Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: W. L. Godshalk
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Troilus and Cressida (Folio 1, 1623)


1205
Enter Thersites solus.
How now Thersites? what lost in the Labyrinth of thy
furie? shall the Elephant Aiax carry it thus? he beates
me, and I raile at him: O worthy satisfaction, would it
were otherwise: that I could beate him, whil'st he rail'd
1210at me: Sfoote, Ile learne to coniure and raise Diuels, but
Ile see some issue of my spitefull execrations. Then ther's
Achilles, a rare Enginer. If Troy be not taken till these two
vndermine it, the wals will stand till they fall of them-
selues. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget
1215that thou art Ioue the King of gods: and Mercury, loose
all the Serpentine craft of thy Caduceus, if thou take not
that little little lesse then little wit from them that they
haue, which short-arm'd ignorance it selfe knowes, is so
abundant scarse, it will not in circumuention deliuer a
1220Flye from a Spider, without drawing the massie Irons and
cutting the web: after this, the vengeance on the whole
Camp, or rather the bone-ach, for that me thinkes is the
curse dependant on those that warre for a placket. I haue
said my prayers and diuell, enuie, say Amen: What ho?
1225my Lord Achilles?
Enter Patroclus.
Patr. Who's there? Thersites. Good Thersites come
in and raile.
Ther. If I could haue remembred a guilt counterfeit,
1230thou would'st not haue slipt out of my contemplation,
but it is no matter, thy selfe vpon thy selfe. The common
curse of mankinde, follie and ignorance be thine in great
reuenew; heauen blesse thee from a Tutor, and Discipline
come not neere thee. Let thy bloud be thy direction till
1235thy death, then if she that laies thee out sayes thou art a
faire coarse, Ile be sworne and sworne vpon't she neuer
shrowded any but Lazars, Amen. Wher's Achilles?
Patr. What art thou deuout? wast thou in a prayer?
Ther. I, the heauens heare me.
1240
Enter Achilles.
Achil. Who's there?
Patr. Thersites, my Lord.
Achil. Where, where, art thou come? why my cheese,
my digestion, why hast thou not seru'd thy selfe into my
1245Table, so many meales? Come, what's Agamemnon?
Ther. Thy Commander Achilles, then tell me Patro-
clus, what's Achilles?
Patr. Thy Lord Thersites: then tell me I pray thee,
what's thy selfe?
1250Ther. Thy knower Patroclus: then tell me Patroclus,
what art thou?
Patr. Thou maist tell that know'st.
Achil. O tell, tell.
Ther. Ile declin the whole question: Agamemnon com-
1255mands Achilles, Achilles is my Lord, I am Patroclus know-
er, and Patroclus is a foole.
Patro. You rascall.
Ther. Peace foole, I haue not done.
Achil. He is a priuiledg'd man, proceede Thersites.
1260Ther. Agamemnon is a foole, Achilles is a foole, Ther-
sites is a foole, and as aforesaid, Patroclus is a foole.
Achil. Deriue this? come?
Ther. Agamemnon is a foole to offer to command A-
chilles, Achilles is a foole to be commanded of Agamemon,
1265Thersites is a foole to serue such a foole: and Patroclus is a
foole positiue.
Patr. Why am I a foole?
Enter Agamemnon, Vlisses, Nestor, Diomedes,
Aiax, and Chalcas.
1270Ther. Make that demand to the Creator, it suffises me
thou art. Looke you, who comes here?
Achil. Patroclus, Ile speake with no body: come in
with me Thersites.
Exit.
Ther. Here is such patcherie, such iugling, and such
1275knauerie: all the argument is a Cuckold and a Whore, a
good quarrel to draw emulations, factions, and bleede to
death vpon: Now the dry Suppeago on the Subiect, and
Warre and Lecherie confound all.
Agam. Where is Achilles?
1280Patr. Within his Tent, but ill dispos'd my Lord.
Agam. Let it be knowne to him that we are here:
He sent our Messengers, and we lay by
Our appertainments, visiting of him:
Let him be told of, so perchance he thinke
1285We dare not moue the question of our place,
Or know not what we are.
Pat. I shall so say to him.
Ulis. We saw him at the opening of his Tent,
He is not sicke.
1290Aia. Yes, Lyon sicke, sicke of proud heart; you may
call it Melancholly if will fauour the man, but by my
head, it is pride; but why, why, let him show vs the cause?
A word my Lord.
Nes. What moues Aiax thus to bay at him?
1295Vlis. Achillis hath inueigled his Foole from him.
Nes. Who, Thersites?
Vlis. He.
Nes. Then will Aiax lacke matter, if he haue lost his
Argument.
1300Vlis. No, you see he is his argument that has his argu-
ment Achilles.
Nes. All the better, their fraction is more our wish
then their faction; but it was a strong counsell that a
Foole could disunite.
1305Vlis. The amitie that wisedome knits, not folly may
easily vntie.
Enter Patroclus.
Here comes Patroclus.
Nes. No Achilles with him?
Vlis. The Elephant hath ioynts, but none for curtesie:
1310His legge are legs for necessitie, not for flight.
Patro. Achilles bids me say he is much sorry:
If any thing more then your sport and pleasure,
Did moue your greatnesse, and this noble State,
To call vpon him; he hopes it is no other,
1315But for your health, and your digestion sake;
An after Dinners breath.
Aga. Heare you Patroclus:
We are too well acquainted with these answers:
But his euasion winged thus swift with scorne,
1320Cannot outflye our apprehensions.
Much attribute he hath, and much the reason,
Why we ascribe it to him, yet all his vertues,
Not vertuously of his owne part beheld,
Doe in our eyes, begin to loose their glosse;
1325Yea, and like faire Fruit in an vnholdsome dish,
Are like to rot vntasted: goe and tell him,
We came to speake with him; and you shall not sinne,
If you doe say, we thinke him ouer proud,
And vnder honest; in selfe-assumption greater
1330Then in the note of iudgement: & worthier then himselfe
Here tends the sauage strangenesse he puts on,
Disguise the holy strength of their command:
And vnder write in an obseruing kinde
His humorous predominance, yea watch
1335His pettish lines, his ebs, his flowes, as if
The passage and whole carriage of this action
Rode on his tyde. Goe tell him this, and adde,
That if he ouerhold his price so much,
Weele none of him; but let him, like an Engin
1340Not portable, lye vnder this report.
Bring action hither, this cannot goe to warre:
A stirring Dwarfe, we doe allowance giue,
Before a sleeping Gyant: tell him so.
Pat. I shall, and bring his answere presently.
1345Aga. In second voyce weele not be satisfied,
We come to speake with him, Ulisses enter you.
Exit Vlisses.
Aiax. What is he more then another?
Aga. No more then what he thinkes he is.
1350Aia. Is he so much, doe you not thinke, he thinkes
himselfe a better man then I am?
Ag. No question.
Aiax. Will you subscribe his thought, and say he is?
Ag. No, Noble Aiax, you are as strong, as valiant, as
1355wise, no lesse noble, much more gentle, and altogether
more tractable.
Aiax. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride
grow? I know not what it is.
Aga. Your minde is the cleerer Aiax, and your vertues
1360the fairer; he that is proud, eates vp himselfe; Pride is his
owne Glasse, his owne trumpet, his owne Chronicle, and
what euer praises it selfe but in the deede, deuoures the
deede in the praise.
Enter Ulysses.
1365Aiax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the ingendring
of Toades.
Nest. Yet he loues himselfe: is't not strange?
Vlis. Achilles will not to the field to morrow.
Ag. What's his excuse?
1370Vlis. He doth relye on none,
But carries on the streame of his dispose,
Without obseruance or respect of any,
In will peculiar, and in selfe admission.
Aga. Why, will he not vpon our faire request,
1375Vntent his person, and share the ayre with vs?
Vlis. Things small as nothing, for requests sake onely
He makes important; possest he is with greatnesse,
And speakes not to himselfe, but with a pride
That quarrels at selfe-breath. Imagin'd wroth
1380Holds in his bloud such swolne and hot discourse,
That twixt his mentall and his actiue parts,
Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages,
And batters gainst it selfe; what should I say?
He is so plaguy proud, that the death tokens of it,
1385Cry no recouery.
Ag. Let Aiax goe to him.
Deare Lord, goe you and greete him in his Tent;
'Tis said he holds you well, and will be led
At your request a little from himselfe.
1390Vlis. O Agamemnon, let it not be so.
Weele consecrate the steps that Aiax makes,
When they goe from Achilles; shall the proud Lord,
That bastes his arrogance with his owne seame,
And neuer suffers matter of the world,
1395Enter his thoughts: saue such as doe reuolue
And ruminate himselfe. Shall he be worshipt,
Of that we hold an Idoll, more then hee?
No, this thrice worthy and right valiant Lord,
Must not so staule his Palme, nobly acquir'd,
1400Nor by my will assubiugate his merit,
As amply titled as Achilles is: by going to Achilles,
That were to enlard his fat already, pride,
And adde more Coles to Cancer, when he burnes
With entertaining great Hiperion.
1405This L. goe to him? Iupiter forbid,
And say in thunder, Achilles goe to him.
Nest. O this is well, he rubs the veine of him.
Dio. And how his silence drinkes vp this applause.
Aia. If I goe to him, with my armed fist, Ile pash him
1410ore the face.
Ag. O no, you shall not goe.
Aia. And a be proud with me, ile phese his pride: let
me goe to him.
Ulis. Not for the worth that hangs vpon our quarrel.
1415Aia. A paultry insolent fellow.
Nest. How he describes himselfe.
Aia. Can he not be sociable?
Vlis. The Rauen chides blacknesse.
Aia. Ile let his humours bloud.
1420Ag. He will be the Physitian that should be the pa-
tient.
Aia. And all men were a my minde.
Vlis. Wit would be out of fashion.
Aia. A should not beare it so, a should eate Swords
1425first: shall pride carry it?
Nest. And 'twould, you'ld carry halfe.
Ulis. A would haue ten shares.
Aia. I will knede him, Ile make him supple, hee's not
yet through warme.
1430Nest. Force him with praises, poure in, poure in: his am-
bition is dry.
Vlis. My L. you feede too much on this dislike.
Nest. Our noble Generall, doe not doe so.
Diom. You must prepare to fight without Achilles.
1435Vlis. Why, 'tis this naming of him doth him harme.
Here is a man, but 'tis before his face,
I will be silent.
Nest. Wherefore should you so?
He is not emulous, as Achilles is.
1440Vlis. 'Know the whole world, he is as valiant.
Aia. A horson dog, that shal palter thus with vs, would
he were a Troian.
Nest. What a vice were it in Aiax now---
Ulis. If he were proud.
1445Dio. Or couetous of praise.
Vlis. I, or surley borne.
Dio. Or strange, or selfe affected.
Vl. Thank the heauens L. thou art of sweet composure;
Praise him that got thee, she that gaue thee sucke:
1450Fame be thy Tutor, and thy parts of nature
Thrice fam'd beyond, beyond all erudition;
But he that disciplin'd thy armes to fight,
Let Mars deuide Eternity in twaine,
And giue him halfe, and for thy vigour,
1455Bull-bearing Milo: his addition yeelde
To sinnowie Aiax: I will not praise thy wisdome,
Which like a bourne, a pale, a shore confines
Thy spacious and dilated parts; here's Nestor
Instructed by the Antiquary times:
1460He must, he is, he cannot but be wise.
But pardon Father Nestor, were your dayes
As greene as Aiax, and your braine so temper'd,
You should not haue the eminence of him,
But be as Aiax.
1465Aia. Shall I call you Father?
Ulis. I my good Sonne.
Dio. Be rul'd by him Lord Aiax.
Vlis. There is no tarrying here, the Hart Achilles
Keepes thicket: please it our Generall,
1470To call together all his state of warre,
Fresh Kings are come to Troy; to morrow
We must with all our maine of power stand fast:
And here's a Lord, come Knights from East to West,
And cull their flowre, Aiax shall cope the best.
1475Ag. Goe we to Counsaile, let Achilles sleepe;
Light Botes may saile swift, though greater bulkes draw
deepe.
Exeunt. Musicke sounds within.