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'Tis dry enough,— will with great speed of judg
ment, Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose Pointing on him.
Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think you? Nest.
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 Of good or bad unto the general; And in such indexes, although small pricks To their subséquent 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, 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.
are they? Ulyss. What glory our Achilles shares from
Hector, Were he not proud, we all should share with hin: 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 opinion 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 fall 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, 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 forth with To Agamemnon: go we to him straight. Two curs shall tame each other; Pride alone Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 'twere their bone.
ANOTHER PART OF THE GRECIAN CAMP.
Enter Ajax and Thersites. Ajax. Thersites,
Ther. Agamemnon-how if he had boils? full, all over, generally?
Ther. And those boils did run?—Say so,—did not the general run then? were not that a botchy core?
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.
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!
Ajax. Toads-stool, learn me the proclamation.
Ther. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strik'st me thus?
Ajar. The proclamation,-
Ther. Thou art proclaim'd a fool, I think.
Ajax. 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 bark'st at him.
Ajax. Mistress Thersites!
Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
Ajar. You whoreson cur! [Beating him.
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 bought and sold among those of any wit, like a Barbarian slave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel, and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou !
Ajar. You dog!