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