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Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but suited
To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
Leaps o'er the vaunt' and firstlings of those broils, 'Ginning in the middle; starting thence away
To what may be digested in a play.
Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are;
Now good, or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.
come in armour; not defying the audience, in confidence of either the author's or actor's abilities, but merely in a character suited to the subject, in a dress of war, before a warlike play.
the vaunt-] i. e. the avant, what went before.
} Trojan Commanders.
Calchas, a Trojan Priest, taking part with the Greeks.
Pandarus, Uncle to Cressida.
Margarelon, a bastard Son of Priam.
Agamemnon, the Grecian General:
Menelaus, his Brother.
Thersites, a deformed and scurrilous Grecian.
Alexander, Servant to Cressida.
Servant to Troilus; Servant to Paris; Servant to Diomedes.
Helen, Wife to Menelaus.
Andromache, Wife to Hector.
Cassandra, Daughter to Priam; a Prophetess.
Trojan and Greek Soldiers, and Attendants.
SCENE, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
SCENE I. Troy. Before Priam's Palace.
Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS.
Tro. Call here my varlet, I'll unarm again:
Tro. The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,
Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant;
Tamer than sleep, fonder' than ignorance;
Pan. Well, I have told you enough of this: for my part, I'll not meddle nor make no further. He, that will have a cake out of the wheat, must tarry the grinding.
Tro. Have I not tarried?
Pan. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the bolting.
Tro. Have I not tarried?
my varlet,] This word anciently signified a servant or
footman to a knight or warrior.
7 — fonder-] i. e. more weak, or foolish.
Pan. Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.
Tro. Still have I tarried.
Pan. Ay, to the leavening: but here's yet in the word-hereafter, the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the baking; nay, you must stay the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your lips.
Tro. Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be, Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do.
At Priam's royal table do I sit;
And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts,So, traitor! when she comes!When is she thence?
Pan. Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever I saw her look, or any woman else.
Tro. I was about to tell thee,-When my heart,
But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness,
Pan. An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's, (well, go to,) there were no more comparison between the women.-But, for my part, she is my kinswoman; I would not, as they term it, praise her, But I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit; but
Tro. O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus,When I do tell thee, There my hopes lie drown'd, Reply not in how many fathoms deep
They lie indrench'd. I tell thee, I am mad
• Doth lesser blench-] To blench is to shrink, start, or fly off.
Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart
Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice;
Writing their own reproach; To whose soft seizure
As true thou tell'st me, when I say-I love her;
Pan. I speak no more than truth.
Tro. Thou dost not speak so much.
Pan. 'Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be as she is: if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not, she has the mends' in her own hands.
Tro. Good Pandarus! How now, Pandarus? Pan. I have had my labour for my travel; illthought on of her, and ill-thought on of you: gone between and between, but small thanks for my labour.
Tro. What, art thou angry, with me?
Pan. Because she is kin to me, therefore, she's not so fair as Helen: an she were not kin to me, she would be as fair on Friday, as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not, an she were a black-a-moor; 'tis all one to me.
and spirit of sense
Hard as the palm of ploughman!] In comparison with Cressida's hand, says he, the spirit of sense, the utmost degree, the most exquisite power of sensibility, which implies a soft hand, since the sense of touching, as Scaliger says in his Exercitations, resides chiefly in the fingers, is hard as the callous and insensible palm of the ploughman.
she has the mends-] She may make the best of a bad bargain. This is a proverbial saying.