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The Grecian Camp.
Enter Ajax and Therfites,
Ajax, THER 'Herlites,
Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boiles full, all over, generally. [Talking to himself.
Ther. And those boites did run-fay so did not the General run ? were not that a botchy core?
Ther. Then there would come fome matter from him; I see none now.
Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? feel then.
[Strikes him. Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mungrel beef-witted Lord !
Ajax. Speak then, thou unsalted * leaven, speak; I will beat thee into handsomeness.
Ther. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness; but I think thy horse will sooner con an ora. tion, than thou learn a prayer without book : thou canst strike, canst thou? a red murrain o’thy jade's tricks! Ajax. Toadsstoo), learn me the proclamation.
Unsalted leaven is in the old quarto. It means four without salt, malignity without wit. Shakespeare wrote firft unlalted, but recollecting that want of salt was no fault in leven, changed it to vinew’d. Johnson.
The common reading was whinid's leaven; from whence we may, with great probability, collect, that the poet 'Wrote,
> Speak iben, thou vinniedt leaven. Vinnied or vinewed is an old Englith word Nill in use in the western part of this iland, which signifies moulidy.
Upton's critic, observat
Ther. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strik'st me thus ?
Ajax. The proclamation
Ajax. Do not, porcupine, do not. My fingers itch.
Ther. I would thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee, I would make thee the loathfom'ít scab in Greece *.
Ajax. I say the proclamation
Ther. Thou grumbleft and railest every hour on *Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his greatnels as Cerberus is at Proferpina's beauty : ay, that thou bark'st at him.
Ajax. Mistress Thersites!
Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with his filt, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
Ajax. You whoreson cur ! [Beating himo
Ther. Ay, do, do, thou sodden-witted lord; thou haft no more brain than I have in my elbows; an Allinego may tutor thee. Thou scurvy valiant ais! thou art here but to thrash Trojans, and thou art bought and fold'among those of any wit, like a Barbarian Nave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel, and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou !
Ajáx. You dog!
• The old quarto adds these words, " When thou art “ forth in the incurfions, thou strikelt as flow as 9046 ther" Johnjon.
+ In one way of trying a witch, they ufed to place hér upon a chair or stool, with her legs tied across, that all the weight of her body might reft upon her seat, and by that means, after some time, the circularion of the blood in some hours, would be much ito," and ter uiuag would be as painful as the wooden horie. Ibido
Ajax. You cur !
[Beating him. Ther. Mars his ideot! do, rudeness; do, camel, do, do.
S CE N E II.
Enter Achilles and Patroclus,
Ther. You see him there, do you?
Ther. But yet you look not well upon him : for whosoever vou take him to be, he is Ajax.
Achil. I know that, fool.
Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit lie utters; his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobb'd his brain, more than he has beat my bones. I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia. mater is not worh the ninth part of a sparrow. This Lord ( Achilles) 9jax, who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in his head, i'll tell you what I say of him. Achil. What?
[Ajax offers to frike him, Achilles interposes
Ther. As will nop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he comes to fight.
Achil. Peace, fool!
Ajax. O thou damu'd cur, I shall.
Ther. No, I warrant you; for a fool's will Mame it.
Ajax. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon me.
Ther. I serve thee not.
Achil. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary ; Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as under an im
Ther. Even so a great deal of your wit too lyes in your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector fhall have a great catch, if he knock out either of your brains; he were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.
Athil. What; with me too, Therfites ?
Ther. There's Ulysses and old Neftor, (whose wit was mouldy ere your grandfires had nails on their toes), yoke you like draft oxen, and make you plough up the war.
Achil. What! what!
Ther. 'Tis no matter, I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.
Patr. No more words, Thersites. Peace.
Ther. I will hold my peace, when Achilles' brach * bids me, shall I ?
Achil. There's for you, Patroclus.
Ther. I will see you hang'd like clotpoles, ere I come any more to your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.
all our host,
Brach is the pame of a species of dogs.
Will, with a trumpet, 't wixt our tents and Troy, To-morrow morning call some knight to arms, That hath a stomach, such a one that dare Maintain I know not what 'Tis trash, farewell,
Ajax. Farewell! who shall answer hiin?
Achil. I know not, 'tis put to lottry, otherwise He knew his man. Ajax. O, meaning you. I'll go learn more of it.
S CE N E III. Changes to Priam's Palace in Troy. Enter Priam, Hector, Troilus, Paris and Helenus.
Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches spent, Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks : Deliver Helen, and all damage else, As honour, loss of time, travel, expence, Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is conIn hot digestion of this cormorant war,
[lum'd Shall be Itruck off. Hector, what say you to't ? Hect. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks
than 1, As far as touches my particular; yet, dread Priam, There is no lady of more softer bowels, More spungy to fuck in the sense of fear, More ready to cry out, Who knows what follows? Than Hector is.' The wound of peace is furety, Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd The beacon of the wise; the tent that searches To th' bottom of the worst. Let Helen go. Since the first sword was drawn about this question, Ev'ry tithe soul 'mongst many thousand dismes Hath been as dear as Helen. I mean, of ours. If we have lost so many tenths of ours To guard a thing not ours, not worth to us, Had it our name, the value of one ten; What merit's in that reason which denies The yielding of her up ?
Troi. Fy, fy, my brother;