The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Page 102 of 119


SCENE I. Troy. A street.

Enter, at one side, Aeneas and servant with a torch; at another Paris, Deiphobus, Antenor, Diomedes the Grecian, 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 sympathise. 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 tomorrow!

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 believe---
Or rather call my thought a certain knowledge---
My brother Troilus lodges there tonight.
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 deserves 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 pleas’d to breed out your inheritors.
Both merits pois’d, each weighs nor less nor more,
But he as he, the heavier for a whore.

You are too bitter to your country-woman.

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 suff’red 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 not commend what we intend to sell.
Here lies our way.


SCENE II. Troy. The court of PANDARUS’ house.

Enter Troilus and Cressida.

Dear, trouble not yourself; the morn is cold.

Then, sweet my lord, I’ll call mine uncle down;
He shall unbolt the gates.

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!

Good morrow, then.

I prithee now, to bed.

Are you aweary of me?

O Cressida! but that the busy day,
Wak’d by the lark, hath rous’d the ribald crows,
And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer,
I would not from thee.

Night hath been too brief.

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.

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.

[Within.] What’s all the doors open here?

It is your uncle.

Enter Pandarus.

A pestilence on him! Now will he be mocking.
I shall have such a life!

How now, how now! How go maidenheads?
Here, you maid! Where’s my cousin Cressid?

Go hang yourself, you naughty mocking uncle.
You bring me to do, and then you flout me too.

To do what? to do what? Let her say what.
What have I brought you to do?

Come, come, beshrew your heart! You’ll ne’er be good, nor suffer others.

Ha, ha! Alas, poor wretch! Ah, poor capocchia! Hast not slept tonight? Would he not, a naughty man, let it sleep? A bugbear take him!

Did not I tell you? Would he were knock’d i’ th’ head!

[One knocks.]

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.

Ha! ha!

Come, you are deceiv’d, 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.]

Who’s there? What’s the matter? Will you beat down the door? How now? What’s the matter?

Enter Aeneas.

Good morrow, lord, good morrow.

Who’s there? My lord Aeneas? By my troth,
I knew you not. What news with you so early?

Is not Prince Troilus here?

Here! What should he do here?

Come, he is here, my lord; do not deny him.
It doth import him much to speak with me.

Is he here, say you? It’s more than I know, I’ll be sworn. For my own part, I came in late. What should he do here?

Who, nay then! Come, come, you’ll do him wrong ere you are 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.

Re-enter Troilus.

How now! What’s the matter?

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.

Is it so concluded?

By Priam and the general state of Troy.
They are at hand, and ready to effect it.

How my achievements mock me!
I will go meet them; and, my Lord Aeneas,
We met by chance; you did not find me here.

Good, good, my lord, the secrets of neighbour Pandar
Have not more gift in taciturnity.

[Exeunt Troilus and Aeneas.]

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.

Re-enter Cressida.

How now! What’s the matter? Who was here?

Ah, ah!

Why sigh you so profoundly? Where’s my lord? Gone? Tell me, sweet uncle, what’s the matter?

Would I were as deep under the earth as I am above!

O the gods! What’s the matter?

Pray thee get thee in. Would thou hadst ne’er been born! I knew thou wouldst be his death! O, poor gentleman! A plague upon Antenor!

Good uncle, I beseech you, on my knees I beseech you, what’s the matter?

Thou must be gone, wench, thou must be gone; thou art chang’d for Antenor; thou must to thy father, and be gone from Troilus. ’Twill be his death; ’twill be his bane; he cannot bear it.

O you immortal gods! I will not go.

Thou must.

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---

Do, do.

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.


SCENE III. Troy. A street before PANDARUS’ house.

Enter Paris, Troilus, Aeneas, Deiphobus, Antenor and Diomedes.

It is great morning; and the hour prefix’d
For 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.

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 off’ring to it his own heart.


I know what ’tis to love,
And would, as I shall pity, I could help!
Please you walk in, my lords?


SCENE IV. Troy. PANDARUS’ house.

Enter Pandarus and Cressida.

Be moderate, be moderate.

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 affections
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.

Enter Troilus.

Here, here, here he comes. Ah, sweet ducks!

[Embracing him.] O Troilus! Troilus!

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!

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.

Have the gods envy?

Ay, ay, ay, ay; ’tis too plain a case.

And is it true that I must go from Troy?

A hateful truth.

What! and from Troilus too?

From Troy and Troilus.

Is’t possible?

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 thiev’ry 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 loose adieu,
And scants us with a single famish’d kiss,
Distasted with the salt of broken tears.

[Within.] My lord, is the lady ready?

Hark! you are call’d. Some say the Genius
Cries so to him that instantly must die.
Bid them have patience; she shall come anon.

Where are my tears? Rain, to lay this wind, or my heart will be blown up by my throat!


I must then to the Grecians?

No remedy.

A woeful Cressid ’mongst the merry Greeks!
When shall we see again?

Hear me, my love. Be thou but true of heart.

I true? How now! What wicked deem is this?

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.

O! you shall be expos’d, my lord, to dangers
As infinite as imminent! But I’ll be true.

And I’ll grow friend with danger. Wear this sleeve.

And you this glove. When shall I see you?

I will corrupt the Grecian sentinels
To give thee nightly visitation.
But yet be true.

O heavens! ‘Be true’ again!

Hear why I speak it, love.
The Grecian youths are full of quality;
They’re loving, well compos’d, 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 afear’d.

O heavens! you love me not!

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.

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.

[Within.] Nay, good my lord!

Come, kiss; and let us part.

[Within.] Brother Troilus!

Good brother, come you hither;
And bring Aeneas and the Grecian with you.

My lord, will you be true?

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 Cressid, and thy life shall be as safe
As Priam is in Ilion.

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.

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.

O, be not mov’d, Prince Troilus.
Let me be privileg’d 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 priz’d. But that you say ‘Be’t so,’
I speak it in my spirit and honour, ‘No.’

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.]

[Sound trumpet.]

Hark! Hector’s trumpet.

How have we spent this morning!
The Prince must think me tardy and remiss,
That swore to ride before him to the field.

’Tis Troilus’ fault. Come, come to field with him.

Let us make ready straight.

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.


SCENE V. The Grecian camp. Lists set out.

Enter Ajax, armed; Agamemnon, Achilles, Patroclus, Menelaus, Ulysses, Nestor and others.

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.

Thou, trumpet, there’s my purse.
Now crack thy lungs and split thy brazen pipe;
Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek
Out-swell the colic of puff’d Aquilon.
Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood:
Thou blowest for Hector.

[Trumpet sounds.]

No trumpet answers.

’Tis but early days.

Is not yond Diomed, with Calchas’ daughter?

’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 and Cressida.

Is this the Lady Cressid?

Even she.

Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet lady.

Our general doth salute you with a kiss.

Yet is the kindness but particular;
’Twere better she were kiss’d in general.

And very courtly counsel: I’ll begin.
So much for Nestor.

I’ll take that winter from your lips, fair lady.
Achilles bids you welcome.

I had good argument for kissing once.

But that’s no argument for kissing now;
For thus popp’d Paris in his hardiment,
And parted thus you and your argument.

O deadly gall, and theme of all our scorns!
For which we lose our heads to gild his horns.

The first was Menelaus’ kiss; this, mine:
Patroclus kisses you.

O, this is trim!

Paris and I kiss evermore for him.

I’ll have my kiss, sir. Lady, by your leave.

In kissing, do you render or receive?

Both take and give.

I’ll make my match to live,
The kiss you take is better than you give;
Therefore no kiss.

I’ll give you boot; I’ll give you three for one.

You are an odd man; give even or give none.

An odd man, lady! Every man is odd.

No, Paris is not; for you know ’tis true
That you are odd, and he is even with you.

You fillip me o’ th’head.

No, I’ll be sworn.

It were no match, your nail against his horn.
May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?

You may.

I do desire it.

Why, beg then.

Why then, for Venus’ sake give me a kiss
When Helen is a maid again, and his.

I am your debtor; claim it when ’tis due.

Never’s my day, and then a kiss of you.

Lady, a word. I’ll bring you to your father.

[Exit with Cressida.]

A woman of quick sense.

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 a coasting welcome ere it comes,
And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts
To every tickling reader! Set them down
For sluttish spoils of opportunity,
And daughters of the game.

[Trumpet within.]

The Trojans’ trumpet.

Yonder comes the troop.

Enter Hector, armed; Aeneas, Troilus, Paris, Deiphobus and other
Trojans, with attendants.

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.

Which way would Hector have it?

He cares not; he’ll obey conditions.

’Tis done like Hector.

But securely done,
A little proudly, and great deal misprising
The knight oppos’d.

If not Achilles, sir,
What is your name?

If not Achilles, nothing.

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.

A maiden battle then? O! I perceive you.

Re-enter Diomedes.

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.

They are oppos’d already.

What Trojan is that same that looks so heavy?

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 provok’d, nor being provok’d 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 judgement 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.]

They are in action.

Now, Ajax, hold thine own!

Hector, thou sleep’st; awake thee!

His blows are well dispos’d. There, Ajax!

[Trumpets cease.]

You must no more.

Princes, enough, so please you.

I am not warm yet; let us fight again.

As Hector pleases.

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 could’st 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 drained! 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!

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.

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.

There is expectance here from both the sides
What further you will do.

We’ll answer it:
The issue is embracement. Ajax, farewell.

If I might in entreaties find success,
As seld’ I have the chance, I would desire
My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.

’Tis Agamemnon’s wish; and great Achilles
Doth long to see unarm’d the valiant 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.

Agamemnon and the rest of the Greeks come forward.

Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.

The worthiest of them tell me name by name;
But for Achilles, my own searching eyes
Shall find him by his large and portly size.

Worthy all 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.

I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.

[To Troilus.] My well-fam’d lord of Troy, no less to you.

Let me confirm my princely brother’s greeting.
You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.

Who must we answer?

The noble Menelaus.

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.

Name her not now, sir; she’s a deadly theme.

O, pardon; I offend.

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’ th’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 shrap’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 like thee. O, let an old man embrace thee;
And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.

’Tis the old Nestor.

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.

I would my arms could match thee in contention
As they contend with thee in courtesy.

I would they could.

By this white beard, I’d fight with thee tomorrow.
Well, welcome, welcome! I have seen the time.

I wonder now how yonder city stands,
When we have here her base and pillar by us.

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.

Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue.
My prophecy is but half his journey yet;
For yonder walls, that pertly front your town,
Yon towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
Must kiss their own feet.

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.

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.

I shall forestall thee, Lord Ulysses, thou!
Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;
I have with exact view perus’d thee, Hector,
And quoted joint by joint.

Is this Achilles?

I am Achilles.

Stand fair, I pray thee; let me look on thee.

Behold thy fill.

Nay, I have done already.

Thou art too brief. I will the second time,
As I would buy thee, view thee limb by limb.

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?

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.

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?

I tell thee yea.

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 everywhere, 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---

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.

I pray you let us see you in the field;
We have had pelting wars since you refus’d
The Grecians’ cause.

Dost thou entreat me, Hector?
Tomorrow do I meet thee, fell as death;
Tonight all friends.

Thy hand upon that match.

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 tambourines, let the trumpets blow,
That this great soldier may his welcome know.

[Exeunt all but Troilus and Ulysses.]

My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you,
In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?

At Menelaus’ tent, most princely Troilus.
There Diomed doth feast with him tonight,
Who neither looks upon the heaven nor earth,
But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view
On the fair Cressid.

Shall I, sweet lord, be bound to you so much,
After we part from Agamemnon’s tent,
To bring me thither?

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?

O, sir, to such as boasting show their scars
A mock is due. Will you walk on, my lord?
She was belov’d, she lov’d; she is, and doth;
But still sweet love is food for fortune’s tooth.


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