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Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech;
6 — scantling - ] That is, a measure, proportion. The carpenter cuts his wood to a certain scantling.
1 - small pricks-) Small points compared with the volumes, or perhaps indexes, which were, in Shakspeare's time, often prefired to books.
For both our honour and our shame, in this,
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 the mastiffs on,' as 'twere their bone.
our main opinion -] is, our general estimation or character. 9 The sort-) i. e. the lot.
under our opinion-) Here again opinion means character. ? Must tarre the mastiffs on,] Tarre, an old English word, signifying to provoke or urge on.
SCENE I. 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!
Ajax. 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 strikest me thus?
Ajax. The proclamation,-
3 Act II.] This play is not divided into Acts in any of the original editions.
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.
Ajax. 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 Thersites!
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 ! 6
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! thout 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 be
* Cobloaf!] A crusty, uneven, gibbous loaf, is in some counties called by this name.
pun thee into shivers -] Pun is in the midland counties the vulgar and colloquial word for-pound.
6 Thou stool for a witch!] In one way of trying a witch they used to place her on a chair or stool, with her legs tied across, that all the weight of her body might rest upon her seat; and by that means, after some time, the circulation of the blood would be much stopped, and her sitting would be as painful as the wooden horse. GREY.
an assinego - ] A he ass.
thou art bought and sold —] This was a proverbial expression.
9 If thou use to beat me,] i. e. if thou continue to beat me, or make a practice of beating me.
gin at thy heel, and tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou!
Ajax. You dog!
[Beating him. Ther. Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, cainel; 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?
Achil. I know that, fool.
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 is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles, Ajax,—who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in his head,—I'll tell you what I
say of him.
his pia mater, &c.] The pia mater is a membrane that protects the substance of the brain.