Puslapio vaizdai

Of Nature be corrupted through affection,
And that great minds, of partial indulgence
To their benummed wills, refift the fame;
There is a law in each well-order'd Nation,
To curb thofe raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and refractory.

If Helen then be wife to Sparta's King,
(As, it is known, fhe is) thefe moral laws
Of Nature, and of Nation, speak aloud
To have her back return'd. Thus to perfift
In doing wrong, extenuates not wrong,
But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion
Is this in way of truth; yet ne'ertheless,
My sprightly brethren, I propend to you
In refolution to keep Helen ftill;
For 'tis a caufe that hath no mean dependance
Upon our joint and several Dignities.

Troi. Why, there you touch'd the life of our defign:
Were it not Glory that we more affected
Than the performance of our heaving fpleens,
I would not wish a drop of Trojan blood
Spent more in her defence. But, worthy Hector,
She is a theam of Honour and Renown,
A fpur to valiant and magnanimous deeds,
Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
And Fame, in time to come, canonize us.
For, I prefume, brave Hector would not lofe
So rich advantage of a promis'd Glory,
As fmiles upon the forehead of this Action,
For the wide World's revenue.

Het. I am yours,

You valiant Off-fpring of great Priamus;
I have a roifting Challenge fent amongst
The dull and factious Nobles of the Greeks,
Will strike amazement to their drowfie fpirits.
I was advertiz'd, their great General flept,
Whilft Emulation in the Army crept.
This, I prefume, will wake him.



SCENE, before Achilles's Tent, in the Grecian Camp.

Enter Therfites folus.

OW now, Therfites? what, loft in the labyrinth of it thus?


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he beats me, and I rail at him: O worthy fatisfaction! would it were otherwife; that I could beat him, whilft he rail'd at me: 'sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll fee fome iffue of my fpiteful execrations. Then there's Achilles, a rare engineer. If Troy be not taken 'till these two undermine it, the walls will stand 'till they fall of themselves. O thou great thunderdarter of Olympus, forget that thou art Jove the King of Gods; and, Mercury, lofe all the ferpentine craft of thy Caduceus, if thou take not that little, little, less than little wit from them that they have; which fhort-arm'd ignorance it felf knows is fo abundant fcarce, it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a fpider, without drawing the maffy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or rather the boneach, for that, methinks, is the Curse dependant on those that war for a Placket. I have faid my prayers, and devil Envy fay Amen. What ho! my lord Achilles !

Enter Patroclus.

Patr. Who's there? Therfites? Good Therfites, come in and rail.

Ther. If I could have remember'd a gilt counter, thou could'st not have flip'd out of my contemplation; but it is no matter, thy felf upon thy felf! The common curfe of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! heaven bless thee from a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy direction 'till thy death, then if fhe, that lays thee out, fays thou art a fair coarfe, I'll be fworn and fworn upon't, she never throwded any but Lazars; Amen. Where's Achilles?


Patr. What, art thou devout? waft thou in prayer? Ther. Ay, the heav'ns hear me !

Enter Achilles.

Achil. Who's there?

Patr. Therfites, my lord.

Achil. Where, where? art thou come? why, my cheese, my digestion- why haft thou not ferved thy felf up to my table, so many meals? come, what's Agamemnon?

Ther. Thy commander, Achilles; then tell me, Patroclus, what's Achilles?

Patr. Thy lord, Therfites: then tell me, I pray thee, what's thy felf?

Ther. Thy knower, Patroclus: then tell me, Patrodus, what art thou?

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Patr. Thou may'ft tell, that know'st.

Achil. O tell, tell,

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

- Patr. You rafcal

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, Therfites is a fool, and, as aforefaid, Patroclus is a fool.

Achil. Derive this; come.

Ther. Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles, Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon, Therfites is a fool to ferve fuch a fool, and Patroclus is a fool pofitive.

Patr. Why am I a fool?

Ther. Make that Demand to thy Creator ;-it fuffices me, thou art.

Enter Agamemnon, Ulyffes, Neftor, Diomedes, Ajax, and Calchas.

Look you, who comes here?

Achil. Patroclus, I'll fpeak with no body: come in with me, Therfites.

[Exit. Ther.

Ther. Here is fuch patchery, fuch jugling, and fuch knavery all the argument is a cuckold and a whore, a good quarrel to draw emulous factions, and bleed to death upon now the dry Serpigo on the fubject, and war and lechery confound all! [Exit.

Aga. Where is Achilles?
Patr. Within his Tent, but ill difpos'd, my lord.
Aga. Let it be known to him that we are here.
He fhent our meffengers, and we lay by (22)
Our appertainments, vifiting 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 fhall fo fay to him.

Ulyf. We faw him at the opening of his Tent, He is not fick.


Ajax. Yes, lion-fick, fick 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 fhew 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, Therfites?

Ulf. He.

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

(22) He fent our Meffengers ;] Who fent, in the Name of Accuracy? What! did Achilles fend the Meffengers, who were fent by Agamemnon ? I make no doubt, but the Poet wrote;

He fhent our Messengers;

i. e. rebuked, ill-treated, rated out of his Prefence. As, in Anthony, Auguftus complains of the like Treatment from that Prince;

Did pocket up my Letters, and with Taunts

Did gibe my Miffives out of Audience.

The word bent, difgraced, fhamed, (from aquilos, as fome Etymologifts tell us ;) is frequent both in Chaucer and Spenfer; and occurrs more than once again in our Author.

Clown. Alas, Sir, be patient. What Say you, Sir? I am fhent for Speaking to you,


How in my Words foever the be fhent,
To give them Seals never my Soul consent.


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

Neft. All the better; their fraction is more our with than their faction; but it was a ftrong counsel, that a fool could difunite.

Uly. The amity, that wisdom knits not, folly may eafily untye,

Enter Patroclus.

Here comes Patroclus.

Neft. No Achilles with him?

Ulyf. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtefie; His legs are for neceffity, not flexure.

Patr. Achilles bids me fay, he is much forry,
If any thing more than your sport and pleasure
Did move your Greatness, and this noble State,
To call on him; he hopes, it is no other,
But for your health and your digestion-fake;
An after-dinner's breath.

Aga. Hear you, Patroclus;

We are too well acquainted with these answers;
But his evafion, wing'd thus fwift with fcorn,
Cannot outflie our apprehenfions.

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 lofe their glofs;
And, like fair fruit in an unwholetom difh,
Are like to rot untafted. Go and tell him,
We come to speak with him; and you fhall not fin,
If you do fay, we think him over-proud,
In felf-affumption greater than in note
Of judgment: fay, men worthier than himself
Here tend the favage ftrangeness he puts on,
Difguife the holy ftrength of their command,
And under-goe in an observing kind
His humourous predominance; yea, watch
His courfe and times, his ebbs and flows; as if
The paffage and whole carriage of this action
Rode on his tide. Go tell him this, and add,


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