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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Translation Act 4, Scene 4

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Enter PANDARUS and CRESSIDA

PANDARUS

Be moderate, be moderate.

PANDARUS

Be reasonable, be reasonable.

CRESSIDA

Why tell you me of moderation? The grief is fine, full, perfect, that I taste, And violenteth in a sense as strong As that which causeth it: how can I moderate it? If I could temporize with my affection, Or brew it to a weak and colder palate, The like allayment could I give my grief. My love admits no qualifying dross; No more my grief, in such a precious loss.

CRESSIDA

Why are you telling me to be reasonable? This grief is totally appropriate and exactly as violent as the reason that causes it! How can I be more reasonable that this? If I could make it less painful, or water down my love, it would also be an appropriate cure for my grief. My love can't be diluted, nor can my grief, when what I am losing is so precious to me.

PANDARUS

Here, here, here he comes.

PANDARUS

He is coming.

Enter TROILUS

PANDARUS

Ah, sweet ducks!

PANDARUS

Oh, such a sweet couple.

CRESSIDA

O Troilus! Troilus!

CRESSIDA

Oh Troilus! Troilus!

Embracing him

PANDARUS

What a pair of spectacles is here! Let me embrace too. 'O heart,' as the goodly saying is, '—O heart, heavy heart, Why sigh'st thou without breaking? where he answers again, 'Because thou canst not ease thy smart By friendship nor by speaking.' There was never a truer rhyme. Let us cast away nothing, for we may live to have need of such a verse: we see it, we see it. How now, lambs?

PANDARUS

These two are an extraordinary sight! Let me embrace you too.
"Oh heart," as the great saying goes, "... oh heavy, heavy heart, 
Why do you sigh without breaking?" and the heart replies:
"Because you cannot ease your pain,
with company or words."
There has never been a better saying. Let us never forget anything, for one day we might need a saying like this. How are you, lambs?

TROILUS

Cressid, I love thee in so strain'd a purity, That the bless'd gods, as angry with my fancy, More bright in zeal than the devotion which Cold lips blow to their deities, take thee from me.

TROILUS

Cressida, I love you so purely that the divine gods are taking you away from me, as they are angry that my devotion to you is stronger and more passionate than my devotion to them.

CRESSIDA

Have the gods envy?

CRESSIDA

Are the gods envious of me?

PANDARUS

Ay, ay, ay, ay; 'tis too plain a case.

PANDARUS

Yes, yes, yes, yes. That is too obvious a question.

CRESSIDA

And is it true that I must go from Troy?

CRESSIDA

And is it also true that I must leave Troy?

TROILUS

A hateful truth.

TROILUS

A hateful truth.

CRESSIDA

What, and from Troilus too?

CRESSIDA

And must I leave Troilus too?

TROILUS

From Troy and Troilus.

TROILUS

You have to leave Troy and Troilus.

CRESSIDA

Is it possible?

CRESSIDA

How can it be?

TROILUS

And suddenly; where injury of chance Puts back leave-taking, justles roughly by All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents Our lock'd embrasures, strangles our dear vows Even in the birth of our own labouring breath: We two, that with so many thousand sighs Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves With the rude brevity and discharge of one. Injurious time now with a robber's haste Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how: As many farewells as be stars in heaven, With distinct breath and consign'd kisses to them, He fumbles up into a loose adieu, And scants us with a single famish'd kiss, Distasted with the salt of broken tears.

TROILUS

And our bad luck is splitting us up suddenly. It stops us saying goodbye, pushes past our moment of hesitation, rudely prevents our lips from meeting, and stops us from embracing each other. It strangles our promises to each other when they have only just been born. Even though we spent so many thousands of sighs winning each other, we now lose each other spending only one sigh. Time is hasty like a thief, bundling up his stolen object without knowing how valuable it is. What is as valuable as the stars in heaven, with so much breath and kisses devoted to each one, he bundles up into a brief goodbye. He allows us only a brief kiss, ruined by our salty tears.

AENEAS

[Within] My lord, is the lady ready?

AENEAS

[Within] My lord, is the lady ready to leave?

TROILUS

Hark! you are call'd: some say the Genius so Cries 'come' to him that instantly must die. Bid them have patience; she shall come anon.

TROILUS

Listen! They are calling you. Some people say that a guardian spirit shouts "come" to a man who is about to die. [To PANDARUS] Tell them to be patient, she will come soon.

PANDARUS

Where are my tears? rain, to lay this wind, ormy heart will be blown up by the root.

PANDARUS

Why am I not crying? I feel like I need to cry or my heart will be torn out.

Exit

CRESSIDA

I must then to the Grecians?

CRESSIDA

I have go to the Greeks, then?

TROILUS

No remedy.

TROILUS

There is no way of stopping it.

CRESSIDA

A woful Cressid 'mongst the merry Greeks!When shall we see again?

CRESSIDA

I will be a sad Cressida among happy Greeks. When will we meet again?

TROILUS

Hear me, my love: be thou but true of heart,—

TROILUS

Listen to me, my love. If you are just true to your heart...

CRESSIDA

I true! how now! what wicked deem is this?

CRESSIDA

Are you questioning my truth? How come? What an evil judgment on me is that?

TROILUS

Nay, we must use expostulation kindly, For it is parting from us: I speak not 'be thou true,' as fearing thee, For I will throw my glove to Death himself, That there's no maculation in thy heart: But 'be thou true,' say I, to fashion in My sequent protestation; be thou true, And I will see thee.

TROILUS

No, we must protest gently, as we don't have much time. I'm not saying "be true to me" because I fear that you won't be. I would duel with Death himself to prove that there is no stain of infidelity in your heart. But I say "if you are true" so that I can add "then we will see each other again."

CRESSIDA

O, you shall be exposed, my lord, to dangersAs infinite as imminent! but I'll be true.

CRESSIDA

Oh, you will face dangers, my lord, as immediate as they are infinite! But I will be true to you.

TROILUS

And I'll grow friend with danger. Wear this sleeve.

TROILUS

I will befriend danger. Wear this sleeve. [TROILUS gives CRESSIDA a sleeve]

CRESSIDA

And you this glove. When shall I see you?

CRESSIDA

Wear this glove. [CRESSIDA gives TROILUS a glove] When will I see you?

TROILUS

I will corrupt the Grecian sentinels,To give thee nightly visitation.But yet be true.

TROILUS

I'll bribe the Greek guards, so that I can see you at night. Just be true to me.

CRESSIDA

O heavens! 'be true' again!

CRESSIDA

Oh heavens. He's telling me to "be true," again!

TROILUS

Hear while I speak it, love: The Grecian youths are full of quality; They're loving, well composed with gifts of nature, Flowing and swelling o'er with arts and exercise: How novelty may move, and parts with person, Alas, a kind of godly jealousy— Which, I beseech you, call a virtuous sin— Makes me afeard.

TROILUS

Listen, love. Young Greek men are full of good qualities: they're loving, well put together, fluent in their education and swollen from exercise. The way that this new situation could persuade you, and touch certain parts of you, I'm afraid that a kind of godly jealousy... Which I hope you can consider a virtuous sin... Makes me afraid.

CRESSIDA

O heavens! you love me not.

CRESSIDA

Oh heavens! You don't love me.

TROILUS

Die I a villain, then! In this I do not call your faith in question So mainly as my merit: I cannot sing, Nor heel the high lavolt, nor sweeten talk, Nor play at subtle games; fair virtues all, To which the Grecians are most prompt and pregnant: But I can tell that in each grace of these There lurks a still and dumb-discoursive devil That tempts most cunningly: but be not tempted.

TROILUS

Then I would die a villain! I am not questioning your loyalty so much as my own merit. I cannot sing or dance the "volta," I don't sweeten my speech, and I'm not manipulative. These are the good virtues that the Greeks are all good at and full of. And in each of their talents there will be a tempting devil. But don't be tempted.

CRESSIDA

Do you think I will?

CRESSIDA

Do you think I will be?

TROILUS

No. But something may be done that we will not: And sometimes we are devils to ourselves, When we will tempt the frailty of our powers, Presuming on their changeful potency.

TROILUS

No. But sometimes things happen against our will, and sometimes we are devils to ourselves if we assume that our power to resist temptation will not change.

AENEAS

[Within] Nay, good my lord,—

AENEAS

[Within] No, my good lord...

TROILUS

Come, kiss; and let us part.

TROILUS

Come, kiss me, and let us go outside.

PARIS

[Within] Brother Troilus!

PARIS

[Within] Brother Troilus!

TROILUS

Good brother, come you hither;And bring AEneas and the Grecian with you.

TROILUS

Good brother, come here, and bring Aeneas and the Greek with you.

CRESSIDA

My lord, will you be true?

CRESSIDA

My lord, will you be true?

TROILUS

Who, I? alas, it is my vice, my fault: Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion, I with great truth catch mere simplicity; Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns, With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare. Fear not my truth: the moral of my wit Is 'plain and true;' there's all the reach of it.

TROILUS

Who me? Alas, my fault, my vice, is that I must be true. Other people are very artful in fishing for a good reputation, but with my great honesty the only thing I can catch is a reputation for being simple. Other people gild copper crowns with cunning, I wear my crown bare, expressing only truth and plainness. Don't worry about me being loyal: my motto has always been "plain and honest," and that's all there is to it.

Enter AENEAS, PARIS, ANTENOR, DEIPHOBUS, and DIOMEDES

TROILUS

Welcome, Sir Diomed! here is the lady Which for Antenor we deliver you: At the port, lord, I'll give her to thy hand, And by the way possess thee what she is. Entreat her fair; and, by my soul, fair Greek, If e'er thou stand at mercy of my sword, Name Cressida and thy life shall be as safe As Priam is in Ilion.

TROILUS

Welcome, Sir Diomedes! Here is the lady which we must give you in return for Antenor. I'll give you her hand at the gate, lord, and from there you will possess what she is. Treat her as fairly as she is fair. I promise you, good Greek, that if you are ever at the mercy of my sword in battle, you just have to say her name and your life will be as safe as Troy.

DIOMEDES

Fair Lady Cressid, So please you, save the thanks this prince expects: The lustre in your eye, heaven in your cheek, Pleads your fair usage; and to Diomed You shall be mistress, and command him wholly.

DIOMEDES

Fair lady Cressida, you don't need to thank this prince: the spark in your eye and your blushing cheek demand that I treat you fairly. You shall be mistress to Diomede, and command me wholly.

TROILUS

Grecian, thou dost not use me courteously, To shame the zeal of my petition to thee In praising her: I tell thee, lord of Greece, She is as far high-soaring o'er thy praises As thou unworthy to be call'd her servant. I charge thee use her well, even for my charge; For, by the dreadful Pluto, if thou dost not, Though the great bulk Achilles be thy guard, I'll cut thy throat.

TROILUS

Greek, you are not to treat me courteously, by insulting my genuine request that you keep her safe and praising her yourself. I'm telling you, Greek lord, she flies above your praises and you are unworthy of being her servant. I charge you to treat her well, and do it because I charge you to do it. If you do not do it, even if the huge Achilles were protecting you, by Pluto, I will cut your throat.

DIOMEDES

O, be not moved, Prince Troilus: Let me be privileged by my place and message, To be a speaker free; when I am hence I'll answer to my lust: and know you, lord, I'll nothing do on charge: to her own worth She shall be prized; but that you say 'be't so,' I'll speak it in my spirit and honour, 'no.'

DIOMEDES

Oh don't get upset, Prince Troilus. The privilege of being a messenger and a noble means that I can speak freely. When I am away from here I'll do as I please, and I don't do anything because I am charged to. She will be prized well because of her worth. But if you tell me to treat her well, then on my honor and with all my heart I'll tell you "No."

TROILUS

Come, to the port. I'll tell thee, Diomed, This brave shall oft make thee to hide thy head. Lady, give me your hand, and, as we walk, To our own selves bend we our needful talk.

TROILUS

Let us go to the gate. This insult, Diomedes, will make you flee me on the battlefield. Lady, give me your hand, and as we walk to the gate we'll talk between us only.

Exeunt TROILUS, CRESSIDA, and DIOMEDES

Trumpet within

PARIS

Hark! Hector's trumpet.

PARIS

Listen, it is Hector's trumpet.

AENEAS

How have we spent this morning!The prince must think me tardy and remiss,That swore to ride before him to the field.

AENEAS

How has the morning already passed? The prince must think I am late and neglectful, since I promised to ride out to the battlefield before him.

PARIS

'Tis Troilus' fault: come, come, to field with him.

PARIS

It's Troilus's fault. Come, let's go to the battle with him.

DEIPHOBUS

Let us make ready straight.

DEIPHOBUS

We should go immediately.

AENEAS

Yea, with a bridegroom's fresh alacrity, Let us address to tend on Hector's heels: The glory of our Troy doth this day lie On his fair worth and single chivalry.

AENEAS

Yes, let's follow Hector with the speed of a bridegroom who is full of joy. The glory of Troy all depends today on his strength and chivalry.

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.