Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Troilus and Cressida
ACT III, SCENE II. The same. Pandarus’ orchard.
What, blushing still? have you not done talking yet?
Well, uncle, what folly I commit, I dedicate to you.
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.
You know now your hostages; your uncle’s word and my
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 burs, I can tell you;
they’ll stick where they are thrown.
Boldness comes to me now, and brings me heart.
Prince Troilus, I have loved you night and day
For many weary months.
Why was my Cressid then so hard to win?
Hard 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 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.
And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.
Pretty, i’ faith.
My 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.
Your leave, sweet Cressid!
Leave! an you take leave till to-morrow morning,–
Pray you, content you.
What offends you, lady?
Sir, mine own company.
You cannot shun Yourself.
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 know not what I speak.
Well know they what they speak that speak so wisely.
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 above.
O 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,
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 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.
In that I’ll war with you.
O 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,
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,
As truth’s authentic author to be cited,
‘As true as Troilus’ shall crown up the verse,
And sanctify the numbers.
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’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,’
‘Yea,’ let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
‘As false as Cressid.’
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 another, 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.
Amen. 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!
And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here
Bed, chamber, Pandar to provide this gear!
On 7/06/15 – Join me in the continuation of
Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida“