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Ulyss. Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down, And the great Hector's sword had lack'd a master, But for these instances.

The specialty of rule9 hath been neglected:
And, look, how many Grecian tents do stand
Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions.
When that the general is not like the hive,
To whom the foragers shall all repair,
What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded,'
The unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
The heavens themselves,the planets, and this centre,
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custom, in all line of order;
And therefore is the glorious planet, Sol,
In noble eminence enthron'd and spher'd
Amidst the other; whose med'cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts, like the commandment of a king,
Sans3 check, to good and bad: But when the planets,
In evil mixture, to disorder wander,
What plagues, and what portents? what mutiny?
What raging of the sea? shaking of earth?
Commotion in the winds? frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixture? O, when degree is shaked,
Which is the ladder of all high designs,
The enterprise is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividables shores,
The primogenitive and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
But by degree, stand in authentic place?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy: The bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this solid globe:
Strength should be lord of imbecility,

And the rude son should strike his father dead:
Force should be right; or, rather, right and wrong
(Between whose endless jar justice resides)
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;

And appetite, an universal wolf,

So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce an universal prey,

And, last, eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
Follows the choking.

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And this neglection of degree it is,
That by a pace goes backward, with a purpose
It hath to climb. The general's disdain'd
By him one step below; he, by the next;
That next by him beneath: so every step,
Exampled by the first pace that is sick
Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
Of pale and bloodless emulation:
And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length,
Troy in your weakness stands, not in her strength.
Nest. Most wisely hath Ulysses here discover'd
The fever whereof all our power is sick.

Agam. The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses, What is the remedy?

Ulyss. The great Achilles,-whom opinion crowns
The sinew and the forehand of our host,-
Having his car full of his airy fame,
Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent

Lies mocking our designs: With him, Patroclus,
Upon a lazy bed, the live-long day
Breaks scurril jests;

And with ridiculous and awkward action
(Which, slanderer, he imitation calls)

He pageants us. Sometime, great Agamemnon. Thy topless reputation he puts on; And, like a strutting player,-whose conceit Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich To hear the wooden dialogue and sound 'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage,9 Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested' seeming He acts thy greatness in: and when he speaks, 'Tis like a chime a mending; with terms unsquared, Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropp'd, Rights of authority. 1 Masked. 2 Constancy. . Without. Force up by the roots. • Divided. • Absolute. In modern language, takes us off. ⚫ Stage. 1 Beyond the truth.

• Supreme.

Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff,
The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling,
From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause;
Cries-Excellent! 'tis Agamemnon just.-
Now play me Neste-hem, and stroke thy beard,
As he, being drest to some oratum.

That's done;-as near as the extremest ends
Of parallels; as like as Vulcan and dis wife:
Yet good Achilles still cries, Excellent!
'Tis Nestor right! Now play him me, Patroclus,
Arming to answer in a night alarm.
And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age
Must be the scene of mirth; to cough and spit,
And with a palsy-fumbling on his gorget,
Shake in and out the rivet :-and at this sport,
Sir Valor dies; cries, O!-enough, Patroclus;-
Or give me ribs of steel! I shall split all
In pleasure of my spleen. And in this fashion,
All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
Severals and generals of grace exact,
Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,
Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
Success, or loss, what is, or is not, serves
As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.

Nest. And in the imitation of these twain,
(Whom, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns
With an imperial voice,) many are infect.
Ajax is grown self-will'd; and bears his head
In such a rein, in full as proud a place

As broad Achilles: keeps his tent like him;
Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war,
Bold as an oracle: and sets Thersites
(A slave, whose gall coins slanders like a mint)
To match us in comparisons with dirt;
To weaken and discredit our exposure,
How rank soever rounded in with danger.

Ulyss. They tax our policy, and call it cowardice,
Count wisdom as no member of the war;
Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
But that of hand: the still and mental parts,-
That do contrive how many hands shall strike,
When fitness calls them on; and know, by measure
Of their observant toil, the enemies' weight,-
Why, this hath not a finger's dignity:

They call this-bed-work, mappery, closet-war:
So that the ram, that batters down the wall,
For the great swing and rudeness of his poise,
They place before his hand that made the engine
Or those, that with the fineness of their souls
By reason guide his execution.

Nest. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse
Makes many Thetis' sons. [Trumpet sounded.
What trumpet? look, Menelaus.
Enter ENEAS.

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That breath fame follows; that praise, sole pure, transcends.

Agam. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Æneas?
Ene. Ay, Greek, that is my name.
What's your affair, I pray you?
Ene. Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears.
Agam. He hears nought privately, that comes
from Troy.

Ene. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper him:
I bring a trumpet to awake his ear:
To set his sense on the attentive bent,
And then to speak.


Speak frankly, as the wind; It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour: That thou shalt know, Trojan, he is awake, He tells thee so himself.


Trumpet, blow loud,
Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents;-
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 called 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 honor higher than his ease;
That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril;
That knows his valor, and knows not his fear;
That loves his mistress more than in confession,
(With truant vows to her own lips he loves,)
And dare avow her beauty and her worth,
In other arms than hers,-to him this challenge.
Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,
Shall make it good, or do his best to do it,
He hath a lady, wiser, fairer, truer,

Than ever Greek did compass in his arms;
And will to-morrow with his trumpet call,
Mid-way between your tents and walls of Troy,
To rouse a Grecian that is true in love:
If any come, Hector shall honor him;
If none, he'll say in Troy, when he retires,
The Grecian dames are sun-burn'd, and not worth
The splinter of a lance. Even so much.

Agam. This shall be told our lovers, lord Æneas:
If none of them have soul in such a kind,
We left them all at home: But we are soldiers;
And may that soldier a mere recreant prove,
That means not, hath not, or is not in love!
If then one is, or hath, or means to be,
That one meets Hector; if none else, I am he.
Nest. Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man
When Hector's grandsire suck'd: he is old now;
But, if there be not in our Grecian host
One noble man, that hath one spark of fire
To answer for his love, tell him from me,-
I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver,
And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn;
And, meeting him, will tell him, That my lady
Was fairer than his grandame, and as chaste
As may be in the world: His youth in flood,
I'll prove this truth with my three drops of blood,
Ene. Now heaven forbid such scarcity of youth!
Ulyss. Amen.

Agam Fair lord Æneas, let me touch your hand: To your pavilion shall I lead you, sir. 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. Nest. What is 't?

Ulyss. This 'tis:

Blunt wedges rive hard knots: The seeded pride
That hath to this maturity blown up

In rank Achilles, must or now be cropp'd,
Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil,
To overbulk us all.

2 An armor for the arm.


Well, and how? Ulyss. This challenge that the gallant Hector sends,

However it is spread in general name,
Relates in purpose only to Achilles.

Nest. The purpose is perspicuous even as substance,

Whose grossness little characters sum up:
And, in the publication, make no strain,
But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
As banks of Lybia,-though, Apollo knows,
'Tis dry enough,-will with great speed of judg

Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
Pointing on him."

Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think you?

It is most meet: Whom may you else oppose,
That can from Hector bring those honors off,
If not Achilles? Though't be a sportful combat,
Yet in the trial much opinion dwells;
For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute
With their fin'st palate: And trust to me, Ulysses,
Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd
In this wild action: for the success,
Although particular, shall give a scantling3
Of good or bad unto the general;
And in such indexes, although small pricks4
To their subséquent volumes, there is seen
The baby figure of the giant mass

Of things to come at large. It is suppos'd,
He, that meets Hector, issues from our choice:
And choice, being mutual act of all our souls,
Makes merit her election; and doth boil,
As 'twere from forth us all, a man distill'd
Out of her virtues; Who miscarrying,

What heart receives from hence a conquering part,
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 meet 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 worst first. Do not consent,
That ever Hector and Achilles meet;
For both our honor and our shame, in this,
Are dogg'd with two strange followers,

Nest. I see them not with my old eyes; what are


Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from


Were he not proud, we all should share with him:
But he already is to 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 were foil'd,
Why, then we did our main opinion3 crush
In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery;
And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw
The sorts to fight with Hector: Among ourselves,
Give him allowance for the better man,
For that will physic the great Myrmidon,
Who broils in loud applause; and make him fall
His crest, that prouder than blue Iris bends.
If the dull brainless Ajax come safe off,
We'll dress him up in voices: If he fail,
Yet go we under our opinion still,
That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
Our project's life this shape of sense assumes,-
Ajax, employ'd, plucks down Achilles' plumes.
Nest. Ulysses,

Now I begin to relish thy advice;
And I will give a taste of it forthwith
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.
Two curs shall tame each other; Pride alone
Must tarres the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.

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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.
Ajax. Cobloaf!

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!

[Beating him.

Ther. Ay, do, do: thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego1 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.


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.

! This lord, Achilles, Ajax,-who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in his head,-I'll tell you what I say of him.

Achil. What?

Ther. I say this, Ajax

Achil. Nay, good Ajax.

TAJAX offers to strike him, ACHILLES

Ther. Has not so much wit-
Achil. Nay, I must hold you.

for whom he comes to fight.

Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle,

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 shame

Patr. Good words, Thersites.
Achil. What's the quarrel?

of the proclamation, and he rails upon me.
Ajax. I bade the vile owl, go, learn me the tenor
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.

lies in your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector Ther. Even so ?-a great deal of your wit too shall have a great catch, if he knock out either of your brains; 'a were as good crack a fusty nut with

no kernel.

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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
Maintain-I know not what; 'tis trash: Farewell.
Ajax. Farewell. Who shall answer him?
He knew his man.
Achil. I know not, it is put to lottery; otherwise,

Ajax. O, meaning you :-I'll go learn more of it. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-Troy. A Room in Priam's Palace. Enter PRIAM, HECTOR, TROILUS, PARIS, and HE


Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches, spent, Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks:

Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: for Deliver Helen, and all damage else―

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 my bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. 1 Ass, a cant term for a foolish fellow. 2 The membrane that protects the brain.

• Pound.

As honor, loss of time, travel, expense,
Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is con-

Shall be struck off:-Hector, what say you to't?
In hot digestion of this cormorant war-
Hect. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks
than I,

As far as toucheth my particular, yet,
Dread Priam,

There is no lady of more softer bowels,
Bitch, hound.

More spungy to suck in the sense of fear,
More ready to cry out-Who knows what follows?
Than Hector is: the wound of peace is surety,
Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd
The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
To the bottom of the worst. Let Helen go:
Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
Every tithe soul, 'mongst many thousand dismes,
Hath been as dear as Helen; I mean of ours:
If we have lost so many tenths of ours,
To guard a thing not ours; not worth to us,
Had it our name, the value of one ten;
What merit's in that reason, which denies
The yielding of her up?

Fye, fye, my brother!
Weigh you the worth and honor 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 buckle-in a waist most fathomless,
With spans and inches so diminutive

As fears and reasons? fye, for godly shame!
Hel. No marvel, though you bite so sharp at

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What is aught, but as 'tis valued? Hect. But value dwells not in particular will; It holds his estimate and dignity

As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
As in the prizer: 'tis mad idolatry,

To make the service greater than the god,
And the will dotes, that is attributive
To what infectiously itself affects,
Without some image of the affected merit.

Tro. I take to-day a wife, and my election
Is led on in the conduct of my will:
My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
Of will and judgment: How may I avoid,
Although my will distaste what it elected,
The wife I chose? there can be no evasion
To blench from this, and to stand firm by honor:
We turn not back the silks upon the merchant,
When we have soil'd them; nor the remainder

We do not throw in unrespective sieve,
Because we now are full. It was thought meet,
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;
And, for an old aunt, whom the Greeks held

He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and 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 king to merchants.
If you'll avouch, 'twas wisdom Paris went,
(As you must needs, for you all cry'd-Go, go.)
If you'll confess, he brought home noble prize,
(As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands,
And cry'd-Inestimable!) why do you now
Shrink, or fly off.

• Tenths.

• Caution.

▾ Priam's sister, Hesione.

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And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
Hect. Peace, sister, peace,

Cas. Virgins and boys, mid-age, and wrinkled elders,

Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
Add to my clamors! let us pray betimes
A moiety of that mass of moan to come.
Cry, Trojans, cry! practise your eyes with tears!
Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilion stand;
Our fire-brand brother, Paris, burns us all.
Cry, Trojans, cry! a Helen and a woe:
Cry, cry! Troy burns, or else let Helen go. [Exit.
Hect. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high


Of divination in our sister work

Some touches of remorse? or is your blood
So madly hot, that no discourse of reason,
Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,
Can qualify the same?


Why, brother Hector, We may not think the justness of each act Such and no other than event doth form it; Nor once deject the courage of our minds Because Cassandra's mad; her brain-sick raptures Cannot distastes the goodness of a quarrel, Which hath our several honors all engaged To make it gracious. For my private part, I am no more touched than all Priam's sons: And Jove forbid, there should be done amongst us Such things as might offend the weakest spleen To fight for and maintain!

Par. Else might the world convince9 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 valor
That 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.

Paris, you speak
Like one besotted on your sweet delights:
You have the honey still, but these the gall;
So to be valiant, is no praise at all.

Par. Sir, I propose not merely to myself
The pleasures such a beauty brings with it;
But I would have the soil of her fair rape
Wiped off, in honorable keeping her.
What treason were it to the ransack'd queen,
Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me,
Now to deliver her possession up,
On terms of base compulsion? Can it be,
That so degenerate a strain as this,
Should once set footing in your generous bosoms?
There's not the meanest spirit on our party,
Without a heart to dare, or sword to draw,
When Helen is defended; nor none so noble,
Whose life were ill bestow'd, or death unfamed,
Where Helen is the subject: then, I say,
Well may we fight for her, whom, we know well,
The world's large spaces cannot parallel.

Hect. Paris, and Troilus, you have both said


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The reasons, you allege, do more conduce
To the hot passion of distemper'd blood,
Than to make up a free determination
'Twixt right and wrong; For pleasure, and re-


Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
Of any true decision. Nature craves,

All dues be render'd to their owners; Now
What nearer debt in all humanity,

Than wife is to the husband? if this law
Of nature be corrupted through affection;
And that great minds, of3 partial indulgence
To their benumbed wills, resist the same;
There is a law in each well-order'd nation,
To curb those raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and refractory.
If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king,-
As it is known she is.-these moral laws
Of nature, and of nations, speak aloud

To have her back return'd: Thus to persist

In doing wrong, extenuates not wrong,

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 design:

Were it not glory that we more affected,
Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
She is a theme of honor and renown;

A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds;
Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
And fame, in time to come, canonize us:
For, I presume, brave Hector would not lose
So rich advantage of a promis'd glory,
As smiles upon the forehead of this action,
For the wide world's revenue.

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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 ! Enter PATROCLUS.

Patr. Who's there? Thersites? Good Thersites,

come in and rail.

Ther. If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, thou wouldst 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 Through. • Incline. • Blustering. • Envy. The wand of Mercury, which is wreathed with ser


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 mayst tell, that knowest.
Achil. O, tell, tell.

Ther. I'll decline the whole question. Agamem non 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, Diomedes, and AJAX.

Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody:Come in with me, Thersites. [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 emulous9 factions, and bleed to death upon. Now the dry serpigo on the subject and war, and lechery, confound all! [Exit.

Agam. Where is Achilles? Patr. Within his tent; but ill-dispos'd, my lord. Agam. Let it be known to him that we are here; He shent2 our messengers; and we lay by Our appertainments3 visiting of him: Let him be told so; lest, perchance, he think We dare not move the question of our place, Or know not what we are.

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 favor the man; but, by my head, 'tis pride: But why, why? let him show us a cause.-A word, my lord.

[Takes AGAMEMNON aside. Nest. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him? Ulyss. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him. Nest. Who? Thersites ? Ulyss. He.

Nest. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument.4

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 com

posure, a fool could disunite.

Ulyss. The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie. Here comes Patroclus.

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