Page images
PDF
EPUB

Achil. Where, where ? art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why haft thou not served thyfelf in to my table so many meals ? Come ; what's Agamemnon !

Ther. Thy commander, Achilles. Then tell me,
Patroclus, what's Achilles ?
Patr. Thy lord, Thersites.-Then tell me, 1

pray thee, what's thyfelf?

Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus.Then tell me,
Patroclus, what art thou?

Patr. Thou must tell that know'ft.
Achil. O tell, tell

Ther. I'll decline the whole question. Agamemnon commands Achilles ; Achilles is my lord ; I am Patroclus's knower; and Patroclus is a fool.

Pair. You rascal!
Ther. Peace, fool, I have not done.
Achil

. He is a privileg'd man.—Proceed, Therfites. Ther. Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; Thersites is a fool; and (as aforesaid) Patroclus is a fool.

Achil. Derive this; come.

Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles; Achillès is a fool to be commanded of Againemnon; Thersites is a fool to serve such a fool; and Patroclus is a fool positive.

Patr. Why am I a fool ?

Ther. Make that demand 3 of the prover.-It suffices me, thou art.

decline the whole question.--] Deduce the question from the first cafe to the la't. Johnson.

2 - - Patroclus is a fool.] The four next speeches are not in the quarto. JOHNSON.

I of the prover.-) So the quarto. JOHNSON. The folio reads, of thy creator.

STEEVENS,

[ocr errors]

Enter

[ocr errors][merged small]

Enter Agamemnon, Ulyfes, Neftor, Diomedes, and Ajax.
Look you, who comes here?
Achil

. Patroclus, I'll speak with no body.—Come in with me, Thersites.

[Exit. Ther. Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such knavery! All the argument is, a cuckold, and a whore : a good quarrel to draw emulous factions, and bleed to death upon. 4 Now the dry serpigo on the subject! and war and lechery confound all! (Exit.

A a. Where is Achilles ?
Patr. Within his tent; but ill dispos’d, my lord. .

Aga. Let it be known to him, that we are here,
5 He sent our messengers; and we lay by
Our appertainments, visiting of him:
Let him be told fo; left, perchance, he think
We dare not move the question of our place,
Or know not what we are,
Patr. I shall fo say to him.

[Exit.
Ulys. We saw him at the opening of his tent;
He is not fick.

Ajox. Yes, lion-sick, sick of a proud heart. You may call it melancholy, if you will favour the man; but, by my head, 'tis pride. But why, why ?-let him shey us the cause. A word, my lord.

[To Agamemnon.
Neft. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?
Ulyf. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.
Neft. Who? Thersites?

Ulyf. He.

Neft. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument.

Now the dry, &c ] This is added in the folio.

JOHNSON. ş He sent our messengers ;-] This nonsense hould be read, He shent our messengers ;

i. e. rebuked, rated.

WARBURTON.

Uls

Ulys. No; you fee, he is his argument, that has his argument ;-Achilles.

Nest. All the better ; their fraction is more our wish than their faction : but it was a strong composure, a fool could disunite.

Ulys. The amity, that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untye.

Re-enter Patroclus.
Here comes Patroclus.

Neft. No Achilles with him.
Ulys. The elephant hath joints; but none for

courtesy;
His legs are for necessity, not for fexure.

Patr. Achilles bids me say, he is much sorry,
If any thing more than your sport and pleasure
Did move your greatness, and this 7 noble state,
To call on him; he hopes, it is no other,
But for your health and your digestion-sake,
An after-dinner's breath.

Aga. Hear you, Patroclus !
We are too well acquainted with these answers :
But his evasion, wing’d thus swift with scorn,
Cannot outfly our apprehensions.
Much attribute he hath; and much the reason
Why we ascribe it to him: yet all his virtues-
Not virtuously on his own part beheld-
Do in our eyes begin to lose their glofs ;
Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholsome dish,
Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him,
We come to speak to him: and you shall not fin
If
you do say we think him over-proud,

composure,-) So reads the quarto very properly; but the folio, which the moderns have followed, has, it was a Arong COUNSEL. JOHNSON.

noble fate,! Person of high dignity; spoken of Agamemnon. JOHNSON.

Noble flate rather mcans the stately train of attending nobles whom you. STEEVENS,

And

6

7

you bring with

And under-honest; in self-assumption greater
Than in the note of judgment: and worthier than

himielf,
Here tend the favage strangeness he puts on;
Disguise the holy strength of their command,
And & under-write in an observing kind
His humourous predominance; yea, watch
9 His pettish lunes, his ebbs, his flows; as if
The passage and whole carriage of this action
Rode on his tide. Go tell him this; and add,
That if he over-hold his price so much,
We'll none of him; but let him, like an engine
Not portable, lie under this report
“ Bring action hither, this can't go to war:
" A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
“ Before a sleeping giant;"—tell him fo.

Petr. I shall, and bring his answer presently. [Exit.

Aga. In second voice we'll not be satisfied,
We come to speak with him.-Ulysses, enter you.

Exit Ulyses.
Ajax. What is he more than another ?
Aga. No more than what he thinks he is.
Ajax. Is he so much ? Do you not think, he

thinks himself A better man than I am ?

Aga. No question.
Ajax. Will you subscribe his thought, and fay, he is?

Aga. No, noble Ajax; you are as itrong, as valiant,
As wife, and no less noble, much more gentle,
And altogether more tractable.

Ajax. Why should a man be proud ?
How doth pride grow? I know not what it is.

8

- under-write-] To subscribe, in Shakespeare, is to obey. Johnson.

9 His pettish lunes, This is Hanmer's emendation of his pettish lines. The old quarto reads,

His course and time. This speech is unfaithfully printed in modern editions. Johns.

Aga. Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your

virtues
The fairer. He that's proud eats up himself:
Pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his
Own chronicle ; and whate’er praises itself,
But in the deed, devours the deed i' the praise.

Re-enter Ulysses.
Ajax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the en-
gendering of toads.
Neft. (Aside.] And yet

he loves himself: is it not strange?

Ulys. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.
Aga. What's his excuse?

Ulys. He doth rely on none;
But carries on the stream of his dispose,
Without observance or respect of any,
In will peculiar, and in self-admission.

Aga. Why will he not, upon our fair request,
Un-tent his person, and share the air with us?

Ulys. Things Imall as nothing, for request fake only,
He makes important: poffest he is with greatness,
And speaks not to himself, but with a pride
That quarrels at self-breath. - Imagin'd worth
Holds in his blood such fwoln and hot discourse,
That, 'twixt his mental and his active parts,
Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages,
And batters down himself. What should I say?
He is so plaguy proud, that the death-tokens of it
Cryếno recovery.

Aga. Let Ajax go to him.-
Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent:
'Tis said, he holds you well, and will be led
At your request a little from himself.

Ulys. O, Agamemnon, let it not be so!
We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
When they go from Achilles. Shall the proud lord,

That

« PreviousContinue »