A line-by-line translation

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

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Enter TROILUS

PANDARUS

Ah, sweet ducks!

PANDARUS

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CRESSIDA

O Troilus! Troilus!

CRESSIDA

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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

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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

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CRESSIDA

Have the gods envy?

CRESSIDA

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PANDARUS

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

PANDARUS

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CRESSIDA

And is it true that I must go from Troy?

CRESSIDA

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TROILUS

A hateful truth.

TROILUS

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CRESSIDA

What, and from Troilus too?

CRESSIDA

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TROILUS

From Troy and Troilus.

TROILUS

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CRESSIDA

Is it possible?

CRESSIDA

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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

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AENEAS

[Within] My lord, is the lady ready?

AENEAS

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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

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PANDARUS

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

PANDARUS

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Exit

CRESSIDA

I must then to the Grecians?

CRESSIDA

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TROILUS

No remedy.

TROILUS

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CRESSIDA

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

CRESSIDA

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TROILUS

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

TROILUS

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CRESSIDA

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

CRESSIDA

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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

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CRESSIDA

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

CRESSIDA

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TROILUS

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

TROILUS

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CRESSIDA

And you this glove. When shall I see you?

CRESSIDA

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TROILUS

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

TROILUS

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CRESSIDA

O heavens! 'be true' again!

CRESSIDA

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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

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CRESSIDA

O heavens! you love me not.

CRESSIDA

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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

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CRESSIDA

Do you think I will?

CRESSIDA

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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

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AENEAS

[Within] Nay, good my lord,—

AENEAS

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TROILUS

Come, kiss; and let us part.

TROILUS

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PARIS

[Within] Brother Troilus!

PARIS

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TROILUS

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

TROILUS

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CRESSIDA

My lord, will you be true?

CRESSIDA

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Exeunt TROILUS, CRESSIDA, and DIOMEDES

Trumpet within

PARIS

Hark! Hector's trumpet.

PARIS

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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

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PARIS

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

PARIS

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DEIPHOBUS

Let us make ready straight.

DEIPHOBUS

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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

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Exeunt

Troilus and cressida
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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.