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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Translation Act 4, Scene 1

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Enter, from one side, AENEAS, and Servant with a torch; from the other, PARIS, DEIPHOBUS, ANTENOR, DIOMEDES, and others, with torches

PARIS

See, ho! who is that there?

PARIS

Look there! Who is that?

DEIPHOBUS

It is the Lord AEneas.

DEIPHOBUS

It's the lord Aeneas.

AENEAS

Is the prince there in person? Had I so good occasion to lie long As you, prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business Should rob my bed-mate of my company.

AENEAS

Are you the Prince himself? If I had as good a reason not to get out of bed as you, prince Paris, nothing but prayer would get me to leave my wife alone.

DIOMEDES

That's my mind too. Good morrow, Lord AEneas.

DIOMEDES

I agree. Good morning, Lord Aeneas.

PARIS

A valiant Greek, AEneas,—take his hand,— Witness the process of your speech, wherein You told how Diomed, a whole week by days, Did haunt you in the field.

PARIS

A brave Greek, Aeneas, greet him! You told me he has been finding you out on the battle field all week and never leaving you alone, and here he is again!

AENEAS

Health to you, valiant sir, During all question of the gentle truce; But when I meet you arm'd, as black defiance As heart can think or courage execute.

AENEAS

I hope you are well, valiant sir, for at least as long as we have this truce. But when we begin fighting again, I'll make sure I see you dead.

DIOMEDES

The one and other Diomed embraces. Our bloods are now in calm; and, so long, health! But when contention and occasion meet, By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life With all my force, pursuit and policy.

DIOMEDES

[Embracing AENEAS and PARIS] Greetings to both of you. We aren't enemies at the moment, so for now I hope you are well! But when we start fighting again, by Jupiter, I'll try to kill you with all my strength, skill, and intelligence.

AENEAS

And thou shalt hunt a lion, that will fly With his face backward. In humane gentleness, Welcome to Troy! now, by Anchises' life, Welcome, indeed! By Venus' hand I swear, No man alive can love in such a sort The thing he means to kill more excellently.

AENEAS

It will be like you are hunting a lion, one that will run from you facing towards you. But now I greet you as a human, welcome to Troy! Now, on my father's life, welcome! By Venus my mother's hand I promise, that no one has ever loved a person they intend to kill as much as I do now.

DIOMEDES

We sympathize: Jove, let AEneas live, If to my sword his fate be not the glory, A thousand complete courses of the sun! But, in mine emulous honour, let him die, With every joint a wound, and that to-morrow!

DIOMEDES

I feel the same. Jupiter, let Aeneas live a thousand years, unless I kill him myself. But, let him die bloody and broken tomorrow, all for the sake of my honor.

AENEAS

We know each other well.

AENEAS

We understand each other well.

DIOMEDES

We do; and long to know each other worse.

DIOMEDES

Yes, and we both hope that the other will be worse as well.

PARIS

This is the most despiteful gentle greeting,The noblest hateful love, that e'er I heard of.What business, lord, so early?

PARIS

This is the most violent and polite greeting I have ever heard of, with the most noble and hateful love. Why are you up so early, lord?

AENEAS

I was sent for to the king; but why, I know not.

AENEAS

I was told to come to the king, but I don't know why.

PARIS

His purpose meets you: 'twas to bring this Greek To Calchas' house, and there to render him, For the enfreed Antenor, the fair Cressid: Let's have your company, or, if you please,Haste there before us: I constantly do think—Or rather, call my thought a certain knowledge—My brother Troilus lodges there to-night:Rouse him and give him note of our approach.With the whole quality wherefore: I fearWe shall be much unwelcome.

PARIS

I can tell you why he sent for you. He wants you to bring this Greek to Calchas's house, and when you are there to give him the beautiful Cressida for the freedom of Antenor. You're welcome to stay with me for a bit, or, go there before me. [Aside to AENEAS] I am quite sure, or to be honest I know for a fact, that my brother Troilus is staying at that house tonight. Wake him up and tell him we are coming, although I don't think we'll be very welcome when he finds out why.

AENEAS

That I assure you:Troilus had rather Troy were borne to GreeceThan Cressid borne from Troy.

AENEAS

I am certain you are right, Troilus would rather we gave Troy to Greece than Cressida to the Greeks.

PARIS

There is no help;The bitter disposition of the timeWill have it so. On, lord; we'll follow you.

PARIS

It can't be helped, this bitter time demands that it must be so. Go, lord, we'll follow you.

AENEAS

Good morrow, all.

AENEAS

Goodbye everyone.

Exit with Servant

PARIS

And tell me, noble Diomed, faith, tell me true,Even in the soul of sound good-fellowship,Who, in your thoughts, merits fair Helen best,Myself or Menelaus?

PARIS

Tell me honestly, noble Diomedes, given this spirit of friendship, who most deserves to have the beautiful Helen, myself or Menelaus?

DIOMEDES

Both alike:He merits well to have her, that doth seek her,Not making any scruple of her soilure,With such a hell of pain and world of charge,And you as well to keep her, that defend her,Not palating the taste of her dishonour,With such a costly loss of wealth and friends:He, like a puling cuckold, would drink upThe lees and dregs of a flat tamed piece;You, like a lecher, out of whorish loinsAre pleased to breed out your inheritors:Both merits poised, each weighs nor less nor more;But he as he, the heavier for a whore.

DIOMEDES

Both of you equally deserve her. Menelaus deserves her since he is willing to do all this, bringing about a hellish war and costing two countries a massive amount, without caring that she has been spoiled. Equally, you deserve to keep her, since you fight for her without noticing that she is dishonorable, having cost so much money and so many of our friends. He, like a grovelling cuckold, is desperate for someone else's table scraps, and you, like a creep, are willing to father your children with a whore. If you compare the two of you, both of you deserve her the same amount, you're identical except that one of you has the whore.

PARIS

You are too bitter to your countrywoman.

PARIS

You're too unkind towards your countrywoman.

DIOMEDES

She's bitter to her country: hear me, Paris:For every false drop in her bawdy veinsA Grecian's life hath sunk; for every scrupleOf her contaminated carrion weight,A Trojan hath been slain: since she could speak,She hath not given so many good words breathAs for her Greeks and Trojans suffer'd death.

DIOMEDES

Trust me, Paris, she's been too unkind to her country. A Greek has died for every worthless drop of blood in her unfaithful veins. And a Trojan has died for every gram of her festering flesh. She hasn't spoken as many pleasant things as Trojans and Greeks died for her.

PARIS

Fair Diomed, you do as chapmen do,Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy:But we in silence hold this virtue well,We'll but commend what we intend to sell.Here lies our way.

PARIS

Fair Diomedes, just like a trader you are insulting the thing you want to buy, so it will be cheaper. But I won't defend her, as I have no desire to sell her. Come this way please.

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.