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Heavens, what a man is there! a very horse;
That has he knows not what. Nature, what things
Moft abject in regard, and dear in use!
What things again moit dear in the esteem,
in worth! Now shall we see to-morrow
* An act that very chance doth throw upon him,
Ajax renown'd. O heavens, what some men do,
While some men leave to do!
How some men creep in skittish fortune's hall,
While others play the ideots in her eyes !
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is feasting in his wantonness!
To see these Grecian lords !--why, even already
They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder ;
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
And great Troy shrinking.
Achil. I do believe it: for they pass’d by me,
As misers do by beggars; neither gave to me
Good word, nor look : What are my deeds forgot?
Ull. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-fiz'd monster of ingratitudes :
Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devour'd
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done : Perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honour bright: To have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty 8 mail
An af]-B, an a£t.
creep, &c.] - kulk, secrete themselves from fortune's notice, whilft others, though they only play the ideot, keep constantly in the way of her favours.
Huw one man eats, &c.]—What advantages doth the active man derive from the opportunities, which the indolence of pride neglects --fufting, &c. while the slave of pride impolitickiy abitains from the field, 8 mail]-suit of armour,
In monumental mockery. Take the instant way;
For honour travels in a streight so narrow,
Where one but goes a breast : keep then the path :
For emulation hath a thousand sons,
That one by one pursue; If you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an entred tide, they all rulh by,
And leave you hindmost;
Or like a gallant horse fallen in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
O'er run and trampled on: Then what they do in pre-
Though less than yours in paft, must o'er-top yours:
For time is like a fashionable host,
That nightly shakes his parting guest by the hand;
And with his arm out-ftretch'd, as he would fly,
Grasps-in the comer: Welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out fighing. O, let not virtue seek
Remuneration for the thing it was; for beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world - kin,
That all, with one consent, praise new-born gawds,
Though they are made and moulded of things past;
And shew to dust, that is a little gilt,
More laud than 'gilt o'er-dufted.
The present eye praises the present object :
Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax ;
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye,
Than what not stirs. The cry went once on thee,
And still it might, and yet it may again,
i gili o'er-dufted.]-gold much tarnished.
If thou wouldīt not entomb thyself alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds, but in these fields of late,
* Marie emulous miflions ’mongst the gods themselves,
And drave great Mars to faction.
Abil. Of this my privacy
I have strong reasons.
Ulyl. But 'gainst your privacy
The reasons are more potent and heroical:
'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
With one of Priam's daughters.
Achil. Ha! known?
Ulyl. Is that a wonder?
The providence that's in a watchful state,
Knows almost every grain of 'Pluto's gold;
Finds bottom in the " uncomprehensive deeps ;
Keeps place with thought; and almost, like the gods,
Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
• There is a mystery (with whom relation
Durst never meddle) in the soul of state;
Which hath an operation more divine,
Than breath, or pen, can give expressure to:
All the commerce that you have had with Troy,
As perfectly is Pours, as yours, my lord ;
And better would it fic Achilles much,
To throw down Hector, than Polyxena:
But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
When fame shall in our islands found her trump;
* Made emulous milions]-Caused the deities to challenge each other, and brought Mars himself into the Trojan files. Plutus'.
m uncomprehensive]-incomprehensible. * Keeps place with thought; &c.]—There is a kind of ubiquity in the providence of a state, as in that of the universe-pace.
There is a mystery, &c.]-A secret administration of affairs, which Do history was ever able to discover. i curs,]-within our knowiedge.
And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,
Great Hector's sister did Achilles win ;
But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.
Farewell, my lord: I as your lover speak;
The fool Nides o’er the ice that you should break. [Exit.
Patr. To this effect, Achilles, have I mov'd you:
A woman impudent and mannish grown
Is not more loath'd, than an effeminate man
In time of action. I stand condemn'd for this;
They think, my little stomach to the war,
And your great love to me, restrains
Sweet, rouse yourself; and the weak wanton Cupid
Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane,
Be shook to air.
Achil. Shall Ajax fight with Hector ?
Patr. Ay; and, perhaps, receive much honour by him.
Achil. I see, my reputation is at stake;
My fame is shrewdly gor’d.
Patr. O, then beware ;
Those wounds heal ill, that men do give themselves :
Omillion to do what is necessary
9 Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we fit idly in the sun.
Achil. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus ;
I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him
To invite the Trojan lords after the combat,
To see us here unarm’d: I have a woman's longing,
An appetite that I am sick withal,
To see great Hector in his weeds of peace ;
& Seals a commision to a blank of danger ;]—Enables that danger of dishonour, which could not reach us before, to lay hold on us-Exposes us to unknown dangers,
To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
Even to my full of view. A labour fav’d!
Ther. A wonder !
Ther. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for himself,
Achil. How so?
Ther. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector; and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling, that he raves in saying nothing.
Achil. How can that be?
Ther. Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, a ftride, and a stand: ruminates, like an hostess, that hath no arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning : bites his lip 'with a politic regard, as who should saythere were wit in his head, an 'twould out; and so there is ; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a fint, which will not shew without knocking. The man's undone for ever; for if Hector break not his neck i’the combat, he'll break it himself in vain-glory. He knows not me: I faid, Good-morrow, Ajax ; and he replies, Thanks, Aga
What think you of this man, that takes me for the general? He's grown a very land-fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion ! a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.
Achil. Thou must be my ambassador to him, Thersites.
Ther. Who, I? why, he'll answer no body; he profeffes not answering; speaking is for beggars ; he wears his tongue in his arms. I will put on his presence; let Patroclus make demands to me, you fall see the pageant
Witb a politic regard, ]—with an arch leer. sbe pageant)--the figure, the reprelentatic.