Troilus and Cressida (1602-3)

(Complete Text)

Act I

Act II

Act III

Act IV

Act V


Act I, Scene 0

Prologue.

Chorus 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.

1

Act I, Scene 1

Troy. Before Priam's palace.

[Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS]

32

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.

33

Pandarus Will this gear ne'er be mended?

38

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.

39

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.

45

Troilus Have I not tarried?

48

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

49

Troilus Have I not tarried?

51

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

52

Troilus Still have I tarried.

53

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.

54

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?

58

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

63

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.

65

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--

72

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.

78

Pandarus I speak no more than truth.

94

Troilus Thou dost not speak so much.

95

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.

96

Troilus Good Pandarus, how now, Pandarus!

99

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.

100

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

103

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.

104

Troilus Say I she is not fair?

108

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.

109

Troilus Pandarus,--

113

Troilus Sweet Pandarus,--

115

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

116

[Exit PANDARUS. An alarum]

118

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.

119

[Alarum. Enter AENEAS]

135

Aeneas How now, Prince Troilus! wherefore not afield?

136

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?

137

Aeneas That Paris is returned home and hurt.

140

Troilus By whom, AEneas?

141

Aeneas Troilus, by Menelaus.

142

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

143

[Alarum]

145

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

146

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

147

Aeneas In all swift haste.

149

Troilus Come, go we then together.

150

[Exeunt]

151

Act I, Scene 2

The Same. A street.

[Enter CRESSIDA and ALEXANDER]

152

Cressida Who were those went by?

153

Alexander Queen Hecuba and Helen.

154

Cressida And whither go they?

155

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 moved:
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.

156

Cressida What was his cause of anger?

166

Alexander The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks
A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
They call him Ajax.

167

Cressida Good; and what of him?

170

Alexander They say he is a very man per se,
And stands alone.

171

Cressida So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.

173

Alexander This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts of their
particular additions; he is as valiant as the lion,
churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant: a man
into whom nature hath so crowded humours that his
valour is crushed 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.

174

Cressida But how should this man, that makes
me smile, make Hector angry?

186

Alexander They say he yesterday coped Hector in the battle and
struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath
ever since kept Hector fasting and waking.

188

Cressida Who comes here?

191

Alexander Madam, your uncle Pandarus.

192

[Enter PANDARUS]

193

Cressida Hector's a gallant man.

194

Alexander As may be in the world, lady.

195

Pandarus What's that? what's that?

196

Cressida Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.

197

Pandarus Good morrow, cousin Cressid: what do you talk of?
Good morrow, Alexander. How do you, cousin? When
were you at Ilium?

198

Cressida This morning, uncle.

201

Pandarus What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector
armed and gone ere ye came to Ilium? Helen was not
up, was she?

202

Cressida Hector was gone, but Helen was not up.

205

Pandarus Even so: Hector was stirring early.

206

Cressida That were we talking of, and of his anger.

207

Pandarus Was he angry?

208

Cressida So he says here.

209

Pandarus True, he was so: I know the cause too: he'll lay
about him to-day, 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.

210

Cressida What, is he angry too?

214

Pandarus Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.

215

Cressida O Jupiter! there's no comparison.

216

Pandarus What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a
man if you see him?

217

Cressida Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.

219

Pandarus Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.

220

Cressida Then you say as I say; for, I am sure, he is not Hector.

221

Pandarus No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some degrees.

222

Cressida 'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.

223

Pandarus Himself! Alas, poor Troilus! I would he were.

224

Cressida So he is.

225

Pandarus Condition, I had gone barefoot to India.

226

Cressida He is not Hector.

227

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.

228

Cressida Excuse me.

232

Pandarus He is elder.

233

Cressida Pardon me, pardon me.

234

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.

235

Cressida He shall not need it, if he have his own.

238

Pandarus Nor his qualities.

239

Cressida No matter.

240

Pandarus Nor his beauty.

241

Cressida 'Twould not become him; his own's better.

242

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,--

243

Cressida No, but brown.

247

Pandarus 'Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.

248

Cressida To say the truth, true and not true.

249

Pandarus She praised his complexion above Paris.

250

Cressida Why, Paris hath colour enough.

251

Pandarus So he has.

252

Cressida Then Troilus should have too much: if she praised
him above, his complexion is higher than his; he
having colour enough, and the other higher, is too
flaming a praise for a good complexion. I had as
lief Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for
a copper nose.

253

Pandarus I swear to you. I think Helen loves him better than Paris.

259

Cressida Then she's a merry Greek indeed.

260

Pandarus Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him th' other
day into the compassed window,--and, you know, he
has not past three or four hairs on his chin,--

261

Cressida Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his
particulars therein to a total.

264

Pandarus Why, he is very young: and yet will he, within
three pound, lift as much as his brother Hector.

266

Cressida Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?

268

Pandarus But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she came
and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin--

269

Cressida Juno have mercy! how came it cloven?

271

Pandarus Why, you know 'tis dimpled: I think his smiling
becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia.

272

Cressida O, he smiles valiantly.

274

Pandarus Does he not?

275

Cressida O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.

276

Pandarus Why, go to, then: but to prove to you that Helen
loves Troilus,--

277

Cressida Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll
prove it so.

279

Pandarus Troilus! why, he esteems her no more than I esteem
an addle egg.

281

Cressida If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle
head, you would eat chickens i' the shell.

283

Pandarus I cannot choose but laugh, to think how she tickled
his chin: indeed, she has a marvellous white hand, I
must needs confess,--

285

Cressida Without the rack.

288

Pandarus And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.

289

Cressida Alas, poor chin! many a wart is richer.

290

Pandarus But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba laughed
that her eyes ran o'er.

291

Cressida With mill-stones.

293

Pandarus And Cassandra laughed.

294

Cressida But there was more temperate fire under the pot of
her eyes: did her eyes run o'er too?

295

Pandarus And Hector laughed.

297

Cressida At what was all this laughing?

298

Pandarus Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus' chin.

299

Cressida An't had been a green hair, I should have laughed
too.

300

Pandarus They laughed not so much at the hair as at his pretty answer.

302

Cressida What was his answer?

303

Pandarus Quoth she, 'Here's but two and fifty hairs on your
chin, and one of them is white.

304

Cressida This is her question.

306

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 blushed, an Paris so chafed, and all the
rest so laughed, that it passed.

307

Cressida So let it now; for it has been while going by.

315

Pandarus Well, cousin. I told you a thing yesterday; think on't.

316

Cressida So I do.

317

Pandarus I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you, an 'twere
a man born in April.

318

Cressida And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettle
against May.

320

[A retreat sounded]

322

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.

323

Cressida At your pleasure.

326

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.

327

Cressida Speak not so loud.

330

[AENEAS passes]

331

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.

332

[ANTENOR passes]

335

Cressida Who's that?

336

Pandarus That's Antenor: he has a shrewd wit, I can tell you;
and he's a man good enough, he's one o' the soundest
judgments in 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.

337

Cressida Will he give you the nod?

342

Pandarus You shall see.

343

Cressida If he do, the rich shall have more.

344

[HECTOR passes]

345

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?

346

Cressida O, a brave man!

350

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!

351

Cressida Be those with swords?

356

Pandarus Swords! any thing, 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.

357

[HELENUS passes]

366

Cressida Who's that?

367

Pandarus That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's
Helenus. I think he went not forth to-day. That's Helenus.

368

Cressida Can Helenus fight, uncle?

370

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.

371

Cressida What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

374

[TROILUS passes]

375

Pandarus Where? yonder? that's Deiphobus. 'Tis Troilus!
there's a man, niece! Hem! Brave Troilus! the
prince of chivalry!

376

Cressida Peace, for shame, peace!

379

Pandarus Mark him; note him. O brave Troilus! Look well upon
him, niece: look you how his sword is bloodied, and
his helm more hacked than Hector's, and how he looks,
and how he goes! O admirable youth! he ne'er 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.

380

Cressida Here come more.

389

[Forces pass]

390

Pandarus Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran!
porridge after meat! I could live and die i' 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.

391

Cressida There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better man than Troilus.

397

Pandarus Achilles! a drayman, a porter, a very camel.

398

Cressida Well, well.

399

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?

400

Cressida Ay, a minced man: and then to be baked with no date
in the pie, for then the man's date's out.

405

Pandarus You are such a woman! one knows not at what ward you
lie.

407

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 a
thousand watches.

409

Pandarus Say one of your watches.

414

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.

415

Pandarus You are such another!

420

[Enter Troilus's Boy]

421

Boy Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.

422

Boy At your own house; there he unarms him.

424

Pandarus Good boy, tell him I come.
[Exit boy]
I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece.

425

Cressida Adieu, uncle.

428

Pandarus I'll be with you, niece, by and by.

429

Cressida To bring, uncle?

430

Pandarus Ay, a token from Troilus.

431

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 beloved 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.

432

[Exeunt]

448

Act I, Scene 3

The Grecian camp. Before Agamemnon's tent.

[Sennet. Enter AGAMEMNON, NESTOR, ULYSSES,] [p]MENELAUS, and others]

449

Agamemnon Princes,
What grief hath set the jaundice on your cheeks?
The ample proposition that hope makes
In all designs begun on earth below
Fails in the promised largeness: cheques and disasters
Grow in the veins of actions highest rear'd,
As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
Infect the sound pine and divert his grain
Tortive and errant from his course of growth.
Nor, princes, is it matter new to us
That we come short of our suppose so far
That after seven years' siege yet Troy walls stand;
Sith every action that hath gone before,
Whereof we have record, trial did draw
Bias and thwart, not answering the aim,
And that unbodied figure of the thought
That gave't surmised shape. Why then, you princes,
Do you with cheeks abash'd behold our works,
And call them shames? which are indeed nought else
But the protractive trials of great Jove
To find persistive constancy in men:
The fineness of which metal is not found
In fortune's love; for then the bold and coward,
The wise and fool, the artist and unread,
The hard and soft seem all affined and kin:
But, in the wind and tempest of her frown,
Distinction, with a broad and powerful fan,
Puffing at all, winnows the light away;
And what hath mass or matter, by itself
Lies rich in virtue and unmingled.

451

Nestor With due observance of thy godlike seat,
Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply
Thy latest words. In the reproof of chance
Lies the true proof of men: the sea being smooth,
How many shallow bauble boats dare sail
Upon her patient breast, making their way
With those of nobler bulk!
But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
The gentle Thetis, and anon behold
The strong-ribb'd bark through liquid mountains cut,
Bounding between the two moist elements,
Like Perseus' horse: where's then the saucy boat
Whose weak untimber'd sides but even now
Co-rivall'd greatness? Either to harbour fled,
Or made a toast for Neptune. Even so
Doth valour's show and valour's worth divide
In storms of fortune; for in her ray and brightness
The herd hath more annoyance by the breeze
Than by the tiger; but when the splitting wind
Makes flexible the knees of knotted oaks,
And flies fled under shade, why, then the thing of courage
As roused with rage with rage doth sympathize,
And with an accent tuned in selfsame key
Retorts to chiding fortune.

481

Ulysses Agamemnon,
Thou great commander, nerve and bone of Greece,
Heart of our numbers, soul and only spirit.
In whom the tempers and the minds of all
Should be shut up, hear what Ulysses speaks.
Besides the applause and approbation To which,
[To AGAMEMNON]
most mighty for thy place and sway,
[To NESTOR]
And thou most reverend for thy stretch'd-out life
I give to both your speeches, which were such
As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece
Should hold up high in brass, and such again
As venerable Nestor, hatch'd in silver,
Should with a bond of air, strong as the axle-tree
On which heaven rides, knit all the Greekish ears
To his experienced tongue, yet let it please both,
Thou great, and wise, to hear Ulysses speak.

505

Agamemnon Speak, prince of Ithaca; and be't of less expect
That matter needless, of importless burden,
Divide thy lips, than we are confident,
When rank Thersites opes his mastic jaws,
We shall hear music, wit and oracle.

523

Ulysses Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down,
And the great Hector's sword had lack'd a master,
But for these instances.
The specialty of rule hath been neglected:
And, look, how many Grecian tents do stand
Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions.
When that the general is not like the hive
To whom the foragers shall all repair,
What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded,
The unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre
Observe degree, priority and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office and custom, in all line of order;
And therefore is the glorious planet Sol
In noble eminence enthroned and sphered
Amidst the other; whose medicinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts, like the commandment of a king,
Sans cheque to good and bad: but when the planets
In evil mixture to disorder wander,
What plagues and what portents! what mutiny!
What raging of the sea! shaking of earth!
Commotion in the winds! frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixure! O, when degree is shaked,
Which is the ladder to all high designs,
Then enterprise is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogenitive and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
But by degree, stand in authentic place?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores
And make a sop of all this solid globe:
Strength should be lord of imbecility,
And the rude son should strike his father dead:
Force should be right; or rather, right and wrong,
Between whose endless jar justice resides,
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce an universal prey,
And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
Follows the choking.
And this neglection of degree it is
That by a pace goes backward, with a purpose
It hath to climb. The general's disdain'd
By him one step below, he by the next,
That next by him beneath; so every step,
Exampled by the first pace that is sick
Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
Of pale and bloodless emulation:
And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length,
Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength.

528

Nestor Most wisely hath Ulysses here discover'd
The fever whereof all our power is sick.

591

Agamemnon The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses,
What is the remedy?

593

Ulysses The great Achilles, whom opinion crowns
The sinew and the forehand of our host,
Having his ear full of his airy fame,
Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent
Lies mocking our designs: with him Patroclus
Upon a lazy bed the livelong day
Breaks scurril jests;
And with ridiculous and awkward action,
Which, slanderer, he imitation calls,
He pageants us. Sometime, great Agamemnon,
Thy topless deputation he puts on,
And, like a strutting player, whose conceit
Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage,--
Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming
He acts thy greatness in: and when he speaks,
'Tis like a chime a-mending; with terms unsquared,
Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropp'd
Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff
The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling,
From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause;
Cries 'Excellent! 'tis Agamemnon just.
Now play me Nestor; hem, and stroke thy beard,
As he being drest to some oration.'
That's done, as near as the extremest ends
Of parallels, as like as Vulcan and his wife:
Yet god Achilles still cries 'Excellent!
'Tis Nestor right. Now play him me, Patroclus,
Arming to answer in a night alarm.'
And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age
Must be the scene of mirth; to cough and spit,
And, with a palsy-fumbling on his gorget,
Shake in and out the rivet: and at this sport
Sir Valour dies; cries 'O, enough, Patroclus;
Or give me ribs of steel! I shall split all
In pleasure of my spleen.' And in this fashion,
All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
Severals and generals of grace exact,
Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,
Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
Success or loss, what is or is not, serves
As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.

595

Nestor And in the imitation of these twain--
Who, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns
With an imperial voice--many are infect.
Ajax is grown self-will'd, and bears his head
In such a rein, in full as proud a place
As broad Achilles; keeps his tent like him;
Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war,
Bold as an oracle, and sets Thersites,
A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint,
To match us in comparisons with dirt,
To weaken and discredit our exposure,
How rank soever rounded in with danger.

638

Ulysses They tax our policy, and call it cowardice,
Count wisdom as no member of the war,
Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
But that of hand: the still and mental parts,
That do contrive how many hands shall strike,
When fitness calls them on, and know by measure
Of their observant toil the enemies' weight,--
Why, this hath not a finger's dignity:
They call this bed-work, mappery, closet-war;
So that the ram that batters down the wall,
For the great swing and rudeness of his poise,
They place before his hand that made the engine,
Or those that with the fineness of their souls
By reason guide his execution.

650

Nestor Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse
Makes many Thetis' sons.

664

[A tucket]

666

Agamemnon What trumpet? look, Menelaus.

667

Menelaus From Troy.

668

[Enter AENEAS]

669

Agamemnon What would you 'fore our tent?

670

Aeneas Is this great Agamemnon's tent, I pray you?

671

Agamemnon Even this.

672

Aeneas May one, that is a herald and a prince,
Do a fair message to his kingly ears?

673

Agamemnon With surety stronger than Achilles' arm
'Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice
Call Agamemnon head and general.

675

Aeneas Fair leave and large security. How may
A stranger to those most imperial looks
Know them from eyes of other mortals?

678

Aeneas Ay;
I ask, that I might waken reverence,
And bid the cheek be ready with a blush
Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
The youthful Phoebus:
Which is that god in office, guiding men?
Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?

682

Agamemnon This Trojan scorns us; or the men of Troy
Are ceremonious courtiers.

689

Aeneas Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'd,
As bending angels; that's their fame in peace:
But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls,
Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and,
Jove's accord,
Nothing so full of heart. But peace, AEneas,
Peace, Trojan; lay thy finger on thy lips!
The worthiness of praise distains his worth,
If that the praised himself bring the praise forth:
But what the repining enemy commends,
That breath fame blows; that praise, sole sure,
transcends.

691

Agamemnon Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself AEneas?

703

Aeneas Ay, Greek, that is my name.

704

Agamemnon What's your affair I pray you?

705

Aeneas Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears.

706

Agamemnon He hears naught privately that comes from Troy.

707

Aeneas Nor I from Troy come not to whisper him:
I bring a trumpet to awake his ear,
To set his sense on the attentive bent,
And then to speak.

708

Agamemnon Speak frankly as the wind;
It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour:
That thou shalt know. Trojan, he is awake,
He tells thee so himself.

712

Aeneas Trumpet, blow loud,
Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents;
And every Greek of mettle, let him know,
What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.
[Trumpet sounds]
We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy
A prince call'd Hector,--Priam is his father,--
Who in this dull and long-continued truce
Is rusty grown: he bade me take a trumpet,
And to this purpose speak. Kings, princes, lords!
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece
That holds his honour higher than his ease,
That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril,
That knows his valour, and knows not his fear,
That loves his mistress more than in confession,
With truant vows to her own lips he loves,
And dare avow her beauty and her worth
In other arms than hers,--to him this challenge.
Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,
Shall make it good, or do his best to do it,
He hath a lady, wiser, fairer, truer,
Than ever Greek did compass in his arms,
And will to-morrow with his trumpet call
Midway between your tents and walls of Troy,
To rouse a Grecian that is true in love:
If any come, Hector shall honour him;
If none, he'll say in Troy when he retires,
The Grecian dames are sunburnt and not worth
The splinter of a lance. Even so much.

716

Agamemnon This shall be told our lovers, Lord AEneas;
If none of them have soul in such a kind,
We left them all at home: but we are soldiers;
And may that soldier a mere recreant prove,
That means not, hath not, or is not in love!
If then one is, or hath, or means to be,
That one meets Hector; if none else, I am he.

745

Nestor Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man
When Hector's grandsire suck'd: he is old now;
But if there be not in our Grecian host
One noble man that hath one spark of fire,
To answer for his love, tell him from me
I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver
And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn,
And meeting him will tell him that my lady
Was fairer than his grandam and as chaste
As may be in the world: his youth in flood,
I'll prove this truth with my three drops of blood.

752

Aeneas Now heavens forbid such scarcity of youth!

763

Agamemnon Fair Lord AEneas, let me touch your hand;
To our pavilion shall I lead you, sir.
Achilles shall have word of this intent;
So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent:
Yourself shall feast with us before you go
And find the welcome of a noble foe.

765

[Exeunt all but ULYSSES and NESTOR]

771

Ulysses Nestor!

772

Nestor What says Ulysses?

773

Ulysses I have a young conception in my brain;
Be you my time to bring it to some shape.

774

Nestor What is't?

776

Ulysses This 'tis:
Blunt wedges rive hard knots: the seeded pride
That hath to this maturity blown up
In rank Achilles must or now be cropp'd,
Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil,
To overbulk us all.

777

Nestor Well, and how?

783

Ulysses This challenge that the gallant Hector sends,
However it is spread in general name,
Relates in purpose only to Achilles.

784

Nestor The purpose is perspicuous even as substance,
Whose grossness little characters sum up:
And, in the publication, make no strain,
But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
As banks of Libya,--though, Apollo knows,
'Tis dry enough,--will, with great speed of judgment,
Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
Pointing on him.

787

Ulysses And wake him to the answer, think you?

795

Nestor Yes, 'tis most meet: whom may you else oppose,
That can from Hector bring his honour off,
If not Achilles? Though't be a sportful combat,
Yet in the trial much opinion dwells;
For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute
With their finest palate: and trust to me, Ulysses,
Our imputation shall be oddly poised
In this wild action; for the success,
Although particular, shall give a scantling
Of good or bad unto the general;
And in such indexes, although small pricks
To their subsequent volumes, there is seen
The baby figure of the giant mass
Of things to come at large. It is supposed
He that meets Hector issues from our choice
And choice, being mutual act of all our souls,
Makes merit her election, and doth boil,
As 'twere from us all, a man distill'd
Out of our virtues; who miscarrying,
What heart receives from hence the conquering part,
To steel a strong opinion to themselves?
Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,
In no less working than are swords and bows
Directive by the limbs.

796

Ulysses Give pardon to my speech:
Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector.
Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares,
And think, perchance, they'll sell; if not,
The lustre of the better yet to show,
Shall show the better. Do not consent
That ever Hector and Achilles meet;
For both our honour and our shame in this
Are dogg'd with two strange followers.

820

Nestor I see them not with my old eyes: what are they?

829

Ulysses What glory our Achilles shares from Hector,
Were he not proud, we all should share with him:
But he already is too insolent;
And we were better parch in Afric sun
Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes,
Should he 'scape Hector fair: if he were foil'd,
Why then, we did our main opinion crush
In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery;
And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw
The sort to fight with Hector: among ourselves
Give him allowance for the better man;
For that will physic the great Myrmidon
Who broils in loud applause, and make him fall
His crest that prouder than blue Iris bends.
If the dull brainless Ajax come safe off,
We'll dress him up in voices: if he fail,
Yet go we under our opinion still
That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
Our project's life this shape of sense assumes:
Ajax employ'd plucks down Achilles' plumes.

830

Nestor Ulysses,
Now I begin to relish thy advice;
And I will give a taste of it forthwith
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.
Two curs shall tame each other: pride alone
Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.

850

[Exeunt]

856

Act II, Scene 1

A part of the Grecian camp.

[Enter AJAX and THERSITES]

857

Ajax Thersites!

858

Thersites Agamemnon, how if he had boils? full, all over,
generally?

859

Ajax Thersites!

861

Thersites And those boils did run? say so: did not the
general run then? were not that a botchy core?

862

Ajax Dog!

864

Thersites Then would come some matter from him; I see none now.

865

Ajax Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear?
[Beating him]
Feel, then.

866

Thersites The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel
beef-witted lord!

869

Ajax Speak then, thou vinewedst leaven, speak: I will
beat thee into handsomeness.

871

Thersites I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness: but,
I think, thy horse will sooner con an oration than
thou learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike,
canst thou? a red murrain o' thy jade's tricks!

873

Ajax Toadstool, learn me the proclamation.

877

Thersites Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?

878

Ajax The proclamation!

879

Thersites Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think.

880

Ajax Do not, porpentine, do not: my fingers itch.

881

Thersites I would thou didst itch from head to foot and I had
the scratching of thee; I would make thee the
loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth in
the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another.

882

Ajax I say, the proclamation!

886

Thersites Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles,
and thou art as full of envy at his greatness as
Cerberus is at Proserpine's beauty, ay, that thou
barkest at him.

887

Ajax Mistress Thersites!

891

Thersites Thou shouldest strike him.

892

Ajax Cobloaf!

893

Thersites He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a
sailor breaks a biscuit.

894

Ajax [Beating him] You whoreson cur!

896

Ajax Thou stool for a witch!

898

Thersites Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no
more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego
may tutor thee: thou scurvy-valiant ass! thou art
here but to thrash Trojans; and thou art bought and
sold among those of any wit, like a barbarian slave.
If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel, and
tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no
bowels, thou!

899

Ajax You dog!

907

Thersites You scurvy lord!

908

Ajax [Beating him] You cur!

909

Thersites Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do.

910

[Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS]

911

Achilles Why, how now, Ajax! wherefore do you thus? How now,
Thersites! what's the matter, man?

912

Thersites You see him there, do you?

914

Achilles Ay; what's the matter?

915

Thersites Nay, look upon him.

916

Achilles So I do: what's the matter?

917

Thersites Nay, but regard him well.

918

Achilles 'Well!' why, I do so.

919

Thersites But yet you look not well upon him; for whosoever you
take him to be, he is Ajax.

920

Achilles I know that, fool.

922

Thersites Ay, but that fool knows not himself.

923

Ajax Therefore I beat thee.

924

Thersites Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his
evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his
brain more than he has beat my bones: I will buy
nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not
worth the nineth part of a sparrow. This lord,
Achilles, Ajax, who wears his wit in his belly and
his guts in his head, I'll tell you what I say of
him.

925

Thersites I say, this Ajax--

934

[Ajax offers to beat him]

935

Achilles Nay, good Ajax.

936

Thersites Has not so much wit--

937

Achilles Nay, I must hold you.

938

Thersites As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he
comes to fight.

939

Achilles Peace, fool!

941

Thersites I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will
not: he there: that he: look you there.

942

Ajax O thou damned cur! I shall--

944

Achilles Will you set your wit to a fool's?

945

Thersites No, I warrant you; for a fools will shame it.

946

Patroclus Good words, Thersites.

947

Achilles What's the quarrel?

948

Ajax I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenor of the
proclamation, and he rails upon me.

949

Thersites I serve thee not.

951

Ajax Well, go to, go to.

952

Thersites I serve here voluntarily.

953

Achilles Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not
voluntary: no man is beaten voluntary: Ajax was
here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.

954

Thersites E'en so; a great deal of your wit, too, lies in your
sinews, or else there be liars. Hector have a great
catch, if he knock out either of your brains: a'
were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.

957

Achilles What, with me too, Thersites?

961

Thersites There's Ulysses and old Nestor, whose wit was mouldy
ere your grandsires had nails on their toes, yoke you
like draught-oxen and make you plough up the wars.

962

Achilles What, what?

965

Thersites Yes, good sooth: to, Achilles! to, Ajax! to!

966

Ajax I shall cut out your tongue.

967

Thersites 'Tis no matter! I shall speak as much as thou
afterwards.

968

Patroclus No more words, Thersites; peace!

970

Thersites I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall I?

971

Achilles There's for you, Patroclus.

972

Thersites I will see you hanged, like clotpoles, ere I come
any more to your tents: I will keep where there is
wit stirring and leave the faction of fools.

973

[Exit]

976

Patroclus A good riddance.

977

Achilles Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through all our host:
That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun,
Will with a trumpet 'twixt our tents and Troy
To-morrow morning call some knight to arms
That hath a stomach; and such a one that dare
Maintain--I know not what: 'tis trash. Farewell.

978

Ajax Farewell. Who shall answer him?

984

Achilles I know not: 'tis put to lottery; otherwise
He knew his man.

985

Ajax O, meaning you. I will go learn more of it.

987

[Exeunt]

988

Act II, Scene 2

Troy. A room in Priam's palace.

[Enter PRIAM, HECTOR, TROILUS, PARIS, and HELENUS]

989

Priam After so many hours, lives, speeches spent,
Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks:
'Deliver Helen, and all damage else--
As honour, loss of time, travail, expense,
Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is consumed
In hot digestion of this cormorant war--
Shall be struck off.' Hector, what say you to't?

990

Hector Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than I
As far as toucheth my particular,
Yet, dread Priam,
There is no lady of more softer bowels,
More spongy to suck in the sense of fear,
More ready to cry out 'Who knows what follows?'
Than Hector is: the wound of peace is surety,
Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd
The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
To the bottom of the worst. Let Helen go:
Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
Every tithe soul, 'mongst many thousand dismes,
Hath been as dear as Helen; I mean, of ours:
If we have lost so many tenths of ours,
To guard a thing not ours nor worth to us,
Had it our name, the value of one ten,
What merit's in that reason which denies
The yielding of her up?

997

Troilus Fie, fie, my brother!
Weigh you the worth and honour of a king
So great as our dread father in a scale
Of common ounces? will you with counters sum
The past proportion of his infinite?
And buckle in a waist most fathomless
With spans and inches so diminutive
As fears and reasons? fie, for godly shame!

Helenus No marvel, though you bite so sharp at reasons,
You are so empty of them. Should not our father
Bear the great sway of his affairs with reasons,
Because your speech hath none that tells him so?

Troilus You are for dreams and slumbers, brother priest;
You fur your gloves with reason. Here are
your reasons:
You know an enemy intends you harm;
You know a sword employ'd is perilous,
And reason flies the object of all harm:
Who marvels then, when Helenus beholds
A Grecian and his sword, if he do set
The very wings of reason to his heels
And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,
Or like a star disorb'd? Nay, if we talk of reason,
Let's shut our gates and sleep: manhood and honour
Should have hare-hearts, would they but fat
their thoughts
With this cramm'd reason: reason and respect
Make livers pale and lustihood deject.

Hector Brother, she is not worth what she doth cost
The holding.

Troilus What is aught, but as 'tis valued?

Hector But value dwells not in particular will;
It holds his estimate and dignity
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
As in the prizer: 'tis mad idolatry
To make the service greater than the god
And the will dotes that is attributive
To what infectiously itself affects,
Without some image of the affected merit.

Troilus I take to-day a wife, and my election
Is led on in the conduct of my will;
My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
Of will and judgment: how may I avoid,
Although my will distaste what it elected,
The wife I chose? there can be no evasion
To blench from this and to stand firm by honour:
We turn not back the silks upon the merchant,
When we have soil'd them, nor the remainder viands
We do not throw in unrespective sieve,
Because we now are full. It was thought meet
Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks:
Your breath of full consent bellied his sails;
The seas and winds, old wranglers, took a truce
And did him service: he touch'd the ports desired,
And for an old aunt whom the Greeks held captive,
He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and freshness
Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes stale the morning.
Why keep we her? the Grecians keep our aunt:
Is she worth keeping? why, she is a pearl,
Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.
If you'll avouch 'twas wisdom Paris went--
As you must needs, for you all cried 'Go, go,'--
If you'll confess he brought home noble prize--
As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands
And cried 'Inestimable!'--why do you now
The issue of your proper wisdoms rate,
And do a deed that fortune never did,
Beggar the estimation which you prized
Richer than sea and land? O, theft most base,
That we have stol'n what we do fear to keep!
But, thieves, unworthy of a thing so stol'n,
That in their country did them that disgrace,
We fear to warrant in our native place!

Cassandra [Within] Cry, Trojans, cry!

Priam What noise? what shriek is this?

Troilus 'Tis our mad sister, I do know her voice.

Cassandra [Within] Cry, Trojans!

Hector It is Cassandra.

[Enter CASSANDRA, raving]

Cassandra Cry, Trojans, cry! lend me ten thousand eyes,
And I will fill them with prophetic tears.

Hector Peace, sister, peace!

Cassandra Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled eld,
Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
Add to my clamours! let us pay betimes
A moiety of that mass of moan to come.
Cry, Trojans, cry! practise your eyes with tears!
Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilion stand;
Our firebrand brother, Paris, burns us all.
Cry, Trojans, cry! a Helen and a woe:
Cry, cry! Troy burns, or else let Helen go.

[Exit]

Hector Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high strains
Of divination in our sister work
Some touches of remorse? or is your blood
So madly hot that no discourse of reason,
Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,
Can qualify the same?

Troilus Why, brother Hector,
We may not think the justness of each act
Such and no other than event doth form it,
Nor once deject the courage of our minds,
Because Cassandra's mad: her brain-sick raptures
Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel
Which hath our several honours all engaged
To make it gracious. For my private part,
I am no more touch'd than all Priam's sons:
And Jove forbid there should be done amongst us
Such things as might offend the weakest spleen
To fight for and maintain!

Paris Else might the world convince of levity
As well my undertakings as your counsels:
But I attest the gods, your full consent
Gave wings to my propension and cut off
All fears attending on so dire a project.
For what, alas, can these my single arms?
What Propugnation is in one man's valour,
To stand the push and enmity of those
This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest,
Were I alone to pass the difficulties
And had as ample power as I have will,
Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done,
Nor faint in the pursuit.

Priam Paris, you speak
Like one besotted on your sweet delights:
You have the honey still, but these the gall;
So to be valiant is no praise at all.

Paris Sir, I propose not merely to myself
The pleasures such a beauty brings with it;
But I would have the soil of her fair rape
Wiped off, in honourable keeping her.
What treason were it to the ransack'd queen,
Disgrace to your great worths and shame to me,
Now to deliver her possession up
On terms of base compulsion! Can it be
That so degenerate a strain as this
Should once set footing in your generous bosoms?
There's not the meanest spirit on our party
Without a heart to dare or sword to draw
When Helen is defended, nor none so noble
Whose life were ill bestow'd or death unfamed
Where Helen is the subject; then, I say,
Well may we fight for her whom, we know well,
The world's large spaces cannot parallel.

Hector Paris and Troilus, you have both said well,
And on the cause and question now in hand
Have glozed, but superficially: not much
Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
Unfit to hear moral philosophy:
The reasons you allege do more conduce
To the hot passion of distemper'd blood
Than to make up a free determination
'Twixt right and wrong, for pleasure and revenge
Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
Of any true decision. Nature craves
All dues be render'd to their owners: now,
What nearer debt in all humanity
Than wife is to the husband? If this law
Of nature be corrupted through affection,
And that great minds, of partial indulgence
To their benumbed wills, resist the same,
There is a law in each well-order'd nation
To curb those raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and refractory.
If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king,
As it is known she is, these moral laws
Of nature and of nations speak aloud
To have her back return'd: thus to persist
In doing wrong extenuates not wrong,
But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion
Is this in way of truth; yet ne'ertheless,
My spritely brethren, I propend to you
In resolution to keep Helen still,
For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependance
Upon our joint and several dignities.

Troilus Why, there you touch'd the life of our design:
Were it not glory that we more affected
Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
She is a theme of honour and renown,
A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds,
Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
And fame in time to come canonize us;
For, I presume, brave Hector would not lose
So rich advantage of a promised glory
As smiles upon the forehead of this action
For the wide world's revenue.

Hector I am yours,
You valiant offspring of great Priamus.
I have a roisting challenge sent amongst
The dun and factious nobles of the Greeks
Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits:
I was advertised their great general slept,
Whilst emulation in the army crept:
This, I presume, will wake him.

[Exeunt]

Act II, Scene 3

The Grecian camp. Before Achilles' tent.