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To answer for his love, tell him from me,
That can from Hector bring his honour* off, I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver,
If not Achilles ? Though't be a sportful combat, And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn; Yet in this trial much opinion dwells ; And, meeting him, will tell him that my lady For here the Trojans taste our dear’st repute Was fairer than his grandame, and as chaste With their fin'st palate : and trust to me, As may be in the world : his youth in flood,
prove this truth with my three drops of blood. Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd AÈNE. Now heavens forbid such scarcity of In this wild action ; for the success, youth !
Although particular, shall give a scantling Ulyss. Amen.
Of good or bad unto the general ; Agam. Fair lord Æneas, let me touch your And in such indexes, although small pricks hand ;
To their subsequent volumes, there is seen To our pavilion shall I lead you, sir.*
The baby figure of the giant mass Achilles shall have word of this intent;
Of things to come at large. It is suppos’d, So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent: He that meets Hector issues from our choice ; Yourself shall feast with us before you go, And choice, being mutual act of all our souls, And find the welcome of a noble foe.
Makes merit her election ; and doth boil, [Exeunt all except Ulysses and NESTOR. As 't were from forth us all, a man distillid Ulyss. Nestor,
Out of our virtues ; who miscarrying, Nest. What says Ulysses ?
What heart receives from hence the conquering Ulyss. I have a young conception in my brain,
part, Be you my time to bring it to some shape. To steel a strong opinion to themselves ? Nest. What is't?
Which entertain'd, limbs are f his instruments," Ulyss. This 'tis :
In no less working than are swords and bows Blunt wedges rive hard knots : the seeded pride Directive by the limbs. That hath to this maturity blown up
Give pardon to my speech ;In rank Achilles must or now be cropp’d,
Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector. Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil,
Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares, To overbulk us all.
And think, perchance, they'll sell; if not,
The lustre of the better yet to show, Ulyss. This challenge that the gallant Hector Shall show the better. Do not consent sends,
That ever Hector and Achilles meet; However it is spread in general name,
For both our honour and our shame in this Relates in purpose only to Achilles.
Are dogg’d with two strange followers.
are they? Whose grossness little characters sum up:
Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from And, in the publication, make no strain,
Hector, But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
Were he not proud, we all should share with As banks of Lybia,—though, Apollo knows,
him : 'Tis dry enough,—will, with great speed of judg- But he already is too insolent ; ment,
And we were better parch in Afric sun Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes, Pointing on him.
Should he 'scape Hector fair : if he were foil'd, Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think Why, then we did our main opinion crush
In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery ; Nest. Yes, 't is most meet: who may you else And, by device, let blockish Ajax (4) draw oppose,
The sort' to figlit with Hector : among ourselves,
(*) First folio, first.
(") Quarto, those honours.
(1) Old text inserts, in.
a Nne heavens forbid such scarcity of youth!) The quarto reads.- Now heavens forfend such scarrity of men!
The lustre of the better yel to show,
b – imputation - ] Mr. Collier, following his annotator, reads, "reputation,” neither being aware that "imputation" was often used in that sense : see “Hamlet," Act V. Sc. 2,-“I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed."
c - oddly-) That is, unequally.
d Which entertain'd. limbs are his instruments,-) This and the two following lines are omitted in the quarto.
Shall show the better.)
The lustre of the better shall exceed,
By showing the worse first. f The sort-) That is, the lot.
Give him allowance as the worthier man,"
Our project's life this shape of sense assumes, For that will physic the great Myrmidon,
Ajax employ'd plucks down Achilles' plumes. Who broils in loud applause, and make him Nest. Ulysses, fall
Now I begin to relish thy advice ; b His crest that prouder than blue Iris bends. And I will give a taste of it forthwith If the dull, brainless Ajax come safe off,
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight. We'll dress him up in voices : if he fail,
Two curs shall tame each other : pride alone Yet go we under our opinion still,
Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 't were their bone. That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
Enter AJAX and THERSITES.(1)
THER. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou
mongrel beef-witted lord ! AJAX. Thersites,
AJAX. Speak then, thou vinewedst" leaven, THER. Agamemnon-how if he had boils, speak : I will beat thee into handsomeness. full, all over, generally ?
THER. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and AJAX. Thersites,
holiness : but I think thy horse will sooner con an THER. And those boils did run ?-Say so,- oration than thou learn a prayer without book. did not the general run then ?* were not that a Thou canst strike, canst thou ? a red murrain o' botchy core ?^_
thy jade's tricks! AJAX. Dog,
Ajax. Toadstool ! learn me the proclamation. THER. Then would come some matter from THER. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou him ; I see none now.
strikest me thus ? AJAX. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not AJAX. The proclamation, hear ? Feel, then.
Ther. Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think.
vinewedst leaven,–] Vinewed is mouldy or decayed. In the folio the word is misprinted whinid'st: the quarto roads, “unsalted."
AJAX. Do not, porcupine, * do not; my fingers THER. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit le itch.
utters ! his evasions have ears thus long. I bave THER. I would thou didst itch from head to bobbed his brain more than he has beat
bones : foot, and I had the scratching of thee ; I would I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia make thee the loathsomest scabin Greece. mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou This lord, Achilles, Ajax,-- who wears his wit in strikest as slow as another."
his belly, and his guts in his head,—I'll tell you AJAX. I say, the proclamation,
of him, Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour ACHIL. What ? on Achilles ; and thou art as full of envy at his THER. I say, this Ajaxgreatness as Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty, AJAX offers to beat him, ACHILLES interposes. ay, that thou barkest at him.
ACHIL. Nay, good Ajax. AJAX. Mistress Thersites!
THER. Has not so much witTHER. Thou shouldst strike him.
ACHIL. Nay, I must hold you. AJAX. Cobloaf !
THER. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with his for whom he comes to fight. fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
ACHIL. Peace, fool ! AJAX. You whoreson cur
ir ! [Beating him. THER. I would have peace and quietness, but THER. Do, do! C
the fool will not: he there; that he; look you AJAX. Thou stool for a witch !
there. THER. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord ! AJAX. O, thou damned cur! I shallthou hast no more brain than I have in mine ACHIL. Will you set your wit to a fool's ? elbows; an assinego" may tutor thee. Thou scurvy- THER. No, I warrant you; for a fool's will valiant ass! thou art here but to thrash Trojans ; | shame it. and thou art bought and solde among those of any Patr. Good words, Thersites. wit, like a Barbarian slave. If thou use to beat Achil. What's the quarrel ? me, I will begin at thy heel, and tell what thou AJAX. I bade the vile owl go learn me the art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou ! tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon me. AJAX. You dog!
THER. I serve thee not.
AJAX. Well, go to, go to.
Then. I serve here voluntary.
not voluntary, -no man is beaten voluntary: Ajax
THER. Even so ?-a great deal of your wit, too,
lies in your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector ACHIL. Why, how now, Ajax! wherefore do shall have a great catch, if he knock out either of
your brains ; 'a * were as good crack a fusty put How now, Thersites! what's the matter, man? with no kernel. THER. You see him there, do you?
ACHIL. What, with me too, Thersites? ACHIL. Ay; what's the matter ?
THER. There's Ulysses and old Nestor,—whose Ther. Nay, look upon him.
wit was mouldy ere your † grandsires had nails on Achil. So I do; what's the matter ?
their toes,—yoke you like draught oxen, and make THER. Nay, but regard him well.
you plough up the wars. I ACHIL. Well ! why, I do so.
ACHIL. What, what? THER. But yet you look not well upon him; for, THER. Yes, good sooth; to, Achilles ! to, whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.
Ajax ! to !!
AJAX. I shall cut out your tongue.
as thou, afterwards.
you thus ?*
(*) First folio, this.
porcupine,-) Here, as in other passages where the word occurs, it is spelt “porpentine," the old form, which ought perhaps to have been retained.
b When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another. ] This is omitted in the folio.
c Do, do!) An expression of contempt, which was probably accompanied by some mocking gesture or grimace.
(*) First folio, he.
(+) Od text, their.
(1) First folio, warre. d -- an assinego-] "Assinego" is a Portuguese word for an ass.
bought and sold-] That is, out-witted, beirayed. See note (“), p. 318, Vol. II.
f - to, Achilles ! to, Ajax! to!) To! to ! are words of encouragement which ploughmen of old employed to their draught horses and oxen.
Here are your
Patr. No more words, Thersites; peace !* If we have lost so many tenths of ours,
THER. I will hold my peace when Achilles' To guard a thing not ours, nor worth to us, bracht bids me, shall I ?
Had it our name, the value of one ten,
What merit's in that reason which denies
Fie, fie, ny brother ! there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools. Weigh you the worth and honour of a king,
[Exit. So great as our dread father, in a scale Patr. A good riddance.
Of common ounces ? will you with counters sum Achil. Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through The past-proportion of his infinite ? all our host :
And buckle-in a waist most fathomless That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun,
With spans and inches so diminutive Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy, As fears and reasons ? fie, for godly shame! To-morrow morning call some knight to arms,
HEL. No marvel, though you bite so sharp at That hath a stomach; and such a one, that dare
reasons, Maintain, I know not what; 'tis trash. Fare- You are so empty of them. Should not our father well.
Bear the great sway of his affairs with reasons, AJAX. Farewell. Who shall answer him? Because your specch hath none that tells him so ? ACHIL. I know not, 'tis put to lottery; other- TROIL. You are for dreams and slumbers, wise
brother priest; He knew his man.
You fur your gloves with reason.
You know a sword employ'd is perilous,
Who marvels, then, when Helenus beholds
The very wings of reason to his heels, Enter PRIAM, HECTOR, TROLLUS, PARIS, and And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove," HELENUS.
Or like a star dis-orbid ?-Nay, if we talk of
reason, Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches spent, Let's shut our gates, and sleep: manhood and Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks :
honour Deliver Helen, and all damage else
Should have hare* -hearts, would they but fat As honour, loss of time, travail, expense,
their thoughts Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is con- With this cramm'd reason : reason and respect sum'd
Make livers pale, and lustihood deject. In hot digestion of this cormorant war,
Hect. Brother, she is not worth what she doth Shall be struck off :Hector, what say you to’t?
cost Hect. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks
The holding than I
TROIL. What's aught, but as 't is valued ? As far as touchethị my particular,
HECT. But value dwells not in particular will ; Yet, dread Priam,
It holds his estimate and dignity There is no lady of more softer bowels,
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
As in the prizer: 'tis mad + idolatry,
To what infectiously itself affects,
and ears, Hath been as dear as Helen,-I mean, of ours : Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
(*) First folio omits, peace. (t) Old text, brooch.
(1) First folio, touches. * Surety secure;) In other words, over-confident assurance.
dismes,-) Tenths. c No marvel, though you bite so sharp at reasons, &c.] Shakespeare repeats this poor quibble on reasons and raisins more than
(*) First folio, hard.
(+) First folio, made.
First folio, inclineable. once. See note (®), p. 144, Vol. II.
d And fly like chidden Mercury, &c.] This and the following line are transposed in the folio.