Page images
PDF
EPUB

Now I begin to relish thy advice;
And I will give a taste of it forthwith
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.
Two curs shall tame each other; Pride alone
10 Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.

[Exeunt. ACT II. SCENE I.

Another Port ofthe Grecian Camp.
Enter Ajax and Thersites.

Ajax. Thersites,

Ther. Agamemnon—how if he had boils? full, all over, generally?

Ajax. Thersites,

Ther. And those boils did run ?—Say so,—did not the general run then? were not that a botchy core?

Ajax. Dog,

Ther. Then would come some matter from him; I see none now.

Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear' Feel then. [Strikes him.

Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted lord!

Ajax. Speak then, thou unsalted leaven, speak: I will beat thee into handsomeness.

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'thyjade's tricks!

Ajax. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation.

Ther. Dost thou think, I have no sense, thou strik'st me thus?

Ajax. The proclamation, >

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 scratching of thec; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another.

Ajax. I say, the proclamation,

Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles; and thou art as full of envy at his greatness, as Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty, ay, that thou bark'st at him.

Ajax. Mistress Thersites!

Ther. Thou should'st strike him.

Ajax. Cobloaf!

Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.

Ajax. You whoreson cur! [Beating him.

Ther. Do, do.

Ajax. Thou stool for a witch \

'Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witte<l lord! 'thoto hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego may tutor thee: Thou scurvy valiant aas1! thou art here put to thrash Trojans; and thou art bought and sold among those of any wit, like a Barbarian slave. 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!

Ther. You scurvy lord!

Ajax. You cur! [Stattng him.

Ther. Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do.

Enter Achilles and Patroclus.

. AMI. Why, how now, Ajax; wherefore do you

thus? How now. Thersites? what's the matter, man?

Ther. You see him there, do you? . Achil. Ay; what's the matter?

Ther. Nay, look upon him.

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

Ther. Nay, but regard him well.

Achil. Well, why I do so.

Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: for, .whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.

Athil. I know that, fool. . Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.

Ajax. Therefore I beat thee.

Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobb'd his brain, more than he has beat my bones: I will buy nine sparrows 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 his belly, and his guts in his head,—I'll tell you what I say of him.

Achil. What?

Ther. I say, this Ajax

Achil. Nay, good Ajax.

[Ajax offers to strike him, Achilles interposes.

Ther. Has not so much wit

Ackil. Nay, I must hold you.

Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he conies to fight.

Ac hil. 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 shall

Ai In! Will you set your wit to a fool's?

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

Patr. Good words, Thersites.

Achil. What's the quarrel?

Ajax. I bade the vile owl, go learn me the tenor of the proclamation, and he rails upon me.

Ther. I serve thee not.

Ajax. Well, go to, go to.

Ther. I serve here voluntary.

Achil. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary; Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.

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

AM. What, with me too, Thersites?

Ther. There's Ulysses, and old Nestor,—whose wit was mouldy ere your grandsires had nails on their toes,—yoke you like draught oxen, and make you plough up the wars.

AM. What, what?

« PreviousContinue »