ACT IV. SCENE 5. The Grecian camp. Lists set out


AGAMEMNON. Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair, Anticipating time with starting courage. Give with thy trumpet a loud note to Troy, Thou dreadful Ajax, that the appalled air May pierce the head of the great combatant, And hale him hither.

AJAX. Thou, trumpet, there's my purse. Now crack thy lungs and split thy brazen pipe; Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek Out-swell the colic of puff Aquilon'd. Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood: Thou blowest for

HECTOR. [Trumpet sounds]

ULYSSES. No trumpet answers.

ACHILLES. 'Tis but early days.


AGAMEMNON. Is not yond Diomed, with Calchas' daughter?

ULYSSES. 'Tis he, I ken the manner of his gait: He rises on the toe. That spirit of his In aspiration lifts him from the earth.

AGAMEMNON. Is this the lady Cressid?

DIOMEDES. Even she.

AGAMEMNON. Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet lady.

NESTOR. Our general doth salute you with a kiss.

ULYSSES. Yet is the kindness but particular; 'Twere better she were kiss'd in general.

NESTOR. And very courtly counsel: I'll begin. So much for


ACHILLES. I'll take that winter from your lips, fair lady. Achilles bids you welcome.

MENELAUS. I had good argument for kissing once.

PATROCLUS. But that's no argument for kissing now; For thus popp'd Paris in his hardiment, And parted thus you and your argument.

ULYSSES. O deadly gall, and theme of all our scorns! For which we lose our heads to gild his horns.

PATROCLUS. The first was Menelaus' kiss; this, mine- [Kisses her again] Patroclus kisses you.

MENELAUS. O, this is trim!

PATROCLUS. Paris and I kiss evermore for him.

MENELAUS. I'll have my kiss, sir. Lady, by your leave.

CRESSIDA. In kissing, do you render or receive?

PATROCLUS. Both take and give.

CRESSIDA. I'll make my match to live, The kiss you take is better than you give; Therefore no kiss.

MENELAUS. I'll give you boot; I'll give you three for one.

CRESSIDA. You are an odd man; give even or give none.

MENELAUS. An odd man, lady? Every man is odd.

CRESSIDA. No, Paris is not; for you know 'tis true That you are odd, and he is even with you.

MENELAUS. You fillip me o' th' head.

CRESSIDA. No, I'll be sworn.

ULYSSES. It were no match, your nail against his horn. May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?

CRESSIDA. You may.

ULYSSES. I do desire it.

CRESSIDA. Why, beg then.

ULYSSES. Why then, for Venus' sake give me a kiss When Helen is a maid again, and his.

CRESSIDA. I am your debtor; claim it when 'tis due.

ULYSSES. Never's my day, and then a kiss of you.

DIOMEDES. Lady, a word. I'll bring you to your father.

Exit with CRESSIDA

NESTOR. A woman of quick sense.

ULYSSES. Fie, fie upon her! There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out At every joint and motive of her body. O these encounters so glib of tongue That give a coasting welcome ere it comes, And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts To every ticklish reader! Set them down For sluttish spoils of opportunity, And daughters of the game. [Trumpet within] ALL. The Troyans' trumpet.

Enter HECTOR, armed; AENEAS, TROILUS, PARIS, HELENUS, and other Trojans, with attendants

AGAMEMNON. Yonder comes the troop.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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