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Achil. I see my reputation is at stake; My fame is shrewdly gored.


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 sit idly in the sun.

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 here unarm'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.


A labour saved!

Ther. A wonder!
Achil. What?

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 arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning: bites his lip with a politic

231. Seals a commission to a 'all that danger dares.' blank of danger, gives danger a blank charter, warranted with his seal, i.e. exposes himself to




254. politic regard, knowing look.

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 i̇' the combat, he'll break 't himself in vain-glory. He 260 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, languageless, 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, I? why, he'll answer nobody; he professes not answering: speaking is for 270 beggars; he wears his tongue in's arms. I will put on his presence: let Patroclus make 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 Hector to come unarmed to my tent, and to procure safe-conduct for his person of the magnanimous and most illustrious six-or-seven-timeshonoured captain-general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon, et cetera. Do this.

. Patr. Jove bless great Ajax!

Ther. Hum!

Patr. I come from the worthy Achilles,

Ther. Ha!

Patr. Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his tent,

Ther. Hum!

Patr. And to procure safe-conduct from Agamemnon.

Ther. Agamemnon !



Patr. Ay, my lord.

Ther. Ha!

Patr. What say you to 't?

Ther. God b' wi' 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. Fare you well, with all my heart.

Achil. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he? Ther. No, but he's out o' tune thus. What music 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.

Achil. My mind is troubled, like a fountain


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. [Exit.

306. catlings, catgut.

310. capable, intelligent.




SCENE I. Troy. A street.

Enter, from one side, ÆNEAS, and Servant with a torch; from the other, PARIS, Deiphobus, AnTENOR, DIOMEDES, and others, with torches.

Par. See, ho! who is that there?


It is the Lord Æneas. Ene. Is the prince there in person? Had I so good occasion to lie long

As you, Prince Paris, nothing but heavenly busi


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Should rob my bed-mate of my company.
Dio. That's my mind too. Good morrow, Lord


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.

Ene. Health to you, valiant sir, During all question of the gentle truce; But when I meet you arm'd, as black defiance As heart can think or courage execute.

Dio. The one and other Diomed embraces. Our bloods are now in calm; and, so long, health! But when contention and occasion meet,

By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life

With all my force, pursuit and policy.

Ene. And thou shalt hunt a lion, that will


With his face backward. In humane gentleness,
Welcome to Troy! now, by Anchises' life,
Welcome, indeed! By Venus' hand I swear,
No man alive can love in such a sort
The thing he means to kill more excellently.
Dio. We sympathise: Jove, let Æneas live,
If to my sword his fate be not the glory,
A thousand complete courses of the sun!
But, in mine emulous honour, let him die,
With every joint a wound, and that to-morrow!
Ene. We know each other well.

Dio. We do; and long to know each other worse. Par. This is the most despiteful gentle greeting, The noblest hateful love, that e'er I heard of. What business, lord, so early?

Ene. I was sent for to the king; but why, I know not.

Par. His purpose meets you: 'twas to bring this Greek

To Calchas' house, and there to render him,
For the enfreed Antenor, the fair Cressid:
Let's have your company, or, if you please,
Haste there before us: I constantly do think-
Or rather, call my thought a certain knowledge—
My brother Troilus lodges there to-night:
Rouse him and give him note of our approach,
With the whole quality wherefore: I fear
We shall be much unwelcome.


That I assure you: Troilus had rather Troy were borne to Greece Than Cressid borne from Troy.

There is no help;

The bitter disposition of the time
Will have it so. On, lord; we'll follow you.

33. hateful, full of hate.

40. constantly do think, am firmly persuaded.




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