Imagens das páginas
[blocks in formation]

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 soul of counsel from me: Stop my mouth.

Tro. And shall, albeit sweet music issues thence.

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?

Pan. Leave! an you take leave till to-morrow morning,<

Cres. Pray you, content you.

Tro. Why was my Cressid then so hard to win Cres. 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 lov'd you well, I woo'd you not;

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Tro. What offends you, lady ? Cres. Sir, mine own company. Tro. 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. Where is my wit? I would be gone:—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 above.

You cannot shun

[ocr errors]

Tro. 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 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 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.

Cres. In that I'll war with you.

Tro. 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 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 lf I be false, or swerve a hair from truth.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

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 false As air, as water, as wind, as 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. 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 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. Tro. Amen. Cres. Amen. Pan. Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber, 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, and Pandar to provide this geer! [Ereunt Scene III.-The Grecian Camp.

Scene I.-Helen unarming IIector.


Enter AGAMEMNoN, Ulysses, DioMEDEs, NEston, AJAx, MENELAUs, and CALchAs.

Now, princes, for the service I have done you, The advantage of the time prompts me aloud To call for recompense. Appear it to your mind, That, through the sight I bear in things to come, I have abandon'd Troy, left my possession, Vucurr'd a traitor's name; expos'd myself, From certain and possess'd conveniences, To doubtful fortunes; sequest'ring from me all "Wat time, acquaintance, custom, and condition, Made tame and most familiar to my nature; And here, to do you service, am become As new into the world, strange, unacquainted: I do beseech you, as in way of taste, To give me now a little benefit, Out of those many register'd in promise, Which you say live to come in my behalf. Agam. What wouldst thou of us. Trojano make demand. Cal. You have a Trojan prisoner, call’d Antenor, Yesterday took; Troy holds him very dear. Oft have you (often have you thanks therefore) Desir'd my Cressid in right great exchange, Whom Troy hath still denied: But this Antenor, I know, is such a wrest in their affairs, That their negotiations all must slack, Wanting his manage; and they will almost Give us a prince of blood, a son of Priam, In change of him: let him be sent, great princes, And he shall buy my daughter; and her presence Shall quite strike off all service I have done, \n most accepted pain. Agam. Let Diomedes bear him, And bring us Cressid hither; Calchas shall have What he requests of us.-Good Diomed, Furnish you fairly for this interchange: Withal, bring word, if Hector will to-morrow Be answer'd in his challenge: Ajax is ready. Dio. This shall I undertake; and 'tis a burthen Which I am proud to bear. [Ereunt DioMEDEs, and CALch As.


Enter Achilles, and PATRoclus, before their Tent.

Ulyss. Achilles stands i' the entrance of his

Agam. What says Achilles? would he aught
with us? -
Nest. Would you, my lord, aught with the
Achil. No.
Nest. Nothing, my lord.
Agam. The better.
[Ereunt AGAMEMNoN, and Neston.
Achil. Good day, good day.
Men. How do you? how do you?
Achil. scorn me?

Achil. Ajar. Achil.

What, does the cuckol How now, Patroclus? Good morrow, Ajax. Ha! Good morrow. Ajar. Ay, and good next day too. Achil. What mean these fellows? not Achilles 1 Patr. They pass by strangely: they were us'd to bend, To send their smiles before them to Achilles; To come as humbly as they us’d to creep To holy altars. Achil. What, am I poor of late 1 "Tis certain, greatness, once fallen out with fortune, Must fall out with men too: What the declin'd is, He shall as soon read in the eyes of others, As feel in his own fall: for men, like butterflies, Show not their mealy wings but to the summer: And not a man, for being simply man, Hath any honour; but honour for those honours That are without him, as place, riches, and favour. Prizes of accident as oft as merit: Which, when they fall, as being slippery standers, The love that lean'd on them as slippery too, Do one pluck down another, and together Die in the fall. But 'tis not so with me: Fortune and I are friends; I do enjoy At ample point all that I did possess, Save these men's looks: who do, methinks, find ou Something not worth in me such rich beholding As they have often given. Here is Ulysses; I’ll interrupt his reading.— How now, Ulysses Ulyss. Now, great Thetis' son 1 Achil. What are you reading ! Ulyss. A strange fellow here Writes me, That man, how dearly ever parted, How much in having, or without, or in,

[ocr errors]

tent :— Please it our general to pass strangely by him, As if he were forgot; and, princes all, Lay negligent and loose regard upon him: I will come last: 'Tis like, he'll question me, Why such unplausive eyes are bent, why turn'd

on him : If so, I have derision medicinable, To use between your strangeness and his pride, Which his own will shall have desire to drink; It may do good: pride hath no other glass To show itself, but pride; for supple knees Feed arrogance, and are the proud man's fees.

Agam. We'll execute your purpose, and put on A form of strangeness as we pass along:So do each lord; and either greet him not, Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more Than if not look'd on. I will lead the way. Achil. What, comes the general to speak with me?

Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
Nor feels not what he owes but by reflection;
As when his virtues shining upon others
Heat them, and they retort that heat again
To the first giver.

Achil. This is not strange, Ulysses.
The beauty that is borne here in the face
The bearer knows not, but commends itself
To others' eyes: nor doth the eye itself
(That most pure spirit of sense) behold itself,
Not going from itself; but eye to eye oppos'd
Salutes each other with each other's form.
For speculation turns not to itself,
Till it hath travell'd, and is married there
Where it may see itself: this is not strange at all
Ulyss. I do not strain at the position,
It is familiar; but at the author's drift:
Who, in his circumstance, expressly proves,
That no man is the lord of anything,

[ocr errors]

(Though in and of him there is much consisting.) Till he communicate his part to others:

Nor doth he of himself know them for aught
Till he behold them form'd in the applause
Where they are extended; which, like an arch,
The voice again; or, like a gate of steel
Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this;
And apprehended here immediately
The unknown Ajax.
Heavens, what a man is there! a very horse:
That has he knows not what. Nature, what things
there are,
Most abject in regard, and dear in use !
What things again most dear in the esteem,
And poor in worth ! Now shall we see to-morrow,
An act that very chance doth throw upon him,
Ajax renown'd. O heavens, what some men do,
While some men leave to do!
How some men creep in skittish fortune's hall,
Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is feasting in his wantonness!
To see these Grecian lords!—why, even already
They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder;
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
And great Troy shrieking.
Achil. I do believe it: for they pass'd by me
As misers do by beggars; neither gave to me
Good word, nor look: What, are my deeds forgot?
Ulyss. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-sized monster of ingratitudes:
Those scraps are good deeds past: wheh are
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done: Perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honour bright: To have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
In monumental mockery. Take the instant way;
For honour travels in a strait so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast: keep then the path;
For emulation hath a thousand sons,
That one by one pursue: If you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an enter'd tide, they all rush by,
And leave you hindmost:-
Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
O'errun and trampled on: Then what they do in
Though less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours:
For time is like a fashionable host,
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand;
And with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly,
Grasps-in the comer: Welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not virtue
Remuneration for the thing it was;
For beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all, with one consent, praise new-born gawds,
Though they are made and moulded of things past;
And give to dust, that is a little gilt,
More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.
The present eye praises the present object:
Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax:
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye,

Than what not stirs.
And still it might; and yet it may again,
If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds, but in these fields of late.
Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods ther
selves, -

And drave great Mars to faction.

Achil. Of this my privar I have strong reasons.

Ulyss. But 'gainst your privacy The reasons are more potent and heroical : 'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love With one of Priam's daughters.


Ulyss. Is that a wonder? The providence that's in a watchful state Knows almost every grain of Plutus' gold: Finds bottom in the uncomprehensive deeps: Keeps place with thought, and almost, like the

ods, Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles. There is a mystery (with whom relation Durst never meddle) in the soul of state; Which hath an operation more divine Than breath, or pen, can give expressure to : All the commerce that you have had with Troy, As perfectly is ours, as yours, my lord; And better would it fit Achilles much, To throw down Hector, than Polyxena: But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home, When fame shall in our islands sound her trump; And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing, “Great Hector's sister did Achilles win; But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.” Farewell, my lord: I as your lover speak; The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break. Erio

Patr. To this effect, Achilles, have I w you: A woman impudent and mannish grown Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man In time of action. I stand condemn'd for this: They think, my little stomach to the war, And your great love to me, restrains you thus: Sweet, rouse yourself; and the weak wanton Cupid Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold, And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane, Be shook to airy air.

Achil. Shall Ajax fight with Hector"

Patr. Ay; and, perhaps, receive much houour

by him.

Achil. I see, my reputation is at stake; My fame is shrewdly gor'd.

Patr. O, then beware: Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves: Omission to do what is necessary Seals a commission to a blank of danger; And danger, like an ague, subtly taints Even then when we sit idly in the sun.

Achil. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus: I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him To invite the Trojan lords after the combat, To see us here unarm'd: I have a woman's longing, An appetite that I am sick withal, To see great Hector in his weeds of peace; To talk with him, and to behold his visage, Even to my full of view. A labour sav'd :

Ha! known

Enter Thersites.

Ther. A wonder! Achil. What?

The cry went once on the Ther. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself. Achil. How so? Ther. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector; and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling, that he raves in saying nothing. Achil. How can that be 1 Ther. Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock—a stride, and a stand: ruminates, like an hostess that hath no arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning: bites his lip with a politic regard, as who should say, there were wit in this head, an 'twould out; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man's undone for ever; for if Hector break not his neck i' the combat, he'll break it himself in vainglory. He knows not me: I said, “Good-morrow, Ajax ;” and he replies, “Thanks, Agamemnon.” W. think you of this man, that takes me for the general He is grown a very land fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin. Achil. Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites. Ther. Who, I? why, he'll answer nobody; he professes not answering; speaking is for beggars: he wears his tongue in his arms. I will put on his presence; let Patroclus make his demands to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax. Achil. To him, Patroclus: Tell him, I humbly desire the valiant Ajax to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarmed to my tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person, of the magnanimous, and most illustrious, six-or-seven-times honoured captain-general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon, &c. Do this.

Ther. Humph ! Patr. I come from the worthy Achilles, Ther. Ha! Patr. Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his tent, Ther. Humph Patr. And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon. Ther. Agamemnon 1 Patr. Ay, my lord. Ther. Ha! Patr. What say you to't Ther. God be wi' you, with all my heart. Patr. Your answer, sir. Ther. If to-morrow be a fair day, by eleven o'clock it will go one way or other; howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has me. Patr. Your answer, sir. Ther. Fare you well, with all my heart. Achil. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he 1 Ther. No, but he's out o' tune thus. What music will be in him when Hector has knocked out his brains, I know not: But, I am sure, none; unless the fiddler Apollo gets his sinews to make catlings on. Achil. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight. Ther. Let me carry another to his horse; for that's the more capable creature. Achil. My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirr'd ; And I myself see not the bottom of it. [Ereunt Achilles, and PATRoclus. Ther. "Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I might water an ass at it! I had rather be a tick in a sheep, than such a valiant

Patr. Jove bless great Ajax.

ignorance. [Erit. 33

« AnteriorContinuar »