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by William Shakespeare


PRIAMKing of Troy

His sons:

MARGARELONa bastard son of Priam

Trojan commanders:

CALCHASa Trojan priesttaking part with the Greeks
PANDARUSuncle to Cressida
AGAMEMNONthe Greek general
MENELAUShis brother

Greek commanders:

THERSITESa deformed and scurrilous Greek
ALEXANDERservant to Cressida
SERVANT to Troilus
SERVANT to Paris
SERVANT to Diomedes

HELENwife to Menelaus
ANDROMACHEwife to Hector
CASSANDRAdaughter to Priama prophetess
CRESSIDAdaughter to Calchas

Trojan and Greek Soldiersand Attendants

Troy and the Greek camp before it


In Troythere lies the scene. From isles of Greece
The princes orgilloustheir high blood chaf'd
Have to the port of Athens sent their ships

Fraught with the ministers and instruments
Of cruel war. Sixty and nine that wore
Their crownets regal from th' Athenian bay
Put forth toward Phrygia; and their vow is made
To ransack Troywithin whose strong immures
The ravish'd HelenMenelaus' queen
With wanton Paris sleeps-and that's the quarrel.
To Tenedos they come
And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
Their war-like fraughtage. Now on Dardan plains
The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city
Dardanand TymbriaHeliasChetasTroien
And Antenorideswith massy staples
And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts
Sperr up the sons of Troy.
Now expectationtickling skittish spirits
On one and other sideTroyan and Greek
Sets all on hazard-and hither am I come
A Prologue arm'dbut not in confidence
Of author's pen or actor's voicebut suited
In like conditions as our argument
To tell youfair beholdersthat our play
Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils
Beginning in the middle; starting thence away
To what may be digested in a play.
Like or find fault; do as your pleasures are;
Now good or bad'tis but the chance of war.


Troy. Before PRIAM'S palace


TROILUS. 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 Troyan that is master of his heart
Let him to field; Troilusalashath none!

PANDARUS. Will this gear ne'er be mended?

TROILUS. The Greeks are strongand skilful to their strength
Fierce to their skilland to their fierceness valiant;
But I am weaker than a woman's tear
Tamer than sleepfonder than ignorance
Less valiant than the virgin in the night
And skilless as unpractis'd infancy.

PANDARUS. WellI 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 grinding.

TROILUS. Have I not tarried?

PANDARUS. Aythe grinding; but you must tarry the bolting.
TROILUS. Have I not tarried?
PANDARUS. Aythe bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.
TROILUS. Still have I tarried.
PANDARUS. Ayto the leavening; but here's yet in the word

'hereafter' the kneadingthe making of the cakethe heating
of the ovenand the baking; nayyou must stay the cooling too
or you may chance to burn your lips.

TROILUS. Patience herselfwhat goddess e'er she be
Doth lesser blench at suff'rance than I do.
At Priam's royal table do I sit;
And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughtsSo
traitorthen she comes when she is thence.

PANDARUS. Wellshe look'd yesternight fairer than ever I saw her
lookor any woman else.

TROILUS. I was about to tell thee: when my heart
As wedged with a sighwould rive in twain
Lest Hector or my father should perceive me
I haveas when the sun doth light a storm
Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile.
But sorrow that is couch'd in seeming gladness
Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.

PANDARUS. An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's-well
go to- there were no more comparison between the women. Butfor
my partshe is my kinswoman; I would notas they term it
praise herbut I would somebody had heard her talk yesterdayas
I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit; but

TROILUS. O Pandarus! I tell theePandarusWhen
I do tell thee there my hopes lie drown'd
Reply not in how many fathoms deep
They lie indrench'd. I tell thee I am mad
In Cressid's love. Thou answer'st 'She is fair'Pourest
in the open ulcer of my heartHer
eyesher hairher cheekher gaither voice
Handlest in thy discourse. Othat her hand
In whose comparison all whites are ink
Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure
The cygnet's down is harshand spirit of sense
Hard as the palm of ploughman! This thou tell'st me
As true thou tell'st mewhen I say I love her;
Butsaying thusinstead of oil and balm
Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
The knife that made it.

PANDARUS. I speak no more than truth.
TROILUS. Thou dost not speak so much.
PANDARUS. FaithI'll not meddle in it. Let her be as she is: if

she be fair'tis the better for her; an she be notshe has the

mends in her own hands.
TROILUS. Good Pandarus! How nowPandarus!
PANDARUS. I have had my labour for my travailill thought on of

her and ill thought on of you; gone between and betweenbut

small thanks for my labour.
TROILUS. Whatart thou angryPandarus? Whatwith me?
PANDARUS. Because she's kin to metherefore she's not so fair as

Helen. An she were not kin to meshe would be as fair a Friday
as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not an she were a
blackamoor; 'tis all one to me.

TROILUS. Say I she is not fair?

PANDARUS. 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 partI'll meddle nor make no
more i' th' matter.

TROILUS. Pandarus!

TROILUS. Sweet Pandarus!
PANDARUS. Pray youspeak no more to me: I will leave all
as I found itand there an end.
Exit. Sound alarum

TROILUS. Peaceyou ungracious clamours! Peacerude sounds!
Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair
When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
I cannot fight upon this argument;
It is too starv'd a subject for my sword.
But Pandarus-O godshow do you plague me!
I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar;
And he's as tetchy to be woo'd to woo
As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
Tell meApollofor thy Daphne's love
What Cressid iswhat Pandarand what we?
Her bed is India; there she liesa pearl;
Between our Ilium and where she resides
Let it be call'd the wild and wand'ring flood;
Ourself the merchantand this sailing Pandar
Our doubtful hopeour convoyand our bark.

Alarum. Enter AENEAS

AENEAS. How nowPrince Troilus! Wherefore not afield?

TROILUS. Because not there. This woman's answer sorts
For womanish it is to be from thence.
What newsAeneasfrom the field to-day?

AENEAS. That Paris is returned homeand hurt.
TROILUS. By whomAeneas?
AENEAS. Troilusby Menelaus.
TROILUS. Let Paris bleed: 'tis but a scar to scorn;

Paris is gor'd with Menelaus' horn.

AENEAS. Hark what good sport is out of town to-day!
TROILUS. Better at homeif 'would I might' were 'may.'

But to the sport abroad. Are you bound thither?
AENEAS. In all swift haste.
TROILUS. Comego we then together.


Troy. A street

Enter CRESSIDA and her man ALEXANDER

CRESSIDA. Who were those went by?
ALEXANDER. Queen Hecuba and Helen.
CRESSIDA. And whither go they?
ALEXANDER. Up to the eastern tower

Whose height commands as subject all the vale
To see the battle. Hectorwhose patience
Is as a virtue fix'dto-day was mov'd.
He chid Andromacheand struck his armourer;
Andlike as there were husbandry in war
Before the sun rose he was harness'd light
And to the field goes he; where every flower
Did as a prophet weep what it foresaw
In Hector's wrath.

CRESSIDA. What was his cause of anger?
ALEXANDER. The noise goesthis: there is among the Greeks
A lord of Troyan bloodnephew to Hector;

They call him Ajax.

CRESSIDA. Good; and what of him?

ALEXANDER. They say he is a very man per se
And stands alone.

CRESSIDA. So do all menunless they are drunksickor have no

ALEXANDER. This manladyhath robb'd many beasts of their
particular additions: he is as valiant as a lionchurlish as the
bearslow as the elephant-a man into whom nature hath so crowded
humours that his valour is crush'd into follyhis folly sauced
with discretion. There is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a
glimpse ofnor any man an attaint but he carries some stain of
it; he is melancholy without cause and merry against the hair; he
hath the joints of every thing; but everything so out of joint
that he is a gouty Briareusmany hands and no useor purblind
Argusall eyes and no sight.

CRESSIDA. But how should this manthat makes me smilemake Hector

ALEXANDER. They say he yesterday cop'd Hector in the battle and
struck him downthe disdain and shame whereof hath ever since
kept Hector fasting and waking.


CRESSIDA. Who comes here?

ALEXANDER. Madamyour uncle Pandarus.

CRESSIDA. Hector's a gallant man.

ALEXANDER. As may be in the worldlady.

PANDARUS. What's that? What's that?

CRESSIDA. Good morrowuncle Pandarus.

PANDARUS. Good morrowcousin Cressid. What do you talk of?- Good
morrowAlexander.-How do youcousin? When were you at Ilium?

CRESSIDA. This morninguncle.

PANDARUS. What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector arm'd
and gone ere you came to Ilium? Helen was not upwas she?

CRESSIDA. Hector was gone; but Helen was not up.

PANDARUS. E'en so. Hector was stirring early.

CRESSIDA. That were we talking ofand of his anger.

PANDARUS. Was he angry?

CRESSIDA. So he says here.

PANDARUS. Truehe was so; I know the cause too; he'll lay about
him todayI can tell them that. And there's Troilus will not
come far behind him; let them take heed of TroilusI can tell
them that too.

CRESSIDA. Whatis he angry too?

PANDARUS. WhoTroilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.

CRESSIDA. O Jupiter! there's no comparison.

PANDARUS. Whatnot between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a man
if you see him?

CRESSIDA. Ayif I ever saw him before and knew him.

PANDARUS. WellI say Troilus is Troilus.

CRESSIDA. Then you say as I sayfor I am sure he is not Hector.

PANDARUS. Nonor Hector is not Troilus in some degrees.

CRESSIDA. 'Tis just to each of them: he is himself.

PANDARUS. Himself! Alaspoor Troilus! I would he were!

CRESSIDA. So he is.

PANDARUS. Condition I had gone barefoot to India.

CRESSIDA. He is not Hector.

PANDARUS. Himself! nohe's not himself. Would 'a were himself!
Wellthe gods are above; time must friend or end. WellTroilus
well! I would my heart were in her body! NoHector is not a
better man than Troilus.

CRESSIDA. Excuse me.

PANDARUS. He is elder.

CRESSIDA. Pardon mepardon me.

PANDARUS. Th' other's not come to't; you shall tell me another tale
when th' other's come to't. Hector shall not have his wit this

CRESSIDA. He shall not need it if he have his own.

PANDARUS. Nor his qualities.

CRESSIDA. No matter.

PANDARUS. Nor his beauty.

CRESSIDA. 'Twould not become him: his own's better.

PANDARUS. YOU have no judgmentniece. Helen herself swore th'
other day that Troilusfor a brown favourfor so 'tisI must
confess- not brown neither

CRESSIDA. Nobut brown.

PANDARUS. Faithto say truthbrown and not brown.

CRESSIDA. To say the truthtrue and not true.

PANDARUS. She prais'd his complexion above Paris.

CRESSIDA. WhyParis hath colour enough.

PANDARUS. So he has.

CRESSIDA. Then Troilus should have too much. If she prais'd him
abovehis complexion is higher than his; he having colour
enoughand the other higheris too flaming praise for a good
complexion. I had as lief Helen's golden tongue had commended
Troilus for a copper nose.

PANDARUS. I swear to you I think Helen loves him better than Paris.

CRESSIDA. Then she's a merry Greek indeed.

PANDARUS. NayI am sure she does. She came to him th' other day
into the compass'd window-and you know he has not past three or
four hairs on his chin

CRESSIDA. Indeed a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his
particulars therein to a total.

PANDARUS. Whyhe is very youngand yet will he within three pound
lift as much as his brother Hector.

CRESSIDA. Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?

PANDARUS. But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she came and
puts me her white hand to his cloven chin

CRESSIDA. Juno have mercy! How came it cloven?

PANDARUS. Whyyou know'tis dimpled. I think his smiling becomes
him better than any man in all Phrygia.

CRESSIDA. Ohe smiles valiantly!

PANDARUS. Does he not?

CRESSIDA. O yesan 'twere a cloud in autumn!

PANDARUS. Whygo tothen! But to prove to you that Helen loves

CRESSIDA. Troilus will stand to the proofif you'll prove it so.

PANDARUS. Troilus! Whyhe esteems her no more than I esteem an
addle egg.

CRESSIDA. If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle
headyou would eat chickens i' th' shell.

PANDARUS. I cannot choose but laugh to think how she tickled his
chin. Indeedshe has a marvell's white handI must needs

CRESSIDA. Without the rack.

PANDARUS. And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.

CRESSIDA. Alaspoor chin! Many a wart is richer.

PANDARUS. But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba laugh'd that
her eyes ran o'er.

CRESSIDA. With millstones.

PANDARUS. And Cassandra laugh'd.

CRESSIDA. But there was a more temperate fire under the pot of her
eyes. Did her eyes run o'er too?

PANDARUS. And Hector laugh'd.

CRESSIDA. At what was all this laughing?

PANDARUS. Marryat the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus'

CRESSIDA. An't had been a green hair I should have laugh'd too.

PANDARUS. They laugh'd not so much at the hair as at his pretty

CRESSIDA. What was his answer?

PANDARUS. Quoth she 'Here's but two and fifty hairs on your chin
and one of them is white.'

CRESSIDA. This is her question.

PANDARUS. That's true; make no question of that. 'Two and fifty
hairs' quoth he 'and one white. That white hair is my father
and all the rest are his sons.' 'Jupiter!' quoth she 'which of
these hairs is Paris my husband?' 'The forked one' quoth he
'pluck't out and give it him.' But there was such laughing! and
Helen so blush'dand Paris so chaf'd; and all the rest so
laugh'd that it pass'd.

CRESSIDA. So let it now; for it has been a great while going by.

PANDARUS. WellcousinI told you a thing yesterday; think on't.


PANDARUS. I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep youand 'twere a
man born in April.

CRESSIDA. And I'll spring up in his tearsan 'twere a nettle
against May. [Sound a retreat]

PANDARUS. Hark! they are coming from the field. Shall we stand up
here and see them as they pass toward Ilium? Good niecedo
sweet niece Cressida.

CRESSIDA. At your pleasure.

PANDARUS. Hereherehere's an excellent place; here we may see
most bravely. I'll tell you them all by their names as they pass
by; but mark Troilus above the rest.

AENEAS passes

CRESSIDA. Speak not so loud.

PANDARUS. That's Aeneas. Is not that a brave man? He's one of the
flowers of TroyI can tell you. But mark Troilus; you shall see

ANTENOR passes

CRESSIDA. Who's that?

PANDARUS. That's Antenor. He has a shrewd witI can tell you; and
he's a man good enough; he's one o' th' soundest judgments in
Troywhosoeverand a proper man of person. When comes Troilus?
I'll show you Troilus anon. If he see meyou shall see him nod
at me.

CRESSIDA. Will he give you the nod?

PANDARUS. You shall see.

CRESSIDA. If he dothe rich shall have more.

HECTOR passes

PANDARUS. That's Hectorthatthatlook youthat; there's a
fellow! Go thy wayHector! There's a brave manniece. O brave
Hector! Look how he looks. There's a countenance! Is't not a
brave man?

CRESSIDA. Oa brave man!

PANDARUS. Is 'a not? It does a man's heart good. Look you what
hacks are on his helmet! Look you yonderdo you see? Look you
there. There's no jesting; there's laying on; take't off who
willas they say. There be hacks.

CRESSIDA. Be those with swords?

PANDARUS. Swords! anythinghe cares not; an the devil come to him
it's all one. By God's lidit does one's heart good. Yonder
comes Parisyonder comes Paris.

PARIS passes

Look ye yonderniece; is't not a gallant man toois't not? Why
this is brave now. Who said he came hurt home to-day? He's not
hurt. Whythis will do Helen's heart good nowha! Would I could
see Troilus now! You shall see Troilus anon.

HELENUS passes

CRESSIDA. Who's that?
PANDARUS. That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's

Helenus. I think he went not forth to-day. That's Helenus.
CRESSIDA. Can Helenus fightuncle?
PANDARUS. Helenus! no. Yeshe'll fight indifferent well. I marvel

where Troilus is. Hark! do you not hear the people cry 'Troilus'?
Helenus is a priest.
CRESSIDA. What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

TROILUS passes

PANDARUS. Where? yonder? That's Deiphobus. 'Tis Troilus. There's a

manniece. Hem! Brave Troilusthe prince of chivalry!
CRESSIDA. Peacefor shamepeace!
PANDARUS. Mark him; note him. O brave Troilus! Look well upon him

niece; look you how his sword is bloodiedand his helm more
hack'd than Hector's; and how he looksand how he goes! O
admirable youth! he never saw three and twenty. Go thy way
Troilusgo thy way. Had I a sister were a grace or a daughter a
goddesshe should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris? Paris
is dirt to him; andI warrantHelento changewould give an
eye to boot.

CRESSIDA. Here comes more.

Common soldiers pass

PANDARUS. Assesfoolsdolts! chaff and branchaff and bran!
porridge after meat! I could live and die in the eyes of Troilus.
Ne'er lookne'er look; the eagles are gone. Crows and daws
crows and daws! I had rather be such a man as Troilus than
Agamemnon and all Greece.

CRESSIDA. There is amongst the Greeks Achillesa better man than

PANDARUS. Achilles? A draymana portera very camel!
CRESSIDA. Wellwell.
PANDARUS. Wellwell! Whyhave you any discretion? Have you any

eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not birthbeautygood
liberalityand such likethe spice and salt that season a man?

CRESSIDA. Aya minc'd man; and then to be bak'd with no date in
the piefor then the man's date is out.
PANDARUS. You are such a woman! A man knows not at what ward you

CRESSIDA. Upon my backto defend my belly; upon my witto defend
my wiles; upon my secrecyto defend mine honesty; my maskto
defend my beauty; and youto defend all these; and at all these
wards I lie atat a thousand watches.

PANDARUS. Say one of your watches.

CRESSIDA. NayI'll watch you for that; and that's one of the
chiefest of them too. If I cannot ward what I would not have hit
I can watch you for telling how I took the blow; unless it swell
past hidingand then it's past watching

PANDARUS. You are such another!


BOY. Sirmy lord would instantly speak with you.
BOY. At your own house; there he unarms him.
PANDARUS. Good boytell him I come. Exit Boy

I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye wellgood niece.
CRESSIDA. Adieuuncle.
PANDARUS. I will be with younieceby and by.
CRESSIDA. To bringuncle.
PANDARUS. Aya token from Troilus.
CRESSIDA. By the same tokenyou are a bawd.


Wordsvowsgiftstearsand love's full sacrifice
He offers in another's enterprise;
But more in Troilus thousand-fold I see
Than in the glass of Pandar's praise may be
Yet hold I off. Women are angelswooing:
Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.
That she belov'd knows nought that knows not this:
Men prize the thing ungain'd more than it is.
That she was never yet that ever knew
Love got so sweet as when desire did sue;
Therefore this maxim out of love I teach:
Achievement is command; ungain'dbeseech.
Then though my heart's content firm love doth bear
Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.


The Grecian camp. Before AGAMEMNON'S tent


What grief hath set these jaundies o'er your cheeks?
The ample proposition that hope makes
In all designs begun on earth below
Fails in the promis'd largeness; checks and disasters
Grow in the veins of actions highest rear'd
As knotsby the conflux of meeting sap
Infects the sound pineand diverts his grain
Tortive and errant from his course of growth.
Norprincesis it matter new to us
That we come short of our suppose so far
That after seven years' siege yet Troy walls stand;
Sith every action that hath gone before
Whereof we have recordtrial did draw
Bias and thwartnot answering the aim
And that unbodied figure of the thought
That gave't surmised shape. Why thenyou princes
Do you with cheeks abash'd behold our works
And call them shameswhich areindeednought else
But the protractive trials of great Jove
To find persistive constancy in men;
The fineness of which metal is not found
In fortune's love? For then the bold and coward
The wise and foolthe artist and unread
The hard and softseem all affin'd and kin.
But in the wind and tempest of her frown

Distinctionwith a broad and powerful fan

Puffing at allwinnows the light away;

And what hath mass or matter by itself

Lies rich in virtue and unmingled.
NESTOR. With due observance of thy godlike seat

Great AgamemnonNestor shall apply

Thy latest words. In the reproof of chance

Lies the true proof of men. The sea being smooth

How many shallow bauble boats dare sail

Upon her patient breastmaking their way

With those of nobler bulk!

But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage

The gentle Thetisand anon behold

The strong-ribb'd bark through liquid mountains cut

Bounding between the two moist elements

Like Perseus' horse. Where's then the saucy boat

Whose weak untimber'd sides but even now

Co-rivall'd greatness? Either to harbour fled

Or made a toast for Neptune. Even so

Doth valour's show and valour's worth divide

In storms of fortune; for in her ray and brightness

The herd hath more annoyance by the breeze

Than by the tiger; but when the splitting wind

Makes flexible the knees of knotted oaks

And flies fled under shade-whythen the thing of courage

As rous'd with ragewith rage doth sympathise

And with an accent tun'd in self-same key

Retorts to chiding fortune.
ULYSSES. Agamemnon

Thou great commandernerve and bone of Greece

Heart of our numberssoul and only spirit

In whom the tempers and the minds of all

Should be shut up-hear what Ulysses speaks.

Besides the applause and approbation

The which[To AGAMEMNON] most mightyfor thy place and sway

[To NESTOR] Andthou most reverendfor thy stretch'd-out life

I give to both your speeches- which were such

As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece

Should hold up high in brass; and such again

As venerable Nestorhatch'd in silver

Should with a bond of airstrong as the axle-tree

On which heaven ridesknit all the Greekish ears

To his experienc'd tongue-yet let it please both

Thou greatand wiseto hear Ulysses speak.
AGAMEMNON. SpeakPrince of Ithaca; and be't of less expect

That matter needlessof importless burden

Divide thy lips than we are confident

When rank Thersites opes his mastic jaws

We shall hear musicwitand oracle.
ULYSSES. Troyyet upon his basishad been down

And the great Hector's sword had lack'd a master

But for these instances:

The specialty of rule hath been neglected;

And look how many Grecian tents do stand

Hollow upon this plainso many hollow factions.

When that the general is not like the hive

To whom the foragers shall all repair

What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded

Th' unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.

The heavens themselvesthe planetsand this centre

Observe degreepriorityand place


Officeand customin all line of order;

And therefore is the glorious planet Sol

In noble eminence enthron'd and spher'd
Amidst the otherwhose med'cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil
And postslike the commandment of a king
Sans checkto good and bad. But when the planets
In evil mixture to disorder wander
What plagues and what portentswhat mutiny
What raging of the seashaking of earth
Commotion in the winds! Frightschangeshorrors
Divert and crackrend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixture! Owhen degree is shak'd
Which is the ladder of all high designs
The enterprise is sick! How could communities
Degrees in schoolsand brotherhoods in cities
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores
The primogenity and due of birth
Prerogative of agecrownssceptreslaurels
But by degreestand in authentic place?
Take but degree awayuntune that string
And hark what discord follows! Each thing melts
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores
And make a sop of all this solid globe;
Strength should be lord of imbecility
And the rude son should strike his father dead;
Force should be right; orratherright and wrongBetween
whose endless jar justice residesShould
lose their namesand so should justice too.
Then everything includes itself in power
Power into willwill into appetite;
And appetitean universal wolf
So doubly seconded with will and power
Must make perforce an universal prey
And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon
This chaoswhen degree is suffocate
Follows the choking.
And this neglection of degree it is
That by a pace goes backwardwith a purpose
It hath to climb. The general's disdain'd
By him one step belowhe by the next
That next by him beneath; so ever step
Exampl'd by the first pace that is sick
Of his superiorgrows to an envious fever
Of pale and bloodless emulation.
And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot
Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length
Troy in our weakness standsnot in her strength.

NESTOR. Most wisely hath Ulysses here discover'd
The fever whereof all our power is sick.
AGAMEMNON. The nature of the sickness foundUlysses
What is the remedy?

ULYSSES. The great Achilleswhom opinion crowns
The sinew and the forehand of our host
Having his ear full of his airy fame
Grows dainty of his worthand in his tent
Lies mocking our designs; with him Patroclus
Upon a lazy bed the livelong day
Breaks scurril jests;
And with ridiculous and awkward actionWhich
slandererhe imitation callsHe
pageants us. Sometimegreat Agamemnon
Thy topless deputation he puts on;
And like a strutting player whose conceit

Lies in his hamstringand doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldageSuch
to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming
He acts thy greatness in; and when he speaks
'Tis like a chime a-mending; with terms unsquar'd
Whichfrom the tongue of roaring Typhon dropp'd
Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff
The large Achilleson his press'd bed lolling
From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause;
Cries 'Excellent! 'tis Agamemnon just.
Now play me Nestor; hemand stroke thy beard
As he being drest to some oration.'
That's done-as near as the extremest ends
Of parallelsas like Vulcan and his wife;
Yet god Achilles still cries 'Excellent!
'Tis Nestor right. Now play him mePatroclus
Arming to answer in a night alarm.'
And thenforsooththe faint defects of age
Must be the scene of mirth: to cough and spit
Andwith a palsy-fumbling on his gorget
Shake in and out the rivet. And at this sport
Sir Valour dies; cries 'OenoughPatroclus;
Or give me ribs of steel! I shall split all
In pleasure of my spleen.' And in this fashion
All our abilitiesgiftsnaturesshapes
Severals and generals of grace exact
Excitements to the field or speech for truce
Success or losswhat is or is notserves
As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.

NESTOR. And in the imitation of these twainWho
as Ulysses saysopinion crowns
With an imperial voice-many are infect.
Ajax is grown self-will'd and bears his head
In such a reinin full as proud a place
As broad Achilles; keeps his tent like him;
Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war
Bold as an oracleand sets Thersites
A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint
To match us in comparisons with dirt
To weaken and discredit our exposure
How rank soever rounded in with danger.

ULYSSES. They tax our policy and call it cowardice
Count wisdom as no member of the war
Forestall prescienceand esteem no act
But that of hand. The still and mental parts
That do contrive how many hands shall strike
When fitness calls them onand knowby measure
Of their observant toilthe enemies' weightWhy
this hath not a finger's dignity:
They call this bed-workmapp'rycloset-war;
So that the ram that batters down the wall
For the great swinge and rudeness of his poise
They place before his hand that made the engine
Or those that with the fineness of their souls
By reason guide his execution.

NESTOR. Let this be grantedand Achilles' horse
Makes many Thetis' sons.

AGAMEMNON. What trumpet? LookMenelaus.
MENELAUS. From Troy.


AGAMEMNON. What would you fore our tent?
AENEAS. Is this great Agamemnon's tentI pray you?
AGAMEMNON. Even this.
AENEAS. May one that is a herald and a prince

Do a fair message to his kingly eyes?

AGAMEMNON. With surety stronger than Achilles' an
Fore all the Greekish headswhich with one voice
Call Agamemnon head and general.

AENEAS. Fair leave and large security. How may
A stranger to those most imperial looks
Know them from eyes of other mortals?


I askthat I might waken reverence
And bid the cheek be ready with a blush
Modest as Morning when she coldly eyes
The youthful Phoebus.
Which is that god in officeguiding men?
Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?

AGAMEMNON. This Troyan scorns usor the men of Troy
Are ceremonious courtiers.

AENEAS. Courtiers as freeas debonairunarm'd
As bending angels; that's their fame in peace.
But when they would seem soldiersthey have galls
Good armsstrong jointstrue swords; andJove's accord
Nothing so full of heart. But peaceAeneas
PeaceTroyan; lay thy finger on thy lips.
The worthiness of praise distains his worth
If that the prais'd himself bring the praise forth;
But what the repining enemy commends
That breath fame blows; that praisesole puretranscends.

AGAMEMNON. Siryou of Troycall you yourself Aeneas?
AENEAS. AyGreekthat is my name.
AGAMEMNON. What's your affairI pray you?
AENEAS. Sirpardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears.
AGAMEMNON. He hears nought privately that comes from Troy.
AENEAS. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper with him;

I bring a trumpet to awake his ear
To set his sense on the attentive bent
And then to speak.

AGAMEMNON. Speak frankly as the wind;
It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour.
That thou shalt knowTroyanhe is awake
He tells thee so himself.

AENEAS. Trumpetblow loud
Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents;
And every Greek of mettlelet him know
What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.

[Sound trumpet]
We havegreat Agamemnonhere in Troy
A prince called Hector-Priam is his fatherWho
in this dull and long-continued truce
Is resty grown; he bade me take a trumpet
And to this purpose speak: Kingsprinceslords!
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece
That holds his honour higher than his ease
That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril
That knows his valour and knows not his fear
That loves his mistress more than in confession
With truant vows to her own lips he loves
And dare avow her beauty and her worth
In other arms than hers-to him this challenge.
Hectorin view of Troyans and of Greeks

Shall make it good or do his best to do it:
He hath a lady wiserfairertruer
Than ever Greek did couple in his arms;
And will to-morrow with his trumpet call
Mid-way between your tents and walls of Troy
To rouse a Grecian that is true in love.
If any comeHector shall honour him;
If nonehe'll say in Troywhen he retires
The Grecian dames are sunburnt and not worth
The splinter of a lance. Even so much.

AGAMEMNON. This shall be told our loversLord Aeneas.
If none of them have soul in such a kind
We left them all at home. But we are soldiers;
And may that soldier a mere recreant prove
That means nothath notor is not in love.
If then one isor hathor means to be
That one meets Hector; if none elseI am he.

NESTOR. Tell him of Nestorone that was a man
When Hector's grandsire suck'd. He is old now;
But if there be not in our Grecian mould
One noble man that hath one spark of fire
To answer for his lovetell him from me
I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver
And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn
Andmeeting himwill tell him that my lady
Was fairer than his grandameand as chaste
As may be in the world. His youth in flood
I'll prove this truth with my three drops of blood.

AENEAS. Now heavens forfend such scarcity of youth!
AGAMEMNON. Fair Lord Aeneaslet me touch your hand;

To our pavilion shall I lead youfirst.
Achilles shall have word of this intent;
So shall each lord of Greecefrom tent to tent.
Yourself shall feast with us before you go
And find the welcome of a noble foe.

Exeunt all but ULYSSES and NESTOR
ULYSSES. Nestor!
NESTOR. What says Ulysses?
ULYSSES. I have a young conception in my brain;

Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
NESTOR. What is't?
ULYSSES. This 'tis:

Blunt wedges rive hard knots. The seeded pride
That hath to this maturity blown up
In rank Achilles must or now be cropp'd
Orsheddingbreed a nursery of like evil
To overbulk us all.

NESTOR. Welland how?

ULYSSES. This challenge that the gallant Hector sends
However it is spread in general name
Relates in purpose only to Achilles.

NESTOR. True. The purpose is perspicuous even as substance
Whose grossness little characters sum up;
Andin the publicationmake no strain
But that Achilleswere his brain as barren
As banks of Libya-thoughApollo knows
'Tis dry enough-will with great speed of judgment
Aywith celerityfind Hector's purpose
Pointing on him.

ULYSSES. And wake him to the answerthink you?

NESTOR. Why'tis most meet. Who may you else oppose
That can from Hector bring those honours off
If not Achilles? Though 't be a sportful combat

Yet in this trial much opinion dwells;
For here the Troyans taste our dear'st repute
With their fin'st palate; and trust to meUlysses
Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd
In this vile action; for the success
Although particularshall give a scantling
Of good or bad unto the general;
And in such indexesalthough small pricks
To their subsequent volumesthere is seen
The baby figure of the giant mas
Of things to come at large. It is suppos'd
He that meets Hector issues from our choice;
And choicebeing mutual act of all our souls
Makes merit her electionand doth boil
As 'twere from forth us alla man distill'd
Out of our virtues; who miscarrying
What heart receives from hence a conquering part
To steel a strong opinion to themselves?
Which entertain'dlimbs are his instruments
In no less working than are swords and bows
Directive by the limbs.

ULYSSES. Give pardon to my speech.
Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector.
Let uslike merchantsshow our foulest wares
And think perchance they'll sell; if notthe lustre
Of the better yet to show shall show the better
By showing the worst first. Do not consent
That ever Hector and Achilles meet;
For both our honour and our shame in this
Are dogg'd with two strange followers.

NESTOR. I see them not with my old eyes. What are they?

ULYSSES. What glory our Achilles shares from Hector
Were he not proudwe all should wear with him;
But he already is too insolent;
And it were better parch in Afric sun
Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes
Should he scape Hector fair. If he were foil'd
Whythen we do our main opinion crush
In taint of our best man. Nomake a lott'ry;
Andby devicelet blockish Ajax draw
The sort to fight with Hector. Among ourselves
Give him allowance for the better man;
For that will physic the great Myrmidon
Who broils in loud applauseand make him fall
His crestthat prouder than blue Iris bends.
If the dull brainless Ajax come safe off
We'll dress him up in voices; if he fail
Yet go we under our opinion still
That we have better men. Buthit or miss
Our project's life this shape of sense assumesAjax
employ'd plucks down Achilles' plumes.

NESTOR. NowUlyssesI begin to relish thy advice;
And I will give a taste thereof forthwith
To Agamemnon. Go we to him straight.
Two curs shall tame each other: pride alone
Must tarre the mastiffs onas 'twere their bone.




The Grecian camp

Enter Ajax and THERSITES

AJAX. Thersites!
THERSITES. Agamemnon-how if he had boils fullan overgenerally?
AJAX. Thersites!
THERSITES. And those boils did run-say so. Did not the general run

then? Were not that a botchy core?
AJAX. Dog!
THERSITES. Then there would come some matter from him;

I see none now.
AJAX. Thou bitch-wolf's soncanst thou not hear? Feelthen.
[Strikes him.]
THERSITES. The plague of Greece upon theethou mongrel beef-witted
AJAX. Speakthenthou whinid'st leavenspeak. I will beat thee
into handsomeness.

THERSITES. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness; but I
think thy horse will sooner con an oration than thou learn a
prayer without book. Thou canst strikecanst thou? A red murrain
o' thy jade's tricks!

AJAX. Toadstoollearn me the proclamation.
THERSITES. Dost thou think I have no sensethou strikest me thus?
AJAX. The proclamation!
THERSITES. Thou art proclaim'da foolI think.
AJAX. Do notporpentinedo not; my fingers itch.
THERSITES. I would thou didst itch from head to foot and I had the

scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in
Greece. When thou art forth in the incursionsthou strikest as
slow as another.

AJAX. I saythe proclamation.

THERSITES. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles; and
thou art as full of envy at his greatness as Cerberus is at
Proserpina's beauty-aythat thou bark'st at him.

AJAX. Mistress Thersites!
THERSITES. Thou shouldst strike him.
AJAX. Cobloaf!
THERSITES. He would pun thee into shivers with his fistas a

sailor breaks a biscuit.
AJAX. You whoreson cur! [Strikes him]
AJAX. Thou stool for a witch!
THERSITES. Aydodo; thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more

brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinico may tutor thee. You
scurvy valiant ass! Thou art here but to thrash Troyansand thou
art bought and sold among those of any wit like a barbarian
slave. If thou use to beat meI will begin at thy heel and tell
what thou art by inchesthou thing of no bowelsthou!

AJAX. You dog!
THERSITES. You scurvy lord!
AJAX. You cur! [Strikes him]
THERSITES. Mars his idiot! Dorudeness; docamel; dodo.


ACHILLES. Whyhow nowAjax! Wherefore do you thus?

How nowThersites! What's the matterman?
THERSITES. You see him theredo you?
ACHILLES. Ay; what's the matter?
THERSITES. Naylook upon him.
ACHILLES. So I do. What's the matter?
THERSITES. Naybut regard him well.
ACHILLES. Well! whyso I do.
THERSITES. But yet you look not well upon him; for who some ever

you take him to behe is Ajax.
ACHILLES. I know thatfool.
THERSITES. Aybut that fool knows not himself.
AJAX. Therefore I beat thee.
THERSITES. Lolololowhat modicums of wit he utters! His

evasions have ears thus long. I have bobb'd his brain more than
he has beat my bones. I will buy nine sparrows for a pennyand
his pia mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This
lordAchillesAjax-who wears his wit in his belly and his guts
in his head-I'll tell you what I say of him.

THERSITES. I say this Ajax-[AJAX offers to strike him]
ACHILLES. Naygood Ajax.
THERSITES. Has not so much witACHILLES.
NayI must hold you.
THERSITES. As will stop the eye of Helen's needlefor whom he

comes to fight.
ACHILLES. Peacefool.
THERSITES. I would have peace and quietnessbut the fool will not

he there; that he; look you there.
AJAX. O thou damned cur! I shallACHILLES.
Will you set your wit to a fool's?
THERSITES. NoI warrant youthe fool's will shame it.
PATROCLUS. Good wordsThersites.
ACHILLES. What's the quarrel?
AJAX. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of the

proclamationand he rails upon me.
THERSITES. I serve thee not.
AJAX. Wellgo togo to.
THERSITES. I serve here voluntary.
ACHILLES. Your last service was suff'rance; 'twas not voluntary. No

man is beaten voluntary. Ajax was here the voluntaryand you as
under an impress.

THERSITES. E'en so; a great deal of your wit too lies in your
sinewsor else there be liars. Hector shall have a great catch
an he knock out either of your brains: 'a were as good crack a
fusty nut with no kernel.

ACHILLES. Whatwith me tooThersites?

THERSITES. There's Ulysses and old Nestor-whose wit was mouldy ere
your grandsires had nails on their toes-yoke you like draught
oxenand make you plough up the wars.

ACHILLES. Whatwhat?
THERSITES. Yesgood sooth. To Achillesto AjaxtoAJAX.
I shall cut out your tongue.
THERSITES. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou

PATROCLUS. No more wordsThersites; peace!
THERSITES. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids meshall

ACHILLES. There's for youPatroclus.
THERSITES. I will see you hang'd like clotpoles ere I come any more

to your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirringand leave
the faction of fools.

PATROCLUS. A good riddance.

ACHILLES. Marrythissiris proclaim'd through all our host
That Hectorby the fifth hour of the sun
Will with a trumpet 'twixt our tents and Troy
To-morrow morningcall some knight to arms
That hath a stomach; and such a one that dare
Maintain I know not what; 'tis trash. Farewell.

AJAX. Farewell. Who shall answer him?
ACHILLES. I know not; 'tis put to lott'ry. Otherwise. He knew his
AJAX. Omeaning you! I will go learn more of it.

Troy. PRIAM'S palace


PRIAM. After so many hourslivesspeechesspent
Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks:
'Deliver Helenand all damage elseAs
honourloss of timetravailexpense
Woundsfriendsand what else dear that is consum'd
In hot digestion of this cormorant warShall
be struck off.' Hectorwhat say you to't?

HECTOR. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than I
As far as toucheth my particular
Yetdread Priam
There is no lady of more softer bowels
More spongy to suck in the sense of fear
More ready to cry out 'Who knows what follows?'
Than Hector is. The wound of peace is surety
Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd
The beacon of the wisethe tent that searches
To th' bottom of the worst. Let Helen go.
Since the first sword was drawn about this question
Every tithe soul 'mongst many thousand dismes
Hath been as dear as Helen-I meanof ours.
If we have lost so many tenths of ours
To guard a thing not oursnor worth to us
Had it our namethe value of one ten
What merit's in that reason which denies
The yielding of her up?

TROILUS. Fiefiemy brother!
Weigh you the worth and honour of a king
So great as our dread father'sin a scale
Of common ounces? Will you with counters sum
The past-proportion of his infinite
And buckle in a waist most fathomless
With spans and inches so diminutive
As fears and reasons? Fiefor godly shame!

HELENUS. No marvel though you bite so sharp at reasons
You are so empty of them. Should not our father
Bear the great sway of his affairs with reasons
Because your speech hath none that tells him so?

TROILUS. You are for dreams and slumbersbrother priest;
You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your reasons:
You know an enemy intends you harm;
You know a sword employ'd is perilous
And reason flies the object of all harm.
Who marvelsthenwhen Helenus beholds

A Grecian and his swordif he do set
The very wings of reason to his heels
And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove
Or like a star disorb'd? Nayif we talk of reason
Let's shut our gates and sleep. Manhood and honour
Should have hare heartswould they but fat their thoughts
With this cramm'd reason. Reason and respect
Make livers pale and lustihood deject.

HECTOR. Brothershe is not worth what she dothcost

The keeping.
TROILUS. What's aught but as 'tis valued?
HECTOR. But value dwells not in particular will:

It holds his estimate and dignity
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
As in the prizer. 'Tis mad idolatry
To make the service greater than the god-I
And the will dotes that is attributive
To what infectiously itself affects
Without some image of th' affected merit.

TROILUS. I take to-day a wifeand my election
Is led on in the conduct of my will;
My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears
Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
Of will and judgment: how may I avoid
Although my will distaste what it elected
The wife I chose? There can be no evasion
To blench from this and to stand firm by honour.
We turn not back the silks upon the merchant
When we have soil'd them; nor the remainder viands
We do not throw in unrespective sieve
Because we now are full. It was thought meet
Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks;
Your breath with full consent benied his sails;
The seas and windsold wranglerstook a truce
And did him service. He touch'd the ports desir'd;
And for an old aunt whom the Greeks held captive
He brought a Grecian queenwhose youth and freshness
Wrinkles Apollo'sand makes stale the morning.
Why keep we her? The Grecians keep our aunt.
Is she worth keeping? Whyshe is a pearl
Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships
And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.
If you'll avouch 'twas wisdom Paris wentAs
you must needsfor you all cried 'Gogo'If
you'll confess he brought home worthy prizeAs
you must needsfor you all clapp'd your hands
And cried 'Inestimable!' -why do you now
The issue of your proper wisdoms rate
And do a deed that never fortune didBeggar
the estimation which you priz'd
Richer than sea and land? O theft most base
That we have stol'n what we do fear to keep!
But thieves unworthy of a thing so stol'n
That in their country did them that disgrace
We fear to warrant in our native place!

CASSANDRA. [Within] CryTroyanscry.
PRIAM. What noisewhat shriek is this?
TROILUS. 'Tis our mad sister; I do know her voice.
CASSANDRA. [Within] CryTroyans.
HECTOR. It is Cassandra.

Enter CASSANDRAraving

CASSANDRA. CryTroyanscry. Lend me ten thousand eyes

And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
HECTOR. Peacesisterpeace.
CASSANDRA. Virgins and boysmid-age and wrinkled eld

Soft infancythat nothing canst but cry
Add to my clamours. Let us pay betimes
A moiety of that mass of moan to come.
CryTroyanscry. Practise your eyes with tears.
Troy must not benor goodly Ilion stand;
Our firebrand brotherParisburns us all.
CryTroyanscryA Helen and a woe!
Crycry. Troy burnsor else let Helen go.


HECTOR. Nowyouthful Troilusdo not these high strains
Of divination in our sister work
Some touches of remorseor is your blood
So madly hot that no discourse of reason
Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause
Can qualify the same?

TROILUS. Whybrother Hector
We may not think the justness of each act
Such and no other than event doth form it;
Nor once deject the courage of our minds
Because Cassandra's mad. Her brain-sick raptures
Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel
Which hath our several honours all engag'd
To make it gracious. For my private part
I am no more touch'd than all Priam's sons;
And Jove forbid there should be done amongst us
Such things as might offend the weakest spleen
To fight for and maintain.

PARIS. Else might the world convince of levity
As well my undertakings as your counsels;
But I attest the godsyour full consent
Gave wings to my propensionand cut of
All fears attending on so dire a project.
For whatalascan these my single arms?
What propugnation is in one man's valour
To stand the push and enmity of those
This quarrel would excite? YetI protest
Were I alone to pass the difficulties
And had as ample power as I have will
Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done
Nor faint in the pursuit.

PRIAM. Parisyou speak
Like one besotted on your sweet delights.
You have the honey stillbut these the gall;
So to be valiant is no praise at all.

PARIS. SirI propose not merely to myself
The pleasures such a beauty brings with it;
But I would have the soil of her fair rape
Wip'd off in honourable keeping her.
What treason were it to the ransack'd queen
Disgrace to your great worthsand shame to me
Now to deliver her possession up
On terms of base compulsion! Can it be
That so degenerate a strain as this
Should once set footing in your generous bosoms?
There's not the meanest spirit on our party
Without a heart to dare or sword to draw
When Helen is defended; nor none so noble
Whose life were ill bestow'd or death unfam'd
Where Helen is the subject. ThenI say
Well may we fight for her whom we know well
The world's large spaces cannot parallel.

HECTOR. Paris and Troilusyou have both said well;

And on the cause and question now in hand

Have gloz'dbut superficially; not much

Unlike young menwhom Aristode thought

Unfit to hear moral philosophy.

The reasons you allege do more conduce

To the hot passion of distemp'red blood

Than to make up a free determination

'Twixt right and wrong; for pleasure and revenge

Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice

Of any true decision. Nature craves

All dues be rend'red to their owners. Now

What nearer debt in all humanity

Than wife is to the husband? If this law

Of nature be corrupted through affection;

And that great mindsof partial indulgence

To their benumbed willsresist the same;

There is a law in each well-order'd nation

To curb those raging appetites that are

Most disobedient and refractory.

If Helenthenbe wife to Sparta's king

As it is known she is-these moral laws

Of nature and of nations speak aloud

To have her back return'd. Thus to persist

In doing wrong extenuates not wrong

But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion

Is thisin way of truth. Yetne'er the less

My spritely brethrenI propend to you

In resolution to keep Helen still;

For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependence

Upon our joint and several dignities.

TROILUS. Whythere you touch'd the life of our design.

Were it not glory that we more affected

Than the performance of our heaving spleens

I would not wish a drop of Troyan blood

Spent more in her defence. Butworthy Hector

She is a theme of honour and renown

A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds

Whose present courage may beat down our foes

And fame in time to come canonize us;

For I presume brave Hector would not lose

So rich advantage of a promis'd glory

As smiles upon the forehead of this action

For the wide world's revenue.

HECTOR. I am yours

You valiant offspring of great Priamus.

I have a roisting challenge sent amongst

The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks

Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits.

I was advertis'd their great general slept

Whilst emulation in the army crept.

ThisI presumewill wake him.

The Grecian camp. Before the tent of ACHILLES

Enter THERSITESsolus

THERSITES. How nowThersites! Whatlost in the labyrinth of thy
fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? He beats meand I

rail at him. O worthy satisfaction! Would it were otherwise: that
I could beat himwhilst he rail'd at me! 'SfootI'll learn to
conjure and raise devilsbut I'll see some issue of my spiteful
execrations. Then there's Achillesa rare engineer! If Troy be
not taken till these two undermine itthe walls will stand till
they fall of themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus
forget that thou art Jovethe king of godsandMercurylose
all the serpentine craft of thy caduceusif ye take not that
little little less-than-little wit from them that they have!
which short-arm'd ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce
it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider without
drawing their massy irons and cutting the web. After thisthe
vengeance on the whole camp! orratherthe Neapolitan
bone-ache! for thatmethinksis the curse depending on those
that war for a placket. I have said my prayers; and devil Envy
say 'Amen.' What ho! my Lord Achilles!


PATROCLUS. Who's there? Thersites! Good Thersitescome in and

THERSITES. If I could 'a rememb'red a gilt counterfeitthou
wouldst not have slipp'd out of my contemplation; but it is no
matter; thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankindfolly
and ignorancebe thine in great revenue! Heaven bless thee from
a tutorand discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy
direction till thy death. Then if she that lays thee out says
thou art a fair corseI'll be sworn and sworn upon't she never
shrouded any but lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles?

PATROCLUS. Whatart thou devout? Wast thou in prayer?

THERSITES. Aythe heavens hear me!



ACHILLES. Who's there?

PATROCLUS. Thersitesmy lord.

ACHILLES. Wherewhere? Owhere? Art thou come? Whymy cheesemy
digestionwhy hast thou not served thyself in to my table so
many meals? Comewhat's Agamemnon?

THERSITES. Thy commanderAchilles. Then tell mePatrocluswhat's

PATROCLUS. Thy lordThersites. Then tell meI pray theewhat's

THERSITES. Thy knowerPatroclus. Then tell mePatrocluswhat art

PATROCLUS. Thou must tell that knowest.

ACHILLES. Otelltell

THERSITES. I'll decline the whole question. Agamemnon commands
Achilles; Achilles is my lord; I am Patroclus' knower; and
Patroclus is a fool.

PATROCLUS. You rascal!

THERSITES. Peacefool! I have not done.

ACHILLES. He is a privileg'd man. ProceedThersites.

THERSITES. Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a
fool; andas aforesaidPatroclus is a fool.

ACHILLES. Derive this; come.

THERSITES. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles;
Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon; Thersites is a
fool to serve such a fool; and this Patroclus is a fool positive.

PATROCLUS. Why am I a fool?

THERSITES. Make that demand of the Creator. It suffices me thou
art. Look youwho comes here?

ACHILLES. ComePatroclusI'll speak with nobody. Come in with me


THERSITES. Here is such patcherysuch jugglingand such knavery.
All the argument is a whore and a cuckold-a good quarrel to draw
emulous factions and bleed to death upon. Now the dry serpigo on
the subjectand war and lechery confound all!



AGAMEMNON. Where is Achilles?
PATROCLUS. Within his tent; but ill-dispos'dmy lord.
AGAMEMNON. Let it be known to him that we are here.

He shent our messengers; and we lay by
Our appertainingsvisiting of him.
Let him be told so; lestperchancehe think
We dare not move the question of our place
Or know not what we are.

PATROCLUS. I shall say so to him.
ULYSSES. We saw him at the opening of his tent.
He is not sick.

AJAX. Yeslion-sicksick of proud heart. You may call it
melancholyif you will favour the man; butby my head'tis
pride. But whywhy? Let him show us a cause. A wordmy lord.

[Takes AGAMEMNON aside]
NESTOR. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?
ULYSSES. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.
NESTOR. Then will Ajax lack matterif he have lost his argument
ULYSSES. No; you see he is his argument that has his argument

NESTOR. All the better; their fraction is more our wish than their
faction. But it was a strong composure a fool could disunite!
ULYSSES. The amity that wisdom knits notfolly may easily untie.


Here comes Patroclus.
NESTOR. No Achilles with him.
ULYSSES. The elephant hath jointsbut none for courtesy; his legs

are legs for necessitynot for flexure.

PATROCLUS. Achilles bids me say he is much sorry
If any thing more than your sport and pleasure
Did move your greatness and this noble state
To call upon him; he hopes it is no other
But for your health and your digestion sake
An after-dinner's breath.

AGAMEMNON. Hear youPatroclus.
We are too well acquainted with these answers;
But his evasionwing'd thus swift with scorn
Cannot outfly our apprehensions.
Much attribute he hathand much the reason
Why we ascribe it to him. Yet all his virtues
Not virtuously on his own part beheld
Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss;
Yealike fair fruit in an unwholesome dish
Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him
We come to speak with him; and you shall not sin
If you do say we think him over-proud
And under-honestin self-assumption greater
Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than himself

Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on
Disguise the holy strength of their command
And underwrite in an observing kind
His humorous predominance; yeawatch
His pettish luneshis ebbshis flowsas if
The passage and whole carriage of this action
Rode on his tide. Go tell him thisand ad
That if he overhold his price so much
We'll none of himbut let himlike an engine
Not portablelie under this report:
Bring action hither; this cannot go to war.
A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
Before a sleeping giant. Tell him so.

PATROCLUS. I shalland bring his answer presently.
AGAMEMNON. In second voice we'll not be satisfied;
We come to speak with him. Ulyssesenter you.

AJAX. What is he more than another?
AGAMEMNON. No more than what he thinks he is.
AJAX. Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself a better

man than I am?
AGAMEMNON. No question.
AJAX. Will you subscribe his thought and say he is?
AGAMEMNON. Nonoble Ajax; you are as strongas valiantas wise

no less noblemuch more gentleand altogether more tractable.
AJAX. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? I know not
what pride is.

AGAMEMNON. Your mind is the clearerAjaxand your virtues the
fairer. He that is proud eats up himself. Pride is his own glass
his own trumpethis own chronicle; and whatever praises itself
but in the deed devours the deed in the praise.

Re-enter ULYSSES

AJAX. I do hate a proud man as I do hate the engend'ring of toads.
NESTOR. [Aside] And yet he loves himself: is't not strange?
ULYSSES. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.
AGAMEMNON. What's his excuse?
ULYSSES. He doth rely on none;

But carries on the stream of his dispose
Without observance or respect of any
In will peculiar and in self-admission.

AGAMEMNON. Why will he notupon our fair request
Untent his person and share the air with us?

ULYSSES. Things small as nothingfor request's sake only
He makes important; possess'd he is with greatness
And speaks not to himself but with a pride
That quarrels at self-breath. Imagin'd worth
Holds in his blood such swol'n and hot discourse
That 'twixt his mental and his active parts
Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages
And batters down himself. What should I say?
He is so plaguy proud that the death tokens of it
Cry 'No recovery.'

AGAMEMNON. Let Ajax go to him.
Dear lordgo you and greet him in his tent.
'Tis said he holds you well; and will be led
At your request a little from himself.

ULYSSES. O Agamemnonlet it not be so!
We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
When they go from Achilles. Shall the proud lord
That bastes his arrogance with his own seam
And never suffers matter of the world

Enter his thoughtssave such as doth revolve
And ruminate himself-shall he be worshipp'd
Of that we hold an idol more than he?
Nothis thrice-worthy and right valiant lord
Shall not so stale his palmnobly acquir'd
Norby my willassubjugate his merit
As amply titled as Achilles is
By going to Achilles.
That were to enlard his fat-already pride
And add more coals to Cancer when he burns
With entertaining great Hyperion.
This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid
And say in thunder 'Achilles go to him.'

NESTOR. [Aside] Othis is well! He rubs the vein of him.
DIOMEDES. [Aside] And how his silence drinks up this applause!
AJAX. If I go to himwith my armed fist I'll pash him o'er the

AGAMEMNON. Onoyou shall not go.
AJAX. An 'a be proud with me I'll pheeze his pride.

Let me go to him.
ULYSSES. Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.
AJAX. A paltryinsolent fellow!
NESTOR. [Aside] How he describes himself!
AJAX. Can he not be sociable?
ULYSSES. [Aside] The raven chides blackness.
AJAX. I'll let his humours blood.
AGAMEMNON. [Aside] He will be the physician that should be the

AJAX. An all men were a my mindULYSSES.
[Aside] Wit would be out of fashion.
AJAX. 'A should not bear it so'a should eat's words first.

Shall pride carry it?
NESTOR. [Aside] An 'twouldyou'd carry half.
ULYSSES. [Aside] 'A would have ten shares.
AJAX. I will knead himI'll make him supple.
NESTOR. [Aside] He's not yet through warm. Force him with praises;

pour inpour in; his ambition is dry.
ULYSSES. [To AGAMEMNON] My lordyou feed too much on this dislike.
NESTOR. Our noble generaldo not do so.
DIOMEDES. You must prepare to fight without Achilles.
ULYSSES. Why 'tis this naming of him does him harm.

Here is a man-but 'tis before his face;
I will be silent.
NESTOR. Wherefore should you so?

He is not emulousas Achilles is.
ULYSSES. Know the whole worldhe is as valiant.
AJAX. A whoreson dogthat shall palter with us thus!

Would he were a Troyan!
NESTOR. What a vice were it in Ajax nowULYSSES.
If he were proud.
DIOMEDES. Or covetous of praise.
ULYSSES. Ayor surly borne.
DIOMEDES. Or strangeor self-affected.
ULYSSES. Thank the heavenslordthou art of sweet composure

Praise him that gat theeshe that gave thee suck;
Fam'd be thy tutorand thy parts of nature
Thrice-fam'd beyondbeyond all erudition;
But he that disciplin'd thine arms to fightLet
Mars divide eternity in twain
And give him half; andfor thy vigour
Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield
To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom
Whichlike a bourna palea shoreconfines
Thy spacious and dilated parts. Here's Nestor

Instructed by the antiquary times

He musthe ishe cannot but be wise;

But pardonfather Nestorwere your days

As green as Ajax' and your brain so temper'd

You should not have the eminence of him

But be as Ajax.

AJAX. Shall I call you father?

NESTOR. Aymy good son.

DIOMEDES. Be rul'd by himLord Ajax.

ULYSSES. There is no tarrying here; the hart Achilles

Keeps thicket. Please it our great general

To call together all his state of war;

Fresh kings are come to Troy. To-morrow

We must with all our main of power stand fast;

And here's a lord-come knights from east to west

And cull their flowerAjax shall cope the best.

AGAMEMNON. Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep.

Light boats sail swiftthough greater hulks draw deep.



Troy. PRIAM'S palace

Music sounds within. Enter PANDARUS and a SERVANT

PANDARUS. Friendyou-pray youa word. Do you not follow the young

Lord Paris?

SERVANT. Aysirwhen he goes before me.

PANDARUS. You depend upon himI mean?

SERVANT. SirI do depend upon the lord.

PANDARUS. You depend upon a notable gentleman; I must needs praise


SERVANT. The lord be praised!

PANDARUS. You know medo you not?

SERVANT. Faithsirsuperficially.

PANDARUS. Friendknow 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 sofriend; honour and lordship are my titles.

What music is this?

SERVANT. I do but partly knowsir; it is music in parts.

PANDARUS. Know you the musicians?

SERVANT. Whollysir.

PANDARUS. Who play they to?

SERVANT. To the hearerssir.

PANDARUS. At whose pleasurefriend?

SERVANT. At minesirand theirs that love music.

PANDARUS. CommandI meanfriend.

SERVANT. Who shall I commandsir?

PANDARUS. Friendwe understand not one another: I am too courtly
and thou art too cunning. At whose request do these men play?

SERVANT. That's to'tindeedsir. Marrysirat the request of
Paris my lordwho is there in person; with him the mortal Venus
the heart-blood of beautylove's invisible soul

PANDARUS. Whomy cousinCressida?

SERVANT. NosirHelen. Could not you find out that by her

PANDARUS. It should seemfellowthat thou hast not seen the Lady
Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the Prince Troilus; I
will make a complimental assault upon himfor my business

SERVANT. Sodden business! There's a stew'd phrase indeed!

Enter PARIS and HELENattended

PANDARUS. Fair be to youmy lordand to all this fair company!
Fair desiresin all fair measurefairly guide them-especially
to youfair queen! Fair thoughts be your fair pillow.

HELEN. Dear lordyou are full of fair words.

PANDARUS. You speak your fair pleasuresweet queen. Fair prince
here is good broken music.

PARIS. You have broke itcousin; and by my lifeyou shall make it
whole again; you shall piece it out with a piece of your

HELEN. He is full of harmony.

PANDARUS. Trulyladyno.


PANDARUS. Rudein sooth; in good soothvery rude.

PARIS. Well saidmy lord. Wellyou say so in fits.

PANDARUS. I have business to my lorddear queen. My lordwill you
vouchsafe me a word?

HELEN. Naythis shall not hedge us out. We'll hear you sing

PANDARUS. Well sweet queenyou are pleasant with me. Butmarry
thusmy lord: my dear lord and most esteemed friendyour
brother Troilus

HELEN. My Lord Pandarushoney-sweet lord

PANDARUS. Go tosweet queengo to-commends himself most
affectionately to you

HELEN. You shall not bob us out of our melody. If you doour
melancholy upon your head!

PANDARUS. Sweet queensweet queen; that's a sweet queeni' faith.

HELEN. And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.

PANDARUS. Naythat shall not serve your turn; that shall it not
in truthla. NayI care not for such words; nono. -Andmy
lordhe desires you thatif the King call for him at supper
you will make his excuse.

HELEN. My Lord Pandarus!

PANDARUS. What says my sweet queenmy very very sweet queen?

PARIS. What exploit's in hand? Where sups he to-night?

HELEN. Naybutmy lord

PANDARUS. What says my sweet queen?-My cousin will fall out with

HELEN. You must not know where he sups.

PARIS. I'll lay my lifewith my disposer Cressida.

PANDARUS. Nonono such matter; you are wide. Comeyour disposer
is sick.

PARIS. WellI'll make's excuse.

PANDARUS. Aygood my lord. Why should you say Cressida?
Noyour poor disposer's sick.

PARIS. I spy.

PANDARUS. You spy! What do you spy?-Comegive me an instrument.
Nowsweet queen.

HELEN. Whythis is kindly done.
PANDARUS. My niece is horribly in love with a thing you havesweet

HELEN. She shall have itmy lordif it be not my Lord Paris.
PANDARUS. He! Noshe'll none of him; they two are twain.
HELEN. Falling inafter falling outmay make them three.
PANDARUS. Comecome. I'll hear no more of this; I'll sing you a

song now.
HELEN. Ayayprithee now. By my trothsweet lordthou hast a

fine forehead.
PANDARUS. Ayyou mayyou may.
HELEN. Let thy song be love. This love will undo us all. O Cupid

PANDARUS. Love! Aythat it shalli' faith.
PARIS. Aygood nowlovelovenothing but love.
PANDARUS. In good trothit begins so.


Lovelovenothing but lovestill lovestill more!
Forohlove's bow
Shoots buck and doe;
The shaft confounds
Not that it wounds

But tickles still the sore.
These lovers cryO hothey 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 whilebut ha! ha! ha!
O ho! groans out for ha! ha! ha!-hey ho!

HELEN. In lovei' faithto the very tip of the nose.

PARIS. He eats nothing but doveslove; and that breeds hot blood
and hot blood begets hot thoughtsand hot thoughts beget hot
deedsand hot deeds is love.

PANDARUS. Is this the generation of love: hot bloodhot thoughts
and hot deeds? Whythey are vipers. Is love a generation of
vipers? Sweet lordwho's a-field today?

PARIS. HectorDeiphobusHelenusAntenorand all the gallantry
of Troy. I would fain have arm'd to-daybut my Nell would not
have it so. How chance my brother Troilus went not?

HELEN. He hangs the lip at something. You know allLord Pandarus.
PANDARUS. Not Ihoney-sweet queen. I long to hear how they spend

to-day. You'll remember your brother's excuse?
PARIS. To a hair.
PANDARUS. Farewellsweet queen.
HELEN. Commend me to your niece.
PANDARUS. I willsweet queen. Exit. Sound a retreat
PARIS. They're come from the field. Let us to Priam's hall

To greet the warriors. Sweet HelenI must woo you
To help unarm our Hector. His stubborn buckles
With these your white enchanting fingers touch'd
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 servantParis;
Yeawhat he shall receive of us in duty
Gives us more palm in beauty than we have
Yeaovershines ourself.

PARIS. Sweetabove thought I love thee.

Troy. PANDARUS' orchard

Enter PANDARUS and TROILUS' BOYmeeting

PANDARUS. How now! Where's thy master? At my cousin Cressida's?
BOY. Nosir; he stays for you to conduct him thither.


PANDARUS. Ohere he comes. How nowhow now!
TROILUS. Sirrahwalk off. Exit Boy
PANDARUS. Have you seen my cousin?
TROILUS. NoPandarus. I stalk about her door

Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
Staying for waftage. Obe thou my Charon
And give me swift transportance to these fields
Where I may wallow in the lily beds
Propos'd 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' orchardI'll bring her straight.

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 wat'ry palate tastes indeed
Love's thrice-repured nectar? DeathI fear me;
Swooning destruction; or some joy too fine
Too subtle-potenttun'd 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 battlewhen they charge on heaps
The enemy flying.


PANDARUS. She's making her readyshe'll come straight; you must be
witty now. She does so blushand fetches her wind so shortas
if she were fray'd with a sprite. I'll fetch her. It is the
prettiest villain; she fetches her breath as short as a new-ta'en


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 encount'ring
The eye of majesty.


PANDARUS. Comecomewhat need you blush? Shame's a baby.-Here she
is now; swear the oaths now to her that you have sworn to me.What
are you gone again? You must be watch'd ere you be made
tamemust you? Come your wayscome your ways; an you draw
backwardwe'll put you i' th' fills.-Why do you not speak to
her?-Comedraw this curtain and let's see your picture.
Alas the dayhow loath you are to offend daylight! An 'twere
darkyou'd close sooner. Soso; rub onand kiss the mistress
How nowa kiss in fee-farm! Build therecarpenter; the air is
sweet. Nayyou shall fight your hearts out ere I part you. The
falcon as the tercelfor all the ducks i' th' river. Go togo


TROILUS. You have bereft me of all wordslady.

PANDARUS. Words pay no debtsgive her deeds; but she'll bereave
you o' th' deeds tooif she call your activity in question.
Whatbilling again? Here's 'In witness whereof the parties
interchangeably.' Come income in; I'll go get a fire.

CRESSIDA. Will you walk inmy lord?

TROILUS. O Cressidhow often have I wish'd me thus!

CRESSIDA. Wish'dmy 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

CRESSIDA. More dregs than waterif my fears have eyes.

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

CRESSIDA. Blind fearthat seeing reason leadsfinds safer footing
than blind reason stumbling without fear. To fear the worst oft
cures the worse.

TROILUS. Olet my lady apprehend no fear! In all Cupid's pageant
there is presented no monster.

CRESSIDA. Nor nothing monstrous neither?

TROILUS. Nothingbut our undertakings when we vow to weep seas
live in fireeat rockstame tigers; thinking it harder for our
mistress to devise imposition enough than for us to undergo any
difficulty imposed. This is the monstruosity in loveladythat
the will is infiniteand the execution confin'd; that the desire
is boundlessand the act a slave to limit.

CRESSIDA. They say all lovers swear more performance than they are
ableand yet reserve an ability that they never perform; vowing
more than the perfection of tenand discharging less than the
tenth part of one. They that have the voice of lions and the act
of haresare they not monsters?

TROILUS. Are there such? Such are not we. Praise us as we are
tastedallow 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; andbeing
bornhis 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 inmy lord?


PANDARUS. Whatblushing still? Have you not done talking yet?

CRESSIDA. Wellunclewhat folly I commitI dedicate to you.

PANDARUS. I thank you for that; if my lord get a boy of youyou'll
give him me. Be true to my lord; if he flinchchide me for it.

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

PANDARUS. NayI'll give my word for her too: our kindredthough
they be long ere they are wooedthey are constant being won;
they are bursI can tell you; they'll stick where they are

CRESSIDA. Boldness comes to me now and brings me heart.
Prince TroilusI have lov'd 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 wonmy lord
With the first glance that ever-pardon me.
If I confess muchyou will play the tyrant.
I love you now; but till now not so much
But I might master it. In faithI lie;
My thoughts were like unbridled childrengrown

Too headstrong for their mother. Seewe fools!
Why have I blabb'd? Who shall be true to us
When we are so unsecret to ourselves?
Butthough I lov'd you wellI woo'd you not;
And yetgood faithI wish'd myself a man
Or that we women had men's privilege
Of speaking first. Sweetbid me hold my tongue
For in this rapture I shall surely speak
The thing I shall repent. Seeseeyour silence
Cunning in dumbnessfrom my weakness draws
My very soul of counsel. Stop my mouth.

TROILUS. And shallalbeit sweet music issues thence.
PANDARUS. Prettyi' faith.
CRESSIDA. My lordI do beseech youpardon me;

'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kiss.
I am asham'd. O heavens! what have I done?
For this time will I take my leavemy lord.

TROILUS. Your leavesweet Cressid!
PANDARUS. Leave! An you take leave till to-morrow morningCRESSIDA.
Pray youcontent you.
TROILUS. What offends youlady?
CRESSIDA. Sirmine 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 selfthat itself will leave
To be another's fool. I would be gone.
Where is my wit? I know not what I speak.

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

CRESSIDA. Perchancemy lordI show more craft than love;
And fell so roundly to a large confession
To angle for your thoughts; but you are wiseOr
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 womanAs
if it canI will presume in youTo
feed for aye her lamp and flames of love;
To keep her constancy in plight and youth
Outliving beauty's outwardwith 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! butalas
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 truth by Troiluswhen their rhymes
Full of protestof oathand big compare
Want similestruth tir'd with iterationAs
true as steelas plantage to the moon
As sun to dayas turtle to her mate
As iron to adamantas earth to th' centreYet
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 falseor swerve a hair from truth
When time is old and hath forgot itself

When waterdrops have worn the stones of Troy
And blind oblivion swallow'd cities up
And mighty states characterless are grated
To dusty nothing-yet let memory
From false to falseamong false maids in love
Upbraid my falsehood when th' have said 'As false
As airas waterwindor sandy earth
As fox to lambor wolf to heifer's calf
Pard to the hindor stepdame to her son'Yea
let them sayto stick the heart of falsehood
'As false as Cressid.'

PANDARUS. Go toa bargain made; seal itseal it; I'll be the
witness. Here I hold your hand; here my cousin's. If ever you
prove false one to anothersince I have taken such pains to
bring you togetherlet all pitiful goers-between be call'd to
the world's end after my name-call them all Pandars; let all
constant men be Troilusesall false women Cressidsand all
brokers between Pandars. Say 'Amen.'

PANDARUS. Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber

and a bed; which bedbecause it shall not speak of your
pretty encounterspress it to death. Away!
And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here
Bedchamberpanderto provide this gear!


The Greek camp


CALCHAS. NowPrincesfor the service I have done
Th' advantage of the time prompts me aloud
To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind
Thatthrough the sight I bear in things to come
I have abandon'd Troyleft my possession
Incurr'd a traitor's nameexpos'd myself
From certain and possess'd conveniences
To doubtful fortunessequest'ring from me all
That timeacquaintancecustomand condition
Made tame and most familiar to my nature;
And hereto do you serviceam become
As new into the worldstrangeunacquaintedI
do beseech youas in way of taste
To give me now a little benefit
Out of those many regist'red in promise
Which you say live to come in my behalf.

AGAMEMNON. What wouldst thou of usTroyan? Make demand.

CALCHAS. You have a Troyan prisoner call'd Antenor
Yesterday took; Troy holds him very dear.
Oft have you-often have you thanks thereforeDesir'd
my Cressid in right great exchange
Whom Troy hath still denied; but this Antenor
I knowis such a wrest in their affairs
That their negotiations all must slack
Wanting his manage; and they will almost
Give us a prince of blooda son of Priam
In change of him. Let him be sentgreat 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;
Withalbring word if Hector will to-morrow
Be answer'd in his challenge. Ajax is ready.

DIOMEDES. This shall I undertake; and 'tis a burden
Which I am proud to bear.

ACHILLES and PATROCLUS stand in their tent

ULYSSES. Achilles stands i' th' entrance of his tent.
Please it our general pass strangely by him
As if he were forgot; andPrinces all
Lay negligent and loose regard upon him.
I will come last. 'Tis like he'll question me
Why such unplausive eyes are bentwhy turn'd on him?
If soI have derision med'cinable
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 purposeand put on
A form of strangeness as we pass along.
So do each lord; and either greet him not
Or else disdainfullywhich shall shake him more
Than if not look'd 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 youmy lordaught with the general?
NESTOR. Nothingmy lord.
AGAMEMNON. The better.

ACHILLES. Good daygood day.
MENELAUS. How do you? How do you?

ACHILLES. Whatdoes the cuckold scorn me?
AJAX. How nowPatroclus?
ACHILLES. Good morrowAjax.
ACHILLES. Good morrow.
AJAX. Ayand good next day too.

ACHILLES. What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?
PATROCLUS. They pass by strangely. They were us'd to bend

To send their smiles before them to Achilles
To come as humbly as they us'd to creep
To holy altars.

ACHILLES. Whatam I poor of late?
'Tis certaingreatnessonce fall'n out with fortune
Must fall out with men too. What the declin'd is
He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
As feel in his own fall; for menlike butterflies
Show not their mealy wings but to the summer;
And not a man for being simply man
Hath any honourbut honour for those honours
That are without himas placerichesand favour
Prizes of accidentas oft as merit;

Which when they fallas being slippery standers
The love that lean'd on them as slippery too
Doth one pluck down anotherand 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 domethinksfind out
Something not worth in me such rich beholding
As they have often given. Here is Ulysses.
I'll interrupt his reading.
How nowUlysses!

ULYSSES. Nowgreat Thetis' son!
ACHILLES. What are you reading?
ULYSSES. A strange fellow here

Writes me that man-how dearly ever parted
How much in havingor without or inCannot
make boast to have that which he hath
Nor feels not what he owesbut by reflection;
As when his virtues shining upon others
Heat themand they retort that heat again
To the first giver.

ACHILLES. This is not strangeUlysses.
The beauty that is borne here in the face
The bearer knows notbut commends itself
To others' eyes; nor doth the eye itselfThat
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 travell'dand is mirror'd there
Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.

ULYSSES. I do not strain at the positionIt
is familiar-but at the author's drift;
Whoin his circumstanceexpressly proves
That no man is the lord of anything
Though in and of him there be 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 th' are extended; wholike an archreverb'rate
The voice again; orlike a gate of steel
Fronting the sunreceives and renders back
His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this;
And apprehended here immediately
Th' unknown Ajax. Heavenswhat a man is there!
A very horse that has he knows not what!
Naturewhat 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 to-morrowAn
act that very chance doth throw upon himAjax
renown'd. O heavenswhat 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!-whyeven 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 pass'd by me
As misers do by beggars-neither gave to me
Good word nor look. Whatare my deeds forgot?

ULYSSES. Time hathmy lorda wallet at his back

Wherein he puts alms for oblivion

A great-siz'd monster of ingratitudes.

Those scraps are good deeds pastwhich are devour'd

As fast as they are madeforgot as soon

As done. Perseverancedear my lord

Keeps honour bright. To have done is to hang

Quite out of fashionlike a rusty mail

In monumental mock'ry. 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 ent'red tide they all rush by

And leave you hindmost;

Orlike a gallant horse fall'n 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 pastmust o'ertop yours;

For Time is like a fashionable host

That slightly shakes his parting guest by th' hand;

And with his arms out-stretch'das he would fly

Grasps in the corner. The welcome ever smiles

And farewell goes out sighing. Olet not virtue seek

Remuneration for the thing it was;

For beautywit

High birthvigour of bonedesert in service

Lovefriendshipcharityare subjects all

To envious and calumniating Time.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin

That all with one consent praise new-born gawds

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 notthou 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 mightand 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 knownAchillesthat 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 Plutus' gold;

Finds bottom in th' uncomprehensive deeps;

Keeps place with thoughtand almostlike the gods

Do 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 yoursmy 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 island 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.'
Farewellmy lord. I as your lover speak.
The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.


PATROCLUS. To this effectAchilleshave I mov'd you.
A woman impudent and mannish grown
Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man
In time of action. I stand condemn'd for this;
They think my little stomach to the war
And your great love to me restrains you thus.
Sweetrouse yourself; and the weak wanton Cupid
Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold
Andlike a dew-drop from the lion's mane
Be shook to airy air.

ACHILLES. Shall Ajax fight with Hector?
PATROCLUS. Ayand perhaps receive much honour by him.
ACHILLES. I see my reputation is at stake;

My fame is shrewdly gor'd.

PATROCLUS. Othenbeware:
Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves;
Omission to do what is necessary
Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
And dangerlike an aguesubtly taints
Even then when they sit idly in the sun.

ACHILLES. Go call Thersites hithersweet Patroclus.
I'll send the fool to Ajaxand desire him
T' invite the Troyan lordsafter the combat
To see us here unarm'd. I have a woman's longing
An appetite that I am sick withal
To see great Hector in his weeds of peace;
To talk with himand to behold his visage
Even to my full of view.


A labour sav'd!
THERSITES. A wonder!
THERSITES. Ajax goes up and down the field asking for himself.
THERSITES. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hectorand is so

prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling that he raves in

saying nothing.
ACHILLES. How can that be?
THERSITES. Why'a stalks up and down like a peacock-a stride and a

stand; ruminaies like an hostess that hath no arithmetic but her
brain to set down her reckoningbites his lip with a politic
regardas who should say 'There were wit in this headan
'twould out'; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as
fire in a flintwhich 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
morrowAjax'; and he replies 'ThanksAgamemnon.' What think you
of this man that takes me for the general? He's grown a very land
fishlanguagelessa monster. A plague of opinion! A man may
wear it on both sideslike leather jerkin.

ACHILLES. Thou must be my ambassador to himThersites.

THERSITES. WhoI? Whyhe'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 his demands
to meyou shall see the pageant of Ajax.

ACHILLES. To himPatroclus. Tell him I humbly desire the valiant
Ajax to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarm'd to my
tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person of the
magnanimous and most illustrious six-or-seven-times-honour'd
Captain General of the Grecian armyet ceteraAgamemnon. Do

PATROCLUS. Jove bless great Ajax!
PATROCLUS. I come from the worthy AchillesTHERSITES.
PATROCLUS. Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his

PATROCLUS. And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon.
THERSITES. Agamemnon!
PATROCLUS. Aymy lord.
PATROCLUS. What you say to't?
THERSITES. God buy youwith all my heart.
PATROCLUS. Your answersir.
THERSITES. If to-morrow be a fair dayby eleven of the clock it

will go one way or other. Howsoeverhe shall pay for me ere he

has me.
PATROCLUS. Your answersir.
THERSITES. Fare ye wellwith all my heart.
ACHILLES. Whybut he is not in this tuneis he?
THERSITES. Nobut he's out a tune thus. What music will be in him

when Hector has knock'd out his brains I know not; butI am sure
none; unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings

ACHILLES. Comethou 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 troubledlike a fountain stirr'd;
And I myself see not the bottom of it.

THERSITES. Would the fountain of your mind were clear againthat I
might water an ass at it. I had rather be a tick in a sheep than
such a valiant ignorance.



Troy. A street

Enterat one sideAENEASand servant with a torch; at another


PARIS. Seeho! Who is that there?
DEIPHOBUS. It is the Lord Aeneas.
AENEAS. Is the Prince there in person?

Had I so good occasion to lie long
As youPrince Parisnothing but heavenly business
Should rob my bed-mate of my company.

DIOMEDES. That's my mind too. Good morrowLord Aeneas.

PARIS. A valiant GreekAeneas -take his hand:
Witness the process of your speechwherein
You told how Diomeda whole week by days
Did haunt you in the field.

AENEAS. Health to youvaliant sir
During all question of the gentle truce;
But when I meet you arm'das black defiance
As heart can think or courage execute.

DIOMEDES. The one and other Diomed embraces.
Our bloods are now in calm; and so long health!
But when contention and occasion meet
By JoveI'll play the hunter for thy life
With all my forcepursuitand policy.

AENEAS. And thou shalt hunt a lionthat will fly
With his face backward. In humane gentleness
Welcome to Troy! nowby Anchises' life
Welcome indeed! By Venus' hand I swear
No man alive can love in such a sort
The thing he means to killmore excellently.

DIOMEDES. We sympathise. Jove let Aeneas live
If to my sword his fate be not the glory
A thousand complete courses of the sun!
But in mine emulous honour let him die
With every joint a woundand that to-morrow!

AENEAS. We know each other well.
DIOMEDES.We do; and long to know each other worse.
PARIS. This is the most despiteful'st gentle greeting

The noblest hateful lovethat e'er I heard of.

What businesslordso early?
AENEAS. I was sent for to the King; but whyI know not.
PARIS. His purpose meets you: 'twas to bring this Greek

To Calchas' houseand there to render him
For the enfreed Antenorthe fair Cressid.
Let's have your company; orif you please
Haste there before us. I constantly believeOr
rather call my thought a certain knowledgeMy
brother Troilus lodges there to-night.
Rouse him and give him note of our approach
With the whole quality wherefore; I fear
We shall be much unwelcome.

AENEAS. That I assure you:
Troilus had rather Troy were borne to Greece
Than Cressid borne from Troy.

PARIS. There is no help;
The bitter disposition of the time
Will have it so. Onlord; we'll follow you.

AENEAS. Good morrowall. Exit with servant

PARIS. And tell menoble Diomed-faithtell me true
Even in the soul of sound good-fellowshipWho
in your thoughts deserves fair Helen best
Myself or Menelaus?

DIOMEDES. Both alike:
He merits well to have her that doth seek her
Not making any scruple of her soilure
With such a hell of pain and world of charge;

And you as well to keep her that defend her
Not palating the taste of her dishonour
With such a costly loss of wealth and friends.
He like a puling cuckold would drink up
The lees and dregs of a flat tamed piece;
Youlike a lecherout of whorish loins
Are pleas'd to breed out your inheritors.
Both merits pois'deach weighs nor less nor more;
But he as hethe heavier for a whore.

PARIS. You are too bitter to your country-woman.

DIOMEDES. She's bitter to her country. Hear meParis:
For every false drop in her bawdy veins
A Grecian's life hath sunk; for every scruple
Of her contaminated carrion weight
A Troyan hath been slain; since she could speak
She hath not given so many good words breath
As for her Greeks and Troyans suff'red death.

PARIS. Fair Diomedyou do as chapmen do
Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy;
But we in silence hold this virtue well:
We'll not commend what we intend to sell.
Here lies our way.


Troy. The court of PANDARUS' house


TROILUS. Deartrouble not yourself; the morn is cold.
CRESSIDA. Thensweet my lordI'll call mine uncle down;
He shall unbolt the gates.

TROILUS. Trouble him not;
To bedto bed! Sleep kill those pretty eyes
And give as soft attachment to thy senses
As infants' empty of all thought!

CRESSIDA. Good morrowthen.
TROILUS. I prithee nowto bed.
CRESSIDA. Are you aweary of me?
TROILUS. O Cressida! but that the busy day

Wak'd by the larkhath rous'd the ribald crows
And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer
I would not from thee.

CRESSIDA. Night hath been too brief.

TROILUS. Beshrew the witch! with venomous wights she stays
As tediously as hellbut flies the grasps of love
With wings more momentary-swift than thought.
You will catch coldand curse me.

CRESSIDA. Prithee tarry.
You men will never tarry.
O foolish Cressid! I might have still held off
And then you would have tarried. Hark! there's one up.

PANDARUS. [Within] What's all the doors open here?
TROILUS. It is your uncle.


CRESSIDA. A pestilence on him! Now will he be mocking.
I shall have such a life!
PANDARUS. How nowhow now! How go maidenheads?
Hereyou maid! Where's my cousin Cressid?

CRESSIDA. Go hang yourselfyou naughty mocking uncle.
You bring me to doand then you flout me too.
PANDARUS. To do what? to do what? Let her say what.
What have I brought you to do?
CRESSIDA. Comecomebeshrew your heart! You'll ne'er be good
Nor suffer others.

PANDARUS. Haha! Alaspoor wretch! a poor capocchia! hast not
slept to-night? Would he nota naughty manlet it sleep? A
bugbear take him!

CRESSIDA. Did not I tell you? Would he were knock'd i' th' head!

[One knocks]
Who's that at door? Good unclego and see.
My lordcome you again into my chamber.
You smile and mock meas if I meant naughtily.

TROILUS. Ha! ha!
CRESSIDA. Comeyou are deceiv'dI think of no such thing.

How earnestly they knock! Pray you come in:
I would not for half Troy have you seen here.

Exeunt TROILUS and
PANDARUS. Who's there? What's the matter? Will you beat down the
door? How now? What's the matter?

AENEAS. Good morrowlordgood morrow.
PANDARUS. Who's there? My lord Aeneas? By my troth

I knew you not. What news with you so early?
AENEAS. Is not Prince Troilus here?
PANDARUS. Here! What should he do here?
AENEAS. Comehe is heremy lord; do not deny him.

It doth import him much to speak with me.
PANDARUS. Is he heresay you? It's more than I knowI'll be
sworn. For my own partI came in late. What should he do here?

AENEAS. Who!-naythen. Comecomeyou'll do him wrong ere you are
ware; you'll be so true to him to be false to him. Do not you
know of himbut yet go fetch him hither; go.

Re-enter TROILUS

TROILUS. How now! What's the matter?

AENEAS. My lordI scarce have leisure to salute you
My matter is so rash. There is at hand
Paris your brotherand Deiphobus
The Grecian Diomedand our Antenor
Deliver'd to us; and for him forthwith
Ere the first sacrificewithin this hour
We must give up to Diomedes' hand
The Lady Cressida.

TROILUS. Is it so concluded?
AENEAS. By Priamand the general state of Troy.
They are at hand and ready to effect it.

TROILUS. How my achievements mock me!
I will go meet them; andmy lord Aeneas
We met by chance; you did not find me here.

AENEAS. Goodgoodmy lordthe secrets of neighbour Pandar
Have not more gift in taciturnity.

PANDARUS. Is't possible? No sooner got but lost? The devil take
Antenor! The young prince will go mad. A plague upon Antenor! I
would they had broke's neck.


CRESSIDA. How now! What's the matter? Who was here?
CRESSIDA. Why sigh you so profoundly? Where's my lord? Gone? Tell

mesweet unclewhat's the matter?
PANDARUS. Would I were as deep under the earth as I am above!
CRESSIDA. O the gods! What's the matter?
PANDARUS. Pray theeget thee in. Would thou hadst ne'er been born!

I knew thou wouldst be his death! Opoor gentleman! A plague
upon Antenor!
CRESSIDA. Good uncleI beseech youon my knees I beseech you
what's the matter?

PANDARUS. Thou must be gonewenchthou must be gone; thou art
chang'd for Antenor; thou must to thy fatherand be gone from
Troilus. 'Twill be his death; 'twill be his bane; he cannot bear

CRESSIDA. O you immortal gods! I will not go.
PANDARUS. Thou must.
CRESSIDA. I will notuncle. I have forgot my father;

I know no touch of consanguinity
No kinno loveno bloodno soul so near me
As the sweet Troilus. O you gods divine
Make Cressid's name the very crown of falsehood
If ever she leave Troilus! Timeforceand death
Do to this body what extremes you can
But the strong base and building of my love
Is as the very centre of the earth
Drawing all things to it. I'll go in and weep


CRESSIDA. Tear my bright hairand scratch my praised cheeks
Crack my clear voice with sobs and break my heart
With sounding 'Troilus.' I will not go from Troy.

Troy. A street before PANDARUS' house


PARIS. It is great morning; and the hour prefix'd
For her delivery to this valiant Greek
Comes fast upon. Good my brother Troilus
Tell you the lady what she is to do
And haste her to the purpose.

TROILUS. Walk into her house.
I'll bring her to the Grecian presently;
And to his hand when I deliver her
Think it an altarand thy brother Troilus
A priestthere off'ring to it his own heart.


PARIS. I know what 'tis to love
And wouldas I shall pityI could help!
Please you walk inmy lords.


Troy. PANDARUS' house


PANDARUS. Be moderatebe moderate.

CRESSIDA. Why tell you me of moderation?
The grief is finefullperfectthat I taste
And violenteth in a sense as strong
As that which causeth it. How can I moderate it?
If I could temporize with my affections
Or brew it to a weak and colder palate
The like allayment could I give my grief.
My love admits no qualifying dross;
No more my griefin such a precious loss.


PANDARUS. Hereherehere he comes. Ahsweet ducks!
CRESSIDA. O Troilus! Troilus! [Embracing him]
PANDARUS. What a pair of spectacles is here! Let me embrace too. 'O

heart' as the goodly saying is
O heartheavy heart
Why sigh'st thou without breaking?

where he answers again
Because thou canst not ease thy smart
By friendship nor by speaking.

There was never a truer rhyme. Let us cast away nothingfor we
may live to have need of such a verse. We see itwe see it. How

TROILUS. CressidI love thee in so strain'd a purity
That the bless'd godsas angry with my fancy
More bright in zeal than the devotion which
Cold lips blow to their deitiestake thee from me.

CRESSIDA. Have the gods envy?
PANDARUS. Ayayay; 'tis too plain a case.
CRESSIDA. And is it true that I must go from Troy?
TROILUS. A hateful truth.
CRESSIDA. Whatand from Troilus too?
TROILUS. From Troy and Troilus.
CRESSIDA. Is't possible?
TROILUS. And suddenly; where injury of chance

Puts back leave-takingjustles roughly by
All time of pauserudely beguiles our lips
Of all rejoindureforcibly prevents
Our lock'd embrasuresstrangles our dear vows
Even in the birth of our own labouring breath.
We twothat with so many thousand sighs
Did buy each othermust poorly sell ourselves
With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
Injurious time now with a robber's haste
Crams his rich thievery uphe knows not how.
As many farewells as be stars in heaven
With distinct breath and consign'd kisses to them
He fumbles up into a loose adieu
And scants us with a single famish'd kiss
Distasted with the salt of broken tears.

AENEAS. [Within] My lordis the lady ready?

TROILUS. Hark! you are call'd. Some say the Genius so
Cries 'Come' to him that instantly must die.
Bid them have patience; she shall come anon.

PANDARUS. Where are my tears? Rainto lay this windor my heart
will be blown up by th' root?

CRESSIDA. I must then to the Grecians?
TROILUS. No remedy.
CRESSIDA. A woeful Cressid 'mongst the merry Greeks!

When shall we see again?

TROILUS. Hear memy love. Be thou but true of heartCRESSIDA.
I true! how now! What wicked deem is this?
TROILUS. Naywe must use expostulation kindly

For it is parting from us.
I speak not 'Be thou true' as fearing thee
For I will throw my glove to Death himself
That there's no maculation in thy heart;
But 'Be thou true' say I to fashion in
My sequent protestation: be thou true
And I will see thee.

CRESSIDA. Oyou shall be expos'dmy lordto dangers

As infinite as imminent! But I'll be true.
TROILUS. And I'll grow friend with danger. Wear this sleeve.
CRESSIDA. And you this glove. When shall I see you?
TROILUS. I will corrupt the Grecian sentinels

To give thee nightly visitation.

But yet be true.
CRESSIDA. O heavens! 'Be true' again!
TROILUS. Hear why I speak itlove.

The Grecian youths are full of quality;
They're lovingwell compos'd with gifts of nature
And flowing o'er with arts and exercise.
How novelties may moveand parts with person
Alasa kind of godly jealousy
Which I beseech you call a virtuous sin
Makes me afeard.

CRESSIDA. O heavens! you love me not.

TROILUS. Die I a villainthen!
In this I do not call your faith in question
So mainly as my merit. I cannot sing
Nor heel the high lavoltnor sweeten talk
Nor play at subtle games-fair virtues all
To which the Grecians are most prompt and pregnant;
But I can tell that in each grace of these
There lurks a still and dumb-discoursive devil
That tempts most cunningly. But be not tempted.

CRESSIDA. Do you think I will?

But something may be done that we will not;
And sometimes we are devils to ourselves
When we will tempt the frailty of our powers
Presuming on their changeful potency.

AENEAS. [Within] Naygood my lord!
TROILUS. Comekiss; and let us part.
PARIS. [Within] Brother Troilus!
TROILUS. Good brothercome you hither;

And bring Aeneas and the Grecian with you.
CRESSIDA. My lordwill you be true?
TROILUS. WhoI? Alasit is my vicemy fault!

Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion
I with great truth catch mere simplicity;
Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns
With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.


Fear not my truth: the moral of my wit
Is 'plain and true'; there's all the reach of it.
WelcomeSir Diomed! Here is the lady
Which for Antenor we deliver you;
At the portlordI'll give her to thy hand
And by the way possess thee what she is.
Entreat her fair; andby my soulfair Greek
If e'er thou stand at mercy of my sword

Name Cressidand thy life shall be as safe
As Priam is in Ilion.

DIOMEDES. Fair Lady Cressid
So please yousave the thanks this prince expects.
The lustre in your eyeheaven in your cheek
Pleads your fair usage; and to Diomed
You shall be mistressand command him wholly.

TROILUS. Grecianthou dost not use me courteously
To shame the zeal of my petition to the
In praising her. I tell theelord of Greece
She is as far high-soaring o'er thy praises
As thou unworthy to be call'd her servant.
I charge thee use her welleven for my charge;
Forby the dreadful Plutoif thou dost not
Though the great bulk Achilles be thy guard
I'll cut thy throat.

DIOMEDES. Obe not mov'dPrince Troilus.
Let me be privileg'd by my place and message
To be a speaker free: when I am hence
I'll answer to my lust. And know youlord
I'll nothing do on charge: to her own worth
She shall be priz'd. But that you say 'Be't so'
I speak it in my spirit and honour'No.'

TROILUS. Cometo the port. I'll tell theeDiomed
This brave shall oft make thee to hide thy head.
Ladygive me your hand; andas we walk
To our own selves bend we our needful talk.


[Sound trumpet]
PARIS. Hark! Hector's trumpet.
AENEAS. How have we spent this morning!

The Prince must think me tardy and remiss

That swore to ride before him to the field.
PARIS. 'Tis Troilus' fault. Comecome to field with him.
DEIPHOBUS. Let us make ready straight.
AENEAS. Yeawith a bridegroom's fresh alacrity

Let us address to tend on Hector's heels.
The glory of our Troy doth this day lie
On his fair worth and single chivalry.


The Grecian camp. Lists set out


AGAMEMNON. Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair
Anticipating time with starting courage.
Give with thy trumpet a loud note to Troy
Thou dreadful Ajaxthat the appalled air
May pierce the head of the great combatant
And hale him hither.

AJAX. Thoutrumpetthere's my purse.
Now crack thy lungs and split thy brazen pipe;
Blowvillaintill thy sphered bias cheek
Out-swell the colic of puff Aquilon'd.
Comestretch thy chestand let thy eyes spout blood:
Thou blowest for Hector. [Trumpet sounds]

ULYSSES. No trumpet answers.
ACHILLES. 'Tis but early days.


AGAMEMNON. Is not yond Diomedwith Calchas' daughter?

ULYSSES. 'Tis heI ken the manner of his gait:
He rises on the toe. That spirit of his
In aspiration lifts him from the earth.

AGAMEMNON. Is this the lady Cressid?
DIOMEDES. Even she.
AGAMEMNON. Most dearly welcome to the Greekssweet lady.
NESTOR. Our general doth salute you with a kiss.
ULYSSES. Yet is the kindness but particular;

'Twere better she were kiss'd in general.
NESTOR. And very courtly counsel: I'll begin.
So much for Nestor.
ACHILLES. I'll take that winter from your lipsfair lady.

Achilles bids you welcome.
MENELAUS. I had good argument for kissing once.
PATROCLUS. But that's no argument for kissing now;

For thus popp'd Paris in his hardiment
And parted thus you and your argument.
ULYSSES. O deadly galland theme of all our scorns!
For which we lose our heads to gild his horns.
PATROCLUS. The first was Menelaus' kiss; thismine[
Kisses her again]

Patroclus kisses you.
MENELAUS. Othis is trim!
PATROCLUS. Paris and I kiss evermore for him.
MENELAUS. I'll have my kisssir. Ladyby your leave.
CRESSIDA. In kissingdo you render or receive?
PATROCLUS. Both take and give.
CRESSIDA. I'll make my match to live

The kiss you take is better than you give;

Therefore no kiss.
MENELAUS. I'll give you boot; I'll give you three for one.
CRESSIDA. You are an odd man; give even or give none.
MENELAUS. An odd manlady? Every man is odd.
CRESSIDA. NoParis is not; for you know 'tis true

That you are oddand he is even with you.
MENELAUS. You fillip me o' th' head.
CRESSIDA. NoI'll be sworn.
ULYSSES. It were no matchyour nail against his horn.

May Isweet ladybeg a kiss of you?
CRESSIDA. You may.
ULYSSES. I do desire it.
CRESSIDA. Whybeg then.
ULYSSES. Why thenfor Venus' sake give me a kiss

When Helen is a maid againand his.
CRESSIDA. I am your debtor; claim it when 'tis due.
ULYSSES. Never's my dayand then a kiss of you.
DIOMEDES. Ladya word. I'll bring you to your father.

Exit with CRESSIDA
NESTOR. A woman of quick sense.
ULYSSES. Fiefie upon her!

There's language in her eyeher cheekher lip
Nayher foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
At every joint and motive of her body.
O these encounters so glib of tongue
That give a coasting welcome ere it comes
And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts
To every ticklish reader! Set them down
For sluttish spoils of opportunity
And daughters of the game. [Trumpet within]

ALL. The Troyans' trumpet.

and other Trojanswith attendants

AGAMEMNON. Yonder comes the troop.

AENEAS. Hailall the state of Greece! What shall be done
To him that victory commands? Or do you purpose
A victor shall be known? Will you the knights
Shall to the edge of all extremity
Pursue each otheror shall they be divided
By any voice or order of the field?
Hector bade ask.

AGAMEMNON. Which way would Hector have it?
AENEAS. He cares not; he'll obey conditions.
ACHILLES. 'Tis done like Hector; but securely done

A little proudlyand great deal misprizing
The knight oppos'd.
AENEAS. If not Achillessir

What is your name?
ACHILLES. If not Achillesnothing.
AENEAS. Therefore Achilles. But whate'erknow this:

In the extremity of great and little
Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector;
The one almost as infinite as all
The other blank as nothing. Weigh him well
And that which looks like pride is courtesy.
This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood;
In love whereof half Hector stays at home;
Half hearthalf handhalf Hector comes to seek
This blended knighthalf Troyan and half Greek.

ACHILLES. A maiden battle then? OI perceive you!


AGAMEMNON. Here is Sir Diomed. Gogentle knight
Stand by our Ajax. As you and Lord ]Eneas
Consent upon the order of their fight
So be it; either to the uttermost
Or else a breath. The combatants being kin
Half stints their strife before their strokes begin.

[AJAX and HECTOR enter the lists]
ULYSSES. They are oppos'd already.
AGAMEMNON. What Troyan is that same that looks so heavy?
ULYSSES. The youngest son of Priama true knight;

Not yet matureyet matchless; firm of word;
Speaking in deeds and deedless in his tongue;
Not soon provok'dnor being provok'd soon calm'd;
His heart and hand both open and both free;
For what he has he giveswhat thinks he shows
Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty
Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath;
Manly as Hectorbut more dangerous;
For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
To tender objectsbut he in heat of action
Is more vindicative than jealous love.
They call him Troilusand on him erect
A second hope as fairly built as Hector.
Thus says Aeneasone that knows the youth
Even to his inchesandwith private soul
Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me.

[Alarum. HECTOR and AJAX fight]
AGAMEMNON. They are in action.
NESTOR. NowAjaxhold thine own!
TROILUS. Hectorthou sleep'st;

Awake thee.
AGAMEMNON. His blows are well dispos'd. ThereAjax!

[Trumpets cease]
DIOMEDES. You must no more.
AENEAS. Princesenoughso please you.
AJAX. I am not warm yet; let us fight again.
DIOMEDES. As Hector pleases.
HECTOR. Whythen will I no more.

Thou artgreat lordmy father's sister's son
A cousin-german to great Priam's seed;
The obligation of our blood forbids
A gory emulation 'twixt us twain:
Were thy commixtion Greek and Troyan so
That thou could'st say 'This hand is Grecian all
And this is Troyan; the sinews of this leg
All Greekand this all Troy; my mother's blood
Runs on the dexter cheekand this sinister
Bounds in my father's'; by Jove multipotent
Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member
Wherein my sword had not impressure made
Of our rank feud; but the just gods gainsay
That any drop thou borrow'dst from thy mother
My sacred auntshould by my mortal sword
Be drained! Let me embrace theeAjax.
By him that thundersthou hast lusty arms;
Hector would have them fall upon him thus.
Cousinall honour to thee!

AJAX. I thank theeHector.
Thou art too gentle and too free a man.
I came to kill theecousinand bear hence
A great addition earned in thy death.

HECTOR. Not Neoptolemus so mirable
On whose bright crest Fame with her loud'st Oyes
Cries 'This is he' could promise to himself
A thought of added honour torn from Hector.

AENEAS. There is expectance here from both the sides
What further you will do.
HECTOR. We'll answer it:
The issue is embracement. Ajaxfarewell.

AJAX. If I might in entreaties find success
As seld I have the chanceI would desire
My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.

DIOMEDES. 'Tis Agamemnon's wish; and great Achilles
Doth long to see unarm'd the valiant Hector.

HECTOR. Aeneascall my brother Troilus to me
And signify this loving interview
To the expecters of our Troyan part;
Desire them home. Give me thy handmy cousin;
I will go eat with theeand see your knights.

AGAMEMNON and the rest of the Greeks come forward

AJAX. Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.

HECTOR. The worthiest of them tell me name by name;
But for Achillesmy own searching eyes
Shall find him by his large and portly size.

AGAMEMNON.Worthy all arms! as welcome as to one
That would be rid of such an enemy.
But that's no welcome. Understand more clear
What's past and what's to come is strew'd with husks
And formless ruin of oblivion;
But in this extant momentfaith and troth
Strain'd purely from all hollow bias-drawing
Bids thee with most divine integrity

From heart of very heartgreat Hectorwelcome.
HECTOR. I thank theemost imperious Agamemnon.
AGAMEMNON. [To Troilus] My well-fam'd lord of Troyno less to you.
MENELAUS. Let me confirm my princely brother's greeting.

You brace of warlike brotherswelcome hither.
HECTOR. Who must we answer?
AENEAS. The noble Menelaus.
HECTOR. O youmy lord? By Mars his gauntletthanks!

Mock not that I affect the untraded oath;
Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove.
She's wellbut bade me not commend her to you.

MENELAUS. Name her not nowsir; she's a deadly theme.
HECTOR. Opardon; I offend.
NESTOR. I havethou gallant Troyanseen thee oft

Labouring for destinymake cruel way
Through ranks of Greekish youth; and I have seen thee
As hot as Perseusspur thy Phrygian steed
Despising many forfeits and subduements
When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i' th' air
Not letting it decline on the declined;
That I have said to some my standers-by
'LoJupiter is yonderdealing life!'
And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath
When that a ring of Greeks have hemm'd thee in
Like an Olympian wrestling. This have I seen;
But this thy countenancestill lock'd in steel
I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire
And once fought with him. He was a soldier good
Butby great Marsthe captain of us all
Never like thee. Olet an old man embrace thee;
Andworthy warriorwelcome to our tents.

AENEAS. 'Tis the old Nestor.

HECTOR. Let me embrace theegood old chronicle
That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time.
Most reverend NestorI am glad to clasp thee.

NESTOR. I would my arms could match thee in contention

As they contend with thee in courtesy.
HECTOR. I would they could.

By this white beardI'd fight with thee to-morrow.
Wellwelcomewelcome! I have seen the time.
ULYSSES. I wonder now how yonder city stands
When we have here her base and pillar by us.

HECTOR. I know your favourLord Ulysseswell.
Ahsirthere's many a Greek and Troyan dead
Since first I saw yourself and Diomed
In Ilion on your Greekish embassy.

ULYSSES. SirI foretold you then what would ensue.
My prophecy is but half his journey yet;
For yonder wallsthat pertly front your town
Yond towerswhose wanton tops do buss the clouds
Must kiss their own feet.

HECTOR. I must not believe you.
There they stand yet; and modestly I think
The fall of every Phrygian stone will cost
A drop of Grecian blood. The end crowns all;
And that old common arbitratorTime
Will one day end it.

ULYSSES. So to him we leave it.
Most gentle and most valiant Hectorwelcome.
After the GeneralI beseech you next
To feast with me and see me at my tent.

ACHILLES. I shall forestall theeLord Ulyssesthou!
NowHectorI have fed mine eyes on thee;

I have with exact view perus'd theeHector

And quoted joint by joint.
HECTOR. Is this Achilles?
ACHILLES. I am Achilles.
HECTOR. Stand fairI pray thee; let me look on thee.
ACHILLES. Behold thy fill.
HECTOR. NayI have done already.
ACHILLES. Thou art too brief. I will the second time

As I would buy theeview thee limb by limb.

HECTOR. Olike a book of sport thou'lt read me o'er;
But there's more in me than thou understand'st.
Why dost thou so oppress me with thine eye?

ACHILLES. Tell meyou heavensin which part of his body
Shall I destroy him? Whether thereor thereor there?
That I may give the local wound a name
And make distinct the very breach whereout
Hector's great spirit flew. Answer meheavens.

HECTOR. It would discredit the blest godsproud man
To answer such a question. Stand again.
Think'st thou to catch my life so pleasantly
As to prenominate in nice conjecture
Where thou wilt hit me dead?

ACHILLES. I tell thee yea.

HECTOR. Wert thou an oracle to tell me so
I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well;
For I'll not kill thee therenor therenor there;
Butby the forge that stithied Mars his helm
I'll kill thee everywhereyeao'er and o'er.
You wisest Grecianspardon me this brag.
His insolence draws folly from my lips;
But I'll endeavour deeds to match these words
Or may I never

AJAX. Do not chafe theecousin;
And youAchilleslet these threats alone
Till accident or purpose bring you to't.
You may have every day enough of Hector
If you have stomach. The general stateI fear
Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him.

HECTOR. I pray you let us see you in the field;
We have had pelting wars since you refus'd
The Grecians' cause.

ACHILLES. Dost thou entreat meHector?
To-morrow do I meet theefell as death;
To-night all friends.

HECTOR. Thy hand upon that match.

AGAMEMNON. Firstall you peers of Greecego to my tent;
There in the full convive we; afterwards
As Hector's leisure and your bounties shall
Concur togetherseverally entreat him.
Beat loud the tambourineslet the trumpets blow
That this great soldier may his welcome know.

Exeunt all but TROILUS and ULYSSES
TROILUS. My Lord Ulyssestell meI beseech you
In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?

ULYSSES. At Menelaus' tentmost princely Troilus.
There Diomed doth feast with him to-night
Who neither looks upon the heaven nor earth
But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view
On the fair Cressid.

TROILUS. Shall Isweet lordbe bound to you so much
After we part from Agamemnon's tent
To bring me thither?

ULYSSES. You shall command mesir.
As gentle tell me of what honour was

This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there
That wails her absence?

TROILUS. Osirto such as boasting show their scars
A mock is due. Will you walk onmy lord?
She was belov'dshe lov'd; she isand doth;
But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.



The Grecian camp. Before the tent of ACHILLES


ACHILLES. I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine to-night
Which with my scimitar I'll cool to-morrow.
Patrocluslet us feast him to the height.

PATROCLUS. Here comes Thersites.


ACHILLES. How nowthou core of envy!
Thou crusty batch of naturewhat's the news?
THERSITES. Whythou picture of what thou seemestand idol of

idiot worshippershere's a letter for thee.
ACHILLES. From whencefragment?
THERSITES. Whythou full dish of foolfrom Troy.
PATROCLUS. Who keeps the tent now?
THERSITES. The surgeon's box or the patient's wound.
PATROCLUS. Well saidAdversity! and what needs these tricks?
THERSITES. Pritheebe silentboy; I profit not by thy talk; thou

art said to be Achilles' male varlet.
PATROCLUS. Male varletyou rogue! What's that?
THERSITES. Whyhis masculine whore. Nowthe rotten diseases of

the souththe guts-griping rupturescatarrhsloads o' gravel
in the backlethargiescold palsiesraw eyesdirt-rotten
liverswheezing lungsbladders full of imposthumesciaticas
limekilns i' th' palmincurable bone-acheand the rivelled feesimple
of the tettertake and take again such preposterous

PATROCLUS. Whythou damnable box of envythouwhat meanest thou

to curse thus?
THERSITES. Do I curse thee?
PATROCLUS. Whynoyou ruinous butt; you whoreson

indistinguishable curno.

THERSITES. No! Why art thouthenexasperatethou idle immaterial
skein of sleid silkthou green sarcenet flap for a sore eye
thou tassel of a prodigal's pursethou? Ahhow the poor world is
pest'red with such water-flies-diminutives of nature!

THERSITES. Finch egg!

ACHILLES. My sweet PatroclusI am thwarted quite
From my great purpose in to-morrow's battle.
Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba
A token from her daughtermy fair love
Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it.
Fall Greeks; fail fame; honour or go or stay;
My major vow lies herethis I'll obey.
ComecomeThersiteshelp to trim my tent;
This night in banqueting must all be spent.
AwayPatroclus! Exit with PATROCLUS

THERSITES. With too much blood and too little brain these two may
run mad; butif with too much brain and to little blood they do
I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnonan honest fellow
enoughand one that loves quailsbut he has not so much brain
as ear-wax; and the goodly transformation of Jupiter therehis
brotherthe bullthe primitive statue and oblique memorial of
cuckoldsa thrifty shoeing-horn in a chainhanging at his
brother's leg-to what form but that he isshould wit larded with
maliceand malice forced with witturn him to? To an asswere
nothing: he is both ass and ox. To an oxwere nothing: he is both
ox and ass. To be a doga mulea cata fitchewa toada
lizardan owla put-tockor a herring without a roeI would
not care; but to be MenelausI would conspire against destiny.
Ask me not what I would beif I were not Thersites; for I care
not to be the louse of a lazarso I were not Menelaus. Hey-day!
sprites and fires!


AGAMEMNON. We go wrongwe go wrong.
AJAX. Noyonder 'tis;

Therewhere we see the lights.
HECTOR. I trouble you.
AJAX. Nonot a whit.


ULYSSES. Here comes himself to guide you.
ACHILLES. Welcomebrave Hector; welcomePrinces all.
AGAMEMNON. So nowfair Prince of TroyI bid good night;

Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.
HECTOR. Thanksand good night to the Greeks' general.
MENELAUS. Good nightmy lord.
HECTOR. Good nightsweet Lord Menelaus.
THERSITES. Sweet draught! 'Sweet' quoth 'a?

Sweet sinksweet sewer!
ACHILLES. Good night and welcomeboth at onceto those
That go or tarry.
AGAMEMNON. Good night.
ACHILLES. Old Nestor tarries; and you tooDiomed
Keep Hector company an hour or two.
DIOMEDES. I cannotlord; I have important business

The tide whereof is now. Good nightgreat Hector.
HECTOR. Give me your hand.
ULYSSES. [Aside to TROILUS] Follow his torch; he goes to

Calchas' tent; I'll keep you company.
TROILUS. Sweet siryou honour me.
HECTOR. And sogood night.

ACHILLES. Comecomeenter my tent.
Exeunt all but THERSITES

THERSITES. That same Diomed's a false-hearted roguea most unjust
knave; I will no more trust him when he leers than I will a
serpent when he hisses. He will spend his mouth and promiselike
Brabbler the hound; but when he performsastronomers foretell
it: it is prodigiousthere will come some change; the sun
borrows of the moon when Diomed keeps his word. I will rather
leave to see Hector than not to dog him. They say he keeps a
Troyan draband uses the traitor Calchas' tent. I'll after.
Nothing but lechery! All incontinent varlets!


The Grecian camp. Before CALCHAS' tent


DIOMEDES. Whatare you up hereho? Speak.
CALCHAS. [Within] Who calls?
DIOMEDES. Diomed. CalchasI think. Where's your daughter?
CALCHAS. [Within] She comes to you.

Enter TROILUS and ULYSSESat a distance; after them

ULYSSES. Stand where the torch may not discover us.


TROILUS. Cressid comes forth to him.
DIOMEDES. How nowmy charge!
CRESSIDA. Nowmy sweet guardian! Harka word with you.

TROILUS. Yeaso familiar!
ULYSSES. She will sing any man at first sight.
THERSITES. And any man may sing herif he can take her cliff;

she's noted.
DIOMEDES. Will you remember?
CRESSIDA. Remember? Yes.
DIOMEDES. Naybut dothen;

And let your mind be coupled with your words.
TROILUS. What shall she remember?
CRESSIDA. Sweet honey Greektempt me no more to folly.
I'll tell you whatDIOMEDES.
Fofo! cometell a pin; you are a forswornCRESSIDA.
In faithI cannot. What would you have me do?
THERSITES. A juggling trickto be secretly open.
DIOMEDES. What did you swear you would bestow on me?
CRESSIDA. I pritheedo not hold me to mine oath;

Bid me do anything but thatsweet Greek.
DIOMEDES. Good night.
TROILUS. Holdpatience!
ULYSSES. How nowTroyan!
DIOMEDES. Nonogood night; I'll be your fool no more.
TROILUS. Thy better must.
CRESSIDA. Hark! a word in your ear.
TROILUS. O plague and madness!
ULYSSES. You are movedPrince; let us departI pray

Lest your displeasure should enlarge itself
To wrathful terms. This place is dangerous;
The time right deadly; I beseech yougo.

TROILUS. BeholdI pray you.
ULYSSES. Naygood my lordgo off;

You flow to great distraction; comemy lord.
TROILUS. I prithee stay.
ULYSSES. You have not patience; come.
TROILUS. I pray youstay; by hell and all hell's torments

I will not speak a word.
DIOMEDES. And sogood night.
CRESSIDA. Naybut you part in anger.
TROILUS. Doth that grieve thee? O withered truth!
ULYSSES. How nowmy lord?
TROILUS. By JoveI will be patient.
CRESSIDA. Guardian! WhyGreek!
DIOMEDES. Fofo! adieu! you palter.
CRESSIDA. In faithI do not. Come hither once again.
ULYSSES. You shakemy lordat something; will you go?

You will break out.
TROILUS. She strokes his cheek.
ULYSSES. Comecome.
TROILUS. Naystay; by JoveI will not speak a word:

There is between my will and all offences
A guard of patience. Stay a little while.
THERSITES. How the devil luxurywith his fat rump and potato

fingertickles these together! Frylecheryfry!
DIOMEDES. But will youthen?
CRESSIDA. In faithI willlo; never trust me else.
DIOMEDES. Give me some token for the surety of it.
CRESSIDA. I'll fetch you one.

ULYSSES. You have sworn patience.
TROILUS. Fear me notmy lord;

I will not be myselfnor have cognition
Of what I feel. I am all patience.


THERSITES. Now the pledge; nownownow!
CRESSIDA. HereDiomedkeep this sleeve.
TROILUS. O beauty! where is thy faith?
ULYSSES. My lord!
TROILUS. I will be patient; outwardly I will.
CRESSIDA. You look upon that sleeve; behold it well.

He lov'd me-O false wench!-Give't me again.
DIOMEDES. Whose was't?
CRESSIDA. It is no matternow I ha't again.

I will not meet with you to-morrow night.

I pritheeDiomedvisit me no more.
THERSITES. Now she sharpens. Well saidwhetstone.
DIOMEDES. I shall have it.
CRESSIDA. Whatthis?
CRESSIDA. O all you gods! O prettypretty pledge!

Thy master now lies thinking on his bed
Of thee and meand sighsand takes my glove
And gives memorial dainty kisses to it
As I kiss thee. Naydo not snatch it from me;
He that takes that doth take my heart withal.

DIOMEDES. I had your heart before; this follows it.
TROILUS. I did swear patience.
CRESSIDA. You shall not have itDiomed; faithyou shall not;

I'll give you something else.

DIOMEDES. I will have this. Whose was it?
CRESSIDA. It is no matter.
DIOMEDES. Cometell me whose it was.
CRESSIDA. 'Twas one's that lov'd me better than you will.

Butnow you have ittake it.
DIOMEDES. Whose was it?
CRESSIDA. By all Diana's waiting women yond

And by herselfI will not tell you whose.
DIOMEDES. To-morrow will I wear it on my helm
And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it.
TROILUS. Wert thou the devil and wor'st it on thy horn
It should be challeng'd.
CRESSIDA. Wellwell'tis done'tis past; and yet it is not;
I will not keep my word.
DIOMEDES. Whythen farewell;
Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.
CRESSIDA. You shall not go. One cannot speak a word

But it straight starts you.
DIOMEDES. I do not like this fooling.
THERSITES. Nor Iby Pluto; but that that likes not you

Pleases me best.
DIOMEDES. Whatshall I come? The hourCRESSIDA.
Aycome-O Jove! Do come. I shall be plagu'd.
DIOMEDES. Farewell till then.
CRESSIDA. Good night. I prithee come. Exit DIOMEDES

Troilusfarewell! One eye yet looks on thee;
But with my heart the other eye doth see.
Ahpoor our sex! this fault in us I find
The error of our eye directs our mind.
What error leads must err; Othen conclude
Minds sway'd by eyes are full of turpitude.

THERSITES. A proof of strength she could not publish more

Unless she said 'My mind is now turn'd whore.'
ULYSSES. All's donemy lord.
ULYSSES. Why stay wethen?
TROILUS. To make a recordation to my soul

Of every syllable that here was spoke.
But if I tell how these two did coact
Shall I not lie in publishing a truth?
Sith yet there is a credence in my heart
An esperance so obstinately strong
That doth invert th' attest of eyes and ears;
As if those organs had deceptious functions
Created only to calumniate.
Was Cressid here?

ULYSSES. I cannot conjureTroyan.
TROILUS. She was notsure.
ULYSSES. Most sure she was.
TROILUS. Whymy negation hath no taste of madness.
ULYSSES. Nor minemy lord. Cressid was here but now.
TROILUS. Let it not be believ'd for womanhood.

Thinkwe had mothers; do not give advantage
To stubborn criticsaptwithout a theme
For depravationto square the general sex
By Cressid's rule. Rather think this not Cressid.

ULYSSES. What hath she donePrincethat can soil our mothers?
TROILUS. Nothing at allunless that this were she.
THERSITES. Will 'a swagger himself out on's own eyes?
TROILUS. This she? No; this is Diomed's Cressida.

If beauty have a soulthis is not she;
If souls guide vowsif vows be sanctimonies
If sanctimony be the god's delight

If there be rule in unity itself
This was not she. O madness of discourse
That cause sets up with and against itself!
Bifold authority! where reason can revolt
Without perditionand loss assume all reason
Without revolt: this isand is notCressid.
Within my soul there doth conduce a fight
Of this strange naturethat a thing inseparate
Divides more wider than the sky and earth;
And yet the spacious breadth of this division
Admits no orifex for a point as subtle
As Ariachne's broken woof to enter.
InstanceO instance! strong as Pluto's gates:
Cressid is minetied with the bonds of heaven.
InstanceO instance! strong as heaven itself:
The bonds of heaven are slipp'ddissolv'dand loos'd;
And with another knotfive-finger-tied
The fractions of her faithorts of her love
The fragmentsscrapsthe bitsand greasy relics
Of her o'er-eaten faithare bound to Diomed.

ULYSSES. May worthy Troilus be half-attach'd
With that which here his passion doth express?

TROILUS. AyGreek; and that shall be divulged well
In characters as red as Mars his heart
Inflam'd with Venus. Never did young man fancy
With so eternal and so fix'd a soul.
HarkGreek: as much as I do Cressid love
So much by weight hate I her Diomed.
That sleeve is mine that he'll bear on his helm;
Were it a casque compos'd by Vulcan's skill
My sword should bite it. Not the dreadful spout
Which shipmen do the hurricano call
Constring'd in mass by the almighty sun
Shall dizzy with more clamour Neptune's ear
In his descent than shall my prompted sword
Falling on Diomed.

THERSITES. He'll tickle it for his concupy.

TROILUS. O Cressid! O false Cressid! falsefalsefalse!
Let all untruths stand by thy stained name
And they'll seem glorious.

ULYSSES. Ocontain yourself;
Your passion draws ears hither.


AENEAS. I have been seeking you this hourmy lord.
Hectorby thisis arming him in Troy;
Ajaxyour guardstays to conduct you home.

TROILUS. Have with youPrince. My courteous lordadieu.
Fairwellrevolted fair!-andDiomed
Stand fast and wear a castle on thy head.

ULYSSES. I'll bring you to the gates.
TROILUS. Accept distracted thanks.


THERSITES. Would I could meet that rogue Diomed! I would croak like
a raven; I would bodeI would bode. Patroclus will give me
anything for the intelligence of this whore; the parrot will not
do more for an almond than he for a commodious drab. Lechery
lechery! Still wars and lechery! Nothing else holds fashion. A
burning devil take them!


Troy. Before PRIAM'S palace


ANDROMACHE. When was my lord so much ungently temper'd
To stop his ears against admonishment?
Unarmunarmand do not fight to-day.

HECTOR. You train me to offend you; get you in.

By all the everlasting godsI'll go.
ANDROMACHE. My dreams willsureprove ominous to the day.
HECTOR. No moreI say.


CASSANDRA. Where is my brother Hector?

ANDROMACHE. Heresisterarm'dand bloody in intent.
Consort with me in loud and dear petition
Pursue we him on knees; for I have dreamt
Of bloody turbulenceand this whole night
Hath nothing been but shapes and forms of slaughter.

CASSANDRA. O'tis true!
HECTOR. Ho! bid my trumpet sound.
CASSANDRA. No notes of sallyfor the heavenssweet brother!
HECTOR. Be goneI say. The gods have heard me swear.
CASSANDRA. The gods are deaf to hot and peevish vows;

They are polluted off'ringsmore abhorr'd
Than spotted livers in the sacrifice.

ANDROMACHE. Obe persuaded! Do not count it holy
To hurt by being just. It is as lawful
For we would give muchto use violent thefts
And rob in the behalf of charity.

CASSANDRA. It is the purpose that makes strong the vow;
But vows to every purpose must not hold.
Unarmsweet Hector.

HECTOR. Hold you stillI say.
Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate.
Life every man holds dear; but the dear man
Holds honour far more precious dear than life.


How nowyoung man! Mean'st thou to fight to-day?
ANDROMACHE. Cassandracall my father to persuade.

HECTOR. Nofaithyoung Troilus; doff thy harnessyouth;
I am to-day i' th' vein of chivalry.
Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong
And tempt not yet the brushes of the war.
Unarm theego; and doubt thou notbrave boy
I'll stand to-day for thee and me and Troy.

TROILUS. Brotheryou have a vice of mercy in you
Which better fits a lion than a man.
HECTOR. What vice is thatgood Troilus?
Chide me for it.

TROILUS. When many times the captive Grecian falls
Even in the fan and wind of your fair sword
You bid them rise and live.

HECTOR. O'tis fair play!
TROILUS. Fool's playby heavenHector.
HECTOR. How now! how now!

TROILUS. For th' love of all the gods
Let's leave the hermit Pity with our mother;
And when we have our armours buckled on
The venom'd vengeance ride upon our swords
Spur them to ruthful workrein them from ruth!

HECTOR. Fiesavagefie!
TROILUS. Hectorthen 'tis wars.
HECTOR. TroilusI would not have you fight to-day.
TROILUS. Who should withhold me?

Not fateobediencenor the hand of Mars
Beck'ning with fiery truncheon my retire;
Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees
Their eyes o'ergalled with recourse of tears;
Nor youmy brotherwith your true sword drawn
Oppos'd to hinder meshould stop my way
But by my ruin.


CASSANDRA. Lay hold upon himPriamhold him fast;
He is thy crutch; now if thou lose thy stay
Thou on him leaningand all Troy on thee
Fall all together.

PRIAM. ComeHectorcomego back.
Thy wife hath dreamt; thy mother hath had visions;
Cassandra doth foresee; and I myself
Am like a prophet suddenly enrapt
To tell thee that this day is ominous.
Thereforecome back.

HECTOR. Aeneas is a-field;
And I do stand engag'd to many Greeks
Even in the faith of valourto appear
This morning to them.

PRIAM. Aybut thou shalt not go.

HECTOR. I must not break my faith.
You know me dutiful; thereforedear sir
Let me not shame respect; but give me leave
To take that course by your consent and voice
Which you do here forbid meroyal Priam.

CASSANDRA. O Priamyield not to him!
ANDROMACHE. Do notdear father.
HECTOR. AndromacheI am offended with you.

Upon the love you bear meget you in.
TROILUS. This foolishdreamingsuperstitious girl
Makes all these bodements.

CASSANDRA. Ofarewelldear Hector!
Look how thou diest. Look how thy eye turns pale.
Look how thy wounds do bleed at many vents.
Hark how Troy roars; how Hecuba cries out;
How poor Andromache shrills her dolours forth;
Behold distractionfrenzyand amazement
Like witless anticsone another meet
And all cryHector! Hector's dead! O Hector!

TROILUS. Awayaway!
CASSANDRA. Farewell!-yetsoft! HectorI take my leave.
Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive.

HECTOR. You are amaz'dmy liegeat her exclaim.
Go inand cheer the town; we'll forthand fight
Do deeds worth praise and tell you them at night.

PRIAM. Farewell. The gods with safety stand about thee!
Exeunt severally PRIAM and HECTOR.

TROILUS. They are at ithark! Proud Diomedbelieve
I come to lose my arm or win my sleeve.


PANDARUS. Do you hearmy lord? Do you hear?
TROILUS. What now?
PANDARUS. Here's a letter come from yond poor girl.
TROILUS. Let me read.
PANDARUS. A whoreson tisicka whoreson rascally tisick so troubles

meand the foolish fortune of this girland what one thing
what anotherthat I shall leave you one o' th's days; and I have
a rheum in mine eyes tooand such an ache in my bones that
unless a man were curs'd I cannot tell what to think on't. What
says she there?

TROILUS. Wordswordsmere wordsno matter from the heart;
Th' effect doth operate another way.

[Tearing the letter]
Gowindto windthere turn and change together.
My love with words and errors still she feeds
But edifies another with her deeds. Exeunt severally

The plain between Troy and the Grecian camp

Enter THERSITES. Excursions

THERSITES. Now they are clapper-clawing one another; I'll go look
on. That dissembling abominable varletDiomedhas got that same
scurvy doting foolish young knave's sleeve of Troy there in his
helm. I would fain see them meetthat that same young Troyan ass
that loves the whore there might send that Greekish whoremasterly
villain with the sleeve back to the dissembling luxurious drab of
a sleeve-less errand. A th' t'other sidethe policy of those
crafty swearing rascals-that stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese
Nestorand that same dog-foxUlysses -is not prov'd worth a
blackberry. They set me upin policythat mongrel curAjax
against that dog of as bad a kindAchilles; and now is the cur
Ajax prouder than the cur Achillesand will not arm to-day;
whereupon the Grecians begin to proclaim barbarismand policy
grows into an ill opinion.


Soft! here comes sleeveand t'other.
TROILUS. Fly not; for shouldst thou take the river Styx
I would swim after.

DIOMEDES. Thou dost miscall retire.
I do not fly; but advantageous care
Withdrew me from the odds of multitude.
Have at thee.

THERSITES. Hold thy whoreGrecian; now for thy whore
Troyan-now the sleevenow the sleeve!
Exeunt TROILUS and DIOMEDES fighting


HECTOR. What art thouGreek? Art thou for Hector's match?
Art thou of blood and honour?
THERSITES. Nono-I am a rascal; a scurvy railing knave; a very
filthy rogue.

HECTOR. I do believe thee. Live.

THERSITES. God-a-mercythat thou wilt believe me; but a plague
break thy neck for frighting me! What's become of the wenching
rogues? I think they have swallowed one another. I would laugh at
that miracle. Yetin a sortlechery eats itself. I'll seek


Another part of the plain


DIOMEDES. Gogomy servanttake thou Troilus' horse;
Present the fair steed to my lady Cressid.
Fellowcommend my service to her beauty;
Tell her I have chastis'd the amorous Troyan
And am her knight by proof.

SERVANT. I gomy lord.


AGAMEMNON. Renewrenew! The fierce Polydamus
Hath beat down enon; bastard Margarelon
Hath Doreus prisoner
And stands colossus-wisewaving his beam
Upon the pashed corses of the kings
Epistrophus and Cedius. Polixenes is slain;
Amphimacus and Thoas deadly hurt;
Patroclus ta'enor slain; and Palamedes
Sore hurt and bruis'd. The dreadful Sagittary
Appals our numbers. Haste weDiomed
To reinforcementor we perish all.


NESTOR. Gobear Patroclus' body to Achilles
And bid the snail-pac'd Ajax arm for shame.
There is a thousand Hectors in the field;
Now here he fights on Galathe his horse
And there lacks work; anon he's there afoot
And there they fly or dielike scaled sculls
Before the belching whale; then is he yonder
And there the strawy Greeksripe for his edge
Fall down before him like the mower's swath.
Herethereand everywherehe leaves and takes;
Dexterity so obeying appetite
That what he will he doesand does so much
That proof is call'd impossibility.


ULYSSES. OcouragecouragecouragePrinces! Great
Achilles Is armingweepingcursingvowing vengeance.
Patroclus' wounds have rous'd his drowsy blood
Together with his mangled Myrmidons
That noselesshandlesshack'd and chipp'dcome to
himCrying on Hector. Ajax hath lost a friend
And foams at mouthand he is arm'd and at it

Roaring for Troilus; who hath done to-day
Mad and fantastic execution
Engaging and redeeming of himself
With such a careless force and forceless care
As if that luckin very spite of cunning
Bade him win all.

Enter AJAX

AJAX. Troilus! thou coward Troilus!

DIOMEDES. Aytherethere.
NESTOR. Sosowe draw together.


ACHILLES. Where is this Hector?
Comecomethou boy-quellershow thy face;
Know what it is to meet Achilles angry.
Hector! where's Hector? I will none but Hector.


Another part of the plain

Enter AJAX

AJAX. Troilusthou coward Troilusshow thy head.


DIOMEDES. TroilusI say! Where's Troilus?
AJAX. What wouldst thou?
DIOMEDES. I would correct him.
AJAX. Were I the generalthou shouldst have my office

Ere that correction. TroilusI say! WhatTroilus!


TROILUS. O traitor Diomed! Turn thy false facethou traitor

And pay thy life thou owest me for my horse.
DIOMEDES. Ha! art thou there?
AJAX. I'll fight with him alone. StandDiomed.
DIOMEDES. He is my prize. I will not look upon.
TROILUS. Comebothyou cogging Greeks; have at you

Exeunt fighting


HECTOR. YeaTroilus? Owell foughtmy youngest brother!


ACHILLES. Now do I see theeha! Have at theeHector!
HECTOR. Pauseif thou wilt.
ACHILLES. I do disdain thy courtesyproud Troyan.

Be happy that my arms are out of use;
My rest and negligence befriends thee now
But thou anon shalt hear of me again;
Till whengo seek thy fortune.


HECTOR. Fare thee well.
I would have been much more a fresher man
Had I expected thee.

Re-enter TROILUS

How nowmy brother!

TROILUS. Ajax hath ta'en Aeneas. Shall it be?
Noby the flame of yonder glorious heaven
He shall not carry him; I'll be ta'en too
Or bring him off. Fatehear me what I say:
I reck not though thou end my life to-day.


Enter one in armour

HECTOR. Standstandthou Greek; thou art a goodly mark.
No? wilt thou not? I like thy armour well;
I'll frush it and unlock the rivets all
But I'll be master of it. Wilt thou notbeastabide?
Why thenfly on; I'll hunt thee for thy hide.


Another part of the plain

Enter ACHILLESwith Myrmidons

ACHILLES. Come here about meyou my Myrmidons;
Mark what I say. Attend me where I wheel;
Strike not a strokebut keep yourselves in breath;
And when I have the bloody Hector found
Empale him with your weapons round about;
In fellest manner execute your arms.
Follow mesirsand my proceedings eye.
It is decreed Hector the great must die.


Enter MENELAUS and PARISfighting; then THERSITES

THERSITES. The cuckold and the cuckold-maker are at it. Nowbull!
nowdog! 'LooParis'loo! now my double-horn'd Spartan! 'loo
Paris'loo! The bull has the game. Ware hornsho!



MARGARELON. Turnslaveand fight.
THERSITES. What art thou?
MARGARELON. A bastard son of Priam's.
THERSITES. I am a bastard too; I love bastards. I am a bastard

begotbastard instructedbastard in mindbastard in valourin
everything illegitimate. One bear will not bite anotherand
wherefore should one bastard? Take heedthe quarrel's most
ominous to us: if the son of a whore fight for a whorehe tempts
judgment. Farewellbastard.

MARGARELON. The devil take theecoward!

Another part of the plain


HECTOR. Most putrified core so fair without
Thy goodly armour thus hath cost thy life.
Now is my day's work done; I'll take good breath:
Restsword; thou hast thy fill of blood and death!


Enter ACHILLES and his Myrmidons

ACHILLES. LookHectorhow the sun begins to set;
How ugly night comes breathing at his heels;
Even with the vail and dark'ning of the sun
To close the day upHector's life is done.

HECTOR. I am unarm'd; forego this vantageGreek.
ACHILLES. Strikefellowsstrike; this is the man I seek.

[HECTOR falls]
SoIlionfall thou next! ComeTroysink down;
Here lies thy heartthy sinewsand thy bone.
OnMyrmidonsand cry you an amain
'Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain.'

[A retreat sounded]

Hark! a retire upon our Grecian part.
MYRMIDON. The Troyan trumpets sound the likemy lord.
ACHILLES. The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the earth

Andstickler-likethe armies separates.
My half-supp'd swordthat frankly would have fed
Pleas'd with this dainty baitthus goes to bed.

[Sheathes his sword]
Cometie his body to my horse's tail;
Along the field I will the Troyan trail.


Another part of the plain

DIOMEDESand the restmarching

AGAMEMNON. Hark! hark! what shout is this?
NESTOR. Peacedrums!
SOLDIERS. [Within] Achilles! Achilles! Hector's slain. Achilles!
DIOMEDES. The bruit is Hector's slainand by Achilles.
AJAX. If it be soyet bragless let it be;

Great Hector was as good a man as he.

AGAMEMNON. March patiently along. Let one be sent
To pray Achilles see us at our tent.
If in his death the gods have us befriended;
Great Troy is oursand our sharp wars are ended.

Another part of the plain


AENEAS. Standho! yet are we masters of the field.
Never go home; here starve we out the night.


TROILUS. Hector is slain.
ALL. Hector! The gods forbid!
TROILUS. He's deadand at the murderer's horse's tail

In beastly sortdragg'd through the shameful field.
Frown onyou heavenseffect your rage with speed.
Sitgodsupon your thronesand smile at Troy.
I say at once let your brief plagues be mercy
And linger not our sure destructions on.

AENEAS. My lordyou do discomfort all the host.

TROILUS. You understand me not that tell me so.
I do not speak of flightof fear of death
But dare all imminence that gods and men
Address their dangers in. Hector is gone.
Who shall tell Priam soor Hecuba?
Let him that will a screech-owl aye be call'd
Go in to Troyand say there 'Hector's dead.'
There is a word will Priam turn to stone;
Make wells and Niobes of the maids and wives
Cold statues of the youth; andin a word
Scare Troy out of itself. Butmarch away;
Hector is dead; there is no more to say.
Stay yet. You vile abominable tents
Thus proudly pight upon our Phrygian plains
Let Titan rise as early as he dare
I'll through and through you. Andthou great-siz'd coward
No space of earth shall sunder our two hates;
I'll haunt thee like a wicked conscience still
That mouldeth goblins swift as frenzy's thoughts.
Strike a free march to Troy. With comfort go;
Hope of revenge shall hide our inward woe.


PANDARUS. But hear youhear you!
TROILUS. Hencebroker-lackey. Ignominy and shame
Pursue thy life and live aye with thy name!
Exeunt all but PANDARUS

PANDARUS. A goodly medicine for my aching bones! world! world! thus
is the poor agent despis'd! traitors and bawdshow earnestly are
you set a workand how ill requited! Why should our endeavour be
so lov'dand the performance so loathed? What verse for it? What
instance for it? Let me see

Full merrily the humble-bee doth sing
Till he hath lost his honey and his sting;
And being once subdu'd in armed trail
Sweet honey and sweet notes together fail.

Good traders in the fleshset this in your painted
cloths. As many as be here of pander's hall
Your eyeshalf outweep out at Pandar's fall;
Orif you cannot weepyet give some groans
Though not for meyet for your aching bones.
Brethren and sisters of the hold-door trade
Some two months hence my will shall here be made.
It should be nowbut that my fear is this

Some galled goose of Winchester would hiss.
Till then I'll sweat and seek about for eases
And at that time bequeath you my diseases.