William Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Troilus and Cressida > Act III. Scene II.

Troilus and Cressida

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Act III. Scene II.

Scene II.—The Same. PANDARUS' Orchard.

Enter PANDARUS and TROILUS' Boy, meeting.

Pan. How now! where's thy master? at my
cousin Cressida's?
Boy. No, sir; he stays for you to conduct him

Pan. O! here he comes. How now, how now!
Tro. Sirrah, walk off. [Exit Boy.
Pan. Have you seen my cousin?
Tro. 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 those fields
Where I may wallow in the lily-beds
Propos'd for the deserver! O gentle Pandarus!
From Cupid's shoulder pluck his painted wings,
And fly with me to Cressid.
Pan. Walk here i' the orchard. I'll bring
her straight. [Exit.
Tro. I am giddy, expectation whirls me round.
The imaginary relish is so sweet
That it enchants my sense. What will it be
When that the watery palate tastes indeed
Love's thrice-repured nectar? death, I fear me,
Swounding 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.
Pan. 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 frayed 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.
Tro. Even such a passion doth embrace my
My heart beats thicker than a fev'rous pulse;
And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
Like vassalage at unawares encountering
The eye of majesty.

Pan. 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 watched
ere you be made tame, must you? Come your
ways, come your ways; an you draw backward,
we'll put you i' the 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 day-light! an' twere dark, you'd close
sooner. So, so; rub on, and kiss the mistress.
How now! a kiss in fee-farm! build there, car-
penter; 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' the river: go to, go to.
Tro. You have bereft me of all words, lady.
Pan. Words pay no debts, give her deeds;
but she'll bereave you of the 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.
Cres. Will you walk in, my lord?
Tro. O Cressida! how often have I wished
me thus!
Cres. Wished, my lord! The gods grant,—O
my lord!
Tro. What should they grant? what makes
this pretty abruption? What too curious dreg
espies my sweet lady in the fountain of our love?
Cres. More dregs than water, if my fears have
Tro. Fears make devils of cherubins; they
never see truly.
Cres. Blind fear, that seeing reason leads,
finds safer footing than blind reason stumbling
without fear: to fear the worst oft cures the
Tro. O! let my lady apprehend no fear: in all
Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.
Cres. Nor nothing monstrous neither?
Tro. 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 confined; that the desire is boundless,
and the act a slave to limit.
Cres. They say all lovers swear more per-
formance 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
Tro. 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.
Cres. Will you walk in, my lord?

Re-enter PANDARUS.
Pan. What! blushing still? have you not
done talking yet?
Cres. Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedi-
cate to you.
Pan. 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.
Tro. You know .now your hostages; your
uncle's word, and my firm faith.
Pan. 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
burrs, I can tell you; they'll stick where they
are thrown.
Cres. Boldness comes to me now, and brings
me heart:
Prince Troilus, I have lov'd you night and day
For many weary months.
Tro. Why was my Cressid then so hard to
Cres. Hard to seem won; but I was won, my
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 loved 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.
Tro. And shall, albeit sweet music issues
Pan. Pretty, i' faith.
Cres. 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.
Tro. Your leave, sweet Cressid? 148
Pan. Leave! an you take leave till to-morrow
Cres. Pray you, content you.
Tro. What offends you, lady?
Cres. Sir, mine own company.
Tro. You cannot shun yourself.
Cres. 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 speak I know not what.
Tro. Well know they what they speak that
speak so wisely.
Cres. 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
Tro. O! that I thought it could be in a
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,
Outhving 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 winnow'd 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.
Cres. In that I'll war with you.
Tro. O virtuous fight!
When right with right wars who shall be most
True swains in love shall in the world to come
Approve their truths by Troilus: when their
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 the 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.
Cres. 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 they have said ' as
As air, as water, wind, or sandy earth,
As fox to lamb, as wolf to heifer's calf,
Pard to the hind, or stepdame to her son;'
Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of false-
'As false as Cressid.'
Pan. 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 an-
other, since I have taken such pains to bring you
together, let all pitiful goers-between be called 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.
Tro. Amen.
Cres. Amen.
Pan. 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, Pandar to provide this gear!
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards