Troilus and Cressida
Act 3, Scene 3
The Grecian camp. Before Achilles’ tent.
- Enter Ulysses, Diomedes, Nestor, Agamemnon, Ajax, Menelaus,
- and Calchas. Flourish.
Calchas3 - 18
- Now, princes, for the service I have done,
- Th’ advantage of the time prompts me aloud
- To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind,
- That through the sight I bear in things to come,
- I have abandon’d Troy, left my possession,
- Incurr’d a traitor’s name, expos’d myself
- From certain and possess’d conveniences
- To doubtful fortunes, sequest’ring from me all
- That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition
- Made tame and most familiar to my nature;
- And here, to do you service, am become
- As new into the world, strange, unacquainted.
- I do beseech you, as in way of taste,
- To give me now a little benefit
- Out of those many regist’red in promise,
- Which you say live to come in my behalf.
- What wouldst thou of us, Troyan? Make demand.
Calchas20 - 32
- You have a Troyan prisoner call’d Antenor,
- Yesterday took; Troy holds him very dear.
- Oft have you (often have you thanks therefore)
- Desir’d my Cressid in right great exchange,
- Whom Troy hath still denied, but this Antenor,
- I know, is such a wrest in their affairs
- That their negotiations all must slack,
- Wanting his manage, and they will almost
- Give us a prince of blood, a son of Priam,
- In change of him. Let him be sent, great princes,
- And he shall buy my daughter; and her presence
- Shall quite strike off all service I have done,
- In most accepted pain.
Agamemnon33 - 38
- Let Diomedes bear him,
- And bring us Cressid hither; Calchas shall have
- What he requests of us. Good Diomed,
- Furnish you fairly for this interchange;
- Withal bring word if Hector will tomorrow
- Be answered in his challenge: Ajax is ready.
Diomedes39 - 40
- This shall I undertake, and ’tis a burden
- Which I am proud to bear.
- Exit with Calchas.
- Enter Achilles and Patroclus and stand in the door of their
Ulysses44 - 55
- Achilles stands i’ th’ entrance of his tent.
- Please it our general pass strangely by him,
- As if he were forgot, and, princes all,
- Lay negligent and loose regard upon him.
- I will come last; ’tis like he’ll question me
- Why such unplausive eyes are bent, why turn’d on him?
- If so, I have derision medicinable
- To use between your strangeness and his pride,
- Which his own will shall have desire to drink.
- It may do good, pride hath no other glass
- To show itself but pride; for supple knees
- Feed arrogance and are the proud man’s fees.
Agamemnon56 - 60
- We’ll execute your purpose, and put on
- A form of strangeness as we pass along.
- So do each lord, and either greet him not,
- Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more
- Than if not look’d on. I will lead the way.
Achilles61 - 62
- What comes the general to speak with me?
- You know my mind, I’ll fight no more ’gainst Troy.
- What says Achilles? Would he aught with us?
- Would you, my lord, aught with the general?
- Nothing, my lord.
- The better.
- Exeunt Agamemnon and Nestor.
- Good day, good day.
- How do you? How do you?
- What, does the cuckold scorn me?
- How now, Patroclus?
- Good morrow, Ajax.
- Good morrow.
- Ay, and good next day too.
- What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?
Patroclus80 - 83
- They pass by strangely. They were us’d to bend,
- To send their smiles before them to Achilles,
- To come as humbly as they us’d to creep
- To holy altars.
Achilles84 - 104
- What, am I poor of late?
- ’Tis certain, greatness, once fall’n out with fortune,
- Must fall out with men too. What the declin’d is,
- He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
- As feel in his own fall; for men, like butterflies,
- Show not their mealy wings but to the summer,
- And not a man, for being simply man,
- Hath any honor, but honor for those honors
- That are without him, as place, riches, and favor—
- Prizes of accident as oft as merit,
- Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
- The love that lean’d on them as slippery too,
- Doth one pluck down another, and together
- Die in the fall. But ’tis not so with me,
- Fortune and I are friends. I do enjoy
- At ample point all that I did possess,
- Save these men’s looks, who do methinks find out
- Some thing not worth in me such rich beholding
- As they have often given. Here is Ulysses,
- I’ll interrupt his reading.
- How now, Ulysses?
- Now, great Thetis’ son!
- What are you reading?
Ulysses107 - 114
- A strange fellow here
- Writes me that man, how dearly ever parted,
- How much in having, or without or in,
- Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
- Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
- As when his virtues, aiming upon others,
- Heat them, and they retort that heat again
- To the first giver.
Achilles115 - 124
- This is not strange, Ulysses.
- The beauty that is borne here in the face
- The bearer knows not, but commends itself
- To others’ eyes; nor doth the eye itself,
- That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
- Not going from itself; but eye to eye opposed,
- Salutes each other with each other’s form;
- For speculation turns not to itself,
- Till it hath travel’d and is mirror’d there
- Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.
Ulysses125 - 154
- I do not strain at the position—
- It is familiar—but at the author’s drift,
- Who in his circumstance expressly proves
- That no man is the lord of any thing,
- Though in and of him there be much consisting,
- Till he communicate his parts to others;
- Nor doth he of himself know them for aught,
- Till he behold them formed in th’ applause
- Where th’ are extended; who like an arch reverb’rate
- The voice again, or like a gate of steel,
- Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
- His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this,
- And apprehended here immediately
- Th’ unknown Ajax.
- Heavens, what a man is there! A very horse,
- That has he knows not what. Nature, what things there are
- Most abject in regard, and dear in use!
- What things again most dear in the esteem,
- And poor in worth! Now shall we see tomorrow—
- An act that very chance doth throw upon him—
- Ajax renown’d! O heavens, what some men do,
- While some men leave to do!
- How some men creep in skittish Fortune’s hall,
- Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
- How one man eats into another’s pride,
- While pride is fasting in his wantonness!
- To see these Grecian lords!—why, even already
- They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder,
- As if his foot were on brave Hector’s breast,
- And great Troy shrieking.
Achilles155 - 157
- I do believe it, for they pass’d by me
- As misers do by beggars, neither gave to me
- Good word nor look. What, are my deeds forgot?
Ulysses158 - 203
- Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
- Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
- A great-siz’d monster of ingratitudes.
- Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devour’d
- As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
- As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
- Keeps honor bright; to have done is to hang
- Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
- In monumental mock’ry. Take the instant way,
- For honor travels in a strait so narrow,
- Where one but goes abreast. Keep then the path,
- For emulation hath a thousand sons
- That one by one pursue. If you give way,
- Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
- Like to an ent’red tide, they all rush by
- And leave you hindmost;
- Or like a gallant horse fall’n in first rank,
- Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
- O’errun and trampled on. Then what they do in present,
- Though less than yours in past, must o’ertop yours;
- For Time is like a fashionable host
- That slightly shakes his parting guest by th’ hand,
- And with his arms outstretch’d as he would fly,
- Grasps in the comer. The welcome ever smiles,
- And farewell goes out sighing. Let not virtue seek
- Remuneration for the thing it was;
- For beauty, wit,
- High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
- Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
- To envious and calumniating Time.
- One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
- That all with one consent praise new-born gawds,
- Though they are made and moulded of things past,
- And give to dust, that is a little gilt,
- More laud than gilt o’erdusted.
- The present eye praises the present object.
- Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
- That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax;
- Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
- Than what stirs not. The cry went once on thee,
- And still it might, and yet it may again,
- If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive
- And case thy reputation in thy tent,
- Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
- Made emulous missions ’mongst the gods themselves,
- And drave great Mars to faction.
Achilles204 - 205
- Of this my privacy
- I have strong reasons.
Ulysses206 - 209
- But ’gainst your privacy
- The reasons are more potent and heroical.
- ’Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
- With one of Priam’s daughters.
- Ha? Known?
Ulysses211 - 231
- Is that a wonder?
- The providence that’s in a watchful state
- Knows almost every grain of Pluto’s gold,
- Finds bottom in th’ uncomprehensive depth,
- Keeps place with thought and almost, like the gods,
- Do thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
- There is a mystery (with whom relation
- Durst never meddle) in the soul of state,
- Which hath an operation more divine
- Than breath or pen can give expressure to.
- All the commerce that you have had with Troy
- As perfectly is ours as yours, my lord,
- And better would it fit Achilles much
- To throw down Hector than Polyxena.
- But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
- When fame shall in our islands sound her trump,
- And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,
- “Great Hector’s sister did Achilles win,
- But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.”
- Farewell, my lord; I as your lover speak:
- The fool slides o’er the ice that you should break.
Patroclus233 - 242
- To this effect, Achilles, have I mov’d you.
- A woman impudent and mannish grown
- Is not more loath’d than an effeminate man
- In time of action. I stand condemn’d for this;
- They think my little stomach to the war,
- And your great love to me, restrains you thus.
- Sweet, rouse yourself, and the weak wanton Cupid
- Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
- And like a dewdrop from the lion’s mane,
- Be shook to air.
- Shall Ajax fight with Hector?
- Ay, and perhaps receive much honor by him.
Achilles245 - 246
- I see my reputation is at stake,
- My fame is shrewdly gor’d.
Patroclus247 - 252
- O then beware!
- Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.
- Omission to do what is necessary
- Seals a commission to a blank of danger,
- And danger like an ague subtly taints
- Even then when they sit idly in the sun.
Achilles253 - 262
- Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus.
- I’ll send the fool to Ajax and desire him
- T’ invite the Troyan lords after the combat
- To see us here unarm’d. I have a woman’s longing,
- An appetite that I am sick withal,
- To see great Hector in his weeds of peace,
- To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
- Even to my full of view.
- Enter Thersites.
- A labor sav’d!
- A wonder!
- Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself.
- How so?
Thersites267 - 269
- He must fight singly tomorrow with Hector, and is so
- prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling that he raves
- in saying nothing.
- How can that be?
Thersites271 - 283
- Why, ’a stalks up and down like a peacock—a stride and a
- stand; ruminates like an hostess that hath no arithmetic but
- her brain to set down her reckoning; bites his lip with a
- politic regard, as who should say there were wit in this
- head and ’twould out—and so there is; but it lies as coldly
- in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without
- knocking. The man’s undone forever, for if Hector break not
- his neck i’ th’ combat, he’ll break’t himself in vainglory.
- He knows not me. I said, “Good morrow, Ajax”; and he
- replies, “Thanks, Agamemnon.” What think you of this man
- that takes me for the general? He’s grown a very land-fish,
- languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! A man may wear
- it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.
- Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites.
Thersites285 - 288
- Who, I? Why, he’ll answer nobody; he professes not
- answering. Speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in
- ’s arms. I will put on his presence, let Patroclus make
- demands to me; you shall see the pageant of Ajax.
Achilles289 - 293
- To him, Patroclus. Tell him I humbly desire the valiant Ajax
- to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarm’d to my
- tent, and to procure safe-conduct for his person of the
- magnanimous and most illustrious six-or-seven-times-honor’d
- captain-general of the army, Agamemnon, et cetera. Do this.
- Jove bless great Ajax!
- I come from the worthy Achilles—
- Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his tent—
- And to procure safe-conduct from Agamemnon.
- Ay, my lord.
- What say you to’t?
- God buy you, with all my heart.
- Your answer, sir.
Thersites307 - 309
- If tomorrow be a fair day, by eleven of the clock it will go
- one way or other. Howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has
- Your answer, sir.
- Fare ye well, with all my heart.
- Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?
Thersites313 - 316
- No; but he’s out of tune thus. What music will be in him
- when Hector has knock’d out his brains, I know not; but I am
- sure none, unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make
- catlings on.
- Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.
Thersites318 - 319
- Let me bear another to his horse, for that’s the more
- capable creature.
Achilles320 - 321
- My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirr’d,
- And I myself see not the bottom of it.
- Exeunt Achilles and Patroclus.
Thersites323 - 325
- Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I
- might water an ass at it! I had rather be a tick in a sheep
- than such a valiant ignorance.