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Ajax. Dog !-...
Ther. Then there would come some matter from him: I see none now.
Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? feel then.
[Strikes hine Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mungrel beef-witted Lord !
Ajax. Speak then, you unwinnow'd' ft (16) leaven, speak; I will beat thee into handfomeness.
Ther. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness; but, I think, thy horse will sooner con an oration than thou learn a prayer without book: thou canst strike, canst thou ? a red murrain o'thy jade's tricks!
Ajax. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation.
Ther. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou Arikeit me thus?
(16) Speak then, you unsalted leaven, speak;] This is a reading obtruded upon us by Mr Pope, that has no authority, or countenance from any of the copics, nor that apo proaches in any degree to the traces of the old reading, you whinideit leaven. This, 'tis true, is corrupted and unintellia gible; but the emendation which I have coined out of it, gives us a sense apt and consonant to what Ajax would say.
- Thou lump of four dough, kneaded-up out of flour unpurged and unfifted, with all the dross and bran in it.” Kent, in Lear, uses the same metaphorical reproach to the cowardly steward;
I will tread this woboulted villain to mortar i. e. This villain of fo gross a composition, that he was not fifted through the boulting-cloth, before he was worked up into leaven So Pandarus says to Troilus in the first scene of this play,
Ay, the bculti:g; but you must tarry the leavening. I cannot without injustice pafs over another conjectare, proposed by my ingenious friend Mr Warburton ;--you wine diett leaven. An epithet, as he says, not only adinirably adapted to the nature of laver, which is made only by fers pientation, but likewise must juftly applied to the loquacions Therlites.-- And, indeed, in several counties of England, an idle prater is called a windy fellow,
Ajax. The proclamation-----
Ther. I would thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece.
Ajax. I fay, the proclamation
Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his great: ness, as. Cerberus is at Proferpina's beauty: ay, that thon bark it at hiin.
Ajax. Mistress Thersites ! ------
Ther. He would pound thee into shivers with his filt, as a failor breaks a biiket.
Ajax. You whoreson cur!- [Beating hina.
Ther. Ay, do, do, thou fodden-witted Lord; thon hast no more brain than I have in
elbows: an Aflinego may tutor thee. Thou scurvy valiant ass! thou art here but to thrash Trojans, and thou art bought and sold among those of any wit, like 2 Barbarian flave. 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!
Ajax. You dog!
[Beating him Ther. Mars his ideot! do, rudeness; do, camel, do, do.
Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. Achil. Why, how now, Ajax ? wherefore do you
this? How now, Thersites? what's the matter, man?
Ther. You see him there, do you?";
Ther. But yet you look not well upon him; for whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.
Achil. I know that, fool!
Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he
[Ajax offers to strike him, Achilles interposes.
Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he comes to fight.
Achil. Peace, fool!
Ther. I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not: he there, that he, look
wit to a fool's ?
Pat. Good words. Thersites.
Ajax. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon me.
Ther. I serve thee not.
dchil. Your lait service was sufferance, 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary; Ajax was he the voluntary, and you was under an impress.
Ther. Even so-a great deal of your wit too lyes in your finews, or else there be liars. Hector shall have a great catch, if he knock out either of your brains; he were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.
Achil. What, with me too, Therfites ?.
Ther. There's Ulyfies and old Nestor, (whose wit was mouldy ere your grandfires had nails on their toes,) (17) 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.
Pat. No more words, Therfites.
Ther. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall I ?
Achil. There's for you, Patroclus.
(17) There's Ulysses, and old Nestor, whose wit was muldy ere their grandfires had nails on their toes,] This is one of these editors wife riddles. This is no folly of Therfites's venting. What! was Nestor's wit mouldy, before his grandfire's toes had any nails ? that is, was the grandson an old man, before the grandfather was out of his swathing. cloaths ? Preposterous nonsense! and yet so easy a change, as one poor derivative pronoun for another, fets all right and clear.
come any more to your tents. I will keep where. there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.
[Exit. Pat. A good riddance. Achil. Marry, this, Sir, is proclaimed through
all our host, That Hector, by the fifth hour of the fun, Will, with a trumpet 'twixt our tents and Troy, To-morrow-morning call fome knight to arms, That hath a stomach, such a one that dare Maintain I know not what; 'tis trash, farewel.
Ajax. Farewel! who shall answer him?
schil. I know not, 'tis put to lottery; otherwise He knew his man. Ajax. O, meaning you : I'll go learn more of it.
SCENE changes to Priam's Palace in Troy. Enter PRIAM, HECTOR, TROILUS, PARIS, and he
Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches spent, This once again fays 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 con
sumed In hot digestion of this cormorant war) Shall be struck off. Hector, what say you to't ?
Hell. Though noman leiler fears the Grecks than), As far as touches my particular, yet There is no lady of more softer bowels, More fpungy to fuck in the sense of fear, More ready to cry out, who knows what follows? Than Hector is. The wound of peace is Surety,(18)
(18) The wound of peace is furety,] i. e. The great danger of