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· Patr. What, art thou devout? wast thou in prayer?
Ther. Ay; The heavens hear me!
Achil. Where, where?-Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not serv'd 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 may'st tell, that know'st.
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. Derive this; come. • Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to com
mand 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 the prover.-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 serpigo on the subject! and war, and lechery, confound all !
Agam. Where is Achilles ?
Agam. Let it be known to him, that we are here.
I shall say so to him.
[Exit. · Ulyss. We saw him at the opening of his tent; He is not sick.
Ajar. 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.
[Takes 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 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.
Re-enter Patroclus. Nest. No Achilles with him.
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, If any thing more than your sport and pleasure Did move your greatness, and this noble state, To call upon him; he hopes, it is no other, But, for your health and your digestion sake, An after-dinner's breath. Agam.
- Hear you, Patroclus;We are too well acquainted with these answers: But his evasion, wing'd thus swift with scorn, Cannot outfly our apprehensions.
Much attribute he hath; and much the reason
himself Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on; 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 reportBring 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, We come to speak with him.—Ulysses, enter.
[Exit Ulysses. Ajux. What is he more than another? Agam. No more than what he thinks he is.
Ajar. Is he so much? Do you not think, he thinks himself a better man than I ai
Agam. No question.
Ajar. Will you subscribe his thought, and say— he is?
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's the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud, eats up hiinself: 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. And yet he loves himself: Is is not strange?
Re-enter Ulysses. Ulyss. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow. Agam. What's his excuse? Ulyss.
He doth rely on none; But carries on the stream of his dispose, Without observance or respect of any, In will peculiar and in self-admission.
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;