CRESSIDA. O heavens! you love me not.

TROILUS. Die I a villain, then! In this I do not call your faith in question So mainly as my merit. I cannot sing, Nor heel the high lavolt, nor sweeten talk, Nor play at subtle games-fair virtues all, To which the Grecians are most prompt and pregnant; But I can tell that in each grace of these There lurks a still and dumb-discoursive devil That tempts most cunningly. But be not tempted.

CRESSIDA. Do you think I will?

TROILUS. No. But something may be done that we will not; And sometimes we are devils to ourselves, When we will tempt the frailty of our powers, Presuming on their changeful potency.

AENEAS. [Within] Nay, good my lord!

TROILUS. Come, kiss; and let us part.

PARIS. [Within] Brother Troilus!

TROILUS. Good brother, come you hither; And bring Aeneas and the Grecian with you.

CRESSIDA. My lord, will you be true?

TROILUS. Who, I? Alas, it is my vice, my fault! Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion, I with great truth catch mere simplicity; Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns, With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.

Enter AENEAS, PARIS, ANTENOR, DEIPHOBUS, and DIOMEDES Fear not my truth: the moral of my wit Is 'plain and true'; there's all the reach of it. Welcome, Sir Diomed! Here is the lady Which for Antenor we deliver you; At the port, lord, I'll give her to thy hand, And by the way possess thee what she is. Entreat her fair; and, by my soul, fair Greek, If e'er thou stand at mercy of my sword, Name Cressid, and thy life shall be as safe As Priam is in Ilion.

DIOMEDES. Fair Lady Cressid, So please you, save the thanks this prince expects. The lustre in your eye, heaven in your cheek, Pleads your fair usage; and to Diomed You shall be mistress, and command him wholly.

TROILUS. Grecian, thou dost not use me courteously To shame the zeal of my petition to the In praising her. I tell thee, lord of Greece, She is as far high-soaring o'er thy praises As thou unworthy to be call'd her

SERVANT. I charge thee use her well, even for my charge; For, by the dreadful Pluto, if thou dost not, Though the great bulk Achilles be thy guard, I'll cut thy throat.

DIOMEDES. O, be not mov'd, Prince

TROILUS. Let me be privileg'd by my place and message To be a speaker free: when I am hence I'll answer to my lust. And know you, lord, I'll nothing do on charge: to her own worth She shall be priz'd. But that you say 'Be't so,' I speak it in my spirit and honour, 'No.'

TROILUS. Come, to the port. I'll tell thee, Diomed, This brave shall oft make thee to hide thy head. Lady, give me your hand; and, as we walk, To our own selves bend we our needful talk.

Exeunt TROILUS, CRESSIDA, and DIOMEDES [Sound trumpet]

PARIS. Hark! Hector's trumpet.

AENEAS. How have we spent this morning! The Prince must think me tardy and remiss, That swore to ride before him to the field.

PARIS. 'Tis Troilus' fault. Come, come to field with him.

DEIPHOBUS. Let us make ready straight.

AENEAS. Yea, with a bridegroom's fresh alacrity Let us address to tend on Hector's heels. The glory of our Troy doth this day lie On his fair worth and single chivalry.

Exeunt

The History of Troilus and Cressida Page 36

William Shakespeare Plays

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book