Troilus and Cressida

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Prologue

       
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  • Chorus. In Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece
    The princes orgulous, their high blood chafed,
    Have to the port of Athens sent their ships,
    Fraught with the ministers and instruments
    Of cruel war: sixty and nine, that wore 5
    Their crownets regal, from the Athenian bay
    Put forth toward Phrygia; and their vow is made
    To ransack Troy, within whose strong immures
    The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen,
    With wanton Paris sleeps; and that's the quarrel. 10
    To Tenedos they come;
    And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
    Their warlike fraughtage: now on Dardan plains
    The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
    Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city, 15
    Dardan, and Tymbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien,
    And Antenorides, with massy staples
    And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
    Sperr up the sons of Troy.
    Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits, 20
    On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
    Sets all on hazard: and hither am I come
    A prologue arm'd, but not in confidence
    Of author's pen or actor's voice, but suited
    In like conditions as our argument, 25
    To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
    Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
    Beginning in the middle, starting thence away
    To what may be digested in a play.
    Like or find fault; do as your pleasures are: 30
    Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.

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