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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'
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. Stoot, 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, Mercury, 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
1 Not in f. e. Dyce reads : short-aim'd.
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, I 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.
12 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 serpigo3 on the subject, and war and lechery confound all! (Exit.
Agam. Where is Achilles ?
Agam. Let it be known to him that we are here.
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. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him ? Ulyss. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him. Nest. Who ? Thersites? Ulyss. He.
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
1 of the prorer: in quartos. 2 Patching up to deceive : rogucru. 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.
Patr. I shall; and bring his answer presently. (Exit.
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 dead, 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 : imagind 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.