« PreviousContinue »
Add to my clamours ! let us pay betimes
[Exit. Hect. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high
Why, brother Hector,
Par. Else might the world convince of levity
For what, alas, can these my single arms?
Paris, you speak
Par. Sir, I propose not merely to myself The pleasures such a beauty brings with it; But I would have the soil of her fair
rape Wip'd off, in honourable keeping her. What treason were it to the ransack'd queen, Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me, Now to deliver her possession up, On terms of base compulsion? Can it be, That so degenerate a strain as this, Should once set footing in your generous bosoms? There's not the meanest spirit on our party, Without a heart to dare, or sword to draw, When Helen is defended; nor none so noble, Whose life were ill bestow'd, or death unfam’d, Where Helen is the subject: then, I say, Well may we fight for her, whom, we know well, The world's large spaces cannot parallel. · Hect. Paris, and Troilus, you have both said
well; And on the cause and question now in hand
Have gloz’d, —but superficially; not much Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought Unfit to hear moral philosophy: The reasons, you alledge, do more conduce To the hot passion of distemper'd blood, Than to make up a free determination "Twixt right and wrong. For pleasure, and revenge, Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice Of any true decision. Nature craves, All dues be render'd to their owners; Now What nearer debt in all humanity, Than wife is to the husband? if this law Of nature be corrupted through affection; And that great minds, of partial indulgence To their benumbed wills, resist the same; There is a law in each well-order'd nation, To curb those raging appetites that are Most disobedient and refractory. If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king, As it is known she is,--these moral laws Of nature, and of nations, speak aloud To have her back return'd: Thus, to persist In doing wrong, extenuates not wrong, But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion Is this, in way of truth: yet, ne'ertheless, My spritely brethren, I propend to you In resolution to keep Helen still; For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependance Upon our joint and several dignities. Tro. Why, there you touch'd the life of our de
sign: Were it not glory that we more affected
Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
I am yours,
THE, GRECIAN CAMP.
BEFORE ACHILLES' TENT.
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 raild 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. O thou great thunderdarter 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-arm’d 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 bone-ache! for that, methinks, is the curse dependant on those that war for a placket. 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 remember'd a gilt counter feit, thou would'st not have slipp'd 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 ?