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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene II.

Troilus and Cressida

The Same.A Court before PANDARUS’ House.


Tro.Dear, trouble not yourself: the morn is cold.

Cres.Then, sweet my lord, I’ll call mine uncle down:

He shall unbolt the gates.

Tro.Trouble him not;

To bed, to bed: sleep kill those pretty eyes,

And give as soft attachment to thy senses

As infants’ empty of all thought!

Cres.Good morrow then.

Tro.I prithee now, to bed.

Cres.Are you aweary of me?

Tro.O Cressida! but that the busy day,

Wak’d by the lark, hath rous’d the ribald crows,

And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer,

I would not from thee.

Cres.Night hath been too brief.

Tro.Beshrew the witch! with venomous wights she stays

As tediously as hell, but flies the grasps of love

With wings more momentary-swift than thought.

You will catch cold, and curse me.

Cres.Prithee, tarry:

You men will never tarry.

O foolish Cressid! I might have still held off,

And then you would have tarried. Hark! there’s one up.

Pan.[Within.]What! are all the doors open here?

Tro.It is your uncle.

Cres.A pestilence on him! now will he be mocking: I shall have such a life!


Pan.How now, how now! how go maiden-heads?

Here, you maid! where’s my cousin Cressid?

Cres.Go hang yourself, you naughty mocking uncle!

You bring me to do—and then you flout me too.

Pan.To do what? to do what? let her say what: what have I brought you to do?

Cres.Come, come; beshrew your heart! you’ll ne’er be good,

Nor suffer others.

Pan.Ha, ha! Alas, poor wretch! a poor capocchia! hast not slept to-night? would he not, a naughty man, let it sleep? a bugbear take him!

Cres.Did not I tell you? ’would he were knock’d o’ the head![Knocking within.

Who’s that at door? good uncle, go and see.

My lord, come you again into my chamber:

You smile, and mock me, as if I meant naughtily.

Tro.Ha, ha!

Cres.Come, you are deceiv’d, I think of no such thing.[Knocking within.

How earnestly they knock! Pray you, come in:

I would not for half Troy have you seen here.[Exeunt TROILUS and CRESSIDA.

Pan.[Going to the door.]Who’s there? what’s the matter? will you beat down the door? How now! what’s the matter?

Enter ÆNEAS.

Æne.Good morrow, lord, good morrow.

Pan.Who’s there? my Lord Æneas! By my troth,

I knew you not: what news with you so early?

Æne.Is not Prince Troilus here?

Pan.Here! what should he do here?

Æne.Come, he is here, my lord: do not deny him: it doth import him much to speak with me.

Pan.Is he here, say you? ’tis more than I know, I’ll be sworn: for my own part, I came in late. What should he do here?

Æne.Who! nay, then: come, come, you’ll do him wrong ere you’re ’ware. You’ll be so true to him, to be false to him. Do not you know of him, but yet go fetch him hither; go.

Re-enter TROILUS.

Tro.How now! what’s the matter?

Æne.My lord, I scarce have leisure to salute you,

My matter is so rash: there is at hand

Paris your brother, and Deiphobus,

The Grecian Diomed, and our Antenor

Deliver’d to us; and for him forthwith,

Ere the first sacrifice, within this hour,

We must give up to Diomedes’ hand

The Lady Cressida.

Tro.Is it so concluded?

Æne.By Priam, and the general state of Troy:

They are at hand and ready to effect it.

Tro.How my achievements mock me!

I will go meet them: and, my Lord Æneas,

We met by chance; you did not find me here.

Æne.Good, good, my lord; the secrets of nature

Have not more gift in taciturnity.[Exeunt TROILUS and ÆNEAS.

Pan.Is ’t possible? no sooner got but lost? The devil take Antenor! the young prince will go mad: a plague upon Antenor! I would they had broke ’s neck!


Cres.How now! What is the matter? Who was here?

Pan.Ah! ah!

Cres.Why sigh you so profoundly? where’s my lord? gone! Tell me, sweet uncle, what’s the matter?

Pan.Would I were as deep under the earth as I am above!

Cres.O the gods! what’s the matter?

Pan.Prithee, get thee in. Would thou hadst ne’er been born! I knew thou wouldst be his death. O poor gentleman! A plague upon Antenor!

Cres.Good uncle, I beseech you, on my knees I beseech you, what’s the matter?

Pan.Thou must be gone, wench, thou must be gone; thou art changed for Antenor. Thou must to thy father, and be gone from Troilus: ’twill be his death; ’twill be his bane; he cannot bear it.

Cres.O you immortal gods! I will not go.

Pan.Thou must.

Cres.I will not, uncle: I have forgot my father;

I know no touch of consanguinity;

No kin, no love, no blood, no soul so near me

As the sweet Troilus. O you gods divine!

Make Cressid’s name the very crown of falsehood

If ever she leave Troilus! Time, force, and death,

Do to this body what extremes you can;

But the strong base and building of my love

Is as the very centre of the earth,

Drawing all things to it. I’ll go in and weep,—

Pan.Do, do.

Cres.Tear my bright hair, and scratch my praised cheeks,

Crack my clear voice with sobs, and break my heart

With sounding Troilus. I will not go from Troy.[Exeunt.