Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Troilus and Cressida (Quarto 1, 1609)

Enter Aiax and Thersites.
860Aiax. Thersites.
Ther. Agamemnon, how if he had biles, full, all ouer, gene-
Aiax. Thersites.
Ther: And those byles did run (say so), did not the gene-
865rall run then, were not that a botchy core.
Aiax. Dogge.
Ther. Then would come some matter from him, I see none
Aia: Thou bitchwolfs son canst thou not heare, feele then.
Ther. The plague of Greece vpon thee thou mongrell beefe
witted Lord.
Aiax. Speake then thou vnsalted leauen, speake, I will beate
thee into hansomnesse.
875Ther. I shall sooner raile thee into wit and holinesse, but I
thinke thy horse will sooner cunne an oration without
booke, then thou learne praier without booke, thou canst
strike canst thou? a red murrion ath thy Iades trickes.
Aiax. Tode-stoole? learne me the proclamation.
880Ther: Doost thou thinke I haue no sence thou strikest mee
Aiax. The proclamation.
Ther: Thou art proclaim'd foole I thinke.
Aiax. Do not Porpentin, do not, my fingers itch:
Ther. I would thou didst itch from head to foote, and I had
885the scratching of the, I would make thee the lothsomest scab
in Greece, when thou art forth in the incursions thou strikest
886.1as slow as another.
Aiax. I say the proclamation.
Ther. Thou gromblest and raylest euery houre on Achil-
les, and thou art as full of enuy at his greatnesse, as Cerberus
890is at Proserpinas beauty, I that thou barkst at him.
Aiax. Mistres Thersites.
Ther. Thou shouldst strike him. AiaxCoblofe,
Hee would punne thee into shiuers with his fist, as a sayler
895breakes a bisket, you horson curre. Do? do?
Aiax: Thou stoole for a witch:
Ther. I, Do? do? thou sodden witted Lord, thou hast
no more braine then I haue in mine elbowes, an Asinico
900may tutor thee, you scuruy valiant asse, thou art heere but to
thrash Troyans, and thou art bought and sould among those
of any wit, like a Barbarian slaue. If thou vse to beate mee I
will beginne at thy heele, and tell what thou art by ynches,
thou thing of no bowells thou.
905Aiax. You dog: Ther. You scuruy Lord.
Aiax. You curre.
Ther. Mars his Idiot, do rudenesse, do Camel, do, do.
910Achil. Why how now Aiax wherefore do yee thus,
How now Thersites whats the matter man.
Ther. You see him there? do you?
Achil. I whats the matter. Ther: Nay looke vpon him.
915Achil: So I do, whats the matter?
Ther: Nay but regard him well.
Achil: Well, why so I do.
Ther: But yet you looke not well vpon him, for who some
euer you take him to be he is Aiax.
920Achil. I know that foole.
Ther. I but that foole knowes not himselfe.
Aiax: Therefore I beate thee.
Ther: Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he vtters, his eua-
sions haue eares thus long, I haue bobd his braine more then
925he has beate my bones. It will buy nine sparrowes for a pen-
ny, and his pia mater is not worth the ninth part of a spar-
row: this Lord (Achilles) Aiax, who weares his wit in his bel-
ly, and his guts in his head, I tell you what I say of him.
930Ach. What. Ther. I say this Aiax.
Achil. Nay good Aiax. Ther.Has not so much wit.
Achil. Nay I must hold you.
935Ther. As will stop the eye of Hellens needle, for whom
he comes to fight.
Achil.Peace foole?
Ther. I would haue peace and quietnesse, but the foole
will not, he there, that he: looke you there?
940Aiax. Oh thou damned curre I shall-------------
Achil. Will you set your wit to a fooles.
Ther. No I warrant you, the fooles will shame it.
Patro. Good words Thesites. Achil.Whats the quarrell.
945Aiax. I bad the vile oule goe learne mee the tenor of the
proclamation, and he railes vpon me.
Ther. I serue thee not? Aiax.Well, go to, go to.
Ther. I serue here voluntary.
950Achil. Your last seruice was suffrance: twas not voluntary,
no man is beaten voluntary, Aiax was here the voluntary,
and you as vnder an Impresse.
Ther. E'ene so, a great deale of your witte to, lies in your
sinnewes, or els there bee liers, Hector shall haue a great
955catch and knocke at either of your beains, a were as good
crack a fusty nut with no kernell.
Achil. What with me to Thersites.
Ther. Thers Vlisses and old Nestor, whose wit was mouldy
ere their grandsiers had nailes, yoke you like draught oxen,
960and make you plough vp the wars.
Achil. What? what?
Ther. Yes good sooth, to Achilles, to Aiax, to ------------
Aiax. I shall cut out your tongue.
Ther. Tis no matter, I shall speake as much as thou after-
Patro. No more words Thersites peace.
Ther. I will hold my peace when Achilles brooch bids me,
Achil. There's for you Patroclus.
970Ther. I will see you hang'd like Clatpoles, ere I come any
more to your tents, I will keepe where there is wit stirring,
and leaue the faction of fooles.
Patro. A good riddance.
Achil. Marry this sir is proclaim'd through all our hoste,
975That Hector by the first houre of the Sunne:
Will with a trumpet twixt our Tents and Troy,
To morrow morning call some Knight to armes,
That hath a stomack, and such a one that dare,
Maintaine I know not what, (tis trash) farewell-------
980Aiax. Farewell, who shall answer him.
Achil. I know not, tis put to lottry, otherwise,
He knew his man.
Aiax. O meaning you? I will go learne more of it.