Troilus and Cressida
Act 3, 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
- Staying for waftage. O, be thou my 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!