ePub 版

That's done; -as near as the extremest ends
Of parallels, like as Vulcan and his wife:- 168
Yet good Achilles still cries, 'Excellent!
'Tis Nestor right. Now play him me, Patroclus,
Arming to answer in a night alarm.'


And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age 172
Must be the scene of mirth; to cough and spit,
And with a palsy-fumbling on his gorget,
Shake in and out the rivet: and at this sport
Sir Valour dies; cries, 'O! enough, Patroclus;
Or give me ribs of steel; I shall split all
In pleasure of my spleen.' And in this fashion,
All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
Severals and generals of grace exact,
Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,
Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
Success or loss, what is or is not, serves
As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.

[blocks in formation]

Call Agamemnon head and general.

Ene. Fair leave and large security. How

A stranger to those most imperial looks
Know them from eyes of other mortals?
Ene. Ay;

I ask, that I might waken reverence,
180 And bid the cheek be ready with a blush
Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
The youthful Phoebus:


Nest. And in the imitation of these twain-
Whom, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns
With an imperial voice-many are infect.
Ajax is grown self-will'd, and bears his head 188
In such a rein, in full as proud a place
As broad Achilles; keeps his tent like him;
Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war,
Bold as an oracle, and sets Thersites-
A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint—
To match us in comparison with dirt;
To weaken and discredit our exposure,
How rank soever rounded in with danger.
Ulyss. They tax our policy, and call it



Count wisdom as no member of the war;
Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
But that of hand: the still and mental parts, 200
That do contrive how many hands shall strike,
When fitness calls them on, and know by



Of their observant toil the enemies' weight,-
Why, this hath not a finger's dignity:
They call this bed-work, mappery, closet-war;
So that the ram that batters down the wall,
For the great swing and rudeness of his poise,
They place before his hand that made the engine,
Or those that with the fineness of their souls 209
By reason guides his execution.

Nest. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse
Makes many Thetis' sons.
[A tucket.
Agam. What trumpet? look, Menelaus. 213
Men. From Troy.

[blocks in formation]




Which is that god in office, guiding men?
Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon? 232
Agam. This Trojan scorns us; or the men of

Are ceremonious courtiers.

Ene. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'd, As bending angels; that's their fame in peace: But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls,


Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and,
Jove's accord,

[blocks in formation]

Trumpet, blow aloud, 256
Send thy brass voice through all these lazy

And every Greek of mettle, let him know,
What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.
[Trumpet sounds.
We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy. 26

[Exeunt all but ULYSSES and NESTOR. Ulyss. Nestor!

Nest. What says Ulysses?

A prince called Hector,-Priam is his father,-And find the welcome of a noble foe.
Who in this dull and long-continu'd truce
Is rusty grown: he bade me take a trumpet,
And to this purpose speak: kings, princes, lords!
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece 265
That holds his honour higher than his ease,
That seeks his praise more than he fears his

That knows his valour, and knows not his fear,
That loves his mistress more than in confes-


With truant vows to her own lips he loves,
And dare avow her beauty and her worth
In other arms than hers,-to him this chal-


Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks,
Shall make it good, or do his best to do it,
He hath a lady wiser, fairer, truer,
Than ever Greek did compass in his arms; 276
And will to-morrow with his trumpet call,
Mid-way between your tents and walls of Troy,
To rouse a Grecian that is true in love:
If any come, Hector shall honour him;
If none, he'll say in Troy when he retires,
The Grecian dames are sunburnt, and not worth
The splinter of a lance. Even so much.


[blocks in formation]



When Hector's grandsire suck'd: he is old now;
But if there be not in our Grecian host
One noble man that hath one spark of fire
To answer for his love, tell him from me,
I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver,
And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn;
And, meeting him, will tell him that my lady
Was fairer than his grandam, and as chaste
As may be in the world: his youth in flood, 300
I'll prove this truth with my three drops of

Ene. Now heavens forbid such scarcity of
Ulyss. Amen.

Agam. Fair Lord Æneas, let me touch your

To our pavilion shall I lead you first.
Achilles shall have word of this intent;


Ulyss. I have a young conception in my

Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
Nest. What is 't?
Ulyss. This 'tis:



Blunt wedges rive hard knots: the seeded pride
That hath to this maturity blown up
In rank Achilles, must or now be cropp'd,
Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil,
To overbulk us all.
Ulyss. This challenge that the gallant Hector

Well, and how?

However it is spread in general name,
Relates in purpose only to Achilles.


Nest. The purpose is perspicuous even as substance


Whose grossness little characters sum up:
And, in the publication, make no strain,
But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
As banks of Libya,-though, Apollo knows, 328
'Tis dry enough,-will with great speed of judg

Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
Pointing on him.

Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think


Nest. Yes, 'tis most meet: whom may you else oppose,


That can from Hector bring those honours off,
If not Achilles? Though 't be a sportful combat,
Yet in the trial much opinion dwells; 336
For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute
With their fin'st palate: and trust to me, Ulysses,
Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd
In this wild action; for the success,
Although particular, shall give a scantling
Of good or bad unto the general;
And in such indexes, although small pricks
To their subsequent volumes, there is seen
The baby figure of the giant mass
Of things to come at large. It is suppos'd
He that meets Hector issues from our choice;
And choice, being mutual act of all our souls, 348
Makes merit her election, and doth boil,
As 'twere from forth us all, a man distill'd
Out of our virtues; who miscarrying,
What heart receives from bence the conquering

To steel a strong opinion to themselves?



So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,
In no less working than are swords and bows
Yourself shall feast with us before you go, 308 Directive by the limbs.



Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech: Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector. Let us like merchants show our foulest wares, And think perchance they'll sell; if not, The lustre of the better yet to show Shall show the better. Do not consent That ever Hector and Achilles meet; For both our honour and our shame in this 364 Are dogg'd with two strange followers.

Nest. I see them not with my old eyes: what are they?

Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from Hector,

Were he not proud, we all should share with

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Ajax. Toadstool, learn me the proclamation. Ther. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?

Ajax. The proclamation!


Ther. Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think. Ajax. Do not, porpentine, do not: my fingers

[blocks in formation]

Ajax. Thou stool for a witch! Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego may tutor thee: thou scurvyvaliant ass! thou art here but 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!

Ther. You scurvy lord! Ajax. You cur!

56 [Beating him.

Ther. Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do.


Achil. Why, how now, Ajax! wherefore do you this?


Ther. Then would come some matter from How now, Thersites! what's the matter, man? him: I see none now.

Ther. You see him there, do you?

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

Ther. But yet you look not well upon him; for, whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax. 69 Achil. I know that, fool.

Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
Ajax. Therefore I beat thee.


Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue.


Ther. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.

Patr. No more words, Thersites; peace! 124 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,

Patr. A good riddance.


Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit heere I come any more to your tents: I will keep utters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have where there is wit stirring and leave the faction bobbed his brain more than he has beat my of fools. [Exit. bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater 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. 80

[blocks in formation]

Achil. Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through
all our host:

That Hector, by the fifth 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

137 Maintain-I know not what: 'tis trash. Farewell.

Ajax. Farewell. Who shall answer him?
Achil. I know not: it is put to lottery; other-

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

My will enkindled by mine eyes and ears,

Enter CASSANDRA, raving.

Cas. Cry, Trojans, cry! lend me ten thousand eyes,

And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
Hect. Peace, sister, peace!

Cas. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled

Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
Add to my clamours! let us pay betimes
A moiety of that mass of moan to come.


Two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores 64 Cry, Trojans, cry! practise your eyes with tears

« 上一頁繼續 »