your privacy
The reasons are more potent and heroical.
'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
With one of Priam's daughters –

ACHILLES
Ha? Known?

ULYSSES
Is that a wonder?
The providence that's in a watchful state
Knows almost every grain of Pluto's gold,
Finds bottom in th' uncomprehensive deeps,
Keeps place with thought, and almost, like the gods,
Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
There is a mystery – with whom relation
Durst never meddle – in the soul of state,
Which hath an operation more divine
Than breath or pen can give expressure to.
All the commerce that you have had with Troy
As perfectly is ours as yours, my lord;
And better would it fit Achilles much
To throw down Hector than Polyxena.
But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
When fame shall in our islands sound her trump,
And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing:
‘ Great Hector's sister did Achilles win,
But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.’
Farewell, my lord: I as your lover speak;
The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.
Exit

PATROCLUS
To this effect, Achilles, have I moved you.
A woman impudent and mannish grown
Is not more loathed than an effeminate man
In time of action. I stand condemned for this;
They think my little stomach to the war,
And your great love to me, restrains you thus.
Sweet, rouse yourself, and the weak wanton Cupid
Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
And, like a dewdrop from the lion's mane,
Be shook to air.

ACHILLES
Shall Ajax fight with Hector?

PATROCLUS
Ay, and perhaps receive much honour by him.

ACHILLES
I see my reputation is at stake.
My fame is shrewdly gored.

PATROCLUS
O, then, beware;
Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.
Omission to do what is necessary
Seals a commission to a blank of danger,
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we sit idly in the sun.

ACHILLES
Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus.
I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him
T' invite the Trojan lords after the combat
To see us here unarmed. I have a woman's longing,
An appetite that I am sick withal,
To see great Hector in his weeds of peace,
(Enter Thersites)
To talk with him, and to behold his visage
Even to my full of view. – A labour saved!

THERSITES
A wonder!

ACHILLES
What?

THERSITES
Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for
himself.

ACHILLES
How so?

THERSITES
He must fight singly tomorrow with Hector,
and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling
that he raves in saying nothing.

ACHILLES
How can that be?

THERSITES
Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, a
stride and a stand; ruminates like an hostess that hath
no arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning;
bites his lip with a politic regard, as who should say
there were wit in his head, an 'twould out – and so
there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint,
which will not show without knocking. The man's
undone for ever, for if Hector break not his neck
i'th' combat, he'll break't himself in vainglory. He
knows not me: I said ‘ Good morrow, Ajax ’ and he
replies ‘ Thanks, Agamemnon.’ – What think you of
this man, that takes me for the general? He's grown a
very land-fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of
opinion! A man may wear it on both sides, like a leather
jerkin.

ACHILLES
Thou must be my ambassador to him,
Thersites.

THERSITES
Who, I? Why, he'll answer nobody, he
professes not answering; speaking is for beggars; he
wears his tongue in's arms. I will put on his presence:
let Patroclus make demands to me, you shall see
the pageant of Ajax.

ACHILLES
To him, Patroclus. Tell him I humbly desire
the valiant Ajax to invite the most valorous Hector to
come unarmed to my tent, and to procure safe-conduct
for his person of the magnanimous and most
illustrious six-or-seven-times-honoured captain-general
of the Grecian army, Agamemnon, et cetera.
Do this.

PATROCLUS
Jove bless great Ajax.

THERSITES
Hum!

PATROCLUS
I come from the worthy Achilles –

THERSITES
Ha?

PATROCLUS
Who most humbly desires you to invite
Hector to his tent –

THERSITES
Hum!

PATROCLUS
And to procure safe-conduct from
Agamemnon.

THERSITES
Agamemnon?

PATROCLUS
Ay, my lord.

THERSITES
Ha!

PATROCLUS
What say you to't?

THERSITES
God buy you, with all my heart.

PATROCLUS
Your answer, sir.

THERSITES
If tomorrow be a fair day, by eleven o'clock it
will go one way or other; howsoever, he shall pay for
me ere he has me.

PATROCLUS
Your answer, sir.

THERSITES
Fare you well, with all my heart.

ACHILLES
Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?

THERSITES
No, but he's out o' tune thus. What music
will be in him when Hector has knocked out his brains,
I know not; but I am sure, none, unless the fiddler
Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on.

ACHILLES
Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.

THERSITES
Let me carry another to his horse, for that's
the more capable creature.

ACHILLES
My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirred,
And I myself see not the bottom of it.
Exeunt Achilles and Patroclus

THERSITES
Would the fountain of your mind were clear
again, that I might water an ass at it! I had rather be a
tick in a sheep than such a valiant ignorance.
Exit
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL