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Durst never meddle') in the soul of state;
Which hath an operation more divine,
Than breath, or pen, can give expressure to:
All the commérce that you have had with Troy,
As perfectly is ours, as yours, my lord;
And better would it fit Achilles much,
To throw down Hector, than Polyxena:
But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
When fame shall in our islands sound her trump;
And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,-
Great Hector's sister did Achilles win;

But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.
Farewell, my lord: I as your lover speak;
The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.

[Exit. Patr. To this effect, Achilles, have I mov'd you: A woman impudent and mannish grown

Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man
In time of action. I stand condemn'd for this;
They think, my little stomach to the war,
And your great love to me, restrains you thus:
Sweet, rouse yourself; and the weak wanton Cupid
Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane,
Be shook to air.

Achil.

Shall Ajax fight with Hector? Patr. Ay; and, perhaps, receive much honour by him.

Achil. I see, my reputation is at stake;

My fame is shrewdly gor'd.

Patr.

O, then beware;

Those wounds heal ill, that men do give themselves: Omission to do what is necessary

(with whom relation

Durst never meddle)-] There is a secret administration of affairs, which no history was ever able to discover. JOHNSON. 5 Omission to do, &c.] By neglecting our duty we commission or

Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we sit idly in the sun.

Achil. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus: I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him

To invite the Trojan lords after the combat,

To see us here unarm'd: I have a woman's longing,
An appetite that I am sick withal,

To see great Hector in his weeds of peace;
To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
Even to my full of view. A labour sav'd!

Enter THERsites.

Ther. A wonder!

Achil. What?

Ther. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself.

Achil. How so?

Ther. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector; and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling, that he raves in saying nothing.

Achil. How can that be?

Ther. Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, a stride, and a stand: ruminates, like an hostess, that hath no arithmetick but her brain to set down her reckoning: bites his lip with a politick regard, as who should say-there were wit in this head, an 'twould out; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man's undone for ever; for if Hector break not his neck 'the combat, he'll break it himself in vain-glory. He knows not me: I said, Good-morrow, Ajax; and

enable that danger of dishonour, which could not reach us before, to lay hold upon us. JOHNSON.

—with a politick regard,] With a sly look.

he replies, Thanks, Agamemnon. What think you of this man, that takes me for the general? He is grown a very land-fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.

Achil. Thou must be my embassador to him, Thersites.

Ther. Who, I? why, he'll answer nobody; he professes not answering; speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in his arms. I will put on his presence; let Patroclus make demands to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax.

Achil. To him, Patroclus: Tell him,-I humbly desire the valiant Ajax, to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarmed to my tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person, of the magnanimous, and most illustrious, six-or-seven-times-honoured captain-general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon. Do this.

Patr. Jove bless great Ajax.

Ther. Humph!

Patr. I come from the worthy Achilles,

Ther. Ha!

Patr. Who most humbly desires you, to invite Hector to his tent!

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Ther. If to-morrow be a fair day, by eleven o'clock it will go one way or other; howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has me.

Patr. Your answer, sir.

Ther. Fare you well, with all my heart.

Achil. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he? Ther. No, but he's out o'tune thus. What musick will be in him when Hector has knocked out his brains, I know not: But, I am sure, none; unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on."

Achil. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.

Ther. Let me bear another to his horse; for that's the more capable creature.

Achil. My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirr'd; And I myself see not the bottom of it.

Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. Ther. 'Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I might water an ass at it! I had rather be a tick in a sheep, than such a valiant ig[Exit.

norance.

ACT IV.

SCENE I. Troy. A Street.

Enter, at one side, ÆNEAS and Servant, with a Torch; at the other, PARIS, DEIPHOBUS, ANTENOR, DIOMEDES, and Others, with Torches.

Par. See, ho! who's that there?

Dei.

'Tis the lord Æneas. Ene. Is the prince there in person?— Had I so good occasion to lie long,

7

to make catlings on.] A catling signifies a small lutestring made of catgut.

8

the more capable creature.] The more intelligent creature.

As you, prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business Should rob my bed-mate of my company.

Dio. That's my mind too.-Good morrow, lord Æneas.

Par. A valiant Greek, Æneas; take his hand: Witness the process of your speech, wherein You told-how Diomed, a whole week by days, Did haunt you in the field.

Ene. Health to you, valiant sir, During all question of the gentle truce: But when I meet you arm'd, as black defiance, As heart can think, or courage execute.

Dio. The one and other Diomed embraces.
Our bloods are now in calm; and, so long, health:
But when contention and occasion meet,

By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life,
With all my force, pursuit, and policy.

Ene. And thou shalt hunt a lion, that will fly
With his face backward.—In humane gentleness.
Welcome to Troy! now, by Anchises' life,
Welcome, indeed! By Venus' hand I swear,
No man alive can love, in such a sort,
The thing he means to kill, more excellently.
Dio. We sympathize:-Jove, let Æneas live,
If to my sword his fate be not the glory,
A thousand complete courses of the sun!
But, in mine emulous honour, let him die,
With every joint a wound; and that to-morrow!
Ene. We know each other well.

Dio. We do; and long to know each other

worse.

Par. This is the most despiteful gentle greeting, The noblest hateful love, that e'er I heard of.What business, lord, so early?

9 During all question-] Question means intercourse, interchange of conversation.

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