Imatges de pàgina


Since things in motion sooner catch the eye,
Than what not stirs. The

cry went once on thee,
And still it might; and yet it may again,
If thou would'st not entomb thyself alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent ;
Whose glorious deeds, but in these fields of late,
Made emulous missions? 'mongst the gods themselves,
And drave great Mars to faction.

Of this my privacy
I have strong reasons.

But 'gainst your privacy
The reasons are more potent and heroical :
'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
With one of Priam's daughters.

Ha ! known?
Ulyss. Is that a wonder ?
The providence that's in a watchful state,
Knows almost every grain of Plutus' gold;
Finds bottom in the uncomprehensive deeps;
Keeps place with thought, and almost, like the gods,
Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
There is a mystery (with whom relation
Durst never meddle *) in the soul of state;
Which hath an operation more divine,
Than breath, or pen, can give expressure to:
All the commerce that you have had with Troy,
As perfectly is ours, as yours, my lord ;
And better would it fit Achilles much,

? Made emulous missions-] This means the descent of deities to combat on either side ; an idea which Shakspeare very probably adopted from Chapman's translation of Homer. In the fifth Book, Diomed wounds Mars, who on his return to heaven is rated by Jupiter for having interfered in the battle. This disobedience is the faction which I suppose Ulysses would describe. STEEVENS.

one of Priam's daughters.] Polyxena, in the act of marry. ing whom, he was afterwards killed by Paris.

(with whom relation Durst never meddle)-) There is a secret administration of affairs, which no history was ever able to discover. Johnson.


To throw down Hector, than Polyxena :
But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
When fame shall in our islands sound her trump;
And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,
Great Hector's sister did Achilles win;
But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.
Farewell, my lord: I as your lover speak;
The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.

Patr. To this effect, Achilles, have I mov'd you :
A woman impudent and mannish grown
Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man
In time of action. I stand condemn'd for this;
They think, my little stomach to the war,
And your great love to me, restrains you thus :
Sweet, rouse yourself; and the weak wanton Cupid
Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane,
Be shook to air.

Shall Ajax fight with Hector ?
Patr. Ay; and, perhaps, receive much honour by

Achil. I see, my reputation is at stake;
My fame is shrewdly gor’d.

0, then beware;
Those wounds heal ill, that men do give themselves :
Omission to do what is necessary
Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we sit idly in the sun.

Achil. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus :
I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him
To invite the Trojan lords after the combat,
To see us here unarm'd: I have a woman's longing,


5 Omission to do, &c.] By neglecting our duty we commission or enable that danger of dishonour, which could not reach us before, to lay hold upon us. JOHNSON

An appetite that I am sick withal,
To see great Hector in his weeds of peace;
To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
Even to my full of view. A labour sav'd!


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Ther. A wonder !
Achil. What ?

Ther. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself.

Achil. How so?

Ther. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector; and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling, that he raves in saying nothing.

Achil. How can that be?

Ther. Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, a stride, and a stand : ruminates, like an hostess, that hath no arithmetick but her brain to set down her reckoning : bites his lip with a politick regardo, as who

there were wit in this head, an 'twould out; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man's undone for ever; for if Hector break not his neck i'the combat, he'll break it himself in vain-glory. He knows not me: I said, Good-morrow, Ajax; and he replies, Thanks, Agamemnon.

What think you of this man, that takes me for the general ? He is grown a very land fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.

Achil. Thou must be my embassador to him, Thersites.

Ther. Who, I? why, he'll answer nobody; he professes not answering; speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in his arms. I will put on his presence ;


with a politick regard,] With a sby look.

Patroclus make demands to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax.

Achil. To him, Patroclus : Tell him, — I humby desire the valiant Ajax, to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarmed to my tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person, of the magnanimous, and most illustrious, six-or-seven-times-honoured captain-general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon. Do this.

Patr. Jove bless great Ajax.
Ther. Humph !
Patr. I come from the worthy Achilles,
Ther. Ha !

Patr. Who most humbly desires you, to invite Hector to his tent !

Ther. Humph !
Patr. And to procure safe conduct from Agamemnon.
Ther. Agamemnon ?
Patr. Ay, my lord.
Ther. Ha!
Patr. What say you to't ?
Ther. God be wi' you, with all my heart.
Patr. Your answer, sir.

Ther. If to-morrow be a fair day, by eleven o'clock it will go one way or other; howsoever, he shall pay for me ere he has me.

Patr. Your answer, sir.
Ther. Fare you well, with all my heart.
Achil. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he?

Ther. No, but he's out o'tune thus. What musick will be in him when Hector has knocked out his brains, I know not : But, I am sure, none; unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on.?

Achil. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.

Ther. Let me bear another to his horse; for that's the more capable creature. 8

? to make catlings on.] A catling signifies a small lute-string made of catgut.

the more capable creature,] The more intelligent creature.

Achil. My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirrid; And I myself see not the bottom of it.

[Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. Ther. 'Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I might water an ass at it! I had rather be a tick in a sheep, than such a valiant ignorance. [Exit.


SCENE I. — Troy. A Street.

Enter, at one side, Æneas, and Servant, with a Torch ;

at the other, PARIS, DEIPHOBUS, ANTENOR, D10-
MEDES, and Others, with Torches.
Par. See, ho! who's that there?

'Tis the lord Æneas.
Æne. Is the prince there in person ?-
Had I so good occasion to lie long,
As you, prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business
Should rob my bed-mate of my company.
Dio. That's my mind too. Good morrow, lord

Par. A valiant Greek, Æneas; take his hand :
Witness the process of your speech, wherein
You told – how Diomed, a whole week by days,
Did haunt you in the field.

Health to you, valiant sir,
During all question of the gentle truce :
But when I meet you arm'd, as black defiance,
As heart can think, or courage execute.

Dio. The one and other Diomed embraces.
Our bloods are now in calm; and, so long, health :

9 During all question --] Question means intercourse, interchange of conversation.

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