Open Source Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida

Act IV

Scene 1. Troy. A street.

Scene 2. The same. Court of Pandarus’ house.

Scene 3. The same. Street before Pandarus’ house.

Scene 4. The same. Pandarus’ house.

Scene 5. The Grecian camp. Lists set out.

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Act IV, Scene 1

Troy. A street.


[Enter, from one side, AENEAS, and Servant with a] [p]torch; from the other, PARIS, DEIPHOBUS, ANTENOR, [p]DIOMEDES, and others, with torches]

  • Paris. See, ho! who is that there?
  • Deiphobus. It is the Lord AEneas. 2200
  • Aeneas. Is the prince there in person?
    Had I so good occasion to lie long
    As you, prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business
    Should rob my bed-mate of my company.
  • Diomedes. That's my mind too. Good morrow, Lord AEneas. 2205
  • Paris. A valiant Greek, AEneas,—take his hand,—
    Witness the process of your speech, wherein
    You told how Diomed, a whole week by days,
    Did haunt you in the field.
  • Aeneas. Health to you, valiant sir, 2210
    During all question of the gentle truce;
    But when I meet you arm'd, as 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! 2215
    But when contention and occasion meet,
    By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life
    With all my force, pursuit and policy.
  • Aeneas. And thou shalt hunt a lion, that will fly
    With his face backward. In humane gentleness, 2220
    Welcome to Troy! now, by Anchises' life,
    Welcome, indeed! By Venus' hand I swear,
    No man alive can love in such a sort
    The thing he means to kill more excellently.
  • Diomedes. We sympathize: Jove, let AEneas live, 2225
    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 wound, and that to-morrow!
  • Aeneas. We know each other well. 2230
  • Diomedes. We do; and long to know each other worse.
  • Paris. This is the most despiteful gentle greeting,
    The noblest hateful love, that e'er I heard of.
    What business, lord, so early?
  • Aeneas. I was sent for to the king; but why, I know not. 2235
  • Paris. His purpose meets you: 'twas to bring this Greek
    To Calchas' house, and there to render him,
    For the enfreed Antenor, the fair Cressid:
    Let's have your company, or, if you please,
    Haste there before us: I constantly do think— 2240
    Or rather, call my thought a certain knowledge—
    My 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. 2245
  • 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 2250
    Will have it so. On, lord; we'll follow you.
  • Aeneas. Good morrow, all.

[Exit with Servant]

  • Paris. And tell me, noble Diomed, faith, tell me true,
    Even in the soul of sound good-fellowship, 2255
    Who, in your thoughts, merits 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, 2260
    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 2265
    The lees and dregs of a flat tamed piece;
    You, like a lecher, out of whorish loins
    Are pleased to breed out your inheritors:
    Both merits poised, each weighs nor less nor more;
    But he as he, the heavier for a whore. 2270
  • Paris. You are too bitter to your countrywoman.
  • Diomedes. She's bitter to her country: hear me, Paris:
    For every false drop in her bawdy veins
    A Grecian's life hath sunk; for every scruple
    Of her contaminated carrion weight, 2275
    A Trojan hath been slain: since she could speak,
    She hath not given so many good words breath
    As for her Greeks and Trojans suffer'd death.
  • Paris. Fair Diomed, you do as chapmen do,
    Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy: 2280
    But we in silence hold this virtue well,
    We'll but commend what we intend to sell.
    Here lies our way.



Act IV, Scene 2

The same. Court of Pandarus’ house.



  • Troilus. Dear, trouble not yourself: the morn is cold.
  • Cressida. Then, sweet my lord, I'll call mine uncle down;
    He shall unbolt the gates.
  • Troilus. Trouble him not;
    To bed, to bed: sleep kill those pretty eyes, 2290
    And give as soft attachment to thy senses
    As infants' empty of all thought!
  • Cressida. Good morrow, then.
  • Troilus. I prithee now, to bed.
  • Cressida. Are you a-weary of me? 2295
  • Troilus. O Cressida! but that the busy day,
    Waked by the lark, hath roused the ribald crows,
    And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer,
    I would not from thee.
  • Cressida. Night hath been too brief. 2300
  • Troilus. Beshrew the witch! with venomous wights she stays
    As tediously as hell, but flies the grasps of love
    With wings more momentary-swift than thought.
    You will catch cold, and curse me.
  • Cressida. Prithee, tarry: 2305
    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? 2310
  • Troilus. It is your uncle.
  • Cressida. A pestilence on him! now will he be mocking:
    I shall have such a life!


  • Pandarus. How now, how now! how go maidenheads? Here, you 2315
    maid! where's my cousin Cressid?
  • Cressida. Go hang yourself, you naughty mocking uncle!
    You bring me to do, and then you flout me too.
  • Pandarus. To do what? to do what? let her say
    what: what have I brought you to do? 2320
  • Cressida. Come, come, beshrew your heart! you'll ne'er be good,
    Nor suffer others.
  • Pandarus. Ha! ha! Alas, poor wretch! ah, poor capocchia!
    hast not slept to-night? would he not, a naughty
    man, let it sleep? a bugbear take him! 2325
  • Cressida. Did not I tell you? Would he were knock'd i' the head!
    [Knocking within]
    Who's that at door? good uncle, go and see.
    My lord, come you again into my chamber:
    You smile and mock me, as if I meant naughtily. 2330
  • Troilus. Ha, ha!
  • Cressida. Come, you are deceived, I think of no such thing.
    [Knocking within]
    How earnestly they knock! Pray you, come in:
    I would not for half Troy have you seen here. 2335


  • Pandarus. Who's there? what's the matter? will you beat
    down the door? How now! what's the matter?

[Enter AENEAS]

  • Aeneas. Good morrow, lord, good morrow. 2340
  • 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. Come, he is here, my lord; do not deny him: 2345
    It doth import him much to speak with me.
  • Pandarus. Is he here, say you? 'tis more than I know, I'll
    be sworn: for my own part, I came in late. What
    should he do here?
  • Aeneas. Who!—nay, then: come, come, you'll do him wrong 2350
    ere you're ware: you'll be so true to him, to be
    false to him: do not you know of him, but yet go
    fetch him hither; go.

[Re-enter TROILUS]

  • Troilus. How now! what's the matter? 2355
  • Aeneas. My lord, I scarce have leisure to salute you,
    My matter is so rash: there is at hand
    Paris your brother, and Deiphobus,
    The Grecian Diomed, and our Antenor
    Deliver'd to us; and for him forthwith, 2360
    Ere the first sacrifice, within this hour,
    We must give up to Diomedes' hand
    The Lady Cressida.
  • Troilus. Is it so concluded?
  • Aeneas. By Priam and the general state of Troy: 2365
    They are at hand and ready to effect it.
  • Troilus. How my achievements mock me!
    I will go meet them: and, my Lord AEneas,
    We met by chance; you did not find me here.
  • Aeneas. Good, good, my lord; the secrets of nature 2370
    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! 2375

[Re-enter CRESSIDA]

  • Cressida. How now! what's the matter? who was here?
  • Pandarus. Ah, ah!
  • Cressida. Why sigh you so profoundly? where's my lord? gone!
    Tell me, sweet uncle, what's the matter? 2380
  • Pandarus. Would I were as deep under the earth as I am above!
  • Cressida. O the gods! what's the matter?
  • Pandarus. Prithee, get thee in: would thou hadst ne'er been
    born! I knew thou wouldst be his death. O, poor
    gentleman! A plague upon Antenor! 2385
  • Cressida. Good uncle, I beseech you, on my knees! beseech you,
    what's the matter?
  • Pandarus. Thou must be gone, wench, thou must be gone; thou
    art changed for Antenor: thou must to thy father,
    and be gone from Troilus: 'twill be his death; 2390
    'twill be his bane; he cannot bear it.
  • Cressida. O you immortal gods! I will not go.
  • Pandarus. Thou must.
  • Cressida. I will not, uncle: I have forgot my father;
    I know no touch of consanguinity; 2395
    No kin no love, no blood, no 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! Time, force, and death,
    Do to this body what extremes you can; 2400
    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,—
  • Pandarus. Do, do.
  • Cressida. Tear my bright hair and scratch my praised cheeks, 2405
    Crack my clear voice with sobs and break my heart
    With sounding Troilus. I will not go from Troy.



Act IV, Scene 3

The same. Street before Pandarus’ house.



  • Paris. It is great morning, and the hour prefix'd
    Of 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. 2415
  • Troilus. Walk into her house;
    I'll bring her to the Grecian presently:
    And to his hand when I deliver her,
    Think it an altar, and thy brother Troilus
    A priest there offering to it his own heart. 2420


  • Paris. I know what 'tis to love;
    And would, as I shall pity, I could help!
    Please you walk in, my lords.



Act IV, Scene 4

The same. Pandarus’ house.



  • Pandarus. Be moderate, be moderate.
  • Cressida. Why tell you me of moderation?
    The grief is fine, full, perfect, that I taste,
    And violenteth in a sense as strong 2430
    As that which causeth it: how can I moderate it?
    If I could temporize with my affection,
    Or brew it to a weak and colder palate,
    The like allayment could I give my grief.
    My love admits no qualifying dross; 2435
    No more my grief, in such a precious loss.
  • Pandarus. Here, here, here he comes.
    [Enter TROILUS]
    Ah, sweet ducks!
  • Cressida. O Troilus! Troilus! 2440

[Embracing him]

  • Pandarus. What a pair of spectacles is here!
    Let me embrace too. 'O heart,' as the goodly saying is,
    '—O heart, heavy heart,
    Why sigh'st thou without breaking? 2445
    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
    nothing, for we may live to have need of such a 2450
    verse: we see it, we see it. How now, lambs?
  • Troilus. Cressid, I love thee in so strain'd a purity,
    That the bless'd gods, as angry with my fancy,
    More bright in zeal than the devotion which
    Cold lips blow to their deities, take thee from me. 2455
  • Cressida. Have the gods envy?
  • Pandarus. Ay, ay, ay, ay; 'tis too plain a case.
  • Cressida. And is it true that I must go from Troy?
  • Troilus. A hateful truth.
  • Cressida. What, and from Troilus too? 2460
  • Troilus. From Troy and Troilus.
  • Cressida. Is it possible?
  • Troilus. And suddenly; where injury of chance
    Puts back leave-taking, justles roughly by
    All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips 2465
    Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents
    Our lock'd embrasures, strangles our dear vows
    Even in the birth of our own labouring breath:
    We two, that with so many thousand sighs
    Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves 2470
    With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
    Injurious time now with a robber's haste
    Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how:
    As many farewells as be stars in heaven,
    With distinct breath and consign'd kisses to them, 2475
    He fumbles up into a lose adieu,
    And scants us with a single famish'd kiss,
    Distasted with the salt of broken tears.
  • Aeneas. [Within] My lord, is the lady ready?
  • Troilus. Hark! you are call'd: some say the Genius so 2480
    Cries 'come' to him that instantly must die.
    Bid them have patience; she shall come anon.
  • Pandarus. Where are my tears? rain, to lay this wind, or
    my heart will be blown up by the root.


  • Cressida. I must then to the Grecians?
  • Troilus. No remedy.
  • Cressida. A woful Cressid 'mongst the merry Greeks!
    When shall we see again?
  • Troilus. Hear me, my love: be thou but true of heart,— 2490
  • Cressida. I true! how now! what wicked deem is this?
  • Troilus. Nay, we 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, 2495
    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. O, you shall be exposed, my lord, to dangers 2500
    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. 2505
    But yet be true.
  • Cressida. O heavens! 'be true' again!
  • Troilus. Hear while I speak it, love:
    The Grecian youths are full of quality;
    They're loving, well composed with gifts of nature, 2510
    Flowing and swelling o'er with arts and exercise:
    How novelty may move, and parts with person,
    Alas, a kind of godly jealousy—
    Which, I beseech you, call a virtuous sin—
    Makes me afeard. 2515
  • Cressida. O heavens! you love me not.
  • Troilus. Die I a villain, then!
    In this I do not call your faith in question
    So mainly as my merit: I cannot sing,
    Nor heel the high lavolt, nor sweeten talk, 2520
    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. 2525
  • Cressida. Do you think I will?
  • Troilus. No.
    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, 2530
    Presuming on their changeful potency.
  • Aeneas. [Within] Nay, good my lord,—
  • Troilus. Come, kiss; and let us part.
  • Paris. [Within] Brother Troilus!
  • Troilus. Good brother, come you hither; 2535
    And bring AEneas and the Grecian with you.
  • Cressida. My lord, will you be true?
  • Troilus. Who, I? alas, it is my vice, my fault:
    Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion,
    I with great truth catch mere simplicity; 2540
    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.
    and DIOMEDES]
    Welcome, Sir Diomed! here is the lady
    Which for Antenor we deliver you:
    At the port, lord, I'll give her to thy hand,
    And by the way possess thee what she is. 2550
    Entreat her fair; and, by my soul, fair Greek,
    If e'er thou stand at mercy of my sword,
    Name Cressida and thy life shall be as safe
    As Priam is in Ilion.
  • Diomedes. Fair Lady Cressid, 2555
    So please you, save the thanks this prince expects:
    The lustre in your eye, heaven in your cheek,
    Pleads your fair usage; and to Diomed
    You shall be mistress, and command him wholly.
  • Troilus. Grecian, thou dost not use me courteously, 2560
    To shame the zeal of my petition to thee
    In praising her: I tell thee, lord 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 well, even for my charge; 2565
    For, by the dreadful Pluto, if thou dost not,
    Though the great bulk Achilles be thy guard,
    I'll cut thy throat.
  • Diomedes. O, be not moved, Prince Troilus:
    Let me be privileged by my place and message, 2570
    To be a speaker free; when I am hence
    I'll answer to my lust: and know you, lord,
    I'll nothing do on charge: to her own worth
    She shall be prized; but that you say 'be't so,'
    I'll speak it in my spirit and honour, 'no.' 2575
  • Troilus. Come, to the port. I'll tell thee, Diomed,
    This brave shall oft make thee to hide thy head.
    Lady, give me your hand, and, as we walk,
    To our own selves bend we our needful talk.


[Trumpet within]

  • Paris. Hark! Hector's trumpet.
  • Aeneas. How have we spent this morning!
    The prince must think me tardy and remiss,
    That sore to ride before him to the field. 2585
  • Paris. 'Tis Troilus' fault: come, come, to field with him.
  • Deiphobus. Let us make ready straight.
  • Aeneas. Yea, with a bridegroom's fresh alacrity,
    Let us address to tend on Hector's heels:
    The glory of our Troy doth this day lie 2590
    On his fair worth and single chivalry.



Act IV, Scene 5

The Grecian camp. Lists set out.



  • Agamemnon. Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair, 2595
    Anticipating time with starting courage.
    Give with thy trumpet a loud note to Troy,
    Thou dreadful Ajax; that the appalled air
    May pierce the head of the great combatant
    And hale him hither. 2600
  • Ajax. Thou, trumpet, there's my purse.
    Now crack thy lungs, and split thy brazen pipe:
    Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek
    Outswell the colic of puff'd Aquilon:
    Come, stretch thy chest and let thy eyes spout blood; 2605
    Thou blow'st for Hector.

[Trumpet sounds]

  • Ulysses. No trumpet answers.
  • Achilles. 'Tis but early days.
  • Agamemnon. Is not yond Diomed, with Calchas' daughter? 2610
  • Ulysses. 'Tis he, I 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? 2615
  • Diomedes. Even she.
  • Agamemnon. Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet 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. 2620
  • Nestor. And very courtly counsel: I'll begin.
    So much for Nestor.
  • Achilles. I'll take what winter from your lips, fair lady:
    Achilles bids you welcome.
  • Menelaus. I had good argument for kissing once. 2625
  • Patroclus. But that's no argument for kissing now;
    For this popp'd Paris in his hardiment,
    And parted thus you and your argument.
  • Ulysses. O deadly gall, and theme of all our scorns!
    For which we lose our heads to gild his horns. 2630
  • Patroclus. The first was Menelaus' kiss; this, mine:
    Patroclus kisses you.
  • Menelaus. O, this is trim!
  • Patroclus. Paris and I kiss evermore for him.
  • Menelaus. I'll have my kiss, sir. Lady, by your leave. 2635
  • Cressida. In kissing, do 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. 2640
  • Menelaus. I'll give you boot, I'll give you three for one.
  • Cressida. You're an odd man; give even or give none.
  • Menelaus. An odd man, lady! every man is odd.
  • Cressida. No, Paris is not; for you know 'tis true,
    That you are odd, and he is even with you. 2645
  • Menelaus. You fillip me o' the head.
  • Cressida. No, I'll be sworn.
  • Ulysses. It were no match, your nail against his horn.
    May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?
  • Cressida. You may. 2650
  • Ulysses. I do desire it.
  • Cressida. Why, beg, then.
  • Ulysses. Why then for Venus' sake, give me a kiss,
    When Helen is a maid again, and his.
  • Cressida. I am your debtor, claim it when 'tis due. 2655
  • Ulysses. Never's my day, and then a kiss of you.
  • Diomedes. Lady, a word: I'll bring you to your father.

[Exit with CRESSIDA]

  • Nestor. A woman of quick sense.
  • Ulysses. Fie, fie upon her! 2660
    There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,
    Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
    At every joint and motive of her body.
    O, these encounterers, so glib of tongue,
    That give accosting welcome ere it comes, 2665
    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 Trojans' trumpet.
  • Agamemnon. Yonder comes the troop.
    [Enter HECTOR, armed; AENEAS, TROILUS, and other]
    Trojans, with Attendants]
  • Aeneas. Hail, all you state of Greece! what shall be done 2675
    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 other, or shall be divided
    By any voice or order of the field? 2680
    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 proudly, and great deal misprizing 2685
    The knight opposed.
  • Aeneas. If not Achilles, sir,
    What is your name?
  • Achilles. If not Achilles, nothing.
  • Aeneas. Therefore Achilles: but, whate'er, know this: 2690
    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. 2695
    This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood:
    In love whereof, half Hector stays at home;
    Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek
    This blended knight, half Trojan and half Greek.
  • Achilles. A maiden battle, then? O, I perceive you. 2700

[Re-enter DIOMEDES]

  • Agamemnon. Here is Sir Diomed. Go, gentle knight,
    Stand by our Ajax: as you and Lord AEneas
    Consent upon the order of their fight,
    So be it; either to the uttermost, 2705
    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 opposed already.
  • Agamemnon. What Trojan is that same that looks so heavy? 2710
  • Ulysses. The youngest son of Priam, a true knight,
    Not yet mature, yet matchless, firm of word,
    Speaking in deeds and deedless in his tongue;
    Not soon provoked nor being provoked soon calm'd:
    His heart and hand both open and both free; 2715
    For what he has he gives, what thinks he shows;
    Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty,
    Nor dignifies an impure thought with breath;
    Manly as Hector, but more dangerous;
    For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes 2720
    To tender objects, but he in heat of action
    Is more vindicative than jealous love:
    They call him Troilus, and on him erect
    A second hope, as fairly built as Hector.
    Thus says AEneas; one that knows the youth 2725
    Even to his inches, and with private soul
    Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me.

[Alarum. Hector and Ajax fight]

  • Agamemnon. They are in action.
  • Nestor. Now, Ajax, hold thine own! 2730
  • Troilus. Hector, thou sleep'st;
    Awake thee!
  • Agamemnon. His blows are well disposed: there, Ajax!
  • Diomedes. You must no more.

[Trumpets cease]

  • Aeneas. Princes, enough, so please you.
  • Ajax. I am not warm yet; let us fight again.
  • Diomedes. As Hector pleases.
  • Hector. Why, then will I no more:
    Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son, 2740
    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 Trojan so
    That thou couldst say 'This hand is Grecian all, 2745
    And this is Trojan; the sinews of this leg
    All Greek, and this all Troy; my mother's blood
    Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
    Bounds in my father's;' by Jove multipotent,
    Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member 2750
    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 aunt, should by my mortal sword
    Be drain'd! Let me embrace thee, Ajax: 2755
    By him that thunders, thou hast lusty arms;
    Hector would have them fall upon him thus:
    Cousin, all honour to thee!
  • Ajax. I thank thee, Hector
    Thou art too gentle and too free a man: 2760
    I came to kill thee, cousin, and 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 2765
    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: Ajax, farewell. 2770
  • Ajax. If I might in entreaties find success—
    As seld I have the chance—I 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. 2775
  • Hector. AEneas, call my brother Troilus to me,
    And signify this loving interview
    To the expecters of our Trojan part;
    Desire them home. Give me thy hand, my cousin;
    I will go eat with thee and see your knights. 2780
  • Ajax. Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.
  • Hector. The worthiest of them tell me name by name;
    But for Achilles, mine own searching eyes
    Shall find him by his large and portly size.
  • Agamemnon. Worthy of arms! as welcome as to one 2785
    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 moment, faith and troth, 2790
    Strain'd purely from all hollow bias-drawing,
    Bids thee, with most divine integrity,
    From heart of very heart, great Hector, welcome.
  • Hector. I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.
  • Agamemnon. [To TROILUS] My well-famed lord of Troy, no 2795
    less to you.
  • Menelaus. Let me confirm my princely brother's greeting:
    You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.
  • Hector. Who must we answer?
  • Aeneas. The noble Menelaus. 2800
  • Hector. O, you, my lord? by Mars his gauntlet, thanks!
    Mock not, that I affect the untraded oath;
    Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove:
    She's well, but bade me not commend her to you.
  • Menelaus. Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly theme. 2805
  • Hector. O, pardon; I offend.
  • Nestor. I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft
    Labouring for destiny make cruel way
    Through ranks of Greekish youth, and I have seen thee,
    As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed, 2810
    Despising many forfeits and subduements,
    When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i' the air,
    Not letting it decline on the declined,
    That I have said to some my standers by
    'Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life!' 2815
    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 countenance, still lock'd in steel,
    I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire, 2820
    And once fought with him: he was a soldier good;
    But, by great Mars, the captain of us all,
    Never saw like thee. Let an old man embrace thee;
    And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.
  • Aeneas. 'Tis the old Nestor. 2825
  • Hector. Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle,
    That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time:
    Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.
  • Nestor. I would my arms could match thee in contention,
    As they contend with thee in courtesy. 2830
  • Hector. I would they could.
  • Nestor. Ha!
    By this white beard, I'ld fight with thee to-morrow.
    Well, welcome, welcome! I have seen the time.
  • Ulysses. I wonder now how yonder city stands 2835
    When we have here her base and pillar by us.
  • Hector. I know your favour, Lord Ulysses, well.
    Ah, sir, there's many a Greek and Trojan dead,
    Since first I saw yourself and Diomed
    In Ilion, on your Greekish embassy. 2840
  • Ulysses. Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue:
    My prophecy is but half his journey yet;
    For yonder walls, that pertly front your town,
    Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
    Must kiss their own feet. 2845
  • 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 arbitrator, Time, 2850
    Will one day end it.
  • Ulysses. So to him we leave it.
    Most gentle and most valiant Hector, welcome:
    After the general, I beseech you next
    To feast with me and see me at my tent. 2855
  • Achilles. I shall forestall thee, Lord Ulysses, thou!
    Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;
    I have with exact view perused thee, Hector,
    And quoted joint by joint.
  • Hector. Is this Achilles? 2860
  • Achilles. I am Achilles.
  • Hector. Stand fair, I pray thee: let me look on thee.
  • Achilles. Behold thy fill.
  • Hector. Nay, I have done already.
  • Achilles. Thou art too brief: I will the second time, 2865
    As I would buy thee, view thee limb by limb.
  • Hector. O, like 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 me, you heavens, in which part of his body 2870
    Shall I destroy him? whether there, or there, or there?
    That I may give the local wound a name
    And make distinct the very breach whereout
    Hector's great spirit flew: answer me, heavens!
  • Hector. It would discredit the blest gods, proud man, 2875
    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. 2880
  • Hector. Wert thou an oracle to tell me so,
    I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well;
    For I'll not kill thee there, nor there, nor there;
    But, by the forge that stithied Mars his helm,
    I'll kill thee every where, yea, o'er and o'er. 2885
    You wisest Grecians, pardon 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 thee, cousin: 2890
    And you, Achilles, let 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 state, I fear,
    Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him. 2895
  • Hector. I pray you, let us see you in the field:
    We have had pelting wars, since you refused
    The Grecians' cause.
  • Achilles. Dost thou entreat me, Hector?
    To-morrow do I meet thee, fell as death; 2900
    To-night all friends.
  • Hector. Thy hand upon that match.
  • Agamemnon. First, all you peers of Greece, go to my tent;
    There in the full convive we: afterwards,
    As Hector's leisure and your bounties shall 2905
    Concur together, severally entreat him.
    Beat loud the tabourines, let the trumpets blow,
    That this great soldier may his welcome know.

[Exeunt all except TROILUS and ULYSSES]

  • Troilus. My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you, 2910
    In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?
  • Ulysses. At Menelaus' tent, most 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 2915
    On the fair Cressid.
  • Troilus. Shall sweet lord, be bound to you so much,
    After we part from Agamemnon's tent,
    To bring me thither?
  • Ulysses. You shall command me, sir. 2920
    As gentle tell me, of what honour was
    This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there
    That wails her absence?
  • Troilus. O, sir, to such as boasting show their scars
    A mock is due. Will you walk on, my lord? 2925
    She was beloved, she loved; she is, and doth:
    But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.