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The Grecian Camp. Enter Agamemnon, Ulysses, Diomedes, Nestor, Menelaus,
and Calchas. Cal.
Th’advantage of the time prompts me aloud
To call for recompence: appear it to you
That, through the sight I bear in things to come,
I have abandon’d Troy, left my possession,
Incurr'd a traitor's name, expos’d my self,
From certain and possest conveniencies,
To doubtful fortunes ; sequestred from all
That time, acquaintance, custom, and condition,
Madè tame and most familiar to my nature.
And here to do you service am become
As new into the world, strange, unacquainted.
I do beseech you, as in way of taste,
To give me now a little benefit,
Out of those many registred in promise,
Which you say live to come in my behalf.
Aga. What wouldst thou of us, Trojan? make demand.
Cal. You have a Trojan prisoner, callid Antenor,
Yesterday took: Troy holds him very dear.
Oft have you (often have you
Crellid in right great exchange,
Whom Troy hath still deny’d: but this Antenor,
I know, is such a wrest in their affairs,
That their negociations all must slack,
Wanting this manage ; and they will almost
Give us a prince oʻth' blood, a son of Priam,
In change of him. Let him be sent, great princes,
And he shall buy my daughter : and her presence
Shall quite strike off all service I have done,
In most accepted pain.
Aga. Let Diomedes bear him,
And bring us Cressid hither : Calchas shall have
What he requests of us. Good Diomede,
Furnish you fairly for this enterchange;
Withall, bring word if Hector will to-morrow
Be answer'd in his challenge. Ajax is ready.
Dio. This shall I undertake, and 'tis a burthen
Which I am proud to bear.
Enter Achilles and Patroclus, in their tent.
Ulys. Achilles stands i'th' entrance of his tent ;
Please it our general to pass strangely by him,
As if he were forgot; and princes all,
Lay negligent and loose regard upon him :
I will come last, ’tis like he'll question me,
Why such unplausive eyes are bent on him?
If so, I have decision medicinable
To use between our strangeness and his pride,
Which his own will shall have desire to drink.
It may do good: Pride hath no other glass
To Thew it self, but pride; for supple knees
Feed arrogance, and are the proud man's fees.
Aga. We'll execute your purpose, and put on
A form of strangeness as we pass along;
So do each lord, and either greet him not,
Or else disdainfully, which shall shake him more
Than if not look'd on. I will lead the way.
Achil. What, comes the general to speak with me?
my mind. I'll figlit no more 'gainst Troy.
Aga. What says Achilles ? would he ought with us ?
Neft. Would you, my lord, ought with the general ?
Neft. Nothing, my lord.
Aga. The better.
Achil. Good day, good day.
Men. How do you ? how do yo
Achil. What, does the cuckold scorn me ?
Ajax. How now, Patroclus ?
Achil. Good morrow, Ajax.
Achil. Good morrow.
Ajax. Ay, and good next day toô.
[Exeunt. Achil. What mean these fellows? know they not Achilles ?
Patr. They pass by strangely: they were us’d to bend,
To send their smiles before them to Achilles,
To come as humbly as they us’d to creep
To holy altars.
Achil. What, am I poor of late?
< 'Tis certain, Greatness once fall’n out with fortune
* Must fall out with men too: what the declin'd is,
· He shall as soon read in the eyes of others,
· As feel in his own fall: for men, like butter-flies,
'Shew not their mealy wings but to the summer ;
And not a man, for being simply man, • Hath honour, but is honour'd by those honours " That are without him; as place, riches, favour, « Prizes of accident as oft as '
merit: " Which when they fall (as being slipp’ry standers) "The love that lean’d on them, as Nipp’ry too, · Doth one pluck down another, and togetlier
Dye in the fall. But 'tis not fo with me :
Fortune and I are friends, I do enjoy
At ample point all that I did poffefs,
Save these men's looks, who do merhinks find out
Something in me not worth that rich beholding
As they have often giv'n. Here is Ulyses.
I'll interrupt his reading.
Ulys. Now, Thetis' fon!
. What are you reading?
Ulys. A strange fellow here
Writes me, that Man, how dearly ever parted,
How much in having or without, or in,
Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
As when his virtues shining upon others
Heat them, and they retort that heat again
To the first giver.
Achil. This is not strange, Ulysses.
The beauty that is born here in the face
The bearer knows not, but commends it self
† To others eyes: nor doth the eye it self.
† (That most pure spirit of sense) behold it self
Not going from it self, but eyes oppos’d
Salute each other with each others form.
For speculation turns not to it self,
'Till it hath travell’d, and is marry'd there
Where it may see its self; this is not strange.
Ulys. I do not strain at the position,
It is familiar; but the author's drift;
Who in his circumstance expresly proves
That no man is the lord of any thing,
(Tho’in and of him there is much consisting)
'Till he communicate his parts to others:
+ These two lines are totally omitted in all the editions but the first quarto.
Nor doth he of himself know them for ought,
'Till he behold them formed in th’ applause
Where they're extended; which like an arch reverb'rates
The voice again, or like a gate of steel
Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this,
And apprehended here immediately
The unknown Ajax
Heav'ns! what a man is there? a
man is there? a very horse,
He knows not his own nature: What things are
Most abject in regard, and dear in use ?
What things again most dear in the esteem,
And poor in worth ? now shall we see to-morrow
An act that very chance doth throw upon him:
Ajax renown'd! O heav'ns, what some men do,
While some men leave to do!
How some men creep in skittish fortune's hall,
While others play the ideots in her eyes:
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is feasting in his wantonness!
To see these Grecian lords! why ev'n already
They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder,
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
And great Troy shrinking.
Achil. This I do believe,
They pass’d by me, as misers do by beggars,
Neither gave to me good word, nor good look:
What, are my deeds forgot ?
«Ulys. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
" Wherein he puts alms for oblivion:
• (A great-siz’d monster of ingratitudes)
"Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devour'd
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
s That has he knows not what nature, what things are, &c.