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In no less working, than are swords and bows
Directive by the limbs.

Ulyff. Give pardon to my speech ;-
Therefore 'tis meet, Achilles meet not Hector.
Let us, like merchants, fhew our foulest wares,
And think, perchance, they'll fell; if not,
The luftre of the better shall exceed,

By fhewing the worst first. Do not confent,
That ever Hector and Achilles meet;

For both our honour and our shame, in this,
Are dogg'd with two ftrange followers.

Neft. I see them not with my old eyes; What
are they?

[tor, Uly. What glory our Achilles fhares from Hec

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And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw
The fort to fight with Hector: Among ourselves,
Cive him allowance as the better man,

5 For that will phyfick the great Myrmidon,
Who broils in loud applaufe; and make him fall
His creft, that prouder than blue Iris bends.
If the dull brainless Ajax come safe off,
We'll drefs him up in voices: If he fail,

10 Yet go we under our opinion still,

That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
Our project's life this fhape of fenfe affumes,-
Ajax, employ'd, plucks down Achilles' plumes.
Neft. Ulyffes,

Were he not proud, we all should share with him: 15 Now I begin to relish thy advice;

But he already is too infolent;

And we were better parch in Africk fun,

Than in the pride and falt fcorn of his eyes,
Should he 'fcape Hector fair: If he were foil'd,
Why, then we did our main opinion crush


And I will give a taste of it forthwith
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.

Two curs fhall tame each other; Pride alone


Muft tarre the maftiffs on, as 'twere their bone. [Exeunt.

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Agamemnon-how if he had boils?

full all over, generally?

Ajax. Therfites,

Ther. And thofe boils did run?-Say fo,

did not the general run then? were not that a botchy core?

Ajax. Dog,



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Ther. I fhall fooner rail thee into wit and holinefs: but, I think, thy horfe will fooner con an oration, than thou learn a prayer without book. 50 Thou canst ftrike, canft thou? a red murrain o' thy jade's tricks!

Ajax, Toads-ftool, learn me the proclamation. Ther. Doft thou think, I have no fenfe, thou ftrik'ft me thus ?

Ajax. The proclamation,

1 i. e. the lot.

Ther. Thou art proclaim'd a fool, I think. Ajax. Do not, porcupine, do not; my fingers itch. Ther. I would, thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the fcratching of thee; I would make thee the loathfomeft fcab in Greece. When thou art forth in the incurfions, thou ftrikeft as flow as another.

Ajax. I fay, the proclamation,

Ther. Thou grumbleft and raileft every hour on Achilles; and thou art as full of envy at his greatnefs, as Cerberus is at Proferpina's beauty, ay that thou bark'ft at him.

Ajax. Mistress Therfites!

Ther. Thou should'ft ftrike him.
Ajax. Cobloaf 4!

Ther. He would pun 5 thee into fhivers with his fift, as a failor breaks a bifket.

Ajax. You whorefon cur!

Ther. Do, do.

Ajax. Thou ftool for a witch!

[Beating him.

Ther. Ay, do, do; thou fodden-witted lord! thou haft no more brain than I have in my elbows; an affinego 7 may tutor thee: Thou fcurvy valiant afs! thou art here put to thrash Trojans; and thou art bought and fold among thofe of any wit, like a Barbarian flave. If thou ufe to beat me, I will begin at thy heel and tell what thou art by 55 inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou! Ajax. You dog!

2 Tarre is an old English word, fignifying to provoke or urge on. 3 Unfalted leaven, means four without falt; metaphorically, malignity without wit. 4 A crufty uneven loaf is in fome counties called by this name. 5 Pun is in the midland counties the vulgar and colloquial word for pound. 6 In one way of trying a witch they used to place her on a chair or ftool, with her legs tied across, that all the weight of her body might rest upon her feat; and by that means, after fome time, the circulation of the blood would be much stopped, and her fitting would be as painful as the 7 Affinego feems to have been a cant term for a foolish fellow. Affinego is Portuguese 3 K

wooden horse.

for a little afs.


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Achil. Why, how now, Ajax? wherefore do
you thus ?

How now, Therfites? what's the matter, man?
Ther. You fee him there, do you?
Acbil. Ay; What's the matter?
Ther. Nay, look upon him.

Acbil. So I do; What's the matter?

Ther. Nay, but regard him well.

Acbil. Well, why I do fo.

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Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: for, 15 there is wit ftirring, and leave the faction of fools. whofoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.

Achil. I know that, fool.

Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.

Ajax. Therefore I beat thee.

Patr. A good riddance.

[Exit. Achil. Marry this, fir, is proclaim'd through all

our hoft:

Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he 20 That Hector, by the fifth hour of the fun,

utters! his evafions have ears thus long. I have
bobb'd his brain, more than he has beat my bones:
I will buy nine fparrows for a penny, and his pia
mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow.
This lord, Achilles, Ajax,-who wears his wit in 25
his belly, and his guts in his head,I'll tell you
what I fay of him.

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Ther. As will ftop 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 you there.

Ajax. O thou damn'd cur! I fhall

Achil. Will you let your wit to a fool's?

Ther. No, I warrant you; for a fool's will fhame it.

Patr. Good words, Therfites.

Acbil. What's the quarrel?

Ajax. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour
of the proclamation, and he rails upon me.
Ther. I ferve thee not.

Ajax. Well, go to, go to.
Ther. I ferve here voluntary.

Abil. Your laft fervice was fufferance, 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary: Ajax| was here the voluntary, and you as under an im-| prefs.

Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy,
To-morrow morning call some knight to arms,
That hath a ftomach; and such a one, that dare
Maintain-I know not what; 'tis trafh: Farewel.
Ajax. Farewel. Who shall answer him?
Acbil. I know not, it is put to lottery; otherwise,
He knew his man.

Ajax. O, meaning you :-I'll go learn more

of it.


Priam's Palace.

Enter Priam, Hector, Troilus, Paris, and Helenus.
Pri. After fo many hours, lives, speeches spent,
Thus once again fays Neftor from the Greeks;
Deliver Helen, and all damage elfe-

As bonour, lofs of time, travel, expence,
Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is confum'd
40 In bot digeftion of this cormorant war,-

Shall be ftruck off-Hector, what say you to't? Het. Though no man leffer fears the Greeks than I,

As far as toucheth my particular, yet,
45 Dread Priam,

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 furety,
50 Surety fecure; but modest doubt is call'd

The beacon of the wife, the tent that fearches
To the bottom of the worft. Let Helen go:
Since the first fword was drawn about this question,
Every tithe foul, 'mongst many thousand difmes1,
Hath been as dear as Helen; I mean, of ours:
If we have loft fo 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 reafon, which denies
60 The yielding of her up?

Ther. Even fo?—a great deal of your wit too 55 lies in your finews, or else there be liars. Hector fhall have a great catch, if he knock out either of your brains; 'a were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.

Atbil. What, with me too, Therfites? Ther. There's Ulyffes and old Neftor,-whofe wit was mouldy ere your grandfires had nails on

He calls Patroclus, in contempt, Achilles' dog,

Troi. Fie, fic, my brother!
Weigh you the worth and honour of a king,

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So great as our dread father, in a scale

Of common ounces? will you with counters fum
The paft-proportion of his infinite?
And buckle-in a waist most fathomless,
With spans and inches fo diminutive

As fears and reafons? fie, for godly fhame! [fons,
Hele No marvel, though you bite fo fharp at rea-
You are fo empty of them. Should not our father
Bear the great fway of his affairs with reasons,
Because your speech hath none, that tells him so?
Trei. You are for dreams and slumbers, brother
You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your
You know, an enemy intends you harm;
You know, a fword employ'd is perilous,
And reafon flies the object of all harm:

Who marvels then, when Helenus beholds
A Grecian and his fword, if he do fet
The very wings of reason to his heels;
And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,

Or like a ftar dif-orb'd?-Nay, if we talk of reafon,
Let's shut our gates,and fleep: Manhood and honour
Should have hare hearts, would they but fat their

With this cramm'd reafon : reason and respect
Make livers pale, and luftyhood deject.


Het. Brother, she is not worth what she doth
The holding.

Trei. What is aught, but as 'tis valu'd?
Het. But value dwells not in particular will;
It holds his estimate and dignity
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself,
As in the prizer: 'tis mad idolatry,
To make the service greater than the god;
And the will dotes, that is inclinable
To what infectiously itself affects,
Without fome image of the affected merit.
Trei. I take to-day a wife, and my election
Is led on in the conduct of my will;
My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
Of will and judgement; How may I avoid,
Although my will diftafte what it elected,
The wife I chofe? There can be no evasion


If you'll avouch, 'twas wisdom Paris went,
(As you must needs, for you all cry'd-Go, go)
If you'll confefs, he brought home noble prize,
(As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands,
And cry'd-Ineftimable!) why do you now
The iffue of your proper wisdoms rate;

And do a deed that fortune never did,
Beggar the estimation which you priz'd
Richer than fea and land? O theft most base;
10 That we have stolen what we do fear to keep!
But, thieves, unworthy of a thing fo ftolen,
That in their country did them that difgrace,
We fear to warrant in our native place!
Caf. [within] Cry, Trojans, cry!



Pri. What noise ? what shriek is this?
Troi. 'Tis our mad fifter, I do know her voice.
Caf. [within] Cry, Trojans!

Het. It is Cassandra.

Enter Caffandra, raving.

Caf. Cry,Trojans, cry! lend me ten thousand eyes,
And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
Het. Peace, fifter, peace.


Caf. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled
Soft infancy, that nothing canft but cry,
25 Add to my clamours! let us pay betimes
A moiety of that mass of moan to come.
Cry, Trojans, cry! practise your eyes with tears!
Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilion stand;
Our fire-brand brother, Paris, burns us all.

3 Cry, Trojans, cry! a Helen, and a woe:
Cry, cry! Troy burns, or else let Helen go." [Exit.
Het. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high

Of divination in our fifter work

35 Some touches of remorfe? or is your blood
So madly hot, that no difcourfe of reason,
Nor fear of bad fuccefs in a bad cause,
Can qualify the fame?

Trai. Why, brother Hector,

40 We may not think the juftness of each act
Such and no other than event doth form it;
Nor once deject the courage of our minds,
Becaufe Caffandra's mad; her brain-fick raptures
Cannot diftafte 3 the goodness of a quarrel,

To blench from this, and to stand firm by honour: 45 Which hath our feveral honours all engag'd

We turn not back the filks upon the merchant,
When we have foil'd them; nor the remainder


To make it gracious. For my private part,

I am no more touch'd than all Priam's fons:
And Jove forbid, there should be done amongst us
Such things as would offend the weakest spleen
50 To fight for and maintain!

We do not throw in unrespective fieve 2,
Because we now are full. It was thought meet,
Paris fhould do fome vengeance on the Greeks:
Your breath of full confent belly'd his fails;
The feas and winds (old wranglers) took a truce,
And did him fervice: he touch'd the ports defir'd ;|
And, for an old aunt, whom the Greeks held 55

He brought a Grecian queen, whofe youth and
Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes pale the morning.
Why keep we her? The Grecians keep our aunt:
Is the worth keeping? Why, the is a pearl,
Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.

Par. Elfe might the world convince of levity
As well my undertakings, as your counfels :
But I atteft the gods, your full confent
Gave wings to my propenfion, and cut off
All fears attending on fo dire a project.
For what, alas, can these my single arms?
What propugnation is in one man's valour,
To ftand the push and enmity of those
This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest,
60 Were I alone to pass the difficulties,

And had as ample power as I have will,
Paris fhould ne'er retract what he hath done,

The meaning is, that greatness to which no measure bears any proportion. vaider. 3 i. e. corrupt; change to a worfe ftate. 3 K 2

2 That is, into a common


Nor faint in the purfuit.

Pri. Paris, you speak

Like one befotted on your sweet delights:
You have the honey ftill, but these the gall;
So to be valiant, is no praise at all.

Par. Sir, I propose not merely to myself
The pleasures fuch a beauty brings with it;
But I would have the foil of her fair rape
Wip'd off, in honourable keeping her.
What treafon were it to the ranfack'd queen,
Difgrace to your great worths, and fhame to me,
Now to deliver her poffeffion up,

On terms of base compulfion? Can it be,
That fo degenerate a strain as this,

And fame, in time to come, canonize us:
For, I prefume, brave Hector would not lofe
So rich advantage of a promis'd glory,
As fimiles upon the forehead of this action,
5 For the wide world's revenue.
Hect. I am yours,

You valiant offspring of great Priamus.-
I have a roifting challenge fent amongst
The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks,
10 Will ftrike amazement to their drowsy spirits:
I was advertis'd, their great general slept,
Whilft 3 emulation in the army crept;
This, I prefume, will wake him.

Should once fet footing in your generous bofoms? 15
There's not the meaneft fpirit on our party,
Without a heart to dare, or fword to draw,
When Helen is defended; nor none so noble,
Whofe life were ill bestow'd, or death unfam'd,
Where Helen is the fubject: then, I fay,
Well may we fight for her, whom, we know well,
The world's large spaces cannot parallel.

Heft. Paris, and Troilus, you have both faid well;
And on the cause and question now in hand
Have gloz'd, but fuperficially; not much
Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
Unfit to hear moral philofophy:

The reafons you alledge, do more conduce
To the hot paffion 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
Of any true decifion. 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 benummed' wills, refift the fame;
There is a law in each well order'd nation,
To curb thofe raging appetites that are
Moft difobedient and refractory.

If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king,-
As it is known fhe is,thefe moral laws
Of nature, and of nations, 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 refolution to keep Helen ftill;

For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependence
Upon our joint and feveral dignities.

Troi. Why,there you touch'd the life of our defign:
Were it not glory that we more affected
Than the performance of our heaving spleens 2,
I would not with a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
She is a theme of honour and renown;
A fpur to valiant and magnanimous deeds;
Whofe prefent courage may beat down our foes,

The Grecian Camp.

Achilles' Tent.
Enter Therfites.



How now, Therfites? what, loft in the labyrinth 20 of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? He beats me, and I rail at him: O worthy fatiffaction! 'would it were otherwise, that I could beat him, whilft he rail'd at me: 'Sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raife devils, but I'll fee fome iffue 25 of my fpiteful execrations. Then there's Achilles, -a rare engineer. If Troy be not taken 'till thefe two undermine it, the walls will stand 'till they fall of themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget that thou art Jove the king of 30 gods; and, Mercury, lofe all the ferpentine craft of thy Caduceus; if ye take not that little little lefs-than-little wit from them that they have! which fhort-arm'd ignorance itself knows is fo abundant fcarce, it will not in circumvention deli35 ver a fly from a fpider, without drawing the massy iron 4, and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or, rather, the boneache! for that, methinks, is the curfe dependant on thofe that war for a placket. I have faid my 4c prayers; and devil envy, fay Amen. What, ho! my lord Achilles !


Enter Patroclus.

Patr. Who's there? Therfites? Good Therfites, come in and rail.

Ther. If I could have remember'd a gilt counterfeit, thou would'ft not have flipp'd out of my contemplation: but it is no matter, Thyself upon thyfelf! The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! heaven blefs 50thee from a tutor, and difcipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy direction 'till thy death! then if the that lays thee out, fays-thou art a fair corfe, I'll be fworn and fworn upen 't, the never throuded any but lazars. Amen. 55 Where's Achilles?

Patr. What, art thou devout? waft thou in prayer?

Ther. Ay; The heavens hear me !
Enter Achilles.


Acbil. Who's there?
Patr. Therfites, my lord.

i. e. inflexible, immoveable. 2. e. the execution of fpite and resentment. 4 That is, without drawing their fwords to cut the web.

envy, factious contention.

3 That ist


Achil. Where, where Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why haft thou not ferv'd thyself in to my table fo many meals? Come, what's Agamemnon?

Uly. No; you fee, he is his argument, that has his argument; Achilles.

Neft. All the better; their fraction is more our wifh, than their faction: But it was a ftrong com

Ther. Thy commander, Achilles;-Then tell 5 pofure, a fool could disunite. me, Patroclus, what's Achilles?

Patr. Thy lord, Therfites; Then tell me, I pray thee, what's thyself?

Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus; Then tell me,
Patroclus, what art thou?

Patr. Thou may'ft tell, that know'st.
Acbil. O, tell, tell.

Ther. I'll decline the whole queftion'. Aga-|
memnon commands Achilles; Achilles is my lord ;]
I am Patroclus' knower; and Patroclus is a fool.
Patr. You rafcal!



Ther. Peace, fool; I have not done.
Acbil. He is a privileg'd man.-Proceed, Therfites.
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool;
Therfites is a fool; and, as aforefaid, Patroclus is a 20

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 25 fuch a fool; and Patroclus is a fool pofitive.

Patr. Why am I a fool?

Ther. Make that demand of the prover.It fuffices me, thou art. Look you, who comes here? Enter Agamemnon, Ulyffes, Neftor, Diomedes, and 30


Acbil. Patroclus, I'll fpeak with no body:Come in with me, Therfites.

[Exit Ther. Here is fuch patchery, fuch juggling, and fuch knavery! all the argument is a cuckold, 35 and a whore; A good quarrel, to draw emulous factions, and bleed to death upon. Now the dry Serpigo on the fubje&t! and war, and lechery, con-| found all! [Exit.

Aga. Where is Achilles?

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Ulyff. The amity, that wisdom knits not, folly may eafily untye. Here comes Patroclus. Re-enter Patroclus.

Neft. No Achilles with him.

Ulyff: The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy;

His legs are for neceffity, not for flexure.

Patr. Achilles bids me fay-he is much forry,
If any thing more than your sport and pleasure
Did move your greatnefs, and this noble state 3,
To call on him; he hopes, it is no other,
But, for your health and your digestion fake,
An after-dinner's breath.

Aga. Hear you, Patroclus ;

We are too well acquainted with these answers:
But his evafion, wing'd thus fwift with fcorn,
Cannot out-fly our apprehenfions.

Much attribute he hath; and much the reason
Why we afcribe it to him: yet all his virtues,
Not virtuously on his own part beheld,—
Do, in our eyes, begin to lofe their glofs;
Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
Are like to rot untafted. Go and tell him,
We come to fpeak to him: And you shall not fin,
If you do fay-we think him over-proud,
And under-honeft; in felf-affumption greater,
Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than

Here tend the favage strangeness he puts on;
Disguise the holy Arength of their command,
And under-write 4 in an obferving kind
His humorous predominance; yea, watch
His pettifh lunes, his ebbs, his flows, as if
The paffage and whole carriage of this action
40 Rode on his tide. Go, tell him this; and add,'
That, if he over-hold his price fo much,
We'll none of him; but let him, like an engine ·
Not portable, lie under this report

Bring action hither, this cannot go to war:
45 A ftirring dwarf we do allowance 5 give
Before a fleeping giant :-Tell him fo.
Patr. I fhall; and bring his answer prefently.
Aga. In fecond voice we'll not be satisfied,
50 We come to fpeak with him.-Ulysses, enter you.
[Exit Ulyffes.

[To Agamemnon. 55
Neft. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?
Ulyff. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.
Neft. Who Therfites?

Uly. He.

Neft. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have 60 loft his argument.

Ajax. What is he more than another?
Aga. No more than what he thinks he is.
Ajax. Is he fo much? Do you not think, he
thinks himfelf

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