Troilus and Cressida (1602-3)

Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
Shakespeare Network -

Act V, Scene 2

The same. Before Calchas' tent.


Diomedes What, are you up here, ho? speak.

Calchas [Within] Who calls?

Diomedes Calchas, I think. Where's your daughter?

Calchas [Within] She comes to you.
[Enter TROILUS and ULYSSES, at a distance;]
after them, THERSITES]

Ulysses Stand where the torch may not discover us.


Troilus Cressid comes forth to him.

Diomedes How now, my charge!

Cressida Now, my sweet guardian! Hark, a word with you.


Troilus Yea, so familiar!

Ulysses She will sing any man at first sight.

Thersites And any man may sing her, if he can take her cliff;
she's noted.

Diomedes Will you remember?

Cressida Remember! yes.

Diomedes Nay, but do, then;
And let your mind be coupled with your words.

Troilus What should she remember?

Cressida Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.

Thersites Roguery!

Diomedes Nay, then,--

Cressida I'll tell you what,--

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?

Cressida I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath;
Bid me do any thing but that, sweet Greek.

Diomedes Good night.

Troilus Hold, patience!

Ulysses How now, Trojan!

Cressida Diomed,--

Diomedes No, no, good night: I'll be your fool no more.

Troilus Thy better must.

Cressida Hark, one word in your ear.

Troilus O plague and madness!

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.

Troilus Behold, I pray you!

Ulysses Nay, good my lord, go off:
You flow to great distraction; come, my lord.

Troilus I pray thee, stay.

Ulysses You have not patience; come.

Troilus I pray you, stay; by hell and all hell's torments
I will not speak a word!

Diomedes And so, good night.

Cressida Nay, but you part in anger.

Troilus Doth that grieve thee?
O wither'd truth!

Ulysses Why, how now, lord!

Troilus By Jove,
I will be patient.

Cressida Guardian!--why, Greek!

Diomedes Foh, foh! adieu; you palter.

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 She strokes his cheek!

Ulysses Come, come.

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!

Diomedes But will you, then?

Cressida In faith, I will, la; never trust me else.

Diomedes Give me some token for the surety of it.

Cressida I'll fetch you one.


Ulysses You have sworn patience.

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]

Thersites Now the pledge; now, now, now!

Cressida Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve.

Troilus O beauty! where is thy faith?

Ulysses My lord,--

Troilus I will be patient; outwardly I will.

Cressida You look upon that sleeve; behold it well.
He loved me--O false wench!--Give't me again.

Diomedes Whose was't?

Cressida It is no matter, now I have't again.
I will not meet with you to-morrow night:
I prithee, Diomed, visit me no more.

Thersites Now she sharpens: well said, whetstone!

Diomedes I shall have it.

Cressida What, this?

Diomedes Ay, that.

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;
He that takes that doth take my heart withal.

Diomedes I had your heart before, this follows it.

Troilus I did swear patience.

Cressida You shall not have it, Diomed; faith, you shall not;
I'll give you something else.

Diomedes I will have this: whose was it?

Cressida It is no matter.

Diomedes Come, tell me whose it was.

Cressida 'Twas one's that loved me better than you will.
But, now you have it, take it.

Diomedes Whose was it?

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.

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;
Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.

Cressida You shall not go: one cannot speak a word,
But it straight starts you.

Diomedes I do not like this fooling.

Thersites Nor I, by Pluto: but that that likes not you pleases me best.

Diomedes What, shall I come? the hour?

Cressida Ay, come:--O Jove!--do come:--I shall be plagued.

Diomedes Farewell till then.

Cressida Good night: I prithee, come.
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
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.'

Ulysses All's done, my lord.

Ulysses Why stay we, then?

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,
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,
Created only to calumniate.
Was Cressid here?

Ulysses I cannot conjure, Trojan.

Troilus She was not, sure.

Ulysses Most sure she was.

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,
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?

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,
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.
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
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;
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
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.
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
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.

Thersites He'll tickle it for his concupy.

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
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.

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.


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
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!


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