TROILUS. 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.

CRESSIDA. In that I'll war with you.

TROILUS. 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, 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 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.

CRESSIDA. 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 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 stepdame to her son'- Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood, 'As false as Cressid.'

PANDARUS. 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 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.'

TROILUS. Amen.

CRESSIDA. Amen.

PANDARUS. Amen. Whereupon I will show you a chamber and 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, pander, to provide this gear!

Exeunt

The History of Troilus and Cressida Page 26

William Shakespeare Plays

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William Shakespeare
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