Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Troilus and Cressida > Act V, scene I


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.


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!


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!

	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.


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.


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!



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