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Hea. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high
strains Of Divination in our sister work Some touches of remorse?
or is your
So madly hot, that no discourse of reason,
Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,
Can qualify the same ?
Troi Why, brother Hector,
We may not think the justness of each act
Such and no other than event doth form it;
Nor once deject the courage of our minds,
Because Casandra's mad; her brain-lick raptures
Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel,
Which hath our several honours all engag'd
To make it gracious. For my private part,
I am no more touch'd than all Priam's sons ;
And, Jove forbid ! there should be done amongst us
Such things, as might offend the weakest spleen
To fight for and maintain.
Par. Else might the world convince of levity
As well my undertakings, as your counsels :
But I attest the Gods, your full consent
Gave wings to my propension, and cut off
All fears attending on so dire a project.
For what, alas, can these my single arms ?
What propugnation is in one man's valour,
To stand the push and enmity of those
This quarrel would excite? yet I protest,
Were I alone to pass the difficulties,
And had as ample Power, as I have Will,
Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done,
Nor faint in the pursuit.
Pri. Paris, you speak
Like one befotted on your sweet delights;
You have the honey still, but these the gall;
So, to be valiant, is no praise at all.
Par. Sir, I propose noi 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 : none so noble,
Whose life were ill bestow'd, or death unfam'd,
When Helen is the subject. Then, I say,
Well may we fight for her, whom, we know well,
The world's large spaces cannot parallel.
He&t. Paris and Troilus, you have both said well :
But 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 pallion of diftemper'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
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 benummed wills, resist the fame;
There is a law in each well-order'd nation,
To curb those raging appetites that are
Moft disobedient and refractory.
If Helen then be wife to Sparia's King,
(As, it is known, she is) thefe moral laws
Of Nature, and of Nation, speak aloud
To have her back return'd. Thus to perfift
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 fprightly 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.
Troi. Why, there you touch'd the life of our design :
Were it not glory that we more affected
Than the performance of our heaving spleens,
I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hexor,
She is a theme of honour and renown;
A fpur to valiant and magnanimous deeds;
Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
And Fame, in time to come, canonize us.
For, I presume, brave He&or would not lose
So rich advantage of a promis'd glory,
As smiles upon the forehead of this action,
For the wide world's revenue.
Heat. I am yours,
You valiant off-spring of great Priamus.-
I have a roisting challenge fent amongst
The dull and facious nobles of the Greeks,
Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits.
I was advertis'd, their great General lept,
Whilft emulation in the army crept:
This, I presume, will wake him.
SCE N E V.
Before Achilles's Tent, in the Grecian Camp.
Enter Thersites folus.
OW now, Thersites? what, lost in the labyrinth
of thy fury ? Thall the elephant Ajax carry it thu3 ? he beats me, and I rail at him: 0 worthy satis
faction ; 'would, it were atherwise; that I could beat him, whilft he rail'd 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 undermine it, the walls will stand 'till they fall of themselves. Othou 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 thou 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 the massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp ; or rather the boneach, for that, methinks, is the curse dependant on those that war for a placket. I have said my prayers, and devil Envy lay Amen. What ho ! my lord Achilles !
Enter Patroclus. Pat. Who's there? Therfites ? Good Therfiles, come in and rail.
Ther. If I could have remember'd a gilt counter, thou could'st not have flipt 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 direcion 'till thy death, then if she, that lays thee out, says thou art a fair coarse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't, she never shrouded any but Lazars ; Amen. Where's Achilles ?
Pat. What, art thou devout? waft thou in prayer? Ther. Ay, the heav'ns hear me !
Enter Achilles. Achil. Who's there?
Pat. Therfites, my lord, i
Achil. Where, where ? art thou come, why, my cheese, my digestion-why haft thou not ferved thyself up to my table, fo
meals ? come, what's Agamemnon?
Ther. Thy commander, Achilles ; then tell me, Patroclus, what's Achilles ?
Pat. Thy lord, Therfites : then tell me, I pray thee, what's thyself ?
Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus : then tell me, Patroclus, what art thou ?
Pat. Thou may'll tell, that know'ft.
Achil. O tell, tell,-
Ther. I'll decline the whole question. Agamemnon commands Achilles, Achilles is my lord, I am Patroclus's knower, and Patroclus is a fool.
Pat. You rascal-
Ther. Peace fool, I have not done.
Achil. He is a privileg'd man. Proceed, Therfites.
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool, Achilles is a fool, Therfites is a fool, and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool.
Achil. Derive this ; come.
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles, Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon, Therfites is a fool to serve such a fool, and Patroclus is a fool positive.
Pat. Why am I a fool ?
Ther. Make that demand to thy creator ;
-it fuffices me, thou art.
Entér Agamemnon, Ulysses, Nestor, Diomedes, Ajax,
and Calchas. Look you,
who comes here? Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with no body: come in with me, Therfites.
Exit. C 6