Troilus and Cressida By William Shakespeare Presented by Paul W. Collins All rights reserved

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O world, world, world! Thus is the poor agent despisèd!

O traitors and bawds, how earnestly are you set a-work—and how ill requited!

Why should our assignment be so loved and the performance so loathèd?

What verse for it? What instance for it?

Let me see….

He pictures Troilus.

Full merrily the bumble-bee doth sing—

Till he hath lost his honey and his sting!

And being once subdued in armèd tail,

Sweet honey and sweet notes together fail!

Good traders in the flesh, set that upon your painted cloths! —wall mottos.

He stands watching as shadows rise, slowly, to cool the walls and towers, and the reddening sun sets on Troy.

Now the London actor playing Pandarus faces the ages’ audience.

“As many as be here of panders’ hall,

May your eyes, half-dim, weep dark at Pandar’s fall!

Or if you cannot weep, yet give some groans—

If not for me, then for your aching bones!

“Brethren and sisters of the hold-door trade,

Some two months hence my will shall be made.

It should be now but that my fear is this:

Some gallèd goose of Winchester”—local whore—“would hiss!

“Till then I’ll sweat, and seek about for eases”—relief from syphilis.

“And at that time—bequeathe you my diseases!”

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