CRESSIDA. If beauty have a soul, this is not she; If souls guide vows, if vows be sanctimonies, If sanctimony be the god's delight, If there be rule in unity itself, This was not she. O madness of discourse, That cause sets up with and against itself! Bifold 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, dissolv'd, and loos'd; 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 Inflam'd 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 compos'd by Vulcan's skill My sword should bite it. Not the dreadful spout Which shipmen do the hurricano call, Constring'd 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.


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. Fairwell, 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 anything 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!


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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