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As done: perseverance keeps honour bright:
' To have done, is to hang quite out of fashion,
· Like rusty Mail in monumental mockery.
For honour travels in a streight so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast; keep then the path.
For Emulation hach a thousand sons,
That one by one pursue ; if you give way
Or turn aside from the direct forth-right,
Like to an entred tide they all rush by,
And leave you hindermost; and there you lye
Like to a gallant horse fallin in first rank,
For pavement to the abject, near o'er-run
And trampled on: Then what they do in present,
Tho' less than yours in past, must o’er-top yours.
· For time is like a fashionable host,
· That slightly shakes his parting guest by th' hand;
But with his arms out-stretch'd, as he would fly,
· Grasps in the comer ; Welcome ever smiles,
' And Farewel goes out sighing. O let not virtue seek
Remuneration for the thing it was;
For beauty, wit, high birth, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin;
That all with one consent praise new-born gauds,
Tho' they are made and moulded of things past; *
The present eye praises the present object.
Then marvel not, thou great and compleat man,
That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax ;
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye,
Than what not stirs. The cry' went once for thee,
And still it might, and yet it may again,
If thou would'st not entomb thy self alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
Made emulous missions ’mongst the gods themselves,
And drave great Mars to faction.
Achil. Of my privacy
I have strong reasons.
Ulyf. 'Gainst your privacy
The reasons are more potent and heroical.
*Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
With one of Priam's daughters.
Achil. Ha! known!
Ulys. Is that a wonder ?
The providence thats in a watchful state,
Knows almost ev'ry grain of Pluto's gold;
Finds bottom in th' uncomprehensive deep;
Keeps place with thought; and almost like the gods
Does ev’n our thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles:
There is a mystery (with which relation
Durst never meddle) in the soul of state;
Which hath an operation more divine,
Than breath of pen can give expressure to.
All the commerce that
have had with Troy
As perfectly is ours, as yours, my lord.
And better would it fit Achilles much,
To throw down Hector, than Polyxena.
But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
When fame shall in his island sound her trump;
And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,
Great Hector's sister did Achilles win;
But our great Ajax bravely beat down "Hector.
Farewel, my lord ----I, as your lover, speak;
The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.
Patr. To this effect, Achilles, have I movd you;
A woman, impudent and mannish grown,
Is not more loath'd than an effeminate m an
In time of act. I stand condemnd for this;
They think my little stomach to the war,
your great love to me, restrains
' Oh rouse your self; and the weak wanton Cupid
Shall from your neck unloose his am'rous fold,
• And like a dew-drop from the lion's mane,
< Be shook to air.
. Shall Ajax fight with Hector! -
Patr. Ay, and perhaps receive much honour by him.
Achil. I see my reputation is at stake,
My fame is fhrewdly gor’d.
Patr. O then beware :
Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves :
Omission to do what is necessary
Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we fit idly in the sun.
Achil. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus:
I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him
T'invite the Trojan lords, after the combat,
To see us here : I have a woman's longing,
An appetite that I am sick with al,
To see great Hector in the weeds of peace,
To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
Ev’n to my full of view.----- A labour fav’d!
Ther. A wonder!
Ther. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself.
Achil. How so?
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 his head, if ’twou'd out; and so there is, but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not shew without knocking. The man's undone for ever: for if Hector break not his neck i’th combat, he'll break’t 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's grown a very land-fish, language-less, a monster. A plague of opinion, a man may, wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.
Achil. Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites.
Ther. Who 1?---- why he'll answer no body; he professes not answering; speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in's arms. I will put on his presence; let Patroclus make his demands to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax.
Achil. To him, Patroclus tell him, I humbly desire the valiant Ajax, to invite the most valorous Hečtor to come unarm’d to my tent, and to procure safe conduct for his person of the
magnanimous and most illustrious, six or seven times honour'd captain, general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon, &*c. Do this.
Patr. Jove bless great Ajax.
Ther. Hum ----
Patr. I come from the worthy Achilles.
Patr. Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his tent.
Patr. And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon.
Ther. Agamemnon! -
Patr. Ay, my lord.
Patr. What say you to't?
Ther. God be wi’you, with all my heart.
Patr. Your answer, Sir.
Ther. If to-
morrow be a fair day, by eleven a clock it will go one way or other ; howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has me.
Patr. Your answer, Sir.
Ther. Fare ye well with all my heart.
Achil. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?
Ther. No, but he's out a tune thus; what musick will be in him, when Hector has knock'd out his brains, I know not. But I am sure none; unless the fidler Apollo get his sinews to make Catlings on
Achil. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.
Ther. Let me carry another to his horse; for that's the more capable creature.
Achil. My mind is troubled like a fountain stirr’d,
self fee not the bottom of it.
[Exit. 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.
Exeunt. VOL VI.