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Troilus and Cressida Scenes

Scene 2

Troy. Pandarus’ orchard.

(Pandarus; Troilus’ Boy; Troilus; Cressida)

Troilus is loitering around Cressida’s, not willing to go in before Pandarus arrives to show him in. Pandarus agrees to go in and fetch her out. When he does, Cressida turns out to be rather shy, and Pandarus does most of the talking, encouraging to get to the kissing. He leaves them to go build a fire indoors and they have the chance to exchange a few words freely. Pandarus returns, thinking that they’re really spending far too much time talking rather than acting. The two confess their love and swear fidelity to one another, with Pandarus acting as witness and bustling them off to bed. (145 lines)

Enter Pandarus, Troilus’ Boy, meeting.


How now, where’s thy master? At my cousin Cressida’s?


No, sir, he stays for you to conduct him thither.

Enter Troilus.


O, here he comes! How now, how now?


Sirrah, walk off.

Exit Troilus’ Boy.


Have you seen my cousin?


No, Pandarus, I stalk about her door,

Like to a strange soul upon the Stygian banks

Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,

And give me swift transportance to these fields

Where I may wallow in the lily-beds

Propos’d for the deserver! O gentle Pandar,

From Cupid’s shoulder pluck his painted wings,

And fly with me to Cressid!


Walk here i’ th’ orchard, I’ll bring her straight.



I am giddy; expectation whirls me round;

Th’ imaginary relish is so sweet

That it enchants my sense; what will it be,

When that the wat’ry palates taste indeed

Love’s thrice-repured nectar? Death, I fear me,

Sounding 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.

Enter Pandarus.


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 fray’d with a spirit. I’ll fetch her. It is the prettiest villain, she fetches her breath as short as a new-ta’en sparrow.



Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom:

My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse,

And all my powers do their bestowing lose,

Like vassalage at unawares encount’ring

The eye of majesty.

Enter Pandar and Cressida.


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.

Cressida draws backward.

What, are you gone again? You must be watch’d ere you be made tame, must you? Come your ways, come your ways; and you draw backward, we’ll put you i’ th’ 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 daylight! And ’twere dark you’d close sooner. So, so, rub on and kiss the mistress. How now, a kiss in fee-farm? Build there, carpenter, 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’ th’ river. Go to, go to.


You have bereft me of all words, lady.


Words pay no debts, give her deeds; but she’ll bereave you a’ th’ 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.



Will you walk in, my lord?


O Cressid, how often have I wish’d me thus!


Wish’d, my lord? The gods grant—O my lord!


What should they grant? What makes this pretty abruption? What too curious dreg espies my sweet lady in the fountain of our love?


More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.


Fears make devils of cherubins, they never see truly.


Blind fear that seeing reason leads finds safer footing than blind reason stumbling without fear. To fear the worst oft cures the worse.


O, let my lady apprehend no fear. In all Cupid’s pageant there is presented no monster.


Nor nothing monstrous neither?


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 impos’d. This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite and the execution confin’d, that the desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit.


They 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, are they not monsters?


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.


Will you walk in, my lord?

Enter Pandarus.


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 firm faith.


Nay, I’ll give my word for her too. Our kindred, though they be long ere they be woo’d, 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 lov’d 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 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 lov’d 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.

Kisses her.


Pretty, i’ faith.


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.


Your leave, sweet Cressid!


Leave! And you take leave till tomorrow 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 lamp and flames of love,

To keep her constancy in plight and youth,

Outliving beauties 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 winnowed 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 truth by Troilus. When their rhymes,

Full of protest, of oath and big compare,

Wants 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 th’ 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 water-drops 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 th’ have said as false

As air, as water, wind, or sandy earth,

As fox to lamb, or wolf to heifer’s calf,

Pard to the hind, or step-dame 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 pain to bring you together, let all pitiful goers-between be call’d 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, which bed, because it shall not speak of your pretty encounters, press it to death. Away!

Exeunt Troilus and Cressida.

And Cupid grant all tongue-tied maidens here

Bed, chamber, Pandar to provide this gear!



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