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Dramatis Personae
Act 1
Scene I
Scene II
Scene III
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4
Act 5
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Troilus and Cressida: Act 1 Scene 1

Scene: Troy, and the Grecian camp before it.

PROLOGUE
In Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece
The princes orgulous, their high blood chafed,
Have to the port of Athens sent their ships,
Fraught with the ministers and instruments
Of cruel war: sixty and nine, that wore
Their crownets regal, from the Athenian bay
Put forth toward Phrygia; and their vow is made
To ransack Troy, within whose strong immures
The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen,
With wanton Paris sleeps; and that's the quarrel.
To Tenedos they come;
And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
Their warlike fraughtage: now on Dardan plains
The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city,
Dardan, and Tymbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien,
And Antenorides, with massy staples
And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
Sperr up the sons of Troy.
Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits,
On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
Sets all on hazard: and hither am I come
A prologue arm'd, but not in confidence
Of author's pen or actor's voice, but suited
In like conditions as our argument,
To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
Beginning in the middle, starting thence away
To what may be digested in a play.
Like or find fault; do as your pleasures are:
Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.

Scene I Troy. Before Priam's palace.

[Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS]

TROILUS
Call here my varlet; I'll unarm again:
Why should I war without the walls of Troy,
That find such cruel battle here within?
Each Trojan that is master of his heart,
Let him to field; Troilus, alas! hath none.

PANDARUS
Will this gear ne'er be mended?

TROILUS
The Greeks are strong and skilful to their strength,
Fierce to their skill and to their fierceness valiant;
But I am weaker than a woman's tear,
Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance,
Less valiant than the virgin in the night
And skilless as unpractised infancy.

PANDARUS
Well, I have told you enough of this: for my part,
I'll not meddle nor make no further. He that will
have a cake out of the wheat must needs tarry the grinding.

TROILUS
Have I not tarried?

PANDARUS
Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry
the bolting.

TROILUS
Have I not tarried?

PANDARUS
Ay, the bolting, but you must tarry the leavening.

TROILUS
Still have I tarried.

PANDARUS
Ay, to the leavening; but here's yet in the word
'hereafter' the kneading, the making of the cake, the
heating of the oven and the baking; nay, you must
stay the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your lips.

TROILUS
Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be,
Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do.
At Priam's royal table do I sit;
And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts,--
So, traitor! 'When she comes!' When is she thence?

PANDARUS
Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever I saw
her look, or any woman else.

TROILUS
I was about to tell thee:--when my heart,
As wedged with a sigh, would rive in twain,
Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,
I have, as when the sun doth light a storm,
Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile:
But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness,
Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.

PANDARUS
An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's--
well, go to--there were no more comparison between
the women: but, for my part, she is my kinswoman; I
would not, as they term it, praise her: but I would
somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did. I
will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit, but--

TROILUS
O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus,--
When I do tell thee, there my hopes lie drown'd,
Reply not in how many fathoms deep
They lie indrench'd. I tell thee I am mad
In Cressid's love: thou answer'st 'she is fair;'
Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart
Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice,
Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand,
In whose comparison all whites are ink,
Writing their own reproach, to whose soft seizure
The cygnet's down is harsh and spirit of sense
Hard as the palm of ploughman: this thou tell'st me,
As true thou tell'st me, when I say I love her;
But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
The knife that made it.

PANDARUS
I speak no more than truth.

TROILUS
Thou dost not speak so much.

PANDARUS
Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be as she is:
if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be
not, she has the mends in her own hands.

TROILUS
Good Pandarus, how now, Pandarus!

PANDARUS
I have had my labour for my travail; ill-thought on of
her and ill-thought on of you; gone between and
between, but small thanks for my labour.

TROILUS
What, art thou angry, Pandarus? what, with me?

PANDARUS
Because she's kin to me, therefore she's not so fair
as Helen: an she were not kin to me, she would be as
fair on Friday as Helen is on Sunday. But what care
I? I care not an she were a black-a-moor; 'tis all one to me.

TROILUS
Say I she is not fair?

PANDARUS
I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to
stay behind her father; let her to the Greeks; and so
I'll tell her the next time I see her: for my part,
I'll meddle nor make no more i' the matter.

TROILUS
Pandarus,--

PANDARUS
Not I.

TROILUS
Sweet Pandarus,--

PANDARUS
Pray you, speak no more to me: I will leave all as I
found it, and there an end.

[Exit PANDARUS. An alarum]

TROILUS
Peace, you ungracious clamours! peace, rude sounds!
Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair,
When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
I cannot fight upon this argument;
It is too starved a subject for my sword.
But Pandarus,--O gods, how do you plague me!
I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar;
And he's as tetchy to be woo'd to woo.
As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphne's love,
What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we?
Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl:
Between our Ilium and where she resides,
Let it be call'd the wild and wandering flood,
Ourself the merchant, and this sailing Pandar
Our doubtful hope, our convoy and our bark.

[Alarum. Enter AENEAS]

AENEAS
How now, Prince Troilus! wherefore not afield?

TROILUS
Because not there: this woman's answer sorts,
For womanish it is to be from thence.
What news, AEneas, from the field to-day?

AENEAS
That Paris is returned home and hurt.

TROILUS
By whom, AEneas?

AENEAS
Troilus, by Menelaus.

TROILUS
Let Paris bleed; 'tis but a scar to scorn;
Paris is gored with Menelaus' horn.

[Alarum]

AENEAS
Hark, what good sport is out of town to-day!

TROILUS
Better at home, if 'would I might' were 'may.'
But to the sport abroad: are you bound thither?

AENEAS
In all swift haste.

TROILUS
Come, go we then together.

[Exeunt]

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