ACT V
Scene 1.
 

The Grecian camp. Before the tent of ACHILLES

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 needs these tricks?

THERSITES
Prithee, be silent, boy; I profit not by thy talk; thou
art said 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
in the back, lethargies, cold palsies, raw eyes, dirt-rotten
livers, wheezing lungs, bladders full of imposthume, sciaticas,
limekilns i' th' 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 sleid silk, thou green sarcenet flap for a sore eye,
thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the poor world is
pest'red with such water-flies-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!

Exit with PATROCLUS

THERSITES
With too much blood and too little brain these two may
run mad; but, if with too much brain and to 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 ear-wax; 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 put-tock, 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!
sprites 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.

Re-enter ACHILLES

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, 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 all but THERSITES

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
Troyan drab, and uses the traitor Calchas' tent. I'll after.
Nothing but lechery! All incontinent varlets!

Exit