Behind the two watchers, Thersites lurks now as well, close enough to overhear. And any man may sing her, if he can take her clef! —a crude play on cleft. She’s noted! —another poor jest.
Diomedes asks her, “Will you remember?”
“Remember,” says the Trojan lady, softly and sadly. “Yes.”
“Nay, but do, then—and let your mind be coupled with your words!”
- “What should she remember?” wonders Troilus.
- “Listen,” says Ulysses; Diomedes will speak as he has advised.
Cressida looks up at Diomedes. “Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly!” she pleads.
- Roguery! thinks cynical Thersites.
“Nay, then—” begins Diomedes.
Cressida interrupts. “I’ll tell you what—”
“Oh, fie! Come, tell a pin!”—cavil, says Diomedes. “You are forsworn!” he cries, seemingly angered.
“In faith, I cannot! What would you have me do?”
- A juggling trick: to be secretly open! thinks Thersites.
Diomedes regards her. “What did you swear you would bestow on me?”
“I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath; bid me do anything but that, sweet Greek!”
Diomedes turns to go. “Good night.”
- Troilus is furious. Hold, patience! He starts to rise.
- Ulysses’ hand on his shoulder restrains him. “How now, Trojan?”
“Diomed—” she says.
“No, no, good night! I’ll be your fool no more.”
- “Thy better must!” mutters Troilus.
Cressida beseeches, “Hark, one word in your ear….”
- “Oh plague and madness!” gasps Troilus, overwhelmed by jealousy.
- “You are angered, prince! Let us depart, I pray you, lest your displeasure should enlarge itself to wrathful terms! This place is dangerous, the time right deadly!” warns Ulysses. “I beseech you, go!”
- Troilus stares at the couple, close together in the torchlight. “Behold, I pray you!”