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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Enter a Servant and PANDARUS

PANDARUS

Friend, you! pray you, a word: do not you followthe young Lord Paris?

PANDARUS

You there, friend! I wish to speak with you, aren't you follower of the young lord Paris?

SERVANT

Ay, sir, when he goes before me.

SERVANT

Yes, sir, I follow him when he walks in front of me.

PANDARUS

You depend upon him, I mean?

PANDARUS

He provides your livelihood, I mean?

SERVANT

Sir, I do depend upon the lord.

SERVANT

Sir, I am provided for by the lord.

PANDARUS

You depend upon a noble gentleman; I must needspraise him.

PANDARUS

You are provided for by a noble gentleman, who deserves praise.

SERVANT

The lord be praised!

SERVANT

The lord be praised.

PANDARUS

You know me, do you not?

PANDARUS

You know who I am, right?

SERVANT

Faith, sir, superficially.

SERVANT

Honestly, sir, only vaguely.

PANDARUS

Friend, know me better; I am the Lord Pandarus.

PANDARUS

Friend, we should know each other better. I am the lord Pandarus.

SERVANT

I hope I shall know your honour better.

SERVANT

I hope we can be better friends.

PANDARUS

I do desire it.

PANDARUS

I hope so.

SERVANT

You are in the state of grace.

SERVANT

Are you in a state of grace?

PANDARUS

Grace! not so, friend: honour and lordship are my titles.

PANDARUS

A grace? No, friend, I am called 'your honor' and am only a lord.

Music within

PANDARUS

What music is this?

PANDARUS

What is this music?

SERVANT

I do but partly know, sir: it is music in parts.

SERVANT

I only partly know, sir, but the music has many parts.

PANDARUS

Know you the musicians?

PANDARUS

Do you know the musicians?

SERVANT

Wholly, sir.

SERVANT

Yes, sir.

PANDARUS

Who play they to?

PANDARUS

Who are they playing for?

SERVANT

To the hearers, sir.

SERVANT

They are playing to the people that are listening, sir.

PANDARUS

At whose pleasure, friend

PANDARUS

For whose pleasure, friend?

SERVANT

At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.

SERVANT

Well it pleases me, sir, and anyone else that loves music.

PANDARUS

Command, I mean, friend.

PANDARUS

Not "pleasure," I meant "command," friend.

SERVANT

Who shall I command, sir?

SERVANT

Who will I command, sir?

PANDARUS

Friend, we understand not one another: I am toocourtly and thou art too cunning. At whose requestdo these men play?

PANDARUS

Friend, this conversation isn't working, my language is too courtly and you are too quick-witted. Who has asked these people to play?

SERVANT

That's to 't indeed, sir: marry, sir, at the request of Paris my lord, who's there in person; with him, the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love's invisible soul,—

SERVANT

That's it, sir. To tell you the truth, sir, they play because Paris asked them to. He's there listening to them now. With him, the human Venus, the real expression of ideal beauty, love itself...

PANDARUS

Who, my cousin Cressida?

PANDARUS

You mean my cousin Cressida?

SERVANT

No, sir, Helen: could you not find out that by herattributes?

SERVANT

No, sir, I mean Helen. Could you not tell by my description?

PANDARUS

It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the Lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the Prince Troilus: I will make a complimental assault upon him, for my business seethes.

PANDARUS

You've clearly not seen Lady Cressida, man. I am here to speak with Paris on behalf of Prince Troilus, I will go on a charm offensive as my business with him is boiling hot.

SERVANT

Sodden business! there's a stewed phrase indeed!

SERVANT

Is your business wet? Your language itself is over-cooked.

Enter PARIS and HELEN, attended

PANDARUS

Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair company! fair desires, in all fair measure, fairly guide them! especially to you, fair queen! fair thoughts be your fair pillow!

PANDARUS

I hope you and your companions are all well, my lord! I hope you are are not troubled by your thoughts, especially you beautiful queen, may you rest easily.

HELEN

Dear lord, you are full of fair words.

HELEN

Good sir, you speak very kindly.

PANDARUS

You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. Fairprince, here is good broken music.

PANDARUS

You speak well, sweet queen. Sweet prince, I like the pieces of this music.

PARIS

You have broke it, cousin: and, by my life, you shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out with a piece of your performance. Nell, he is full of harmony.

PARIS

Well it is in pieces, cousin, now that you have broken it up. I swear it shall be up to you to make it whole again with a piece of performance of your own. My love, he is full of sweet sounds.

PANDARUS

Truly, lady, no.

PANDARUS

Honestly, my lady, I'm not.

HELEN

O, sir,—

HELEN

Oh, but sir do sing for us...

PANDARUS

Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.

PANDARUS

Honestly, I am a very bad singer.

PARIS

Well said, my lord! well, you say so in fits.

PARIS

You speak well, my lord, speaking with such a rhythm.

PANDARUS

I have business to my lord, dear queen. My lord,will you vouchsafe me a word?

PANDARUS

I have business with Paris, dear queen. My lord could I have a word with you?

HELEN

Nay, this shall not hedge us out: we'll hear yousing, certainly.

HELEN

No, you won't come between us in this way. You owe me a song for sure!

PANDARUS

Well, sweet queen. you are pleasant with me. But,marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and most esteemedfriend, your brother Troilus,—

PANDARUS

Sweet queen, you are trying to wind me up aren't you? But listen to this, lord Paris, your brother Troilus, my lord and most esteemed friend...

HELEN

My Lord Pandarus; honey-sweet lord,—

HELEN

My lord Pandarus, sweet lord...

PANDARUS

Go to, sweet queen, to go:—commends himself mostaffectionately to you,—

PANDARUS

Please, sweet queen, shhh... (Troilus) wanted you to know that he is very fond of you (Paris)...

HELEN

You shall not bob us out of our melody: if you do,our melancholy upon your head!

HELEN

You won't cheat me out of a song. If you do I shan't forgive you!

PANDARUS

Sweet queen, sweet queen! that's a sweet queen, i' faith.

PANDARUS

Sweet queen, sweet queen! Please don't be upset with me, I beg you.

HELEN

And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.

HELEN

To upset a sweet lady is a sour offense.

PANDARUS

Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall not, in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no, no. And, my lord, he desires you, that if the king call for him at supper, you will make his excuse.

PANDARUS

No, that won't work, it really won't. No, I don't care for such words, no and no. Anyway, Troilus wants you to excuse him if the king asks to see him at supper, and asks that you would give an excuse for him.

HELEN

My Lord Pandarus,—

HELEN

My lord Pandarus...

PANDARUS

What says my sweet queen, my very very sweet queen?

PANDARUS

What is it my sweet queen, my very very sweet queen?

PARIS

What exploit's in hand? where sups he to-night?

PARIS

What is he up to, where will he be eating tonight?

HELEN

Nay, but, my lord,—

HELEN

No, my lord listen to me...

PANDARUS

What says my sweet queen? My cousin will fall outwith you. You must not know where he sups.

PANDARUS

What is it sweet queen? My cousin will fall out with you. I cannot say where he will be eating.

PARIS

I'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.

PARIS

I'll bet my life Cressida's stolen him away from my company.

PANDARUS

No, no, no such matter; you are wide: come, yourdisposer is sick.

PANDARUS

No, no, nothing of the sort, you couldn't be further from the truth. Be reasonable, anyway Cressida is unwell.

PARIS

Well, I'll make excuse.

PARIS

Sure, I'll make an excuse for him.

PANDARUS

Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida? no,your poor disposer's sick.

PANDARUS

Ah, thank you my lord. Why did you think it was Cressida? It couldn't be her, because she's ill.

PARIS

I spy.

PARIS

I spy...

PANDARUS

You spy! what do you spy? Come, give me aninstrument. Now, sweet queen.

PANDARUS

You spy! What do you spy? Quickly, give me an instrument. Now I will play, sweet queen.

HELEN

Why, this is kindly done.

HELEN

Oh, suddenly you are very keen to play.

PANDARUS

My niece is horribly in love with a thing you have,sweet queen.

PANDARUS

My niece is jealous of you, sweet queen.

HELEN

She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.

HELEN

Whatever she wants I am sure she'll have it, so long as it isn't Paris.

PANDARUS

He! no, she'll none of him; they two are twain.

PANDARUS

Ah she doesn't want anything to do with him, those two are so different.

HELEN

Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.

HELEN

They could still fall in love and fall out again, such falling in and out could make the two of them into three of them.

PANDARUS

Come, come, I'll hear no more of this; I'll singyou a song now.

PANDARUS

Oh be civil, I'll hear no more of this. I'll sing a song for you now.

HELEN

Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thouhast a fine forehead.

HELEN

Yes, yes, play now. Honestly, sweet lord, you do look so handsome and smart.

PANDARUS

Ay, you may, you may.

PANDARUS

Yes, you may treat me like that.

HELEN

Let thy song be love: this love will undo us all.O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!

HELEN

Sing a love song. Love will be the ruin of us all. Oh, Cupid, Cupid, Cupid.

PANDARUS

Love! ay, that it shall, i' faith.

PANDARUS

Ah, yes. It will be about love.

PARIS

Ay, good now, love, love, nothing but love.

PARIS

Ah wonderful, sing about nothing but love, love, love.

PANDARUS

In good troth, it begins so.

PANDARUS

Truly I will, and now I begin.

Sings

PANDARUS

Love, love, nothing but love, still more! For, O, love's bow Shoots buck and doe: The shaft confounds, Not that it wounds, But tickles still the sore. These lovers cry Oh! oh! they die! Yet that which seems the wound to kill, Doth turn oh! oh! to ha! ha! he! So dying love lives still: Oh! oh! a while, but ha! ha! ha! Oh! oh! groans out for ha! ha! ha! Heigh-ho!

PANDARUS

Love, love, nothing but love, even now!
Because, oh, love's bow
Shoots buck and doe.
The arrow confuses,
But doesn't hurt,
It tickles the wound.
The lovers cry "Oh! Oh! I am dying!"
But the arrow that seems to pierce the wound,
Turns moaning into laughter,
Letting the dying lovers live on:
At first they moan, then they laugh,
And those that moan long to laugh.
So it is!

HELEN

In love, i' faith, to the very tip of the nose.

HELEN

This is love alright, summed up perfectly.

PARIS

He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot blood. Hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.

PARIS

Love eats nothing but doves, and that causes a hotness in the blood. Hot blood leads to passionate thoughts. Passionate thoughts cause lustful actions. And lustful actions are love.

PANDARUS

Is this the generation of love? hot blood, hot thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers: is love a generation of vipers? Sweet lord, who's a-field to-day?

PANDARUS

Is this really where love comes from? Hot blood, heated thoughts, and lustful actions? These things sound like a can of worms. Is love a can of worms? Sweet lord, who is out on the battlefield today?

PARIS

Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the gallantry of Troy: I would fain have armed to-day, but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my brother Troilus went not?

PARIS

Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the knights of Troy. I was eager to go out today, but my sweetheart wouldn't let me. How come my brother Troilus didn't go out?

HELEN

He hangs the lip at something: you know all, Lord Pandarus.

HELEN

He's keeping tight-lipped, I'm sure you know why, Lord Pandarus.

PANDARUS

Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how theysped to-day. You'll remember your brother's excuse?

PANDARUS

I don't, sweet queen. I wonder how the battle has gone today. Remember to excuse Troilus from dinner?

PARIS

To a hair.

PARIS

I will excuse his whole body.

PANDARUS

Farewell, sweet queen.

PANDARUS

Goodbye, sweet queen.

HELEN

Commend me to your niece.

HELEN

Say hello to your niece for me.

PANDARUS

I will, sweet queen.

PANDARUS

I will, sweet queen.

Exit

A retreat sounded

PARIS

They're come from field: let us to Priam's hall, To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you To help unarm our Hector: his stubborn buckles, With these your white enchanting fingers touch'd, Shall more obey than to the edge of steel Or force of Greekish sinews; you shall do more Than all the island kings,—disarm great Hector.

PARIS

They are leaving the battlefield. Let's go to Priam's hall to greet the soldiers. Sweet Helen, would you mind helping Hector out of his armor, your delicate white hands will open the buckles on his armor more easily than any weapon or Greek would. Go do something no Greek king has done, disarm great Hector.

HELEN

'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris; Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty Gives us more palm in beauty than we have, Yea, overshines ourself.

HELEN

I'd be glad to help him, Paris. Doing him this service will enhance my beauty. Yes the act of service will outshine my beautiful self.

PARIS

Sweet, above thought I love thee.

PARIS

Sweetheart, I love you more than I can say.

Exeunt

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Tom hill
About the Translator: Tom Hill

Tom Hill lives in his native London where he has just finished studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. He has worked in education both in the UK and in Asia. His favorite Shakespeare play is The Merchant of Venice.