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To throw down Hector, than Polyxena :
Shall Ajax fight with Hector?
O, then beware;
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, 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!
Ther. A wonder!
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 regard, as who should say, there were wit in this head, an 'twould out; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a fint, 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; let Patroclus make demands to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax.
Achil. To him, Patroclus : Tell him, I humbly desire the valiant Ajax, to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarm’d to my tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person, of the magnanimous, and most illustrious, six-or-seven-times-honourd captaingeneral of the Grecian army, Agamemnon. Do this.
Patr. Jove bless great Ajax.
Patr. Who most humbly desires you, to invite Hector to his tent;
Ther. God be wi' you, with all my heart.
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. No, but he's out o'tune thus. What musick will be in him when Hector has knock'd 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 niore capable creature.
Achil. My mind is troubled, like a fountain stirr'd; 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.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Troy. A Street.
Enter, at one side, ÆNEAS, and Servant, with a torch;
at the other, PARIS, De PHOLUS, ANTENOR,
'Tis the lord Æneas.
Health to you, valiant sir,
Dio. The one and other Diomed embraces. Our bloods are now in calm; and, so long, health: But when contention and occasion meet, By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life, With all my force, pursuit, and policy.