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Manent Ulysses and Neftor.
Ulys. Nestor,
Neft. What says Ulysses?

Ulys. I have a young conception in my brain,
Be you my time to bring it to some shape.

Neft. What is't?

Ulys. This ’tis:
Blunt wedges rive hard knots; the feeded pride,
That hath to this maturity blown up.
In rank Achilles, muft or now be cropt,
Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil,
To over-bulk us all.

Nest. Well, and how now?

Ulyd. This Challenge that the gallant Hestor sends, However it is spread in general name, Relates in purpose only to Achilles.

Neft. 6 The purpose is perspicuous even as Substance,
Whose grossness little characters sum up. .
And, in the publication, make no ftrain,
But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
As banks of Libya, (tho', Apollo knows,
'Tis dry enough,) will with great speed of judgment,
Ay, with celerity, find Heator's purpose
Pointing on him.

Ulyl. And wake him to the answer, think you?
Nest. Yes, 'tis moft meet; whom may you elle

6 The purpose is perfpicuous even as Substance,

Whole grofness little characters fum up.] That is, the purpose is as plain as body or substance ; and tho' I have collected this purpose from many minute particulars, as a grofs body is made of small insensible parts, yet the result is as clear and certain as a body thus made up is palpable and visible. This is the thought, thó' a little obscured in the conciseness of the expreffion.



That can from Hector bring his honour off,
If not Achilles? though a sportful combat,
Yet in this tryal much opinion dwells.
For here the Trojans tafte our dear'ft Repute
With their fin' It palate: and trust to me, Ulysses,
Our imputation shall be odly pois'd
In this wild action. For the fuccefs,
Although particular, shall give a fcantling
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 fuppos'd,
He, that meets Heator, iffues from our Choice;
And Choice, being mutual act of all our souls,
Makes merit her election, and doth boil,
As 'were, from forth us all, a man diftillid
Out of our virtues; who miscarrying,
What heart from hence receives the conqu’ring part,
To steel a strong opinion to themselves!
Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,
In no less working, than are swords and bows
Directive by the limbs.

Ulys. Give pardon to my Speech ;
Therefore 'tis meet, Achilles meet not Heator.
Let us, like merchants, shew our fouleft wares,
And think, perchance, they'll fell; if not,
The lustre of the better, yet to shew,
Shall shew the better. Do not then consent,
That ever HeEtor and Achilles meet :
For both our honour and our shame in this
Are dogg'd with two strange followers. ·

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

Ulyl. What Glory our Achilles shares from Hektor, 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 Hektor fair. If he were foil'd,
Why, then we did our main opinion crush
In taint of our best man. No, make a Lott'ry;
And by device let blockish Ajax draw
The Sórt to fight with Heator: 'mong our felves,
Give him allowance as the worthier 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 fafe 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,
Our project's life this shape of Sense affumes,
Ajax, imploy'd, plucks down Achilles' plumes.

Neft. Ulysses, Now I relish thy advice,
And I will give a taste of it forthwith
To Agamemnon ; go we to him streight;
Two curs shall came each other ; pride alone
1 Muft tar the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.



The Grecian Camp.
Enter Ajax and Therfites.

A J A X.

Iber. Agamemnon-how if he had boiles-full, all over, generally.

(Talking to bimself. 7 Muft tar the masliffs on, -- ] Tarre, an old English word fignifying to provoke or urge on. See King John, Ad 4. Scene i,

like a Dog
Snatch at his Masier that doth tar bim on.

Mr. Pope.

Ajax, Therftes,

Tber. And those boils did run-say so-did not the General run? were not that a botchy core?

Ajax. Dog!

Ther. Then there would come fome matter from him : I see none now.

Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's fon, canst thou not hear? feel then.

[Strikes him. Ther. The plague of Greece upon thce, thou mungrel beef-witted lord!

Ajax. ' Speak then, you windyest leaven, speak; I will beat thee into handsomness.

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 ftrike, canst thou? a red murrain o'thy jade's tricks!

Ajax. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation.

Tber. Doest thou think, I have no sense, thou ftrik’ft me thus ?

Ajax. The proclamation-
Ther. Thou art proclaim'd a fool, I think,
Ajax. Do not, porcupine, do not; my fingers itch,

Ther. I would, thou didft itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsom'ft scab in Greece.

Ajax. I say, the proclamation

Ther. Thou grumbleft and railest every hour on Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his Greatness, as Cerberus is at Proferpina's Beauty : ay, that thou bark'st at him.

Ajax. Mistress Therftes!
Ther. Thou shouldīt strike him,
Ajax. Cobloaf!

i Speak then, thou WHINID'st leaven,] This is the reading of the old copies : It should be WINDYEST, 1. e. moft windy; leaven being made by a great fermentacion. This epithet agrees well with Therfites's character.


Ther. He would pound thee into fhivers with his fift, as a sailor breaks a bisket. Ajax. You whorson cur !

[Beating him. Ther. Do, do. Ajax. Thou stool for a witch!

Ther, Ay, do, do, thou sodden-witted lord ; thou haft no more brain than I have in my elbows: an Afmego may tutor thee. Thou scurvy valiant ass! thou art here but to thrash Trojans, and thou art bought and fold among those of any wit, like a Barbarian Nave. 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!

[Beating him. Ther. Mars his ideot ! do, rudeness ; do, camel, dc,


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Enter Achilles and Patroclus.
Achil. Why, how now, Ajax ? wherefore do you

this ?
How now, Tbersites? what's the matter, man:

Ther. You see him there, do you?
Achil. Ay, what's the matter?
Ther. Nay, look upon him.
Achil. So I do, what's the matter?
Ther. Nay, but regard him well.
Achil. Well, why, I do so.

2 thou thing of no Bowels,] Tho' this be sense, yet I believe it is not the poet's, who makes Tberfites reflect altogether on Ajax his want of wit, not want of compaffion. I should imagine, therefore the true reading was,

Thou thing of no VOWELS. i, e, without sense ; as a word without vowels is jargon and contains no idea. This is much in the phraseology given to Therfiles.


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