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TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
PROLOGUE In Troy there lies the scene. From isles of Greece The princes orgulous, their high blood chaf'd, Have to the port of Athens sent their ships, Fraught with the ministers and instruments Of cruel war: Sixty, and nine, that wore Their crownets regal, from the Athenian bay Put forth toward Phrygia : and their vow made, To ransack Troy; within whose strong immures The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen, With wanton Paris sleeps; and that's the quarrel. To Tenedos they come; And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge Their warlike fraughtage: Now on Dardan plains The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city, Dardan, and Tymbria, Ilias, Chetas, Trojan, And Antenorides, with massy staples, And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts, Speer: up the sons of Troy. Now, expectation, tickling skittish spirits, On one and other side, Trojan and Greek Sets all on hazard :-And hither am I come A prologue arm’d,—but not in confidence Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but suited In like conditions as our argument, To tell
fair beholders, that our play Leaps o'er the vaunt* and firstlings of those broils, 'Ginning in the middle; starting thence away To what may be digested in a play. Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are; Now good, or bad, 'tis but the chance of war. Proud, disdainful. 2 Freight.
4 Avaunt, what went before.
SCENE I.—Troy. Before Priam's Palace.
Enter Troilus armed, and PANDARUS.
Pandarus. Will this geer6 ne'er be mended ?
Pandarus. Well, I have told you enough of this; for my part, I'll not meddle nor make no further. He, that will have a cake out of the wheat, must tarry the grinding
Troilus. Have I not tarried?
Pandarus. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the bolting
Troilus. Have I not tarried ?
Pandarus. Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.
Troilus. Still have I tarried.
Pandarus. Ay, to the leavening; but here's yet in the word-hereafter, the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the baking; nay, you must stay the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your lips.
Troilus. Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be, Doth lesser blench 8 at sufferance than I do. At Priam's royal table do I sit; And when Cressid comes into my thoughts, So, traitor !—when she comes ! -When is she thence? 5 Servant.
Pandarus. Well, she look'd yesternight fairer than ever I saw her look, or any woman else.
Troilus. I was about to tell thee.—When iny heart, As wedged with a sigh, would rive' in twain; Lest Hector or my father should perceive me, I have (as when the sun doth light a storm,) Bury'd this sigh in wrinkle of a smile: But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness, Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
Pandarus. An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's, (well, go to,) there were no more comparison between the women,-But, for my part, she is my kinswoman; I would not, as they term it, praise her,— But I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit; but
Troilus. O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus,-
Pandarus. I speak no more than truth.
Pandarus. 'Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be as she is: if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not, she has the mends in her own hands. Troilus. Good Pandarus! how now, Pandarus?
Pandarus. I have had my labour for my travel; illthought on of her, and ill-thought on of you: gone between and between, but small thanks for my labour. Troilus. What, art thou angry, Pandarus? what, with
me? Pandarus. Because she is kin to me, therefore, she's not so fair as Helen: an she were not kin to me, she would be as fair on Friday, as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not, an she were a black-a-moor; 'tis all one to me.
Troilus. Say I, she is not fair?
Pandarus. I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay behind her father; let her to the Greeks; and so I'll tell her the next time I see her: For my part, I'll meddle nor make no more in the matter.
Pandarus. Pray you, speak no more to me; I will leave all as I found it, and there an end.
[Exit PANDARUS. An Alarum. Troilus. Peace, you ungracious clamours ! peace, rude
sounds! Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair, When with
blood you daily paint her thus.
Alarum. Enter ÆNEAS. Æneas. How now, prince Troilus? wherefore not a
field ? Troilus. Because not there: This woman's answer
Æneas. That Paris is returned home, and hurt.
Let him bleed.
[Alarum. Æneas. Hark! what good sport is out of town to-day!
Troilus. Better at home, if would I might, were may.But, to the sport abroad;— Are you bound thither?
Æneas. In all swift haste.
Come, go we then together,
[Exeunt. SCENE II.-A Street. Enter CRESSIDA and ALEXANDER. Cressida. Who were those went by? Alexander,
Queen Hecuba, and Helen. Cressida. And whither go they? Alexander.
Up to the eastern tower, Whose height commands as subject all the vale, To see the battle. Hector, whose patience Is, as a virtue, fix'd, to-day was mov'd: He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer; And, like as there were husbandry in war, Before the sun rose, he was harness'd light, And to the field goes he; where every flower, Did, as a prophet, weep what it foresaw In Hector's wrath. Cressida.
What was his cause of anger? Alexander. The noise goes, this: There is among the