Troilus and Cressida
Act 2, Scene 1
A part of the Grecian camp.
- Enter Ajax and Thersites.
- Agamemnon, how if he had biles—full, all over, generally?
Thersites5 - 6
- And those biles did run—say so—did not the general run then?
- Were not that a botchy core?
- Then would come some matter from him; I see none now.
- Thou bitch-wolf’s son, canst thou not hear? Feel then.
- Strikes him.
Thersites11 - 12
- The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted
Ajax13 - 14
- Speak then, thou whinid’st leaven, speak; I will beat thee
- into handsomeness.
Thersites15 - 18
- I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness, but I think
- thy horse will sooner con an oration without book than thou
- learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike, canst thou?
- A red murrain a’ thy jade’s tricks!
- Toadstool! Learn me the proclamation.
- Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?
- The proclamation!
- Thou art proclaim’d fool, I think.
- Do not, porpentine, do not, my fingers itch.
Thersites24 - 27
- 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.
- I say, the proclamation!
Thersites29 - 31
- 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.
- Mistress Thersites!
- Thou shouldst strike him.
Thersites35 - 36
- He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor
- breaks a biscuit.
Ajax37 - 38
- Beating him.
- You whoreson cur!
Thersites39 - 45
- Do! Do! Thou stool for a witch! Ay, do! Do! Thou
- sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in
- mine elbows, an asinico 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!
- You dog!
- You scurvy lord!
Ajax48 - 49
- Beating him.
- You cur!
- Mars his idiot! Do, rudeness, do, camel, do, do.
- Enter Achilles and Patroclus.
Achilles52 - 53
- Why, how now, Ajax, wherefore do ye thus?
- How now, Thersites, what’s the matter, man?
- You see him there? Do you?
- Ay, what’s the matter?
- Nay, look upon him.
- So I do. What’s the matter?
- Nay, but regard him well.
- Well? Why, so I do.
Thersites60 - 61
- But yet you look not well upon him, for whosomever you take
- him to be, he is Ajax.
- I know that, fool.
- Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
- Therefore I beat thee.
Thersites65 - 70
- 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.
- I say, this Ajax—
- Ajax offers to strike him.
- Nay, good Ajax.
- Has not so much wit—
- Nay, I must hold you.
Thersites77 - 78
- As will stop the eye of Helen’s needle, for whom he comes to
- Peace, fool!
Thersites80 - 81
- I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not—he
- there, that he! Look you there.
- O thou damn’d cur! I shall—
- Will you set your wit to a fool’s?
- No, I warrant you, the fool’s will shame it.
- Good words, Thersites.
- What’s the quarrel?
Ajax87 - 88
- I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenor of the
- proclamation, and he rails upon me.
- I serve thee not.
- Well, go to, go to.
- I serve here voluntary.
Achilles92 - 94
- 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.
Thersites95 - 98
- 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, and
- ’a knock out either of your brains; ’a were as good crack a
- fusty nut with no kernel.
- What, with me too, Thersites?
Thersites100 - 102
- There’s Ulysses and old Nestor, whose wit was moldy ere your
- grandsires had nails on their toes, yoke you like
- draught-oxen, and make you plough up the wars.
- What? What?
- Yes, good sooth. To, Achilles! To, Ajax! To—
- I shall cut out your tongue.
- ’Tis no matter, I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.
- No more words, Thersites, peace!
- I will hold my peace when Achilles’ brach bids me, shall I?
- There’s for you, Patroclus.
Thersites110 - 112
- I will see you hang’d like clatpoles ere I come any more to
- your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirring, and
- leave the faction of fools.
- A good riddance.
Achilles115 - 120
- 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
- Tomorrow morning call some knight to arms
- That hath a stomach, and such a one that dare
- Maintain—I know not what, ’tis trash. Farewell.
- Farewell. Who shall answer him?
Achilles122 - 123
- I know not, ’tis put to lott’ry. Otherwise,
- He knew his man.
- O, meaning you? I will go learn more of it.