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Troilus and Cressida

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Act IV, Scene 4

The same. Pandarus’ house.



  • 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!

[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
  • Pandarus. Ay, ay, ay, ay; 'tis too plain a case.
  • Cressida. And is it true that I must go from Troy?
  • Cressida. What, and from Troilus too? 2460
  • 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. 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.