ACT V. SCENE 3. Troy. Before PRIAM'S palace


ANDROMACHE. When was my lord so much ungently temper'd To stop his ears against admonishment? Unarm, unarm, and do not fight to-day.

HECTOR. You train me to offend you; get you in. By all the everlasting gods, I'll go.

ANDROMACHE. My dreams will, sure, prove ominous to the day.

HECTOR. No more, I say.


CASSANDRA. Where is my brother Hector?

ANDROMACHE. Here, sister, arm'd, and bloody in intent. Consort with me in loud and dear petition, Pursue we him on knees; for I have dreamt Of bloody turbulence, and this whole night Hath nothing been but shapes and forms of slaughter.

CASSANDRA. O, 'tis true!

HECTOR. Ho! bid my trumpet sound.

CASSANDRA. No notes of sally, for the heavens, sweet brother!

HECTOR. Be gone, I say. The gods have heard me swear.

CASSANDRA. The gods are deaf to hot and peevish vows; They are polluted off'rings, more abhorr'd Than spotted livers in the sacrifice.

ANDROMACHE. O, be persuaded! Do not count it holy To hurt by being just. It is as lawful, For we would give much, to use violent thefts And rob in the behalf of charity.

CASSANDRA. It is the purpose that makes strong the vow; But vows to every purpose must not hold. Unarm, sweet


HECTOR. Hold you still, I say. Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate. Life every man holds dear; but the dear man Holds honour far more precious dear than life.

Enter TROILUS How now, young man! Mean'st thou to fight to-day?

ANDROMACHE. Cassandra, call my father to persuade.


HECTOR. No, faith, young Troilus; doff thy harness, youth; I am to-day i' th' vein of chivalry. Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong, And tempt not yet the brushes of the war. Unarm thee, go; and doubt thou not, brave boy, I'll stand to-day for thee and me and Troy.

TROILUS. Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you Which better fits a lion than a man.

HECTOR. What vice is that, good Troilus? Chide me for it.

TROILUS. When many times the captive Grecian falls, Even in the fan and wind of your fair sword, You bid them rise and live.

HECTOR. O, 'tis fair play!

TROILUS. Fool's play, by heaven,


HECTOR. How now! how now!

TROILUS. For th' love of all the gods, Let's leave the hermit Pity with our mother; And when we have our armours buckled on, The venom'd vengeance ride upon our swords, Spur them to ruthful work, rein them from ruth!

HECTOR. Fie, savage, fie!

TROILUS. Hector, then 'tis wars.

HECTOR. Troilus, I would not have you fight to-day.

TROILUS. Who should withhold me? Not fate, obedience, nor the hand of Mars Beck'ning with fiery truncheon my retire; Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees, Their eyes o'ergalled with recourse of tears; Nor you, my brother, with your true sword drawn, Oppos'd to hinder me, should stop my way, But by my ruin.

Re-enter CASSANDRA, with PRIAM

CASSANDRA. Lay hold upon him, Priam, hold him fast; He is thy crutch; now if thou lose thy stay, Thou on him leaning, and all Troy on thee, Fall all together.

PRIAM. Come, Hector, come, go back. Thy wife hath dreamt; thy mother hath had visions; Cassandra doth foresee; and I myself Am like a prophet suddenly enrapt To tell thee that this day is ominous. Therefore, come back.

HECTOR. Aeneas is a-field; And I do stand engag'd to many Greeks, Even in the faith of valour, to appear This morning to them.

PRIAM. Ay, but thou shalt not go.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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