Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: W. L. Godshalk
Peer Reviewed

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)

The history
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, whilst hee raild at mee:
1210Sfoote, Ile learne to coniure and raise Diuels, but Ile see
some issue of my spitefull execrations. Then ther's Achilles, a
rare inginer. If Troy bee not taken till these two vnder-
mine it, the walls will stand till they fall of them-selues.
O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget that thou
1215art Ioue the king of gods: and Mercury, loose all the Ser-
pentine craft of thy Caduceus, if yee take not that little
little lesse then little witte from them that they haue:
which short-armd Ignorance it selfe knowes is so aboun-
dant scarce, it will not in circumuention deliuer a flie from
1220a spider, without drawing their massie Irons, and cutting
the web. After this the vengeance on the whole campe,
or rather the Neopolitan bone-ache: for that me thinkes is
the curse depending on those that warre for a placket. I
haue said my prayers, and diuell Enuie say Amen. What ho
1225my Lord Achilles?
Patrocl. Whose there? Thersites? good Thersites come
in and raile.
Thersi. If I could a remembred a guilt counterfeit, thou
1230couldst not haue slipt out of my contemplation: but it is no
matter, thy selfe vpon thy selfe. The common curse of man-
kinde, Folly and Ignorance, be thine in great reuenew: Hea-
uen blesse thee from a tutor, and discipline come not neere
thee. Let thy bloud be thy direction till thy death: then if
1235she that layes thee out sayes thou art not a faire course, Ile
be sworne and sworne vpon't, shee neuer shrowded any but
lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles?
Patro. What art thou deuout? wast thou in prayer?
Thers. I the heauens heare me.
1240Patro. Amen. Enter Achilles.
Achil. Who's there?
Patro. Thersites, my Lord.
Achil. Where? where? O where? art thou come why my