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I tell thee, yea:
Think’st thou to catch my life so pleasantly,
Hect. Wert thou an oracle to tell me so, I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well; For I'll not kill thee there, nor there, nor there; But, by the forge that stithied 37 Mars his helm, I'll kill thee every where, yea, o'er and o’er.You wisest Grecians, pardon me this brag, His insolence draws folly from my lips; But I'll endeavour deeds to match these words, Or may
Do not chafe thee, cousin; And you Achilles, let these threats alone, Till accident, or purpose, bring you to't: You may have every day enough of Hector, If you have stomach 38 ; the general state, I fear, Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him.
Hect. I pray you, let us see you in the field; We have had pelting 39 wars,
refus'd The Grecians' cause. Achil.
Dost thou entreat me, Hector ? To-morrow, do I meet thee, fell as death; To-night, all friends. Hect.
that match. Agam. First, all you peers of Greece, go to my
37 A stith is an anvil, a stithy a smith's shop, and hence the verb stithied is formed. See Hamlet, Act iii. Sc. 2.
36 Ajax treats Achilles with contempt, and means to insinuate that he was afraid of fighting with Hector. You may every day (says he) have enough of Hector, if you have the inclination; but I believe the whole state of Greece will scarcely prevail on you to be at odds with him, to contend with him.
39 i. e. petty or paltry wars. See vol. ii. p. 239, note 4.
There in the full convive 40 we: afterwards,
[Exeunt all but TROILUS and ULYSSES. Tro. My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you, In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?
Ulyss. At Menelaus' tent, most princely Troilus: There Diomed doth feast with him to-night; Who neither looks upon the heaven, nor earth, But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view On the fair Cressid.
Tro. Shall I, sweet lord, be bound to you so much, After we part from Agamemnon's tent, To bring me thither? Ulyss.
You shall command me, sir, As gentle tell me, of what honour was This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there That wails her absence?
Tro. O, sir, to such as boasting show their scars, A mock is due. Will
walk She was belov’d, she lov’d; she is, and doth: But, still, sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.
on, my lord ?
40 A convive is a feast. The sitting of friends together at a table, our auncestors have well called convivium, a banket, because it is a living of men together.'--Hutton. The word is several times used in Helyas the Knight of the Swanne, blk. 1.
41 Small drums.
SCENE I. The Grecian Camp. Before Achilles'
Enter Achilles and PATROCLUS. Achil. I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine to
night, Which with my scimitar I'll cool to-morrow 1. Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.
Patr. Here comes Thersites.
Enter THERSITES. Achil.
How now, thou core of envy? Thou crusty batchof nature, what's the news ?
Ther. Why, thou picture of what thou seemest, and idol of idiot-worshippers, here's a letter for thee.
Achil. From whence, fragment?
Patr. Well said, Adversity +! and what need these tricks?
1 Grammar requires us to read :
• With Greekish wine to-night I'll heat his blood,
Which,' &c. Otherwise Achilles threatens to cool the wine, instead of Hector's blood.
2 A batch is all that is baked at one time, without heating the oven afresh. So Ben Jonson in his Cataline:
* Except he were of the same meal and batch.' Thersites has already been called a cob-loaf.
3 In his answer Thersites quibbles upon the word tent. 4 A dversity is here used for contrariety. The reply of Ther
Ther. Pr’ythee be silent, boy; I profit not by thy talk: thou art thought to be Achilles' male varlet.
Patr. Male varlet”, you rogue! what's that?
Ther. Why, his masculine whore. Now the rotten diseases of the south, the guts-griping, ruptures, catarrhs, loads o'gravel i'the back, lethargies, cold palsies, raw eyes, dirt-rotten livers, wheezing lungs, bladders full of imposthume, sciaticas, limekilns i’the palm, incurable bone-ach, and the rivelled fee-simple of the tetter, take and take again such preposterous discoveries!
Patr. Why thou damnable box of envy, thou, what meanest thou to curse thus?
Ther. Do I curse thee?
Patr. Why, no, you ruinous butt; you whoreson indistinguishable cur, no.
Ther. No? why art thou then exasperate, thou idle immaterial skein of sleive7 silk, thou green şarcenet flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the
poor world is pestered with such water-flies : diminutives of nature8! sites having been studiously adverse to the drift of the question urged by Patroclus. So in Love's Labour's Lost, the Princess addressing Boyet (who had been capriciously employing himself to perplex the dialogue), says, ' Avaunt, Perplexity!
5 This expression is met with in Decker's Honest Whore :• 'Tis a male varlet, sure, my lord!' The person spoken of is Bellafronte, a harlot, who is introduced in boy's clothes. Manmistress is a term of reproach thrown out by Dorax, in Dryden's Don Sebastian. See Professor Heyne's Seventeenth Excursus on the first book of the Æneid.
6 Patroclus reproaches Thersites with deformity, with having one part crowded into another. The same idea occurs in the Second Part of King Henry IV.:-
· Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form,' 7 See Macbeth, Act ii. Sc. 2, note 3, p. 246. 8 So Hamlet, speaking of Osrick :
· Dost know this water-fly?'
Patr. Out, gall! : Ther. Finch egg !
Achil. My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite From my great purpose in to-morrow's battle: Here is a letter from queen Hecuba; A token from her daughter, my fair love'; Both taxing me, and gaging me to keep An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it: Fall, Greeks ; fail, fame; honour, or go, or stay, My major vow lies here, this I'll obey. — Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent; This night in banqueting must all be spent. Away, Patroclus.
[Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. Ther. With too much blood, and too little brain, these two may run mad; but if with too much brain, and too little blood, they do, I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnon,
an honest fellow enough, and one that loves quails 10; but he has not so much brain as ear-wax. And the goodly transformation of Jupiter there, his brother, the bull, -the primitive statue, and oblique memorial of cuckolds 11; a thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, hanging at his brother's leg,--to what form, but that he is, should wit larded with malice, and malice forced 12 with wit, turn him to? To an ass, were nothing: he is both ass and ox: to an ox were no
9 This is a circumstance taken from the old story book of The Destruction of Troy.
10 By quails are meant women, and probably those of a looser description. · Caille coeffée' is a sobriquet for a harlot. Chaud comme un caille is a French proverb. The quail being remarkably salacious.
11 He calls Menelaus the transformation of Jupiter, that is, the bull, on account of his horns, which are the oblique memorial of cuckolds.
12 i. e. farced or stuffed.