Troilus and Cressida Act III
by William Shakespeare

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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...

(The entire section is 5,316 words.)