« PreviousContinue »
Patr. Who's there? Thersites? Good Thersites, come in and rail.
Ther. If I could have remember'd a gilt counterfeit, 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 Jays 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?
Patr. What, art thou devout? wast thou in prayer?
Ther. Ay; the heavens hear me!
Achil. Who's there?
Patr. Thersites, my lord.
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.
4M. O, tell, tell.
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. Peace, fool; I have not done.
Acini. He is a privileg'd man — Proceed, Thersites.
Thtr. Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a fool; and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool.
AMI. Derive this; come.
Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command 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, DigMedes, and Aj A \ .
AMI. 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! [ Kxit.
Agam. Where is Achilles?
Patr. Within his tent; but ill-dispos'd, my lord;
Agam. Let it be known to him, that we are here. He shent our messengers; and we lay by Our appertainments, visiting of him: T,et liim be told so; lest, perchance, he think We dare not move the question of our place, Or know not what we are.
Patr. I shall say so to him.
Ulyss. We saw him at the opening of his tent; He is not sick.
Ajnx. 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.
Nr.it. Who? Thersites?
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.
Nest. No Achilles with him.
Vlyss. The elephant hath joints, but m ne for courtesy: his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure.
Patr. Achilles bids me say—he is much sorry,
A gam. Hear you, Patroclus;—
We are too well acquainted with these answers:
Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on;
His pettish lunes, his ebbs, his flows, as if
Patr. I shall; and bring his answer presently.
Agam. In second voice we'll not be satisfied, We come to speak with him —Ulysses, enter.
Ajax. What is he more than another?
A gam. No more than what he thinks he is.
Ajax. Is he so much? Do you not think, he thinks himself a better man than I am?
A gam. No question.
Ajax. 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.
A jut. 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 himself: 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.