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Tro. Why, there you touch'd the life of our design.
I am yours,
[Exeunt. SCENE III.—The Grecian Camp. Before ACHILLES'
Enter THERSITES. Ther. How now, Thersites! what! lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus ? he beats me, and I rail at him: 0 worthy satisfaction! would, it were otherwise; that I could beat him, whilst he railed at me. "Sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll see some issue of my spiteful execrations. Then, there's Achilles,—a rare engineer. If Troy be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. [Kneels.'] O, thou great thunder-darter of Olympus ! forget that thou art Jove the king of gods ; and, Mer.. cury, lose all the serpentine craft of thy Caduceus, if ye take not that little, little, less-than-little wit from them that they have ; which short-armed” ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider, without drawing their massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or, rather the Nea
2 Dyce reads : short-aim'd.
1 Not in f. e.
politan' bone-ache : for that, methinks" is the curse dependant on those that war for a placket. (Rises.") I have said my prayers, and devil, envy, say Amen. What, ho! my lord Achilles !
Enter PATROCLUS. Patr. Who's there? Thersites? Good Thersites, come in and rail.
Ther. If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, thou wouldest not have slipped out of my contemplation ; but it is no matter : thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue ! heaven bless thee from a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy direction till thy death! then, if she, that lays thee out, says thou art a fair corse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon 't she never shrouded any but lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles ?
Patr. What! art thou devout? wast thou in prayer ?
Achil. Where, where ?-Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my table so many meals ? Come; what's Agamemnon ?
Ther. Thy commander, Achilles. Then, tell me, Patroclus, what's Achilles ? Patr. Thy lord, Thersites. Then, tell me,
pray thee, what's thyself?
Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus. Then tell me, Patroclus, what art thou ?
Patr. Thou must tell, that knowest.
Ther. I'll decline the whole question. Agamemnon commands Achilles ; Achilles is my lord ; I am Patroclus' knower; and Patroclus is a fool.
Patr. You rascal!
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool ; Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a fool; and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool. Achil. Der ve this : come.
1 2 Not in f. e.
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles ; Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon; Thersites is a fool to serve such a fool; and Patroclus is a fool positive.
Patr. Why am I a fool ?
Ther. Make that demand of thy Creator. - It suffices me, thou art. Look you, who comes here? Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR, DIOMEDES, and
AJAX. Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody.-Come in with me, Thersites.
[Exit. Ther. Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such knavery! all the argument is a cuckold, and a whore ; a good quarrel, to draw emulous factions, and bleed to death upon. Now, the dry serpigos on_the subject, and war and lechery confound all! (Exit.
Agam. Where is Achilles ?
I shall say so to him. [Exit.
Ajax. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart: you may call it melancholy, if you will favour the man; but, by my head, 'tis pride : but why? why? let him show us a cause.-A word, my lord.
[Taking AGAMEMNON aside.
Nest. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument.
Ulyss. No; you see, he is his argument, that has his argument, Achilles.
Nest. All the better; their fraction is more our
of the prorer: in quartos. 2 Patching up to deceive ; rogucry. 3 A kind of tetter. 4 He sent: in folio. Theobald reads : He shent. 5 of, so : in folio.
wish, than their faction: but it was a strong composure, a fool could disunite.
Ulyss. The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie. Here comes Patroclus. Nest. No Achilles with him.
Re-enter PATROCLUS. Ulyss. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy: his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure.
Patr. Achilles bids me say, he is much sorry,
Hear you, Patroclus.
do say, we think him over-proud, And under-honest; in self-assumption greater, Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on, [himself Disguise the holy strength of their command, And underwrite in an observing kind His humorous predominance ; yea, watch His pettish lunes,' his ebbs, his flows, as if The passage and whole carriage of this action Rode on his tide. Go, tell him this : and add, That, if he overhold his price so much, We'll none of him ; but let him, like an engine Not portable, lie under this report Bring action hither, this cannot go to war. A stirring dwarf we do allowance give Before a sleeping giant :tell him so.
Patr. I shall; and bring his answer presently. (Exit. Agam. In second voice we'll not be satisfied,
i Lunacies. lines: in folio.
We come to speak with him.-Ulysses, enter you.
[Exit ULYSSES. Ajax. What is he more than another? Agam. No more than what he thinks he is.
Ajax. Is he so much? Do you not think, he thinks himself a better man than I am ?
Agam. No question.
Agam. No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant, as wise, no less noble, much more gentle, and altogether more tractable.
Ajax. Why should a man be proud ? How doth pride grow? I know not what pride is.
Agam. Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud, eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.
Ajax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the engendering of toads. Nest. Yet he loves himself: is’t not strange ? [Aside.
He doth rely on none;
Agam. Why will he not, upon our fair request, Untent his person, and share the air with us? Ulyss. Things small as nothing, for request's sake
only, He makes important. Possess'd he is with greatness; And speaks not to himself, but with a pride That quarrels at self-breath : imagin’d worth Holds in his blood such swoln and hot discourse, That, 'twixt his mental and his active parts, Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages, And batters down himself.: What should I say ? He is so plaguy proud, that the death tokens of it Cry—“No recovery." Agam.
Let Ajax go to him.Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent :
i 'gainst itself: in folio.