Printer Friendly

ACT II. SCENE 1. 


The Grecian camp

Enter Ajax and THERSITES

 AJAX.

Thersites!

 THERSITES.

Agamemnon-how if he had boils full, an over, generally?

 AJAX.

Thersites!

 THERSITES.

And those boils did run-say so. Did not the general run
then? Were not that a botchy core?

 AJAX.

Dog!

 THERSITES.

Then there would come some matter from him;
I see none now.

 AJAX.

Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? Feel, then.

[Strikes him]

 THERSITES.

The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted
lord!

 AJAX.

Speak, then, thou whinid'st leaven, speak. I will beat thee
into handsomeness.

 THERSITES.

I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness; but I
think thy horse will sooner con an oration than thou learn a
prayer without book. Thou canst strike, canst thou? A red murrain
o' thy jade's tricks!

 AJAX.

Toadstool, learn me the proclamation.

 THERSITES.

Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?

 AJAX.

The proclamation!

 THERSITES.

Thou art proclaim'd, a fool, I think.

 AJAX.

Do not, porpentine, do not; my fingers itch.

 THERSITES.

I would thou didst itch from head to foot and I had the
scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in
Greece. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as
slow as another.

 AJAX.

I say, the proclamation.

 THERSITES.

Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles; and
thou art as full of envy at his greatness as Cerberus is at
Proserpina's beauty-ay, that thou bark'st at him.

 AJAX.

Mistress Thersites!

 THERSITES.

Thou shouldst strike him.

 AJAX.

Cobloaf!

 THERSITES.

He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a
sailor breaks a biscuit.

 AJAX.

You whoreson cur! [Strikes him]

 THERSITES.

Do, do.

 AJAX.

Thou stool for a witch!

 THERSITES.

Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more
brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinico may tutor thee. You
scurvy valiant ass! Thou art here but to thrash Troyans, and thou
art bought and sold among those of any wit like a barbarian
slave. If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel and tell
what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou!

 AJAX.

You dog!

 THERSITES.

You scurvy lord!

 AJAX.

You cur! [Strikes him]

 THERSITES.

Mars his idiot! Do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do.

Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS

 ACHILLES.

Why, how now, Ajax! Wherefore do you thus?
How now, Thersites! What's the matter, man?

 THERSITES.

You see him there, do you?

 ACHILLES.

Ay; what's the matter?

 THERSITES.

Nay, look upon him.

 ACHILLES.

So I do. What's the matter?

 THERSITES.

Nay, but regard him well.

 ACHILLES.

Well! why, so I do.

 THERSITES.

But yet you look not well upon him; for who some ever
you take him to be, he is Ajax.

 ACHILLES.

I know that, fool.

 THERSITES.

Ay, but that fool knows not himself.

 AJAX.

Therefore I beat thee.

 THERSITES.

Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! His
evasions have ears thus long. I have bobb'd his brain more than
he has beat my bones. I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and
his pia mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This
lord, Achilles, Ajax-who wears his wit in his belly and his guts
in his head-I'll tell you what I say of him.

 ACHILLES.

What?

 THERSITES.

I say this Ajax- [AJAX offers to strike him]

 ACHILLES.

Nay, good Ajax.

 THERSITES.

Has not so much wit-

 ACHILLES.

Nay, I must hold you.

 THERSITES.

As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he
comes to fight.

 ACHILLES.

Peace, fool.

 THERSITES.

I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not-
he there; that he; look you there.

 AJAX.

O thou damned cur! I shall-

 ACHILLES.

Will you set your wit to a fool's?

 THERSITES.

No, I warrant you, the fool's will shame it.

 PATROCLUS.

Good words, Thersites.

 ACHILLES.

What's the quarrel?

 AJAX.

I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenour of the
proclamation, and he rails upon me.

 THERSITES.

I serve thee not.

 AJAX.

Well, go to, go to.

 THERSITES.

I serve here voluntary.

 ACHILLES.

Your last service was suff'rance; 'twas not voluntary. No
man is beaten voluntary. Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as
under an impress.

 THERSITES.

E'en so; a great deal of your wit too lies in your
sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shall have a great catch
an he knock out either of your brains: 'a were as good crack a
fusty nut with no kernel.

 ACHILLES.

What, with me too, Thersites?

 THERSITES.

There's Ulysses and old Nestor-whose wit was mouldy ere
your grandsires had nails on their toes-yoke you like draught
oxen, and make you plough up the wars.

 ACHILLES.

What, what?

 THERSITES.

Yes, good sooth. To Achilles, to Ajax, to-

 AJAX.

I shall cut out your tongue.

 THERSITES.

'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou
afterwards.

 PATROCLUS.

No more words, Thersites; peace!

 THERSITES.

I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall
I?

 ACHILLES.

There's for you, Patroclus.

 THERSITES.

I will see you hang'd like clotpoles ere I come any more
to your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave
the faction of fools

Exit

 PATROCLUS.

A good riddance.

 ACHILLES.

Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through all our host,
That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun,
Will with a trumpet 'twixt our tents and Troy,
To-morrow morning, call some knight to arms
That hath a stomach; and such a one that dare
Maintain I know not what; 'tis trash. Farewell.

 AJAX.

Farewell. Who shall answer him?

 ACHILLES.

I know not; 'tis put to lott'ry. Otherwise. He knew his
man.

 AJAX.

O, meaning you! I will go learn more of it

Exeunt

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters