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Agam. Speak frankly as the wind;
It is not Agamemnon's s'ceping hour:
Ene. Trumpet blow loud,
Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents;
And every Greek of mettle, let him know,
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece,
That knows his valour, and knows not to fear;
Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,
Even so much :
And may that soldier a mere recreant prove,
When Hector's grandsire suck'd; he is old now;
It is most meet; Whom may you else oppose.
Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd
Of things to come at large. It is suppos'd,
What heart receives from hence a conquering
To steel a strong opinion to themselves? Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments, In no less working, than are swords and bows Directive by the limbs.
Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech ;Therefore 'tis ineet, Achilles meet not Hector. Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares, And think, perchance, they'll sell: if not, The lustre of the better shall exceed, By showing the worse first. Do not consent, That ever Hector and Achilles meet; For both our honour and our shame, in this, Are dogg'd with two strange followers.
Nest. I see them not with my old eyes; what are they?
Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from
Were he not proud, we all should share with him : But he already is too insolent;
And we were better parch in Afric sun,
Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes, Should he 'scape Hector fair: If he foil'd,
Agam Fair lord Æneas, let me touch your Why, then we did our main opinion § crush
To our pavilion shall I lead you, Sir.
So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent:
Nest. What says Ulysses?
In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery,
The sort to fight with Hector: Among our
Give him allowance for the better man,
Ulyss. I have a young conception in
Be you my time to bring it to some shape. Nest. What is't?
That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
Now I begin to relish thy advice;
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.
SCENE 1.-Another part of the Grecian
Enter AJAX and THERSITES.
Achil. So I do; What's the matter ?
Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: for whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax. Achil. I know that, fool.
Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his brain, more than he has beat my bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a penny and his pia mater is not worth the niuth part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles, Ajax,-who
Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boils? full, wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in his all over, generally ?
Ther. And those boils did run ?-Say so,-did not the general run then? were not that a botchy core ?
Ther. Then would come some matter from him; I see none now.
Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? Feel then. [Strikes him. Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted lord!
Ajar. Speak then, thou unsalted leaven! speak : I will beat thee into handsomeness.
Ther. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness: but I think thy horse will sooner con an oration, than thou learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike, canst thou? a red murrain o' thy jade's tricks!
Ajax. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation. Ther. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus ?
Ajax. The proclamation,
Ther. Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think. Ajax. Do not, porcupine, do not; my fingers itch.
Ther. I would thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another.
Ajar. I say, the proclamation,
Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles; and thou art as full of envy at his greatness as Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty; ay, that thou barkest at him.
Ajax. Mistress Thersites !
Ther. Thou shouldest strike him.
Ther. He would punt thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit. Ajar. You whoreson cur!
Ther. Do, do.
Ajax. Thou stool for a witch! Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine
elbows ; an assinego may tutor thee: Thou Scurvy valiant ass; thou art here put to thrash Trojans; and thou art bought and sold among those of any wit, like a Barbarian slave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel, and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou!
Ajax. You dog!
Ther. You scurvy lord! Ajax. You cur!
[Beating him. Ther. Mars his idiot, do! rudeness; do, camel; do, do.
head, I'll tell you what I say of him.
Ther. I say this, Ajax-
[AJAX offers to strike him, ACHILLES
Ther. Has not so much wit-
Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he comes to tight. Achil. Peace, fool!
Ther. I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not: he there; that he; look you there.
Ajax. O thou damned cur! I shall
Achil. Will you set your wit to a fool's? Ther. No, I warrant you; for a fool's wil! shame it.
Patr. Good words, Thersites.
Achil. What's the quarrel?
Ajax. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon me. Ther. I serve thee not.
Ajax. Well, go to, go to.
Ther. I serve here voluntary. +
Achil. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary; Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.
Ther. Even so ?-a great deal of your wit too lies in your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shall have a great catch, it he knock out either of your brains; a' were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.
Achil. What with me too, Thersites ?
Ther. There's Ulysses, and old Nestor,-whose wit was mouldy ere your grandsires had nails on their toes,--yoke you like draught oxen, and make you plough up the wafe.
Achil. What, what?
Ther. Yes, good sooth; To, Achilles! to Ajax! to!
Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue.
Ther. "Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.
Patr. No more words, Thersites; peace. Ther. I will hold my peace when Achilles' bracht bids me, shall I?
Achil. There's for you, Patroclus.
Ther. I will see you hanged, like clotpoles, ere I come any more to your tents; I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools. [Exit.
Patr. A good riddance. Achil. Marry, this, Sir, is proclaim'd through all our host:
That Hector, by the first hour of the sun, Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy, To-morrow morning call some knight to arms, That hath a stomach; and such a one, that dare Achil. Why, how now, Ajax? wherefore do Maintain-I know not what; 'tis trash: Fareyou thus ?
Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS.
How now, Thersites ? what's the matter, man?
Ther. You see him there, do you?
Ther. Nay, look upon him.
Ajax. Farewell. Who shall answer him? Achil. I know not it is put to lottery; other. He knew his man. [wise, Ajax. Oh! meaning you :-I'll go learn more of it. [Exeunt.
A crusty nueven loaf. A caut term for a foolish fellow. ¡Continue.
The membrane that protects the brain. Bitch.
SCENE 11.-Troy.-A Room in PRIAM'S Palace.
Enter PRIAM, HECTOR, TROILUS, PARIS, and HELENUS.
Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches spent,
Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks: Deliver Helen, and all damage else
As honour, loss of time, travel, expence,
Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
We turn not back the silks upon the merchant When we have soil'd them; nor the remainder viands
We do not throw in unrespective sieve, +
Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is Because we now are full. It was thought meet,
In hot digestion of this cormorant war,Shall be struck off:-Hector, what say you to't?
Hect. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than I,
As far as toucheth my particular, yet,
There is no lady of more softer bowels,
More ready to cry out-Who knows what fol
Than Hector is: The wound of peace is surety,
Every tithe soul, 'mongst many thousand dismes,
Tro. Fie, fie, my brother!
Weigh you the worth and honour of a king,
So great as our dread father, in a scale
Of common ounces? will you with counters sum
The past-proportion of his infinite?
And buckel-in a waist most fathomless,
With spans and inches so diminutive
As fears and reasons? fie, for godly shame!
Hel. No marvel, though you bite so sharp at reasons,
You are so empty of them. Should not our father [sons, Bear the great sway of his affairs with reaBecause your speech hath none, that tells him so? Tro. You are for dreams and slumbers, brother priest,
You fur your gloves with reason. your reasons:
You know, an enemy intends you harm;
With this cramm'd reason: reason and respect t
Tro. What is aught, but as 'tis valued?
To make the service greater than the god;
Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks: Your breath with full consent bellied his sails; The seas and winds (old wranglers) took a truce, And did him service he touch'd the ports desir'd; [captive, whom the Greeks held queen, whose youth and
Aud, for an old aunt He brought a Grecian freshness
Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes pale the morning. Why keep we her? the Grecians keep our aunt: Is she worth keeping? why, she is a pearl Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.
And cried-estimable!) why do you now
Cas. [Within.] Cry, Trojans !
Enter CASSANDRA, raving.
Cas. Cry, Trojans, cry! lend me ten thousand eyes,
And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
Cas. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled elders,
Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
[Exit. Hect. Now youthful Troilus, do not these high strains
Of divination in our sister work
Tro. Why, brother Hector,
We may not think the justness of each act
Such things as might offend the weakest spleen To fight for and maintain!
Par. Else might the world convince * of levity As well my undertakings, as your counsels: But I attest the gods, your full consent Gave wings to my propension, and cut off All fears attending on so dire a project. For what, alas, can these my single arms! What propugnation + is in one man's valour, To stand the push and enmity of those This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest, Were I alone to pass the difficulties, And had as ample power as I have will, Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done, Nor faint in the pursuit.
Pri. Paris, you speak
Like one besotted on your sweet delights:
Par. Sir, I propose not merely to myself
And on the cause and question now in hand
The reasons you allege, do more conduce
Have hears more deaf than adders to the voice
But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion
Is this in way of truth: yet ne'ertheless,
My spritely brethren, I propend ¶ to you
In resolution to keep Helen still;
For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependence Upon our joint and several dignities.
Tro. Why, there you touch'd the life of our
Were it not glory that we more affected
She is a theme of honour and renown;
Ther. How now, Thersites? what, lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus he beats me, and I rail at him: O worthy satisfaction! 'would it were otherwise; that I could beat him whilst he railed at me : 'Sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll see some issue of my spiteful execrations. Then there's Achilles,-a rare engineer. If Troy be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget that thou art Jove the king of gods; and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine craft of thy Caduceus; if ye take not that little little less-than-little wit from them that they have! which short-armed ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider, without drawing their massy irons, and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or, rather, the bone-ache! for that, methinks, is the curse dependent on those that war for a placket. I have said my prayers; and devil, envy, say Amen. What, ho! my lord Achilles !
Patr. Who's there? Thersites ? Good Thersites, come in and rail.
Ther. If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, thou wouldest not have slipped out of my contemplation: but it is no matter: Thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! heaven bless thee from a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy direction till thy death! then if she, that lays thee out, says-thou art a fair corse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't, she never shrouded any but lazars. || Amen.-Where's Achilles?
Patr. What, art thou devout? wast thou in prayer?
Ther. Ay; The heavens hear me !
Achil. Who's there?
Patr. Thersites, my lord.
Achil. Where, where ?-Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my table so many meals? Come; what's Agamemnon ?
Ther. Thy commander, Achilles :-Then tell me, Patroclus, what's Achilles?
Patr. Thy lord, Thersites; Then tell me, I pray thee, what's thyself?
Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus; Then tell me, Patroclus, what art thou?
Patr. Thou mayest tell, that knowest.
Ther. I'll decline the whole question. Agamemnon commands Achilles; Achilles is my lord; I am Patroclus' knower; and Patroclus is a fool.
Achil. He is a privileged man.-Proceed, | We come to speak with him: And you shall not Thersites.
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool: Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a fool; and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool.
Achil. Derive this; come.
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles; Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon; Thersites is a fool to serve such a fool; and Patroclus is a fool positive.
Patr. Why am I a fool?
Ther. Make that demand of the prover.-It suffices me, thou art. Look you, who comes here !
Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR, DIOMEDES, and AJAX. Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with Come in with me, Thersites.
nobody:[Exit, Ther. Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such knavery! all the argument is, a cuckold and a whore; A good quarrel to draw emulous⚫ factions, and bleed to death upon! Now the dry serpigot on the subject! and war and lechery confound all!
Agam. Where is Achilles?
Agam. Let it be known to him that we are here.
He shent our messengers; and we lay by
Let him be told so; lest, perchance, he think
Patr. I shall say so to him. [Exit. Ulyss. We saw him at the opening of his tent: He is not sick.
Ajax. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart: you may call it melancholy, if you will favour the man; but, by my head, 'tis pride: But why, why? let him show us a cause.-A word, my Jord. [Takes AGAMEMNON aside. Nest. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him? Ulyss. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from
Nest. Who? Thersites ?
Nest. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have ost his argument. ||
Ulyss. No you see, he is his argument, that has his argument; Achilles.
Nest. All the better; their fraction is more our wish, than their faction: But it was a strong composure, a fool could disunite.
Ulyss. The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie. Here comes Patroclus.
Nest. No Achilles with him. Ulyss. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy: his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure.
Patr. Achilles bids me say he is much
If any thing more than your sport and pleasure Did move your greatness, and this noble state, To call upon him: he hopes, it is no other, But for your health and your digestion sake, And after-dinner's breath. ¶
Agam. Hear you, Patroclus ;
We are too well acquainted with these answers:
Much attribute he hath; and much the reason
• Envious. + Tetter, scab. ✰ Rebuked. Our rank and dignity. 1 Subject. Breathing or exercise.
If you do say-we think him over-proud,
Here tend the savage strangeness+ he puts on;
[Exit. Agam. In second voice we'll not be satisfied, We come to speak with him.-Ulysses, enter. [Exit ULYSSES.
Ajax. What is he more than another? Agam. No more than what he thinks he is. Ajax. Is he so much? Do you not think, he thinks himself a better man than I am? Agam. No question.
Ajax. Will you subscribe his thought, and say -he is?
Agam. No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant, as wise, no less noble, much more gentle, and altogether more tractable.
Ajax. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? I know not what pride is.
Agam. Your mind's the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud, eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.
Ajax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the engendering of toads.
Nest. And yet he loves himself: Is it not strange? [Aside.
Ulyss. Achilles will not to the field to-mor
Agam. What's his excuse? Ulyss. He doth rely on none; But carries on the stream of his dispose, Without observance or respect of any, In will peculiar and in self-admission. Agam. Why will he not, upon our fair re. quest, Untent his person, and share the air with us? Ulyss. Things small as nothing, for request's [greatness;
sake only, He makes important: Possess'd he is with And speaks not to himself, but with a pride That quarrels at self-breath: imagin'd worth Holds in his blood such swoln and hot dis
That, 'twixt his mental and his active parts,
Agam. Let Ajax go to him.
Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent : 'Tis said he holds you well: and will be led, At your request, a little from himself.
Ulyss. O Agamemnon, let it not be so We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes When they go from Achilles: shall the proud
That bastes his arrogance with his own seam,¶
• Attend. + Shyness. 1 Obey Fits of lunacy. Approbation. Swine-seam is hog's lard.