PANDARUS. Himself! no, he's not himself. Would 'a were himself! Well, the gods are above; time must friend or end. Well, Troilus, well! I would my heart were in her body! No, Hector is not a better man than

TROILUS.

CRESSIDA. Excuse me.

PANDARUS. He is elder.

CRESSIDA. Pardon me, pardon me.

PANDARUS. Th' other's not come to't; you shall tell me another tale when th' other's come to't. Hector shall not have his wit this year.

CRESSIDA. He shall not need it if he have his own.

PANDARUS. Nor his qualities.

CRESSIDA. No matter.

PANDARUS. Nor his beauty.

CRESSIDA. 'Twould not become him: his own's better.

PANDARUS. YOU have no judgment, niece. Helen herself swore th' other day that Troilus, for a brown favour, for so 'tis, I must confess- not brown neither-

CRESSIDA. No, but brown.

PANDARUS. Faith, to say truth, brown and not brown.

CRESSIDA. To say the truth, true and not true.

PANDARUS. She prais'd his complexion above

PARIS.

CRESSIDA. Why, Paris hath colour enough.

PANDARUS. So he has.

CRESSIDA. Then Troilus should have too much. If she prais'd him above, his complexion is higher than his; he having colour enough, and the other higher, is too flaming praise for a good complexion. I had as lief Helen's golden tongue had commended Troilus for a copper nose.

PANDARUS. I swear to you I think Helen loves him better than

PARIS.

CRESSIDA. Then she's a merry Greek indeed.

PANDARUS. Nay, I am sure she does. She came to him th' other day into the compass'd window-and you know he has not past three or four hairs on his chin-

CRESSIDA. Indeed a tapster's arithmetic may soon bring his particulars therein to a total.

PANDARUS. Why, he is very young, and yet will he within three pound lift as much as his brother

HECTOR.

CRESSIDA. Is he so young a man and so old a lifter?

PANDARUS. But to prove to you that Helen loves him: she came and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin-

CRESSIDA. Juno have mercy! How came it cloven?

PANDARUS. Why, you know, 'tis dimpled. I think his smiling becomes him better than any man in all Phrygia.

CRESSIDA. O, he smiles valiantly!

PANDARUS. Does he not?

CRESSIDA. O yes, an 'twere a cloud in autumn!

PANDARUS. Why, go to, then! But to prove to you that Helen loves Troilus-

CRESSIDA. Troilus will stand to the proof, if you'll prove it so.

PANDARUS. Troilus! Why, he esteems her no more than I esteem an addle egg.

CRESSIDA. If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i' th' shell.

PANDARUS. I cannot choose but laugh to think how she tickled his chin. Indeed, she has a marvell's white hand, I must needs confess.

CRESSIDA. Without the rack.

PANDARUS. And she takes upon her to spy a white hair on his chin.

CRESSIDA. Alas, poor chin! Many a wart is richer.

PANDARUS. But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba laugh'd that her eyes ran o'er.

CRESSIDA. With millstones.

PANDARUS. And Cassandra laugh'd.

CRESSIDA. But there was a more temperate fire under the pot of her eyes. Did her eyes run o'er too?

PANDARUS. And Hector laugh'd.

CRESSIDA. At what was all this laughing?

PANDARUS. Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus' chin.

CRESSIDA. An't had been a green hair I should have laugh'd too.

PANDARUS. They laugh'd not so much at the hair as at his pretty answer.

CRESSIDA. What was his answer?

The History of Troilus and Cressida Page 06

William Shakespeare Plays

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