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Scene II

The Same. 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 moved:
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 Greeks
A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
They call him Ajax.

Cressida

Good; and what of him?

Alexander

They say he is a very man per se,
And stands alone.

Cressida

So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.

Alexander

This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts of their particular additions; he is as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant: a man into whom nature hath so crowded humours that his valour is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with discretion: there is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of, nor any man an attaint but he carries some stain of it: he is melancholy without cause, and merry against the hair: he hath the joints of every thing, but everything so out of joint that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use, or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight.

Cressida

But how should this man, that makes me smile, make Hector angry?

Alexander

They say he yesterday coped Hector in the battle and struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and waking.

Cressida

Who comes here?

Alexander

Madam, your uncle Pandarus.

Enter Pandarus

Cressida

Hector's a gallant man.

Alexander

As may be in the world, lady.

Pandarus

What's that? what's that?

Cressida

Good morrow, uncle Pandarus.

Pandarus

Good morrow, cousin Cressid: what do you talk of? Good morrow, Alexander. How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium?

Cressida

This morning, uncle.

Pandarus

What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector armed and gone ere ye came to Ilium? Helen was not up, was she?

Cressida

Hector was gone, but Helen was not up.

Pandarus

Even so: Hector was stirring early.

Cressida

That were we talking of, and of his anger.

Pandarus

Was he angry?

Cressida

So he says here.

Pandarus

True, he was so: I know the cause too: he'll lay about him to-day, I can tell them that: and there's Troilus will not come far behind him: let them take heed of Troilus, I can tell them that too.

Cressida

What, is he angry too?

Pandarus

Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.

Cressida

O Jupiter! there's no comparison.

Pandarus

What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a man if you see him?

Cressida

Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.

Pandarus

Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.

Cressida

Then you say as I say; for, I am sure, he is not Hector.

Pandarus

No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some degrees.

Cressida

'Tis just to each of them; he is himself.

Pandarus

Himself! Alas, poor Troilus! I would he were.

Cressida

So he is.

Pandarus

Condition, I had gone barefoot to India.

Cressida

He is not Hector.

Pandarus

Himself! no, he's not himself: would a' were himself! Well, the gods are above; time must friend or end: well, Troilus, well: I would my heart were in her body. No, Hector is not a better man than Troilus.

Cressida

Excuse me.

Pandarus

He is elder.

Cressida

Pardon me, pardon me.

Pandarus

Th' other's not come to't; you shall tell me another tale, when th' other's come to't. Hector shall not have his wit this year.

Cressida

He shall not need it, if he have his own.

Pandarus

Nor his qualities.

Cressida

No matter.

Pandarus

Nor his beauty.

Cressida

'Twould not become him; his own's better.

Pandarus

You have no judgment, niece: Helen herself swore th' other day, that Troilus, for a brown favour—for so 'tis, I must confess,— not brown neither,—

Cressida

No, but brown.

Pandarus

'Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.

Cressida

To say the truth, true and not true.

Pandarus

She praised his complexion above Paris.

Cressida

Why, Paris hath colour enough.

Pandarus

So he has.

Cressida

Then Troilus should have too much: if she praised him above, his complexion is higher than his; he having colour enough, and the other higher, is too flaming a praise for a good complexion. I had as lief Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a copper nose.

Pandarus

I swear to you. I think Helen loves him better than Paris.

Cressida

Then she's a merry Greek indeed.

Pandarus

Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him th' other day into the compassed window,—and, you know, he has not past three or four hairs on his chin,—

Cressida

Indeed, a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his particulars therein to a total.

Pandarus

Why, he is very young: and yet will he, within three pound, lift as much as his brother Hector.

Cressida

Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?

Pandarus

But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she came and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin—

Cressida

Juno have mercy! how came it cloven?

Pandarus

Why, you know 'tis dimpled: I think his smiling becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia.

Cressida

O, he smiles valiantly.

Pandarus

Does he not?

Cressida

O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn.

Pandarus

Why, go to, then: but to prove to you that Helen loves Troilus,—

Cressida

Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll prove it so.

Pandarus

Troilus! why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an addle egg.

Cressida

If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i' the shell.

Pandarus

I cannot choose but laugh, to think how she tickled his chin: indeed, she has a marvellous white hand, I must needs confess,—

Cressida

Without the rack.

Pandarus

And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.

Cressida

Alas, poor chin! many a wart is richer.

Pandarus

But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba laughed that her eyes ran o'er.

Cressida

With mill-stones.

Pandarus

And Cassandra laughed.

Cressida

But there was more temperate fire under the pot of her eyes: did her eyes run o'er too?

Pandarus

And Hector laughed.

Cressida

At what was all this laughing?

Pandarus

Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus' chin.

Cressida

An't had been a green hair, I should have laughed too.

Pandarus

They laughed not so much at the hair as at his pretty answer.

Cressida

What was his answer?

Pandarus

Quoth she, 'Here's but two and fifty hairs on your chin, and one of them is white.

Cressida

This is her question.

Pandarus

That's true; make no question of that. 'Two and fifty hairs' quoth he, 'and one white: that white hair is my father, and all the rest are his sons.' 'Jupiter!' quoth she, 'which of these hairs is Paris, my husband? 'The forked one,' quoth he, 'pluck't out, and give it him.' But there was such laughing! and Helen so blushed, an Paris so chafed, and all the rest so laughed, that it passed.

Cressida

So let it now; for it has been while going by.

Pandarus

Well, cousin. I told you a thing yesterday; think on't.

Cressida

So I do.

Pandarus

I'll be sworn 'tis true; he will weep you, an 'twere a man born in April.

Cressida

And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettle against May.

A retreat sounded

Pandarus

Hark! they are coming from the field: shall we stand up here, and see them as they pass toward Ilium? good niece, do, sweet niece Cressida.

Cressida

At your pleasure.

Pandarus

Here, here, here's an excellent place; here we may see most bravely: I'll tell you them all by their names as they pass by; but mark Troilus above the rest.

Cressida

Speak not so loud.

Aeneas passes

Pandarus

That's AEneas: is not that a brave man? he's one of the flowers of Troy, I can tell you: but mark Troilus; you shall see anon.

Antenor passes

Cressida

Who's that?

Pandarus

That's Antenor: he has a shrewd wit, I can tell you; and he's a man good enough, he's one o' the soundest judgments in whosoever, and a proper man of person. When comes Troilus? I'll show you Troilus anon: if he see me, you shall see him nod at me.

Cressida

Will he give you the nod?

Pandarus

You shall see.

Cressida

If he do, the rich shall have more.

Hector passes

Pandarus

That's Hector, that, that, look you, that; there's a fellow! Go thy way, Hector! There's a brave man, niece. O brave Hector! Look how he looks! there's a countenance! is't not a brave man?

Cressida

O, a brave man!

Pandarus

Is a' not? it does a man's heart good. Look you what hacks are on his helmet! look you yonder, do you see? look you there: there's no jesting; there's laying on, take't off who will, as they say: there be hacks!

Cressida

Be those with swords?

Pandarus

Swords! any thing, he cares not; an the devil come to him, it's all one: by God's lid, it does one's heart good. Yonder comes Paris, yonder comes Paris.

Paris passes

Look ye yonder, niece; is't not a gallant man too, is't not? Why, this is brave now. Who said he came hurt home to-day? he's not hurt: why, this will do Helen's heart good now, ha! Would I could see Troilus now! You shall see Troilus anon.

Helenus passes

Cressida

Who's that?

Pandarus

That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's
Helenus. I think he went not forth to-day. That's Helenus.

Cressida

Can Helenus fight, uncle?

Pandarus

Helenus? no. Yes, he'll fight indifferent well. I marvel where Troilus is. Hark! do you not hear the people cry 'Troilus'? Helenus is a priest.

Cressida

What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

Troilus passes

Pandarus

Where? yonder? that's Deiphobus. 'Tis Troilus! there's a man, niece! Hem! Brave Troilus! the prince of chivalry!

Cressida

Peace, for shame, peace!

Pandarus

Mark him; note him. O brave Troilus! Look well upon him, niece: look you how his sword is bloodied, and his helm more hacked than Hector's, and how he looks, and how he goes! O admirable youth! he ne'er saw three and twenty. Go thy way, Troilus, go thy way! Had I a sister were a grace, or a daughter a goddess, he should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris? Paris is dirt to him; and, I warrant, Helen, to change, would give an eye to boot.

Cressida

Here come more.

Forces pass

Pandarus

Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran! porridge after meat! I could live and die i' the eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, ne'er look: the eagles are gone: crows and daws, crows and daws! I had rather be such a man as Troilus than Agamemnon and all Greece.

Cressida

There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better man than Troilus.

Pandarus

Achilles! a drayman, a porter, a very camel.

Cressida

Well, well.

Pandarus

'Well, well!' why, have you any discretion? have you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man?

Cressida

Ay, a minced man: and then to be baked with no date in the pie, for then the man's date's out.

Pandarus

You are such a woman! one knows not at what ward you lie.

Cressida

Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon my wit, to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend mine honesty; my mask, to defend my beauty; and you, to defend all these: and at all these wards I lie, at a thousand watches.

Pandarus

Say one of your watches.

Cressida

Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of the chiefest of them too: if I cannot ward what I would not have hit, I can watch you for telling how I took the blow; unless it swell past hiding, and then it's past watching.

Pandarus

You are such another!

Enter Troilus's Boy

Boy

Sir, my lord would instantly speak with you.

Pandarus

Where?

Boy

At your own house; there he unarms him.

Pandarus

Good boy, tell him I come.

Exit boy

I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece.

Cressida

Adieu, uncle.

Pandarus

I'll be with you, niece, by and by.

Cressida

To bring, uncle?

Pandarus

Ay, a token from Troilus.

Cressida

By the same token, you are a bawd.

Exit Pandarus

Words, vows, gifts, tears, and love's full sacrifice,
He offers in another's enterprise;
But more in Troilus thousand fold I see
Than in the glass of Pandar's praise may be;
Yet hold I off. Women are angels, wooing:
Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.
That she beloved knows nought that knows not this:
Men prize the thing ungain'd more than it is:
That she was never yet that ever knew
Love got so sweet as when desire did sue.
Therefore this maxim out of love I teach:
Achievement is command; ungain'd, beseech:
Then though my heart's content firm love doth bear,
Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.

Exeunt


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