A line-by-line translation

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Translation Act 4, Scene 5

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Enter AJAX, armed; AGAMEMNON, ACHILLES, PATROCLUS, MENELAUS, ULYSSES, NESTOR, and others

AGAMEMNON

Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair, Anticipating time with starting courage. Give with thy trumpet a loud note to Troy, Thou dreadful Ajax; that the appalled air May pierce the head of the great combatant And hale him hither.

AGAMEMNON

You are here fresh and ready, waiting bravely for the time to fight. Blow your trumpet loudly to give a message to Troy, terrifying Ajax, that the awful sound might assault his ears and bring him here.

AJAX

Thou, trumpet, there's my purse. Now crack thy lungs, and split thy brazen pipe: Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek Outswell the colic of puff'd Aquilon: Come, stretch thy chest and let thy eyes spout blood; Thou blow'st for Hector.

AJAX

You, trumpeter, here is my money. Now blow as hard as you can. Blow, man, until you cheeks are more full of air than the entire sky. Now puff out your chest and play until your eyes cry blood. You are blowing to Hector.

Trumpet sounds

ULYSSES

No trumpet answers.

ULYSSES

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ACHILLES

'Tis but early days.

ACHILLES

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AGAMEMNON

Is not yond Diomed, with Calchas' daughter?

AGAMEMNON

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ULYSSES

'Tis he, I ken the manner of his gait;He rises on the toe: that spirit of hisIn aspiration lifts him from the earth.

ULYSSES

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Enter DIOMEDES, with CRESSIDA

AGAMEMNON

Is this the Lady Cressid?

AGAMEMNON

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DIOMEDES

Even she.

DIOMEDES

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AGAMEMNON

Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet lady.

AGAMEMNON

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NESTOR

Our general doth salute you with a kiss.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

Yet is the kindness but particular;'Twere better she were kiss'd in general.

ULYSSES

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NESTOR

And very courtly counsel: I'll begin.So much for Nestor.

NESTOR

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ACHILLES

I'll take what winter from your lips, fair lady:Achilles bids you welcome.

ACHILLES

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MENELAUS

I had good argument for kissing once.

MENELAUS

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PATROCLUS

But that's no argument for kissing now;For this popp'd Paris in his hardiment,And parted thus you and your argument.

PATROCLUS

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ULYSSES

O deadly gall, and theme of all our scorns!For which we lose our heads to gild his horns.

ULYSSES

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PATROCLUS

The first was Menelaus' kiss; this, mine:Patroclus kisses you.

PATROCLUS

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MENELAUS

O, this is trim!

MENELAUS

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PATROCLUS

Paris and I kiss evermore for him.

PATROCLUS

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MENELAUS

I'll have my kiss, sir. Lady, by your leave.

MENELAUS

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CRESSIDA

In kissing, do you render or receive?

CRESSIDA

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PATROCLUS

Both take and give.

MENELAUS

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CRESSIDA

I'll make my match to live,The kiss you take is better than you give;Therefore no kiss.

CRESSIDA

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MENELAUS

I'll give you boot, I'll give you three for one.

MENELAUS

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CRESSIDA

You're an odd man; give even or give none.

CRESSIDA

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MENELAUS

An odd man, lady! every man is odd.

MENELAUS

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CRESSIDA

No, Paris is not; for you know 'tis true,That you are odd, and he is even with you.

CRESSIDA

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MENELAUS

You fillip me o' the head.

MENELAUS

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CRESSIDA

No, I'll be sworn.

CRESSIDA

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ULYSSES

It were no match, your nail against his horn.May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?

ULYSSES

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CRESSIDA

You may.

CRESSIDA

Lorem ip

ULYSSES

I do desire it.

ULYSSES

Lorem ipsu

CRESSIDA

Why, beg, then.

CRESSIDA

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ULYSSES

Why then for Venus' sake, give me a kiss,When Helen is a maid again, and his.

ULYSSES

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CRESSIDA

I am your debtor, claim it when 'tis due.

CRESSIDA

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ULYSSES

Never's my day, and then a kiss of you.

ULYSSES

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DIOMEDES

Lady, a word: I'll bring you to your father.

DIOMEDES

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Exit with CRESSIDA

NESTOR

A woman of quick sense.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

Fie, fie upon her! There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out At every joint and motive of her body. O, these encounterers, so glib of tongue, That give accosting welcome ere it comes, And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts To every ticklish reader! set them down For sluttish spoils of opportunity And daughters of the game.

ULYSSES

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Trumpet within

ALL

The Trojans' trumpet.

ALL

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AGAMEMNON

Yonder comes the troop.

AGAMEMNON

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Enter HECTOR, armed; AENEAS, TROILUS, and other Trojans, with Attendants

AENEAS

Hail, all you state of Greece! what shall be done To him that victory commands? or do you purpose A victor shall be known? will you the knights Shall to the edge of all extremity Pursue each other, or shall be divided By any voice or order of the field? Hector bade ask.

AENEAS

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AGAMEMNON

Which way would Hector have it?

AGAMEMNON

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AENEAS

He cares not; he'll obey conditions.

AENEAS

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ACHILLES

'Tis done like Hector; but securely done,A little proudly, and great deal misprizingThe knight opposed.

ACHILLES

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AENEAS

If not Achilles, sir,What is your name?

AENEAS

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ACHILLES

If not Achilles, nothing.

ACHILLES

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AENEAS

Therefore Achilles: but, whate'er, know this: In the extremity of great and little, Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector; The one almost as infinite as all, The other blank as nothing. Weigh him well, And that which looks like pride is courtesy. This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood: In love whereof, half Hector stays at home; Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek This blended knight, half Trojan and half Greek.

AENEAS

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ACHILLES

A maiden battle, then? O, I perceive you.

ACHILLES

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Re-enter DIOMEDES

AGAMEMNON

Here is Sir Diomed. Go, gentle knight, Stand by our Ajax: as you and Lord AEneas Consent upon the order of their fight, So be it; either to the uttermost, Or else a breath: the combatants being kin Half stints their strife before their strokes begin.

AGAMEMNON

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AJAX and HECTOR enter the lists

ULYSSES

They are opposed already.

ULYSSES

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AGAMEMNON

What Trojan is that same that looks so heavy?

AGAMEMNON

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ULYSSES

The youngest son of Priam, a true knight, Not yet mature, yet matchless, firm of word, Speaking in deeds and deedless in his tongue; Not soon provoked nor being provoked soon calm'd: His heart and hand both open and both free; For what he has he gives, what thinks he shows; Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty, Nor dignifies an impure thought with breath; Manly as Hector, but more dangerous; For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes To tender objects, but he in heat of action Is more vindicative than jealous love: They call him Troilus, and on him erect A second hope, as fairly built as Hector. Thus says AEneas; one that knows the youth Even to his inches, and with private soul Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me.

ULYSSES

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Alarum. Hector and Ajax fight

AGAMEMNON

They are in action.

AGAMEMNON

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NESTOR

Now, Ajax, hold thine own!

NESTOR

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TROILUS

Hector, thou sleep'st;Awake thee!

TROILUS

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AGAMEMNON

His blows are well disposed: there, Ajax!

AGAMEMNON

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DIOMEDES

You must no more.

DIOMEDES

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Trumpets cease

AENEAS

Princes, enough, so please you.

AENEAS

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AJAX

I am not warm yet; let us fight again.

AJAX

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DIOMEDES

As Hector pleases.

DIOMEDES

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HECTOR

Why, then will I no more: Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son, A cousin-german to great Priam's seed; The obligation of our blood forbids A gory emulation 'twixt us twain: Were thy commixtion Greek and Trojan so That thou couldst say 'This hand is Grecian all, And this is Trojan; the sinews of this leg All Greek, and this all Troy; my mother's blood Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister Bounds in my father's;' by Jove multipotent, Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member Wherein my sword had not impressure made Of our rank feud: but the just gods gainsay That any drop thou borrow'dst from thy mother, My sacred aunt, should by my mortal sword Be drain'd! Let me embrace thee, Ajax: By him that thunders, thou hast lusty arms; Hector would have them fall upon him thus: Cousin, all honour to thee!

HECTOR

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AJAX

I thank thee, Hector Thou art too gentle and too free a man: I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence A great addition earned in thy death.

AJAX

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HECTOR

Not Neoptolemus so mirable, On whose bright crest Fame with her loud'st Oyes Cries 'This is he,' could promise to himself A thought of added honour torn from Hector.

HECTOR

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AENEAS

There is expectance here from both the sides,What further you will do.

AENEAS

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HECTOR

We'll answer it;The issue is embracement: Ajax, farewell.

HECTOR

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AJAX

If I might in entreaties find success— As seld I have the chance— I would desire My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.

AJAX

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DIOMEDES

'Tis Agamemnon's wish, and great AchillesDoth long to see unarm'd the valiant Hector.

DIOMEDES

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HECTOR

AEneas, call my brother Troilus to me, And signify this loving interview To the expecters of our Trojan part; Desire them home. Give me thy hand, my cousin; I will go eat with thee and see your knights.

HECTOR

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AJAX

Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.

AJAX

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HECTOR

The worthiest of them tell me name by name; But for Achilles, mine own searching eyes Shall find him by his large and portly size.

HECTOR

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AGAMEMNON

Worthy of arms! as welcome as to one That would be rid of such an enemy; But that's no welcome: understand more clear, What's past and what's to come is strew'd with husks And formless ruin of oblivion; But in this extant moment, faith and troth, Strain'd purely from all hollow bias-drawing, Bids thee, with most divine integrity, From heart of very heart, great Hector, welcome.

AGAMEMNON

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HECTOR

I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.

HECTOR

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AGAMEMNON

[To TROILUS] My well-famed lord of Troy, noless to you.

AGAMEMNON

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MENELAUS

Let me confirm my princely brother's greeting:You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.

MENELAUS

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HECTOR

Who must we answer?

HECTOR

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AENEAS

The noble Menelaus.

AENEAS

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HECTOR

O, you, my lord? by Mars his gauntlet, thanks! Mock not, that I affect the untraded oath; Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove: She's well, but bade me not commend her to you.

HECTOR

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MENELAUS

Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly theme.

MENELAUS

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HECTOR

O, pardon; I offend.

HECTOR

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NESTOR

I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft Labouring for destiny make cruel way Through ranks of Greekish youth, and I have seen thee, As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed, Despising many forfeits and subduements, When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i' the air, Not letting it decline on the declined, That I have said to some my standers by 'Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life!' And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath, When that a ring of Greeks have hemm'd thee in, Like an Olympian wrestling: this have I seen; But this thy countenance, still lock'd in steel, I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire, And once fought with him: he was a soldier good; But, by great Mars, the captain of us all, Never saw like thee. Let an old man embrace thee; And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.

NESTOR

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AENEAS

'Tis the old Nestor.

AENEAS

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HECTOR

Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle,That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time:Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.

HECTOR

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NESTOR

I would my arms could match thee in contention,As they contend with thee in courtesy.

NESTOR

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HECTOR

I would they could.

HECTOR

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NESTOR

Ha!By this white beard, I'ld fight with thee to-morrow.Well, welcome, welcome! I have seen the time.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

I wonder now how yonder city standsWhen we have here her base and pillar by us.

ULYSSES

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HECTOR

I know your favour, Lord Ulysses, well. Ah, sir, there's many a Greek and Trojan dead, Since first I saw yourself and Diomed In Ilion, on your Greekish embassy.

HECTOR

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ULYSSES

Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue: My prophecy is but half his journey yet; For yonder walls, that pertly front your town, Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds, Must kiss their own feet.

ULYSSES

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HECTOR

I must not believe you: There they stand yet, and modestly I think, The fall of every Phrygian stone will cost A drop of Grecian blood: the end crowns all, And that old common arbitrator, Time, Will one day end it.

HECTOR

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ULYSSES

So to him we leave it. Most gentle and most valiant Hector, welcome: After the general, I beseech you next To feast with me and see me at my tent.

ULYSSES

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ACHILLES

I shall forestall thee, Lord Ulysses, thou! Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee; I have with exact view perused thee, Hector, And quoted joint by joint.

ACHILLES

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HECTOR

Is this Achilles?

HECTOR

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ACHILLES

I am Achilles.

ACHILLES

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HECTOR

Stand fair, I pray thee: let me look on thee.

HECTOR

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ACHILLES

Behold thy fill.

ACHILLES

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HECTOR

Nay, I have done already.

HECTOR

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ACHILLES

Thou art too brief: I will the second time,As I would buy thee, view thee limb by limb.

ACHILLES

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HECTOR

O, like a book of sport thou'lt read me o'er; But there's more in me than thou understand'st. Why dost thou so oppress me with thine eye?

HECTOR

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ACHILLES

Tell me, you heavens, in which part of his body Shall I destroy him? whether there, or there, or there? That I may give the local wound a name And make distinct the very breach whereout Hector's great spirit flew: answer me, heavens!

ACHILLES

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HECTOR

It would discredit the blest gods, proud man, To answer such a question: stand again: Think'st thou to catch my life so pleasantly As to prenominate in nice conjecture Where thou wilt hit me dead?

HECTOR

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ACHILLES

I tell thee, yea.

ACHILLES

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HECTOR

Wert thou an oracle to tell me so, I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well; For I'll not kill thee there, nor there, nor there; But, by the forge that stithied Mars his helm, I'll kill thee every where, yea, o'er and o'er. You wisest Grecians, pardon me this brag; His insolence draws folly from my lips; But I'll endeavour deeds to match these words, Or may I never—

HECTOR

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AJAX

Do not chafe thee, cousin: And you, Achilles, let these threats alone, Till accident or purpose bring you to't: You may have every day enough of Hector If you have stomach; the general state, I fear, Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him.

AJAX

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HECTOR

I pray you, let us see you in the field:We have had pelting wars, since you refusedThe Grecians' cause.

HECTOR

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ACHILLES

Dost thou entreat me, Hector?To-morrow do I meet thee, fell as death;To-night all friends.

ACHILLES

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HECTOR

Thy hand upon that match.

HECTOR

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AGAMEMNON

First, all you peers of Greece, go to my tent; There in the full convive we: afterwards, As Hector's leisure and your bounties shall Concur together, severally entreat him. Beat loud the tabourines, let the trumpets blow, That this great soldier may his welcome know.

AGAMEMNON

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Exeunt all except TROILUS and ULYSSES

TROILUS

My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you,In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?

TROILUS

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ULYSSES

At Menelaus' tent, most princely Troilus: There Diomed doth feast with him to-night; Who neither looks upon the heaven nor earth, But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view On the fair Cressid.

ULYSSES

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TROILUS

Shall sweet lord, be bound to you so much,After we part from Agamemnon's tent,To bring me thither?

TROILUS

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ULYSSES

You shall command me, sir. As gentle tell me, of what honour was This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there That wails her absence?

ULYSSES

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TROILUS

O, sir, to such as boasting show their scars A mock is due. Will you walk on, my lord? She was beloved, she loved; she is, and doth: But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.

TROILUS

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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.