Troilus and Cressida
Act III, Scene 2
Troy. Pandarus’ orchard.
- Enter Pandarus, Troilus’ Boy, meeting.
- How now, where’s thy master? At my cousin Cressida’s?
- No, sir, he stays for you to conduct him thither.
- Enter Troilus.
- O, here he comes! How now, how now?
- Sirrah, walk off.
- Exit Troilus’ Boy.
- Have you seen my cousin?
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- No, Pandarus, I stalk about her door,
Like to a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
Feb 25, 2019 Miko“Stygian” refers to the river Styx from Greek mythology. Styx was the border between Earth and the underworld across which newly dead souls traveled.
Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,
Feb 25, 2019 Miko“Waftage” is the act of being carried across water by a water vessel. In this case, Troilus is referring to souls being carried across Styx by the mythological ferryman, Charon.
- And give me swift transportance to these fields
- Where I may wallow in the lily-beds
- Propos’d for the deserver! O gentle Pandar,
- From Cupid’s shoulder pluck his painted wings,
- And fly with me to Cressid!
- Walk here i’ th’ orchard, I’ll bring her straight.
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- I am giddy; expectation whirls me round;
- Th’ imaginary relish is so sweet
- That it enchants my sense; what will it be,
- When that the wat’ry palates taste indeed
- Love’s thrice-repured nectar? Death, I fear me,
- Sounding destruction, or some joy too fine,
- Too subtle, potent, tun’d too sharp in sweetness
- For the capacity of my ruder powers.
- I fear it much, and I do fear besides
- That I shall lose distinction in my joys,
- As doth a battle, when they charge on heaps
- The enemy flying.
- Enter Pandarus.
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- She’s making her ready, she’ll come straight. You must be
- witty now: she does so blush, and fetches her wind so short,
- as if she were fray’d with a spirit. I’ll fetch her. It is
- the prettiest villain, she fetches her breath as short as a
- new-ta’en sparrow.
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- Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom:
- My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse,
- And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
- Like vassalage at unawares encount’ring
- The eye of majesty.
- Enter Pandar and Cressida.
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- Come, come, what need you blush? Shame’s a baby. Here she is
- now, swear the oaths now to her that you have sworn to me.
- Cressida draws backward.
- What, are you gone again? You must be watch’d ere you be
- made tame, must you? Come your ways, come your ways; and you
- draw backward, we’ll put you i’ th’ fills. Why do you not
- speak to her? Come, draw this curtain, and let’s see your
- picture. Alas the day, how loath you are to offend daylight!
- And ’twere dark you’d close sooner. So, so, rub on and kiss
- the mistress. How now, a kiss in fee-farm? Build there,
- carpenter, the air is sweet. Nay, you shall fight your
- hearts out ere I part you—the falcon as the tercel, for all
- the ducks i’ th’ river. Go to, go to.
- You have bereft me of all words, lady.
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- Words pay no debts, give her deeds; but she’ll bereave you
- a’ th’ deeds too, if she call your activity in question.
- What, billing again? Here’s “In witness whereof the parties
- interchangeably”—Come in, come in, I’ll go get a fire.
- Will you walk in, my lord?
- O Cressid, how often have I wish’d me thus!
- Wish’d, my lord? The gods grant—O my lord!
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- What should they grant? What makes this pretty abruption?
- What too curious dreg espies my sweet lady in the fountain
- of our love?
- More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.
- Fears make devils of cherubins, they never see truly.
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- Blind fear that seeing reason leads finds safer footing than
- blind reason stumbling without fear. To fear the worst oft
- cures the worse.
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- O, let my lady apprehend no fear. In all Cupid’s pageant
- there is presented no monster.
- Nor nothing monstrous neither?
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- Nothing but our undertakings, when we vow to weep seas, live
- in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers; thinking it harder for our
- mistress to devise imposition enough than for us to undergo
- any difficulty impos’d. This is the monstruosity in love,
- lady, that the will is infinite and the execution confin’d,
- that the desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit.
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- They say all lovers swear more performance than they are
- able, and yet reserve an ability that they never perform;
- vowing more than the perfection of ten, and discharging less
- than the tenth part of one. They that have the voice of
- lions and the act of hares, are they not monsters?
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- Are there such? Such are not we. Praise us as we are tasted,
- allow us as we prove. Our head shall go bare till merit
- crown it. No perfection in reversion shall have a praise in
- present; we will not name desert before his birth, and being
- born, his addition shall be humble. Few words to fair faith.
- Troilus shall be such to Cressid as what envy can say worst
- shall be a mock for his truth, and what truth can speak
- truest not truer than Troilus.
- Will you walk in, my lord?
- Enter Pandarus.
- What, blushing still? Have you not done talking yet?
- Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to you.
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- I thank you for that; if my lord get a boy of you, you’ll
- give him me. Be true to my lord; if he flinch, chide me for
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- You know now your hostages: your uncle’s word and my firm
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- Nay, I’ll give my word for her too. Our kindred, though they
- be long ere they be woo’d, they are constant being won. They
- are burs, I can tell you, they’ll stick where they are
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- Boldness comes to me now, and brings me heart.
- Prince Troilus, I have lov’d you night and day
- For many weary months.
- Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?
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- Hard to seem won; but I was won, my lord,
- With the first glance that ever—pardon me,
- If I confess much, you will play the tyrant.
- I love you now, but till now not so much
- But I might master it. In faith I lie,
- My thoughts were like unbridled children grown
- Too headstrong for their mother. See, we fools!
- Why have I blabb’d? Who shall be true to us,
- When we are so unsecret to ourselves?
- But though I lov’d you well, I woo’d you not,
- And yet, good faith, I wish’d myself a man,
- Or that we women had men’s privilege
- Of speaking first. Sweet, bid me hold my tongue,
- For in this rapture I shall surely speak
- The thing I shall repent. See, see, your silence,
- Cunning in dumbness, from my weakness draws
- My very soul of counsel! Stop my mouth.
- And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
- Kisses her.
- Pretty, i’ faith.
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- My lord, I do beseech you pardon me,
- ’Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kiss.
- I am asham’d. O heavens, what have I done!
- For this time will I take my leave, my lord.
- Your leave, sweet Cressid!
- Leave! And you take leave till tomorrow morning—
- Pray you content you.
- What offends you, lady?
- Sir, mine own company.
- You cannot shun yourself.
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- Let me go and try.
- I have a kind of self resides with you;
- But an unkind self, that itself will leave
- To be another’s fool. I would be gone.
- Where is my wit? I know not what I speak.
- Well know they what they speak that speak so wisely.
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- Perchance, my lord, I show more craft than love,
- And fell so roundly to a large confession,
- To angle for your thoughts, but you are wise,
- Or else you love not; for to be wise and love
- Exceeds man’s might; that dwells with gods above.
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- O that I thought it could be in a woman—
- As, if it can, I will presume in you—
- To feed for aye her lamp and flames of love,
- To keep her constancy in plight and youth,
- Outliving beauties outward, with a mind
- That doth renew swifter than blood decays!
- Or that persuasion could but thus convince me
- That my integrity and truth to you
- Might be affronted with the match and weight
- Of such a winnowed purity in love!
- How were I then uplifted! But alas,
- I am as true as truth’s simplicity,
- And simpler than the infancy of truth.
- In that I’ll war with you.
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- O virtuous fight,
- When right with right wars who shall be most right!
- True swains in love shall in the world to come
- Approve their truth by Troilus. When their rhymes,
- Full of protest, of oath and big compare,
- Wants similes, truth tir’d with iteration,
- As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
- As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
- As iron to adamant, as earth to th’ center,
- Yet after all comparisons of truth
- (As truth’s authentic author to be cited)
- “As true as Troilus” shall crown up the verse,
- And sanctify the numbers.
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- Prophet may you be!
- If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth,
- When time is old and hath forgot itself,
- When water-drops have worn the stones of Troy,
- And blind oblivion swallow’d cities up,
- And mighty states characterless are grated
- To dusty nothing, yet let memory,
- From false to false among false maids in love,
- Upbraid my falsehood! When th’ have said as false
- As air, as water, wind, or sandy earth,
- As fox to lamb, or wolf to heifer’s calf,
- Pard to the hind, or step-dame to her son,
- Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
- “As false as Cressid.”
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- Go to, a bargain made, seal it, seal it, I’ll be the
- witness. Here I hold your hand, here my cousin’s. If ever
- you prove false one to another, since I have taken such pain
- to bring you together, let all pitiful goers-between be
- call’d to the world’s end after my name; call them all
- Pandars. Let all constant men be Troiluses, all false women
- Cressids, and all brokers-between Pandars! Say, amen.
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- Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber, which bed,
- because it shall not speak of your pretty encounters, press
- it to death. Away!
- Exeunt Troilus and Cressida.
- And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here
- Bed, chamber, Pandar to provide this gear!