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But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
As banks of Libya,-though, Apollo knows,
'Tis dry enough, will with great speed of judgment,
Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
Pointing on him.

Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think

Yes, It is most meet; Whom may you else

oppose, That can from Hector bring those honours off, If not Achilles? Though't be a sportful combat, Yet in the trial much opinion dwells ; For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute With their fin'st palate: And trust to me, Ulysses, Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd In this wild action : for the success, Although particular, shall give a scantling 3 Of good or bad unto the general; And in such indexes, although small pricks 4 To their subsequent volumes, there is seen The baby figure of the giant mass Of things to come at large. It is suppos’d, He, that meets Hector, issues from our choice : And choice, being mutual act of all our souls, Makes merit her election ; and doth boil, As 'twere from forth us all, a man distillid Out of our virtues; Who miscarrying, What heart receives from hence a conquering part, To steel a strong opinion to themselves ? Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments,

3 Size, measure.
4 Small points compared with the volumes.


In no less working, than are swords and bows
Directive by the limbs.

Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech ;-
Therefore 'tis meet, Achilles meet not Hector.
Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares,
And think, perchance, they'll sell; if not,
The lustre of the better shall exceed,
By showing the worse first. Do not consent,
That ever Hector and Achilles meet;
For both our honour and our shame, in this,
Are dogg'd with two strange followers.
Nest. I see them not with


old eyes; what are they? Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from Hector, 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 Hector fair : If he were foil'd, Why, then we did our main opinions crush In taint of our best man. No, make a lottery; And, by device, let blockish Ajax draw The sort to fight with Hector : Among ourselves, Give him allowance for the better man, For that will physick the great Myrmidon, Who broils in loud applause; and make him falt His crest, that prouder than blue Iris bends. If the dull brainless Ajax come safe 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,

s Estimation or character.

6 Lot.

7 Character.

Our project's life this shape of sense assumes,-
Ajax, employ'd, plucks down Achilles' plumes.

Nest. Ulysses,
Now I begin to relish thy advice;
And I will give a taste of it forthwith
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.
Two curs shall tame each other ; Pride alone
Must tarre 8 the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.



SCENE I. Another part of the Grecian Camp.

Enter AJAX and THERSITES. Ajar. Thersites,

Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boils ? full, all over, generally?

Ajar. Thersites,

Ther. And those boils did run ?-Say so,--did not the general run then ? were not that a botchy core?

Ajax. Dog,

Ther. Then would come some matter from him; I see none now.

Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? Feel then.

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

Ajar. Speak then, thou unsalted leaven, speak: I will beat thee into handsomeness.

8 Provoke,

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

Ajar. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation.

Ther. Dost thou think,' Į have no sense, thou strikest me thus ?

Ajax. The proclamation,
Ther. Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think.
Ajar. Do not, porcupine, do not; my fingers itch.

Ther. I would, thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another.

Ajar. I say, the proclamation,

Ther. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles ; and thou art as full of envy at his greatness, as Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty, ay, that thou barkest at him.

Ajax. Mistress Therşites !
Ther. Thou shouldeșt strike him.
Ajar. Cobloaf!

Ther. He would pun, thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit. Ajax. You whoreson cur !

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

Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego' may tutor thee : Thou scurvy valiant ass ? thou art here put to thrash Trojans; and thou art

9 Pound.

* Ass, a cant term for a fuolish fellow.

bought and sold among those of any wit, like a Barbarian slave. If thou use? to beat me, I will begin ať thy heel, and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou !

Ajar. You dog! ; Ther. You scurvy lord ! Ajar. You cur!

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

Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. Achil. Why, how now, Ajax? wherefore do you

thus ?
How now, Thersites? what's the matter, man?

Ther. You see him there, do you u ?
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.

Ther. But yet you look not well upon him: for, whosoever you take him to be, he is Ajax.

Achil. I know that, fool.
Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
Ajax. Therefore I beat thee.

Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his brain, more than he has beat my bones : I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater 3 is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow.' This lord, Achilles, Ajax,—who wears his wit in

2 Continue,

3 The membrane that protects the brain.

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