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Ther. I would thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee, I would make thee the loathsom'st scab in Greece.

Ajax. I say, the proclamation.

Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his greatness, ąs Cerberus is at Proferpina's beauty. I, that thou bark'st at him.

Ajax. Mistress Therfites.
Ther. Thou shouldst strike him,
Ajax. "Cobloaf.

Ther. He would pound thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a bisket. Ajax. You whorson cur.

[Beating him. Ther. Do, do. Ajax. Thou stool for a witch.

Ther. Ay, do, thou sodden-witted lord; thou hast no more brain than I have in my elbows: ap Alinego may tutor thee. Thou scurvy valiant ass, thou art here but 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, thor.

Ajax. You dog.
Ther. You scurvy lord.
Ajax. You cur.

[Beating bim. Ther. Mars his ideot! do rudeness, do camel, do, do.

S CE N E II.

Enter Achilles and Patroclus.

Achil. Why how now, Ajax ? wherefore do you this ?
How now, Therfites? what's the matter, man?

Ther. You see him there, do you?
Achil. Ay, what's the matter?

Ther.

Ther. Nay look upon him.
Achil. So I do, what's the matter ?
Ther. Nay, but regard him well.
Achil. Well, why I do fo.
Ther. But yet you look fot 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 evafions have ears thus long. I have bobb’d 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. 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? (Ajax offers to strike him, Achilles interposes.
Ther. I say, this Ajax.
Achil. Nay, good Ajax.
Ther. Has not so much wit ---
Achil. Nay, good Ajax.

Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, 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 damn'd cur, I shall ----
Achil. Will you set your wit to a fool's ?
Ther. No, I warrant you, for a fool's will shame it.
Pat. Good words, Thersites.
Achil. What's the quarrel?

Ajax, I bad the vile owl go learn me the tenure of the pro clamation, and he rails upon me.

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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. Ev’n 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, he were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.

Achil. What, with me too, Therfites ?

Ther. There's Ulysses, and old Neftor, (whose wit was mouldy ere their Grandsires had nails on their toes,) yoke you like draft oxen, and make you plough up the wair.

Achil. What! what!
Ther. Yes good footh, to Achilles, to Ajax, to---
Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue.
Ther. 'Tis no matter, I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.
Pat. No more words, Thersites.
Ther. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall I?
Achil. There's for you, Patroclus.

Ther. I will see you hang'd 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. Pat. A good riddance.

Achil. Marry this, Sir, is proclaim'd through all our host,
That Heftor, by the fifth 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, such a one that dare
Maintain I know not what: 'tis trash, farewel.

Ajax. Farewel! who shall answer him?

6

Achil.

Achil. I know not, 'tis put to lotery; otherwise He knew his man.

Ajax. O, meaning you: I'll go learn more of it.

[Exeunt.

A

S CE N E III.

Priam's Palace in Troy.
Enter Priam, Hector, Troilus, Paris and Helenus.
Pri. Fter 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,
Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is consum'd
Io hot digestion of this cormorant war)
Shall be struck off. Heftor, what say you to't?

Hect. Though no man lefser fears the Greeks than I,
As far as touches my particular; yet
There is no lady of more softer bowels,
More spungy to suck in the sense of fear,
More ready to cry out, who knows what follows?
Than Heštor is. The wound of peace is surety,
Surety secure; but modest doubt is called
The beacon of the wise; the tent that searches
To th’ bottom of the worst. Let Helen go.
Since the first sword was drawn about this question,
Ev'ry 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, nor 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?

Troi.

+ dismes tenths,

Troi. Fie, fie, my brother :
Weigh you the worth and honour of a king
(So great is our dread father) in a scale
Of common ounces? will you with counters sum
The vast proportion of his infinite?
And buckle in a waste, molt fathomless,
With spans and inches so diminutive
As fears and reasons? fie for godly shame!

Hel. No marvel, tho' you bite so sharp at reasons,
You're empty of them. Should not our father Priam
Bear the great sway of his affairs with reasons,
Because your speech hath none that tells him so?

Troi. You are for dreams and slumbers, brother priest,
You fur your gloves with reasons. Here are your reasons.
You know an enemy intends you harm,
You know, a sword imploy'd is perillous,
And reason flies the object of all harm.
Who marvels then when Helenus beholds
A Grecian and his sword, if he do set
The very wings of reason to his heels,
+ And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,
+ Or like a star dis-orb’d. ----Nay if we talk of reason,
Let's shut our gates, and sleep: manhood and honour
Should have hare-hearts, would they but fat their thoughts
With this cramm'd reason: reason and respect
Make - livers pale, and lustyhood deject.

Heft. Brother, she is not worth
What she doth cost the holding.

Troi. What's ought, but as 'tis valu’d?

Heft. But Value dwells not in particular will,
It holds its estimate and dignity
As well wherein 'tis precious of it self,
As in the prizer: 'tis mad idolatry,

To + These two lines are misplaced in all the folio editions.

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