« PreviousContinue »
I serv'd my king, he would not in mine age
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA. Pandarus. He that will have a cake out of the wheat, nust tarry the grinding.–Act 1, Sc. 1.
Alexander. There is among the Greeks
Good; and what of him ?
Cressida. So do all men; unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.
Alexander. This man, lady, hath robb’d many beasts of their particular additions ; he is as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant, a man into whom nature hath so crowded humours, that his valour is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with discretion : there is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of; nor any man an attaint, but he carries some stain of it: he is melancholy without cause, and merry against the hair : he hath the joints of everything; but everything so out of joint, that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use; or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight. -Sc. 2.
Cressida. There is among the Greeks, Achilles ; a better man than Troilus.
Pandarus. Achilles ? a drayman, a porter, a very camel. Cressida, Well, well. Pandarus. Well, well ?—why, have you any discretion ? Have you any eyes ? Do you know what a man is ? Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man ?-Id.
Agamemnon. The ample proposition, that hope makes
Agamemnon. persistive constancy in men ;
In fortune's love: for then, the bold and coward,
Nestor. . The sea being smooth,
between the two moist elements,
O! when degree is shak'd,
They tax our policy and call it cowardice;
Or those that with the fineness of their souls
Thersites. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted lord !
Ajax. Speak then, thou unsalted leaven, speak! I will beat thee into handsomeness.—Toad's-stool, learn me the proclamation.
(Strikes hier.) Thersites. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus ?
A jax. The proclamation -
Thersites. I would thou did’st itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece.
A jax. Cobloaf!
Thersites. ... thou sodden-witten lord ! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows : an assinico may tutor thee; thou scurvy valiant ass !-(Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLC S.)
Achilles. Why, how now, Ajax ? wherefore do you thus ? How now, Thersites? what's the matter, man?
Thersites. You see him there, do you?
Thersites. But yet you look not well upon him ; for whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.
Achilles. I know that, fool.
Thersites. Lo! lo! lo! lo! what modicums of wit he utters! 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 mater is not worth the niuth 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.
Achilles. What ?
Thersites. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he comes to fight.
Achilles. Peace, fool!
Thersites. I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not: he there; that he ; look you there.
Ajax. 0! thou cur, I shall,-
Ajar. I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of the proelamation, and he rails
Thersites. I serve thee not.
Achilles. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not voluntary: Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.
Thersites. 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.
Achilles. What, with me, too, Thersites?
Thersites. 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. Achilles. What, what?
Thersites. Yes, good sooth. To Achilles ! to Ajax! to! Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue. Thersites. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.
Patroclus. No more words, Thersites; peace.
Thersites. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall I ?
Achilles. There's for you, Patroclus.
Thersites. I will see you banged, 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.)-Act 2, Sc. 1.
Hector. . . modest doubt is called
Hector. Paris and Troilus, you have both said well:
Unfit to hear moral philosophy :
Ulysses (of Achilles). We saw him at the opening of his tent; he is not sick.
Ajar. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart; you may call it melancholy, if you will favour the man; but,
'tis pride.-Sc. 3.
Ulysses. The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie.--Id.
Ulysses (of Achilles). The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy; his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure. . .
Agamemnon. A stirring dwarf we do allowance
Ajar. Is he so much ? Do you not think he thinks himself a better man than I am ?
Agamemnon. No question.
are as strong, as valiant, as wise, no less noble, much more gentle, and altogether more tractable.
Ajar. Why should a man be proud ? How doth pride grow? I know not what pride is.
Agamemnon. Your mind's the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud, eats up himself: pride is bis own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle: and whatever praises itself, but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.
Ajax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the engendering of toads.
Ulysses. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.
Ulysses. He doth rely on none;
Agamemnon. Why will he not, upon our fair request,
Ulysses. Things small as nothing, for request's sake only,