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 th’ attest of eyes and ears,
As if those organs had deceptious functions,
Created only to calumniate.
Was Cressid here?
Let it not be believ’d 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.
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 was 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, 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 given to Diomed.
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 clamor Neptune’s ear,
In his descent, than shall my prompted sword
Falling on Diomed.
O Cressid! O false Cressid! False, false, false!