HECTOR. Not Neoptolemus so mirable, On whose bright crest Fame with her loud'st Oyes Cries 'This is he' could promise to himself A thought of added honour torn from

HECTOR.

AENEAS. There is expectance here from both the sides What further you will do.

HECTOR. We'll answer it: The issue is embracement. Ajax, farewell.

AJAX. If I might in entreaties find success, As seld I have the chance, I would desire My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.

DIOMEDES. 'Tis Agamemnon's wish; and great Achilles Doth long to see unarm'd the valiant

HECTOR.

HECTOR. Aeneas, call my brother Troilus to me, And signify this loving interview To the expecters of our Troyan part; Desire them home. Give me thy hand, my cousin; I will go eat with thee, and see your knights.

AGAMEMNON and the rest of the Greeks come forward

AJAX. Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.

HECTOR. The worthiest of them tell me name by name; But for Achilles, my own searching eyes Shall find him by his large and portly size.

AGAMEMNON. Worthy all arms! as welcome as to one That would be rid of such an enemy. But that's no welcome. Understand more clear, What's past and what's to come is strew'd with husks And formless ruin of oblivion; But in this extant moment, faith and troth, Strain'd purely from all hollow bias-drawing, Bids thee with most divine integrity, From heart of very heart, great Hector, welcome.

HECTOR. I thank thee, most imperious

AGAMEMNON.

AGAMEMNON. [To Troilus] My well-fam'd lord of Troy, no less to you.

MENELAUS. Let me confirm my princely brother's greeting. You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.

HECTOR. Who must we answer?

AENEAS. The noble

MENELAUS.

HECTOR. O you, my lord? By Mars his gauntlet, thanks! Mock not that I affect the untraded oath; Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove. She's well, but bade me not commend her to you.

MENELAUS. Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly theme.

HECTOR. O, pardon; I offend.

NESTOR. I have, thou gallant Troyan, seen thee oft, Labouring for destiny, make cruel way Through ranks of Greekish youth; and I have seen thee, As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed, Despising many forfeits and subduements, When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i' th' air, Not letting it decline on the declined; That I have said to some my standers-by 'Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life!' And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath, When that a ring of Greeks have hemm'd thee in, Like an Olympian wrestling. This have I seen; But this thy countenance, still lock'd in steel, I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire, And once fought with him. He was a soldier good, But, by great Mars, the captain of us all, Never like thee. O, let an old man embrace thee; And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.

AENEAS. 'Tis the old

NESTOR.

HECTOR. Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle, That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time. Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.

NESTOR. I would my arms could match thee in contention As they contend with thee in courtesy.

HECTOR. I would they could.

NESTOR. Ha! By this white beard, I'd fight with thee to-morrow. Well, welcome, welcome! I have seen the time.

ULYSSES. I wonder now how yonder city stands, When we have here her base and pillar by us.

HECTOR. I know your favour, Lord Ulysses, well. Ah, sir, there's many a Greek and Troyan dead, Since first I saw yourself and Diomed In Ilion on your Greekish embassy.

ULYSSES. Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue. My prophecy is but half his journey yet; For yonder walls, that pertly front your town, Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds, Must kiss their own feet.

The History of Troilus and Cressida Page 39

William Shakespeare Plays

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