SCENE IThe Grecian camp. Before Achilles' tent.
Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS.
I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine to-night
Which with my scimitar I'll cool to-morrow.
Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.
Here comes Thersites. Enter THERSITES.
How now, thou core of envy!
Thou crusty batch of nature, what's the news?
Why, thou picture of what thou
seemest, and idol of idiot-worshippers, here's
a letter for thee. Achil.
From whence, fragment? Ther.
Why, thou full dish of fool, from Troy. Patr.
Who keeps the tent now? Ther.
The surgeon's box, or the patient's
Well said, adversity! and what need
these tricks? Ther.
Prithee, be silent, boy; I profit not
by thy talk: thou art thought to be Achilles'
male varlet. Patr.
Male varlet, you rogue! what's that? Ther.
Why, his masculine whore. Now,
the rotten diseases of the south, the guts-griping,
ruptures, catarrhs, loads o' gravel i'
the back, lethargies, cold palsies, raw eyes,
dirt-rotten livers, wheezing lungs, bladders full
of imposthume, sciaticas, limekilns i' the palm,
incurable bone-ache, and the rivelled fee-simple
of the tetter, take and take again such
preposterous discoveries! Patr.
Why, thou damnable box of envy,
thou, what meanest thou to curse thus? Ther.
Do I curse thee? Patr.
Why, no, you ruinous butt, you
whoreson indistinguishable cur, no. Ther.
No! why art thou then exasperate,
thou idle immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou
green sarcenet flap for a sore eye, thou tassel
of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the
poor world is pestered with such waterflies,
diminutives of nature! Patr.
Out, gall! Ther.
My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite
From my great purpose in to-morrow's battle.
Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba,
A token from her daughter, my fair love,
Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it:
Fall Greeks; fail fame; honor or go or stay;
My major vow lies here, this I'll obey.
Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent:
This night in banqueting must all be spent.
Away, Patroclus! [Exeunt Achilles and Patroclus.
With too much blood and too little
brain, these two may run mad; but, if with
too much brain and too little blood they do,
I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnon,
an honest fellow enough, and one that
loves quails; but he has not so much brain
as ear-wax: and the goodly transformation of
Jupiter there, his brother, the bull,--the primitive
statue, and oblique memorial of cuckolds;
a thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, hanging at
his brother's leg,--to what form but that he is,
should wit larded with malice and malice
forced with wit turn him to? To an ass, were
nothing; he is both ox and ass. To be a dog,
a mule, a cat, a fitchew, a toad, a lizard, an
owl, a puttock, or a herring without a roe, I
would not care; but to be Menelaus! I
would conspire against destiny. Ask me not
what I would be, if I were not Thersites; for
I care not to be the louse of a lazar, so I
were not Menelaus. Hoy-day! spirits and
fires! Enter HECTOR, TROILUS, AJAX, AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR, MENELAUS, and DIOMEDES, with lights. Agam.
We go wrong, we go wrong.
No, yonder 'tis;
There, where we see the lights.
I trouble you.
No, not a whit.
Here comes himself to guide you. Re-enter ACHILLES.
Welcome, brave Hector; welcome, princes all.
So now, fair Prince of Troy, I bid good night.
Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.
80Thanks and good night to the Greeks' general.
Good night, my lord.
Good night, sweet Lord Menelaus.
Sweet draught: 'sweet' quoth a'!
sweet sink, sweet sewer. Achil.
Good night and welcome, both at once, to those
That go or tarry.
Good night. [Exeunt Agamemnon and Menelaus.
Old Nestor tarries; and you too, Diomed,
Keep Hector company an hour or two.
I cannot, lord; I have important business,
90The tide whereof is now. Good night, great Hector.
Give me your hand.
[Aside to Troilus]
Follow his torch; he goes to Calchas' tent:
I'll keep you company.
Sweet sir, you honor me.
And so, good night. [Exit Diomedes; Ulysses and Troilus following.
Come, come, enter my tent. [Exeunt Achilles, Hector, Ajax, and Nestor.
That same Diomed's a false-hearted
rogue, a most unjust knave; I will no more
trust him when he leers than I will a serpent
when he hisses: he will spend his mouth, and
promise, like Brabbler the hound; but when
he performs, astronomers foretell it; it is prodigious,
there will come some change; the sun
borrows of the moon, when Diomed keeps his
word. I will rather leave to see Hector, than
not to dog him: they say he keeps a Trojan
drab, and uses the traitor Calchas' tent: I'll
after. Nothing but lechery! all incontinent