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I ask, that I might waken reverence,
Which is that god in office, guiding men?
Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and,
Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Eneas,
But what the repining enemy commends,
Agam. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself
Ene. Ay, Greek, that is my name.
Ene. Trumpet, blow loud, Send thy brass voice through all these lazy And every Greek of mettle, let him know, What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud. [Trumpet sounds. We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy A prince call'd Hector, (Priam is his father,) Who in this dull and long-continued truce Is rusty grown; he bade me take a trumpet, And to this purpose speak. Kings, princes, lords!
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece, That holds his honour higher than his ease; That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril;
That knows his valour, and knows not to fear;
Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,
He hath a lady, wiser, fairer, truer,
The splinter of a lance.
If none of them have soul in such a kind,
Eue. Now heavens forbid such scarcity of
Agam. Fair lord Æneas, let me touch your To our pavilion shall I lead you, Sir. [hand; Achilles shall have word of this intent:" So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent: Yourself shall feast with us before you go, And find the welcome of a noble foe.
[Exeunt all but ULYSSES and NESTOR. Ulyss. Nestor,
Nest. What says Ulysses?
Ulyss. I have a young conception in my brain,
Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
Ulyss. This 'tis:
Blunt wedges rive hard knots: The seeded
In rank Achilles, must or now be cropp'd,
Nest. Well, and how?
Ulyss. This challenge that the gallant Hec. tor sends,
However it is spread in general name,
Nest. The purpose is perspicuous even as substance,
Whose grossness little characters sum up:
Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think." you?
For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute
Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd
Of things to come at large. It is suppos'd,
To steel a strong opinion to themselves?
Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech;-
Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from
Were he not proud, we all should share with
But he already is too insolent;
And we were better parch in Afric sun,
Give him allowance for the better man,
His crest, that prouder than blue Iris bends.
Now I begin to relish thy advice;
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!
Ajax. 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.
Ajax. 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 pun* thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit. Ajax. 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!
Ajux. You dog!
Ther. You scurvy lord!
[Beating him. Ther. Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do.
Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS.
Achil. Why, how now, Ajax? wherefore do you thus?
How now, Thersites? what's the matter, man? Ther. You see him there, do you?
Achil. Ay; what's the matter?
Ther. Nay, look upon him.
Achil. So I do; What's the matter?
Ther. Nay, but regard him well.
Achil. Well, why I do so.
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. Ajax. Therefore I beat thee.
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
SCENE 11.-Troy.-A Room in PRIAM'S Palace.
my bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a penny and his pia mater* is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles, Ajax,
who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in Enter PRIAM, Hector, Troilus, Paris, and
his head, I'll tell you what I say of him.
Ther. I say, this Ajax
Achil. Nay, good Ajax.
Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches
[AJAX offers to strike him, ACHILLES Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks;
Ther. Has not so much wit
Achil. Nay, I must hold you..
Deliver Helen, and all damage else―
Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, In hot digestion of this cormorant war,
for whom he comes to fight.
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 will
Patr. Good words, Thersites.
Ajax. I bade the vile owl, go learn me the tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon
Ther. I serve thee not.
Ajax. Well, go to, go to.
Ther. I serve here voluntary.t
Achil. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten volun tary; 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, if 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 wars. 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.
That Hector, by the first hour of the sun,
To-morrow morning call some knight to arms, That hath a stomach; and such a one, that [well. Maintain-I know not what; 'tis trash: FareAjax. Farewell. Who shall answer him? Achil. I know not, it is put to lottery; otherwise,
He knew his man.
Ajax. O, meaning you :-I'll go learn more of it. [Exeunt.
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,
Than Hector is: The wound of peace is surety,
Every tithe soul, 'mongst many thousand dismes,*
Hath been as dear as Helen; I mean, of ours:
Weigh you' the worth and honour of a king,
You fur your gloves with reason. Here are
Let's shut our gates, and sleep: Manhood
Hect. But value dwells not in particular | Cry, Trojans, cry! a Helen, and a woe:
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
We turn not back the silks upon the merchant,
We do not throw in unrespective sieve,t
He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth
Is she worth keeping? why, she is a pearl,
And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.
If you'll confess, he brought home noble prize,
And cried-Inestimable!) why do you now
Hect. Now youthful Troilus, do not these
Of divination in our sister work
Some touches of remorse? or is your blood
Tro. Why, brother Hector,
We may not think the justness of each act
Cannot distaste* the goodness of a quarrel,
Such things as might offend the weakest spleen
Par. Else might the world convince‡ of levity
Pri. Paris, you speak
Like one besotted on your sweet delights:
Par. Sir, I propose not merely to myself
Tro. 'Tis our mad sister, I do know her Where Helen is the subject: then, I say,
Cas. [Within.] Cry, Trojans!
Enter CASSANDRA, raving.
Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
Cry, Trojans, cry! practise your eyes with
Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilion stand; Our fire-brand brother, Paris, burns us all. + Basket.
Shrink, or fly off.
Priam's sister, Hesione.
Well may we fight for her, whom, we know
The world's large spaces cannot parallel.
Hect. Paris, and Troilus, you have both said
And on the cause and question now in hand
The reasons you allege, do more conduce
Than wife is to the husband? if this law
If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king,-
Is this in way of truth: yet ne'ertheless,
For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependence
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;
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 be sworn and sworn upon't, she never shroudlays thee out, says-thou art a fair corse, I'll ed any but lazars. Amen.-Where's Achilles? Putr. What, art thou devout? wast thou in prayer?
Ther. Ay; The heavens hear me!
Achil. Who's there?
Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou
Ther. Thy commander, Achilles:-Then tell me, Patroclus, what's Achilles?
Putr. Thy lord, Thersites; Then tell me, I pray thee, what's thyself?
Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus; Then tell me,
Patr. Thou mayest tell, that knowest.
Ther. I'll decline the whole question. Aga memnon commands Achilles; "Achilles is my lord; I am Patroclus' knower; and Patroclus is a fool.
Patr. You rascal!
Ther. Peace, fool; I have not done.
Achil. He is a privileged man.-Proceed, 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,
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 [Exit. of gods; and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine Ther. Here is such patchery, such juggling, craft of thy Caduceus; if ye take not that little and such knavery! all the argument is, a little less-than-little wit from them that they cuckold, and a whore; good quarrel, to have! which short-armed ignorance itself draw emulous factions, and bleed to death knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in cir-upon. Now the dry serpigos on the subject! cumvention deliver a fly from a spider, without and war, and lechery, confound all!
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!
+ Incline to, as a question of honour.
Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody:Come in with me, Thersites.
Agam. Where is Achilles?
Patr. Within his tent; but ill dispos'd, my
Agam. Let it be known to him that we are
He shent our messengers; and we lay by