Troilus and Cressida eText - Act III

Act III

Act III, Scene 1

ACT III.

SCENE 1. Troy. PRIAM'S palace

[Music sounds within. Enter PANDARUS and a SERVANT.]

PANDARUS.
Friend, you--pray you, a word. Do you not 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 notable 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.
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 is 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 not you find out that by her attributes?

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 stew'd 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.

HELEN.
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, go to--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 it 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.

HELEN.
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's 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.

[Sings.]

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

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 today?

PARIS.
Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the gallantry
of Troy. I would fain have arm'd to-day, but my Nell would not
have it so. How chance my brothe

HELEN.
He hangs the lip at something. You know all, Lord Pandarus.

PANDARUS.
Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they spend
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.

[Exit. Sound a retreat.]

PARIS.
They're come from the 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.Exeunt

Act III, Scene 2

ACT III.

SCENE 2. Troy. PANDARUS' orchard

[Enter PANDARUS and TROILUS' BOY, meeting.]

PANDARUS.
How now! Where's thy master? At my cousin Cressida's?

BOY.
No, sir; he stays for you to conduct him thither.

[Enter TROILUS.]

PANDARUS.
O, here he comes. How now, how now!

TROILUS.
Sirrah, walk off.

[Exit Boy.]

PANDARUS.
Have you seen my cousin?

TROILUS.
No, Pandarus. I stalk about her door
Like 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!

PANDARUS.
Walk here i' th' orchard, I'll bring her straight.

[Exit.]

TROILUS.
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 palate tastes indeed
Love's thrice-repured nectar? Death, I fear me;
Swooning 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.

[Re-enter PANDARUS.]

PANDARUS.
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 sprite. I'll fetch her. It is the
prettiest villain; she fetches her breath as short as a new-ta'en
sparrow.

[Exit.]

TROILUS.
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.

[Re-enter PANDARUS With CRESSIDA.]

PANDARUS.
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.--
What, are you gone again? You must be watch'd ere you be made
tame, must you? Come your ways, come your ways; an 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! An '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.

TROILUS.
You have bereft me of all words, lady.

PANDARUS.
Words pay no debts, give her deeds; but she'll bereave
you o' 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.

[Exit.]

CRESSIDA.
Will you walk in, my lord?

TROILUS.
O Cressid, how often have I wish'd me thus!

CRESSIDA.
Wish'd, my lord! The gods grant--O my lord!

TROILUS.
What should they grant? What makes this pretty abruption?
What too curious dreg espies my sweet lady in the fountain of our
love?

CRESSIDA.
More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.

TROILUS.
Fears make devils of cherubims; they never see truly.

CRESSIDA.
Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds safer footing
than blind reason stumbling without fear. To fear the worst oft
cures the worse.

TROILUS.
O, let my lady apprehend no fear! In all Cupid's pageant
there is presented no monster.

CRESSIDA.
Nor nothing monstrous neither?

TROILUS.
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 imposed. 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.

CRESSIDA.
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?

TROILUS.
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.

CRESSIDA.
Will you walk in, my lord?

[Re-enter PANDARUS.]

PANDARUS.
What, blushing still? Have you not done talking yet?

CRESSIDA.
Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to you.

PANDARUS.
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 it.

TROILUS.
You know now your hostages: your uncle's word and my firm
faith.

PANDARUS.
Nay, I'll give my word for her too: our kindred, though
they be long ere they are wooed, they are constant being won;
they are burs, I can tell you; they'll stick where they are
thrown.

CRESSIDA.
Boldness comes to me now and brings me heart.
Prince Troilus, I have lov'd you night and day
For many weary months.

TROILUS.
Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?

CRESSIDA.
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.

TROILUS.
And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.

PANDARUS.
Pretty, i' faith.

CRESSIDA.
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.

TROILUS.
Your leave, sweet Cressid!

PANDARUS.
Leave! An you take leave till to-morrow morning--

CRESSIDA.
Pray you, content you.

TROILUS.
What offends you, lady?

CRESSIDA.
Sir, mine own company.

TROILUS.
You cannot shun yourself.

CRESSIDA.
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.

TROILUS.
Well know they what they speak that speak so wisely.

CRESSIDA.
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.

TROILUS.
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 beauty's 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.

CRESSIDA.
In that I'll war with you.

TROILUS.
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,
Want 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' centre--
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.

CRESSIDA.
Prophet may you be!
If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth,
When time is old and hath forgot itself,
When waterdrops 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 stepdame to her son'--
Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
'As false as Cressid.'

PANDARUS.
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 pains 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.'

TROILUS.
Amen.

CRESSIDA.
Amen.

PANDARUS.
Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber and a bed; which bed,
because it shall not speak of your pretty encounters, press it to
death.
Away! And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here,
Bed, chamber, pander, to provide this gear!

[Exeunt.]

Act III, Scene 3

ACT III.

SCENE 3. The Greek camp

[Flourish. Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, DIOMEDES, NESTOR, AJAX,
MENELAUS, and CALCHAS.]

CALCHAS.
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.

AGAMEMNON.
What wouldst thou of us, Troyan? Make demand.

CALCHAS.
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.

AGAMEMNON.
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 to-morrow
Be answer'd in his challenge. Ajax is ready.

DIOMEDES.
This shall I undertake; and 'tis a burden
Which I am proud to bear.

[Exeunt DIOMEDES and CALCHAS.]

[ACHILLES and PATROCLUS stand in their tent.]

ULYSSES.
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 med'cinable
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.

AGAMEMNON.
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.

ACHILLES.
What comes the general to speak with me?
You know my mind. I'll fight no more 'gainst Troy.

AGAMEMNON.
What says Achilles? Would he aught with us?

NESTOR.
Would you, my lord, aught with the general?

ACHILLES.
No.

NESTOR.
Nothing, my lord.

AGAMEMNON.
The better.

[Exeunt AGAMEMNON and NESTOR.]

ACHILLES.
Good day, good day.

MENELAUS.
How do you? How do you?

[Exit.]

ACHILLES.
What, does the cuckold scorn me?

AJAX.
How now, Patroclus?

ACHILLES.
Good morrow, Ajax.

AJAX.
Ha?

ACHILLES.
Good morrow.

AJAX.
Ay, and good next day too.

[Exit.]

ACHILLES.
What mean these fellows? Know they not Achilles?

PATROCLUS.
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.

ACHILLES.
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 honour, but honour for those honours
That are without him, as place, riches, and favour,
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
Something not worth in me such rich beholding
As they have often given. Here is Ulysses.
I'll interrupt his reading.
How now, Ulysses!

ULYSSES.
Now, great Thetis' son!

ACHILLES.
What are you reading?

ULYSSES.
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 shining upon others
Heat them, and they retort that heat again
To the first giver.

ACHILLES.
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 travell'd, and is mirror'd there
Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.

ULYSSES.
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 anything,
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 to-morrow--
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 shrinking.

ACHILLES.
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?

ULYSSES.
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 honour bright. To have done is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
In monumental mock'ry. Take the instant way;
For honour 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'er-run 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 out-stretch'd, as he would fly,
Grasps in the corner. The welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not virtue seek
Remuneration for the thing it was;
For beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour 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'er-dusted.
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.

ACHILLES.
Of this my privacy
I have strong reasons.

ULYSSES.
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.

ACHILLES.
Ha! known!

ULYSSES.
Is that a wonder?
The providence that's in a watchful state
Knows almost every grain of Plutus' gold;
Finds bottom in th' uncomprehensive deeps;
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 island 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.

[Exit.]

PATROCLUS.
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 dew-drop from the lion's mane,
Be shook to airy air.

ACHILLES.
Shall Ajax fight with Hector?

PATROCLUS.
Ay, and perhaps receive much honour by him.

ACHILLES.
I see my reputation is at stake;
My fame is shrewdly gor'd.

PATROCLUS.
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.

ACHILLES.
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 labour sav'd!

THERSITES.
A wonder!

ACHILLES.
What?

THERSITES.
Ajax goes up and down the field asking for himself.

ACHILLES.
How so?

THERSITES.
He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector, and is so
prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling that he raves in
saying nothing.

ACHILLES.
How can that be?

THERSITES.
Why, 'a stalks up and down like a peacock--a stride and a
stand; ruminaies 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, an
'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 for ever; 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 leather jerkin.

ACHILLES.
Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites.

THERSITES.
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 his demands to me, you
shall see the pageant of Ajax.

ACHILLES.
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-honour'd
Captain General of the Grecian army, et cetera, Agamemnon. Do
this.

PATROCLUS.
Jove bless great Ajax!

THERSITES.
Hum!

PATROCLUS.
I come from the worthy Achilles--

THERSITES.
Ha!

PATROCLUS.
Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his tent--

THERSITES.
Hum!

PATROCLUS.
And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon.

THERSITES.
Agamemnon!

PATROCLUS.
Ay, my lord.

THERSITES.
Ha!

PATROCLUS.
What you say to't?

THERSITES.
God buy you, with all my heart.

PATROCLUS.
Your answer, sir.

THERSITES.
If to-morrow 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 me.

PATROCLUS.
Your answer, sir.

THERSITES.
Fare ye well, with all my heart.

ACHILLES.
Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?

THERSITES.
No, but he's out a 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.

ACHILLES.
Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.

THERSITES.
Let me carry another to his horse; for that's the more
capable creature.

ACHILLES.
My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirr'd;
And I myself see not the bottom of it.

[Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS.]

THERSITES.
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.

[Exit.]