Printer Friendly

ACT I. SCENE 2. 


Troy. A street

Enter CRESSIDA and her man ALEXANDER

 CRESSIDA.

Who were those went by?

 ALEXANDER.

Queen Hecuba and Helen.

 CRESSIDA.

And whither go they?

 ALEXANDER.

Up to the eastern tower,
Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
Is as a virtue fix'd, to-day was mov'd.
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.

 CRESSIDA.

What was his cause of anger?

 ALEXANDER.

The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks
A lord of Troyan blood, nephew to Hector;
They call him Ajax.

 CRESSIDA.

Good; and what of him?

 ALEXANDER.

They say he is a very man per se,
And stands alone.

 CRESSIDA.

So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no
legs.

 ALEXANDER.

This man, lady, hath robb'd many beasts of their
particular additions: he is as valiant as a lion, churlish as the
bear, slow as the elephant-a man into whom nature hath so crowded
humours that his valour is crush'd 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.

 CRESSIDA.

But how should this man, that makes me smile, make
Hector angry?

 ALEXANDER.

They say he yesterday cop'd Hector in the battle and
struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since
kept Hector fasting and waking.

Enter PANDARUS

 CRESSIDA.

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?- Good
morrow, Alexander.-How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium?

 CRESSIDA.

This morning, uncle.

 PANDARUS.

What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector arm'd
and gone ere you came to Ilium? Helen was not up, was she?

 CRESSIDA.

Hector was gone; but Helen was not up.

 PANDARUS.

E'en 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 lay about
him today, 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.

 CRESSIDA.

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 a man
if you see him?

 CRESSIDA.

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 were 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.

 CRESSIDA.

Excuse me.

 PANDARUS.

He is elder.

 CRESSIDA.

Pardon me, pardon me.

 PANDARUS.

Th' other's not come to't; you shall tell me another tale
when th' other's come to't. Hector shall not have his wit this
year.

 CRESSIDA.

He shall not need it if he have his own.

 PANDARUS.

Nor his qualities.

 CRESSIDA.

No matter.

 PANDARUS.

Nor his beauty.

 CRESSIDA.

'Twould not become him: his own's better.

 PANDARUS.

YOU have no judgment, niece. Helen herself swore th'
other day that Troilus, for a brown favour, for so 'tis, I must
confess- not brown neither-

 CRESSIDA.

No, but brown.

 PANDARUS.

Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.

 CRESSIDA.

To say the truth, true and not true.

 PANDARUS.

She prais'd his complexion above Paris.

 CRESSIDA.

Why, Paris hath colour enough.

 PANDARUS.

So he has.

 CRESSIDA.

Then Troilus should have too much. If she prais'd him
above, his complexion is higher than his; he having colour
enough, and the other higher, is too flaming praise for a good
complexion. I had as lief Helen's golden tongue had commended
Troilus for a copper nose.

 PANDARUS.

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' other day
into the compass'd window-and you know he has not past three or
four hairs on his chin-

 CRESSIDA.

Indeed a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his
particulars therein to a total.

 PANDARUS.

Why, he is very young, and yet will he within three pound
lift as much as his brother Hector.

 CRESSIDA.

Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?

 PANDARUS.

But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she came and
puts me her white hand to his cloven chin-

 CRESSIDA.

Juno have mercy! How came it cloven?

 PANDARUS.

Why, you know, 'tis dimpled. I think his smiling becomes
him better than any man in all Phrygia.

 CRESSIDA.

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 Helen loves
Troilus-

 CRESSIDA.

Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll prove it so.

 PANDARUS.

Troilus! Why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an
addle egg.

 CRESSIDA.

If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle
head, you would eat chickens i' th' shell.

 PANDARUS.

I cannot choose but laugh to think how she tickled his
chin. Indeed, she has a marvell's white hand, I must needs
confess.

 CRESSIDA.

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 laugh'd that
her eyes ran o'er.

 CRESSIDA.

With millstones.

 PANDARUS.

And Cassandra laugh'd.

 CRESSIDA.

But there was a more temperate fire under the pot of her
eyes. Did her eyes run o'er too?

 PANDARUS.

And Hector laugh'd.

 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 laugh'd too.

 PANDARUS.

They laugh'd 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 your chin,
and one of them is white.'

 CRESSIDA.

This is her question.

 PANDARUS.

That's true; make no question of that. 'Two and 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 blush'd, and Paris so chaf'd; and all the rest so
laugh'd that it pass'd.

 CRESSIDA.

So let it now; for it has been a great 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, and 'twere a
man born in April.

 CRESSIDA.

And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettle
against May

[Sound a retreat]

 PANDARUS.

Hark! they are coming from the field. Shall we stand up
here and see them as they pass toward Ilium? Good niece, do,
sweet niece Cressida.

 CRESSIDA.

At your pleasure.

 PANDARUS.

Here, here, here's an excellent place; here we may see
most bravely. I'll tell you them all by their names as they pass
by; but mark Troilus above the rest.

AENEAS passes

 CRESSIDA.

Speak not so loud.

 PANDARUS.

That's Aeneas. Is not that a brave man? He's one of the
flowers of Troy, I can tell you. But mark Troilus; you shall see
anon.

ANTENOR passes

 CRESSIDA.

Who's that?

 PANDARUS.

That's Antenor. He has a shrewd wit, I can tell you; and
he's a man good enough; he's one o' th' soundest judgments in
Troy, 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.

 CRESSIDA.

Will he give you the nod?

 PANDARUS.

You shall see.

 CRESSIDA.

If he do, the rich shall have more.

HECTOR passes

 PANDARUS.

That's Hector, that, that, look you, that; there's a
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?

 CRESSIDA.

O, a brave man!

 PANDARUS.

Is 'a not? It does a man's heart good. Look you 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.

 CRESSIDA.

Be those with swords?

 PANDARUS.

Swords! anything, he cares not; an the devil come to him,
it's all one. By God's lid, it does one's heart good. Yonder
comes Paris, yonder comes Paris.

PARIS passes

 

Look 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.

HELENUS passes

 CRESSIDA.

Who's that?

 PANDARUS.

That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's
Helenus. I think he went not forth to-day. That's Helenus.

 CRESSIDA.

Can Helenus fight, uncle?

 PANDARUS.

Helenus! no. Yes, he'll fight indifferent well. I marvel
where Troilus is. Hark! do you not hear the people cry
'Troilus'? Helenus is a priest.

 CRESSIDA.

What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

TROILUS passes

 PANDARUS.

Where? yonder? That's Deiphobus. 'Tis Troilus. There's a
man, niece. Hem! Brave Troilus, the prince of chivalry!

 CRESSIDA.

Peace, for shame, peace!

 PANDARUS.

Mark him; note him. O brave Troilus! Look well upon him,
niece; look you how his sword is bloodied, and his helm more
hack'd than Hector's; and how he looks, and how he goes! O
admirable youth! he never 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.

 CRESSIDA.

Here comes more.

Common soldiers pass

 PANDARUS.

Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran!
porridge after meat! I could live and die in 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 all Greece.

 CRESSIDA.

There is amongst the Greeks Achilles, a better man than
Troilus.

 PANDARUS.

Achilles? A drayman, a porter, a very camel!

 CRESSIDA.

Well, well.

 PANDARUS.

Well, well! Why, have you any discretion? Have 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?

 CRESSIDA.

Ay, a minc'd man; and then to be bak'd with no date in
the pie, for then the man's date is out.

 PANDARUS.

You are such a woman! A man knows not at what ward you
lie.

 CRESSIDA.

Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon my wit, to 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, at a thousand watches.

 PANDARUS.

Say one of your watches.

 CRESSIDA.

Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of the
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 past watching

 PANDARUS.

You are such another!

Enter TROILUS' BOY

 BOY.

Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.

 PANDARUS.

Where?

 BOY.

At your own house; there he unarms him.

 PANDARUS.

Good boy, tell him I come

Exit Boy

 

I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece.

 CRESSIDA.

Adieu, uncle.

 PANDARUS.

I will 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 PANDARUS

 

Words, 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 belov'd 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

Exit

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters