Page images

Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son, 120
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

Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister Bounds in my father's'; by Jove multipotent, Thou should'st not bear from me a Greekish member 130

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 drain'd! 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.

Hect. Not Neoptolemus so mirable,


On whose bright crest Fame with her loudest oyes

Cries This is he!' could promise to himself
A thought of added honour torn from Hector.
Ene. There is expectance here from both the

What further you will do.

Hect. We'll answer it; The issue is embracement: Ajax, farewell. Ajax. If I might in entreaties find success, As seld I have the chance, I would desire My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.


Dio. 'Tis Agamemnon's wish, and great Achilles Doth long to see unarm'd the valiant Hector.

Hect. Aneas, 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. Ajax. Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.

Hect. The worthiest of them tell me name by name;


[blocks in formation]

Hect. 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



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

Hect. O pardon; I offend.

Nest. 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,
And seen thee scorning forfeits and subduements,
When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i'
th' air,

Not letting it decline on the declin'd;
That I have said to some my standers by, 190
'Lo! Jupiter is yonder, dealing life.'
And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath,
When that a ring of Greeks have hemm'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

But, by great Mars, the captain of us all,
Never like thee. Let an old man embrace thee;
And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.
Ene. 'Tis the old Nestor.


[blocks in formation]

My prophecy is but half his journey yet;
For yonder walls, that pertly front your town,
Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the

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.

Achil. I shall forestall thee, Lord Ulysses, thou!

Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;

[blocks in formation]

But there's more in me than thou understand'st.
Why dost thou so oppress me with thine eye?
Achil. 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!
Hect. It would discredit the bless'd 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.
Hect. Wert thou the oracle to tell me so,
I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee

For I'll not kill thee there, nor there, nor there;
But, by the forge that stithied Mars his helm,
I'll kill thee every where, 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-

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Patr. Male varlet, you rogue ! what's that?

Ther. Prithee, be silent, boy; I profit not by Do not chafe thee, cousin: 260 thy talk: thou art thought to be Achilles' male And you, Achilles, let these threats alone, varlet. Till accident and 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. Hect. 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?
To-morrow do I meet thee, fell as death;
To-night all friends.

Thy hand upon that match. 270
Agam. 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 tabourines, let the trumpets

That this great soldier may his welcome know.
Exeunt all but TROILUS and ULYSSES.
Tro. My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you,
In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?

Ulyss: At Menelaus' tent, most princely Troilus:
There Diomed doth feast with him to-night; 280
Who neither looks on heaven nor on earth,
But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view
On the fair Cressid.

Tro. Shall I, sweet lord, be bound to you so

Ther. Why, his masculine whore. Now the rotten diseases of the south, the guts-griping, ruptures, catarrhs, loads o' gravel i' the back, lethargies, cold palsies, raw eyes, dirt-rotten livers, wheezing lungs, bladders full of imposthume, sciaticas, lime-kilns i' the palm, incurable bone-ache, and the rivelled fee-simple of the tetter, take and take again such preposterous discoveries!

[blocks in formation]

An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it:
Fall, Greeks; fail, fame; honour or go or stay;
My major vow lies here, this I'll obey.
Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent; 50
This night in banqueting must all be spent.
Away, Patroclus!

Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. Ther. With too much blood, and too little brain, these two may run mad; but if with too much brain and too little blood they do, I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnon, an honest fellow enough, and one that loves quails, but he has not so much brain as ear-wax: and the goodly transformation of Jupiter there, his brother, the bull, the primitive statue, and oblique memorial of cuckolds; a thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, hanging at his brother's leg, to what form but that he is, should wit larded with malice and malice forced with wit turn him to? To an ass, were nothing: he is both ass and ox; to an ox, were nothing: he is both ox and ass. To be a dog, a mule, a cat, a fitchew, a toad, a lizard, an owl, a puttock, or a herring without a roe, I would not care; but to be Menelaus! I would conspire against destiny. Ask me not what I would be, if I were not Thersites, for I care not to be the louse of a lazar, so I were not Menelaus. Hey-day! spirits and fires!

MEDES, with lights.

Agam. We go wrong; we go wrong.

There, where we see the lights.

Ajax. No, not a whit.

Achil. Come, come; enter my tent. Exeunt ACHILLES, HECTOR, AJAX, and NESTOR.

Ther. That same Diomed's a false-hearted rogue, a most unjust knave; I will no more trust him when he leers than I will a serpent when he hisses. He will spend his mouth, and promise, like Brabbler the hound; but when he performs, astronomers foretell it: it is prodigious, there will come some change: the sun borrows of the moon when Diomed keeps his word. I will rather leave to see Hector, than not to dog him: they say he keeps a Trojan drab, and uses the traitor Calchas' tent. I'll after. Nothing but lechery! all incontinent varlets! Exit. 109

SCENE II.-The Same. Before CALCHAS' Tent.

Dio. What, are you up here, ho? speak.
Cal. Within. Who calls?

Dio. Diomed. Calchas, I think. Where's your daughter?

Cal. Within. She comes to you.

Enter TROILUS and ULYSSES, at a distance; after them, THERSITES.

Ulyss. Stand where the torch may not dis

cover us.


Tro. Cressid comes forth to him.
How now, my charge!
Cres. Now, my sweet guardian!
word with you.

No, yonder 'tis.

I trouble you.

Tro. Yea, so familiar!

Here comes himself to guide you.

Re-enter ACHILLES.

[blocks in formation]

Hark! a


[blocks in formation]

And so, good night. Exit DIOMEDES; ULYSSES and TROILUS following.

Tro. Thy better must.
Hark! one word in your ear. 39
Tro. O plague and madness

Ulyss. You are mov'd, prince; let us depart,
I pray you,

Lest your displeasure should enlarge itself
To wrathful terms. This place is dangerous;
The time right deadly: I beseech you, go.
Tro. Behold, I pray you!
Nay, good my lord, go off:
You flow to great distraction; come, my lord.
Tro. I pray thee, stay.

You have not patience; come.

Tro. I pray you, stay. By hell and all hell's


[blocks in formation]

Ther. How the devil Luxury, with his fat rump and potato-finger, tickles these together! Fry, lechery, fry!

Dio. But will you then?

Cres. In faith, I will, la; never trust me else. Dio. Give me some token for the surety of it. Cres. I'll fetch you one. Exit. Ulyss. You have sworn patience. Tro. Fear me not, sweet lord; I will not be myself, nor have cognition Of what I feel: I am all patience.

Re-enter CRESSIDA.

Ther. Now the pledge! now, now, now! Cres. Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve. Tro. O beauty! where is thy faith? Ulyss.


My lord,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

But, now you have it, take it.
Whose was it?
Cres. By all Diana's waiting-women yond,
And by herself, I will not tell you whose.
Dio. To-morrow will I wear it on my helm,
And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it.
Tro. Wert thou the devil, and wor'st it on
thy horn,

It should be challeng'd.


Cres. Well, well, 'tis done, 'tis past and yet it is not:

I will not keep my word.

Why then, farewell;
Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.
Cres. You shall not go: one cannot speak a word
But it straight starts you.


I do not like this fooling. Ther. Nor I, by Pluto: but that that likes not me

Pleases me best.

Dio. What! shall I come? the hour? Cres.

Ay, come:-O Jove! 100

Farewell till then.

Do come:- -I shall be plagu'd.

Cres. Good night I prithee, come.


Troilus, farewell! one eye yet looks on thee,
But with my heart the other eye doth see.
Ah! poor our sex; this fault in us I find,
The error of our eye directs our mind.
What error leads must err. O! then conclude
Minds sway'd by eyes are full of turpitude.

Exit. Ther. A proof of strength she could not publish


Unless she said 'My mind is now turn'd whore.' Ulyss. All's done, my lord.

Tro. Ulyss.


It is. Why stay we then? Tro. To make a recordation to my soul Of every syllable that here was spoke. But if I tell how these two did co-act, Shall I not lie in publishing a truth? Sith yet there is a credence in my heart, An esperance so obstinately strong, That doth invert the attest of eyes and ears, As if those organs had deceptious functions, Created only to calumniate. Was Cressid here?


I cannot conjure, Trojan. Tro. She was not, sure. Ulyss.


Most sure she was. Tro. Why, my negation hath no taste of mad


Ulyss. Nor mine, my lord: Cressid was here but now.

Tro. Let it not be believ'd for womanhood! Think we had mothers; do not give advantage To stubborn critics, apt, without a theme, For depravation, to square the general sex

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


If souls guide vows, if vows be sanctimony,
If sanctimony be the gods' delight,
If there be rule in unity itself,
This is not she. O madness of discourse,
That cause sets up with and against thyself;
Bi-fold authority! where reason can revolt
Without perdition, and loss assume all reason
Without revolt: this is, and is not, Cressid.
Within my soul there doth conduce a fight
Of this strange nature that a thing inseparate
Divides more wider than the sky and earth;
And yet the spacious breadth of this division
Admits no orifice for a point as subtle
As Ariachne's broken woof to enter.
Instance, O instance! strong as Pluto's gates;
Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven :
Instance, O instance! strong as heaven itself;
The bonds of heaven are slipp'd, dissolv'd, and


And with another knot, five-finger-tied,
The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
The fragments, scraps, the bits and greasy

Of her o'er-eaten faith, are bound to Diomed.
Ulyss. May worthy Troilus be half attach'd
With that which here his passion doth express?
Tro. Ay, Greek; and that shall be divulged


In characters as red as Mars his heart
Inflam'd with Venus: never did young man fancy
With so eternal and so fix'd a soul.
Hark, Greek: as much as I do Cressid love,
So much by weight hate I her Diomed;
That sleeve is mine that he'll bear in his helm;
Were it a casque compos'd by Vulcan's skill,
My sword should bite it. Not the dreadful spout
Which shipmen do the hurricano call,
Constring'd in mass by the almighty sun,
Shall dizzy with more clamour Neptune's ear 170
In his descent than shall my prompted sword
Falling on Diomed.

Ther. He'll tickle it for his concupy.
Tro. O Cressid! O false Cressid! false, false,
false !

Let all untruths stand by thy stained name,
And they'll seem glorious.
O! contain yourself;
Your passion draws ears hither.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate: Life every man holds dear; but the dear man Holds honour far more precious-dear than life. Enter TROILUS.

How now, young man! mean'st thou to fight to-day?

And. Cassandra, call my father to persuade. Exit CASSANDRA. Hect. No, faith, young Troilus; doff thy harness, youth;

[ocr errors]

I am to-day i' the vein of chivalry :
Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong,
And tempt not yet the brushes of the war.
Unarm thee, go, and doubt thou not, brave boy,
I'll stand to-day for thee and me and Troy.

Tro. Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you, Which better fits a lion than a man.

Hect. What vice is that, good Troilus! chide me for it,

Tro. When many times the captive Grecian falls,


« PreviousContinue »