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Home > Troilus and Cressida > ACT II - SCENE I. A part of the Grecian camp.

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ACT II - SCENE I. A part of the Grecian camp.
Enter AJAX and THERSITES

AJAX
1    Thersites!
THERSITES
2    Agamemnon, how if he had boils? full, all over,
3    generally?
AJAX
4    Thersites!
THERSITES
5    And those boils did run? say so: did not the
6    general run then? were not that a botchy core?
AJAX
7    Dog!
THERSITES
8    Then would come some matter from him; I see none now.
AJAX
9    Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear?
Beating him
10   Feel, then.
THERSITES
11   The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel
12   beef-witted lord!
AJAX
13   Speak then, thou vinewedst leaven, speak: I will
14   beat thee into handsomeness.
THERSITES
15   I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness: but,
16   I think, thy horse will sooner con an oration than
17   thou learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike,
18   canst thou? a red murrain o' thy jade's tricks!
AJAX
19   Toadstool, learn me the proclamation.
THERSITES
20   Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?
AJAX
21   The proclamation!
THERSITES
22   Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think.
AJAX
23   Do not, porpentine, do not: my fingers itch.
THERSITES
24   I would thou didst itch from head to foot and I had
25   the scratching of thee; I would make thee the
26   loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth in
27   the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another.
AJAX
28   I say, the proclamation!
THERSITES
29   Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles,
30   and thou art as full of envy at his greatness as
31   Cerberus is at Proserpine's beauty, ay, that thou
32   barkest at him.
AJAX
33   Mistress Thersites!
THERSITES
34   Thou shouldest strike him.
AJAX
35   Cobloaf!
THERSITES
36   He would pun thee into shivers with his fist, as a
37   sailor breaks a biscuit.
AJAX
Beating him
38    You whoreson cur!
THERSITES
39   Do, do.
AJAX
40   Thou stool for a witch!
THERSITES
41   Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no
42   more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego
43   may tutor thee: thou scurvy-valiant ass! thou art
44   here but to thrash Trojans; and thou art bought and
45   sold among those of any wit, like a barbarian slave.
46   If thou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel, and
47   tell what thou art by inches, thou thing of no
48   bowels, thou!
AJAX
49   You dog!
THERSITES
50   You scurvy lord!
AJAX
Beating him
51    You cur!
THERSITES
52   Mars his idiot! do, rudeness; do, camel; do, do.
Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS

ACHILLES
53   Why, how now, Ajax! wherefore do you thus? How now,
54   Thersites! what's the matter, man?
THERSITES
55   You see him there, do you?
ACHILLES
56   Ay; what's the matter?
THERSITES
57   Nay, look upon him.
ACHILLES
58   So I do: what's the matter?
THERSITES
59   Nay, but regard him well.
ACHILLES
60   'Well!' why, I do so.
THERSITES
61   But yet you look not well upon him; for whosoever you
62   take him to be, he is Ajax.
ACHILLES
63   I know that, fool.
THERSITES
64   Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
AJAX
65   Therefore I beat thee.
THERSITES
66   Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his
67   evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his
68   brain more than he has beat my bones: I will buy
69   nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not
70   worth the nineth part of a sparrow. This lord,
71   Achilles, Ajax, who wears his wit in his belly and
72   his guts in his head, I'll tell you what I say of
73   him.
ACHILLES
74   What?
THERSITES
75   I say, this Ajax--
Ajax offers to beat him

ACHILLES
76   Nay, good Ajax.
THERSITES
77   Has not so much wit--
ACHILLES
78   Nay, I must hold you.
THERSITES
79   As will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for whom he
80   comes to fight.
ACHILLES
81   Peace, fool!
THERSITES
82   I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will
83   not: he there: that he: look you there.
AJAX
84   O thou damned cur! I shall--
ACHILLES
85   Will you set your wit to a fool's?
THERSITES
86   No, I warrant you; for a fools will shame it.
PATROCLUS
87   Good words, Thersites.
ACHILLES
88   What's the quarrel?
AJAX
89   I bade the vile owl go learn me the tenor of the
90   proclamation, and he rails upon me.
THERSITES
91   I serve thee not.
AJAX
92   Well, go to, go to.
THERSITES
93   I serve here voluntarily.
ACHILLES
94   Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not
95   voluntary: no man is beaten voluntary: Ajax was
96   here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.
THERSITES
97   E'en so; a great deal of your wit, too, lies in your
98   sinews, or else there be liars. Hector have a great
99   catch, if he knock out either of your brains: a'
100  were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.
ACHILLES
101  What, with me too, Thersites?
THERSITES
102  There's Ulysses and old Nestor, whose wit was mouldy
103  ere your grandsires had nails on their toes, yoke you
104  like draught-oxen and make you plough up the wars.
ACHILLES
105  What, what?
THERSITES
106  Yes, good sooth: to, Achilles! to, Ajax! to!
AJAX
107  I shall cut out your tongue.
THERSITES
108  'Tis no matter! I shall speak as much as thou
109  afterwards.
PATROCLUS
110  No more words, Thersites; peace!
THERSITES
111  I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall I?
ACHILLES
112  There's for you, Patroclus.
THERSITES
113  I will see you hanged, like clotpoles, ere I come
114  any more to your tents: I will keep where there is
115  wit stirring and leave the faction of fools.
Exit

PATROCLUS
116  A good riddance.
ACHILLES
117  Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through all our host:
118  That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun,
119  Will with a trumpet 'twixt our tents and Troy
120  To-morrow morning call some knight to arms
121  That hath a stomach; and such a one that dare
122  Maintain--I know not what: 'tis trash. Farewell.
AJAX
123  Farewell. Who shall answer him?
ACHILLES
124  I know not: 'tis put to lottery; otherwise
125  He knew his man.
AJAX
126  O, meaning you. I will go learn more of it.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IIIACT II, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
  • PROLOGUE


  • ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X

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