Enter, from one side, Aeneas, and Servant with a torch; from the other, Paris, Deiphobus, Antenor, Diomedes, and others, with torches
Paris See, ho! 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 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.
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,
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!
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,
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,
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.
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.
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 —
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.
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. 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,
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,
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;
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.
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,
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:
But we in silence hold this virtue well,
We’ll but commend what we intend to sell.
Here lies our way.
Enter Troilus and Cressida
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,
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?
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.
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:
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 now, how now! how go maidenheads? Here, you 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?
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!
Cressida Did not I tell you? Would he were knock’d i’ the head!
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.
Troilus Ha, ha!
Cressida Come, you are deceived, I 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 Cressida
Pandarus Who’s there? what’s the matter? will you beat down the door? How now! what’s the matter?
Aeneas Good morrow, lord, good 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 Come, he is here, my lord; do not deny him:
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 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.
Troilus How now! what’s the matter?
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,
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:
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
Have not more gift in taciturnity.
Exeunt Troilus and Aeneas
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?
Pandarus Ah, ah!
Cressida Why sigh you so profoundly? where’s my lord? gone!
Tell me, sweet uncle, what’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 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!
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; ’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;
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;
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,
Crack my clear voice with sobs and break my heart
With sounding Troilus. I will not go from Troy.
Enter Paris, Troilus, Aeneas, Deiphobus, Antenor, and Diomedes
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.
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.
Paris I know what ’tis to love;
And would, as I shall pity, I could help!
Please you walk in, my lords.
Enter Pandarus and Cressida
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
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;
No more my grief, in such a precious loss.
Pandarus Here, here, here he comes.
Ah, sweet ducks!
Cressida O Troilus! Troilus!
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?
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 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.
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?
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
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
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,
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
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 —
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,
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
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 while I speak it, love:
The Grecian youths are full of quality;
They’re loving, well composed with gifts of nature,
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.
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,
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] Nay, good my lord —
Troilus Come, kiss; and let us part.
Paris [Within] Brother Troilus!
Troilus Good brother, come you hither;
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;
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.
Enter Aeneas, Paris, Antenor, Deiphobus, 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.
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,
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,
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;
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,
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.’
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.
Exeunt Troilus, Cressida, and Diomedes
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.
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
On his fair worth and single chivalry.
Enter Ajax, armed; Agamemnon, Achilles, Patroclus, Menelaus, Ulysses, Nestor, and others
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 Ajax; that the appalled air
May pierce the head of the great combatant
And hale him hither.
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;
Thou blow’st for Hector.
Ulysses No trumpet answers.
Achilles ’Tis but early days.
Agamemnon Is not yond Diomed, with Calchas’ daughter?
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.
Enter Diomedes, with Cressida
Agamemnon Is this the Lady Cressid?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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,
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.
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
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?
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
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:
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 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.
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,
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?
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;
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
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
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!
Troilus Hector, thou sleep’st;
Agamemnon His blows are well disposed: there, Ajax!
Diomedes You must no more.
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,
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,
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
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:
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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 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.
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.
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,
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!’
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,
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.
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.
Hector I would they could.
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
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?
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,
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
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,
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 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.
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:
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.
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;
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
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,
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
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.
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?
She was beloved, she loved; she is, and doth:
But still sweet love is food for fortune’s tooth.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59