Troilus and Cressida (1602-3)

Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
Shakespeare Network -

Act III, Scene 1

Troy. Priam's palace.

[Enter a Servant and PANDARUS]

Pandarus Friend, you! pray you, a word: do not you follow
the young Lord Paris?

Servant Ay, sir, when he goes before me.

Pandarus You depend upon him, I mean?

Servant Sir, I do depend upon the lord.

Pandarus You depend upon a noble gentleman; I must needs
praise him.

Servant The lord be praised!

Pandarus You know me, do you not?

Servant Faith, sir, superficially.

Pandarus Friend, know me better; I am the Lord Pandarus.

Servant I hope I shall know your honour better.

Pandarus I do desire it.

Servant You are in the state of grace.

Pandarus Grace! not so, friend: honour and lordship are my titles.
[Music within]
What music is this?

Servant I do but partly know, sir: it is music in parts.

Pandarus Know you the musicians?

Servant Wholly, sir.

Pandarus Who play they to?

Servant To the hearers, sir.

Pandarus At whose pleasure, friend

Servant At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.

Pandarus Command, I mean, friend.

Servant Who shall I command, sir?

Pandarus Friend, we understand not one another: I am too
courtly and thou art too cunning. At whose request
do these men play?

Servant That's to 't indeed, sir: marry, sir, at the request
of Paris my lord, who's there in person; with him,
the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love's
invisible soul,--

Pandarus Who, my cousin Cressida?

Servant No, sir, Helen: could you not find out that by her

Pandarus It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the
Lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the
Prince Troilus: I will make a complimental assault
upon him, for my business seethes.

Servant Sodden business! there's a stewed phrase indeed!

[Enter PARIS and HELEN, attended]

Pandarus Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair
company! fair desires, in all fair measure,
fairly guide them! especially to you, fair queen!
fair thoughts be your fair pillow!

Helen Dear lord, you are full of fair words.

Pandarus You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. Fair
prince, here is good broken music.

Paris You have broke it, cousin: and, by my life, you
shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out
with a piece of your performance. Nell, he is full
of harmony.

Pandarus Truly, lady, no.

Helen O, sir,--

Pandarus Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.

Paris Well said, my lord! well, you say so in fits.

Pandarus I have business to my lord, dear queen. My lord,
will you vouchsafe me a word?

Helen Nay, this shall not hedge us out: we'll hear you
sing, certainly.

Pandarus Well, sweet queen. you are pleasant with me. But,
marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and most esteemed
friend, your brother Troilus,--

Helen My Lord Pandarus; honey-sweet lord,--

Pandarus Go to, sweet queen, to go:--commends himself most
affectionately to you,--

Helen You shall not bob us out of our melody: if you do,
our melancholy upon your head!

Pandarus Sweet queen, sweet queen! that's a sweet queen, i' faith.

Helen And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.

Pandarus Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall not,
in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no,
no. And, my lord, he desires you, that if the king
call for him at supper, you will make his excuse.

Helen My Lord Pandarus,--

Pandarus What says my sweet queen, my very very sweet queen?

Paris What exploit's in hand? where sups he to-night?

Helen Nay, but, my lord,--

Pandarus What says my sweet queen? My cousin will fall out
with you. You must not know where he sups.

Paris I'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.

Pandarus No, no, no such matter; you are wide: come, your
disposer is sick.

Paris Well, I'll make excuse.

Pandarus Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida? no,
your poor disposer's sick.

Paris I spy.

Pandarus You spy! what do you spy? Come, give me an
instrument. Now, sweet queen.

Helen Why, this is kindly done.

Pandarus My niece is horribly in love with a thing you have,
sweet queen.

Helen She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.

Pandarus He! no, she'll none of him; they two are twain.

Helen Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.

Pandarus Come, come, I'll hear no more of this; I'll sing
you a song now.

Helen Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou
hast a fine forehead.

Pandarus Ay, you may, you may.

Helen Let thy song be love: this love will undo us all.
O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!

Pandarus Love! ay, that it shall, i' faith.

Paris Ay, good now, love, love, nothing but love.

Pandarus In good troth, it begins so.
Love, love, nothing but love, still more!
For, O, love's bow
Shoots buck and doe:
The shaft confounds,
Not that it wounds,
But tickles still the sore.
These lovers cry Oh! oh! they die!
Yet that which seems the wound to kill,
Doth turn oh! oh! to ha! ha! he!
So dying love lives still:
Oh! oh! a while, but ha! ha! ha!
Oh! oh! groans out for ha! ha! ha!

Helen In love, i' faith, to the very tip of the nose.

Paris He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot
blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot
thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.

Pandarus Is this the generation of love? hot blood, hot
thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers:
is love a generation of vipers? Sweet lord, who's
a-field to-day?

Paris Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the
gallantry of Troy: I would fain have armed to-day,
but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
brother Troilus went not?

Helen He hangs the lip at something: you know all, Lord Pandarus.

Pandarus Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they
sped to-day. You'll remember your brother's excuse?

Paris To a hair.

Pandarus Farewell, sweet queen.

Helen Commend me to your niece.

Pandarus I will, sweet queen.


[A retreat sounded]

Paris They're come from field: let us to Priam's hall,
To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you
To help unarm our Hector: his stubborn buckles,
With these your white enchanting fingers touch'd,
Shall more obey than to the edge of steel
Or force of Greekish sinews; you shall do more
Than all the island kings,--disarm great Hector.

Helen 'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris;
Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
Yea, overshines ourself.

Paris Sweet, above thought I love thee.


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