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But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think
Yes, It is 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 ; 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 3 Of good or bad unto the general ; And in such indexes, although small pricks 4 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, Makes merit her election ; and doth boil, As 'twere from forth us all, a man distillid Out of our virtues; Who miscarrying, What heart receives from hence a conquering part, To steel a strong opinion to themselves ? Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,
3 Size, measure.
In no less working, than are swords and bows
Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech ;-
Do not consent,
they? 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 scorn of his eyes, Should he 'scape Hector fair : If he were foil'd, Why, then we did our main opinions crush In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery; And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw The sort 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 come safe off, We'll dress him up in voices : If he fail, Yet go we under our opinion? still That we have better men. But, hit or miss,
s Estimation or character.
Our project's life this shape of sense assumes,
SCENE I. Another part of the Grecian Camp.
Enter AJAX and THERSITES.
Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boils ? full, alt over, generally?
Ther. And those boils did run -Say so,—did not the general run then ? were not that a botchy core?
Ther. Then would come some matter from him; I see none now.
Ajar. 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 !
Ajax. Speak then, thou unsalted leaven, speak: I will beat thee into handsomeness.
Ther. I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness: 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!
Ajar. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation.
Ther. Dost thou think,' Į 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.
Ajar. 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 Therşites !
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 assinego' may tutor thee : Thou scurvy valiant ass ? thou art here put to thrash Trojans; and thou art
* Ass, a cant term for a fuolish fellow.
bought and sold among those of any wit, like a Barbarian slave. If thou use? to beat me, I will begin ať thy heel, and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou !
Ajar. You dog! ; Ther. You scurvy lord ! Ajar. You cur!
[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 u ?
Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: for, whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.
Achil. I know that, fool.
Ther. 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 3 is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow.' This lord, Achilles, Ajax,—who wears his wit in
3 The membrane that protects the brain.