TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, OR, TRVTH Found too Late. A TRAGEDY As it is Acted at the Dukes Theatre.

To which is Prefix'd, A Preface Containing the Grounds of Criticism in Tragedy.

Written By JOHN DRYDEN Servant to his Majesty.

Rectius, Iliacum carmen deducis in actus,
Quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus,

London, Printed for Abel Swall at the Unicorn at the West­end of S. Pauls. and Jacob Tonson at the Judges Head in Chan­cery lane near Fleet street, 1679.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE ROBERT EARL OF Sunderland, Principall Secretary of State, One of His Majesties most Honourable Privy Council, &c.

My Lord,

SInce I cannot promise you much of Poetry in my Play, 'tis but reasonable that I shou'd secure you from any part of it in my Dedication. And indeed I cannot better distinguish the exactness of your taste from that of other men, than by the plainness and sincerity of my Address. I must keep my Hyperboles in reserve for men of other understandings: An hungry Appetite after praise: and a strong digestion of it, will bear the grossnesse of that diet: But one of so criticall a judgement as your Lordship, who can set the bounds of just and proper in every subject, would give me small encouragement for so bold an undertaking. I more than suspect, my Lord, that you wou'd not do common Justice to your self: and therefore, were I to give that Character of you, which I think you truly merit, I wou'd make my appeal from your Lordship to the Reader, and wou'd justify my self from flattery by the publique voice, whatever protestation you might enter to the contrary. But [...] find I am to take other measures with your Lordship; I am to stand upon my guard with you, and to ap­proach you as warily as Horace did Augustus.

[Page] Cui male si palpere, recalcitrat undique tutus.

An ill tim'd, or an extravagant commendation, wou'd not pass upon you: but you wou'd keep off such a Dedicator at arms end; and send him back with his Encomiums, to this Lord, or that Lady, who stood in need of such triffling merchandise. You see, my Lord, what an awe you have upon me, when I dare not offer you that incense, which wou'd be acceptable to other Patrons: but am forc'd to curb my self, from a­scribing to you those honours, which even an Enemy cou'd not deny you. Yet I must confess I never practis'd that virtue of moderation (which is properly your Character) with so much reluctancy as now. For it hinders me from being true to my own knowledge, in not witnessing your worth; and deprives me of the only means which I had left to shew the world that true honour and uninteressed respect which I have always payed you. I would say somewhat, if it were possible, which might distinguish that veneration have for you, from the flatteries of those who adore your fortune. But the eminence of your condition, in this particular, is my unhappiness: for it renders whatever I would say suspected. Professions of Service, submissions, and attendance, are the practise of all men to the great: and com­monly they who have the least sincerity, perform them best; as they who are least ingag'd in love, have their tongues the freest to counterfeit a passion: for my own part, I never cou'd shake off the rustique bashfulness which hangs upon my nature; but valluing my self, at as little as I am worth, have been affraid to render even the common duties of respect to those who are in power. The Ce­remonious visits which are generally payed on such occasions, are not my tallent. They may be real even in Courtiers; but they ap­pear with such a face of interest, that a modest man wou'd think himself in danger of having his sincerity mistaken for his design. My congratulations keep their distance, and pass no farther than my heart. There it is, that I have all the joy imaginable when I see true worth rewarded; and virtue uppermost in the world.

If therefore there were one to whom I had the honour to be known; and to know him so perfectly, that I could say without flattery, he had all the depth of understanding that was requisite in any able Statesman, and all that honesty which commonly is wanting; that he was brave without vanity, and knowing with­out positiveness: that he was loyall to his Prince, and a lover of his Country; that his principles were full of moderation, and all his Councils such as tended to heal and not to widen the breaches of the Nation: that in all his conversation there appear'd a na­tive candour, and a desire of doing good in all his actions; if such [Page] an one whom I have describ'd; were at the helm, if he had risen by his merits, and were chosen out in the necessity and pressure of affairs, to remedy our confusions by the seasonableness of his ad­vice, and to put a stop to our ruine, when we were just rowl­ing downward to the precipice, I shou'd then congratulate the Age in which I liv'd, for the common safety; I should not despair of the Republique though Hannibal were at the gates; I should send up my vows for the success of such an action as Virgil did on the like occasion for his Patron, when he was raising up his country from the desolations of a civill war.

Hunc saltem everso juvenem succurrere seclo,
Ne superi prohibete.

I know not whether I am running, in this extasy which is now upon me: I am almost ready to reassume the ancient rights of Po­etry; to point out, and Prophecy the man, who was born for no lesse an undertaking▪ and whom posterity shall bless for its accomplishment. Methinks I am already taking fire from such a Character, and making room for him, under a borrow'd name amongst the Heroes of an Epique Poem. Neither could mine, or some more happy Genius, want encouragement under such a Patron.

Pollio amat nostram, quamvis sit rustica Musam.

But these are considerations afar off my Lord: the former part of the Prophecy must be first accomplish'd: the quiet of the [...]ation must be secur'd; and a mutuall trust, betwixt Prince and people be renew'd: and then this great and good man will have leisure for the or­naments of peace: and make our language as much indebted to his care, as the French is to the memorie of their famous Richelieu. You know My Lord, how low he lay'd the foundations of so great a work: That he began it with a Grammar and a Dictionary; without which all those Remarques and Observations, which have since been made, had been perform'd to as little purpose as it wou'd be to consider the furniture of the Rooms before the contrivance of the House. Propriety must first be stated, ere any measures of elegance can be taken. Neither is one Vaugelas sufficient for such a work. 'Twas the employment of the whole Academy for many years, for the perfect knowledge of a Tongue, was never attain'd by any single person. The Court, the Colledge, and the Town, must be joyn'd in it. And as our English is a composition of the dead and living Tongues, there is requir'd a [Page] perfect knowledge, not onely of the Greek and Latine, but of the Old German, the French and the Italian: and to help all these, a conversation with those Authours of our own, who have written with the fewest faults in prose and verse. But how bar­barously we yet write and speak, your Lordship knows, and I am sufficiently sensible in my own English. For I am often put to a stand, in considering whether what I write be the Idiom of the Tongue, or false Grammar, and nonsence couch'd beneath that specious Name of Anglieisme. And have no other way to clear my doubts, but by translating my English into Latine, and there­by trying what sence the words will bear in a more stable lan­guage. I am desirous if it were possible, that we might all write with the same certainty of words and purity of phrase, to which the Italians first arriv'd, and after them the French: At least that we might advance so far, as our Tongue is capable of such a standard. It wou'd mortify an English man to consider, that from the time of Boccace and of Petrarche, the Italian has varied very little: And that the English of Chaucer their contemporary is not to be understood without the help of an Old Dictionary. But their Goth and Vandall had the fortune to be graffed on a Roman stock: Ours has the disadvantage, to be founded on the Dutch. We are full of Monosyllables, and those clog'd with con­sonants, and our pronunciation is effeminate. All which are ene­mies to a sonnding language: 'Tis true that to supply our po­verty, we have trafficqued with our Neighbour Nations; by which means we abound as much in words, as Amsterdam does in Religions; but to order them, and make them usefull after their admission is the difficulty. A greater progress has been made in this, since his Majesties return, then perhaps since the conquest to his time. But the better part of the work remains unfinish'd: And that which has been done already, since it has only been in the practise of some few writers, must be digested into Rules and Method; before it can be profitable to the General. Will your Lordship give me leave to speak out at last? and to acquaint the world, that from your encouragement and patro­nage, we may one day expect to speak and write a language, worthy of the English wit, and which foreigners may not dis­dain to learn. Your birth, your Education, your naturall en­dowments, the former Employments which you have had abroad, and that which to the joy of good men you now exercise at home, seem all to conspire to this design: the Genius of the Na­tion seems to call you out as it were by name, to polish and a­dorn your native language, and to take from it the reproach of its barbarity. 'Tis upon this encouragement that I have adven­tur'd [Page] on the following Critique, which I humbly present you to­gether with the Play: In which, though I have not had the lei­sure, nor indeed the encouragement to proceed to the Principal Subject of it, which is the words and thoughts that are sutable to Tragedie; yet the whole discourse has a tendency that way, and is preliminary to it. In what I have already done, I doubt not but I have contradicted some of my former opinions, in my loose Essays of the like nature: but of this, I dare af­firm, that it is the fruit of my riper age and experience, and that self-love, or envy have no part in it. The application to English Authours is my own, and therein perhaps I may have err'd unknowingly: But the foundation of the rules is reason, and the authority of those living Critiques who have had the honour to be known to you abroad, as well as of the Ancients, who are not lesse of your acquaintance. Whatsoever it be, I submit it to your Lordships Judgment, from which I never will appeal, un­lesse it be to your good nature, and your candour. If you can allow an hour of leisure to the perusal of it, I shall be fortunate that I cou'd so long entertain you; if not, I shall at least have the satisfaction to know, that your time was more usefully employ'd upon the publique. I am,

My Lord,
Your Lordships most Obedient Humble Servant, John Dryden.

The PREFACE to the Play.

THe Poet Aeschylus was held in the same veneration by the Athe­nians of after Ages as Shakespear is by us; and Longinus has judg'd, in favour of him, that he had a noble boldnesse of expres­sion, and that his imaginations were lofty and Heroick: but on the other side Quintilian affirms, that he was daring to extrava­gance. 'Tis certain, that he affected pompous words, and that his sence too of­ten was obscur'd by Figures▪ Notwithstanding these imperfections, the value of his Writings after his decease was such, that his Countrymen ordain'd an e­qual reward to those Poets who could alter his Plays to be Acted on the Theater, with those whose productions were wholly new, and of their own. The case is not the same in England; though the difficulties of altering are greater, and our reverence for Shakespear much more just, then that of the Grecians for Aeschylus. In the Age of that Poet, the Greek tongue was arriv'd to its full perfection; they had then amongst them an exact Standard of Writing, and of Speaking: The English Language is not capable of such a certainty; and we are at present so far from it, that we are wanting in the very Foundation of it, a perfect Grammar. Yet it must be allow'd to the present Age, that the tongue in general is so much refin'd since Shakespear's time, that many of his words, and more of his Phrases, are scarce intelligible. And of those which we understand some are ungrammatical, others course; and his whole stile is so pester'd with Figurative expressions, that it is as affected as it is obscure. 'Tis true, that in his later Plays he had worn off somewhat of the rust; but the Tragedy which I have undertaken to correct, was, in all prrbability, one of his first endeavours on the Stage.

The Original story was Written by one Lollius a Lombard, in Latin verse, and Translated by Chaucer into English: intended I suppose a Satyr on the In­constancy of Women: I find nothing of it among the Ancients; not so much as the name once Cressida mention'd. Shakespear, (as I hinted) in the Aprenticeship of his Writing, model'd it into that Play, which is now call'd by the name of Troilus and Cressida; but so lamely is it left to us, that it is not divided into Acts: which fault I ascribe to the Actors, who printed it after Shakespear's death; and that too, so carelesly, that a more uncorrect Copy I never saw. For the Play it self, the Author seems to have begun it with some fire; the Cha­racters of Pandarus and Thersites, are promising enough; but as if he grew weary of his task, after an Entrance or two, he lets 'em fall: and the later part of the Tragedy is nothing but a confusion of Drums and Trumpets, Excur­sions and Alarms. The chief persons, who give name to the Tragedy, are left alive: Cressida is false, and is not punish'd. Yet after all, because the Play was Shakespear's, and that there appear'd in some places of it, the ad­mirable Genius of the Author; I undertook to remove that heap of Rubbish, un­der which many excellent thoughts lay wholly bury'd. Accordingly, I new model'd the Plot; threw out many unnecessary persons; improv'd those Cha­racters [Page] which were begun, and left unfinish'd: as Hector, Troilus, Panda­rus and Thersites; and added that of Andromache. After this, I made with no small trouble, an Order and Connexion of all the Scenes; removing them from the places where they were inartificially set: and though it was im­possible to keep 'em all unbroken, because the Scene must be sometimes in the City, and sometimes in the Camp, yet I have so order'd them that there is a coherence of 'em with one another, and a dependence on the main design: no leaping from Troy to the Grecian Tents, and thence back again in the same Act; but a due proportion of time allow'd for every motion. I need not say that I have refin'd his Language, which before was obsolete; but I am willing to acknowledg, that as I have often drawn his English nearer to our times So I have sometimes conform'd my own to his: & consequently, the Language is not altogether so pure, as it is sig­nificant. The Scenes of Pandarus and Cressida, of Troilus and Pandarus, of Andromache with Hector and the Trojans, in the second Act, are wholly New: together with that of Nestor and Ulysses with Thersites; and that of Thersites, with Ajax and Achilles. I will not weary my Reader with the Scenes which are added of Pandarus and the Lovers, in the Third; and those of Thersites, which are wholly alter'd: but I cannot omit the last Scene in it, which is almost half the Act, betwixt Troilus and Hector. The occasion of raising it was hinted to me by Mr. Betterton: the contrivance and working of it was my own. They who think to do me an injury, by saying that it is an imitation of the Scene betwixt Brutus and Cassius, do me an honour, by supposing I could imitate the incomparable Shakespear: but let me add, that if Shakespears Scene, or that faulty Copy of it in Amintor and Melantius had never been, yet Euripides had furnish'd me with an excellent example in his Iphigenia, between Agamemnon and Menelaus: and from thence indeed, the last turn of it is borrow'd. The occasion which Shakespear, Euripides, and Fletcher, have all taken, is the same; grounded upon Friendship: and the quarrel of two virtuous men, rais'd by natural degrees, to the extremity of pas­sion, is conducted in all three, to the declination of the same passion; and con­cludes with a warm renewing of their Friendship. But the particular ground­work which Shakespear has taken, is incomparably the best: Because he has not only chosen two the greatest Heroes of their Age; but has likewise interested the Liberty of Rome, and their own honors, who were the redeemers of it, in this debate. And if he has made Brutus who was naturally a patient man, to fly into excess at first; let it be remembred in his defence, that just before, he has re­ceiv'd the news of Portia's death: whom the Poet on purpose neglecting a little Chronology, supposes to have dy'd before Brutus, only to give him an occasion of being more easily exasperated. Add to this, that the injury he had receiv'd from Cassius, had long been brooding in his mind; and that a melancholy man, upon consideration of an affront, especially from a Friend, would be more eager in his passion, than he who had given it, though naturally more cholerick▪ Eu­ripides whom I have follow'd, has rais'd the quarrel betwixt two Brothers who were friends. The foundation of the Scene was this: The Grecians were wind-bound at the Port of Aulis, and the Oracle had said, that they could not [Page] Sail, unless Agamemnon deliver'd up his Daughter to be Sacrific'd: he re­fuses; his Brother Menelaus urges the publick safety, the Father defends him­self, by arguments of natural affection, and hereupon they quarrel. Agamem­non is at last convinc'd, and promises to deliver up Iphigenia, but so passio­nately laments his loss, that Menelaus is griev'd to have been the occasion of it, and by a return of kindness, offers to intercede for him with the Grecians, that his Daughter might not be sacrific'd. But my friend Mr. Rymer has so largly, and with so much judgement describ'd this Scene, in comparing it with that of Melantius and Amintor, that it is superfluous to say more of it: I only nam'd the heads of it, that any reasonable man might judge it was from thence I model'd my Scene betwixt Troilus and Hector. I will conclude my reflexi­ons on it, with a passage of Longinus, concerning Plato's imitation of Ho­mer: ‘We ought not to regard a good imitation as a theft; but as a beautifull Idea of him who undertakes to imitate, by forming himself on the invention and the work of another man; for he enters into the lists like a new wrestler, to dis­pute the prize with the former Champion. This sort of emulation says Hesiod, is honourable [...]—When we combat for Victory with a Hero, and are not without glory even in our overthrow. Those great men whom we propose to our selves as patterns of our imitation, serve us as a Torch, which is lifted up before us, to enlighten our passage; and often elevate our thoughts as high, as the conception we have of our Authors Genius.’

I have been so tedious in three Acts, that I shall contract my self in the two last. The beginning Scenes of the fourth Act are either added, or chang'd wholly by me; the middle of it is Shakespear alter'd, and mingled with my own, three or four of the last Scenes are altogether new. And the whole Fifth Act, both the Plot and the Writing are my own Additions.

But having written so much for imitation of what is excellent, in that part of the Preface which related only to my self; methinks it would neither be un­profitable nor unpleasant to enquire how far we ought to imitate our own Poets, Shakespear and Fletcher in their Tragedies: And this will occasion another enquiry, how those two Writers differ between themselves: but since neither of these questions can be solv'd unless some measures be first taken, by which we may be enabled to judge truly of their Writings: I shall endeavour as briefly as I can, to discover the grounds and reason of all Criticism, applying them in this place only to Tragedy. Aristotle with his Interpreters, and Horace, and Longinus, are the Authors to whom I owe my lights; and what part soever of my own Plays, or of this, which no mending could make regular, shall fall under the condemnation of such Iudges, it would be impudence in me to defend. I think it no shame to retract my errors, and am well pleas'd to suffer in the cause, if the Art may be improv'd at my expence: I therefore proceed to,

The Grounds of Criticism in Tragedy.

TRagedy is thus defin'd by Aristotle, (omiting what I thought unneces­sary in his Definition.) 'Tis an imitation of one intire, great, and proba­ble action; not told but represented, which by moving in us fear and pity, is [Page] conducive to the purging of these two passions in our minds. More largly thus, Tragedy describes or paints [...] Action, which Action must have all the proprie­ties above nam'd. First, it must be one or single, that is, it must not be a History of one Mans life: Suppose of Alexander the Great, or Julius Caesar, but one single action of theirs. This condemns all Shakespears Historical Plays, which are rather Chronicles represented, than Tragedies, and all double acti­on of Plays. As to avoid a Satyr upon others, I will make bold with my own Marriage-A-la-Mode, where there are manifestly two Actions, not de­pending on one another: but in Oedipus there cannot properly be said to be two Actions, because the love of Adrastus and Euridice has a necessary de­pendance on the principal design, into which it is woven. The natural reason of this Rule is plain, for two different independant actions, distract the attention and concernment of the Audience, and consequently destroy the intention of the Poet: If his business be to move terror and pity, and one of his Actions be Co­mical, the other Tragical, the former will divert the people, and utterly make void his greater purpose. Therefore as in Perspective, so in Tragedy, there must be a point of sight in which all the lines terminate: Otherwise the eye wan­ders, and the work is false. This was the practice of the Grecian Stage. But Terence made an innovation in the Roman: all his Plays have double Acti­ons; for it was his custome to Translate two Greek Comedies, and to weave them into one of his, yet so, that both the Actions were Comical; and one was principal, the other but secondary or subservient. And this has obtain'd on the English Stage, to give us the pleasure of variety.

As the Action ought to be one, it ought as such, to have Order in it, that is, to have a natural beginning, a middle, and an end: A natural beginning says Aristotle, is that which could not necessarily have been plac'd after ano­ther thing, and so of the rest. This consideration will arraign all Plays after the new model of Spanish Plots, where accident is heap'd upon accident, and that which is first might as reasonably be last: an inconvenience not to be remedyed, but by making one accident naturally produce another, otherwise 'tis a Farce, and not a Play. Of this nature, is the Slighted Maid; where there is no Scene in the first Act, which might not by as good reason be in the fifth. And if the Action ought to be one, the Tragedy ought likewise to conclude with the Acti­on of it. Thus in Mustapha, the Play should naturally have ended with the death of Zanger, and not have given us the grace Cup after Dinner, of Soly­man's divorce from Roxolana.

The following properties of the Action are so easy, that they need not my ex­plaining. It ought to be great, and to consist of great Persons, to distinguish it from Comedy; where the Action is trivial, and the persons of inferior rank. The last quality of the action is, that it ought to be probable, as well as admi­rable and great. 'Tis not necessary that there should be Historical truth in it; but always necessary that there should be a likeness of truth, something that is more then barely possible, probable being that which succeds or happens oftner than it mi [...]es. To invent therefore a probability, and to make it wonderfull, is the most difficult undertaking in the Art of Poetry: for that which is not won­derfull, [Page] is not great, and that which is not probable, will not delight a reason­able Audience. This action thus describ'd, must be represented and not told, to distinguish Dramatic Poetry from Epic: but I hasten to the end, or scope of Tragedy; which is to rectify or purge our passions, fear and pity.

To instruct delightfully is the general end of all Poetry: Philosophy instructs, but it performs its work by precept: which is not delightfull, or not so delight­full as Example. To purge the passions by Example, is therefore the particular instruction which belongs to Tragedy. Rapin a judicious Critic, has observ'd from Aristotle, that pride and want of commiseration are the most predomi­nant vices in Mankinde: therefore to cure us of these two, the inventors of Tragedy, have chosen to work upon two other passions, which are fear and pity. We are wrought to fear, by their seting before our eyes some terrible ex­ample of misfortune, which hapned to persons of the highest Quality; for such an action demonstrates to us, that no condition is privileg'd from the turns of Fortune: this must of necessity cause terror in us, and consequently abate our pride. But when we see that the most virtuous, as well as the greatest, are not exempt from such misfortunes, that consideration moves pity in us: and insen­sibly works us to be helpfull to, and tender over the distress'd, which is the noblest and most God-like of moral virtues. Here 'tis observable, that it is ab­solutely necessary to make a man virtuous, if we desire he should be pity'd: We lament not, but detest a wicked man, we are glad when we behold his crimes are punish'd, and that Poetical justice is done upon him. Euripides was cen­sur'd by the Critics of his time, for making his chief characters too wicked: for example, Phaedra though she lov'd her Son-in-law with reluctancy, and that it was acurse upon her Family for offending Venus; yet was thought too ill a pattern for the Stage. Shall we therefore banish all characters of villany? I confess I am not of that opinion; but it is necessary that the Hero of the Play be not a Villain: that is, the characters which should move our pity ought to have virtuous inclinations, and degrees of morall goodness in them. As for a perfect character of virtue, it never was in Nature; and therefore there can be no imitation of it: but there are allays of frailty to be allow'd for the chief Persons, yet so that the good which is in them, shall outweigh the bad; and consequently leave room for punishment on the one side, and pity on the other.

After all, if any one will ask me, whether a Tragedy cannot be made upon any other grounds, than those of exciting pity and terror in us▪ Bossu, the best of modern Critics, answers thus in general: That all excellent Arts, and particularly that of Poetry, have been invented and brought to perfection by men of a transcendent Genius; and that therefore they who practice afterwards the same Arts, are oblig'd to tread in their footsteps, and to search in their Writings the foundation of them: for it is not just that new Rules should destroy the authority of the old. But Rapin writes more particularly thus: That no passi­ons in a story are so proper to move our concernment as Fear and pity; and that it is from our concernment we receive our pleasure, is undoubted; when the Soul becomes agitated with fear for one character, or hope for another; then it is that we are pleas'd in Tragedy, by the interest which we take in their adventures.

[Page] Here therefore the general answer may be given to the first question, how far we ought to imitate Shakespear and Fletcher in their Plots; namely that we ought to follow them so far only, as they have Copy'd the excellencies of those who invented and brought to perfection Dramatic Poetry: those things only excepted which Religion, customs of Countries, Idioms of Languages, &c. have alter'd in the Superstructures, but not in the foundation of the design.

How defcctive Shakespear and Fletcher have been in all their Plots, Mr. Rymer has discover'd in his Criticisms: neither can we, who follow them, be excus'd from the same or greater errors; which are the more unpardon [...]le in us, because we want their beauties to counterveil our faults. The best of their de­signs, the most approaching to Antiquity, and the most conducing to move pity, is the King and no King; which if the Farce of Bessus were thrown away, is of that inferior sort of Tragedies, which end with a prosperous event. 'Tis pro­bably deriv'd from the story of OEdipus, with the character of Alexander the Great, in his extravagancies, given to Arbaces. The taking of this Play, amongst many others, I cannot wholly ascribe to the excellency of the action; for I finde it moving when it is read: 'tis true, the faults of the Plot are so evidently prov'd, that they can no longer be deny'd. The beauties of it must therefore lie either in the livel touches of the passions: or we must con­clude, as I think we may, that even in imperfect Plots, there are less degrees of Nature, by which some faint emotions of pity and terror are rais'd in us: as a less Engine will raise a less proportion of weight, though not so much as one of Archimedes making; for nothing can move our nature, but by some natural reason, which works upon passions. And since we acknowledge the effect, there must be something in the cause.

The difference between Shakespear and Fletcher in their Plotting seems to be this, that Shakespear generally moves more terror, and Fletcher more com­passion: For the first had a more Masculine, a bolder and more fiery Genius; the Second a more soft and Womanish. In the mechanic beauties of the Plot, which are the Observation of the three Vnities, Time, Place, and Action, they are both deficient; but Shakespear most. Ben. Johnson reform'd those errors in his Comedies, yet one of Shakespear's was Regular before him: which is, The Merry Wives of Windsor. For what remains concerning the design, you are to be refer'd to our English Critic. That method which he has prescrib'd to raise it from mistake, or ignorance of the crime, is certainly the best though 'tis not the only: for amongst all the Tragedies of Sophocles, there▪ is but one, OEdipus, which is wholly built after that model.

After the Plot, which is the foundation of the Play, the next thing to which we ought to apply our Iudgment is the manners, for now the Poet comes to work above ground: the ground-work indeed is that which is most necessary, as that upon which depends the firmness of the whole Fabric; yet it strikes not the eye so much, as the beauties or imperfections of the manners, the thoughts and the expressions.

The first Rule which Bossu, prescribes to the Writer of an Heroic poem, and which holds too by the same reason in all Dramatic Poetry, is to make the [Page] moral of the work; that is, to lay down to your self what that precept of morali­ty shall be, which you would insinuate into the people: as namely, Homer's, (which I have Copy'd in my Conquest of Granada) was, that Vnion pre­serves a Common-wealth, and discord destroys it. Sophocles, in his OEdipus, that no man is to be accounted happy before his death. 'Tis the Moral that di­rects the whole action of the Play to one center; and that action or Fable, is the example built upon the moral, which confirms the truth of it to our experi­ence: when the Fable is design'd, then and not before, the Persons are to be introduc'd with their manners, characters and passions.

The manners in a Poem, are understood to be those inclinations, whether natural or acquir'd, which move and carry us to actions, good, bad, or indiffe­rent in a Play; or which incline the persons to such, or such actions: I have an­ticipated part of this discourse already, in declaring that a Poet ought not to make the manners perfectly good in his best persons, but neither are they to be more wicked in any of his characters, than necessity requires. To produce a Vil­lain, without other reason than a natural inclination to villany, is in Poetry to produce an effect without a cause: and to make him more a Villain than he has just reason to be, is to make an effect which is stronger then the cause.

The manners arise from many causes: and are either distinguish'd by com­plexion, as choleric and phlegmatic, or by the differences of Age or Sex, of Climates, or Quality of the persons, or their present condition: they are like­wise to be gather'd from the several Virtues, Vices, or Passions, and many o­ther common-places which a Poet must be suppos'd to have learn'd from natural Philosophy, Ethics, and History; of all which whosoever is ignorant, does not deserve the Name of Poet.

But as the manners are usefull in this Art, they may be all compris'd under these general heads: First, they must be apparent, that is in every character of the Play, some inclinations of the Person must appear: and these are shown in the actions and discourse. Secondly the manners must be suitable or agreeing to the Persons; that is, to the Age, Sex, dignity, and the other general heads of Manners: thus when a Poet has given the Dignity of a King to one of his persons, in all his actions and speeches, that person must discover Majesty, Mag­nanimity, and jealousy of power; because these are sutable to the general man­ners of a King. The third property of manners is resemblance; and this is found­ed upon the particular characters of men, as we have them deliver'd to us by relation or History: that is, when a Poet has the known character of this or that man before him, he is bound to represent him such, at least not contrary to that which Fame has reported him to have been: thus it is not a Poets choice to make Ulysses choleric, or Achilles patient, because Homer has describ'd 'em quite otherwise. Yet this is a Rock, on which ignorant Writers daily split: and the absurdity is as monstrous, as if a Painter should draw a Coward running from a Battle, and tell us it was the Picture of Alexander the Great.

The last property of manners is, that they be constant, and equal, that is, maintain'd the same through the whole design: thus when Virgil had once gi­ven the name of Pious to Aeneas, he was bound to show him such, in all his [Page] words and actions through the whole Poem. All these properties Horace has hinted to a judicious observer. 1. Notandi sunt tibi mores, 2. aut famam sequere, 3. aut sibi convenientia [...]inge. 4. Servetur ad imum, qualis ab incaepto processerat, & sibi constet.

From the manners, the Characters of persons are deriv'd, for indeed the characters are no other than the inclinations, as they appear in the several per­sons of the Poem. A character being thus defin'd, that which distinguishes one man from another. Not to repeat the same things over again which have been said of the manners, I will only add what is necessary here. A character, or that which distinguishes one man from all others, cannot be suppos'd to consist of one particular Virtue, or Vice, or passion only; but 'tis a composition of quali­ties which are not contrary to one another in the same person: thus the same man may be liberal and valiant, but not liberal and convetous; so in a Comical character, or humour, (which is an inclination to this, or that particular fol­ly) Falstaff is a lyar, and a coward, a Glutton, and a Buffon, because all these qualities may agree in the same man; yet it is still to be observ'd, that one virtue, vice, and passion, ought to be shown in every man, as predominant over all the rest: as covetousness in Crassus, love of his Country in Brutus; and the same in characters which are feign'd.

The chief character or Hero in a Tragedy, as I have already shown, ought in prudence to be such a man, who has so much more in him of Virtue than of Vice, that he may be left amiable to the Audience, which otherwise cannot have any concernment for his sufferings: and 'tis on this one character that the pity and terror must be principally, if not wholly founded. A Rule which is ex­treamly necessary, and which none of the Critics that I know, have fully enough discover'd to us. For terror and compassion work but weakly, when they are di­vided into many persons. If Creon had been the chief character in OEdipus, there had neither been terror nor compassion mov'd; but only detestation of the man and joy for his punishment; if Adrastus and Euridice had been made more appearing characters, then the pity had been divided, and lessen'd on the part of OEdipus: but making OEdipus the best and bravest person, and even Jocasta but an underpart to him; his virtues and the punishment of his fatall crime, drew both the pity, and the terror to himself.

By what had been said of the manners, it will be easy for a reasonable man to judge, whether the characters be truly or falsely drawn in a Tragedy; for if there be no manners appearing in the characters, no concernment for the per­sons can he rais'd: no pity or horror can be mov'd, but by vice or virtue, there­fore without them, no person can have any business in the Play. If the in­clinations be obscure, 'tis a sign the Poet is in the dark, and knows not what manner of man be presents to you; and consequently you can have no Idea, or very imperfect, of that man: nor can judge what resolutions he ought to take; or what words or actions are proper for him: Most Comedies made up of acci­dents, or adventures, are liable to fall into this error: and Tragedies with many turns are subject to it: for the manners never can be evident, where the surprises of Fortune take up all the business of the Stage; and where the Poet is [Page] more in pain, to tell you that hapned to such a man, than what he was. 'Tis one of the excellencies of Shakespear, that the manners of his persons are gene­rally apparent; and you see their bent and inclinations. Fletcher comes far short of him in this, as indeed he does almost in every thing: there are but glim­merings of manners in most of his Comedies, which run upon adventures: and in his Tragedies, Rollo, Otto, the King and No King, Melantius, and many others of his best, are but Pictures shown you in the twi-light; you know not whether they resemble vice, or virtue, and they are either good bad, or in­different, as the present Scene requires it. But of all Poets, this commendation is to be given to Ben. Johnson, that the manners even of the most inconsiderable persons in his Plays are every where apparent.

By considering the Second quality of manners, which is that they be sutable to the Age, Quality, Country, Dignity, &c. of the character, we may likewise judge whether a Poet has follow'd Nature. In this kinde Sophocles and Euri­pides, have more excell'd among the Greeks than Aeschylus: and Terence, more then Plautus among the Romans: Thus Sophocles gives to OEdipus the true qualities of a King, in both those Plays which bear his Name: but in the latter which is the OEdipus Colonoeus, he lets fall on purpose his Tragic Stile, his Hero speaks not in the Arbitrary tone; but remembers in the softness of his complaints, that he is an unfortunate blind Old-man, that he is banish'd from his Country, and persecuted by his next Relations. The present French Poets are generally accus'd, that wheresoever they lay the Scene, or in whatso­ever Age, the manners of their Heroes are wholly French: Racin's Bajazet is bred at Constantinople; but his civilities are convey'd to him by some se­cret passage, from Versailles into the Seraglio. But our Shakespear, having ascrib'd to Henry the Fourth the character of a King, and of a Father, gives him the perfect manners of each Relation, when either he transacts with his Son, or with his Subjects. Fletcher, on the other side gives neither to Arba­ces, nor to his King in the Maids Tragedy, the qualities which are sutable to a Monarch: though he may be excus'd a little in the latter; for the King there is not uppermost in the character; 'tis the Lover of Evadne, who is King only, in a second consideration; and though he be unjust, and has other faults which shall be nameless, yet he is not the Hero of the Play: 'tis true we finde him a lawfull Prince, (though I never heard of any King that was in Rhodes) and therefore Mr. Rymers Criticism stands good; that he should not be shown in so vicious a character. Sophocles has been more judicious in his Antigona for though he represent in Creon a bloody Prince, yet he makes him not a lawful King, but an Vsurper, and Antigona her self is the Heroin of the Tragedy: But when Philaster wounds Arethusa and the Boy; and Perigot his Mistress, in the faithfull Sheperdess, both these are contrary to the character of Manhood: Nor is Valentinian manag'd much better, for though Fletcher has taken his Picture truly, and shown him as he was, an effeminate voluptuous man, yet he has forgotten that he was an Emperor, and has given him none of those Royal marks, which ought to appear in a lawfull Successor of the Throne. If it be en­quir'd, what Fletcher should have done on this occasion; ought he not to have [Page] represented Valentinian as he was? Bossu shall answer this question for me, by an instance of the like nature: Mauritius the Greek Emperor, was a Prince far surpassing Valentinian, for he was indu [...]d with many Kingly virtues; he was Religious, Mercifull, and Valiant, but withall he was noted of extream covetousness, a vice which is contrary to the character of a Hero, or a Prince: therefore says the Critic, that Emperor was no fit person to be represented in a Tragedy, unless his good qualities were only to be shown, and his covetousness (which sullyed them all) were slur'd over by the artifice of the Poet. To return once more to Shakespear; no man ever drew so many characters, or generally distinguished 'em better from one another, excepting only Johnson: I will in­stance but in one, to show the copiousnesls of his Invention; 'tis that of Calyban, or the Monster in the Tempest. He seems there to have created a person which was not in Nature, a boldness which at first sight would appear intolerable: for he makes him a Species of himself, begotten by an Incubus on a Witch; but this as I have elsewhere prov'd, is not wholly beyond the bounds of credibility, at least the vulgar stile believe it. We have the separated notions of a spirit, and of a Witch; (and Spirits according to Plato, are vested with a subtil body; according to some of his followers; have different Sexes) therefore as from the distinct apprehensions of a Horse, and of a Man, Imagination has form'd a Centaur, so from those of an Incubus and a Sorceress, Shakespear has produc'd his Monster. Whether or no his Generation can be defended, I leave to Philosophy; but of this I am certain, that the Poet has most judiciously fur­nish'd him with a person, a Language, and a character, which will suit him, both by Fathers and Mothers side: he has all the discontents, and malice of a Witch, and of a Devil; besides a convenient proportion of the deadly sins; Gluttony, Sloth, and Lust, are manifest; the dejectedness of a slave is like­wise given him, and the ignorance of one bred up in a Desart Island. His per­son is monstrous, as he is the product of unnatural Lust; and his language is as hobgoblin as his person: in all things he is distinguish'd from other mortals. The characters of Fletcher are poor & narrow, in comparison of Shakespears; I remember not one which is not borrow'd from him; unless you will except that strange mixture of a man in the King and no King: So that in this part Shakespear is generally worth our Imitation; and to imitate Fletcher is but to Copy after him who was a Copyer.

Vnder this general head of Manners, the passions are naturally included, as belonging to the Characters. I speak not of pity and of terror, which are to be mov'd in the Audience by the Plot; but of Anger, Hatred, Love, Ambition, Iealousy, Revenge, &c. as they are shown in this or that person of the Play. To describe these naturally, and to move then artfully, is one of the greatest commendations which can be given to a Poet: to write pathetically, says Lon­ginus, cannot proceed but for a lofty Genius. A Poet must be born with this quality; yet, unless he help himself by an acquir'd knowledg of the Passions, what they are in their own nature, and by what springs they are to be mov'd, he will be subject either to raise them where they ought not to be rais'd, or not to raise them by the just degrees of Nature, or to amplify them beyond the natural [Page] bounds, or not to observe the crisis and turns of them, in their [...] and decay: all which errors proceed from want of Judgment in the Poet, and from being unskill'd in the Principles of Moral Philosophy. Nothing is more frequent in a Fanciful Writer, than to foil himself by not managing his strength: therefore, as in a Wrestler, there is first requir'd some measure of force, a well-knit body, and active Limbs, without which all instruction would be vain; yet, these be­ing granted, if he want the skill which is necessary to a Wrestler, he shall make but small advantage of his natural robustuousness: So in a Poet, his inborn vehe­mence and force of spirit, will only run him out of breath the sooner, if it be not supported by the help of Art. The roar of passion indeed may please an Audi­ence, three parts of which are ignorant enough to think all is moving which is noise, and it may stretch the lungs of an ambitious Actor, who will dye upon the spot for a thundring clap; but it will move no other passion than indignation and contempt from judicious men. Longinus, whom I have hitherto follow'd, con­tinues thus: If the passions be Artfully employ'd, the discourse becomes vehe­ment and lofty; if otherwise, there is nothing more ridiculous than a great passion out of season: And to this purpose he animadverts severely upon Aeschylus, who writ nothing in cold bloud, but was always in arapture, and in fury with his Audience: the Inspiration was still upon him, he was ever tearing it upon the Tripos; or (to run off as madly as he does, from one similitude to another) he was always at high floud of Passion, even in the dead Ebb, and lowest Water­mark of the Scene. He who would raise the passion of a judicious Audience, says a Learned Critic, must be sure to take his hearers along with him; if they be in a Calm, 'tis in vain for him to be in a huff: he must move them by degrees, and kindle with 'em; otherwise he will be in danger of setting his own heap of Stubble on a fire, and of burning out by himself without warming the company that stand about him. They who would justify the madness of Poetry from the Au­thority of Aristotle, have mistaken the text, & consequently the Interpretation: I imagine it to be false read, where he says of Poetry, that it is [...], that it had always somewhat in it either of a genius, or of a madman. 'Tis more probable that the Original ran thus, that Poetry was [...], That it belongs to a Witty man, but not to a madman. Thus then the Passions, as they are consider'd simply and in themselves, suffer violence when they are perpetu­ally maintain'd at the same height; for what melody can be made on that In­strument all whose strings are screw'd up at first to their utmost stretch, and to the same sound? But this is not the worst; for the Characters likewise bear a part in the general calamity, if you consider the Passions as embody'd in them: for it follows of necessity, that no man can be distinguish'd from another by his discourse, when every man is ranting, swaggering, and exclaiming with the same excess: as if it were the only business of all the Characters to contend with each other for the prize at Billingsgate; or that the Scene of the Tragedy lay in Bet'lem. Suppose the Poet should intend this man to be Cholerick, and that man to be patient; yet when they are confounded in the Writing, you cannot distin­guish them from one another: for the man who was call'd patient and tame, is only so before he speaks; but let his clack be set a going, and he shall tongue it as [Page] impetuously, and as loudly the errantest Hero in the Play. By this means, the characters are only distinct in name; but in reality, all the men and women in the Play are the same person. No man should pretend to write, who cannot tem­per his fancy with his Iudgment: nothing is more dangerous to a raw horse-man, than a hot-mouth'd Jade without a curb.

'Tis necessary therefore for a Poet, who would concern an Audience by de­scribing of a Passion, first to prepare it, and not to rush upon it all at once. Ovid has judiciously shown the difference of these two ways, in the speeches of Ajax and Ulysses: Ajax from the very beginning breaks out into his exclamations, and is swearing by his Maker.—Agimus proh Jupiter inquit. Ulysses on the contrary, prepares his Audience with all the submissiveness he can practice, & all the calmness of a reasonable man; he found his Iudges in a tranquillity of spirit, and therefore set out leasurely and softly with 'em, till he had warm'd 'em by de­grees; and then he began to mend his pace, and to draw them along with his own impetuousness: yet so managing his breath, that it might not fail him at his need, and reserving his utmost proofs of ability even to the last. The success you see was answerable; for the croud only applauded the spech of Ajax;

Vulgique secutum ultima murmur erat:—

But the Iudges awarded the prize for which they contended to Ulysses.

Mota manus Procerum est, et quid facundia possit
Tum patuit, fortisque viri and arma Disertus.

The next necessary rule is to put nothing into the discourse which may hin­der your moving of the passions. Too many accidents as I have said, incom­ber the Poet, as much as the Arms of Saul did David; for the variety of passions which they produce, are ever crossing and justling each other out of the way. He who treats of joy and grief together, is in a fair way of causing neither of those effects. There is yet another obstacle to be remov'd, which is pointed Wit, and Sentences affected out of season; these are nothing of kin to the violence of passion: no man is at leisure to make sentences and similes, when his soul is in an Agony. I the rather name this fault, that it may serve to mind me of my former errors; neither will I spare myself, but give an ex­ample of this kind from my Indian Emperor: Montezuma, pursu'd by his enemies, and seeking Sanctuary, stands parlying without the Fort, and de­scribing his danger to Cydaria, in a simile of six lines;

As on the sands the frighted Traveller
Sees the high Seas come rowling from afar, &c.

My Indian Potent ate was well skill'd in the Sea for an Inland Prince, and well improv'd since the first Act, when he sent his son to discover it. The Image had not been amiss from another man, at another time: Sed nunc non erat hisce locus: he destroy'd the concernment which the Audience might o­ther wise have had for him; for they could not think the danger near, when he had the leisure to invent a Simile.

If Shakespear be allow'd, as I think be must, to have made his Characters distinct, it will easily be infer'd that he understood the nature of the Passions: because it has been prov'd already, that confus'd passions make undistingui­shable [Page] Characters: yet I cannot deny that he has his failings; but they are not so much in the passions themselves, as in his manner of expression: he of­ten obscures his meaning by his words, and sometimes makes it unintelligible. I will not say of so great a Poet, that he distinguish'd not the blown puffy stile, from true sublimity; but I may venture to maintain that the fury of his fancy often transported him, beyond the bounds of Iudgment, either in coyn­ing of new words and phrases, or racking words which were in use, into the violence of a Catachresis: 'Tis not that I would explode the use of Metaphors from passions, for Longinus thinks 'em necessary to raise it; but to use 'em at every word, to say nothing without a Metaphor, a Simile, an Image, or description, is I doubt to smell a little too strongly of the Buskin. I must be forc'd to give an example of expressing passion figuratively▪ but that I may do it with respect to Shakespear, it shall not be taken from any thing of his: 'tis an exclamation against Fortune, quoted in his Hamlet, but written by some other Poet.

Out, out, thou strumpet fortune; all you Gods,
In general Synod, take away her Power,
Break all the spokes and fallyes from her Wheel,
And bowl the round Nave down the hill of Heav'n
As low as to the Fiends.

And immediately after, speaking of Hecuba, when Priam was kill'd be­fore her eyes:

The mobbled Queen ran up and down,
Threatning the flame with bisson rheum: a clout about that head,
Where late the Diadem stood; and for a Robe
About her lank and all or'e-teemed loyns,
A blanket in th' alarm of fear caught up.
Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd
'Gainst Fortune's state would Treason have pronounc'd;
But if the Gods themselves did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In mincing with his sword her Husband's Limbs,
The instant burst of clamor that she made
(Unless things mortal meant them not at all)
Would have made milch the burning eyes of Heav'n,
And passion in the Gods.

What a pudder is here kept in raising the expression of triffling thoughts. Would not a man have thought that the Poet had been bound Prentice to a Wheel-wright, for his first Rant? and had follow'd a Ragman, for the clout and blanket, in the second? Fortune is painted on a wheet; and therefore the writer in a rage, will have Poetical Iustice done upon every member of [Page] that Engin: after this execution, he bowls the Nave downhill, from Hea­ven, to the Fiends: (an unreasonable long mark a man would think;) 'tis well there are no solid Orbs to stop it in the way, or no Element of fire to con­sume it: but when it came to the earth, it must be monstrous heavy, to break ground as low as to the Center. His making milch the burning eyes of Hea­ven▪ was a pretty tollerable flight too; and I think no man ever drew milk out of eyes before him: yet to make the wonder greater, these eyes were burning. Such a sight indeed were enough to have rais' d passion in the Gods, but to ex­cuse the effects of it, he tells you perhaps they did not see it. Wise men would be glad to find a little sence couch'd under all those pompous words; for Bom­bast is commonly the delight of that Audience, which loves Poetry, but un­der stands it not: and as commonly has been the practice of those Writers, who not being able to infuse a natural passion into the mind, have made it their business to ply the ears, and to st [...] their Iudges by the noise. But Shake­spear does not often thus; for the passions in his Scene between Brutus and Cassius are extreamly natural, the thoughts are such as arise from the mat­ter, and the expression of 'em not viciously figurative. I cannot leave this Subject before I do justce to that Divine Poet, by giving you one of his passi­onate descriptions: 'tis of Richard the Second when he was depos'd, and led in Triumph through the Streets of London by Henry of Bullingbrook: the painting of it is so lively, and the words so moving, that I have scarce read any thing comparable to it, in any other language, Suppose you have seen al­ready the fortunate Vsurper passing through the croud, and follow'd by the shouts and acclamations of the people; and now behold King Richard entring upon the Scene: consider the wretchedness of his condition, and his carriage in it; and refrain from pitty if you can.

As in a Theatre, the eyes of men
After a well-grac'd Actor leaves the Stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious:
Even so, or with much more contempt, mens eyes▪
Did scowl on Richard: no man cry'd God save him:
No joyful tongue gave him His welcom home,
But dust was thrown upon his Sacred head,
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles
(The badges of his grief and patience)
That had not God (for some strong purpose) [...]
The hearts of men, they must [...]
And Barbarism it self have [...]

To speak justly of this whole matter; [...] that is discommended, [...] expression in its proper place; but 'tis a false measure of all these, something which is like 'em▪ and is not them: 'tis the Bristol-stone, which appears like a Diamond; 'tis an extravagant thought, instead of a sublime one; 'tis roaring madness in­stead [Page] of vehemence; and a sound of words, instead of sence. If Shakespear were stript of all the Bombast in the passions, and dress'd in the most vulgar words, we should find the beauties of his thoughts remaining; if his embroide­ries were burnt down, there would still be silver at the bottom of the melting-pot: but I fear (at least, let me fear it for my self) that we who Ape his soun­ding words, have nothing of his thought, but are all out-side; there is not so much as a dwarf within our Giants cloaths. Therefore, let not Shakespear suffer for our sakes; 'tis our fault, who succeed him in an Age which is more refin'd, if we imitate him so ill, that we coppy his failings only, and make a vir­tue of that in our Writings, which in his was an imperfection.

For what remains, the excellency of that Poet was, as I have said, in the more manly passions; Fletcher's in the softer: Shakespear writ better be­twixt man and man; Fletcher, betwixt man and woman: consequently, the one describ'd friendship better; the other love: yet Shakespear taught Flet­cher to write love; and Juliet, and Desdemona, are Originals. 'Tis true, the Scholar had the softer soul; but the Master had the kinder. Friendship is both a virtue, and a Passion essentially; love is a passion only in its nature, and is not a virtue but by Accident: good nature makes Friend­ship; but effeminacy Love. Shakespear had an Vniversal mind, which comprehended all Characters and Passions; Fletcher a more confin'd, and limited: for though be treated love in perfection, yet Honour, Ambiti­on, Revenge, and generally all the stronger Passions, he either touch'd not, or not Masterly. To conclude all; he was a Limb of Shakespear.

I had intended to have proceeded to the last property of manners, which is, that they must be constant; and the characters maintain'd the same from the beginning to the end; and from thence to have proceeded to the thoughts and expressions sutable to a Tragedy: but I will first see how this will relish with the Age. 'Tis I confess but cursorily written; yet the Judgment which is given here, is generally founded upon Ex­perience: But because many men are shock'd at the name of Rules, as if they were a kinde of Magisterial prescription upon Poets, I will conclude with the words of Rapin, in his reflections on Arisotles work of Poetry: If the Rules be well consider'd: we shall find them to be made only to reduce Nature into Method, to trace her step by step, and not to suffer the least mark of her to escape us: 'tis only by these, that probability in Fiction is maintain'd, which is the Soul of Poetry: they are founded upon good Sence, and Sound Reason, rather than on Authority; for, though Aristotle and Horace are produc'd, yet no man must argue, that what they write is true, because they writ it; but 'tis evident, by the ridiculous mistakes and gross absurdities, which have been made by those Poets who have taken their Fan­cy only for their guide, that if this Fancy be not regulated, 'tis a meer ca­price, and utterly incapable to produce a reasonable and judicious Poem.

The Prologue Spoken by Mr. Betterton, Representing the Ghost of Shakespear.

SEE, my lov'd Britons, see your Shakespeare rise,
An awfull ghost confess'd to human eyes!
Vnnam'd, methinks, distinguish'd I had been
From other shades, by this eternal green,
About whose wreaths the vulgar Poets strive,
And with a touch, their wither'd Bays revive.
Vntaught, unpractis'd, in a barbarous Age,
I found not, but created first the Stage.
And, if I drain'd no Greek or Latin store,
'Twas, that my own abundance gave me more.
On foreign trade I needed not rely
Like fruitfull Britain, rich without supply.
In this my rough-drawn Play, you shall behold
Some Master-strokes, so manly and so bold
That he, who meant to alter, found 'em such
He shook; and thought it Sacrilege to touch.
Now, where are the Successours to my name?
What bring they to fill out a Poets fame?
Weak, short-liv'd issues of a feeble Age;
Scarce living to be Christen'd on the Stage!
For Humour farce, for love they rhyme dispence,
That tolls the knell, for their departed sence.
Dulness might thrive in any trade but this:
'T wou'd recommend to some fat Benefice.
Dulness, that in a Playhouse meets disgrace
Might meet with Reverence, in its proper place.
The fulsome clench that nauseats the Town
Wou'd from a Iudge or Alderman go down!
Such virtue is there in a Robe and gown!
And that insipid stuff which here you hate
Might somewhere else be call'd a grave debate:
Dulness is decent in the Church and State.
But I forget that still 'tis understood
Bad Plays are best decry'd by showing good:
Sit silent then, that my pleas'd Soul may see
A Iudging Audience once, and worthy me:
My faithfull Scene from true Records shall tell
How Trojan valour did the Greek excell;
Your great forefathers shall their fame regain,
And Homers angry Ghost repine in vain.

Persons Represented, By

  • Hector. Mr. Smith.
  • Troilus. Mr. Betterton.
  • Priam. Mr. Percivall.
  • Aeneas. Mr. Ioseph Williams.
  • Pandarus. Mr. Leigh.
  • Calchas. Mr. Percivall.
  • Agamemnon. Mr. Gillo.
  • Ulysses. Mr. Harris.
  • Achilles. Mr. David Williams.
  • Ajax. Mr. Bright.
  • Nestor. Mr. Norris.
  • Diomedes. Mr. Crosby.
  • Patroclus. Mr. Boman.
  • Menelaus. Mr. Richards.
  • Thersites. Mr. Underhill.
  • Cressida, Mrs Mary Lee.
  • Andromache. Mrs Betterton.

TRVTH found too late. A TRAGEDY.


Enter Agamemnon, Menelaus, Ulysses, Diomedes, Nestor.
PRinces, it seems not strange to us nor new,
That after Nine years Seige Troy makes defence,
Since every Action of Recorded Fame
Has with long difficulties been involv'd,
Not Answering that Idea of the thought
Which gave it Birth, why then you Grecian Chiefs,
With sickly Eyes do you behold our labours,
And think 'em our dishonour, which indeed,
Are the protractive Tryals of the Gods,
To prove heroique Constancy in Men?
With due observance of thy Soveraign Seat
Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply,
Thy well-weigh'd words: In struggling with misfortunes,
Lyes the true proof of Virtue: on smooth Seas,
How many bawble Boats dare set their Sails,
And make an equall way with firmer Vessels!
But let the Tempest once inrage that Sea,
And then behold the strong rib'd Argosie,
Bounding between the Ocean and the Ayr
Like Perseus mounted on his Pegasus.
Then where are those weak Rivals of the Maine?
[Page 2] Or to avoid the Tempest fled to Port,
Or made a Prey to Neptune: even thus
Do empty show and true priz'd worth divide
In storms of Fortune.
Mighty Agamemnon!
Heart of our Body, Soul of our designs,
In whom the tempers, and the minds of all
Shou'd be inclos'd: hear what Vlisses speaks.
—You have free leave.
Troy had been down ere this, and Hectors Sword
Wanted a Master but for our disorders:
The observance due to rule has been neglected;
Observe how many Grecian Tents stand void
Upon this plain; so many hollow factions
For when the General is not like the Hive
To whom the Foragers should all repair,
What Hony can our empty Combs expect?
O when Supremacy of Kings is shaken,
What can succeed: How cou'd communities
Or peacefull traffick from divided shores,
Prerogative of Age, Crowns, Scepters, Lawrells,
But by degree stand on their solid base▪
Then every thing resolves to brutal force
And headlong force is led by hoodwink'd will,
For wild Ambition, like a ravenous Woolf,
Spurd on by will and seconded by power,
Must make an universal prey of all,
And last devour it self.
Most prudently Vlisses has discover'd
The Malady whereof our state is sick.
'Tis truth he speaks, the General's disdain'd
By him one step beneath, he by the next:
That next by him below: so each degree
Spurns upward at Superiour eminence:
Thus our distempers are their sole support;
Troy in our weakness lives, not in her strength.
The Nature of this sickness found, inform us
From whence it draws its birth?
The great Achilles whom opinion crowns
The chief of all our Host—
Having his ears buzz'd with his noisy Fame
Disdains thy Sovereign charge, and in his Tent,
Lyes mocking our designes, with him Patrocius
Upon a lazy Bed, breaks scurvil Jests
And with ridiculous and awkard action,
[Page 3] Which, slanderer, he limitation calls
Mimicks the Greclan chiefs.
As how Vlysses?
Ev'n thee the King of men he do's not spare
(The monkey Authour) but thy greatness Pageants
And makes of it Rehearsals: like a Player
Bellowing his Passion till he break the spring
And his rack'd Voice jar to his Audience;
So represents he Thee, though more unlike
Then Vulcan is to Venus.
And at this fulsome stuff, this wit of Apes,
The large Achilles on his prest Bed lolling,
From his deep Chest roars out a loud Applause,
Tickling his spleen, and laughing till he wheeze.
Nor are you spar'd Vlysses, but as you speak in Council
He hems ere he begins, then strokes his Beard,
Casts down his looks, and winks with half an Eye;
'Has every action, cadence, motion, tone,
All of you but the sence.
Fortune was merry
When he was born, and plaid a trick on Nature
To make a mimick Prince: he ne're acts ill
But when he would seem wise:
For all he says or do's from serious thought
Appears so wretched that he mocks his title
And is his own Buffoo.
In imitation of this scurril fool
Ajax is grown self-will'd as broad Achilles,
He keeps a Table too, makes Factious Feasts,
Rails on our State of War, and sets Thirsites
(A slanderous slave of an ore-flowing gall)
To level us with low Comparisons:
They tax our Policy with Cowardice
Count Wisdom of no moment in the War,
In brief, esteem no Act, but that of hand;
The still and thoughtful parts which move those hands
With them are but the tasks cut out by fear
To be perform'd by Valour.
Let this be granted, and Achilles horse
Is more of use then he: but you grave pair
Like time and wisdome marching hand in hand
Must put a stop to these incroaching Ills:
To you we leave the eare:
You who cou'd show whence the distemper springs
Must vindicate the Dignity of Kings.


Enter Pandarus, and Troilus.
Why should I fight without the Trojan walls
Who, without fighting, am ore 'thrown within:
The Trojan who is Master of a Soul
Let him to battel, Troilus has none.
Will this never be at an end with you?
The Greeks are strong and skillful to their strength
Fierce to their skill, and to their feirceness wary;
But I am weaker then a Womans tear,
Tamer then sleep, fonder then Ignorance:
And Artless as unpractic'd Infancy.

Well, I have told you enough of this; for my part I'll not meddle nor make any further in your Love: He that will eat of the Roastmeat, must stay for the kindling of the fire.


Have I not stay'd?


I, the kindling: but you must stay the spitting of the meat.


Have I not stay'd?


I, the spitting: but there's two words to a bargain: you must stay the roasting too.


Still have I stay'd: and still the farther off.


That's but the roasting, but there's more in this word stay; there's the taking off the Spitt, the making of the sawce, the dishing, the setting on the Table, and the saying Grace; nay you must stay the cooling too, or you may chance to burn your chaps.


At Priams table pensive do I sit, And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts (Can she be say'd to come, who ne're was absent!)


Well, she's a most ravishing creature; and she look'd Yester­day most killingly, she had such a stroke with her eyes, she cut to the quick with every glance of e'm.

I was about to tell thee, when my heart
Was ready with a sigh to cleave in two
Lest Hector, or my Father should perceive me,
I have with mighty anguish of my Soul
Just at the Birth stifled this still-born-sigh
And forc'd my face into a painful smile.

I measur'd her with my girdle Yesterday, she's not half a yard about the waste, but so taper a shape did I never see, but when I had her in my arms, Lord thought I, and by my troth I could not forbear sighing, if Prince Troilus had her at this advantage, and I were holding [Page 5] of the door.—And she were a thought taller, but as she is, she wants not an Inch of Hellen neither; but there's no more comparison between the Women—there was wit, there was a sweet tongue: How her words melteth in her mouth! Mercury wou'd have been glad to have had such a tongue in his mouth I warrant him.

I wou'd some body had heard her talk Yesterday, as I did:
Oh Pandarus, when I tell thee I am mad
In Cressid's Love, thou answer'st she is fair;
Praisest her eyes, her stature and her wit;
But praising thus, instead of oyl and balme,
Thou lay'st in every wound her Love has giv'n me
The Sword that made it.
I give her but her due.
Thou give'st her not so much.
Faith Ile speak no more of her, let her be as she is:
If she be a beauty 'tis the better for her, and she be not
She has the mends in her own hands for Pandarus.
In spight of me thou wilt mistake my meaning.
I have had but my labour for my pains,
Ill thought on of her, and ill thought on of you:
Gone between and between, and am ground in the Millstones
For my Labour.
What art thou angry Pandarus with thy friend?

Because she's my Niece, therefore she's not so fair as Hellen, and she were not my Niece, show me such another piece of Womans flesh; take her limb by limb, I say no more, but if Paris had seen her first, Menelaus had been no Cuckold: but what care I if she were a Black-moore, what am I the better for her face.


Say'd I she was not beautiful.


I care not if you did, she's a fool to stay behind her Father Calchas, let her to the Greeks; and so I'le tell her: for my part I am resolute, I'le meddle no more in your affairs.


But hear me!


Not I.


Dear Pandarus


Pray speak no more on't, Ile not burn my fingers in another bo­dy's business, I'le leave it as I found it, & there's an end.

[Exit Pandarus.
O Gods, how do you torture me?
I cannot come to Cressid but by him,
And he's as peevish to be woo'd to wooe,
As she is to be won.
Enter Aeneas.
How now, Prince Troilus; why not in the battle?
Because not there, this Womans answer suites me;
[Page 6] For Womannish it is to be from thence▪
What news Aeneas from the field to day?
Paris is hurt.
By whom?
By Menelaus. Hark what good sport
Alarum within▪
Is out of Town to day, when I hear such Musick
I cannot hold from dancing.
I'le make one,
And try to lose an anxious thought or two
In heat of action.
Thus Coward-like from love to War I run,
Seek the less dangers, and the greater shun.
[Exit Troil.
Enter Cressida.
My Lord Aeneas, who were those went by? I mean the Ladys!
Queen Hecuba, and Helien.
And whither go they?
Up to the Western Tower.
Whose height commands as subject, all the vale;
To see the battle, Hector whose patience
Is fix'd like that of Heav'n, to day was mov'd:
He chid Andromache, and strook his Armourer,
And as there were good Husbandry in War,
Before the Sun was up he went to field;
Your pardon Lady that's my business too.
Exit Aeneas.
Hectors a gallant Wariour.
Enter Pandarus.
What's that, what's that!
Good morrow Uncle Pandarus.
Good morrow Cousin Cressida: when were you at Court?
This morning Uncle!
What were you a talking when I came? was Hector arm'd,
And gone ere ye came? Hector was stirring early.
That I was talking of; and of his anger!

Was he angry say you? true he was so, and I know the cause: He was struck down yesterday in the battle, but he'll lay about him; he'll cry quittance with 'em to day I'le answer for him: and there's Troilus will not come far behind him; let 'em take heed of Troilus, I can tell 'em that too.


What was he struck down too?


Who, Troilus? Troilus is the betterman of the two.


Oh jupiter! there's no comparison, Troilus the better man!


What ▪ no comparison between Hector and Troilus? do you know a man if you see him?

[Page 7]

No, for he may look like a man, and not be one.


Well, I say Troilus is Troilus.


That's what I say, for I am sure he is not Hector.


No, nor Hector is not Troilus, make your best of that Neece!


Tis true, for each of 'em is himself.


Himself! alas poor Troilus! I wou'd he wer himself, welk the Gods are all sufficient, and time must mend or end: I wou'd he were himself, and wou'd I were a Lady for his sake. I would not answer for my Maidenhead,—No, Hector is not a better man than Troilus.


Excuse me.


Pardon me: Troilus is in the bud; 'tis early day with him, you shall tell me another tale when Troilus is come to bearing: and yet he'll not bear neither is some sence. No, Hector shall never have his virtues.


No matter.


Nor his beauty, nor his fashion, nor his wit, he shall have nothing of him.


They would not become him, his own are better.


How, his own better! you have no judgment Neece, Hellen her self swore tother day, that Troilus for a manly brown complexion, (for so it is, I must confess;) not brown neither.


No, but very brown.


Faith to say truth, brown and not brown: come I swear to you, I think Hellen loves him better then Paris: Nay I'm sure she does, she comes me to him tother day, into the bow window, and you know Troilus has not above three or four hairs on his chin.


That's but a bare commendation.


But to prove to you that Hellen loves him, she comes, and puts me her white hand to his cloven chin!


Has he been fighting then, how came it cloven?


Why, you know it is dimpled. I cannot choose but laugh to think how she tickled his cloven chin: She has a marvellous white hand I must needs confess.

But let that pass, for I know who has a whiter: Well Cousin I told you a thing yesterday, think on't, think on't.


So I do Uncle.


I'le besworn 'tis true; he will weep ye, and 'twere a man born in April.

[A Retreat sounded.

Hark, they are returning from the field; shall we stay and see 'em as they come by, sweet Neece do, sweet Neece Cressida.


For once you shall command me.


Here, here, here's an excellent place; we may see 'em here most bravely, and I'le tell you all their names as they pass by: but mark Troilus above the rest, mark Troilus, he's worth your marking.

[Page 8] Aeneas passes over the Stage.

Speak not so loud then.


That's Aeneas, Is't not a brave man that, he's a swinger, many a Grecian he has laid with his face upward; but mark Troilus, you shall see anon.

Enter Anthenor, passing.

That's Anthenor, he has a notable head-peece I can tell you, and he's the ablest man for judgment in all Troy, you may turn him loose i' faith, and by my troth a proper person: When comes Troilus? I'le show you Troilus anon, if he see me, you shall see him nod at me.

Hector passes over.

That's Hector, that, that, look you that, there's a fellow, go thy way Hector, there's a brave man Neece: O brave Hector, look how he looks! there's a countenance! is't not a brave man Neece?


I always told you so.


Is a not? it does a mans heart good to look on him, look you, look you there, what hacks are on his Helmet! this was no boys play i'faith, he laid it on with a vengeance, take it off whose who's will as they say! there are hacks Neece!


Were those with Swords.


Swords, or Bucklers, Faulchions, Darts, and Lances! any thing he cares not! and the devil come 'tis all one to him, by Jupiter he looks so terribly that I am half afraid to praise him.

Enter Paris.

Yonder comes Paris, yonder comes Paris, lookye yonder Neece; is't not a brave young Prince too! He draws the best bow in all Troy, he hits you to a span twelvescore level; who said he came home hurt to day: why this will do Hellen's heart good now! Ha! that I cou'd see Troilus now!

Enter Helenus.

Who's that black man Uncle?


That's Helenus, I marvel where Troilus is all this while? that's Helenus, I think Troilus went not forth to day; that's Helenus.


Can Helenus fight Uncle?


Helenus! No, yes, he'll fight indifferently well, I marvel in my heart what's become of Troilus? Hark! do you not hear the people cry Troilus? Helenus is a Priest and keeps a whore; he'll fight for's whore, or he's no true Priest I warrant him.

Enter Troilus passing over.

What sneaking fellow comes yonder?

[Page 9]

Where, yonder! that's Deiphobus: No I lye, I lye, that's Troilus, there's a man Neece! hem! O brave Troilus! the Prince of chivalry, and flower of fidelity!


Peace, for shame peace.


Nay but mark him then! O brave Troilus! there's a man of men Neece! look you how his Sword is bloody, and his Helmet more hack'd then Hectors, and how he looks, and how he goes! O admirable youth! he nere saw two and twenty. Go thy way Troilus, go thy way! had I a sister were a grace, and a daughter a Goddesse, he shou'd take his choice of 'em, O admirable man! Paris! Paris is dirt to him, and I warrant Hellen to change, wou'd give all the shooes in her shop to boot.

Enter Common Souldiers passing over.

Here come more.


Asses, fools dolts, dirt and dung, stuff and lumber: por­redg after meat? but I cou'd live and dye with Troilus. Nere look Neece, nere look, the Lyons are gone; Apes and Monkeys, the fag end of the creation. I had rather be such a man as Troilus, then Aga­memnon and all Greece.


There's Achilles among the Greeks, he's braveman!


Achilles! a Carman, a beast of burden; a very Camel, have you any eyes Neece, do you know a man! is he to be compar'd with Troilus!

Enter Page.

Sir, my Lord Troilus wou'd instantly speak with you.


Where boy, where!


At his own house, if you think convenient.


Good boy tell him I come instantly, I doubt he's wounded, farewell good Neece: But I'le be with you by and by.


To bring me Uncle!


I, a token from Prince Troilus.


By the same token you are a procurer Uncle.

[Exit Pandarus.
Cressida alone.
A strange dissembling Sex we Women are,
Well may we men, when we our selves deceive.
Long has my secret Soul lov'd Troilus.
I drunk his praises from my Uncles mouth,
As if my ears cou'd nere be satisfi'd;
Why then, why said I not, I love this Prince?
How cou'd my tongue conspire against my heart,
To say I lov'd him not, O childish love!
'Tis like an Infant froward in his play▪
And what he most desires, he throws away.
[Exit Cressida.


Priam, Hector, Troilus, Aeneas.
AFter th' expence of so much time and blood,
Thus once again the Grecians send to Troy.
Deliver Hellen, and all other loss
Shall be forgotten Hector, what say you to't?
Though no man less can fear the Greeks then I,
Yet there's no Virgin of more tender heart
More ready to cry out, who knows the consequence,
Then Hector is; for modest doubt is mix'd
With manly courage best, let Hellen go.
If we have lost so many lives of ours,
To keep a thing not ours; not worth to us
The vallue of a man, what reason is there
Still to retain the cause of so much ill?
Fy, fy, my noble Brother!
Weigh you the worth and honour of a King,
So great as Asia's Monarch in a scale
Of common ounces thus?
Are fears and reasons fit to be consider'd,
When a Kings fame is question'd?
Brother, she's not worth
What her defence has cost us.
What's ought but as 'tis vallued?
But vallue dwels not in opinion only:
It holds the dignity and estimation,
As well, wherein 'tis precious of it self.
As in the prizer, 'tis Idolatry
To make the Service greater than the God.
We turn not back the Silks upon the Merchant
When we have worn 'em: the remaining food
Throw not away because we now are full.
If you confess 'twas wisedome Paris went,
As you must needs; for you all cry'd go, go,
If you'll confess he brought home noble prize
As you must needs, for you all clapt your hands,
And cry'd inestimable: why do you now
So underrate the vallue of your purchase?
For let me tell you 'tis unmanly theft
When we have taken what we fear to keep!
There's not the meanest Spirit in our party
[Page 11] Without a heart to dare, or Sword to draw,
When Hellen is defended: none so noble
Whose life were ill bestowed, or death unfam'd,
When Helleu is the Subject.
So says Paris.
Like one besotted on e [...]eminate joys,
He has the honey still, but these the gall.
He not proposes meerly to himself
The pleasures such a beauty brings with it:
But he wou'd have the stain of Hellen's rape
Wip'd off in honourable keeping her.
Troilus and Aeneas you have sayd:
If saying superficiall things be reason.
But if this Hellen be anothers wife,
The Morall laws of Nature and of Nation's
Speak loud she be restor'd: thus to persist
In doing wrong, extenuates not wrong,
But makes it much more so: Hectors opinion
Is this, is in way of truth: yet ne'retheless
My sprightly Brother I encline to you
In resolution to defend her still:
For 'tis cause on which our Trojan honour
And common reputation will depend.
Why there you touch'd the life of our designe:
Were it not glory that we covet more
Then war and vengeance (beasts and womens pleasure)
I wou [...]d not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence: But oh my Brother
She is a subject of renoun and honour,
And I presume brave Hector wou'd not lose
The rich advantage of his future fame
For the wide worlds revenew:—I have business;
But glad I am to leave you thus resolv'd.
When such arms strike, ne're doubt of the success.
May we not guesse?
You may, and be deceiv'd.
[Exit. Troil.
A woman on my life: ev'n so it happens,
Religion, state affairs, whater'es the theme
It ends in women still.
Enter Andromache.
See here's your wife
To make that maxim good.
Welcome Andromache: your looks are cheerfull;
You bring some pleasing news.
[Page 12]
Nothing that's serious.
Your little Son Astyanax has employ'd me
As his Ambassadresse.
Upon what errand?
No less then that his Grandfather this day
Would make him, Knight: he longs to kill a Grecian:
For shou'd he stay to be a man, he thinks
Youll kill 'em all; and leave no work for him.
Your own blood, Hector.
And therefore he designes to send a challenge
To Agamemnon, Ajax, or Achilles
To prove they do not well to burn our fields;
And keep us coop'd like prisner's in a Town:
To lead this lazy life.
What sparks of honour
Fly from this child! the God's speak in him sure:
—It shall be so—I'le do't.
What means my Son?
To send a challenge to the boldest Greek;
Is not that Country ours? those fruitfull Fields
Wash'd by yo [...] Silver flood, are they not ours?
Those teeming Vines that tempt our longing eyes,
Shall we behold e'm? shall we call e'm ours
And date not make e'm so? by Heavens I'le know
Which of these haughty Grecians, dares to think
He can keep Hector prisner here in Troy.
If Hector only were a private Man,
This wou'd be courage, but in him 'tis madness.
The generall safety on your life depends;
And sho [...]'d you perish in this rash attempt
with a groan, would feel her Soul go out:
And breath her last in you.
The task you undertake is hazardous:
Suppose you win, what wou'd the profit be?
If Ajax or Achilles fell beneath
Your thundring Arm, wou'd all the rest depart?
Wou'd Agamemnon, or his injur'd Brother
Set sayl for this? then it were worth your danger:
But, as it is, we throw our utmost stake
Against whole heaps of theirs.
He tells you true.
Suppose one, Ajax, or Achilles lost.
They can repair with more that single lose:
has but one, one Hector.
No Aeneas?
[Page 13] What then art thou; and what is Troilus?
What will Astyanax be?
An Hector one day.
But you must let him live to be a Hector.
And who shall make him such when you are gone?
Who shall inst [...]nct his tenderness in arms,
Or give his childhood lessons of the war?
Who shall defend the promise of his youth
And make it bear in Manhood? the young Sappling
Is shrowded long beneath the Mother tree
Before it be transplanted from its Earth,
And trust it self for growth.
Alas, my Father!
You have not drawn one reason from yourself,
But publick safety, and my Sons green years:
In this neglecting that main argument
Trust me you chide my filiall piety:
As if I cou'd be won from my resolves
By Troy, or by my Son, or any name
More dear to me than yours.
I did not name my self; because I know
When thou art gone, I need no Grecian Sword,
To help me dye, but only Hectors loss.
Daughter, why speak not you? why stand you silent?
Have you no right in Hector, as a wife?
I would be worthy to be Hectors wife:
And had I been a Man, as my Soul's one
I had aspir'd a nobler name, his friend.
How I love Hector, (need I say I love him?)
I am not but in him:
But when I see him arming for his Honour,
His Country and his Gods, that martial fire
That mounts his courage, kindles ev'n to me▪
And when the Trojan Matrons wait him out
With pray'rs, and meet with blessings his return;
The pride of Virtue, beats within my breast,
To wipe away the sweat and dust of War:
And dress my Heroe, glorious in his wounds.
Come to my Arms, thou manlier Virtue come;
Thou better Name than wife! wou'dst thou not blush
To hug a coward thus?
Yet still I fear!
There spoke a woman, pardon Royal Sir;
Has he not met a thousand lifted Swords,
Of thick rank'd Grecians, and shall one affright him?
[Page 14] There's not a day but he encounters Armles;
And yet as safe, as if the broad brim'd Shield
That Pallas wears, were held 'twixt him and death.
Thou knowst me well; and thou shalt praise me more,
Gods make me worthy of thee!
You shall be
My Knight this day, you fhall not wear a cause
So black as Hellens rape upon your breast,
Let Paris fight for Hellen; guilt for guilt,
But when you fight for Honour and for me,
Then let our equal Gods behold an Act,
They may not blush to Crown.
Aeneas go.
And bear my Challenge to the Grecian Camp,
If there be one amongst the best of Greece,
Who holds his honour higher then his ea [...]e,
Who knows his valour, and knows not his fear;
Who loves his Mistress more then in confession:
And dares avow her beauty and her worth,
In other Arms then hers; to him this Challenge.
I have a Lady of more truth and beauty,
Then ever Greek did compass in his arms:
And will to morrow, with the Trumpets call,
Mid-way, between their Tents, and these our Walls,
Maintains what I have said, if any come
My Sword shall honour him, if none shall dare,
Then shall I say at my return to Troy,
The Grecian dames, are Sun-burnt, and not worth
The splinter of a Lance.
It shall be told 'em,
As boldly as you gave it.
Heav'n protect thee.
[Exeunt Omnes.


Pandarus, Cressida.

YOnder he stands poor wretch! there stands he, with such a look, and such a face, and such begging eyes; there he stands poor prisoner.


What a deluge of words do you pour out Uncle, to say just nothing?

[Page 15]

Nothing do you call it, is that nothing, do you call it nothing? why he looks for all the World, like one of your rescally Malefactors, just thrown off the Gibbet, with his cap down, his arms ty'd down, his feet sprunting, his body swinging, nothing do you call it? this is nothing with a vengeance.


Or, what think you of a hurt bird, that flutters about with a broken wing?


Why go to then, he cannot fly away then, then, that's certain, that's undoubted: there he lies to be taken up: but if you had seen him, when I said to him, take a good heart man, and follow me: and fear no colours, and speak, your mind man: she can never stand you: she will fall, and 'twere a leaf in Autumn.


Did you tell him all this without my consent?


Why you did consent, your eyes consented; they blab'd, they leer'd, their very corners blabb'd. But you'll say your tongue sayd no­thing. No I warrant it: your tongue was wiser; your tongue was bet­ter bred: your tongue kept its own counsell: Nay, I'le say that for you, your tongue sayd nothing. Well such a shamefac'd couple did I never see days o' my life: so fraid of one another; such ado to bring you to the business: well if this job were well over, if ever I lose my pains again wtth an awkard couple, let me be painted in the signe-post for the Labour in vain: fye upon't, fye upon't; there's no conscience in't: all honest people will cry shame on't.


Where is this Monster to be shown? what's to be given for a Sight of him?


Why ready money, ready money; you carry it about you: give and take is square-dealing; for in my conscience he's as errant a maid as you are: [...] was fain to use violence to him, to pull him hither: and he pull'd and I pull'd: for you must know he's absolutely the strongest youth in Troy: to'ther day he took Hellen is one hand, and Paris in to'ther, and danc'd 'em at one another at arms-end, and 'twere two Moppets: there was a back, there were bone and Sinnews: there was a back for you.


For these good procuring Offices you'l be damn'd one day Uncle.


Who I damn'd? faith I doubt I shall: by my troth I think I shall, nay if a man be damn'd for doing good, as thou saist, it may go hard with me.


Then I'le not see Prince Troilus? [...]e not be accessary to your damnation.


How, not see Prince Troilus? why I have engag'd, I have promis'd, I have past my word, I care not for damning, let me alone for damning; I vallue not damning in comparison with my word. If I am damn'd it shall be a good damning to thee girl, thou shalt be my [Page 16] heir, come 'tis a virtuous girl, thou shalt help me t [...] keep my word, thou shalt see Prince Troilus.


The ventures great.


No venture in the World, thy Mother ventur'd it for thee, and thou shalt venture it for my little Cousin that must be.


Weigh but my fears, Prince Troilus is young.—


Marry is he, there's no fear in that I hope, the fear were if he were old and feeble.


And I a woman.


No fear yet, thouart a Woman, and he's a Man, put them two together, put 'em together.


And if I shou'd be frail.—


There's all my fear that thou art not frail: thou shou'dst be frail, all flesh is frail.


Are you my Uncle, and can give this counsel to your own Brothers daughter.


If thou wert my own daughter a thousand times over, I cou'd do no better for thee; what wou'dst thou have girl, he's a Prince and a young Prince, and a loving young Prince! an Uncle dost thou call me, by Cupid I am a father to thee; get thee in, get thee in girl, I hear him coming. And do you hear Neice! I give you leave,

[Eeit Cressida.

to deny a little 'twill be decent: but take heed of obstinacy, that's a vice; no obstinacy my dear Niece.

Enter Troylus.

Now Pandarus.


Now, my sweet Prince! have you seen my Niece? no I know you have not.

No Pandarus; I stalk about your doors
Like a strange Soul upon the stygian banks
Staying for waftage: O be thou my Charon,
And give me a swift transportanee to Elysium,
And fly with me to Cressida.

Walk here a moment more: I'le bring her straight.


I fear she will not come: most sure she will not.


How not come, and I her Uncle! why I tell you Prince, she twitters at you. Ah poor sweet Rogue, ah little Rogue, now does she think, and think, and think again of what must be betwixt you two. Oh sweet,—oh sweet—O—what not come, and I her Uncle?


Still thou flatter'st me; but prithee flatter still; for I wou'd hope; I wou'd not wake out of my pleasing dream: oh hope how sweet thou art! but to hope always, and have no effect of what we hope!


Oh faint heart, faint heart! well there's much good matter in these old proverbs! No, she'll not come I warrant her; she has no [Page 17] blood of mine in her, not so much as will fill a flea: but if she does not come, and come, and come with a swing into your arms, I say no more, but she has renounc'd all grace, and there's an end.


I will believe thee: go then, but be sure:


No, you wou'd not have me go; you are indifferent: shall I go say you: speak the word then:—yet I care not: you may stand in your own light; and lose a sweet young Ladies heart: well, I shall not go then!


Fly, fly, thou tortur'st me.


Do I so, do I so! do I torture you indeed! well I will go.


But yet thou dost not go?


I go immediately, directly, in a twinkling, with a thought. yet you think a man never does enough for you: I have been labour­ing in your business like any Moyle. I was with Prince Paris this morn­ing, to make your excuse at night for not supping at Court: and I found him, faith how do you think I found him; it does my heart good to think how I found him: yet you think a man never does enough for you.


Will you go then, what's this to Cressida?


Why you will not hear a Man; what's this to Cressida? why I found him abed, abed with Hellena by my troth: 'tis a sweet Queen, a sweet Queen, a very sweet Queen;—but she's nothing to my Cou­sin Cressida; she's a blowse, a gipsie, a Tawney-moor to my Cousin Cressida: And she lay with one white arm underneath the whorsons neck: oh such a white, lilly white, round, plump arm it was—and you must know it was stript up to th'elbows: and she did so kisse him, and so huggle him:—as who shou'd say—


But still thou stay'st: what's this to Cressida?


Why I made your excuse to your Brother Paris; that I think's to Cressida; but such an arm, such a hand, such taper fingers, tother hand was under the bed-cloaths, that I saw not, I confess, that hand I saw not.


Again thou tortur'st me.


Nay I was tortur'd too; old as I am, I was tortur'd too: but for all that, I cou'd make a shift, to make him, to make your excuse, to make your father;—by Jove when I think of that hand, I am so ravish'd, that I know not what I say: I was tortur'd too.

[Troilus turns away discontented.

Well I go, I go; I fetch her, I bring her, I conduct her: not come quoth a, and I her Uncle!

Exit Pandarus.
Im'e giddy; expectation whirls me round:
The imaginary relish is so sweet,
That it enchants my sence; what will it be
When I shall taste that Nectar?
It must be either death, or joy too fine
[Page 18] For the capacity of human powers.
I fear it much: and I do fear beside,
That I shall lose distinction in my joys:
As does a battle, when they charge on heaps
A flying Enemy.
Re-enter Pandarus.

She's making her ready: she'll come straight, you must be witty now; she does so blush, and fetches her breath so short, as if she were frighted with a spright: 'tis the prettiest villain, she fetches her breath so short, as 'twere a new ta'ne Sparrow.

Just such a passion, does heave up my breast!
My heart beats thicker than a feavourish pulse:
I know not where I am, nor what I do:
Just like a slave, at unawares encountring
The eye of Majesty:—Leade on, I'le follow.
Exeunt together.

SCENE III. The Camp.

Nestor, Ulysses.
I have conceiv'd an embryo in my brain:
Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
What is't, Vlysses?
The [...]eeded pride,
That has to this maturity▪ blow [...] up
In rank Achilles, must or now be [...]ropt,
Or shedding, breed a nursery of [...]ike ill,
To overtop us all.
That's my opinion.
This challenge which [...] as brings from Hector,
However it be spred in general terms,
Relates in purpose only to Achilles.
And will it wake him to the answer think you?
It ought to do: whom can we else oppose
Who do [...]'d from Hector bring his honour off,
If not Achilles the Successe of this
Although particular, will give an Omen
Of good or bad, ev'n to the general cause.
Pardon me Nestor, if I contradict you.
Therefore 'tis fit Achilles meet not [...].
Let us like Merchants show our coursest [...],
And think perchance [...]
The lustre of our better yet unshown
Will show the better; let us not [...]
[Page 19] Our greatest warriour shou'd be match'd with Hector.
For both our honour and our shame in this,
Shall be attended with strange followers.
I see e'm not with my old eyes; what are they?
What glory our Achilles gains from Hector.
Were he not proud we all should share with him:
But he already is too insolent:
And we had better parch in A [...]rick Sun
Than in his pride, shou'd he scape Hector fair.
But grant he shou'd be foyl'd
Why then our common reputation suffers,
In that of our best Man: No, make a Lottery;
And by device let blockish Ajax draw
The chance to fight with Hector: among our selves
Give him allowance as the braver Man;
For that will physick the great Myrmidon,
Who swells with loud applause; and make him fall
His Crest, if brainless Ajax come safe off.
If not, we yet preserve a fair opinion,
That we have better men.
Now I begin to relish thy advice:
Come let us go to Agamemnon straight,
T'inform him of our project.
'Tis not ripe.
The skilfull Surgeon will not lanch a sore
Till Nature has digested and prepar'd
The growing humours to his healing purpose.
Else must he often grieve the patients sence,
When one incision once well-time'd woul'd serve:
Are not Achilles, and dull Ajax friends?
As much as fools can be.
That knot of friendsip first must be unty'd
Ere we can reach our ends; for while they love each other
Both hating us, will draw too strong a byasse,
And all the Camp will lean that way they draw:
For brutall courage is the Soldiers Idoll:
So, if one prove contemptuous, back'd by to'ther,
'Twill give the law to cool and sober sence,
And place the power of war in Mad-mens hands.
Now I conceive you; were they once divided,
And one of them made ours, that one would check
The others towring growth: and keep both low,
As Instruments, and not as Lords of war.
And this must be by secret coals of envy,
Blown in their brest: comparisons of worth;
[Page 20] Great actions weigh'd of each: and each the best,
As we shall give him voice.
Here comes Thersites.
Enter Thersites.
Who feeds on Ajax: yet loves him not, because he cannot love.
But as a Species, differing from mankinde,
Hatss all he sees; and rails at all he knows;
But hates them most, from whom he most receives.
Disda [...]ing that his lot shou'd be so low.
That he shou'd want the kindeness which he takes.
There's none so fit an Engine: Save ye Thersites.
Hayl noble Grecian, Thou relief of toyls,
Soul of our mirth, and joy of sullen war.
In whose converse our winter-nights are short,
And Summer-days not tedious.
Hang you both.
How hang us both!
But hang thee first, thou very reverend fool!
Thou sapless Oke, that liv'st by wanting thought.
And now in thy three hundreth year repin'st
Thou should'st be fell'd: hanging's a civil death,
The death of men: thou canst not hang: thy trunk
Is only fit for gallows to hang others.
A fine greeting.
A fine old Dotard, to repine at hanging
At such an Age! what saw the Gods in thee
That a Cock-Sparrow shou'd but live three years,
And thou shoud'st last three Ages! he's thy better;
He uses life: he treads himself to death.
Thou hast forgot thy use some hundred years:
Thou stump of Man, thou worn-out broom: thou lumber.
I'le hear no more of him, his poyson works;
What curse me for my age!
Hold, you mistake him, Nestor; 'tis his custome:
What malice is there in a mirthfull scene!
'Tis but a keen-edg'd Sword, spread o're with blame
To heal the wound it makes:
Thou beg'st a curse!
May'st thou quit scores then, and be hang'd on Nestor,
Who hangs on thee: thou lead'st him by the nose:
Thou paly'st him like a puppet; speak'st within him,
And when thou hast contirv'd some dark design
To loose a thousand Greeks; make dogs meat of us,
Thou layst thy Cuckows egg within his nest,
[Page 21] And mak'st him hatch it: teachest his remembrance
To lye; and say, the like of it was practis'd
Two hundred years ago; thou bring'st the brain;
And he brings only beard to vouch thy plots;
I'me no mans fool.
Then be thy own, that's worse.
He'll rail all day.
Then we shall learn all day.
Who forms the body to a gracefull carriage
Must imitate our awkard motions first;
The same prescription does the wise Thersites
Apply to mend our minds. The same he uses
To Ajax, to Achilles; to the rest;
His Satyrs are the phyfick of the Camp.
Wou'd they were poyson to't, Rats-bane and Hemlock:
Nothing else can mend you; and those two brawny fools.
He hits e'm right:
Are they not such my Nestor?
Dolt-heads, Asses.
And beasts of burthen; Ajax and Achilles!
The pillars, no, the porters of the war.
Hard-headed Rogues! Engines, meer wooden Engines,
Push'd on to do your work.
They are indeed.
But what a Rogue art thou
To say they are indeed: Heaven made e,m horses
And thou put'st on their harnesse: rid'st and spur'st e'm:
Usurp'st upon heav'ns fools, and mak'st e'm thine.
No: they are headstrong fools to be corrected
By none but by Thersites: thou alone
Canst tame, and train e'm to their proper use;
And doing this mayst claim a just reward
From Greece, and Royall Agamemnons, hands.
Ay, when you need a man, you talk of giving;
For wit's a dear commodity among you:
But when you do not want him, then stale porridge,
A starv'd dog wou'd not lap; and furrow water
Is all the wine we taste, give drabs and pimps:
He have no gifts with hooks at end of e'm.
Is this a Man, O Nestor to be bought!
Asia's not price enough! bid the world for him.
And shall this man, this Hermes, this Apollo,
Sit lagg of Ajax table? almost minstrell,
And with his presence grace a brainless feast?
Why they con sence from him grow wits by rote,
[Page 22] And yet, by ill repeating, libell hi [...]
Making his wit their nonsence: nay they scorn him;
Call him bought rayler, [...] tongue!
Play him for sport at meals▪ and kick him off.
Yes they can kick; my buttocks feel they can:
They have their Asses tricks: but I'Ie eat pebbles,
Ile starve;'tis brave to starve, 'tis like a Soldier;
Before I'Ie feed those wit-starv'd rogues with sence▪
They shall eat dry, and choke for want of wit,
Ere they be moisten'd with one drop of mine.
Ajax, and Achilles, two mudd-walls of fool,
That only differ in degrees of thicknesse.
I'de be reveng'd of both, when wine [...]umes high,
Set e'm to prate, to boast their brutall strength,
To vye their stupid courage, till they quarrell
And play at hard-head with their empty Skulls.
Yes; they shall but and kick; and all the while
Ile think they kick for me: they shall fell timber
On both sides; and then log-wood will be cheap.
And Agamemnon—
Pox of Agamemnon;
Cannot I do a mischief for my self
But he must thank me for't!
Vlyss. to Nestor.
Away; our work is done.
Exeunt Vlysses, Nestor.
Th [...]rs.
This Agamemnon is a King of clouts:
A chip in porredge.
Enter Ajax.
Set up to frighten Daws from Cherry trees.
A standard to march under!
Thou bitch-woolf! canst thou not hear! feel then.
Strikes him.
The plague of Greece, and Hellens Pox light on thee,
Thou mungrill masti [...]e; thou beef-witted Lord.
Speak then, thou mouldy leaven of the Camp.
Speak or Ile beat thee into handsomeness.
I shall sooner rayle thee into wit: thou canst kick, can't thou?
A red murrayn on thy Jades tricks!
Tell me the Proclamation:
Thou art proclaim'd a fool I think.
You whorson Cur take that.
[Strikes him.
Thou Scurvy valiant Asse.
Thou slave.
[Page 23]

Thou Lord!—I, do, do,—wou'd my buttocks were Iron for thy sake.

Enter Achilles. Patroclus.
Why how now Ajax! wherefore do you this?
How now Thersites, what's the matter man!

I say this Ajax wears his wit in's belly, and his guts in brains.


Peace fool.


I wou'd have peace; but the fool will not.


But what's the quarrell!


I bad him tell me the proclamation, and he rails upon me.


I serve thee not:


I shall cut out your tongue!


'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much sence as thou afterwards: Ile see you hang'd ere I come any more to your Tent: Ile keep where theres wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.—


Nay, thou shalt not go Thersites, till we have squees'd the venome out of thee: prithee inform us of this Proclamation.


Why you empty [...]uz-balls, your heads are full of nothing else but Proclamatio [...]s.


Tell us the news I say.


You say! why you never said any thing in all your life! But since you will know, 'tis proclam'd through the Army, that Hector is to cudgell you to morrow.


How cudgell him, Thersites!


Nay, you may take a childs part ont if you have so much cou­rage, for Hector has challeng'd the toughest of the Greeks: and [...]tis in dispute which of your two heads is the sonndest timber.

A knotty piece of work he' [...]l have betwi [...]t your noddles,
If Hector be to fight with any Greek [...],
He knows his Man.

Yes; he may know his man, without Art Magick.


So he had need: [...]or to my certain knowledge neither of you two are conjurers to inform him.

to Ajax.

You do not mean your self, sure.


I mean nothing


Thou mean'st so always.


Umh! mean nothing!


Jove if it be thy will, let [...] two fools q [...]arrell about nothing: 'tis a cause that's worthy of'em.

You say [...]d he knew his Man: is there [...] one?
One Man amongst the Greeks!
Since you will have it,
but one to fight with [...].
Then I am he;
[Page 24]

Weak Ajax.


Weak Achilles.


Weak indeed: God help you both!


Come, this must be no quarrell.


There's no cause for't.


He tells you true; you are both equall




I can brook no comparisons.


Nor I.


Well Ajax.


Well Achilles.


So now they quarrell in Monosyllables: A word and a blow, and't be thy will.


You may hear more.


I wou'd.





Exeunt severally.

Curse on them, they want wine: your tr [...]e fool will never fight without it. Or a drab a drab: Oh for a commodious Drabb betwixt 'em! wou'd Hell [...]n had been here! then it had come to something.

Dogs, Lyons, Bulls, for Females tear and gore:
And the Beast Man, is valiant for his whore.
Exit Thersites.


Enter Thersites.

SHall the Idiot Ajax use me thus! he beats me and I rail at him: O worthy satisfaction! wou'd I cou'd beat him, and he rail'd at me! Then there's Achilles, a rare Engineer: if Troy be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves: Now the Plague on the whole Camp, or rather the Pox: for that's a curse dependent on those that sight as we do for a Cuckolds queen.— What ho, my Lord Achilles.

Enter Patroclus.

Who's there, Thersites! Good Thersites come in and rail.


If I cou'd have remembred an Asse with gilt trappings, thou hadst not slip'd out of my contemplation. But 'tis no matter; thy self upon thy self: the common curse of manki [...]d, folly and ignorance be thine in great abundance: Heavens belsse thee from a Tutor; and discipline come not near thee.

I have said my prayers; and the devil Envy say Amen.
Where's Achilles!
[Page 25] Enter Achilles.

Who's there Thersites! why my digestion, why hast thou not serv'd thy self to my table, so many meals! come begin what's Agamemnon?


Thy Commander, Achilles: then tell me Pauroclus, what's Achilles?


Thy Benefactor Thersites; then tell me prithee what's thy self?


Thy knower, Patrcolus; then tell me, Patroclus, what art thou?


Thou mayst tell that know'st.


O, tell, tell. This must be very foolish: aud I dye to have my spleen tickled.


I'le decline the whole question. Agamemnon commands Achil­les, Achilles is my Benefactor, I am Patroclus knower; and Patroclus is a fool.


You Rascal?


He's a priviledge'd man, proceed Thersites. Ha! ha! ha! prithee proceed while I am in the vein of laughing.


And all thses foresaid men are fools: Agamemnon's a fool to offer to command Achilles: Achilles is a fool to be commanded by him, I am a fool to serve such a fool, and Patroclus is a fool positive.


Why am I a fool?


Make that demand to Heaven, it suffices me thou art one.


Ha, ha, ha! O give me ribs of steel, or I shall split with pleasure: now play me Nestor at a Night alarm: Mimick him rarely, make him cough and spet, and fumble with his gorget, and shake the rivits with his palsey hand; in and out, in and out, gad that's exceed­ing foolish.


Nestor shall not scape so, he has told us what we are; come what's Nestor?


Why he's an old wooden top, set up by father Time three hundred years ago, that hums to Agamemnon and Vlysses, and sleeps to all the world besides.


So let him sleep for I'le no more of him: O my Patroclus, I but force a smile, Ajax has drawn the lot, and all the praise of Hector mu [...]t be his.


I hope to see his praise upon his shoulders, in blows and bruises, his arms, thighs, and body, all full of fame; such fame as he gave me, and a wide hole at last full in his bosome, to let in day upon him, and discover the inside of a fool.


How he struts in expectation of honour! he knows not what he does.


Nay that's no wonder, for he never did.


Prithee say how he behaves himself?


O you would be learning to practice, against such another [Page 26] time.—Why he tosses up his head as he had built Castles ith' ayr; and he treads upward to 'em, stalks into th'Element, he surveys him­self, as 'twere to look for Ajax: he wou'd be cry'd, for he has lost himself, nay he knows no body; I said good morrow Ajax, and he replyed thanks Agamemnon.


Thou shalt be my Ambassador to him Thersites.


No, I'le put on his person, let Patroclus make his demands to me, and you shall see the pageant of Ajax.


To him Patroclus, tell him! humbly desire the valiant Ajax to invite the Noble Hector to my Tent: and to procure safe conduct for him from our Captain General Agamemnon.


Jove bless the mighty Ajax!




I [...]ome from the great Achilles.




Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his Tent.




And to procure him safe conduct from Agamemnon.




I, my Lord.




What say you to't?


Farewell with all my heart.


Your answer Sir!


If to morrow be a fair day, by eleven a clock it will go one way or tother, however he shall buy me dearly, fare you well with all my heart.


Why but he is not in this tune is he?


No, but he's thus out of tune, what Musick will be in him when Hector has knocked out his brains I know not, nor I care not, but if emptiness makes noise, his head will make melody.

My minde is troubled like a Fountain stir'd:
And I my self see not the bottom on't.

Wou'd the Fountain of his minde were clear; that he might see an Ass in't.


I had rather be a tick in a sheep, than such a valiant ignorance.

Enter Agamemnon, Ajax, Diomedes, Menelaus.

Look who comes here.


Patroclus, I'le speak with no body, come in after me Thersites.


Where's Achilles!

[Exeunt Achill. Thersites.

Within, but ill dispos'd my Lord.


We saw him at the opening of his Tent.


Let it be known to him that we are here.


I shall say so to him.

[Exit Patroclus.
[Page 27]

I know he is not [...]ick.


Yes, Lyon sick, sick of a proud heart, you may call it melan­choly; if yo'll humour him: but on my honour' tis no more than pride: a [...]d why shou'd he be proud?

Here comes Patroclus; but no Achilles with him.
Enter Patroclus.
Achilles bids me tell you he is sorry
If any thing more than your sport and pleasure
Did move you to this visit: he's not well,
And begs you wou'd excuse him, as unfit
For present business.
How! how's this Patroclus?
We are too well acquainted with these answers.
Though he has much desert, yet all his vertues
Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss.
We came to speak with him; you shall not erre
If you return we think him over-proud
And under-honest. Tell him this; and adde,
That if he over-hold his price so much
We'll none of him: but let him like an Engine
Not portable, lye lagg of all the Camp.
A stirring Dwarf is of more use to us
Then is a sleeping Gyant; tell him so.
I shall; and bring his answer presently.
I'le not be satisfi'd but by himself.
So tell him, Menelaus.
Exeunt Menelaus. Patroclus.
What's he more than another?
No more than what he thinks himself.

[...]s he so much! do you not think he thinks himself a better Man than me?


No doubt he does.


Do you think so?


No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant; but much more courteous.


Why shou'd a man be proud? I know not what pride is: I hate a proud man as I hate the ingendring of toads.

'Tis strange he should; and love himself so well.
Re-enter Menel.
Achilles will not to the field to morrow.
What's his excuse?
Why he relies on none
But his own will; possest he is with vanity:
What shou'd I say, he is so plaguy proud
That the death tokens of it are upon him;
And bode there's no recovery.
[Page 28] Enter Ulysses, Nector.
Let Ajax go to him.
O Agamemnon, let it not be so.
We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
When they go from Achill [...]s: shall that proud man
Be worship'd by a greater than himself,
One whom we hold our Idoll;
Shall Ajax go to him? No, Jove forbid,
And say in thunder, go to him Achilles.
O, this is well; he rubbs him where it itches.
If I go to him with my Gantlet clench'd,
I'le dash him or'e the face.
O no, you shall not go.
And'he [...]e proud with me I'le cure his pride: a paltry
Insolent fellow!
How he describes himself?

The crow chides blackness.—here is a man, but 'tis before his face, and therefore I am silent.

Wherefore are you? He is not envious as Achilles is.
Know all the world he is as valiant.

A [...]horson dogg that shall palter thus with us! wou'd a were a Trojan.

Thank Heav'n my Lord, you're of a gentle nature,
Praise him that got you, her that brought you forth;
But he who taught you first the use of Armes,
Let Mars divide Eternity; in two,
And give him half. I will not praise your wisedome.
Nestor shall do't; but pardon father Nestor,
Were you as green as Ajax, and your brain
Temper'd like his, you never shou'd excell him;
But be as Ajax is.
Shall I call you father?
I, my good Son.
Be rul'd by him Lord Ajax.
There is no staying here; the Hart Achilles
Keeps thicket, please it our great General.
I shall impart a counsell, which observ'd
May cure this Madmans pride.
In my own tent our talk will be more private▪
But nothing without Ajax:
He is the soul and substance of my councels
And I am but his shadow.
You shall see
I am not like Achilles,
Let us confer; and I'le give counsel too.
[Exeunt Omnes.


Pandarus, Troilus, Cressida.

Come, come, what need you blush? shame's a babie; swear the oathes now to her, that you swore to me: what are you gone again? you must be watch'd ere you are made tame must you? why don't you speak to her first!—Come draw this Curtain, and lets see your picture: alas a day, how loath you are to offend day­light!— (they kisse) that's well, that's well, nay you shall fight your hearts out ere I part you.—so so—so so—


You have bereft me of all words, fair Cressida.


Words, pay no debts; give her deeds;—what billing again! here's in witness whereof the parties interchangeably—come in, come in, you lose time both.


O Cressida, how often have I wish'd me here?


Wish'd my Lord!—the Gods grant! O my Lord.—


What shou'd they grant? what makes this pretty interr [...]pti­on in thy words?


speak I know not what!

Speak ever so; and if I answer you
I know not what, it shews the more of love.
Love is a child that talks in broken language,
Yet then he speaks most plain.
I finde it true, that to be wise and love
Are inconsistent things.
what blushing still, have you not done talking vet!
Well Unkle, what folly I commit, [...] detdcate to you.

I thank you for that: if my Lord get a boy of you, you'l give him me. Be true to my Lord, if he flinch Ile be hang'd for him— (Now am I in my kingdome!


You know your pledges now, your Unkles word and my firm faith.


Nay Ile give my word for her too: our kindred are constant: they are burrs I can assure you, they'll stick where they are thrown.

Boldness comes to me now, and I can speak:
Prince Troylus, I have lov'd you long.
Why was my Cressida then so hard to win?
Hard to seem wonn; but I was wonn my Lord.
What have I blabb'd, who will be true to us,
When we are so unfaithfull to our selves!
O bid me hold my tongue? for in this rapture.
Sure I shall speak what I shou'd soon repent.
But stop my mouth.
[Page 30]
A sweet command; and willingly obey'd.
Pretty I faith!
My Lord I do be [...]eech you pardon me,
'Twas not my purpose thus to beg a kisse.
I am asham'd: O heavens what have I done!
For thts time let me take my leave, my Lord.

Leave! and you take leave till to morrow morning, call me Cut.

Pray let me go.
Why what offends you, Madam?
My own company.
You cannot snun you self.
Let me go and try:
I have a kind of self resides in you.
Oh that I thought truth cou'd be in a woman!
(As if it can, I will presume in you)
That my integrity and faith might meet
The same return form her who has my heart.
How shou'd I be exaltted! but alas
I am more plain then dull simplicity!
And art less, as the infancy of truth.
In that I must not yield to you my Lord.
All constant Lovers shall, in future Ages,
Approve their truth by Troylus: when their verse
Wants similes as turtles to their mates:
Or true as flowing tides are to the Moon;
Earth to the Center: Iron to Adamant:
At last when truth is tir'd with repetition;
As true as Troylus shall crown up the verse,
And [...]anctify the Numbers.
Prophet my you be!
If I am false, or swerve from truth of love,
When time is old, and has forgot it self,
In all things else, let it remember me;
And after all comparisons of falshood
To stabb the heart of perjury in Maids;
Let it be said as false as Cressida.

Go to, little ones: a bargain made: here I hold your hand, and here my Cousins: if ever you prove false to one another, after I have taken such pains to bring you together: let all pitifull goers between, be call'd to the worlds end after my name, Pandars.

And will you promise that the holy Priest
Shall make us one for ever!
[Page 31]

Priests! marry hang 'em! they make you one! go in, go in, and make your selves one without a priest: I'le have no priests work in my house.


Ile not consent unless you swear.


I, do, do, swear; a pretty woman's worth an oath at any time. Keep or break as time shall try; but 'tis good to swear, for the saving of her credit: Hang e'm sweet Rogues they never expect a Man shou'd keep it. Let him but swear, and that's all they care for.

Heavens prosper me as I devoutly swear,
Never to be but yours.

Whereupon I will lead you into a chamber: and suppose there be a bed in't; as I fack, I know not: but you'll forgive me, if there be: away, away, you naughty hildings: get ye together, get you to­gether. Ah you wags, do you l [...]er indeed at one another! do the neyes twinkle at him! get you together, get you together.

[Leads them out.
Enoter at one door Aeneas with a Torch, at another Hector, Diomede with Torches,
So ho; who goes there? Aeneas!
Prince Hector!
Good morrow Lord Aeneas.
A valiant Greek, Aeneas; take his hand;
Witnesse the processe of your speech within;
You told how Diomede a whole week by days
Did haunt you in the field.
Health to you, valiant Sir,
During all business of the gentle truce;
But when I meet you arm'd, as black defiance
As heart can think, or courage execute.
Both one and to ther, Diomede embraces.
Our bloods are now in clam; and so, long health;
But when contention, and occasion meets,
By Jove I'le play the hunter for thy life,
And thou shalt hunt a Lyou that will fly
With his face backward: welcome Diomede
Welcome to Troy: now by Anchises Soul
No man alive can love in such a sort
The thing he means to kill, more excellently.
We know eath other well.
We do; and long to know each other worse
To Hect. my Lord, the King has sent for me in haste:
Know you the reason?
Yes: his purpose meets you,
It was to bring this Greek to Colchas's house.
[Page 32] Where Pandarus his Brother, and his Daughter
Fair Cressida reside: and there to render
For our Anthenor, now redeem'd from prison,
The Lady Cressida:
What! Has the King resolv'd to gratifie
That Traytor Colchos; who forsook his Country,
And turn'd to them, by giving up this pledge?
The bitter disposition of the time
Is such, though Colchos as a fugitive
Deserve it not, that we must free Anthenor
On whose wise Counsels, we can most rely:
And therefore Cressida must be return'd.
A word my Lord—(Your pardon Diomede)
Your Brother Troylus, to my certain knowledg,
Does lodge this night in Paudarus his house:
Go you before: tell him of our approach
Which will I fear be much
Unwelcome to him.
I assure you
Troylus had rather Troy were born to Greece
Than Cressida from Troy.
I know it well: and how he is beside,
Of hasty blood:
He will not hear me speak:
But I have noted long betwixt you two
A more than Brothers love: an awfull homage
The [...]iery youth pays to your elder vertue.
Leave it to me; I'le manage him alone:
Attend you Diomede; My Lord good morrow:
[to Diomed.
An urgent business takes me from the pleasure
Your company affords me; but Aeneas
With joy will undertake to serve you here,
And to supply my room.
to Diomed.
My Lord I wait you.
Exeunt severally.
[Diomede with Aeneas; Hector at another door.
Enter Pandarus: a Servant: Musick.

Softly, villain, softly; I would not for half Troy the Lo­vers should be disturb'd under my roof; listen rogue, listen, do they breathe?


Yes, Sir, I hear by some certain signes, the are both awaken.


That's as it shou'd be that's well aboth sides.


Yes faith they are both alive:—there was a creake! there was a creake: they are both alive and alive like; there was a creake: a ha boyes!—Is the musick ready?

[Page 33]

Shall they [...]trike up Sir!


Art thou sure they do not know the Parties?


They play to the Man in the Moon for ought they know.


To the Man in the Moon, ah Rogue! do they so indeed Rogue! I understand, thee: thou art a wag; thou art a wagg. Come towze rowze! in the name of love, strike up boys!

Musick. and then Song: during which Pandarus listens.


CAn life be a blessing,
Or worth the possessing,
Can life be a blessing if love were away?
Ah no! though our love all night keep us waking,
And though he torment us with cares all the day,
yet he sweetens he sweetens our pains in the taking,
There's an hour at the last, there's an hour to repay.
In every possessi [...]g,
The ravishing blessing,
In every possessing the fruit of our pain,
Poor lovers forget long ages of anguish,
Whate're they have suffer'd and done to obtain;
'Tis a pleasure, a pleasure to sigh and to languish,
When we hope, when we hope to be happy again.

Put up, and vanish; they are coming out; what a ferrup, will you play when the dance is done? I say vanish.

Exit Musick.

Good Ifaith; good ifarth! what hand in hand!— a fair quarrell, well ended! do, do, walk him, walk him; A good girl, a discreet girl: I see she'll make the most of him.

Enter Troil. and Cressida.
Farewell, my life! leave me and back to bed:
Sleep [...]eal those pretty eyes;
And tye thy sences in as soft a band
As Infants voyd of thought.
shewing himself.

How now, how now, how go matters! hear you Maid, hear you; where's my Cousin Cressida?

Go hang your self you naughty mocking Unkle:
You bring me to do ill and then you jeere me!
What ill have I brought you to do? say what if you dare now!
My Lord have I brought her to do ill?

Come, come, beshrew your heart; you'll neither be good your self, nor suffer others.

[Page 34]

Alas poor wench; alas poor Devil; [...]? wou'd anot (a naughty Man) let it sleep one [...] take him!

Knock. within.
Who's that at door? good Uncle go and see:
My Lord come you again into my chamber!
You smile and mock as if I meant naughtily!
Indeed, indeed!
Come y'are deceiv'd; I think of no such thing:
Knock again.
How earnestly they knock, pray come in:
I wou'd not for all Troy, you were seen here.
[Exeunt Troil. Cressida.
Who's there! whats the matter!
Will you beat down the house there!
Enter Hector.
Good morrow my Lord Pandarus; good morrow!
Who's there, Prince Hector! what news with you so early?
Is not my Brother Troilus here?
Here! what shou'd he do her [...]?
Come he is here my Lord, do not deny him:
It does import him much to speak with me.
Is he here say you? 'tis more than I know, I'le be sworn!
For my own part I came in late!—what shou'd he do here?

Come, come you do him wrong ere y'are aware; you'll be so true to him, that you'll be false to him: you shall not know he's here; but yet go fetch him hither:—goe.

[Exit Pandarus.
Enter Troilus.
I bring you Brother, most unwelcome news;
But since of force you are to hear it told,
I thought a friend and Brother best might tell it:
Therefore, befroe I speak, arm well your mind
And think y'are to be touch'd dev'n to the quick;
That so, prepar'd for ill you may be less
Surpris'd to hear the worst.
See Hector, what it is to be your Brother,
I stand prepar'd already.
Come, you are not,
I know you Troilus, you are hot and fiery:
You kindle at a wrong; and catch it quick
As stubble does the flame.
'Tis heat of blood
And rashness of my youth. I'le mend that errour:
Begin and try my temper.
Can you think
Of that one thing which most cou'd urge your anger
Drive you to madness, plunge you in despair,
[Page 35] And make you hate ev'n me?
There can be nothing.
I love you Brother, with that awful love
I bear to Heav'n, and to superior vert [...]e,
And when I quit this love you must be that
Which Hector near can be.
Remember well
What you have said: for when I claim your promise
I shall expect performance.
I am taught:
I will not rage.
Nor grieve beyond a man.
I won not be a woamn.
Do not Brother:
And I will tell my news, in terms so mild,
So tender, and so fearful to offend
As Mothers use to sooth their froward Babes;
Nay I will swear as you hve sworn to me,
That if some gust of passion swell your soul
To words intemperate, I will bear with you.
What wou'd this pomp of preparation mean?
Come you to bring me news of Priams death
Or Hecuba's
The Gods forbid I shou'd:
But what I bring is nearer you, more close,
An ill more yours,
There is but one that can be.
Perhaps 'tis that.
I'le not suspect my fate
So far, I know I stand possest of that.
'Tis well: consider at whose house I finde you.
Does it start you! I must wake you more:
Anthenor is exchang'd.
For whom.
It comes like thunder grumbling in a cloud,
Before the dreadfull break: if here it fall,
The subtile flame will lick up all my blood,
And in a moment turn my heart to ashes.
That Cressida for [...] is exchang'd
Because I knew 'twas harsh I wou'd not tell;
Not all at once; but by degrees and glimpses
I let it in, lest it might rush upon you
And quite orepower your Soul: in this I think
[Page 36] I show'd a friend: your part must follow next:
Which is, to curb your choler, tame your grie [...],
And bear it like a man.
I think I do
That I yet live to hear you: but no more:
Hope for no more: for shou'd some Goddess offer
To give her self and all her Heaven in change,
I wou'd not part with Cressida: so return
This answer as my last.
'Twill not be taken:
Nor will I bear such news.
You bore me worse.
Worse for your self; not for the general state,
And all our common fafety, which depends
On free'd Anthenors wisdome.
You wou'd say
That I'm the Man mark'd out to be unhappy;
And made the publick Sacrifice for Troy.
I wou'd say so indeed: for can you finde
A fate more glorious than to be that victime?
If parting from a Mistriss can procure
A Nations happiness, show me that Prince
Who dares to trust his future [...]ame so farr
To stand the shock of Annals, blotted thus
He sold his Country for a womans love?
O, she's my life, my being, and my Soul!
Suppose she were, which yet I will not grant,
You ought to give her up.
For whom!
The publick.
And what are they that I shou'd give up her
To make them happy? let me tell [...]ou Brother,
The publick, is the Lees of vulgar slaves:
Slaves, with the minds of slaves: so born, so bred:
Yet such as these united in a herd
Are call'd the publique: Millions of such Cyphers
Make up the publique sum: an Eagles life
Is worth a world of Crows: are Princes made
For such as these, who, were one Soul extracted
From all their beings, cou'd not raise a Man.—
And what are we, but for such men as these?
'Tis adoration, some say makes a God:
And who shou'd pay it, where wou'd be their Altars
Were no inferiour creatures here on Earth?
Ev'n those who serve have their expectances;
[Page 37] Degrees of happiness, which they must share,
Or they'll refuse to serve us.
Let e'm have it.
Let e'm eat, drink and sleep; the only use
They have of life:
You take all these away,
Unless you give up Cressida.
Let Paris give up Hellen: [...]he's the cause,
And root of all this mischief.
Your own suffrage
Condemns you there: you voted for her stay.
If one must stay, the other sha'not go.
She sha'not?
Once again, I say she shall not.
Our Father has decree'd it otherwise.
No matter.
How! no matter Troylus?
A King, and fathers will!
When 'tis unjust.
Come she shall go.
She shall? then I am dar'd.
If nothing else will do.
Answer me first;
And then Ile answer that: be sure I will;
Whose hand seal'd this exchange?
My Fathers first;
Then all the Council's after.
Was yours there?
Mine was there too.
Then you'r no more my friend:
And for your sake now mark me what I say,
She shall not go.
Go to, you are a boy,
A Boy! Im'e glad I am not such a Man,
Not such as thou; a traytor to thy Brother:
Nay more, thy friend: but friend's a Sacred name,
Which none but brave and honest men shou'd wear;
In thee 'tis vile; 'tis prostitute: 'tis Ayr;
And thus I puffe it from me.
Well, young Man,
Since I'me no friend (and oh that ere I was
To one so far unworthy) bring her out,
Or by our Fathers Soul, of which no part
Did ere descend to thee, Ile force her hence.
[Page 38]
I laugh at thee.
Thou dar'st not.
I dare more,
If urg'd beyond my temper: prove my daring,
And see which of us has the larger share
Of our great Fathers Soul.
No more, thou knowst me.
I do; and know my self.
All this ye Gods,
And for the Daughter of a fugitive,
A Traytor to his Country!
'Tis too much.
By Heaven too little; for I think her common,
How, Common!
Common as the tainted shambles,
Or as the dust we tread.
By Heaven as chaste as thy Andromache.
Hector lays his hand on Troylus his A [...]m; and Troylus does the same to him.
What! nam'st thou them together!
No; I do not:
For Cressida is first: as chaste as she,
But much more fair.
O patience, patience, Heaven!
Thou tempt'st me strangely: shou'd I kill thee now,
I know not if the Gods can be offended
Or think I slew a Brother; but be gone,
Be gone, or I shall shake thee into Atomes:
Thou know'st I can.
I care not if you cou'd.
walking off.
I thank ye Gods for calling to my minde
My promise that no words of thine shou'd urge me,
Beyond the bounds of reason: But in thee
'Twas brutall baseness, so forewa [...]'d to fall
Beneath the name of man: to spurn my kindness;
And when I offer'd thee (thou knowst how loth!)
The wholsome bitter cup o' friendly counsel.
To dash it in my face: farewel, farewel.
Ungratefull as thou art: hereafter use
The name of Brother; but of friend no mo [...]e.
[goi [...]g [...].
Wilt thou not break yet heart? stay Brother, stay▪
I promis'd too, but I have broke my vow,
And you keep yours too well▪
[Page 39]
What wouldst thou more?
Take heed, young man how you too [...]
For Heaven can witness'tis with much [...]
That I preserve my faith.
Else you wou'd kill me;
By all the Gods I wou'd.
I'me satisfi'd.
You have condemn'd me, and Ile do't my self;
What's life to him, who has no use of life?
A barren purchase, held upon hard terms!
For I have lost (oh what have I not lost!)
The fairest, dearest, kindest of her Sex,
And lost her ev'n by him, by him, ye Gods,
Who only cou'd, and only shou'd protect me!
And if I had a joy beyond that love,
A friend, have lost him too!
Speak that again:
(For I cou'd hear it ever:) [...]aidst tho [...] not
That if thou hadst a joy beyond that love
It was a friend? O saydst thou not a friend!
That doubting if was kinde: then thou'rt divided;
And I have still some part,
If still you have
You do not care to have it.
How, not care!
No, Brother, ca [...]e not.
Am I but thy Brother!
You told me I [...] call you friend no more.
How far my words were distant from my heart!
Know when I told thee so I lov'd thee most.
Alas! it is the use of human frailty
To fly to worst extremities with those
To whom we most are kind.
Is't possible!
Then you are still my friend!
Heaven knows I am!
And can forgive the Sallies of my passion?
For I have been too blame: oh much too blame:
Have said such words, nay done such actions too,
(Base as I am) that my aw'd, conscious Soul
[...] in my breast, nor dare I lift an eye
On him I have offended.
Peace be to thee
And calmness ever there. I blame thee not:
[Page 40] I know thou lov'st; and what can love not do!
I cast the wild disorderly account
Of all thy words and deeds on that mad passion;
I pity thee, indeed I pity thee:
Do; for I need it: let me lean my head
Upon thy bosome; all my peace dwells there;
Thou art some God, or much much more then man!
Alas! to lose the joys of all thy youth,
One who deserv'd thy love!
Did she deserve?
She did.
Then sure she was no common creature.
I said it in my rage, I thought not so.
That thought has bles'd me! but to lose this love.
After long pains, and after short po [...]ession.
I feel it for thee: Let me go to Priam,
I'le break this treaty off; or let me fight;
l'le be thy champion; and secure both her
And thee, and Troy.
It must not be, my Brother!
For then your errour would be more then mine:
l'le bring her forth, and you shall bear her hence;
That you have pitied me is my reward.
Go then; and the good gods restore her to thee,
And with her all the quiet of thy minde;
The triumph of this kindeness be thy own;
And heaven and earth this testimony yield,
That Friendship never gain'd a nobler field.
Exeunt severally.


Enter Pandarus, Cressida meeting.
I'St possible! no sooner got but lost!
The devil take Antenor: the young Prince will go mad:
A plague upon Anthenor! wou'd they had broke's neck.
How now! what's the matter! who was here!
Oh, oh!
Why sigh you so! O where's my Troilus? tell me sweet
Uncle what's the matter?
Wou'd I were as deep under the earth, as I am above it!
Oh the Gods, what's the matter?
Prithee get thee in, wou'd thou hadst never been born!
I knew thou woud'st be his death; oh poor Gentleman!
A plague upon Antenor?

Good Uncle, I beseech you on my knees, tell me what's the matter?


Thou must be gone girl; thou must be gone, to the fugitive Rogue Priest thy father, (and he's my brohter too, but that's all one at this time:) a pox upon Antenor.?

O ye immortal Gods, I will not go.
Thou must, thou must?
I will not: I have quite forgot my father;
I have no touch of birth; no spark of Nature:
No kinn, no blood, no life; nothing so near me
As my dear Troilus?
Enter Troilus.
Here, here, here, he comes sweet Duck!
O Troilus, Troilus!
[They both weep over each other, she running into [...]is armes.

What a pair of Spectacles is here! let me embrace too: Oh heart, sings(as the saying is) O heart, heavy heart, why sighst thou without breaking (where he answers again) because thou canst not ease thy smart, by friendship nor by speaking, there was never a truer rhime; 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?

Cressida, I love thee with so strange a purity
That the blest Gods, angry with my devotions
More bright in zeal, than that I pay their Altars,
Will take thee from my sight?
Have the Gods envy?
Pa [...]d▪
I, I, I, 'tis too plain a case!
[Page 42]
And is it true, that I must go from Troy?
A hastefull truth?
What, and from Troilus too?
From Troy and Troilus: and suddenly.
So suddenly 'tis counted but by minutes.
What not an hour allow'd for taking leave?
Ev'n that's bereft us too: our envious fates
Justle betwixt, and part the dear adieus
Of meeting lips, clasp'd hands, and lock'd embraces.
Aeneas within.
My Lord, is the Lady ready yet?
Hark, you are call'd: some say the Genius so
Cryes come, to him who instantly must dye.
Where are my tears! some rain to'lay this wind:
Or my heart will be blown up by th' roots!
Hear me my Love! be thou but true like me.
I true! how now, what wicked thought is this?
Nay, we must use expostulation kindly,
For it is parting from us:
I spoke not, be thou true, as fearing thee;
But be thou true, I said to introduce
My following protestation: be thou true,
And I will see thee.
You'll be expos'd to dangers.
I care not: but be true.
Be true again?
Hear why I speak it love.
The Grecian Youths are full of Grecian Arts:
Alas a kind of holy jealousie
Which I beseech you call a vertuous sin,
Makes me afraid how far you may be tempted.
O Heavens, you love me not!
Dye I, a villain then!
In this I do not call your faith in question
But my own merit.
Fear not; I'le be true
Then fate thy worst; for I will see thee love
Not all the Grecian host shall keep me out,
Nor Troy, though wall'd with fire, shou'd hold me in.
Aeneas within.
My Lord, my Lord Troilus: I must call you.

A mischief call him: nothing but Schreechowls? do, do, call again; you had best part 'em now in the sweetnesse of their love! l'le be hang'd if this Aeneas be the Son of [...], sor all his bragging. [Page 43] Honest Venu [...] was a Punk: wou'd she have parted Lovers: no he has not a drop of Venus blood in him: honest Ve [...]us was a Punk.

To Pand.
Prithee go out; and gain one minute more.

Marry and I will: follow you your business; lose no time,'tis very precious; go, Bill again: I'le tell the Rogue his own I warrant him.

Exit Pandarus.
What have we ga [...]n'd by this one minute more?
Only to wish another, and another
A longer struggling with the pangs of death.
O those who do not know what parting is
Can never learn to dye!
When I but think this sight may be our last,
If Jove cou'd set me in th [...] palce of A [...]las
And lay the weight of H [...]av'n and Gods upon me
He cou'd not presse me more.
Oh let me go that I may know my grief;
Grief is but guess'd, while thou art standing by:
But I too soon shall know what absence is.
Why 'tis to be no more: another name for death.
'Tis the Sunn parting from the frozen North;
And I, me thinks, stand on some cey cliff,
To watch the last low circles that he makes;
Till he sink down from Heav'n! O only Cressida,
If thou depart from me, I cannot live:
I have not soul enough to last for grief,
But thou shalt hear what grief has done with me.
If I could live to hear it, I were false,
But as a careful traveller who fearing
Assaults of Robbers, leaves his wealth behind,
I trust my heart with thee; and to the Greeks
Bear but an empty Casket.
Then, I will live; that I may keep that treasure:
And arm'd with this assurance, let thee go
Loose, yet secure as is the gentle Hawk
When whistled off she mounts into the wind,
Our love's, like Mountains high above the clouds,
Though winds and tempests beat their aged feet,
Their peaceful heads nor storm nor thunder know,
But scorn the threating rack that roles below,
Exeunt Ambo.


Achilles and Patroclus, standing in their Tent.
Ulysses, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Nestor, Ajax, passing over the Stage.
AChilles stands in th'entrance of his Tent:
Please it our General to pass strangely by him,
As if he were forgot, and Princes all
Look on him with neglectful eyes and scorn:
Pride must be cur'd by pride.
We'll execute your purpose, and put on
A form of strangness as we pass along
So do each Prince either salute him not
Or else disdainfully, which will shake him more
Then if not look'd on: I will lead the way.
What, comes the General to speak with me!
You know my mind; I'll fight no more with Troy.
What says Achilles, wou'd he ought with us?
Wou'd you, my Lord, ought with the General!
Nothing my Lord.
The better.
How do you, how do you!
What does the Cuckold scorn me!
How now Patroclus!
Good morrow Ajax▪
Good morrow.
I; and good next day too.
[Exeunt all but Achilles, and Patroclns.
What mean these fellows! know they not Achilles?
They pass by strangely; they were us'd to bow;
And send their smiles before 'em to Achilles,
To come as humbly as they us'd to creep, to holy Altars.
Am I poor of late!
'Tis certain, greatness once fall'n out with fortune
Must fall out with men too! what the declind is
He shall as soon read in the eyes of others
As feel in his own fall: for men like butter-flyes,
Show not their mealy wings but to the Summer.
'Tis known you are in love with Hector's Sister,
And therefore will not fight: and your not fighting
[Page 45] Draws on you this contempt: I oft have told you
A woman impudent and mannish grown
Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man,
In time of action: I'm condemn'd for this:
They think my little appetite to warr
Deads all the fire in you: but rowse your self,
And love shall from your neck unloose his folds;
Or like a dew drop from a Lyons Mane
Be shaken into ayr.
Shall Ajax fight with Hector?
Yes, and perhaps shall gain much honour by him.
I see my reputation is at stake.

O then beware, those wounds heal ill that men have giv'n themselves, because they give e'm deepest.

I'le do something:
But what I know not yet,—No more our Champion.
Re-enter Ajax, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Ulysses, Nest. Diomede, Trumpet
Here art thou daring combat, valiant Ajax.
Give with thy Trumpet, a loud note to Troy,
Thou Noble Champion, that the sounding ayr
May pierce the ears of the great challenger,
And call him hither.
Trumpet take that purse:
Now crack thy lungs, and split the sounding brass;
Thou blow'st for Hector.
[Trumpet sounds, and is answer'd from within.
Enter Hector, Aeneas, and other Troj [...]ns.
Yonder comes the Troop.
Aeneas, coming to the Greeks.
Health to the Grecian Lords; what shall be done
To him that shall be vanquish'd? or do you purpose,
A Victor should be known! will you the Knights,
Shall to the edg of all extremity,
Pursue each other, or shall be divided
By any voice or order of the [...]ield;
Hector bad ask.
Which way won'd Hector have it?
He cares not, he'll obey conditions.
'Tis done like Hector but securely done;
A little proudly, and too much dispising
The Knight oppos'd, he might have found his match.
If not Achilles, Sir, what is your name!
[Page 46]
If not Achill [...] nothing▪
Therefore Achilles, but who ere know this;
Great Hector knows no pride, weigh him but well,
And that which looks like pride is courtesy.
This Ajax is half made of Hectors blood,
In love whereof half Hector stays at home;
A Maiden battle! I perceive you then.
Go Diomede, and stand by valiant Ajax:
As you and Lord Aeneas shall consent,
So let the fight proceed or terminate.
[The Trumpets sound on both sides, while Aeneas and Diomede take their places, as Iudges of the Field: The Trojans and Grecians rank themselves on either side.
They are oppos'd already.
[Fight equal at fi [...]st, then Ajax has Hector at disadvantage: at last Hector closes, Ajax falls on one knee, Hector stands over him but striks not, and Ajax rises.
Aeneas throwing his G [...]tlet betwixt them.
Princes enough, you both have shown much valour.
And we as Judges of the Field declare;
The combat here shall cease.
I am not warm yet, let us fight again.
Then let it be as Hector shall determine.
If it be left to me, I will no more.
thou art my Aunt Hesion's Son;
The Obligation of our blood forbids us.
But were thy mixture Greek and Trojan so,
That thou cou'dst say, this part is Grecian all
And this is Trojan, hence thou shou'dst not bear
One Grecian limb, wherein my pointed Sword
Had not impression made, but Heav'n forbid
That any drop thou borrowst from my Mother,
Shou'd ere be drained by me, let me embrace thee Cousin:
By him who thunders thou hast sinnewy arms,
Hector wou'd have 'em fall upon him thus:—
Thine be the honour, Ajax.
I thank thee Hector,
Thou art too gentle, and too free a Man:
I came to kill thee Cousin, and to gain
A great addition from that glorious act:
But thou hast quite disarm'd me.
I am glad.
[Page 47] For 'tis the only way I cou'd [...] thee.
If I might in intreaty finde success,
I wou'd desire to see thee at my Tent.
'Tis Agamemnons wish, and great Achilles,
Both long to see the valiant Hector there.
Aeneas, call my Brother Troil [...]s to me;
And you two signe this friendly enterview.
[Agamemnon, and the cheif of both sides approch.
to Hect.
Worthy of Arms, as welcome as to one
Who wou'd be rid of such an Enemy.
To Troil.
My well fam'd Lord of Troy, no less to you.
I have, thou gallant Trojan seen thee often
Labouring for destiny, make cruel way,
Through ranks of Grecian youth, and I have seen thee
As swift as lightning spur thy Ph [...]ygian Steed,
And seen thee scorning many forfeit lives,
When thou hast hung thy advanc'd Sword ith' ayr,
Not leting it decline, on prostrate foes:
That I have said to all the standers by
Lo Jove is yonder, distributing life.
Let me embrace thee, good old Chroni le,
Who hast so long walkt hand in hand with time:
Most Reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.
I wonder now, how yonder City stands,
When we have here, her base and pillar by us.
I know your count'nance, Lord Vlysses well;
Ah Sir, there's many a Greek and Trojan dead,
Since first I saw your self and Di [...]mede,
In Ilion, on your Greekish Embassy.
Now Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;
I have with exact view perus'd thee Hector,
And quoted joint by joint.
Is this Achilles!
I am Achilles.
Stand fair, I prithee let me look on thee.
Behold thy fill.
Nay, [...] have done already.
Thou art too brief, I will the second time
As I wou'd buy thee, view thee limb by limb.
O, like a Book of sport thou read'st me ore;
But there's more in me then thou understand'st.
Tell me ye Heav'ns, in which part of his body
Shall [...] destroy him? there, or there, or there!
That I may give th'imagin'd wound a name,
And make di [...]tinct the very breach, whereout▪
[Page 48] Hectors great spirit flew! answer me Heavens!
Wert thou an Oracle to tell me this!
I'de not believe thee, henceforth guard thee well,
I'le kill the every where:
Ye Noble Grecians pardon me this boast,
His insolence draws folly from my lips,
But I'le endeavour deeds to match these words;
Else may [...] never.—
Do not cha [...]e thee Cousin,
And you Achilles let these threats alone:
You may have every day enough of Hector,
If you have stomack, the General State I fear
Can scarce intreat you to perform your boast.
I pray you let us see you in the field;
We have had paltry Wars, since you refus'd
The Grecian cause.
Ach [...]ll.
Dost thou entreat me Hector!
To morrow will [...] meet thee fierce as death;
To Night all peace.
Thy hand upon that match.
First all you Grecian Princes go with me,
And entertain great Hector, afterwards,
As his own leasure, shall concur with yours,
You may invite him to your several Tents.
[Exeunt Agam. Hect. Menel. Nestor, Diomede, together.
My Lord Vlysses.
Tell me I beseech you;
In what part of the field does Calehas lodg!
At Menelaus Tent;
There Diomede does feast with him to Night:
Who neither looks on Heaven or on Earth,
But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view,
On C [...]essi [...]a alone.
Shall I, brave Lord be bound to you so much
After we part from Agamemnons Tent.
To bring me thither!
I shall want on you.
As freely tell me, of what honour was
This Cressida in Troy? had she no Lovers there
Who mourn her absence?
O Sir, to such as boasting show their scars,
Reproof is due, she lov'd and was belov'd:
That's all I must impart. Lead on my Lord.
Exeunt Ulysses Troilus.
to Patro.
I'le heat his blood with Greckish wine to Night,
[Page 49] Which with my Sword I mean to cool to morrow.
Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.
Enter Thersites.
Here comes Thersites.
How now thou core of envy,
Thou crusty batch of Nature, what's the news?
Why thou picture of what thou seemst, thou Idoll of
Ideot worshippers, there's a Letter for thee.
From whence fragment?
Why thou full dish of fool, from Troy.
Well said adversity! what makes thee so keen to day?
Because a fool's my whetstone.
Meaning me?

Yes meaning thy no meaning; prithee be silent, boy, I pro­fit not by thy talk: Now the rotten diseases of the South, gut gripings, ruptures, Catarrhs; loads of gravell in the back, Lethargies, cold palsies, and the like, take thee, and take thee again; thou green Sarce­net flap for a sore eye, thou tassell of a prodigals purse, thou: Ah how the poor world is pester'd with such water-flys: such diminitives of nature.

My dear Patroclus, I am quite prevented
From my great purpose, bent on Hector's life:
Here is a Letter from my love Polixena,
Both taxing, and ingaging me to keep
An Oath that [...] have sworn: and will not break it
To save all Greece: let honour go or stay,
There's more Religion in my love than fame:
Exeunt Achilles, Patroclus.

With too much blood, and too little brain, these two are running mad before the dog-days. There's Agamemnon too, an honest fellow enough, and loves a brimmer heartily; but he has not so much brains as an old gander. But his brother Menelaus, there's a fellow: the goodly transformation of Jupiter when he lov'd Europa: the primi­tive Cuckold: A vile Monkey ty'd eternally to his brothers table. To be a Dog, a Mule, a Cat, a toad, an Owle, a Lizard, a Herring with­out a roe, I would not care: but to be Menelaus I would conspire against destiny—Hey day! will with a wispe, and Jack a lanthorn!

Hector, Ajax, Agamemnon, Diomede, Ulisses, Troilus, going with torches over the stage.
We go wrong; we go wrong.
No, yonder 'tis; there where see the light.
I touble you.
Not at all Cousin: Here comes Achilles himself to guide us.
[Page 50] Enter Achilles.
Welcome brave Hector, welcome princes all:
So now, brave Prince of Tray, I take my leave;
Ajax commands the guard, to wait on you.
Good night my Lord!
Good night Sweet Lord Menelaus▪

Sweet quoth a! sweet Sink, sweet shore, sweet Jakes!

Nestor will stay; and you Lord Diomede.
Keep Hector company an hour or two.
I cannot Sir: I have important business.
Enter my Lords.
to Troil.
Follow his torch: he goes to Calchas's tent.
[Exeunt Achill. Hect. Ajax at one way, Diomede, another; and after him Ulyss, Troylus.

This Diomede's a most false-hearted rogue, an unjust Knave: I will no more trust him when he winks with one eye, then I will a Serpent when he hisses. He will spend his mouth and pro­mise, like Brabbler the Hound: but when he performs, Astronomers set it down for a prodigy; Though I long to see Hector, I cannot for­bear dogging him. They say a keeps a Trojan Drabb: and uses Calchas tent, that fugitive Priest of Troy; that Canonical Rogue of our side. I'le after him: nothing but whoring in this Age: all incontinent Rascalls!

Exit Thersites.
Entere Calchas, Cressida.
O, what a blessing is a vertuous child!
Thou hast reclam'd my mind, and calm'd my passions
Of anger and revenge: my love to Troy
Revives within me, and my lost Tyara
No more disturbs my mind:
A vertuous conquest.
I have a womans longing to return
But yet which way without your ayd I know not.
Time must instruct us how.
You must dissemble love to Diomede still
False Diomede, bred in Vlysses School
Can never be deceiv'd,
But by strong Arts and blandishments of love:
Put 'em in practice all: seem lost and won,
And draw him on, and give him line again.
This Argus then may close his hundred eyes
And leave our flight more easy.
How can I answer this to love and Troilus?
Why 'tis for him you do it: promise largely▪
That Ring he saw you wear, he much s [...]spects▪
[Page 51] Was given you by a Lover; let him have it.
Hoa; Calchas, Calchas!
Hark! I hear his voice.
Pursue your project: doubt not the success.
Heaven knows against my will: and yet my hopes
This night to meet my Triolus, while 'tis truce
Afford my minde some ease.
No more: retire.
Exit Cressida.
Enter Diomede; Troilus and Ulysses appear listening at one door, and Thersites watching at another.
I came to see your Daughter, worthy Calchas.
My Lord I'le call her to you.
Exit Calchas.
to Troil.
Stand where the torch may not discover us.
Enter Cressida.
Cressida comes forth to him!
How now my charge?
Now my sweet Guardian: hark a word with you.
I, so familiar!
Will you remember?
Remember: yes.
Heav'ns! what shou'd she remember! plague and madnesse!
Prince, you are mov'd: let us depart in time
Lest your displeasure should enlarge it self
To wrathfull terms: this place is dangerous;
The time unfit: 'beseech you let us go.
I pray you stay; by Hell, and by Hell torments
I will not speak a word.
I'le hear no more: good night.
Nay, but you part in anger!
Does that grieve thee! O wither'd truth!
Farewell Cousner.
Indeed I am not: pray come back again.
You shake my Lord, at something: will you go?
You will break out.
By all the Gods I will not.
There is between my will and all my actions,
A guard of patience! stay a little while.

How the devill luxury with his fat rump, and potato finger, tickles these together! put him off a little, you foolish Harlot! 'twill sharpen him the more.

D [...]om.
But will you then?
I will as soon as ere the War's concluded.
[Page 52]
Give me some token, for the surety of it:
The Ring I saw you wear.
Giving it.
If you must have it.
The Ring! nay then 'tis plain! O beauty where's thy faith!
You have sworn patience.

That's well, that's well, the pledge is given, hold her to her word good Devil and her soul's thine I warrant thee.

Who's wast?
By all Diana's waiting train of stars,
And by her self, I will not tell you whose.
Why then thou lov'st him still, farewell for ever:
Thou never shalt mock Diomede again.
You shall not go, one cannot speak a word
But straight it starts you.
I do not like this fooling.
Nor I by [...]luto: but that which likes not me, pleases me best.
I shall expect your promise.
I'le perform it.
Not a word more, good night—-I hope for ever:
Thus to deceive deceivers is no fraud.
Exeunt Diomede Cressida severally.
All's done my Lord.
Is it?
Pray let us go.
Was Cressida here?
I cannot conjure Trojan.
She was not sure! she was not.
Let it not be believ'd for womanhood:
Think we had Mothers, do not give advantage,
To biting Satyr, apt without a theme,
For defamation, to square a [...]l the sex
By Cressid's rule rather think this not Cressida.
Will he swagger himself out on [...]s own eyes!
This she! no this was Diomedes Cessida.
If beauty have a Soul, this is not she:
I cannot speak for rage, that Ring was mine,
By Heaven I gave it, in that point of time
When both our joys were fullest!—if he keeps it
Let dogs eat Troilus.

He'll tickle it for his Concupy: this will be sport to see!

Patroclus will give me any thing for the intelligence of this whore; a parrot will not do more for an almond, than he will for a commodi­ous drab: I would I cou'd meet with this Rogue Diomede too; I wou'd croke like a Raven to him; I wou'd bode: it shall go hard but [...]'le [...]nd him out.

Exit Thesites
[Page 53] Enter Aeneas.
I have been seeking you this hour, my Lord:
Hector by this is arming him in Troy.
Commend me gallant Troilus to your Brother:
Tell him I hope he shall not need to arm:
The fair Polixena has by a letter
Disarm'd our great Achilles of his rage.
This I shall say to Hector.
So I hope!
Pray Heaven Thersites have inform'd me true,—
Good night, my Lord; accept distracted thanks.
[Exit Ulisses.
Enter Pandarus.
Hear ye, my Lord, hear ye; I have been seeing yon poor girl.
There have been old doings there i'faith.
Hold yet, my Spirits; let him powr it in:
The poyson's kind: the more I drink of it
The sooner 'twill dispatch me.
to Pand.
Peace you babbler!

She has been mightily made on by the Greeks: she takes most wonderfully among em: Achilles kiss'd her, and Patroclus Kiss'd her: Nay and old Nestor put aside his gray beard and brush'd her with his whiskers. Then comes me Agamemnon with his Generals Staff, diving with a low bow e'en to the ground, and rising again, just at her lips: And after him came Vlysses, and Ajax, and Menelaus: and they so pelted her i'faith: pitter patter, pitter patter, as thick as hayl-stones. And after that a whole rout of 'em: Never was woman in Phrygia better kiss'd.


Hector said true: I finde, I finde it now!


And last of all comes me Diomede so demurely: that's a no­table sly Rogue I warrant him! mercy upon us, how he layd her on up­on the lips! for as I told you, she's most mightily made on among the Greekes. What, cheer up I say Man! she has every ones good word. I think in my conscience, she was born with a caull upon her head.

Hell, death, confusion, how he tortures me!

And that Rogue-Priest my Brother, is so courted and trea­ted for her sake: the young Sparks do so pull him about, and hall him by the Cassock: nothing but invitations to his Tent, and his Tent, and this Tent. Nay and one of'em was so bold, as to ask him if she were a Virgin, and with that the Rogue my Brother, takes me up a little God in his hand, and kisses it; and swears devoutly that she was, then was I ready to burst my sides with laughing, to think what had pass'd betwixt you two.

O I can bear no more: she's falshood all:
False by both kinds; for with her mothers milk
[Page 54] She [...]uck'd th'infusion of her Fathers Soul.
She only wants an opportunity,
Her Soul's a whore already.

What wou'd you make a Monopoly of a womans lips: a little consolation or so, might be allow'd one wou'd think in a lovers ab­sence!

Hence from my sight: let ignominy brand thy hated name:
Let Modest Matrons at thy mention start;
And blushing Virgins, when they read our Annals,
Skipo're the guilty page that holds thy Legend,
And blots the noble work.

O world, world; thou art an ungratefull patch of Earth!

Thus the poor Agent is despis'd! he labours painfully in his calling, and trudges between parties: but when their turns are serv'd, come out's too good for him. I am mighty melancholy: I'le e'en go home, and shut up my doors; and dye o'th sullens like an old bird in a Cage!

Exit Pandarus.
Enter Diomede and Thersites.

There; there he is: now let it work: now play thy part jealousy, and twinge e'm: put 'em between thy milstones, and grinde the Rogues together.

My Lord I am by Ajax sent to infrom you
This hour muft end the truce.
to Troil.
Contain your self;
Think where we are.
Your stay will be unsafe.
It may for those I hate.
Well said Trojan: there's the frrst hit.
Beseech you Sir make haste, my own affairs
Call me another way.

What affairs; what affairs; demand that, Dolthead! the Rogue will lose a quarrell for want of wit to ask that question.

May I enquire where your affairs conduct you?
Well sayd again; I beg thy pardon.
Oh, it concerns you not.
Perhaps it does.
You are too inquisi [...]ive: nor am I bound
To satisfy and Enemies request.
You have a Ring upon your finger Diomede,
And given you by a Lady,
If it were; 'Twas given to one who can defend her gift.

So, so; the boars begin to gruntle at one another: set up your bristles now a'both sides: whet and foam Rogues.

You must restore it Greek, by Heaven you must:
No spoil of mine shall grace a Traitors hand.
[Page 55] And, with it, give me back the broken vows
Of my false fair; which, perjur'd as she is,
I never will resigne, but with my Soul.
Then thou it seems art that for saken fool
Who wanting merit to preserve her heart,
Repines in vain to see it better plac'd;
But know, (for now I take a pride to grieve thee)
Thou art so lost a thing in her esteem
I never heard thee nam'd; but some scorn follow'd:
Thou wert our table take for laughing meals:
Thy name our sportful theme for Evening walks:
And intermissive hours of cooler Love:
When hand in hand we went. [Troil.] Hell and furies!
O well stung Scorpion!

Now Menclaus his Greek horns are out o' doors, there's a new Cuckold start up on the Trojan side.

Yet this was she, ye Gods that very she,
Who in my arms lay melting all the Night;
Who kiss'd and sigh'd, and sigh'd, and kiss'd again,
As if her Soul flew upward to her lips,
To meet mine there, and panted at the passage.
Who loath to finde the breaking day, look'd out,
And shrunk into my bosome, there to make
A little longer darkness.
Plagues and tortures!

Good, good, by Pluto! their fool's mad to lose his harlot; and our fools mad, that tother fool had her first: if I sought peace now, I cou'd tell 'em there's punk enough to satisfie 'em both: whore suffici­ent! but let 'em worry one another, the foolish currs; they think they can never have enough of carrion.

My Lords, this sury is not proper here,
In time of truce; if either side be injur'd
To morrow's Sun will rise apace, and then—
And then! but why should I defer till then?
My blood calls now, there is no truce for Traytors.
My vengeance rowls within my breast, it must
It will have vent▪—
Hinder us not Aeneas,
My blood rides high as his, I trust thy honour;
And know thou art too brave a foe to break it.—

Now Moon! now snine sweet Moon! let 'em have just light enough to make their passes: and not light enough to ward 'em

Drawing too.
By Heav'n he comes on this who strikes the first,
You both are mad, is this like gallant men
To fight at midnight; at the Murderers hour?
[Page 56] When only guilt and rapine draws a Sword?
Let night enjoy her dues of soft repose;
But let the Sun behold the brave mans courage.
And this I dare engage for Diomede
Foe though I am, he shall not hide his head,
But meet you in the very face of danger.
putting up.
Be't so: and were it on some precipice
High as Olympus, and a Sea beneath
Call when thou dar'st, just on the sharpest point
I'le meet, and tumble with thee to destruction.
A gnawing conscience haunts not guilty men
As I'le haunt thee, to summon thee to this,
Nay, should'st thou take the Stygian lake for refuge
I'le plunge in after, through the boiling flames
To push thee hissing down the vast Abysse.
Where shall we meet?
Before the Tent of Calchas:
Thither, through all your Troops, Ile fight my way;
And in the sight of perjur'd Cressida
Give death to her through thee.
Tis largely promis'd.
But I disdain to answer with a boast;
Be sure thou shalt be met.
And thou be found.
[Exeunt Troilus Aeneas, one way: Diomede the other.

Now the furies take Aeneas, for letting 'em sleep upon their quarrell: who knows but rest may cool their brains, and make 'em rise maukish to mischief upon consideration? May each of 'em dream he sees his Cockatrice in to' thers arms: and be stabbing one another in their sleep, to remember 'em of their business when they wake: let 'em be punctual to the point of honour; and if it were possible let both be first at the place of Execution. Let neither of 'em have cogitation e­nough, to consider 'tis a whore they fight for: and let 'em vallue their lives at as little as they are worth. And lastly let no succeeding fools take warning by 'em; but in imitation of them when a Strumpet is in question,

Let 'em beneath thair feet all reason trample;
And think it great to perish by Example.


Hector, Trojans, Andromache.
THe blew mists rise from off the nether grounds,
And the Sun mounts apace: to arms, to arms;
I am resolv'd to put to th' utmost proof
The fate of Troy this day.
Oh, wretched woman, oh!
Methought heard you sigh, Andromache!
Did you my Lord?
Did you my Lord? You answer indirectly,
Just when I sayd that I wou'd put our fate
Upon th' extreamest proof, you fetch'd a groan;
And, as you check'd your self, for what you did
You stifl'd it, and stopt. Come you are sad.
The Gods forbid.
What should the Gods forbid?
That I shou'd give you cause of just offence.
You say well: but you look not cheerfully.
I mean this day to waste the stock of war,
And lay it prodigally out in blows:
Come gird my sword, and smile upon me, love;
Like victory come flying to my arms;
And give me earnest of desir'd successe.
The Gods protect you; and restore you to me.
What, grown a Coward! thou wert us'd Andromache,
To give my courage, courage: thou woudst cry
Go Hector; day grow's old; and part of Fame
Is ravish'd from thee, by thy sloathfull stay.
What shall I do, to seem the same I was!
Come let me gird thy fortune to thy side:
And conquest sit as close, and sure as this.
[She goes to gird his Sword; and it falls.]
Now mercy, Heaven! the Gods avert this omen!
A foolish omen! take it up again;
And mend thy errour.
I cannot: for my hand obeys me not.
But as in slumbers, when we fain wou'd run
From our imagin'd fears, our idle feet
Grow to the ground, our struggling voice dyes inward,
So now, when wou'd force my self to chear you
My faltring tongue can give no glad presage;
Alas, I am no more Andromache.
[Page 58]
Why then thy former Soul is flown to me:
For I, me thinks, am lifted into ayr:
As if my mind, mastring my mortal part
Wou'd bear my exalted body to the Gods.
Last night I dreamt Jove sate on Ida's top
And beckning with his hand divine from far,
He pointed to a quire of Demi- gods,
Bacch [...]s, and Hercules, and all the rest
Who free from humane toils had gain'd the pitch
Of blest eternity: lo there he sayd;
Lo there's a place for Hector.
Be to thy Enemies this boding dream!
Why it portends me honour and renoun.
Such honour, as the Brave gain after death.
For I have dreamt all night of horrid slaughters,
Of trampling horses, and of Charriot wheels
Wading in blood up to their Axeltrees.
Of fiery Demons gliding down the Skyes,
And Ilium brighten'd with a midnight blaze;
O therefore, if thou lov'st me, go not forth.
Go to thy bed again; and there dream better.
Ho bid my Trumpet Sound.
No notes of sally for the Heaven's sweet sake.
Tis not for nothing when my Spirits droop:
This is a day when thy ill Starrs are strong
When they have driv'n thy helpless genius down
The steep of Heaven to some obscure retreat.
No more; ev'n as thou lov st my fame no more:
My honour stands ingag'd to meet Achilles:
What will the Grecians think; or what will he,
Or what will Troy; or what wilt thou thy self
When once this ague fit of fear is ore;
If I should lose my honour for▪ a dream.
Your Enemies too well your courage know,
And Heaven abhorrs the forfiet of rash vows
Like spotted livers in a Sacrifice.
I cannot; O I dare not let you go:
For when you leave me, my presaging minde
Says, I shall never, never see you more.
Thou excellently good, but oh too soft,
Let me not scape the danger of this day,
But I have struggling in my manly Soul
To see those modest tears, asham'd to fall,
And witness any part of woman in thee!
And now I fear, lest thou should'st think it fear,
[Page 59] If thus disswaded, I refuse to fight,
And stay inglorious in thy arms at home.
Oh cou'd I have that thought I shou'd not love thee;
Thy soul is proof to all things but to kindness.
And therefore t'was that I forebore to tell thee
How mad Cassandra, full of prophecy
Ran round the streets, and like a Bacchanal
Cry'd hold him Priam, 'tis an ominous day,
Let him not go; for Hector is no more.
Our life is short but to extend that span
To vast Eternity is virtues work.
Therefore to thee, aad not to fear of fate
Which once must come to all, give I this day
But see thou move no more the like request:
For rest assur'd that to regain this hour
To morrow will I tempt a double danger:
Mean time, let Destiny attend thy leisure.
I reckon this one day a blank of of life.
Enter Troilus.
Where are you Brother? now in honour's name,
What do you mean to be thus long nnarm'd?
Th' imbattel'd Souldiers throug about the gates:
The Matrous to the turrets tops ascend
Holding their helplesse children in their arms,
To make you early known to their young eyes,
And Hector is the universal shout.
Bid all unarm, I will not fight to day.
Employ some coward to bear back this news,
And let the children hoot him for his pains;
By all the gods and by my just revenge,
This sun shall shine the last for them or us:
These noisy streets or yonder ecchoing plains
Shall be to morrow silent as the grave.
O Brother do not urge a brother's fate,
But let this rack of heav'n▪ and earth rowl o're,
And when the storm is past put out to sea.
Oh now I know from whence his change proceeds,
Some frantick Augur has observ'd the skyes;
Some victim wants a heart, or crow flys wrong;
By heav'n 'twas never well since sawcy Priests
Grew to be Masters of the listning herd;
And into Miters cleft the Regal Crown.
Then as the Earth were scanty for their pow'r,
They drew the pomp of Heav'n to wait on them;
Shall I go publish Hector dares not sight
[Page 60] Because a mad-man dreamt he talk'd with Jove?
What cou'd the God see in a brain-sick Priest
That he should sooner talk to him then me?
You know my name's not liable to fear.
Yes, to the worst of fear, to superstition.
But whether that or fondnesse of a wife,
(The more unpardonabl [...] ill) has seiz'd you,
Know this, the Grecians think you fear Achilles,
And that Polixena has beg'd your life.
How! that my life is beg'd, and by my sister?
Vlysses so inform'd me at our parting,
With a malicious and disdainfull smile:
'Tis true, he said not in broad words you fear'd,
But in well-manner'd terms 'twas so agreed
Achilles shou'd avoid to meet with Hector.
He thinks my Sisters treason, my petition,
That largely vaunting in my heat of bloud
More then I cou'd, it seems, or durst perform,
I sought evasion.
And in private pray'd.
O yes, Polixena, to beg my life.
He cannot think so, do not urge him thus.
Not urge me! then thou think'st I need his urging.
By all the Gods shou'd Jove himself descend,
And tell me Hector thou deserv'st not life
But take it as a boon; I wou'd not live.
But that a Mortal man, and he of all men
Shou'd think my life were in his power to give,
I will not rest, till prostrate on the ground
I make him Athiest- like, implore his breath
Of me and not of Heaven.
Then you'I refuse no more to fight.
Refuse! I'le not be hinder'd, Brother.
I'le through and through 'em, ev'n their hindmost ranks.
Till I have found that large siz'd boasting fool
Who dare presume my life is in his gift.
Farewell, farewell: 'tis vain to strive with fate:
Cassandra's raging God inspires my breast,
With truths that must be told and not believ'd.
Look how he dyes! look how his eye turns pale!
Look how his blood bursts out at many vents!
Hark how Troy roars, how Hecuba crys out
And widow'd fill all the streets with screams!
Behold distraction, frenzy and amazement,
[Page 61] Like Antiques meet, and tumble upon heaps!
And all cry Hector; Hectors dead! oh Hector!
[Exit Andromache.]
What sport will be when we return at Evening,
To laugh her out of count'nance for her dreams!
I have not quench'd my eyes with dewy sleep this Night;
But fiery fumes mount upward to my brains,
And when I breathe, methinks my nostrills hiss!
I shall turn Basilisk! and with my sight
Do my hands work, on Diomede this day.
To Arms, to Arms, the vantguards are ingag'd:
Let us not leave one Man to guard the Walls,
Both Old and young, the coward and the brave,
Be Summond all, our utmost fate to try;
And as one body move, whose Soul am I.

SCENE II. The Camp.

Alarm within. Enter Agamemnon, Ulysses, Menelaus, Souldiers.
THus far the promise of the day is fair:
Aeneas rather loses ground than gains,
I saw him overlabour'd, taking breath;
And leaning on his spear, behold our Trenches
Like a fierce Lyon looking up to toyls,
Which yet he durst not leap.
And therefore distant death does all the work:
The flights of whistling darts make brown the sky,
Whose clashing points strike fire, and guild the dusk:
Those that reach home, from neither host are vain,
So thick the prease; so lusty are their arms,
That death seem'd never sent with better will!
Nor was with less concernment entertain'd.
Enter Nestor.
Now Nestor, what's the news?
I have descry'd,
A clow'd of dust that mounts in pillars upwards;
Expanding as it travells to our Camp,
And from the midst [...] heard a bursting showt,
That rent the Heavens! as if all Troy were swarm'd,
And on the wing this way.
Let 'em come, let 'em come.
Where's great Achilles!
[Page 62]
Think not on Achilles:
Till Hector drag him from his Tent to fight,
(Which sure he will, for I have laid the train.)
But young Patroclus leads his Myrmydo [...]s;
And in their front, ev'n in the face of Hector,
Resolves to dare the Trojans.
Haste Vlysses, bid Ajax issue forth, and second hi [...].
Oh Noble General, let it not be so.
Oppose not rage, while rage is in its force;
But give it way awhile; and let it waste:
The rising deluge is not stopt with dams,
Those it orebears, and drowns the hopes of harvest.
But wisely manag'd its divided strength
Is sluc'd in channels, and securely drain'd:
First, let small parties da [...]y with their fury.
But when their force is spent and unsupply'd
The residue with mounds may be restrain'd,
And dry-shod, we may pass the naked ford.
Enter Thersites.

Ho, ho, ho!


Why dost thou laugh, unseasonable fool!


Why thou fool in season, cannot a man laugh, but thou thinkst he makes horns at thee! Thou Prince of the Herd, what hast thou to do with laughing! Tis the prerogative of man to laugh! Thou Risi­bility without Reason: thou subject of laughter; Thou fool Royall:


But tell us the occasion of thy mirth?


Now a man asks me, I care not if I answer to my own kinde: why the Enemies are broken into our Trenches: Fools like Menelaus fall by thousands; yet not a humane Soul departs on either side. Troi­lus and Ajax have almost beaten one anothers heads off; but are both immortal for want of brains. Patroclus has kill'd Sarpedon; and Hector Patroclus: So there's a towardly springing fop gone off: He might have made a Prince one day: But now he's nipt in the very budd and promise of a most prodigious Coxcomb.

Bear off Patroclus body to Achilles:
Revenge will arm him now, and bring us ayd.
Th' alarm Sounds near; an shouts are driv'n upon us,
As of a crowd confus'd in their retreat.
Open your Ranks, and make these mad men way:
Then close again, to charge upon their backs:
And quite consume the Reliques of the warr.
[Exeunt all but Thersites.

What shoales of fools one battle sweeps away!

How it purges families of younger Brothers! Highways of Robbers, [Page 63] and Cities of Cuckold-makers! There's nothing like a pitch'd Battle, for these brisk Addle-heads! Your Physitian is a pretty fellow; but his fees make him tedious; he rids not fast enough; the fools grow upon him, and their horse bodies are poyson proof. Your pestilence is a quicker Remedy; but it has not the grace to make distinction; it huddles up honest men and Rogues together. But your battle has dis­cretion; it picks out all the forward fools. And sowses 'em together into Immortality.

[Shouts and alarm within.

Plague upon these drums and trumpets! these sharp sawces of the War, to get fools [...]an Appetite to fighting! what do I among 'em? I [...]hall be miscaken for some valiant Asse, and dye a Martyr, in a wrong Religion!

Here Grecians fly over the stage, pursued by Trojans: One Trojan turns back upon Thersites who is flying too.

Turn slave and fight.


What art thou!


A Bastard Son of Priam's.


I am a Bastard too: I love Bastards: I am Bastard in body, Bastard in minde, Bastard in valour; in every thing illegitimate. A Bear will not fasten upon a Bear; why should one Bastard offend a­nother! let us part fair, like true Sons of Whores; and have the fear of our Mothers before our eyes.


The Devil take thee Coward.

Exit Trojan

Now wou'd I were either invisible, or invulnerable? these Gods have a fine time on't; they can see and make mischief, and ne­ver feel it.

[Clattring of swords at both doors; he runs each way, and meets the noise.

A pox clatter you; I am compass'd in! Now wou'd I were that block­head Ajax for a minute: some sturdy Trojan will poach me up with a long pole! and then the Rogues may kill one another upon free cost, and have no body lest to laugh at 'em:

Now Destruction! now Destruction!
Enter Hector and Troilus driving in the Greeks.
to Ther.
Speak what part thou [...]ightst on!
I fight not at all: I am for neither side.
Thou art a Greek: art thou a match for Hector.
Art thou of blood and honour?

No, I am a rescall: a scurvy railing knave; a very filthy Rogue.


I do believe thee; live.


God a mercy, that thou wilt believe me: but the Devil break thy neck for frighting me:

[Page 64]

What Prisoner have you there?


A gleaning of the war: a Rogue he says.


Despatch him and away.

[going to kill him.

Hold, hold: what is't no more but dispatch a man and away! I am in no such hast: I will not dye for Greece; I hate Greece, and by my good will wou'd nere have been born there; I was mistaken into that Country, and betray'd my parents to be born there. And be­sides I have a mortal Enemy amongst the Grecians, one Diomede a dam­ned villain, and cannot dye with a safe conscience till I have first mur­ther'd him.


Shew me thrt Diomede and thou shalt live.


Come along with me and I'le conduct thee to Calchas his Tent, where I believe he's now making were with the Priests daughter.

Here we must part, our destinies devide us;
Brother and friend, farewell.
When shall we meet?
When the Gods please: if not, we once must part.
Look; on you hill their squander'd Troops unite;
If I mistake not, 'tis their last Reserve:
The storm's blown ore; and those but after drops.
I wish our Men be not too far ingag'd:
[...]or few we are and spent; as having born
The burden of the Day: but hap what can
They shall be charg'd: Achilles must be there;
And him I seek, or death.
Devide [...] Troops; and take the fresher half.
O Brother,
No dispute of Ceremony!
These are enow for me; in faith enow:
There bodies shall not flag while I can lead;
Not wearied limbs confess mortality,
Before those Ants that blacken all you hill
Are crept into their Earth: Farewell.
Exit Hector.
Farewell; come Greek:

Now these Rival-rogues will clapperclaw one another, and I shall have the sport on't.

Exit Troil. with Thersites.
Enter Achilles and Myrmidons.
Which way went Hector?
Up you sandy hill:
You may discern 'em by their smoaking track;
A wavering body working with bent hams
Against the rising, spent with painfull march,
And by loose-footing cast on heaps together.
[Page 65]
O thou art gone! thou sweetest, both of friends▪
Why did I let thee tempt the shock of war
Ere yet thy tender nerves had strung thy limbs,
And knotted into strength. Yet, though too late,
I will, I will revenge the, my Patroclus!
Nor shall thy Ghost thy Murtherer's long attend,
But thou shalt hear him calling Charon back,
Ere thou art wa [...]ted to the farther shore.
Make hast, my Soldiers: give me this days pains.
For my dead friend: strike every hand with mine,
Till Hector breathless, on the ground we lay!
Revenge is honour, the securest way.
Exit with Myrmidons.
[Enter Thersites, Troilus, Trojans.]
That's Calcha's tent.
Then that one spot of Earth contains more falshood
Than all the Sun sees in his race beside.
That I shou'd trust the Daughter of Priest!
Priesthood, that makes a merchandise of Heaven!
Priesthood that sells eve'n to their prayr's and blessings!
And forces us to pay for our own cousnage!
Nay cheats Heav'n too with entrails and with offals;
Gives it the gar [...]idge of a Sacrifice
And keeps the best of private Luxury.
Thou hast deserv'd thy life, for cursing Priests:
That back, that nose; those eyes are beautiful:
Live thou, art honest; for thou hat'st a Priest.

Farewell Trojan; if I scape with life, as I hope; and thou art knock'd o'th head, as I hope too; I shall be the first that ever scap'd the revenge of a Priest, after cursing him; and thou wilt not be the [...]ast, I prophecy that a Priest will bring to ruin.

[Exit Ther.
Me thinks my soul is rowz'd to her last work:
Has much to do, and little time to spare.
She starts within me, like a Traveller
Who sluggishly out-slept his morning hour
And mends his pace, to reach his Inn betimes.
Noise within, [...]ollow, follow.
A Noise of Arms! the Traitor may be there:
Or else, perhaps, that conscious scene of Love,
The Tent may hold him, yet I dare not search
For Oh I fear to find him in that place.
[Exit. Troilus.
Enter Calchas, Cressida.
Where is he? I'le be justify'd or dye.
[Page 66]
So quickly vanish'd! he was here but now:
He must be gone to search for Diomede,
For Diomede told me, here they were to fight.
Alas! (Calch.) you must prevent, and not complain.
If Troilus dye, I have no share in life.
If Diomede sink beneath the sword of Troilus,
We lose not only a Protector here,
But are debard all future means of flight.
What then remains!
To interpose betimes
Betwixt their swords; or if that cannot be
To intercede for him, who shall be vanquish'd,
Fate leaves no middle course.—
Exit. Calchas.
Clashing within.
Ah me I hear e'm;
And fear 'tis past prevention.
Enter Diomede, retiring before Troilus, and falling as he enters.
Now beg thy life, or dye.
No: use thy fortune:
I loath the life, which thou canst give, or take.
Scornst thou my mercy villain!—take thy wish.—
Hold, hold your hand my Lord, and hear me speak.
Troilus turns back: in which time Diomede rises; Trojans and Greeks enter, and rank themselves on both sides of their Captains.
Did I not hear the voice of perjur'd Cressida?
Com'st thou to give the last stab to my heart?
As if the proofs of all thy former falshood
Were not enough convincing, com'st thou now
to beg my Rivals life!
Whom, Oh, if any spark of truth remain'd,
Thou coud'st not thus, ev'n to my face prefer!
What shall I say! that you suspect me false
Has struck me dumb! but let him live my Troilus,
By all our loves, by all our past endearments
I do adjure thee spare him.
Hell, and death!
If ever I had pow'r to bend your mind,
Believe me still your faithful Cressida:
And though my innocence appear like guilt,
Because I make his forfeit life my suit,
'Tis but for this, that my return to you
Wou'd be cut off for ever by his death.
My father, treated like a slave and scorn'd,
[Page 67] My self in hated bonds a Captive held.
Cou'd I believe thee, cou'd I think thee true
In triumph wou'd I bear thee back to Troy,
Though Greece could rally all her shatter'd troops,
And stand embatteld to oppose my way.
But, Oh, thou Syren, I will stop my ears
To thy enchanting notes; the winds shall bear
Upon their wings, thy words more light then they.
Alass I but dissembled love to him;
If ever he had any proof beyond
What modesty might give.—
No! witnesse this—
(the Ring shown.)
There, take her Trojan; thou deserv'st her best,
You good, kind-natur'd, well-believing fools
Are treasures to a woman.
I was a jealous, hard vexatious Lover
And doubted ev'n this pledge till full possession:
But she was honourable to her word;
And I have no just reason to complain.
O, unexampled, frontlesse impudence!
Hell show me such another tortur'd wretch, as Troilus!
Nay, dare grieve not: I resigne her freely up:
I'm satisfi'd: and dare engage for Cressida,
That if you have a promise of her person,
She shall be willing to come out of debt.
My only Lord: by all those holy vows
Which if there be a pow'r above are binding,
Or, if there be a Hell below, are fearful,
May every imprecation, which your rage
Can wish on me, take place, if I am false.
Nay, since you're so concern'd to be believ'd,
I'm sorry I have press'd my charge so far;
Be what you wou'd be thought: I can be grateful.
Grateful! Oh torment! now hells blewest flames
Receive her quick; with all her crimes upon her.
Let her sink spotted down. Let the dark host
Make room; and point: and hisse her, as she goes.
Let the most branded Ghosts of all her Sex
Rejoyce, and cry, here comes a blacker fiend.
Let her—
Enough my Lord; you've said enough:
This faithlesse, perjur'd, hated Cressida,
Shall be no more, the subject of your Curses:
Some few hours hence, and grief had done your work;
But the your eyes had miss'd the satisfaction
[Page 68] Which thus I give you—thus—
[She stabs her self they both run to her.
Help; save her, help.
Stand off; and touch me not, thou Traitor, Diomede:
But you, my only Troilus come near:
Trust me the wound which I have giv'n this breast
Is far lesse painful, then the wound you gave it.
Oh, can you yet believe, that I am true!
This were too much, ev'n if thou hadst been false!
But, Oh, thou purest, whitest innocence,
(For such I know thee now) too late I know it!
May all my curses, and ten thousand more
Heavier than they, fall back upon my head,
Pelion and Ossa from the Gyants graves,
Be torn by some avenging Deity,
And hurld at me, a bolder wretch then they,
Who durst invade the Skys!
Hear him not Heavens!
But hear me bless him with my latest breath:
And since I question not your hard decree,
That doom'd my days unfortunate and few,
Add all to him, you take away from me;
And I dye happy that he thinks me true.
She's gone for ever, and she blest me dying!
Cou'd she have curs'd me worse! she dy'd for me;
And like a woman, I lament for her:
Distraction pulls me several ways at once,
Here pity calls me to weep out my eyes;
Despair then turns me back upon my self,
And bids me seek no more, but finish here:
[Sword to his breast.
Ha, smilst thou Traitor, thou instruct'st me best,
And turn'st my just revenge to punish thee.
Thy worst, for mine has been before hand with thee,
I triumph in thy vain credulity,
Which levels thy despairing state to mine:
But yet thy folly to believe a foe;
Makes thine the sharper, and more shamefull loss.
By my few moments of remaining life;
I did not hope for any future joy,
But thou hast given me pleasure ere I dye:
To punish such a Villain.—Fight a part.
[To his Souldiers.
For Heaven and hell have mark'd him out for me,
And I shou'd grudg ev'n his least drop of blood,
To any other hand.—
[Page 69] [Troilus and Diomede fight, and both parties engage at the same time: The Trojans make the Greeks retire, and Troilus makes Diomede give ground and hurts him, Trumpets sound, Achilles Enters with his Myrmidons, on the backs of the Trojans, who fight in a Ring encompass'd round: Troilus singling Dio­mede gets him down and kills him: and Achilles kills Troilus upon him. All the Trojans dye upon the place, Troilus last.
Enter Agamemnon, Menelaus, Ulisses, Nestor, Ajax, and Attendants.
Our toyls are done, and those aspiring Walls
(The work of Gods, and almost mateing Heaven,)
Must crumble into rubbish on the plain.
When mighty Hector fell beneath thy Sword,
Their Old foundations shook, their nodding Towers
Threatned from high, the amaz'd Inhabitants:
And Guardian Gods for fear forsook their fanes.
Patroclus, now be quiet: Hectors dead:
And as a second offring to thy Ghost,
Lyes Troilus high upon a heap of slain:
And noble Diomede beneath; whose death
This hand of mine reveng'd.
Reveng'd it basely.
For Troilus fell by multitudes opprest;
And so fell Hector, but 'tis vain to talk.
Hayl Agamemnon! truly Victor now!
While secret envy, and while open pride,
Among thy factious Nobles discord threw;
While publique good was urg'd for private ends,
And those thought Patriots, who disturb'd it most;
Then like the headstrong horses of the Sun,
That light which shou'd have cheer'd the World, consum'd it:
Now peacefull order has resum'd the reynes,
Old time looks young, and Nature seems renew'd:
Then, since from homebred Factions ruine springs,
Let Subjects learn obedience to their Kings.
[Exeunt Omnes.

The Epilogue.

THese cruel Critiques put me into passion;
For in their lowring looks I reade damnation:
Ye expect a Satyr, and I seldom fail,
When I'm first beaten, 'tis my part to rail.
You British fools, of the Old Trojan stock,
That stand so thick one cannot miss the flock,
Poets have cause to dread a keeping Pit,
When Womens Cullyes come to judge of Wit.
As we strow Rats-bane when we vermine fear,
'Twere worth our cost to scatter fool-bane here.
And after all our judging Fops were serv'd,
Dull Poets too shou'd have a dose reserv'd,
Such Reprobates, as past all sence of shaming
Write on, and nere are satisfy'd with damming,
Next, those, to whom the Stage does not belong
Such whose Vocation onely is to Song;
At most to Prologue, when for want of time
Poets take in for Iournywork in Rhime.
But I want curses for those mighty shoales,
Of scribling Chlorisses, and Phillis fools,
Those Ophs shou'd be restraind, during their lives,
From Pen and Ink, as Madmen are from knives:
I cou'd rayl on, but 'twere a task as vain
As preaching truth at Rome, or wit in Spain,
Yet to huff out our Play was worth my trying,
John Lilbourn scap'd his Iudges by defying:
If guilty, yet I'm sure oth' Churches blessing,
By suffering for the Plot, without confessing.

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