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PATR. Ay; and, perhaps, receive much honour
ACHIL. I see, my reputation is at stake;
O, then beware;
Achil. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus: I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him To invite the Trojan lords after the combat, To see us hereunarm’d: I have a woman's longing, An appetite that I am sick withal, To see great Hector in his weeds of peace; To talk with him, and to behold his visage, Even to my full of view.
full of view. A labour sav'd!
THER. A wonder!
THER. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself.
ACHIL. How so?
• My fame is shrewdly gor'd.) So, in our author's 110th Sonnet:
“ Alas, 'tis true; I have gone here and there,
» MALONE. ? Omission to do &c.] By neglecting our duty we commission or enable that danger of dishonour, which could not reach us before, to lay hold upon us. JOHNSON.
THER. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector; and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling, that he raves in saying nothing.
ACHIL. How can that be?
Ther. Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, a stride, and a stand : ruminates, like an hostess, that hath no arithmetick but her brain to set down her reckoning: bites his lip with a politick regard, as who should say—there were wit in this head, an 'twould out; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man's undone for ever; for if Hector break not his neck i'the combat, he'll break it himself in vain-glory. He knows not me: I said, Good-morrow, Ajax; and he replies, Thanks, Agamemnon. What think you of this man, that takes me for the general ? He is grown a very land-fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.
ACHIL. Thou must be my embassador to him, Thersites.
THER. Who, I? why, he'll answer nobody ; he professes not answering; speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in his arms.' I will put on his presence; let Patroclus make demands to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax.
-with a politick regard,] With a sly look. Johnson.
it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. So, in Julius Casar: “ That carries anger, as the
flint bears fire; “ Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark, “ And straight is cold again.” STEEVENS. he wears his tongue in his arms.] So, in Macbeth: My voice is in my sword.” STEEVENS.
Acuil. To him, Patroclus: Tell him,- I humbly desire the valiant Ajax, to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarmed to my tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person, of the magnani. mous, and most illustrious, six-or-seven-times-honoured captain-general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon. Do this.
PATR. Jove bless great Ajax,
PATR. Who most humbly desires you, to invite Hector to his tent,
PATR. And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon.
you, with all my heart, , PATR. Your answer, sir.
THER. If to-morrow be a fair day, by eleven o'clock it will go one way or other; howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has me.
PATR. Your answer, sir.
THER. No, but he's out o'tune thus. What musick will be in him when Hector has knocked out his brains, I know not: But, I am sure, none;
unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on.
ACHIL. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.
THER. Let me bear another to his horse ; for that's the more capable creature.3 Achil. My mind is troubled, like a fountain
stirr’d; And I myself see not the bottom of it.*
[Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. THER. 'Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I might water an ass at it! I had rather be a tick in a sheep, than such a valiant ignorance.
: - to make catlings on.] It has been already observed that a catling signifies a small lute-string made of catgut. One of the musicians in Romeo and Juliet is called Simon Cațling.
STEEVENS. - the more capable creature.] The more intelligent creature. So, in King Richard III:
“ Bold, forward, quick, ingenious, capable." See also Vol. XV. p. 187, n. 2. MALONE,
* And I myself see not the bottom of it.]. This is an image frequently introduced by our author. So, in King Henry IV. Part II: “ I see the bottom of Justice Shallow."
Again, in King Henry ·VI. Part II;
we then should see the bottom “ Of all our fortunes.” STEEVENS,
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Troy. A Street.
Enter, at one side, Æneas and Servant, with a
Torch ; at the other, Paris, DEIPHOBUS, ANTEnor, DIOMEDES, and Others, with Torches.
Par. See, ho! who's that there?
"Tis the lord Æneas.
-lord Æneas. PAR. A valiant Greek, Æneas; take his hand: Witness the process of your speech, wherein You told-how Diomed, a whole week by days, Did haunt you in the field. ÆNE.
Health to you, valiant sir, During all question of the gentle truce:
svaliant sir,] The epithet—valiant, appears to have been caught by the compositor from the preceding speech, and is introduced here only to spoil the metre. STEEVENS.
During all question of the gentle truce :) I once thought to read :
During all quiet of the gentle truce : But I think question means intercourse, interchange of conversation. Johnson.
See Vol. VII. p. 349, n. 9. Question of the gentle truce is, conversation while the gentle truce lasts. MALONE.