« PreviousContinue »
Pan. Marry, at the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus' chin. 160 Cres. An't had been a green hair, I should have laughed too.
Pan. They laughed not so much at the hair as at his pretty answer.
Cres. What was his answer?
Pan. Quoth she, 'Here's but two-and-fifty hairs on your chin, and one of them is white.' Cres. This is her question.
Pan. That's true; make no question of that. 'Two-and-fifty hairs,' quoth he, and one white: that white hair is my father, and all the rest are his sons.' 'Jupiter!' quoth she, which of these hairs is Paris my husband?' 'The forked one,' quoth he; 'pluck 't out, and give it him.' But there was such laughing, and Helen so blushed, and Paris so chafed, and all the rest so laughed, that it passed.
Cres. So let it now, for it has been a great while going by.
Pan. Well, cousin, I told you a thing yesterday; think on 't.
Cres. So I do.
Pan. I'll be sworn 'tis true: he will weep you, an 'twere a man born in April.
Cres. And I'll spring up in his tears, an 'twere a nettle against May.
A retreat sounded,
Pan. Hark! they are coming from the field. Shall we stand up here, and see them as they pass toward Ilium? good niece, do; sweet niece
Cres. At your pleasure. Pan. Here, here; here's an excellent place: here we may see most bravely. I'll tell you them all by their names as they pass by, but
mark Troilus above the rest.
Cres. Speak not so loud.
ENEAS passes over the stage.
Pan. That's Eneas: is not that a brave man? he's one of the flowers of Troy, I can tell you: but mark Troilus; you shall see anon. Cres. Who's that?
ANTENOR passes over.
Pan. That's Hector, that, that, look you, that; there's a fellow! Go thy way, Hector! There's a brave man, niece. O brave Hector! Look how he looks! there's a countenance! Is 't not a brave man?
Cres. O a brave man.
Pan. Is a' not? It does a man's heart good. Look you what hacks are on his helmet! look you yonder, do you see? look you there: there's no jesting; there's laying on; take 't off who will, as they say: there be hacks!
Troilus! there's a man, niece! Hem! Brave
Cres. Peace! for shame, peace!
Look well upon him, niece: look you how his
Pan. Mark him; note him. O brave Troilus!
sword is bloodied, and his helin more hacked
than Hector's; and how he looks, and how he goes. O admirable youth! he ne'er saw threeand-twenty. Go thy way, Troilus, go thy way! Had I a sister were a grace, or a daughter a goddess, he should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris Paris is dirt to him; and,
I warrant, Helen, to change, would give an eye to boot.
Cres. Here come more.
Soldiers pass over.
Pan. Asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran, chaff and bran! porridge after meat! I could live and die i' the eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, ne'er look; the eagles are gone: crows and daws, crows and daws! I had rather be such a man as Troilus than Agamemnon and all Greece. s Cres. There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better man than Troilus.
Pan. Achilles! a drayman, a porter, a very camel.
Cres. Well, well.
Pan. 'Well, well!' Why, have you any discretion? have you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and so forth, the spice and salt that season a man?
Cres. Ay, a minced man: and then to be baked with no date in the pie, for then the man's date's out.
Pan. You are such a woman! one knows not at what ward you lie.
Cres. Upon my back, to defend my belly; upon my wit, to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend mine honesty; my mask, to Pan. Swords! any thing, he cares not; an the defend my beauty; and you, to defend all these:
Cres. Be those with swords?
and at all these wards I lie, at a thousand | To find persistive constancy in men: watches.
Pan. Say one of your watches.
Cres. Nay, I'll watch you for that; and that's one of the chiefest of them too: if I cannot ward what I would not have hit, I can watch you for telling how I took the blow; unless it swell past hiding, and then it's past watching. Pan. You are such another!
Boy. At your own house; there he unarms him.
Enter TROILUS's Boy.
Nest. With due observance of thy god-like seat,
Boy. Sir, my lord would instantly speak with Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply
But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
Bounding between the two moist elements,
Pan. Good boy, tell him I come. Exit Boy. I doubt he be hurt. Fare ye well, good niece. Cres. Adieu, uncle.
Pan. I'll be with you, niece, by and by.
Cres. To bring, uncle?
Pan. Ay, a token from Troilus.
Cres. By the same token, you are a bawd.
Men prize the thing ungain'd more than it is:
SCENE III.-The Grecian Camp. Before
Sennet. Enter AGAMEMNON, NESTOR, ULYSSES,
Thou great commander, nerve and bone of Greece,
To NESTOR. And thou most reverend for thy stretch'd-out life,
What grief hath set the jaundice on your cheeks?
I give to both your speeches, which were such
The fineness of which metal is not found
Do you with cheeks abash'd behold our works,
But the protractive trials of great Jove
As rous'd with rage, with rage doth sympathize,
Grow in the veins of actions highest rear'd;
That gave't surmised shape. Why then, you The specialty of rule hath been neglected:
And, look, how many Grecian tents do stand
What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded,
To his experienc'd tongue, yet let it please both,
Agam. Speak, Prince of Ithaca; and be 't of
That matter needless, of importless burden,
Ulyss. Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down, And the great Hector's sword had lack'da master, But for these instances.
Which is the ladder to all high designs,
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
The sinew and the forehand of our host,
And this neglection of degree it is
Aam. The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses, What is the remedy? Ulyss. The great Achilles, whom opinion
Lies mocking our designs. With him Patroclus
And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age
Nest. And in the imitation of these twain,
As broad Achilles; keeps his tent like him; 199
A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint,
Ulyss. They tax our policy, and call it cowardice;
Count wisdom as no member of the war ;
Of their observant toil the enemies' weight,-
Ene. May one, that is a herald and a prince, Do a fair message to his kingly ears?
Agam. Withsurety stronger than Achilles' arm 'Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice Call Agamemnon head and general.
If there be one among the fair'st of Greece That holds his honour higher than his ease, That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril,
That knows his valour, and knows not his fear, That loves his mistress more than in confession, With truant vows to her own lips he loves, And dare avow her beauty and her worth In other arms than hers,-to him this challenge. | Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks, Shall make it good, or do his best to do it, He hath a lady, wiser, fairer, truer, Than ever Greek did compass in his arms; And will to morrow with his trumpet call, Midway between your tents and walls of Troy, To rouse a Grecian that is true in love: If any come, Hector shall honour him ;
Ene. Fair leave and large security. How may If none, he 'll say in Troy when he retires,
A stranger to those most imperial looks Know them from eyes of other mortals? Agam.
I ask, that I might waken reverence,
Which is that god in office, guiding men? Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon? Agam. This Trojan scorns us; or the men of Troy
Are ceremonious courtiers.
Ene. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'd, As bending angels; that's their fame in peace: But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls,
Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and,
Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Eneas!
Agam. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself
Ene. Ay, Greek, that is my name.
Ene. Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears. Agam. He hears nought privately that comes from Troy.
Ene. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper
If none of them have soul in such a kind,
Agam. Fair Lord Eneas, let me touch your hand;
To our pavilion shall I lead you first.
Exeunt all but ULYSSES and NESTOR. Ulyss. Nestor!
Nest. What says Ulysses?
Ulyss. I have a young conception in my brain; Be you my time to bring it to some shape. Nest. What is 't?
Nest. The purpose is perspicuous even as substance,
Whose grossness little characters sum up: | And, in the publication, make no strain,
But that Achilles, were his brain as barren
Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think you?
Nest. Yes, 'tis most meet: whom may you else
That can from Hector bring his honour off,
For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute
To steel a strong opinion to themselves?
Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech :
Therefore 'tis meet Achilles meet not Hector.
Were he not proud, we all should wear with
Now I begin to relish thy advice;
Ajax. Thersites !
Ther. And those boils did run? say so: did not the general run then? were not that a botchy core?
Ther. Then would come some matter from him: I see none now.
Ajax. Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? Feel then. Strikes him. Ther. The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted lord!
Ajar. Speak then, thou vinewedst leaven, speak I will beat thee into handsomeness.
Ther. 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. Ther. Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus ?
But he already is too insolent;
And we were better parch in Afric sun
To Agamemnon: go we to him straight.
SCENE L-A Part of the Grecian Camp.
Ajax. Thersites !
Ther. Agamemnon, how if he had boils? full, all over, generally?
Ajax. The proclamation!
Ther. Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think. Ajax. Do not, porpentine, do not: my fingers itch.
Ther. I would thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scabin Greece. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another.
Ajax. I say, the proclamation !
Ther. 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 barkest at him.
Ajax. Mistress Thersites !
Ther. Thou should'st strike him.
Ther. He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a sailor breaks a biscuit.
Ajax. You whoreson cur!
Ther. Do, do.
Ajax. Thou stool for a witch!
Ther. Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego may tutor thee, thou scurvy. valiant ass! thou art here to thrash Trojans; 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!
Ther. You scurvy lord!
Ajax. You cur!
Beating him. Ther. Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do,