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Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from Hector, Were he not proud, we all should share with him: But he already is too insolent; And we were better parch in Africk sun, Than in the pride and salt scorp of his eyes, Should he 'scape Hector fair: If he were foild, Why, then we did our main opiniou* crush In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery; And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw The sortt to fight with Hector: Among ourselves, Give him allowance for the better man, For that will physick the great Myrmidon, Who broils in loud applause; and make him fall His crest, that prouder than blue Iris bends. If the dull brainless Ajax conie safe off, We'll dress him up in voices : If he fail, Yet go we under our opinion t still That we have better men. But, hit or miss, Our project's life this shape of sense assumes, Ajax, employ'd, plucks down Achilles' plumes.
Nest. Ulysses, Now I begin to relish thy advice; And I wili give a taste of it forth with To Agamemnon: go we to him straight. Two curs shall tame each other; Pride alone Must tarreġ the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.
* Estimation or character.
SCENEI. Another part of the Grecian camp.
Enter Ajax and Thersites.
Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boils? full, all over, generally?
Ther. And those boils did run?-Say so-did not the general run theni were not that a botchy sore ?
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 !
Ajur. Speak then, thou unsalted leaven, speak: I will beat thee into handsomeness.
Ther. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holi. ness: 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'thy jade's tricks!
Ajax. Toads.stool, learn me the proclamation.
Ther. Dost thou think, I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?
Ajax. The proclamation,-
Ther. I would, thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; 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 barkest at him.
Ajax. Mistress Thersites!
Ther. He would pun* thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
Ajax. You whoreson cur! [Beating him.
Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord ! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinegot may tutor thee: Thou scurvy valiant ass, 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!
[Beating him. Ther. Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel ; do, do.
Enter Achilles and Patroclus.
Achil. Why, how now, Ajax? wherefore do you
Ther. You see him there, do you?
Ther. Nay, look upon him.
Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: for, whosoever you take bim to be, he is Ajax.
Achil. I know that, fool.
Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicuins of wit he ufters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his brain, more than he has beat my bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia matert 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.
[Ajax offers to strike him, Achilles interposes.
Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he comes to fight.
Achil. Peace, fool!
Ther. I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not: he there; that he; look you there.
Ajar. O thou damned cur! I shall-
Ajax. I bade the vile owl, go learn me the tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon me.
Ther. I serve thee not.
* The membrane that protects the brain.
Achil. Your last service was sofferance, '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.
Achil. 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. Achil. What, what? Ther. Yes, good sooth; To, Achilles ! to, Ajax ! to! Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue.
Ther. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.
Putr. No more words, Thersites; peace.
Ther. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach* bids me, shall I ? Achil. There's for you, Patroclus..
Ther. I will see you hanged, like clotpoles, ere I come any more to your tents; I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.
[Exit. Patr. A good riddance. Achil. Marry, this, sir, is proclaimed through all
our host: That Hector, by the first hour of the sun, Will, with a trumpet,'twixt our tents and Troy, To-morrow morning call some knight to arms, That hath a stomach; and such a one, that dare Maintain-I know not what; 'tis trash : Farewell.
Ajax. Farewell, Who shall answer him?
Achil. I know not, it is put to lottery; otherwise, He knew his man. Ajax. O, meaning you :-I'll go learn more of it.
(Exeunt. * Bitch, hound.