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Of Nature be corrupted through affection,
If Helen then be wife to Sparta's King,
Troi. Why, there you touch'd the life of our defign:
Het. I am yours,
You valiant Off-fpring of great Priamus;
SCENE, before Achilles's Tent, in the Grecian Camp.
Enter Therfites folus.
OW now, Therfites? what, loft in the labyrinth of it thus?
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 !
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 !
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?
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.
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. 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?
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,
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,
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,
Aga. Hear you, Patroclus;
We are too well acquainted with these answers;
Much Attribute he hath, and much the reason