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Troilus and Cressida: Act 2, Scene 3

Troilus and Cressida
Act 2, Scene 3

The Grecian camp. Before Achilles’ tent.

  1. Enter Thersites solus.

Thersites

2 - 20
  1. How now, Thersites? What, lost in the labyrinth of thy fury?
  2. Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? He beats me, and I
  3. rail at him. O worthy satisfaction! Would it were otherwise:
  4. that I could beat him, whilst he rail’d at me. ’Sfoot, I’ll
  5. learn to conjure and raise devils, but I’ll see some issue
  6. of my spiteful execrations. Then there’s Achilles, a rare
  7. enginer! If Troy be not taken till these two undermine it,
  8. the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. O thou
  9. great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget that thou art Jove,
  10. the king of gods, and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine
  11. craft of thy caduceus, if ye take not that little little
  12. less than little wit from them that they have, which
  13. short-arm’d ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it
  14. will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider,
  15. without drawing their massy irons and cutting the web! After
  16. this, the vengeance on the whole camp! Or rather, the
  17. Neapolitan bone-ache! For that methinks is the curse
  18. depending on those that war for a placket. I have said my
  19. prayers, and devil Envy say amen. What ho! My Lord Achilles!

Patroclus

21 - 22
  1. Within.
  2. Who’s there? Thersites? Good Thersites, come in and rail.

Thersites

23 - 32
  1. If I could ’a’ rememb’red a gilt counterfeit, thou wouldst
  2. not have slipp’d out of my contemplation. But it is no
  3. matter, thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankind,
  4. folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! Heaven bless
  5. thee from a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Lee
  6. thy blood be thy direction till thy death; then if she that
  7. lays thee out says thou art a fair corse, I’ll be sworn and
  8. sworn upon’t she never shrouded any but lazars. Amen.
  9. Enter Patroclus.
  10. Where’s Achilles?

Patroclus

33
  1. What, art thou devout? Wast thou in prayer?

Thersites

34
  1. Ay, the heavens hear me!

Patroclus

35
  1. Amen.
  1. Enter Achilles.

Achilles

37
  1. Who’s there?

Patroclus

38
  1. Thersites, my lord.

Achilles

39 - 41
  1. Where? Where? O, where? Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my
  2. digestion, why hast thou not serv’d thyself in to my table
  3. so many meals? Come, what’s Agamemnon?

Thersites

42 - 43
  1. Thy commander, Achilles. Then tell me, Patroclus, what’s
  2. Achilles?

Patroclus

44 - 45
  1. Thy lord, Thersites. Then tell me, I pray thee, what’s
  2. Thersites?

Thersites

46 - 47
  1. Thy knower, Patroclus. Then tell me, Patroclus, what art
  2. thou?

Patroclus

48
  1. Thou must tell that knowest.

Achilles

49
  1. O, tell, tell.

Thersites

50 - 52
  1. I’ll decline the whole question: Agamemnon commands
  2. Achilles, Achilles is my lord, I am Patroclus’ knower, and
  3. Patroclus is a fool.

Patroclus

53
  1. You rascal!

Thersites

54
  1. Peace, fool, I have not done.

Achilles

55
  1. He is a privileg’d man. Proceed, Thersites.

Thersites

56 - 57
  1. Agamemnon is a fool, Achilles is a fool, Thersites is a
  2. fool, and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool.

Achilles

58
  1. Derive this; come.

Thersites

59 - 61
  1. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles, Achilles
  2. is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon, Thersites is a fool
  3. to serve such a fool, and this Patroclus is a fool positive.

Patroclus

62
  1. Why am I a fool?

Thersites

63 - 64
  1. Make that demand of the prover, it suffices me thou art.
  2. Look you, who comes here?
  1. Enter Agamemnon, Ulysses, Nestor, Diomedes, Ajax, and
  2. Calchas.

Achilles

67 - 68
  1. Come, Patroclus, I’ll speak with nobody. Come in with me,
  2. Thersites.
  1. Exit.

Thersites

70 - 73
  1. Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such knavery! All
  2. the argument is a whore and a cuckold, a good quarrel to
  3. draw emulous factions and bleed to death upon. Now the dry
  4. suppeago on the subject, and war and lechery confound all!
  1. Exit.

Agamemnon

75
  1. Where is Achilles?

Patroclus

76
  1. Within his tent, but ill dispos’d, my lord.

Agamemnon

77 - 82
  1. Let it be known to him that we are here.
  2. He shent our messengers, and we lay by
  3. Our appertainings, visiting of him.
  4. Let him be told so, lest perchance he think
  5. We dare not move the question of our place,
  6. Or know not what we are.

Patroclus

83
  1.                          I shall say so to him.
  1. Exit.

Ulysses

85 - 86
  1. We saw him at the opening of his tent,
  2. He is not sick.

Ajax

87 - 90
  1. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart. You may call it
  2. melancholy, if you will favor the man; but by my head, ’tis
  3. pride. But why, why? Let him show us a cause. A word, my
  4. lord.
  1. Takes Agamemnon aside.

Nestor

92
  1. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?

Ulysses

93
  1. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.

Nestor

94
  1. Who, Thersites?

Ulysses

95
  1. He.

Nestor

96
  1. Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument.

Ulysses

97 - 98
  1. No, you see he is his argument that has his argument,
  2. Achilles.

Nestor

99 - 101
  1. All the better, their fraction is more our wish than their
  2. faction. But it was a strong composure a fool could
  3. disunite.

Ulysses

102 - 104
  1. The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie.
  2. Enter Patroclus.
  3. Here comes Patroclus.

Nestor

105
  1. No Achilles with him.

Ulysses

106 - 107
  1. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy; his legs
  2. are legs for necessity, not for flexure.

Patroclus

108 - 113
  1. Achilles bids me say he is much sorry,
  2. If any thing more than your sport and pleasure
  3. Did move your greatness and this noble state
  4. To call upon him. He hopes it is no other
  5. But for your health and your digestion sake,
  6. An after-dinner’s breath.

Agamemnon

114 - 140
  1.                           Hear you, Patroclus:
  2. We are too well acquainted with these answers,
  3. But his evasion, wing’d thus swift with scorn,
  4. Cannot outfly our apprehensions.
  5. Much attribute he hath, and much the reason
  6. Why we ascribe it to him; yet all his virtues,
  7. Not virtuously on his own part beheld,
  8. Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss,
  9. Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
  10. Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him
  11. We come to speak with him, and you shall not sin
  12. If you do say we think him over-proud
  13. And under-honest, in self-assumption greater
  14. Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than himself
  15. Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on,
  16. Disguise the holy strength of their command,
  17. And underwrite in an observing kind
  18. His humorous predominance; yea, watch
  19. His pettish lines, his ebbs, his flows, as if
  20. The passage and whole carriage of this action
  21. Rode on his tide. Go tell him this, and add,
  22. That if he overhold his price so much,
  23. We’ll none of him; but let him, like an engine
  24. Not portable, lie under this report:
  25. Bring action hither, this cannot go to war.”
  26. A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
  27. Before a sleeping giant. Tell him so.

Patroclus

141
  1. I shall, and bring his answer presently.
  1. Exit.

Agamemnon

143 - 144
  1. In second voice we’ll not be satisfied,
  2. We come to speak with him. Ulysses, enter you.
  1. Exit Ulysses.

Ajax

146
  1. What is he more than another?

Agamemnon

147
  1. No more than what he thinks he is.

Ajax

148 - 149
  1. Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself a better
  2. man than I am?

Agamemnon

150
  1. No question.

Ajax

151
  1. Will you subscribe his thought, and say he is?

Agamemnon

152 - 153
  1. No, noble Ajax, you are as strong, as valiant, as wise, no
  2. less noble, much more gentle, and altogether more tractable.

Ajax

154 - 155
  1. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? I know not
  2. what pride is.

Agamemnon

156 - 159
  1. Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer.
  2. He that is proud eats up himself. Pride is his own glass,
  3. his own trumpet, his own chronicle, and whatever praises
  4. itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.
  1. Enter Ulysses.

Ajax

161 - 162
  1. I do hate a proud man, as I do hate the engend’ring of
  2. toads.

Nestor

163 - 164
  1. Aside.
  2. And yet he loves himself. Is’t not strange?

Ulysses

165
  1. Achilles will not to the field tomorrow.

Agamemnon

166
  1. What’s his excuse?

Ulysses

167 - 170
  1.                    He doth rely on none,
  2. But carries on the stream of his dispose
  3. Without observance or respect of any,
  4. In will peculiar and in self-admission.

Agamemnon

171 - 172
  1. Why will he not upon our fair request
  2. Untent his person and share th’ air with us?

Ulysses

173 - 182
  1. Things small as nothing, for request’s sake only,
  2. He makes important. Possess’d he is with greatness,
  3. And speaks not to himself but with a pride
  4. That quarrels at self-breath. Imagin’d worth
  5. Holds in his blood such swoll’n and hot discourse
  6. That ’twixt his mental and his active parts
  7. Kingdom’d Achilles in commotion rages,
  8. And batters down himself. What should I say?
  9. He is so plaguy proud that the death-tokens of it
  10. Cry No recovery.”

Agamemnon

183 - 186
  1.                    Let Ajax go to him.
  2. Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent.
  3. ’Tis said he holds you well, and will be led
  4. At your request a little from himself.

Ulysses

187 - 204
  1. O Agamemnon, let it not be so!
  2. We’ll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
  3. When they go from Achilles. Shall the proud lord
  4. That bastes his arrogance with his own seam,
  5. And never suffers matter of the world
  6. Enter his thoughts, save such as doth revolve
  7. And ruminate himself, shall he be worshipp’d
  8. Of that we hold an idol more than he?
  9. No! This thrice worthy and right valiant lord
  10. Shall not so stale his palm, nobly acquir’d,
  11. Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit,
  12. As amply titled as Achilles’ is,
  13. By going to Achilles.
  14. That were to enlard his fat-already pride,
  15. And add more coals to Cancer when he burns
  16. With entertaining great Hyperion.
  17. This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid,
  18. And say in thunder, Achilles go to him.”

Nestor

205 - 206
  1. Aside to Diomedes
  2. O, this is well. He rubs the vein of him.

Diomedes

207 - 208
  1. Aside to Nestor
  2. And how his silence drinks up his applause!

Ajax

209 - 210
  1. If I go to him, with my armed fist
  2. I’ll pash him o’er the face.

Agamemnon

211
  1. O no, you shall not go.

Ajax

212 - 213
  1. And he be proud with me, I’ll pheese his pride.
  2. Let me go to him.

Ulysses

214
  1. Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.

Ajax

215
  1. A paltry, insolent fellow!

Nestor

216 - 217
  1. Aside.
  2. How he describes himself!

Ajax

218
  1. Can he not be sociable?

Ulysses

219 - 220
  1. Aside.
  2. The raven chides blackness.

Ajax

221
  1. I’ll let his humors blood.

Agamemnon

222 - 223
  1. Aside.
  2. He will be the physician that should be the patient.

Ajax

224
  1. And all men were of my mind

Ulysses

225 - 226
  1. Aside.
  2. Wit would be out of fashion.

Ajax

227 - 228
  1. ’A should not bear it so, ’a should eat swords first. Shall
  2. pride carry it?

Nestor

229 - 230
  1. Aside.
  2. And ’twould, you’d carry half.

Ulysses

231 - 233
  1. Aside.
  2. ’A would have ten shares. I will knead him, I’ll make him
  3. supple. He’s not yet through warm.

Nestor

234 - 236
  1. Aside.
  2. Force him with praisespour in, pour in, his ambition is
  3. dry.

Ulysses

237 - 238
  1. To Agamemnon.
  2. My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.

Nestor

239
  1. Our noble general, do not do so.

Diomedes

240
  1. You must prepare to fight without Achilles.

Ulysses

241 - 243
  1. Why, ’tis this naming of him does him harm.
  2. Here is a manbut ’tis before his face,
  3. I will be silent.

Nestor

244 - 245
  1.                   Wherefore should you so?
  2. He is not emulous, as Achilles is.

Ulysses

246
  1. Know the whole world, he is as valiant

Ajax

247 - 248
  1. A whoreson dog, that shall palter with us thus!
  2. Would he were a Troyan!

Nestor

249
  1. What a vice were it in Ajax now

Ulysses

250
  1. If he were proud

Diomedes

251
  1. Or covetous of praise

Ulysses

252
  1. Ay, or surly borne

Diomedes

253
  1. Or strange, or self-affected!

Ulysses

254 - 270
  1. Thank the heavens, lord, thou art of sweet composure.
  2. Praise him that gat thee, she that gave thee suck;
  3. Fam’d be thy tutor, and thy parts of nature
  4. Thrice fam’d beyond, beyond all erudition;
  5. But he that disciplin’d thine arms to fight,
  6. Let Mars divide eternity in twain,
  7. And give him half; and for thy vigor,
  8. Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield
  9. To sinowy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom,
  10. Which like a bourn, a pale, a shore, confines
  11. Thy spacious and dilated parts. Here’s Nestor,
  12. Instructed by the antiquary times;
  13. He must, he is, he cannot but be wise.
  14. But pardon, father Nestor, were your days
  15. As green as Ajax’, and your brain so temper’d,
  16. You should not have the eminence of him,
  17. But be as Ajax.

Ajax

271
  1.                 Shall I call you father?

Nestor

272
  1. Ay, my good son.

Diomedes

273
  1.                  Be rul’d by him, Lord Ajax.

Ulysses

274 - 280
  1. There is no tarrying here, the hart Achilles
  2. Keeps thicket. Please it our great general
  3. To call together all his state of war.
  4. Fresh kings are come to Troy; tomorrow
  5. We must with all our main of power stand fast;
  6. And here’s a lordcome knights from east to west,
  7. And cull their flower, Ajax shall cope the best.

Agamemnon

281 - 282
  1. Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep:
  2. Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep.
  1. Exeunt.
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