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Troilus and Cressida

ACT III SCENE II The same. Pandarus' orchard. 
[Enter PANDARUS and Troilus's Boy, meeting]
PANDARUSHow now! where's thy master? at my cousin
BoyNo, sir; he stays for you to conduct him thither.
PANDARUSO, here he comes.
How now, how now!5
TROILUSSirrah, walk off.
[Exit Boy]
PANDARUSHave you seen my cousin?
TROILUSNo, Pandarus: I stalk about her door,
Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,10
And give me swift transportance to those fields
Where I may wallow in the lily-beds
Proposed for the deserver! O gentle Pandarus,
From Cupid's shoulder pluck his painted wings
And fly with me to Cressid!15
PANDARUSWalk here i' the orchard, I'll bring her straight.
TROILUSI 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 indeed20
Love's thrice repured nectar? death, I fear me,
Swooning destruction, or some joy too fine,
Too subtle-potent, tuned too sharp in sweetness,
For the capacity of my ruder powers:
I fear it much; and I do fear besides,25
That I shall lose distinction in my joys;
As doth a battle, when they charge on heaps
The enemy flying.
[Re-enter PANDARUS]
PANDARUSShe's making her ready, she'll come straight: you
must be witty now. She does so blush, and fetches30
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.
TROILUSEven such a passion doth embrace my bosom:35
My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse;
And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
Like vassalage at unawares encountering
The eye of majesty.
PANDARUSCome, come, what need you blush? shame's a baby.40
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 to45
her? Come, draw this curtain, and let's see your
picture. Alas the day, how loath you are to offend
daylight! an 'twere dark, you'ld close sooner.
So, so; rub on, and kiss the mistress. How now!
a kiss in fee-farm! build there, carpenter; the air50
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.
TROILUSYou have bereft me of all words, lady.
PANDARUSWords pay no debts, give her deeds: but she'll55
bereave you o' 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.
CRESSIDAWill you walk in, my lord?60
TROILUSO Cressida, how often have I wished me thus!
CRESSIDAWished, my lord! The gods grant,--O my lord!
TROILUSWhat should they grant? what makes this pretty
abruption? What too curious dreg espies my sweet
lady in the fountain of our love?65
CRESSIDAMore dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.
TROILUSFears make devils of cherubims; they never see truly.
CRESSIDABlind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds safer
footing than blind reason stumbling without fear: to
fear the worst oft cures the worse.70
TROILUSO, let my lady apprehend no fear: in all Cupid's
pageant there is presented no monster.
CRESSIDANor nothing monstrous neither?
TROILUSNothing, but our undertakings; when we vow to weep
seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers; thinking75
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.80
CRESSIDAThey say all lovers swear more performance 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,85
are they not monsters?
TROILUSAre 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 name90
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.95
CRESSIDAWill you walk in, my lord?
[Re-enter PANDARUS]
PANDARUSWhat, blushing still? have you not done talking yet?
CRESSIDAWell, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to you.
PANDARUSI thank you for that: if my lord get a boy of you,
you'll give him me. Be true to my lord: if he100
flinch, chide me for it.
TROILUSYou know now your hostages; your uncle's word and my
firm faith.
PANDARUSNay, I'll give my word for her too: our kindred,
though they be long ere they are wooed, they are105
constant being won: they are burs, I can tell you;
they'll stick where they are thrown.
CRESSIDABoldness comes to me now, and brings me heart.
Prince Troilus, I have loved you night and day
For many weary months.110
TROILUSWhy was my Cressid then so hard to win?
CRESSIDAHard to seem won: but I was won, my lord,
With the first glance that ever--pardon me--
If I confess much, you will play the tyrant.
I love you now; but not, till now, so much115
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?120
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 speak125
The thing I shall repent. See, see, your silence,
Cunning in dumbness, from my weakness draws
My very soul of counsel! stop my mouth.
TROILUSAnd shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
PANDARUSPretty, i' faith.130
CRESSIDAMy lord, I do beseech you, pardon me;
'Twas not my purpose, thus to beg a kiss:
I am ashamed. O heavens! what have I done?
For this time will I take my leave, my lord.
TROILUSYour leave, sweet Cressid!135
PANDARUSLeave! an you take leave till to-morrow morning,--
CRESSIDAPray you, content you.
TROILUSWhat offends you, lady?
CRESSIDASir, mine own company.
TROILUSYou cannot shun Yourself.140
CRESSIDALet 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 know not what I speak.145
TROILUSWell know they what they speak that speak so wisely.
CRESSIDAPerchance, 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 love150
Exceeds man's might; that dwells with gods above.
TROILUSO that I thought it could be in a woman--
As, if it can, I will presume in you--
To feed for aye her ramp and flames of love;
To keep her constancy in plight and youth,155
Outliving 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 weight160
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.
CRESSIDAIn that I'll war with you.165
TROILUSO virtuous fight,
When right with right wars who shall be most right!
True swains in love shall in the world to come
Approve their truths by Troilus: when their rhymes,
Full of protest, of oath and big compare,170
Want similes, truth tired 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,175
As truth's authentic author to be cited,
'As true as Troilus' shall crown up the verse,
And sanctify the numbers.
CRESSIDAProphet may you be!
If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth,180
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,185
From false to false, among false maids in love,
Upbraid my falsehood! when they've said 'as false
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,'190
'Yea,' let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
'As false as Cressid.'
PANDARUSGo 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 another, since I have195
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.200
PANDARUSAmen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber with a
bed; which bed, because it shall not speak of your
pretty encounters, press it to death: away!205
And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here
Bed, chamber, Pandar to provide this gear!

Troilus and Cressida, Act 3, Scene 3


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