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Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech ;Therefore 'tis meet, Achilles meet not Hector. Let us, like merchants, shew our foulest wares, 790 And think, perchance, they'll sell; if not, The lustre of the better shall exceed, By shewing the worst 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 my 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;
800 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 as 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. 811 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 assumés,
ACT II. SCENE I.
The Grecian Camp. Enter AJAX, and THERSITES.
Ajax. THER SITES
, 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 there would come some matter from him ; I see none now.
Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear ? Feel then.
Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mungrel 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 strik'st me thus?
23 Ajax. 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 froin 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 ano. ther.
31 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 bark'st at him.
Ajax. Mistress Thersites!
Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
41 Ajax. You whoreson cur !
Ther. Do, do.
Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord ! thou hast no more brain than I have in my 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 Bar. barian 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 ! Ajax. You dog! Ther. You scurvy lord ! Ajax. You cur !
[Beating him. Ther. Mars his ideot I do, rudeness; do, camel ; do, do.
Enter ACHILLES, and PATROCLUS. Achil. Why, how now, Ajax ? wherefore do you
Ther. You see him there, do you?
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
take him to be, he is Ajax..
Ajax. Therefore I beat thee.
70 Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters ! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbid 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.
Achil. What ?
this Ajax Achil. Nay, good Ajax.
[AJAX offers to strike him, ACHILLES interposes. Ther. Has not so much witAchil. Nay, I must hold you.
Ther. As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he comes to fight.
Achil. Peace, fool!
Ther. I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will hof : he there ; that he; look you there.
Ajax. O thou' damn'd cur! I shall-
Ajax. I bade the vile owl, go learn me the tenour of the proclamation, and he rails upon me,
Ther. I serve thee not.