Imatges de pÓgina

Patr. Why am I a fool?


Ther. Make that demand of the prover. It suffices me, thou art. Look you, who comes here.


Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody: - Come in with me, Thersites.


Ther. Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such knavery! all the argument is, a cuckold, and a whore: A good quarrel, to draw emulous factions, and bleed to death upon. Now the dry serpigo on the subject! and war, and lechery, confound all!

Agam. Where is Achilles?


Patr. Within his tent; but ill-dispos'd, my lord.
Agam. Let it be known to him, that we are here.
He shent our messengers 2; 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.
Ulyss. We saw him at the opening of his tent;
He is not sick.

Ajax. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart: you may call it melancholy, if you will favour the man; but, by my head, 'tis pride: But, why, why? let him show us a cause. A word, my lord.

[Takes AGAMEMNON aside. Nest. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him? Ulyss. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him. Nest. Who? Thersites?

Ulyss. He.

Nest. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument.

2 He shent our messengers:] i. e. rebuked, rated.

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.


Nest. No Achilles with him.

Ulyss. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure. 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.




Hear you, Patroclus ; —
We are too well acquainted with these answers:
But his evasion, wing'd thus swift with scorn,
Cannot outfly our apprehensions.

Much attribute he hath; and much the reason
Why we ascribe it to him: yet all his virtues, —
Not virtuously on his own part beheld, —
Do, in our eyes, begin to lose their gloss;
Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him,

We come to speak with him: And you shall not sin,
If you do say we think him over-proud,

And under-honest; in self-assumption greater,

Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than himself


noble state,] i. e. the stately train of attending nobles whom you bring with you.

4.— breath,] Breath, in the present instance, stands for breathing, i. e. exercise.

Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on;
Disguise the holy strength of their command,
And underwrite in an observing kind 7
His humorous predominance; yea, watch
His pettish lunes, his ebbs, his flows, as if
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:
A stirring dwarf we do allowance give 3

Before a sleeping giant :- Tell him so.

Patr. I shall; and bring his answer presently. [Exit. Agam. In second voice we'll not be satisfied,

We come to speak with him.— Ulysses, enter.

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.

Ajax. Will you subscribe his thought, and say he


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 ? I know not what pride is.


Agam. Your mind's the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud, eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chro


tend the savage strangeness-] i. e. shyness, distant behaviour. To tend, is to attend upon.




underwrite] To subscribe, in Shakspeare, is to obey.
in an observing kind—] i. e. in a mode religiously atten-

allowance give] Allowance is approbation.

nicle; 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.

Nest. And yet he loves himself: Is it not strange?

Re-enter ULYSSES.


He doth rely on none;

Ulyss. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.
Agam. What's his excuse?
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 discourse, That 'twixt his mental and his active parts, Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages, And batters down himself: What should I say? He is so plaguy proud, that the death tokens of it Cry-No recovery.


Let Ajax go to him.— Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent: 'Tis said, he holds you well; and will be led, At

your request, a little from himself.

Ulyss. O Agamemnon, let it not be so !

We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes

When they go from Achilles: Shall the proud lord,
That bastes his arrogance with his own seam;1

9 the death-tokens of it -] Alluding to the decisive spots appearing on those infected by the plague.

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with his own seam ;] Swine-seam, in the North, is hog's

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Of that we hold an idol more than he?

No, this thrice worthy and right valiant lord
Must not so stale his palm, nobly acquir'd;
Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit,
As amply titled as Achilles is,

By going to Achilles :

That were to enlard his fat-already pride;2

And add more coals to Cancer, when he burns
With entertaining great Hyperion.

This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid;

And say in thunder- Achilles, go to him.

Nest. O, this is well; he rubs the vein of him.


Dio. And how his silence drinks up this applause!


Ajax. If I go to him, with my arm'd fist I'll pash him 3

Over the face.


O, no, you shall not go.

Ajax. An he be proud with me, I'll pheeze his pride: 4 Let me go to him.

Ulyss. Not for the worth 5 that hangs upon our quarrel. Ajax. A paltry, insolent fellow,



Ajax. Can he not be sociable?

How he describes


The raven

Chides blackness.



I will let his humours blood.

That were to enlard, &c.] This is only the well-known proverb

- Grease a fat sow, &c. in a more stately dress.


I'll pash him-] i. e. strike him with violence.

4 pheeze his pride:] To pheeze is to comb or curry.

5 Not for the worth-] Not for the value of all for which we are fighting.

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