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Agan. What would you 'fore our tent? Who in this dull and long-continued truce
Is rusty grown; he bade me take a trumpet, Great Agamemnon's tent, I pray?
And to this purpose speak. Kings, princes, lords! Agam. Even this.
If there be one, among the fair'st of Greece, Æne. May one, that is a herald, and a prince, That holds his honour higher than his ease; Do a fair message to his kingly ears ?
That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril; Agam. With surety stronger than Achilles' That knows his valour, and knows not his fear;
That loves his mistress more than in confession, ?Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one (With truant vows to her own lips he loves,) voice
Ànd dare avow her beauty and her worth, Call Agamemnon head and general.
In other arms than hers,—to him this challenge. Æne. Fair leave, and large security. How Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks, may
Shall make it good, or do his best to do it,
And will to-morrow with his trumpet call,
Mid-way between your tents and walls of Troy, I ask, that I might waken reverence,
To rouse a Grecian that is true in love: And bid the cheek be ready with a blush, If any come, Hector shall honour him; Modest as morning, when she coldly eyes If none, he'll say in Troy, when he retires, The youthful Phoebus:
The Grecian dames are sun-burn'd, and not Which is that god in office, guiding men ?
worth Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon ? The splinter of a lance. Even so much. Agam. This Trojan scorns us; or the men of Agam. This shall be told our lovers, lord Troy
Æneas; Are ceremonious courtiers.
If none of them have soul in such a kind, Æne. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm’d, We left them all at home: But we are soldiers; As bending angels; that's their fame in peace : And may that soldier a mere recreant prove, But when they would seem soldiers, they have That means not, hath not, or is not in love! galls,
If then one is, or hath, or means to be, Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and, That one meets Hector ; if none else, I am he. Jove's accord,
Nest. Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Æneas, When Hector's grandsire suck'd: he is old now; Peace, Trojan ; lay thy finger on thy lips ! But, if there be not in our Grecian host The worthiness of praise distains his worth, One noble mun, that hath one spark of fire If that the prais'd himself bring the praise forth: To answer for his love, Tell him from me,-But what the repining enemy commends, I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver, That breath fame follows; that praise, sole pure, And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn; transcends.
And, meeting him, will tell him, that my lady Agam. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Was fairer than his grandame, and as chaste Æneas?
As may be in the world : His youth in food, Æne. Ay, Greek, that is my name.
I'll prove this truth with my three drops of blood. Agam. What's your affair, I pray you? Æne. Now heavens forbid such scarcity of ne. Sir, pardon ; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears. youth ! Agam. He hears nought privately, that comes Ulyss. Amen. from Troy.
Agam. Fair lord Æneas, let me touch your Æne. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper hand; him :
To our pavilion shall I lead you, sir. I bring a trumpet to awake his ear;
Achilles shall have word of this intent; To set his sense on the attentive bent,
So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent: And then to speak.
Yourself shall feast with us before you go, Agam. Speak frankly as the wind;
And find the welcome of a noble foe. It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour:
[Exeunt all but Ulysses and Nestor. That thou shalt know, Trojan, be is awake, Ulyss. Nestor,-He teils thee so himself.
Nest. What says Ulysses ? Æne. Trumpet, blow loud,
Ulyss. I have a young conception in my brain, Send thy brass voice through all these lazy Be you my time to bring it to some shape. tents;
Nest. What is't? Aud every Greek of mettle let him know,
Ulyss. This 'tis : What Troy means fairly, shall be spoke aloud. Blunt wedges rive hard knots : The seeded [Trumpet sounds.
pride, We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy That hath to this maturity blown up A prince call'd Hector, (Priam is his father,) In rank Achilles, must
or now be cropp'd,
Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil, Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,
In no less working, than are swords and bows
Directive by the limbs.
Therefore, 'tis meet, Achilles meet not Hector.
Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares,
And think, perchance, they'll sell ; if not,
By showing the worse first. Do not consent,
Nest. I see them not with my old eyes;
Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from
Were he not proud, we all should share with him:
. And wakehim to the answer, think you? But he already is too insolent;
And we were better parch in Afric sun,
Than in the pride and salt scorn of his eyes,
In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery;
Give him allowance for the better man,
For that will physic the great Myrmidon,
Who broils in loud applause ; and make him fall
If the dull brainless Ajax come safe off,
That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
Our project's life this shape of sense assumes,
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.
Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.
Ajar. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not SCENE I_Another part of the Grecian camp.
hear ? Feel then.
Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou Enter AJAX and THERSITES.
mongrel beef-witted lord ! Ajax. Thersites,
Ajar. Speak then, thou unsalted leaven, Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boils ? speak : I'll beat thee into handsomeness. fill, all over, generally?
Ther. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and Ajar. Thersites,
holiness: but, I think, thy horse will sooner Ther. And those boils did run ?-Say so,
con an oration, than thou learn a prayer withdid not the general run then ? were not that a
out book. Thou canst strike, canst thou? a
red murrain o'thy jade's tricks! Ajor. Dog,
Ajax. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation. Ther. Then would come some matter from
Ther. Dost thou think, I have no sense, thou strik'st me thus ?
him; I see pone nov.
Ajar. The proclamation
Achil. Nay, good Ajax. Ther. Thou art proclaim'd a fool, I think. [Ajax offers to strike him, Achilles interposes.
Ajax. Do not, porcupine, do not; my fingers Ther. Has not so much wititch.
Achil. Nay, I must hold you. Ther. I would thou didst itch from head to Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would for whom he comes to fight. make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece. When Achil. Peace, fool! thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest Ther. I would have peace and quietness, but as slow as another.
the fool will not: he there; that he ; look you Ajar. I say, the proelamation
there. Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour Ajax. O thou damned cur! I shallon Achilles; and thou art as full of envy at his Achil. Will you set your wit to a fool's ? greatness, as Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty, Ther. No, I warrant you; for a fool's will ay, that thou barkest at him.
shame it. Ajar. Mistress Thersites!
Patr. Good words, Thersites. Ther. Thou should'st strike him.
Achil. What's the quarrel ? Ajar. Cobloaf!
Ajar. I bade the vile owl, go learn me the Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon me. his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
Ther. I serve thee not. 4jar. You whoreson cur ! [Beating him. Ajar. Well, go to, go to. Ther. Do, do.
Pher. I serve here voluntary. Ajax. Thou stool for a witch !
Achil. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord ! not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary: thou hast no more brain than I have in mine Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as under elbows; an assinego may tutor thee: Thou an impress. scurvy valiant ass! thou art here put to thrash Ther. Even so ?-a great deal of your wit too Trojans; and thou art bought and sold among lies in your sinews, or else there be liars
. Hecthose of any wit, like a barbarian slave. If tor shall have a great catch, if he knock out thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel, either of your brains ; 'a were as good crack a and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of fusty nut with no kernel. no bowels, thou !
Achil. What, with me too, Thersites? 4jax. You dog!
Ther. There's Ulysses, and old Nestor,I'her. You sourvy lord !
whose wit was mouldy, ere your grandsires had Ajax. You cur !
[Beating him. nails on their toes,-yoke you like draught oxen, Pher. Mars his idiot! do, rudeness ; do, and make you plough up the wars. camel ; do, do.
Achil. What, what?
Ther. Yes, good sooth ; To, Achilles ! to,
Ther. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much
Patr. No more words, Thersites; peace. Achil. Ay; what's the matter?
Ther. I will hold my peace, when Achilles' Ther. Nay, look upon him.
brach bids me, shall I ? Achil. So I do; What's the matter?
Achil. There's for you, Patroclus. Thor. Nay, but regard him well.
Ther. I will see you hanged, like clotpoles, Achil. Well, why I do so.
ere I come any more to your tents; I will keep Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: where there is wit stirring, and leave the faction or, whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax. of fools. Achil. I know that, fool.
Patr. A good riddance. Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself. Achil. Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through Ajax. Therefore I beat thee,
all our host, Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit That Hector, by the first hour of the sun, he utters! his evasions have ears thus long: I Will, with a trumpet, 'twixt our tents and Troy, have bobb’d his brain, more than he has beat To-morrow morning call some knight to arins, my bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a pen- That hath a stomach ; and such a one, that dare ny, and his pia mater is not worth the ninth Maintain- I know not what; 'tis trash: Farewell. part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles, Ajax,– Ajar. Farewell. Who shall answer him? who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in Achil
. I know not, it is put to lottery; otherwise, his head,- I'll tell you what I say of him, He knew his man. Achil. What?
Ajar. O, meaning you :-I'll go learn more of Ther, I say, this Ajax
you thus ?
SCENE II.- Troy. A room in Priam's palace. Hect. Brother, she is not worth what she doth
Tro. What is aught, but as ’tis valued ?
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
As in the prizer : 'tis mad idolatry,
And the will dotes, that is attributive
Is led on in the conduct of my will;
My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,
Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores
Because we now are full. It was thought meet,
The seas and winds (old wranglers) took a truce, To guard a thing not ours; not worth to us, And did him service: he touch'd the ports desir'd; Had it our name, the value of one ten;
And, for an old aunt, whom the Greeks held What merit's in that reason, which denies
captive, The yielding of her up ?
He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and Tro . Fye, fye, my brother!
Why keep we her? the Grecians keep our aunt:
Whose pricehath launch’dabovea thousand ships,
If you'll avouch, 'twas wisdom Paris went,
(As you must needs, for you all clapp'd your hands
The issue of your proper wisdoms rate;
Richer than sea and land ? Otheft most base ;
But, thieves, unworthy of a thing so stolen, intends
harm; That in their country did them that disgrace, You know, a sword, employ'd, is perilous,
We fear to warrant in our native place!
Cas. [Within.] Cry, Trojans, cry!
Tro. 'Tis our mad sister, I do know her voice. The very wings of reason to his heels ;
Cas. [Within.] Cry, Trojans !
Hect. It is Cassandra.
Enter CASSANDRA, raving.
eyes, With this cramm'à reason : reason and respect
And I will fill them with prophetic tears. Make livers pale, and lustihood deject.
Hect. Peace, sister, peace,
reasons: You know, an enemy
Cas. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled | Well may we fight for her, whom, we know well, elders,
The world's large spaces cannot parallel. Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
Hect. Paris, and Troilus, you have both said Add to my clamours ! let us pay betimes
[Erit. Than to make up a free determination Hect. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these 'Twixt right and wrong; for pleasure and rerenge high strains
Have ears more deaf than adders to the voiæ
Of any true decision. Nature craves,
Than wife is to the husband ? if this law
Of nature be corrupted through affection ; Tro. Why, brother Hector,
And that great minds, of partial indulgence We may not think the justness of each act To their benumbed wills, resist the same; Such and no other than event doth form it ; There is a law in each well-order'd nation Nor once deject the courage of our minds, To curb those raging appetites that are Because Cassandra's mad: her brain-sick raptures Most disobedient and refractory, Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel, If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king, Which hath our several honours all engag'd As it is known she is,-these moral laws To make it gracious. For my private part, Of nature, and of nations, speak aloud I am no more touch'd than all Priam's sons : To have her back return'd: Thus to persist And Jove forbid, there should be done amongst us In doing wrong, extenuates not wrong, Such things, as might offend the weakest spleen But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion To fight for and maintain !
Is this, in way of truth : yet, ne'ertheless, Par. Else might the world convince of levity My spritely brethren, I propend to you As well my undertakings, as your counsels : In resolution to keep Helen still ; But I attest the gods, your full consent For 'tis a cause, thai hath no mean dependance Gave wings to my propension, and cut off Upon our joint and several diguities. All fears attending on so dire a project.
Tro. Why, there you touch'd the life of our For what, alas, can these my single arms ?
design: What propugnation is in one man's valour, Were it not glory that we more affected To stand the push and enmity of those Than the performance of our heaving spleens, This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest, I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood Were I alone to pass the difficulties,
Spent more in her defence. But, wortby Hector, And had as ample power as I have will,
She is a theme of honour and renown; Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done, A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds ; Nor faint in the pursuit.
Whose present courage may beat down our foes, Pri. Paris, you speak
And fame, in time to come, canonize us:
As smiles upon the forehead of this action,
I have a roisting challenge sent amongst What treason were it to the ransack'd queen, The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks, Disgrace to your great worths, and shame to me, Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits : Now to deliver her possession up
I was advertis’d, their great general slept, On terms of base compulsion? Can it be, Whilst emulation in the army crept ; ; That so degenerate a strain as this
This, I presume, will wake him. [Erexni