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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 counsels;
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, 136
To stand the push and enmity of those
This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest,
Were I alone to pass 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.


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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 saine;
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 nations, 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

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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 heaving spleens,
I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
She is a theme of konour and renown,


A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds, 200 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.



I am yours, You valiant offspring of great Priamus. I have a roisting challenge sent amongst The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks Will strike amazement to their drowsy spirits.

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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: Oworthy 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 enginer. If Troy be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. O! 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. I have said my prayers, and devil Envy say Amen. What, ho! my Lord Achilles!



Patr. Who's there? Thersites! Good Thersites, come in and rail.

Ther. If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, thou wouldst 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 corpse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't she never shrouded any but lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles? 37 Patr. What! art thou devout? wast thou prayer?

Ther. Ay; the heavens hear me!


Achil. Who's there?


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Ther. Peace, fool! I have not done. Achil. He is a privileged man. Proceed, Thersites.

Ther. Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a fool; and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool. 65

Achil. Derive this; come.

Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles; Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon; Thersites is a fool to serve such a fool; and Patroclus is a fool positive.

Patr. Why am I a fool?


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He shent our messengers; and we lay by
Our appertainments, visiting of him:
Let him be told so; lest perchance he think
We dare not move the question of our place,
Or know not what we are.


I shall say so to him. [Exit.

Patr. Thersites, my lord.

Achil. Where, where? Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my table so many meals?

Ulyss. We saw him at the opening of his tent: He is not sick.


Ajax. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart: you

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Ulyss. No; you see, he is his argument that has his argument, Achilles.

Nest. All the better; their fraction is more our wish than their faction: but it was a strong composure a fool could disunite.

Ulyss. The amity that wisdom knits not folly may easily untie. Here comes Patroclus. 112 Re-enter PATROCLUS.

Nest. No Achilles with him. Ulyss. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy: his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure. 116

Patr. Achilles bids me say, he is much sorry If any thing more than your sport and pleasure Did move your greatness and this noble state To call upon him; he hopes it is no other But, for your health and your digestion sake, An after-dinner's breath.


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Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on,
Disguise the holy strength of their command,
And underwrite in an observing kind
His humorous predominance; yea, watch
His pettish lunes, bis ebbs, his flows, as if 140
The passage and whole carriage of this action
Rode on his tide. Go tell him this, and add,
That if he overhold his price so much,
We'll none of him; but let him, like an engine
Not portable, lie under this report:
'Bring action hither, this cannot go to war:


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We come to speak with him. Ulysses, enter you. [Exit ULYSSES. Ajax. What is he more than another? Agam. No more than what he thinks he is. Ajax. Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself a better man than I am? Agam. No question.

156 Ajax. Will you subscribe his thought, and say he is?

Agam. No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant, as wise, no less noble, much more gentle, and altogether more tractable.


Ajax. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? I know not what pride is.

Agam. Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, bis own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise. 169 Ajax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the engendering of toads.

Nest. [Aside.] Yet he loves himself: is't not strange?

Re-enter ULYSSES.


Ulyss. Achilles will not to the field to


Agam. What's his excuse? Ulyss.


He doth rely on none, But carries on the stream of his dispose Without observance or respect of any, In will peculiar and in self-admission. Agam. Why will he not upon our fair request

Untent his person and share the air with us? Ulyss. Things small as nothing, for request's sake only,


He makes important: possess'd he is with greatness,

And speaks not to himself but with a pride That quarrels at self-breath: imagin'd worth Holds in his blood such swoln and hot dis

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Ajax. If I go to him, with my armed fist 216 Which, like a bourn, a pale, a shore, confines I'll pash him o'er the face. Thy spacious and dilated parts: here's Nestor Instructed by the antiquary times,

Agam. O, nol you shall not go.

Ajax. An a' be proud with me, I'll pheeze He must, he is, he cannot but be wise; his pride.

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But pardon, father Nestor, were your days
As green as Ajax, and your brain so temper'd,
You should not have the eminence of him, 269
But be as Ajax.


Shall I call you father?
Ulyss. Ay, my good son.


Be rul'd by him, Lord Ajax. Ulyss. There is no tarrying here; the hart Achilles


Keeps thicket. Please it our great general
To call together all his state of war;
Fresh kings are come to Troy: to-morrow,
We must with all our main of power stand fast:
And here's a lord,- -come knights from east to


west, And cull their flower, Ajax shall cope the best. Agam. Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep: Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.-Troy. PRIAM's Palace.

Enter PANDARUS and a Servant. Pan. Friend! you! pray you, a word: do not you follow the young Lord Paris?

Serv. Ay, sir, when he goes before me.

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Serv. To the hearers, sir.




Pan. I have business to my lord, dear queen. My lord, will you vouchsafe me a word? 65 Helen. Nay, this shall not hedge us out: we'll hear you sing, certainly.

Pan. Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with me. But, marry, thus, my lord. My dear lord and most esteemed friend, your brother Troilus

Helen. My Lord Pandarus; honey-sweet lord,—


Pan. Go to, sweet queen, go to: commends himself most affectionately to you.

Helen. You shall not bob us out of our melody: if you do, our melancholy upon your head!

Pan. Sweet queen, sweet queen! that's a sweet queen, i' faith.


Helen. And to make a sweet lady sad is a

Pan. At whose pleasure, friend? Serv. At mine, sir, and theirs that love music. sour offence. Pan. Command, I mean, friend. Serv. Who shall I command, sir? Pan. Friend, we understand not one another: I am too courtly, and thou art too cunning. At whose request do these men play? 32 Serv. That's to't, indeed, sir. Marry, sir, at the request of Paris my lord, who is there in person; with him the mortal Venus, the heartblood of beauty, love's invisible soul.

Pan. Who, my cousin Cressida?


Serv. No, sir, Helen: could you not find out that by her attributes?

Pan. Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall it not, in truth, la! Nay, I care not for such words: no, no. And, my lord, he desires you, that if the king call for him at supper, you will make his excuse. Helen. My Lord Pandarus,Pan. What says my sweet queen, my very sweet queen?


Par. What exploit's in hand? where sups he to-night?

Helen. Nay, but my lord,—


Pan. What says my sweet queen! My cousin will fall out with you. You must know where he sups. 96

Pan. It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the Lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the Prince Troilus: I will make a complimental assault upon him, for my business seethes. Serv. Sodden business: there's a stewed Come, your disposer is sick. phrase, indeed.

Par. I'll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.


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Pan. No, no, no such matter; you are wide.

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