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Ulysses notices that Troilus is shaking and asks him if he wished to leave. He implies that if he stayed on he might lose control. Troilus comments that Cressida is stroking Diomedes cheek. Ulysses attempts to get Troilus away. Troilus again implores him to stay and says that he will not speak a word. He says that a guard of patience stands between his will and any offense. Thersites comments that the devil lechery with his fat rump and potato finger tickles these together. Almost gleefully he says, ‘Fry lechery, fry’, and commands it to burn with a strong passion.
Diomedes and Cressida seem to have reached some sort of agreement and Diomedes asks her for a token for ‘the surity of it.’ Cressida says she will fetch a token and exits. Ulysses reminds Troilus that he has sworn patience. Troilus asks him not to fear. He says that he will suppress his true feelings. He reiterates that he is all patience. Cressida enters. Thersites says, ‘Now the pledge: now, now, now!’ Cressida hands a sleeve to Diomedes. Troilus recognizes it as the token he has given her and exclaims, ‘O beauty, where is thy faith?’
When Ulysses expresses his worry, Troilus makes a superhuman effort to maintain his outward patience. Cressida tells Diomedes to get a good look of the sleeve, and then remembering Troilus says: ‘He lov’d me.’ Then with an apparent change of heart, she calls herself a ‘false wench!’ and takes back the sleeve. Diomedes asks her whose sleeve it is. Cressida says it didn’t matter whose sleeve it was now that she had it back. She tells Diomedes decisively that she will not meet him the following night and hopes he will not visit her again.
Diomedes says that he already had her heart and that the sleeve only followed it.
Almost stoically Troilus says that he had sworn patience. Cressida continues to argue with Diomedes. She says she will give him something else instead of the sleeve as a token. Diomedes insists on keeping the sleeve and asks her whom it belonged. Cressida says it doesn’t matter to whom it belonged.
Diomedes insists on knowing. Cressida says that it belonged to someone who loved her better. Then she says that since he has got that much out of her, he can keep the sleeve. Diomedes insists on knowing the identity. Cressida swears by ‘Diana’s waiting- women yond’, the stars, that she will not tell him. Diomedes says that he will wear it on his helm the following day and that will afflict Cressida’s erstwhile lover if he does not challenge it.
Troilus says that he would challenge him even if Diomedes was a devil and wore the sleeve on his horn. Cressida muses that the past is the past and then adds to Diomedes that she will not keep her word to him. Diomedes then says he will leave and that she will never mock him again. Cressida, who is an adept at sexual politicking and little games, says that he should not leave and that one cannot speak a word. Diomedes says that he does not like her fooling and the games she plays. Troilus seconds his comment and says that whatever Diomedes disliked he liked. Diomedes asks Cressida at what time he should come to her.
Cressida gives in and asks him to come or else she would be most vexed. Diomedes bids her farewell. Cressida bids him good night and once again asks him to come for her.