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Troilus and Cressida: Act 3, Scene 3

Troilus and Cressida
Act 3, Scene 3

The Grecian camp. Before Achilles’ tent.

  1. Enter Ulysses, Diomedes, Nestor, Agamemnon, Ajax, Menelaus,
  2. and Calchas. Flourish.

Calchas

3 - 18
  1. Now, princes, for the service I have done,
  2. Th’ advantage of the time prompts me aloud
  3. To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind,
  4. That through the sight I bear in things to come,
  5. I have abandon’d Troy, left my possession,
  6. Incurr’d a traitor’s name, expos’d myself
  7. From certain and possess’d conveniences
  8. To doubtful fortunes, sequest’ring from me all
  9. That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition
  10. Made tame and most familiar to my nature;
  11. And here, to do you service, am become
  12. As new into the world, strange, unacquainted.
  13. I do beseech you, as in way of taste,
  14. To give me now a little benefit
  15. Out of those many regist’red in promise,
  16. Which you say live to come in my behalf.

Agamemnon

19
  1. What wouldst thou of us, Troyan? Make demand.

Calchas

20 - 32
  1. You have a Troyan prisoner call’d Antenor,
  2. Yesterday took; Troy holds him very dear.
  3. Oft have you (often have you thanks therefore)
  4. Desir’d my Cressid in right great exchange,
  5. Whom Troy hath still denied, but this Antenor,
  6. I know, is such a wrest in their affairs
  7. That their negotiations all must slack,
  8. Wanting his manage, and they will almost
  9. Give us a prince of blood, a son of Priam,
  10. In change of him. Let him be sent, great princes,
  11. And he shall buy my daughter; and her presence
  12. Shall quite strike off all service I have done,
  13. In most accepted pain.

Agamemnon

33 - 38
  1. Let Diomedes bear him,
  2. And bring us Cressid hither; Calchas shall have
  3. What he requests of us. Good Diomed,
  4. Furnish you fairly for this interchange;
  5. Withal bring word if Hector will tomorrow
  6. Be answered in his challenge: Ajax is ready.

Diomedes

39 - 40
  1. This shall I undertake, and ’tis a burden
  2. Which I am proud to bear.
  1. Exit with Calchas.
  1. Enter Achilles and Patroclus and stand in the door of their
  2. tent.

Ulysses

44 - 55
  1. Achilles stands i’ th’ entrance of his tent.
  2. Please it our general pass strangely by him,
  3. As if he were forgot, and, princes all,
  4. Lay negligent and loose regard upon him.
  5. I will come last; ’tis like he’ll question me
  6. Why such unplausive eyes are bent, why turn’d on him?
  7. If so, I have derision medicinable
  8. To use between your strangeness and his pride,
  9. Which his own will shall have desire to drink.
  10. It may do good, pride hath no other glass
  11. To show itself but pride; for supple knees
  12. Feed arrogance and are the proud man’s fees.

Agamemnon

56 - 60
  1. We’ll execute your purpose, and put on
  2. A form of strangeness as we pass along.
  3. So do each lord, and either greet him not,
  4. Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more
  5. Than if not look’d on. I will lead the way.

Achilles

61 - 62
  1. What comes the general to speak with me?
  2. You know my mind, I’ll fight no more ’gainst Troy.

Agamemnon

63
  1. What says Achilles? Would he aught with us?

Nestor

64
  1. Would you, my lord, aught with the general?

Achilles

65
  1. No.

Nestor

66
  1. Nothing, my lord.

Agamemnon

67
  1. The better.
  1. Exeunt Agamemnon and Nestor.

Achilles

69
  1. Good day, good day.

Menelaus

70
  1. How do you? How do you?
  1. Exit.

Achilles

72
  1. What, does the cuckold scorn me?

Ajax

73
  1. How now, Patroclus?

Achilles

74
  1. Good morrow, Ajax.

Ajax

75
  1. Ha?

Achilles

76
  1. Good morrow.

Ajax

77
  1. Ay, and good next day too.
  1. Exit.

Achilles

79
  1. What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?

Patroclus

80 - 83
  1. They pass by strangely. They were us’d to bend,
  2. To send their smiles before them to Achilles,
  3. To come as humbly as they us’d to creep
  4. To holy altars.

Achilles

84 - 104
  1.                 What, am I poor of late?
  2. ’Tis certain, greatness, once fall’n out with fortune,
  3. Must fall out with men too. What the declin’d is,
  4. He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
  5. As feel in his own fall; for men, like butterflies,
  6. Show not their mealy wings but to the summer,
  7. And not a man, for being simply man,
  8. Hath any honor, but honor for those honors
  9. That are without him, as place, riches, and favor
  10. Prizes of accident as oft as merit,
  11. Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
  12. The love that lean’d on them as slippery too,
  13. Doth one pluck down another, and together
  14. Die in the fall. But ’tis not so with me,
  15. Fortune and I are friends. I do enjoy
  16. At ample point all that I did possess,
  17. Save these men’s looks, who do methinks find out
  18. Some thing not worth in me such rich beholding
  19. As they have often given. Here is Ulysses,
  20. I’ll interrupt his reading.
  21. How now, Ulysses?

Ulysses

105
  1.                   Now, great Thetis’ son!

Achilles

106
  1. What are you reading?

Ulysses

107 - 114
  1.                       A strange fellow here
  2. Writes me that man, how dearly ever parted,
  3. How much in having, or without or in,
  4. Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
  5. Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
  6. As when his virtues, aiming upon others,
  7. Heat them, and they retort that heat again
  8. To the first giver.

Achilles

115 - 124
  1.                     This is not strange, Ulysses.
  2. The beauty that is borne here in the face
  3. The bearer knows not, but commends itself
  4. To others’ eyes; nor doth the eye itself,
  5. That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
  6. Not going from itself; but eye to eye opposed,
  7. Salutes each other with each other’s form;
  8. For speculation turns not to itself,
  9. Till it hath travel’d and is mirror’d there
  10. Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.

Ulysses

125 - 154
  1. I do not strain at the position
  2. It is familiarbut at the author’s drift,
  3. Who in his circumstance expressly proves
  4. That no man is the lord of any thing,
  5. Though in and of him there be much consisting,
  6. Till he communicate his parts to others;
  7. Nor doth he of himself know them for aught,
  8. Till he behold them formed in th’ applause
  9. Where th’ are extended; who like an arch reverb’rate
  10. The voice again, or like a gate of steel,
  11. Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
  12. His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this,
  13. And apprehended here immediately
  14. Th’ unknown Ajax.
  15. Heavens, what a man is there! A very horse,
  16. That has he knows not what. Nature, what things there are
  17. Most abject in regard, and dear in use!
  18. What things again most dear in the esteem,
  19. And poor in worth! Now shall we see tomorrow
  20. An act that very chance doth throw upon him
  21. Ajax renown’d! O heavens, what some men do,
  22. While some men leave to do!
  23. How some men creep in skittish Fortune’s hall,
  24. Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
  25. How one man eats into another’s pride,
  26. While pride is fasting in his wantonness!
  27. To see these Grecian lords!—why, even already
  28. They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder,
  29. As if his foot were on brave Hector’s breast,
  30. And great Troy shrieking.

Achilles

155 - 157
  1. I do believe it, for they pass’d by me
  2. As misers do by beggars, neither gave to me
  3. Good word nor look. What, are my deeds forgot?

Ulysses

158 - 203
  1. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
  2. Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
  3. A great-siz’d monster of ingratitudes.
  4. Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devour’d
  5. As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
  6. As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
  7. Keeps honor bright; to have done is to hang
  8. Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
  9. In monumental mock’ry. Take the instant way,
  10. For honor travels in a strait so narrow,
  11. Where one but goes abreast. Keep then the path,
  12. For emulation hath a thousand sons
  13. That one by one pursue. If you give way,
  14. Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
  15. Like to an ent’red tide, they all rush by
  16. And leave you hindmost;
  17. Or like a gallant horse fall’n in first rank,
  18. Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
  19. O’errun and trampled on. Then what they do in present,
  20. Though less than yours in past, must o’ertop yours;
  21. For Time is like a fashionable host
  22. That slightly shakes his parting guest by th’ hand,
  23. And with his arms outstretch’d as he would fly,
  24. Grasps in the comer. The welcome ever smiles,
  25. And farewell goes out sighing. Let not virtue seek
  26. Remuneration for the thing it was;
  27. For beauty, wit,
  28. High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
  29. Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
  30. To envious and calumniating Time.
  31. One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
  32. That all with one consent praise new-born gawds,
  33. Though they are made and moulded of things past,
  34. And give to dust, that is a little gilt,
  35. More laud than gilt o’erdusted.
  36. The present eye praises the present object.
  37. Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
  38. That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax;
  39. Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
  40. Than what stirs not. The cry went once on thee,
  41. And still it might, and yet it may again,
  42. If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive
  43. And case thy reputation in thy tent,
  44. Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
  45. Made emulous missions ’mongst the gods themselves,
  46. And drave great Mars to faction.

Achilles

204 - 205
  1.                                  Of this my privacy
  2. I have strong reasons.

Ulysses

206 - 209
  1.                        But ’gainst your privacy
  2. The reasons are more potent and heroical.
  3. ’Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
  4. With one of Priam’s daughters.

Achilles

210
  1.                                Ha? Known?

Ulysses

211 - 231
  1. Is that a wonder?
  2. The providence that’s in a watchful state
  3. Knows almost every grain of Pluto’s gold,
  4. Finds bottom in th’ uncomprehensive depth,
  5. Keeps place with thought and almost, like the gods,
  6. Do thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
  7. There is a mystery (with whom relation
  8. Durst never meddle) in the soul of state,
  9. Which hath an operation more divine
  10. Than breath or pen can give expressure to.
  11. All the commerce that you have had with Troy
  12. As perfectly is ours as yours, my lord,
  13. And better would it fit Achilles much
  14. To throw down Hector than Polyxena.
  15. But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
  16. When fame shall in our islands sound her trump,
  17. And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,
  18. Great Hector’s sister did Achilles win,
  19. But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.”
  20. Farewell, my lord; I as your lover speak:
  21. The fool slides o’er the ice that you should break.
  1. Exit.

Patroclus

233 - 242
  1. To this effect, Achilles, have I mov’d you.
  2. A woman impudent and mannish grown
  3. Is not more loath’d than an effeminate man
  4. In time of action. I stand condemn’d for this;
  5. They think my little stomach to the war,
  6. And your great love to me, restrains you thus.
  7. Sweet, rouse yourself, and the weak wanton Cupid
  8. Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
  9. And like a dewdrop from the lion’s mane,
  10. Be shook to air.

Achilles

243
  1.                  Shall Ajax fight with Hector?

Patroclus

244
  1. Ay, and perhaps receive much honor by him.

Achilles

245 - 246
  1. I see my reputation is at stake,
  2. My fame is shrewdly gor’d.

Patroclus

247 - 252
  1.                            O then beware!
  2. Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.
  3. Omission to do what is necessary
  4. Seals a commission to a blank of danger,
  5. And danger like an ague subtly taints
  6. Even then when they sit idly in the sun.

Achilles

253 - 262
  1. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus.
  2. I’ll send the fool to Ajax and desire him
  3. T’ invite the Troyan lords after the combat
  4. To see us here unarm’d. I have a woman’s longing,
  5. An appetite that I am sick withal,
  6. To see great Hector in his weeds of peace,
  7. To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
  8. Even to my full of view.
  9. Enter Thersites.
  10.                          A labor sav’d!

Thersites

263
  1. A wonder!

Achilles

264
  1. What?

Thersites

265
  1. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself.

Achilles

266
  1. How so?

Thersites

267 - 269
  1. He must fight singly tomorrow with Hector, and is so
  2. prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling that he raves
  3. in saying nothing.

Achilles

270
  1. How can that be?

Thersites

271 - 283
  1. Why, ’a stalks up and down like a peacocka stride and a
  2. stand; ruminates like an hostess that hath no arithmetic but
  3. her brain to set down her reckoning; bites his lip with a
  4. politic regard, as who should say there were wit in this
  5. head and ’twould outand so there is; but it lies as coldly
  6. in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without
  7. knocking. The man’s undone forever, for if Hector break not
  8. his neck i’ th’ combat, he’ll break’t himself in vainglory.
  9. He knows not me. I said, Good morrow, Ajax”; and he
  10. replies, Thanks, Agamemnon.” What think you of this man
  11. that takes me for the general? He’s grown a very land-fish,
  12. languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! A man may wear
  13. it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.

Achilles

284
  1. Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites.

Thersites

285 - 288
  1. Who, I? Why, he’ll answer nobody; he professes not
  2. answering. Speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in
  3. ’s arms. I will put on his presence, let Patroclus make
  4. demands to me; you shall see the pageant of Ajax.

Achilles

289 - 293
  1. To him, Patroclus. Tell him I humbly desire the valiant Ajax
  2. to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarm’d to my
  3. tent, and to procure safe-conduct for his person of the
  4. magnanimous and most illustrious six-or-seven-times-honor’d
  5. captain-general of the army, Agamemnon, et cetera. Do this.

Patroclus

294
  1. Jove bless great Ajax!

Thersites

295
  1. Hum?

Patroclus

296
  1. I come from the worthy Achilles

Thersites

297
  1. Ha?

Patroclus

298
  1. Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his tent

Thersites

299
  1. Hum?

Patroclus

300
  1. And to procure safe-conduct from Agamemnon.

Thersites

301
  1. Agamemnon?

Patroclus

302
  1. Ay, my lord.

Thersites

303
  1. Ha?

Patroclus

304
  1. What say you to’t?

Thersites

305
  1. God buy you, with all my heart.

Patroclus

306
  1. Your answer, sir.

Thersites

307 - 309
  1. If tomorrow be a fair day, by eleven of the clock it will go
  2. one way or other. Howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has
  3. me.

Patroclus

310
  1. Your answer, sir.

Thersites

311
  1. Fare ye well, with all my heart.

Achilles

312
  1. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?

Thersites

313 - 316
  1. No; but he’s out of tune thus. What music will be in him
  2. when Hector has knock’d out his brains, I know not; but I am
  3. sure none, unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make
  4. catlings on.

Achilles

317
  1. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.

Thersites

318 - 319
  1. Let me bear another to his horse, for that’s the more
  2. capable creature.

Achilles

320 - 321
  1. My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirr’d,
  2. And I myself see not the bottom of it.
  1. Exeunt Achilles and Patroclus.

Thersites

323 - 325
  1. Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I
  2. might water an ass at it! I had rather be a tick in a sheep
  3. than such a valiant ignorance.
  1. Exit.
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