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Act V

Scene I

The Grecian camp. Before Achilles' tent

Enter Achilles and Patroclus

Achilles

I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine to-night,
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Act V

Scene I

The Grecian camp. Before Achilles' tent

Enter Achilles and Patroclus

Achilles

I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine to-night,
Which with my scimitar I'll cool to-morrow.
Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.

Patroclus

Here comes Thersites.

Enter Thersites

Achilles

How now, thou core of envy!
Thou crusty batch of nature, what's the news?

Thersites

Why, thou picture of what thou seemest, and idol of idiot worshippers, here's a letter for thee.

Achilles

From whence, fragment?

Thersites

Why, thou full dish of fool, from Troy.

Patroclus

Who keeps the tent now?

Thersites

The surgeon's box, or the patient's wound.

Patroclus

Well said, adversity! and what need these tricks?

Thersites

Prithee, be silent, boy; I profit not by thy talk: thou art thought to be Achilles' male varlet.

Patroclus

Male varlet, you rogue! what's that?

Thersites

Why, his masculine whore. Now, the rotten diseases of the south, the guts-griping, ruptures, catarrhs, loads o' gravel i' the back, lethargies, cold palsies, raw eyes, dirt-rotten livers, wheezing lungs, bladders full of imposthume, sciaticas, limekilns i' the palm, incurable bone-ache, and the rivelled fee-simple of the tetter, take and take again such preposterous discoveries!

Patroclus

Why thou damnable box of envy, thou, what meanest thou to curse thus?

Thersites

Do I curse thee?

Patroclus

Why no, you ruinous butt, you whoreson indistinguishable cur, no.

Thersites

No! why art thou then exasperate, thou idle immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou green sarcenet flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the poor world is pestered with such waterflies, diminutives of nature!

Patroclus

Out, gall!

Thersites

Finch-egg!

Achilles

My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite
From my great purpose in to-morrow's battle.
Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba,
A token from her daughter, my fair love,
Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it:
Fall Greeks; fail fame; honour or go or stay;
My major vow lies here, this I'll obey.
Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent:
This night in banqueting must all be spent.
Away, Patroclus!

Exeunt Achilles and Patroclus

Thersites

With too much blood and too little brain, these two may run mad; but, if with too much brain and too little blood they do, I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnon, an honest fellow enough and one that loves quails; but he has not so much brain as earwax: and the goodly transformation of Jupiter there, his brother, the bull,—the primitive statue, and oblique memorial of cuckolds; a thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, hanging at his brother's leg,—to what form but that he is, should wit larded with malice and malice forced with wit turn him to? To an ass, were nothing; he is both ass and ox: to an ox, were nothing; he is both ox and ass. To be a dog, a mule, a cat, a fitchew, a toad, a lizard, an owl, a puttock, or a herring without a roe, I would not care; but to be Menelaus, I would conspire against destiny. Ask me not, what I would be, if I were not Thersites; for I care not to be the louse of a lazar, so I were not Menelaus! Hey-day! spirits and fires!

Enter Hector, Troilus, Ajax, Agamemnon, Ulysses, Nestor, Menelaus, and Diomedes, with lights

Agamemnon

We go wrong, we go wrong.

Ajax

No, yonder 'tis;
There, where we see the lights.

Hector

I trouble you.

Ajax

No, not a whit.

Ulysses

Here comes himself to guide you.

Re-enter Achilles

Achilles

Welcome, brave Hector; welcome, princes all.

Agamemnon

So now, fair prince of Troy, I bid good night.
Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.

Hector

Thanks and good night to the Greeks' general.

Menelaus

Good night, my lord.

Hector

Good night, sweet lord Menelaus.

Thersites

Sweet draught: 'sweet' quoth 'a! sweet sink, sweet sewer.

Achilles

Good night and welcome, both at once, to those
That go or tarry.

Agamemnon

Good night.

Exeunt Agamemnon and Menelaus

Achilles

Old Nestor tarries; and you too, Diomed,
Keep Hector company an hour or two.

Diomedes

I cannot, lord; I have important business,
The tide whereof is now. Good night, great Hector.

Hector

Give me your hand.

Ulysses

Aside to Troilus

Follow his torch; he goes to
Calchas' tent:
I'll keep you company.

Troilus

Sweet sir, you honour me.

Hector

And so, good night.

Exit Diomedes; Ulysses and Troilus following

Achilles

Come, come, enter my tent.

Exeunt Achilles, Hector, Ajax, and Nestor

Thersites

That same Diomed's a false-hearted rogue, a most unjust knave; I will no more trust him when he leers than I will a serpent when he hisses: he will spend his mouth, and promise, like Brabbler the hound: but when he performs, astronomers foretell it; it is prodigious, there will come some change; the sun borrows of the moon, when Diomed keeps his word. I will rather leave to see Hector, than not to dog him: they say he keeps a Trojan drab, and uses the traitor Calchas' tent: I'll after. Nothing but lechery! all incontinent varlets!

Exit

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