Document: All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Troilus and Cressida > Act V, scene I
[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.
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!
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.
[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.
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,
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
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!
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA