|Troilus and Cressida|
| Troiles and Cressida
| Act 1, Scene 2
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Enter CRESSIDA and ALEXANDERCRESSIDA
Who were those went by?ALEXANDER
Queen Hecuba and Helen.CRESSIDA
And whither go they?ALEXANDER
Up to the eastern tower,CRESSIDA
Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
Is, as a virtue, fix'd, to-day was moved:
He chid Andromache and struck his armourer,
And, like 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.
What was his cause of anger?ALEXANDER
The noise goes, this: there is among the GreeksCRESSIDA
A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
They call him Ajax.
Good; and what of him?ALEXANDER
They say he is a very man per se,CRESSIDA
And stands alone.
So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.ALEXANDER
This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts of theirCRESSIDA
particular additions; he is as valiant as the lion,
churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant: a man
into whom nature hath so crowded humours that his
valour is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with
discretion: there is no man hath a virtue that he
hath not a glimpse of, nor 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 Briareus, many hands and no use,
or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight.
But how should this man, that makesALEXANDER
me smile, make Hector angry?
They say he yesterday coped Hector in the battle andCRESSIDA
struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath
ever since kept Hector fasting and waking.
Who comes here?ALEXANDER
Madam, your uncle Pandarus.CRESSIDA
Hector's a gallant man.ALEXANDER
As may be in the world, lady.PANDARUS
What's that? what's that?CRESSIDA
Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.PANDARUS
Good morrow, cousin Cressid: what do you talk of?CRESSIDA
Good morrow, Alexander. How do you, cousin? When
were you at Ilium?
This morning, uncle.PANDARUS
What were you talking of when I came? Was HectorCRESSIDA
armed and gone ere ye came to Ilium? Helen was not
up, was she?
Hector was gone, but Helen was not up.PANDARUS
Even so: Hector was stirring early.CRESSIDA
That were we talking of, and of his anger.PANDARUS
Was he angry?CRESSIDA
So he says here.PANDARUS
True, he was so: I know the cause too: he'll layCRESSIDA
about him to-day, I can tell them that: and there's
Troilus will not come far behind him: let them take
heed of Troilus, I can tell them that too.
What, is he angry too?PANDARUS
Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.CRESSIDA
O Jupiter! there's no comparison.PANDARUS
What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know aCRESSIDA
man if you see him?
Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.PANDARUS
Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.CRESSIDA
Then you say as I say; for, I am sure, he is not Hector.PANDARUS
No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some degrees.CRESSIDA
'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.PANDARUS
Himself! Alas, poor Troilus! I would he were.CRESSIDA
So he is.PANDARUS
Condition, I had gone barefoot to India.CRESSIDA
He is not Hector.PANDARUS
Himself! no, he's not himself: would a' wereCRESSIDA
himself! Well, the gods are above; time must friend
or end: well, Troilus, well: I would my heart were
in her body. No, Hector is not a better man than Troilus.
He is elder.CRESSIDA
Pardon me, pardon me.PANDARUS
Th' other's not come to't; you shall tell me anotherCRESSIDA
tale, when th' other's come to't. Hector shall not
have his wit this year.
He shall not need it, if he have his own.PANDARUS
Nor his qualities.CRESSIDA
Nor his beauty.CRESSIDA
'Twould not become him; his own's better.PANDARUS
You have no judgment, niece: HelenCRESSIDA
herself swore th' other day, that Troilus, for
a brown favour--for so 'tis, I must confess,--
not brown neither,--
No, but brown.PANDARUS
'Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.CRESSIDA
To say the truth, true and not true.PANDARUS
She praised his complexion above Paris.CRESSIDA
Why, Paris hath colour enough.PANDARUS
So he has.CRESSIDA
Then Troilus should have too much: if she praisedPANDARUS
him above, his complexion is higher than his; he
having colour enough, and the other higher, is too
flaming a praise for a good complexion. I had as
lief Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for
a copper nose.
I swear to you. I think Helen loves him better than Paris.CRESSIDA
Then she's a merry Greek indeed.PANDARUS
Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him th' otherCRESSIDA
day into the compassed window,--and, you know, he
has not past three or four hairs on his chin,--
Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring hisPANDARUS
particulars therein to a total.
Why, he is very young: and yet will he, withinCRESSIDA
three pound, lift as much as his brother Hector.
Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?PANDARUS
But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she cameCRESSIDA
and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin--
Juno have mercy! how came it cloven?PANDARUS
Why, you know 'tis dimpled: I think his smilingCRESSIDA
becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia.
O, he smiles valiantly.PANDARUS
Does he not?CRESSIDA
O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.PANDARUS
Why, go to, then: but to prove to you that HelenCRESSIDA
Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'llPANDARUS
prove it so.
Troilus! why, he esteems her no more than I esteemCRESSIDA
an addle egg.
If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idlePANDARUS
head, you would eat chickens i' the shell.
I cannot choose but laugh, to think how she tickledCRESSIDA
his chin: indeed, she has a marvellous white hand, I
must needs confess,--
Without the rack.PANDARUS
And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.CRESSIDA
Alas, poor chin! many a wart is richer.PANDARUS
But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba laughedCRESSIDA
that her eyes ran o'er.
And Cassandra laughed.CRESSIDA
But there was more temperate fire under the pot ofPANDARUS
her eyes: did her eyes run o'er too?
And Hector laughed.CRESSIDA
At what was all this laughing?PANDARUS
Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus' chin.CRESSIDA
An't had been a green hair, I should have laughedPANDARUS
They laughed not so much at the hair as at his pretty answer.CRESSIDA
What was his answer?PANDARUS
Quoth she, 'Here's but two and fifty hairs on yourCRESSIDA
chin, and one of them is white.
This is her question.PANDARUS
That's true; make no question of that. 'Two andCRESSIDA
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 blushed, an Paris so chafed, and all the
rest so laughed, that it passed.
So let it now; for it has been while going by.PANDARUS
Well, cousin. I told you a thing yesterday; think on't.CRESSIDA
So I do.PANDARUS
I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you, an 'twereCRESSIDA
a man born in April.
And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettlePANDARUS
A retreat sounded
Hark! they are coming from the field: shall weCRESSIDA
stand up here, and see them as they pass toward
Ilium? good niece, do, sweet niece Cressida.
At your pleasure.PANDARUS
Here, here, here's an excellent place; here we mayCRESSIDA
see most bravely: I'll tell you them all by their
names as they pass by; but mark Troilus above the rest.
Speak not so loud.PANDARUS
That's AEneas: is not that a brave man? he's one ofCRESSIDA
the flowers of Troy, I can tell you: but mark
Troilus; you shall see anon.
That's Antenor: he has a shrewd wit, I can tell you;CRESSIDA
and he's a man good enough, he's one o' the soundest
judgments in whosoever, and a proper man of person.
When comes Troilus? I'll show you Troilus anon: if
he see me, you shall see him nod at me.
Will he give you the nod?PANDARUS
You shall see.CRESSIDA
If he do, the rich shall have more.PANDARUS
That's Hector, that, that, look you, that; there's aCRESSIDA
fellow! Go thy way, Hector! There's a brave man,
niece. O brave Hector! Look how he looks! there's
a countenance! is't not a brave man?
O, a brave man!PANDARUS
Is a' not? it does a man's heart good. Look youCRESSIDA
what hacks are on his helmet! look you yonder, do
you see? look you there: there's no jesting;
there's laying on, take't off who will, as they say:
there be hacks!
Be those with swords?PANDARUS
Swords! any thing, he cares not; an the devil comeCRESSIDA
to him, it's all one: by God's lid, it does one's
heart good. Yonder comes Paris, yonder comes Paris.
PARIS passesLook ye yonder, niece; is't not a gallant man too,
is't not? Why, this is brave now. Who said he came
hurt home to-day? he's not hurt: why, this will do
Helen's heart good now, ha! Would I could see
Troilus now! You shall see Troilus anon.
That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That'sCRESSIDA
Helenus. I think he went not forth to-day. That's Helenus.
Can Helenus fight, uncle?PANDARUS
Helenus? no. Yes, he'll fight indifferent well. ICRESSIDA
marvel where Troilus is. Hark! do you not hear the
people cry 'Troilus'? Helenus is a priest.
What sneaking fellow comes yonder?PANDARUS
Where? yonder? that's Deiphobus. 'Tis Troilus!CRESSIDA
there's a man, niece! Hem! Brave Troilus! the
prince of chivalry!
Peace, for shame, peace!PANDARUS
Mark him; note him. O brave Troilus! Look well uponCRESSIDA
him, niece: look you how his sword is bloodied, and
his helm more hacked than Hector's, and how he looks,
and how he goes! O admirable youth! he ne'er saw
three and twenty. Go thy way, Troilus, go thy way!
Had I a sister were a grace, or a daughter a goddess,
he should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris?
Paris is dirt to him; and, I warrant, Helen, to
change, would give an eye to boot.
Here come more.PANDARUS
Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran!CRESSIDA
porridge after meat! I could live and die i' the
eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, ne'er look: the eagles
are gone: crows and daws, crows and daws! I had
rather be such a man as Troilus than Agamemnon and
There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better man than Troilus.PANDARUS
Achilles! a drayman, a porter, a very camel.CRESSIDA
'Well, well!' why, have you any discretion? haveCRESSIDA
you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not
birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood,
learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality,
and such like, the spice and salt that season a man?
Ay, a minced man: and then to be baked with no datePANDARUS
in the pie, for then the man's date's out.
You are such a woman! one knows not at what ward youCRESSIDA
Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon my wit, toPANDARUS
defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend mine
honesty; my mask, to defend my beauty; and you, to
defend all these: and at all these wards I lie, at a
Say one of your watches.CRESSIDA
Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of thePANDARUS
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 hiding, and then it's
You are such another!Boy
Enter Troilus's Boy
Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.PANDARUS
At your own house; there he unarms him.PANDARUS
Good boy, tell him I come.CRESSIDA
Exit boyI doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece.
I'll be with you, niece, by and by.CRESSIDA
To bring, uncle?PANDARUS
Ay, a token from Troilus.CRESSIDA
By the same token, you are a bawd.
Exit PANDARUSWords, vows, gifts, tears, and 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 angels, wooing:
Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.
That she beloved 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'd, beseech:
Then though my heart's content firm love doth bear,
Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.
| Troiles and Cressida
| Act 1, Scene 2
Previous scene | Next scene