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In Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece
The princes orgillous, 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 regal, from the Athenian bay
Put forth toward Phrygia, and their vow is mades
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: Now on Dardan plains
The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
Their brave pavilions : Priam's six-gated city
(Dardan, and Thymbria, Ilias, Chetas, Troyan,
And Antenoridas) with massy staples,
And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
Sperrs 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 1
A prologue arm’d, but not in confidence
Of autkor's pen, or actor's voice; but suited:
in like conditions as oår argument,
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.
MARGARELON, a Bastard Son of Priam.
HELEN, Wife to Menelaus.
ANDROMACHE, Wife to HeEtor.
CASSANDRA, daughter to Priam, a Prophetess,
CRESSIDA, daughter to Calchas,
ALEXANDER, Cressida's Servant.
Boy, Page to Troilus.
Servant 1o Diomed.
Trojan and Greek Soldiers, with other Attendants.
SCENE, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.
Troy, PRIAM's Palace. Enter PANDARUS, and
Call here my varlet, I'll unarm again :
Why should I war without the walls of Troy,
That find such cruel battle here within ?
Each Trojan, that is master of his heart,
Let him to field ; Troilus, alast hath none.
Pan. Will this gear ne'er be mended ?
Tro. The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their
Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant ;
But I am' weaker than a woman's tear,
Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance ;
Less valiant than the virgin in the night,
And skill-less as unpractis'd infancy.
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.
Troi. Have I not tarry'd?
Pan. Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the boulting.
Troi. Have I not tarry'd ?
Pan. Ay, the boulting; but you must tarry the leavening.
Troi. Still have I tarry'd.
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.
Troi. 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 look'd yester-night fairer than ever
I saw her look; or any woman else.
Troi. 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 talk yesterday, as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit: but
Troi. O Pandarus ! I tell thee, Pandarus, 50
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
In Cressid's love: Thou answer'st, She is fair ;
Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart
Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait; her voice
Handlest in thy discourse :- O that her hand!
In whose comparison all whites are ink,
Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure
The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense 60
Hard as the palm of ploughman! This thou tell'st me,
As true thou tell’st me, when I say--I love her;
But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
The knife that made it.
Pan. I speak no more than truth.
Troi. 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.
70 Troi. Good Pandarus! How now, Pandarus ? Pan. I have had my labour for my travel ; ill