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Troilus and Cressida

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Act V, Scene 2

The same. Before Calchas’ tent.



  • Diomedes. What, are you up here, ho? speak.
  • Diomedes. Calchas, I think. Where's your daughter?
  • Calchas. [Within] She comes to you.
    [Enter TROILUS and ULYSSES, at a distance;] 3050
    after them, THERSITES]
  • Ulysses. Stand where the torch may not discover us.


  • Troilus. Cressid comes forth to him.
  • Cressida. Now, my sweet guardian! Hark, a word with you.


  • Ulysses. She will sing any man at first sight.
  • Thersites. And any man may sing her, if he can take her cliff; 3060
    she's noted.
  • Diomedes. Nay, but do, then;
    And let your mind be coupled with your words. 3065
  • Troilus. What should she remember?
  • Cressida. Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.
  • Diomedes. Foh, foh! come, tell a pin: you are forsworn.
  • Cressida. In faith, I cannot: what would you have me do?
  • Thersites. A juggling trick,—to be secretly open.
  • Diomedes. What did you swear you would bestow on me? 3075
  • Cressida. I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath;
    Bid me do any thing but that, sweet Greek.
  • Diomedes. No, no, good night: I'll be your fool no more.
  • Troilus. O plague and madness! 3085
  • Ulysses. You are moved, prince; let us depart, I pray you,
    Lest your displeasure should enlarge itself
    To wrathful terms: this place is dangerous;
    The time right deadly; I beseech you, go.
  • Ulysses. Nay, good my lord, go off:
    You flow to great distraction; come, my lord.
  • Ulysses. You have not patience; come.
  • Troilus. I pray you, stay; by hell and all hell's torments 3095
    I will not speak a word!
  • Troilus. Doth that grieve thee?
    O wither'd truth! 3100
  • Troilus. By Jove,
    I will be patient.
  • Diomedes. Foh, foh! adieu; you palter. 3105
  • Cressida. In faith, I do not: come hither once again.
  • Ulysses. You shake, my lord, at something: will you go?
    You will break out.
  • Troilus. Nay, stay; by Jove, I will not speak a word:
    There is between my will and all offences
    A guard of patience: stay a little while.
  • Thersites. How the devil Luxury, with his fat rump and
    potato-finger, tickles these together! Fry, lechery, fry! 3115
  • Cressida. In faith, I will, la; never trust me else.
  • Diomedes. Give me some token for the surety of it.


  • Troilus. Fear me not, sweet lord;
    I will not be myself, nor have cognition
    Of what I feel: I am all patience.

[Re-enter CRESSIDA]

  • Cressida. Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve.
  • Troilus. O beauty! where is thy faith?
  • Troilus. I will be patient; outwardly I will. 3130
  • Cressida. You look upon that sleeve; behold it well.
    He loved me—O false wench!—Give't me again.
  • Cressida. It is no matter, now I have't again.
    I will not meet with you to-morrow night: 3135
    I prithee, Diomed, visit me no more.
  • Thersites. Now she sharpens: well said, whetstone!
  • Cressida. O, all you gods! O pretty, pretty pledge!
    Thy master now lies thinking in his bed
    Of thee and me, and sighs, and takes my glove,
    And gives memorial dainty kisses to it,
    As I kiss thee. Nay, do not snatch it from me; 3145
    He that takes that doth take my heart withal.
  • Diomedes. I had your heart before, this follows it.
  • Cressida. You shall not have it, Diomed; faith, you shall not;
    I'll give you something else. 3150
  • Diomedes. I will have this: whose was it?
  • Cressida. 'Twas one's that loved me better than you will.
    But, now you have it, take it. 3155
  • Cressida. By all Diana's waiting-women yond,
    And by herself, I will not tell you whose.
  • Diomedes. To-morrow will I wear it on my helm,
    And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it. 3160
  • Troilus. Wert thou the devil, and worest it on thy horn,
    It should be challenged.
  • Cressida. Well, well, 'tis done, 'tis past: and yet it is not;
    I will not keep my word.
  • Diomedes. Why, then, farewell; 3165
    Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.
  • Cressida. You shall not go: one cannot speak a word,
    But it straight starts you.
  • Thersites. Nor I, by Pluto: but that that likes not you pleases me best. 3170
  • Diomedes. What, shall I come? the hour?
  • Cressida. Ay, come:—O Jove!—do come:—I shall be plagued.
  • Cressida. Good night: I prithee, come.
    [Exit DIOMEDES] 3175
    Troilus, farewell! one eye yet looks on thee
    But with my heart the other eye doth see.
    Ah, poor our sex! this fault in us I find,
    The error of our eye directs our mind:
    What error leads must err; O, then conclude 3180
    Minds sway'd by eyes are full of turpitude.


  • Thersites. A proof of strength she could not publish more,
    Unless she said ' My mind is now turn'd whore.'
  • Troilus. To make a recordation to my soul
    Of every syllable that here was spoke.
    But if I tell how these two did co-act, 3190
    Shall I not lie in publishing a truth?
    Sith yet there is a credence in my heart,
    An esperance so obstinately strong,
    That doth invert the attest of eyes and ears,
    As if those organs had deceptious functions, 3195
    Created only to calumniate.
    Was Cressid here?
  • Ulysses. I cannot conjure, Trojan.
  • Troilus. Why, my negation hath no taste of madness.
  • Ulysses. Nor mine, my lord: Cressid was here but now.
  • Troilus. Let it not be believed for womanhood!
    Think, we had mothers; do not give advantage
    To stubborn critics, apt, without a theme, 3205
    For depravation, to square the general sex
    By Cressid's rule: rather think this not Cressid.
  • Ulysses. What hath she done, prince, that can soil our mothers?
  • Troilus. Nothing at all, unless that this were she.
  • Thersites. Will he swagger himself out on's own eyes? 3210
  • Troilus. This she? no, this is Diomed's Cressida:
    If beauty have a soul, this is not she;
    If souls guide vows, if vows be sanctimonies,
    If sanctimony be the gods' delight,
    If there be rule in unity itself, 3215
    This is not she. O madness of discourse,
    That cause sets up with and against itself!
    Bi-fold authority! where reason can revolt
    Without perdition, and loss assume all reason
    Without revolt: this is, and is not, Cressid. 3220
    Within my soul there doth conduce a fight
    Of this strange nature that a thing inseparate
    Divides more wider than the sky and earth,
    And yet the spacious breadth of this division
    Admits no orifex for a point as subtle 3225
    As Ariachne's broken woof to enter.
    Instance, O instance! strong as Pluto's gates;
    Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven:
    Instance, O instance! strong as heaven itself;
    The bonds of heaven are slipp'd, dissolved, and loosed; 3230
    And with another knot, five-finger-tied,
    The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
    The fragments, scraps, the bits and greasy relics
    Of her o'er-eaten faith, are bound to Diomed.
  • Ulysses. May worthy Troilus be half attach'd 3235
    With that which here his passion doth express?
  • Troilus. Ay, Greek; and that shall be divulged well
    In characters as red as Mars his heart
    Inflamed with Venus: never did young man fancy
    With so eternal and so fix'd a soul. 3240
    Hark, Greek: as much as I do Cressid love,
    So much by weight hate I her Diomed:
    That sleeve is mine that he'll bear on his helm;
    Were it a casque composed by Vulcan's skill,
    My sword should bite it: not the dreadful spout 3245
    Which shipmen do the hurricano call,
    Constringed in mass by the almighty sun,
    Shall dizzy with more clamour Neptune's ear
    In his descent than shall my prompted sword
    Falling on Diomed. 3250
  • Troilus. O Cressid! O false Cressid! false, false, false!
    Let all untruths stand by thy stained name,
    And they'll seem glorious.
  • Ulysses. O, contain yourself 3255
    Your passion draws ears hither.

[Enter AENEAS]

  • Aeneas. I have been seeking you this hour, my lord:
    Hector, by this, is arming him in Troy;
    Ajax, your guard, stays to conduct you home. 3260
  • Troilus. Have with you, prince. My courteous lord, adieu.
    Farewell, revolted fair! and, Diomed,
    Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head!
  • Ulysses. I'll bring you to the gates.
  • Troilus. Accept distracted thanks. 3265


  • Thersites. Would I could meet that rogue Diomed! I would
    croak like a raven; I would bode, I would bode.
    Patroclus will give me any thing for the
    intelligence of this whore: the parrot will not 3270
    do more for an almond than he for a commodious drab.
    Lechery, lechery; still, wars and lechery; nothing
    else holds fashion: a burning devil take them!