Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors]

a

a

That next, by him beneath : so, every step,

That do contrive how many hands shall strike, Exampled by the first pace that is sick

When fitness calls them on, and know, by measure Of his superior, grows to an envious fever

Of their observant toil, the enemies' weight,Of pale and bloodless emulation :

Why, this hath not a finger's dignity. And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,

They call this bed-work, mappery, closet-war: Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length, So that the ram, that batters down the wall, Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength. For the great swing and rudeness of his poise,

Nest. Most wisely hath Ulysses here discover'd They place before his hand that made the engine,
The fever whereof all our power is sick.

Or those that with the fineness of their souls
Agam. The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses, By reason guide his execution.
What is the remedy?

Nest. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse
Ulyss. The great Achilles, whom opinion crowns Makes many

Thetis' sons.

[4 Tucket. The sinew and the forehand of our host,

Agam.

What trumpet? look, Menelaus. Having his ear full of his airy fame,

Enter Æneas. Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent

Men. From Troy. Lies mocking our designs. With him, Patroclus,

Agam.

What would you 'fore our tent? Upon a lazy bed the livelong day

Æne.

Is this Breaks scurril jests;

Great Agamemnon's tent, I pray you? And with ridiculous and awkward action

Ayam.

Even this. (Which, slanderer, he imitation calls,)

Æne. May one, that is a herald and a prince,
He pageants us : sometime, great Agamemnon, Do a fair message to his kingly ears?
Thy topless deputation he puts on;

Agam. With surety stronger than Achilles' arm,
And, like a strutting player,— whose conceit

'Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich

Call Agamemnon head and general. To hear the wooden dialogue and sound

Æne. Fair leave, and large security. How may 'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage,- A stranger to those most imperial looks Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming

Know them from eyes of other mortals ? He acts thy greatness in : and when he speaks,

Agam.

How?
'Tis like a chime a mending; with terms unsquar'd, Æne. Ay; I ask, that I might waken reverence,
Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropp’d, And bid the cheek be ready with a blush,
Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff

Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling, The youthful Phæbus.
From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause; Which is that god in office, guiding men ?
Cries—“Excellent !—'tis Agamemnon right.- Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?
Now play me Nestor ;-hem, and stroke thy beard Ayam. This Trojan scorns us, or the men of Troy
As he, being 'drest to some oration."

Are ceremonious courtiers.
That's done ;-as near as the extremest ends

Æne. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'd, Of parallels-as like as Vulcan and his wife : As bending angels: that's their fame in peace; Yet god Achilles still cries, “ Excellent !

But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls, "Tis Nestor right! Now play him me, Patroclus, Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and, Jove's Arming to answer in a night alarm."

accord, And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age

Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Æneas!
Must be the scene of mirth; to cough, and spit, Peace, Trojan! lay thy finger on thy lips,
And with a palsy, fumbling on his gorget,

The worthiness of praise distains his worth,
Shake in and out the rivet :—and at this sport, If that the prais’d himself bring the praise forth;
Sir Valour dies; cries, “O!-enough, Patroclus, What the repining enemy commends,
Or give me ribs of steel! I shall split all

That breath fame blows; that praise, soul-pure, tran-
In pleasure of my spleen." And in this fashion,

scends. All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,

Agam. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Æneas ? Severals and generals, all grace extract,

Æne. Ay, Greek, that is my name. Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,

Agam.

What's your affair, I pray you? Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,

Æne. Sir, pardon : 'tis for Agamemnon's ears. Success, or loss, what is, or is not, serves

Agam. He hears nought privately that comes from As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.

Troy. Nest. And in the imitation of these twain,

Æne. Nor I from Troy came not to whisper him: (Whom, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns

I bring a trumpet to awake his ear; With an imperial voice) many are infect.

To set his sense on the attentive bent, Ajax is grown self-willid; and bears his head

And then to speak. In such a rein, in full as proud a place

Agam.

Speak frankly as the wind. As broad Achilles : keeps his tent like him;

It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour: Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war, That thou shalt know, Trojan, he is awake, Bold as an oracle; and sets Thersites,

He tells thee so himself. A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint,

Æne.

Trumpet, blow loud, To match us in comparisons with dirt;

Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents; To weaken and discredit our exposure,

And every Greek of mettle, let him know,
How rank soever rounded in with danger.

What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.
Ulyss. They tax our policy, and call it cowardice;
Count wisdom as no member of the war;

We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy,
Forestall prescience, and esteem no act

A prince call'a Hector, Priam is his father, But that of hand: the still and mental parts,- Who in this dull and long-continu'd truce

[Trumpet sounds.

Is rusty grown: he bade me take a trumpet, As banks of Libya, (though, Apollo knows,
And to this purpose speak.-Kings, princes, lords, 'Tis dry enough) will, with great speed of judgment,
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece,

Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
That holds his honour higher than his ease;

Pointing on him.
That seeks his praise more than be fears his peril ; Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think you?
That knows his valour, and knows not his fear;

Nest. Why, 'tis most meet: whom may you else
That loves his mistress more than in confession

oppose, With truant vows to her own lips he loves,

That can from Hector bring his honour off,
And dare avow her beauty and her worth

If not Achilles ? Though't be a sportful combat,
In other arms than hers,-to him this challenge. Yet in the trial much opinion dwells ;
Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,

For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute
Shall make it good, or do his best to do it.

With their fin'st palate : and trust to me, Ulysses, He hath a lady, wiser, fairer, truer,

Our reputation shall be oddly pois'd Than ever Greek did couple in his arms;

In this wild action; for the success,
And will to-morrow with his trumpet call,

Although particular, shall give a scantling
Mid-way between your tents and walls of Troy, Of good or bad unto the general ;
To rouse a Grecian that is true in love.

And in such indexes (although small pricks
If any come, Hector shall honour him ;

To their subsequent volumes) there is seen
If none, he'll say in Troy, when he retires,

The baby figure of the giant mass
The Grecian dames are sun-burnt, and not worth Of things to come at large. It is suppos'd,
The splinter of a lance. Even so much.

He that meets Hector issues from our choice :
Agam. This shall be told our lovers, lord Æneas: And choice, being mutual act of all our souls,
If none of them have soul in such a kind,

Makes merit her election, and doth boil, We left them all at home; but we are soldiers, As 'twere from forth us all, a man distillid And may that soldier a mere recreant prove,

Out of our virtues; who miscarrying, That means not, hath not, or is not in love!

What heart receives from hence the conquering part,
If then one is, or hath, or means to be,

To steel a strong opinion to themselves?
That one meets Hector; if none else, I am he. Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,

Nest. Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man In no less working, than are swords and bows
When Hector's grandsire suck'd: he is old now; Directive by the limbs.
But if there be not in our Grecian host

Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech :-
One noble man that hath one spark of fire,

Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector. To answer for his love, tell him from me,

Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares, I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver,

And think, perchance, they'll sell ;
And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn;

The lustre of the better shall exceed,
And, meeting him, will tell him, that my lady By showing the worse first. Do not consent,
Was fairer than bis grandam, and as chaste

That ever Hector and Achilles meet;
As may be in the world. His youth in flood,

For both our honour and our shame, in this, I'll

prove this truth with my three drops of blood. Are dogg'd with two strange followers. Àne. Now heavens forbid such scarcity of youth !

Nest. I see them not with my old eyes : what are Ulyss. Amen.

they? Agam. Fair lord Æneas, let me touch your hand; Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from Hector, To our pavilion shall I lead you, sir.

Were he not proud, we all should share with him : Achilles shall have word of this intent,

But he already is too insolent; So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent;

And we were better parch in Afric sun, Yourself shall feast with us before you go,

Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes, And find the welcome of a noble foe.

Should he 'scape Hector fair. If he were foil'd, [Exeunt all but Ulysses and Nestor. Why, then we did our main opinion crush Ulyss. Nestor

In taint of our best man. No; make a lottery,
Nest. What says Ulysses ?

And by device let blockish Ajax draw
Ulyss. I have a young conception in my brain ; The sort to fight with Hector: among ourselves
Be you my time to bring it to some shape.

Give him allowance for the better man,
Nest. What is't?

For that will physic the great Myrmidon, Ulyss. This 'tis.

Who broils in loud applause; and make him fall Blunt wedges rive hard knots : the seeded pride, His crest, that prouder than blue Iris bends. That hath to this maturity grown up

If the dull, brainless Ajax come safe off, In rank Achilles, must or now be cropp’d,

We'll dress him up in voices : if he fail, Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil,

Yet go we under our opinion still,
To overbulk us all.

That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
Nest.
Well, and how ?

Our project's life this shape of sense assumes,—
Ulyss. This challenge that the gallant Hector sends, Ajax employ'd plucks down Achilles' plumes.
However it is spread in general name,

Nest. Now I begin to relish thy advice; Relates in purpose only to Achilles.

And I will give a taste of it forth with Nest. The purpose is perspicuous even as substance, To Agamemnon: go we to him straight. Whose grossness little characters sum up :

Two curs shall tame each other : pride alone And in the publication make no strain,

Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone. But that Achilles, were his brain as barren

[Exeunt.

if not,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

see none now.

a

ACT II.
SCENE I.- Another Part of the Grecian Camp.

Ther. But yet you look not well upon him; for,

whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.
Enter Ajax and THERSITES.

Achil. I know that, fool.
Ajax. Thersites!

Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boils ? full, all Ajax. Therefore I beat thee.
over, generally?

Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters !
Ajax. Thersites!

his orations have ears thus long. I have bobbed his Ther. And those boils did run ?-Say so,—did not brain, more than he has beat my bones: I will buy the general run then ? were not that a botchy sore? nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not Ajax. Dog!

worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles, Ther. Then would come some matter from him: 1 Ajax, who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in

his head, I'll tell you what I say of him.
Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? Achil. What?
Feel then.

[Strikes him. Ther. I say, this Ajax-
Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mon- Achil. Nay, good Ajax. (Ajax offers to strike him.
grel beef-witted lord !

Ther. Has not so much wita Ajax. Speak then, thou vinewd'st leaven, speak : I Achil. Nay, I must hold you. will beat thee into handsomeness.

Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for Ther. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness: whom he comes to fight. but, I think, thy horse will sooner con an oration, than Achil. Peace, fool ! thou learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike, Ther. I would have peace and quietness, but the canst thou? a red murrain o'thy jade's tricks ! fool will not: he there ; that he, look you there.

Ajar. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation. Ajax. O, thou damned cur! I shall

Ther. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strik'st Achil. Will you set your wit to a fool's ? me thus?

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

Patr. Good words, Thersites.
Ther. Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think.

Achil. What's the quarrel?
Ajax. Do not, porcupine, do not: my fingers itch. Ajax. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of

Ther. I would, thou didst itch from head to foot, the proclamation, and he rails upon me.
and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee Ther. I serve thee not.
the loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth Ajax. Well, go to, go to.
in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another. Ther. I serve here voluntary.
Ajax. I say, the proclamation,

Achil. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not
Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary : Ajax was
Achilles ; and thou art as full of envy at his greatness, here the voluntary, and you as under an impress

. as Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty, ay, that thou Ther. Even so ?-a great deal of your wit, too, lies barkest at him.

in your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shal! Ajax. Mistress Thersites !

have a great catch, if he knock out either of your Ther. Thou shouldest strike him.

brains : he were as good crack a fusty nut with no Ajax. Cobloaf!

kernel,
Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, Achil. What, with me too, Thersites?
as a sailor breaks a biscuit.

Ther. There's Ulysses, and old Nestor,—whose wit
Ajax. You whoreson cur!

[Beating him. was mouldy ere your grandsires had nails on their toes, Ther. Do, do.

--yoke you liké draught oxen, and make you plough Ajax. Thou stool for a witch!

up the war. Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou Achil. What? what? hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an l'her. Yes, good sooth; to Achilles, to Ajax, toassinego may tutor thee : thou scurvy valiant ass! Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue, thou art here but to thrash Trojans; and thou art Ther. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou, bought and sold among those of any wit, like a Bar- afterwards, barian slave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin at Patr. No more words, Thersites; peace! thy heel, and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing Ther. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach of no bowels, thou !

bids me, shall I ?
Ajax. You dog!

Achil. There's for you, Patroclus.
Ther. You

scurvy
lord!

Ther. I will see you hanged, like clotpoles, ere I
Ajax. You cur!

[Beating him. come any more to your tents: I will keep where there Ther. Mars's idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do. is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools. (Exit

. Enter Achilles and PATROCLUS.

Patr. A good riddance.
Achil. Why, how now, Ajax! wherefore do

you
this?

Achil. Marry, this, sir, is proclaimed through all our
How now, Thersites! what's the matter, man?
Ther. You see him there, do you?

That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun,
Achil. Ay; what's the matter?

Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy,
Ther. Nay, look upon him.

To-morrow morning call some knight to arms, Achil. So I do: what's the matter?

That hath a stomach; and such a one, that dare Ther. Nay, but regard him well.

Maintain, I know not what: 'tis trash. Farewell. Achil. Well, why I do so.

Ajax. Farewell. Who shall answer him?

[ocr errors]

host:

ness

a

Achil. I know not : it is put to lottery; otherwise, To what infectiously itself affects,
He knew his man.

Without some image of th' affected merit.
Ajax. O! meaning you.—I will go learn more of it. Tro. I take to-day a wife, and my election

[Exeunt. Is led on in the conduct of my will ;

My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
SCENE II.—Troy. A Room in Priam's Palace.
Enter Priam, Hector, Troilus, Paris, and HELENUS. Of will and judgment. How may I avoid,

Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches spent, Although my will distaste what it elected,
Thus once again says Nestor from the Greeks :-- The wife I chose ? there can be no evasion
“Deliver Helen, and all damage else-

To blench from this, and to stand firm by honour. As honour, loss of time, travail, expence,

We turn not back the silks upon the merchant, Wounds, friends, and what else dear that is consum’d When we have soil'd them ; nor the remainder viands In hot digestion of this cormorant war,—

We do not throw in unrespective sieve, Shall be struck off:”—Hector, what say you to't? Because we now are full. It was thought meet,

Hect. Though no man lesser fears the Greeks than I, Paris should do some vengeance on the Greeks : As far as toucheth my particular,

Your breath of full consent bellied his sails ; Yet, dread Priam,

The seas and winds (old wranglers) took a truce, There is no lady of more softer bowels,

And did him service : he touch'd the ports desir'd ; More spungy to suck in the sense of fear,

And for an old aunt, whom the Greeks held captive, More ready to cry out—“Who knows what follows?" He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and freshThan Hector is. The wound of peace is surety, Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd

Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes pale the morning. The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches

Why keep we her? the Grecians keep our aunt. To the bottom of the worst.

Let Helen go :

Is she worth keeping ? why, she is a pearl, Since the first sword was drawn about this question, Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships, Every tithe soul, 'mongst many thousand dismes, And turn’d crown'd kings to merchants. Hath been as dear as Helen ; í mean, of ours : If you'll avouch 'twas wisdom Paris went, If we have lost so many tenths of ours,

As you must need, for you all cry'd—“Go, go;" To guard a thing not ours, nor worth to us,

If you'll confess, he brought home noble prize, Had it our name, the value of one ten,

As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands, What merit's in that reason which denies

And cry'd—“ Inestimable!” why do you now
The yielding of her up?

The issue of your proper wisdoms rate,
Tro.
Fie, fie! my brother

And do a deed that fortune never did,
Weigh you the worth and honour of a king,

Beggar the estimation which you priz'd So great as our dread father, in a scale

Richer than sea and land? O, theft most base, Of common ounces? will you with counters sum That we have stolen what we do fear to keep ! The past-proportion of his infinite ?

But, thieves, unworthy of a thing so stolen, And buckle in a waist most fathomless,

That in their country did them that disgrace, With spans and inches so diminutive

We fear to warrant in our native place! As fears and reasons ? fie, for godly shame !

Cas. [Within.] Cry, Trojans, cry! Hel. No marvel, though you bite so sharp at reasons, Pri.

What noise? what shriek is this? You are so empty of them. Should not our father Tro. 'Tis our mad sister: I do know her voice. Bear the great sway of his affairs with reasons,

Cas. [Within.] Cry, Trojans !
Because your speech hath none, that tells him so? Hect. It is Cassandra.
Tro. You are for dreams and slumbers, brother

Enter Cassandra, raving.
priest :

Cas. Cry, Trojans, cry! lend me ten thousand eyes, You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your rea- And I will fill them with prophetic tears.

Hect. Peace, sister, peace! You know, an enemy intends you harm,

Cas. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled eld, You know, a sword employ'd is perilous,

Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry, And reason flies the object of all harm.

Add to my clamours ! let us pay betimes Who marvels, then, when Helenus beholds

A moiety of that mass of moan to come. A Grecian and his sword, if he do set

Cry, Trojans, cry! practise your eyes with tears : The very wings of reason to his heels,

Troy must not be, nor goodly Ilion stand; And fly like chidden Mercury from Jove,

Our fire-brand brother, Paris, burns us all. Or like a star dis-orb'd ?-Nay, if we talk of reason, Cry, Trojans, cry! a Helen, and a woe! Let's shut our gates, and sleep: manhood and honour Cry, cry! Troy burns, or else let Helen go. [Exit. Should have hare hearts, would they but fat their Hect. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high thoughts

strains With this cramm'd reason: reason and respect Of divination in our sister work Make livers pale, and lustihood deject.

Some touches of remorse? or is your blood
Hect. Brother, she is not worth what she doth cost So madly hot, that no discourse of reason,
The holding.

Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,
Tro. What is aught, but as 'tis valued ? Can qualify the same ?
Hect. But value dwells not in particular will;

Tro.

Why, brother Hector, It holds his estimate and dignity,

We may not think the justness of each act As well wherein 'tis precious of itself,

Such and no other than event doth form it; As in the prizer. 'Tis mad idolatry,

Nor once deject the courage of our minds, To make the service greater than the god;

Because Cassandra's mad: her brain-sick raptures And the will dotes, that is inclinable

Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel,

:

sons:

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I am yours,

[ocr errors]

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 cour

ounsels;
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 poise 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 besotted 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 not merely to myself

I
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; nor none so noble,
Whose life were ill bestow'd, or death unfam'd,
Where Helen is the subject: then, I say,
Well may we fight for her, whom, we know well,
The world's large spaces cannot parallel.

Hect. Paris, and Troilus, you have both said well;
And 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 allege do more conduce
To the hot passion of distemper'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 decision. 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 benumbed wills, resist the same,
There is a law in each well-order'd nation,
To curb those raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and refractory.
If Helen, then, be wife to Sparta's king,
As it is known she is, these moral laws
Of nature, and of nation, speak aloud
To have her back return'd: thus to persist
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 spritely 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.

Tro. Why, there you touch'd the life of our design.
Were it not glory that we more affected,
Than the performance of our beaving spleens,
I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
She is a theme of honour and renown;
A spur 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 Hector 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.

Hect.
You valiant offspring of great Priamus.-
I have a roisting challenge sent amongst
The dull and factious pobles of the Greeks,
Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits.
I was advertis'd, their great general slept,
Whilst emulation in the army crept:
This, I presume, will wake him.

[Exeunt. SCENE III.-- The Grecian Camp. Before Achilles'

Tent.

Enter THERSITES.
Ther. How now,

Thersites! what! lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus ? he beats me, and I rail at him: 0 worthy satisfaction ! would, it were otherwise ; that I could beat him, whilst he railed 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 two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. [Kneels.] 0, thou 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 ye take not that little, little, less-than-little wit from them that they have; which short-armed ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider, without drawing their massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or, rather the Neapolitan bone-ache ; for that, methinks, is the curse dependant on those that war for a placket. (Rises.]

have said my prayers, and devil, envy, say Amen. What, ho! my lord Achilles !

Enter PATROCLUS. Patr. Who's there? Thersites? Good Thersites, come in and rail, Ther. If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit

, thou wouldest not have slipped 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 lays 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 !

Enter ACHILLES.
Achil. Who's there?
Patr. Thersites, my lord.

Achil. Wbere, wbere ?--Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my table so many meals ? Come; what's Agamemnon?

« PředchozíPokračovat »