/ Home / Library / Complete Shakespeare / Troilus and Cressida / Act IV Scene I
version of this page
Troilus and Cressida: Act 4 Scene 1
Scene I Troy. A street.
- [Enter, from one side, AENEAS, and Servant with a
- torch; from the other, PARIS, DEIPHOBUS, ANTENOR,
- DIOMEDES, and others, with torches]
- See, ho! who is that there?
- It is the Lord 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.
- That's my mind too. Good morrow, Lord AEneas.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- We know each other well.
- We do; and long to know each other worse.
- This is the most despiteful gentle greeting,
- The noblest hateful love, that e'er I heard of.
- What business, lord, so early?
- I was sent for to the king; but why, I know not.
- 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.
- That I assure you:
- Troilus had rather Troy were borne to Greece
- Than Cressid borne from Troy.
- There is no help;
- The bitter disposition of the time
- Will have it so. On, lord; we'll follow you.
- Good morrow, all.
- [Exit with Servant]
- 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?
- 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.
- You are too bitter to your countrywoman.
- 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.
- 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.