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Aga. The better.
Achil. Good day, good day.
Men. How do you? how do you?
Achil. What, does the cuckold scorp me?
Ajax. How now, Patroclus?
Achit. Good worrow, Ajax.
Achil. Good morrow.
Ajax. Ay; and good next day too. [ Exeunt.
Achil. What mean these fellows? know they not
Patr. They pass by strangely : they were us'd to
To send their smiles before them to Achilles;
To come as humbly, as they us’d to creep
To holy altars.
Achil. What, am I poor of late?
*Tis certain, greatness, once fallen out with fortune,
Must fall out with men too: What the declin'd is,
He shall as soon read in the eyes of others,
As feel in his own fall: for men, like butterflies,
Shew not their mealy wings but to the summer;
And not a man, for being simply man,
Hath any honour; but's honour'd for those honours
That are without him, as place, riches, favour, 460
Prizes of accident as oft as merit:
Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
The love that lean'd on them as slippery too,
Doth one pluck down another, and together
Die in the fall. But 'tis not so with me:
Fortune and I are friends; I do enjoy
At ample point all that I did possess,
Save these men's looks; who do, methinks, find out
Something in me not worth that rich beholding
As they have often given. Here is Ulysses ; 470
I'll interrupt his reading. How now, Ulysses?
Ulyss. Now, great Thetis' son ?
Achil. What are you reading ?
Ulyss. A strange fellow here
Writes me, That man-how dearly ever parted,
How much in having, or without, or in,-
Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
As when his virtues shining upon others
Heat them, and they retort that heat again
480 To the first giver.
Achil. This is not strange, Ulysses.
The beauty that is borne here in the face,
The bearer knows not, but commends itself
To others' eyes : nor doth the eye itself
(That most pure spirit of sense), behold itself,
Not going from itself; but eye to eye oppos’d
Salutes each other with each other's form.
For speculation turns not to itself,
"Till it hath travell’d, and is marry'd there 490
Where it may see itself : this is not strange at all.
Ulyss, I do no strain at the position,
It is familiar; but at the author's drift:
Who, in his circumstance, expressly proves-
That no man is the lord of any thing
(Though in and of him there is much consisting), 'Till he communicate his parts to others : Nor doth he of himself know them for aught 'Till he behold them form'd in the applause Where they are extended; which, like an arch, reverberates
500 The voice again; or like a gate of steel Fronting the sun, receives and renders back His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this; And apprehended here immediately The unknown Ajax. Heavens, what a man is there! a very horse ; That has he knows not what. Nature, whát things
Most abject in regard, and dear in use !
What things again most dear in the esteem,
And poor in worth! Now shall we see to-morrow
An act that very chance doth throw upon him, 518
Ajax renown'd. O heavens, what some men do,
While some men leave to do!
How some men creep in skittish fortune's hall,
While others play the ideots in her eyes !
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is feasting in his wantonness!
To see these Grecian lords ! --why, even already
They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder;
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast, 520
And great Troy shrinking.
Achil. I do believe it: for they pass’d by me,
As misers do by beggars ; neither gave to me
Good word, nor look: What, are my deeds forgot?
Ulyss. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts alms for oblivion, A great-siz'd monster of ingratitudes : Those scraps are good deeds past; which are de.
vour'd As fast as they are made, forgot as soon As done : Perseverance, dear my lord,
530 Keeps honour bright: To have done, is to hang Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail In monumental mockery. Take the instant way; For honour travels in a streight so narrow, Where one but goes abreast : keep then the path : For emulation hath a thousand sons, That one by one pursue ; If you give way, Or hedge aside from the direct forthright, Like to an entred tide, they all rush by, And leave you hindmost ;
540 Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank, Lie there for pavement to the abject rear, O'er-run and trampled on: Then what they do in
present, Though less than yours in past, must o'er-top yours : For Time is like a fashionable host, That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand; And with his arms out-stretch'd, as he would fly, Grasps-in the comer: Welcome ever smiles, And Farewel goes out sighing. O, let not virtue seek Remuneration for the thing it was; for beauty, wit, High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service, 551
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all, with one consent, praise new-born gawds,
Though they are made and moulded of things past;
And shew to dust, that is a little gilt,
More laud than gil o'er-dusted.
The present eye praises the present object :
Then marvel not thou great and complete man, 560
That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax ;
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye,
Than what not stirs. The cry went once on thee,
And still it might, and yet it may again,
If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds, but in these fields of late,
Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselves,
And drave great Mars to faction.
Achil. Of this my privacy
570 I have strong reasons.
Ulyss. But 'gainst your privacy
The reasons are more potent and heroical :
'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
With one of Priam's daughters.
Achil. Ha! known?
Ulyss. Is that a wonder ?
The providence that's in a watchful state,
Knows almost every grain of Pluto's gold ;
Finds bottom in the uncomprehensive deeps ;
530 Keeps place with thought; and almost, like the gods, Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles,