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Troilus and Cressida

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Act III, Scene 1

Troy. Priam’s palace.


[Enter a Servant and PANDARUS]

  • Pandarus. Friend, you! pray you, a word: do not you follow
    the young Lord Paris?
  • Servant. Ay, sir, when he goes before me. 1495
  • Servant. Sir, I do depend upon the lord.
  • Pandarus. You depend upon a noble gentleman; I must needs
    praise him.
  • Servant. Faith, sir, superficially.
  • Pandarus. Friend, know me better; I am the Lord Pandarus.
  • Servant. I hope I shall know your honour better.
  • Servant. You are in the state of grace.
  • Pandarus. Grace! not so, friend: honour and lordship are my titles.
    [Music within]
    What music is this?
  • Servant. I do but partly know, sir: it is music in parts. 1510
  • Pandarus. At whose pleasure, friend 1515
  • Servant. At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.
  • Servant. Who shall I command, sir?
  • Pandarus. Friend, we understand not one another: I am too
    courtly and thou art too cunning. At whose request 1520
    do these men play?
  • Servant. That's to 't indeed, sir: marry, sir, at the request
    of Paris my lord, who's there in person; with him,
    the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love's
    invisible soul,— 1525
  • Servant. No, sir, Helen: could you not find out that by her
  • Pandarus. It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the
    Lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the 1530
    Prince Troilus: I will make a complimental assault
    upon him, for my business seethes.
  • Servant. Sodden business! there's a stewed phrase indeed!

[Enter PARIS and HELEN, attended]

  • Pandarus. Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair 1535
    company! fair desires, in all fair measure,
    fairly guide them! especially to you, fair queen!
    fair thoughts be your fair pillow!
  • Helen. Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
  • Pandarus. You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. Fair 1540
    prince, here is good broken music.
  • Paris. You have broke it, cousin: and, by my life, you
    shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out
    with a piece of your performance. Nell, he is full
    of harmony. 1545
  • Pandarus. Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.
  • Paris. Well said, my lord! well, you say so in fits.
  • Pandarus. I have business to my lord, dear queen. My lord, 1550
    will you vouchsafe me a word?
  • Helen. Nay, this shall not hedge us out: we'll hear you
    sing, certainly.
  • Pandarus. Well, sweet queen. you are pleasant with me. But,
    marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and most esteemed 1555
    friend, your brother Troilus,—
  • Helen. My Lord Pandarus; honey-sweet lord,—
  • Pandarus. Go to, sweet queen, to go:—commends himself most
    affectionately to you,—
  • Helen. You shall not bob us out of our melody: if you do, 1560
    our melancholy upon your head!
  • Pandarus. Sweet queen, sweet queen! that's a sweet queen, i' faith.
  • Helen. And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.
  • Pandarus. Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall not,
    in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no, 1565
    no. And, my lord, he desires you, that if the king
    call for him at supper, you will make his excuse.
  • Helen. My Lord Pandarus,—
  • Pandarus. What says my sweet queen, my very very sweet queen?
  • Paris. What exploit's in hand? where sups he to-night? 1570
  • Helen. Nay, but, my lord,—
  • Pandarus. What says my sweet queen? My cousin will fall out
    with you. You must not know where he sups.
  • Paris. I'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.
  • Pandarus. No, no, no such matter; you are wide: come, your 1575
    disposer is sick.
  • Paris. Well, I'll make excuse.
  • Pandarus. Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida? no,
    your poor disposer's sick.
  • Pandarus. You spy! what do you spy? Come, give me an
    instrument. Now, sweet queen.
  • Helen. Why, this is kindly done.
  • Pandarus. My niece is horribly in love with a thing you have,
    sweet queen. 1585
  • Helen. She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.
  • Pandarus. He! no, she'll none of him; they two are twain.
  • Helen. Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.
  • Pandarus. Come, come, I'll hear no more of this; I'll sing
    you a song now. 1590
  • Helen. Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou
    hast a fine forehead.
  • Helen. Let thy song be love: this love will undo us all.
    O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid! 1595
  • Pandarus. Love! ay, that it shall, i' faith.
  • Paris. Ay, good now, love, love, nothing but love.
  • Pandarus. In good troth, it begins so.
    Love, love, nothing but love, still more! 1600
    For, O, love's bow
    Shoots buck and doe:
    The shaft confounds,
    Not that it wounds,
    But tickles still the sore. 1605
    These lovers cry Oh! oh! they die!
    Yet that which seems the wound to kill,
    Doth turn oh! oh! to ha! ha! he!
    So dying love lives still:
    Oh! oh! a while, but ha! ha! ha! 1610
    Oh! oh! groans out for ha! ha! ha!
  • Helen. In love, i' faith, to the very tip of the nose.
  • Paris. He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot
    blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot 1615
    thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.
  • Pandarus. Is this the generation of love? hot blood, hot
    thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers:
    is love a generation of vipers? Sweet lord, who's
    a-field to-day? 1620
  • Paris. Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the
    gallantry of Troy: I would fain have armed to-day,
    but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
    brother Troilus went not?
  • Helen. He hangs the lip at something: you know all, Lord Pandarus. 1625
  • Pandarus. Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they
    sped to-day. You'll remember your brother's excuse?
  • Helen. Commend me to your niece. 1630


[A retreat sounded]

  • Paris. They're come from field: let us to Priam's hall,
    To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you 1635
    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. 1640
  • Helen. 'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris;
    Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
    Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
    Yea, overshines ourself.
  • Paris. Sweet, above thought I love thee. 1645