Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Act 3, Scene I

SCENE I. Troy. Priam's palace.

Enter a Servant and PANDARUS
PANDARUS
Friend, you! pray you, a word: do not you follow
the young Lord Paris?

Servant
Ay, sir, when he goes before me.

PANDARUS
You depend upon him, I mean?

Servant
Sir, I do depend upon the lord.

PANDARUS
You depend upon a noble gentleman; I must needs
praise him.

Servant
The lord be praised!

PANDARUS
You know me, do you not?

Servant
Faith, sir, superficially.

PANDARUS
Friend, know me better; I am the Lord Pandarus.

Servant
I hope I shall know your honour better.

PANDARUS
I do desire it.

Servant
You are in the state of grace.

PANDARUS
Grace! not so, friend: honour and lordship are my titles.

Music within

What music is this?

Servant
I do but partly know, sir: it is music in parts.

PANDARUS
Know you the musicians?

Servant
Wholly, sir.

PANDARUS
Who play they to?

Servant
To the hearers, sir.

PANDARUS
At whose pleasure, friend

Servant
At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.

PANDARUS
Command, I mean, friend.

Servant
Who shall I command, sir?

PANDARUS
Friend, we understand not one another: I am too
courtly and thou art too cunning. At whose request
do these men play?

Servant
That's to 't indeed, sir: marry, sir, at the request
of Paris my lord, who's there in person; with him,
the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love's
invisible soul,--

PANDARUS
Who, my cousin Cressida?

Servant
No, sir, Helen: could you not find out that by her
attributes?

PANDARUS
It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the
Lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the
Prince Troilus: I will make a complimental assault
upon him, for my business seethes.

Servant
Sodden business! there's a stewed phrase indeed!

Enter PARIS and HELEN, attended

PANDARUS
Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair
company! fair desires, in all fair measure,
fairly guide them! especially to you, fair queen!
fair thoughts be your fair pillow!

HELEN
Dear lord, you are full of fair words.

PANDARUS
You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. Fair
prince, here is good broken music.

PARIS
You have broke it, cousin: and, by my life, you
shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out
with a piece of your performance. Nell, he is full
of harmony.

PANDARUS
Truly, lady, no.

HELEN
O, sir,--

PANDARUS
Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.

PARIS
Well said, my lord! well, you say so in fits.

PANDARUS
I have business to my lord, dear queen. My lord,
will you vouchsafe me a word?

HELEN
Nay, this shall not hedge us out: we'll hear you
sing, certainly.

PANDARUS
Well, sweet queen. you are pleasant with me. But,
marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and most esteemed
friend, your brother Troilus,--

HELEN
My Lord Pandarus; honey-sweet lord,--

PANDARUS
Go to, sweet queen, to go:--commends himself most
affectionately to you,--

HELEN
You shall not bob us out of our melody: if you do,
our melancholy upon your head!

PANDARUS
Sweet queen, sweet queen! that's a sweet queen, i' faith.

HELEN
And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.

PANDARUS
Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall not,
in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no,
no. And, my lord, he desires you, that if the king
call for him at supper, you will make his excuse.

HELEN
My Lord Pandarus,--

PANDARUS
What says my sweet queen, my very very sweet queen?

PARIS
What exploit's in hand? where sups he to-night?

HELEN
Nay, but, my lord,--

PANDARUS
What says my sweet queen? My cousin will fall out
with you. You must not know where he sups.

PARIS
I'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.

PANDARUS
No, no, no such matter; you are wide: come, your
disposer is sick.

PARIS
Well, I'll make excuse.

PANDARUS
Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida? no,
your poor disposer's sick.

PARIS
I spy.

PANDARUS
You spy! what do you spy? Come, give me an
instrument. Now, sweet queen.

HELEN
Why, this is kindly done.

PANDARUS
My niece is horribly in love with a thing you have,
sweet queen.

HELEN
She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.

PANDARUS
He! no, she'll none of him; they two are twain.

HELEN
Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.

PANDARUS
Come, come, I'll hear no more of this; I'll sing
you a song now.

HELEN
Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou
hast a fine forehead.

PANDARUS
Ay, you may, you may.

HELEN
Let thy song be love: this love will undo us all.
O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!

PANDARUS
Love! ay, that it shall, i' faith.

PARIS
Ay, good now, love, love, nothing but love.

PANDARUS
In good troth, it begins so.

Sings

Love, love, nothing but love, still more!
For, O, love's bow
Shoots buck and doe:
The shaft confounds,
Not that it wounds,
But tickles still the sore.
These lovers cry Oh! oh! they die!
Yet that which seems the wound to kill,
Doth turn oh! oh! to ha! ha! he!
So dying love lives still:
Oh! oh! a while, but ha! ha! ha!
Oh! oh! groans out for ha! ha! ha!
Heigh-ho!

HELEN
In love, i' faith, to the very tip of the nose.

PARIS
He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot
blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot
thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.

PANDARUS
Is this the generation of love? hot blood, hot
thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers:
is love a generation of vipers? Sweet lord, who's
a-field to-day?

PARIS
Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the
gallantry of Troy: I would fain have armed to-day,
but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
brother Troilus went not?

HELEN
He hangs the lip at something: you know all, Lord Pandarus.

PANDARUS
Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they
sped to-day. You'll remember your brother's excuse?

PARIS
To a hair.

PANDARUS
Farewell, sweet queen.

HELEN
Commend me to your niece.

PANDARUS
I will, sweet queen.

Exit

A retreat sounded

PARIS
They're come from field: let us to Priam's hall,
To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you
To help unarm our Hector: his stubborn buckles,
With these your white enchanting fingers touch'd,
Shall more obey than to the edge of steel
Or force of Greekish sinews; you shall do more
Than all the island kings,--disarm great Hector.

HELEN
'Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris;
Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
Yea, overshines ourself.

PARIS
Sweet, above thought I love thee.

Exeunt

William Shakespeare