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Priam, King of Troy.
Grecian Commanders. Nestor, Diomedes, Patroclus, Thersites, a deformed and scurrilous Grecian. Alexander, servant to Cressida. Servant to Troilus ; Servant to Paris ; Servant to
Helen, wife to Menelaus.
Trojan and Greek Soldiers, and Attendants.
SCENE, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.
In Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece. The princes orgulous,' their high blood chaf'd, Have to the port of Athens sent their ships, Fraught with the ministers and instruments Of cruel war : Sixty and nine, that wore Their crownets rega), from the Athenian bay Put forth toward Phrygia : and their vow is made, To ransack Troy'; within whose strong immures The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen, With wanton Paris sleeps ; And that's the quarrel. To Tenedos they come; And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge Their warlike fraughtage: 2 Now on Dardan plains The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch Their brave pavilions : Priam's six-gated city, Dardan, and Tymbria, Ilias, Chetas, Trojan, And Antenorides, with massy staples, And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts, Sperr3 up the sons of Troy. Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits, On one and other side, Trojan and Greek, Sets all on hazard :-And hither am I come A prologue arm'd,
but not in confidence Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but suited In like conditions as our argument, To tell you, fair beholders, that our play Leaps o'er the vaunt 4 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.
1 Proud, disdainful. 2 Freight:
4 Avaunt, what went before,
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA,
SCENE I. Troy. Before Priam's Palace.
Enter TROILUS arm'd, and PANDARUS.
Call here my varlet, s I'll unarm again :
Pan. Will this geer ne'er be mended ?
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 ?
$ A servant to a knight.
Pan. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the bolting.
Tro. Have I not tarried ?
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 blenchs 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, As wedged with a sigh, would rive' in twain ; Lest Hector' or my father should perceive me, I have (as when the sun doth light a storm,) Bury'd this sigh in wrinkle of a smile : But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness, Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
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