ACT I. SCENE 2. Troy. A street

Enter CRESSIDA and her man ALEXANDER

CRESSIDA. Who were those went by?

ALEXANDER. Queen Hecuba and


CRESSIDA. And whither go they?

ALEXANDER. Up to the eastern tower, Whose height commands as subject all the vale, To see the battle. Hector, whose patience Is as a virtue fix'd, to-day was mov'd. He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer; And, like as there were husbandry in war, Before the sun rose he was harness'd light, And to the field goes he; where every flower Did as a prophet weep what it foresaw In Hector's wrath.

CRESSIDA. What was his cause of anger?

ALEXANDER. The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks A lord of Troyan blood, nephew to Hector; They call him


CRESSIDA. Good; and what of him?

ALEXANDER. They say he is a very man per se, And stands alone.

CRESSIDA. So do all men, unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.

ALEXANDER. This man, lady, hath robb'd many beasts of their particular additions: he is as valiant as a lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant-a man into whom nature hath so crowded humours that his valour is crush'd into folly, his folly sauced with discretion. There is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of, nor any man an attaint but he carries some stain of it; he is melancholy without cause and merry against the hair; he hath the joints of every thing; but everything so out of joint that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use, or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight.

CRESSIDA. But how should this man, that makes me smile, make Hector angry?

ALEXANDER. They say he yesterday cop'd Hector in the battle and struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and waking.


CRESSIDA. Who comes here?

ALEXANDER. Madam, your uncle


CRESSIDA. Hector's a gallant man.

ALEXANDER. As may be in the world, lady.

PANDARUS. What's that? What's that?

CRESSIDA. Good morrow, uncle

PANDARUS. PANDARUS. Good morrow, cousin Cressid. What do you talk of?- Good morrow, Alexander.-How do you, cousin? When were you at Ilium?

CRESSIDA. This morning, uncle.

PANDARUS. What were you talking of when I came? Was Hector arm'd and gone ere you came to Ilium? Helen was not up, was she?

CRESSIDA. Hector was gone; but Helen was not up.

PANDARUS. E'en so. Hector was stirring early.

CRESSIDA. That were we talking of, and of his anger.

PANDARUS. Was he angry?

CRESSIDA. So he says here.

PANDARUS. True, he was so; I know the cause too; he'll lay about him today, I can tell them that. And there's Troilus will not come far behind him; let them take heed of Troilus, I can tell them that too.

CRESSIDA. What, is he angry too?

PANDARUS. Who, Troilus? Troilus is the better man of the two.

CRESSIDA. O Jupiter! there's no comparison.

PANDARUS. What, not between Troilus and Hector? Do you know a man if you see him?

CRESSIDA. Ay, if I ever saw him before and knew him.

PANDARUS. Well, I say Troilus is


CRESSIDA. Then you say as I say, for I am sure he is not Hector.

PANDARUS. No, nor Hector is not Troilus in some degrees.

CRESSIDA. 'Tis just to each of them: he is himself.

PANDARUS. Himself! Alas, poor Troilus! I would he were!

CRESSIDA. So he is.

PANDARUS. Condition I had gone barefoot to India.

CRESSIDA. He is not Hector.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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