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Troilus and Cressida - Act 5, scene 1
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Navigate this workTroilus and Cressida - Act 5, scene 1
Act 5, scene 1
Achilles receives a letter from Queen Hecuba of Troy requiring him to keep an oath he has sworn to seek peace with the Trojans. He decides to keep the oath, in spite of his challenge to Hector. As Hector and some of the Greeks gather at Achilles’ tent, Diomedes leaves to join Cressida. Ulysses and Troilus follow him, followed in turn by Thersites.Enter Achilles and Patroclus.
2883 I’ll heat his blood with Greekish wine tonight,
2884 Which with my scimitar I’ll cool tomorrow.
2885 Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.
2886 Here comes Thersites.
ACHILLES 2887 5 How now, thou ⟨core⟩ of envy?
2888 Thou crusty ⌜botch⌝ of nature, what’s the news?
THERSITES 2889 Why, thou picture of what thou seemest and
2890 idol of idiot-worshippers, here’s a letter for thee.
ACHILLES 2891 From whence, fragment?
THERSITES 2892 10Why, thou full dish of fool, from Troy.
⌜Achilles takes the letter and moves aside to read it.⌝
PATROCLUS 2893 Who keeps the tent now?
THERSITES 2894 The surgeon’s box or the patient’s wound.
PATROCLUS 2895 Well said, adversity. And what ⟨need these⟩
THERSITES 2897 15Prithee, be silent, ⟨boy.⟩ I profit not by thy
2898 talk. Thou art said to be Achilles’ male varlet.
PATROCLUS 2899 “Male varlet,” you rogue! What’s that?
THERSITES 2900 Why, his masculine whore. Now the rotten
2901 diseases of the south, the guts-griping, ruptures,
p. 2132902 20 ⟨catarrhs,⟩ loads o’ gravel in the back, lethargies,
2903 cold palsies, [raw eyes, dirt-rotten livers, whissing
2904 lungs, bladders full of impostume, sciaticas,
2905 limekilns i’ th’ palm, incurable bone-ache, and the
2906 rivelled fee-simple of the tetter,] take and take
2907 25 again such preposterous discoveries.
PATROCLUS 2908 Why, thou damnable box of envy, thou,
2909 what means thou to curse thus?
THERSITES 2910 Do I curse thee?
PATROCLUS 2911 Why, no, you ruinous butt, you whoreson
2912 30 indistinguishable cur, no.
THERSITES 2913 No? Why art thou then exasperate, thou idle
2914 immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou green sarsenet
2915 flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal’s purse,
2916 thou? Ah, how the poor world is pestered with such
2917 35 waterflies, diminutives of nature!
PATROCLUS 2918 Out, gall!
THERSITES 2919 Finch egg!
ACHILLES, ⌜coming forward⌝
2920 My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite
2921 From my great purpose in tomorrow’s battle.
2922 40 Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba,
2923 A token from her daughter, my fair love,
2924 Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
2925 An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it.
2926 Fall, Greeks; fail, fame; honor, or go or stay;
2927 45 My major vow lies here; this I’ll obey.
2928 Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent.
2929 This night in banqueting must all be spent.
2930 Away, Patroclus.⟨He exits ⌜with Patroclus.⌝⟩
THERSITES 2931 With too much blood and too little brain,
2932 50 these two may run mad; but if with too much brain
2933 and too little blood they do, I’ll be a curer of madmen.
2934 Here’s Agamemnon, an honest fellow enough
2935 and one that loves quails, but he has not so much
2936 brain as earwax. And the goodly transformation
p. 2152937 55 of Jupiter there, his ⟨brother,⟩ the bull—the primitive
2938 statue and oblique memorial of cuckolds, a
2939 thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, ⟨hanging⟩ at his
2940 ⟨brother’s⟩ leg—to what form but that he is should
2941 wit larded with malice and malice ⟨forced⟩ with
2942 60 wit turn him to? To an ass were nothing; he is both
2943 ass and ox. To an ox were nothing; ⟨he is⟩ both ox
2944 and ass. To be a ⟨dog,⟩ a ⟨mule,⟩ a cat, a fitchew, a
2945 toad, a lizard, an owl, a puttock, or a herring without
2946 a roe, I would not care; but to be Menelaus! I
2947 65 would conspire against destiny. Ask me ⟨not⟩ what I
2948 would be, if I were not Thersites, for I care not to be
2949 the louse of a lazar so I were not Menelaus.
Enter ⟨Hector,⟩ ⌜Troilus,⌝ ⟨Ajax,⟩ Agamemnon, Ulysses,
Nestor, ⌜Menelaus,⌝ and Diomedes, with lights.
2950 Heyday! Sprites and fires!
AGAMEMNON 2951 We go wrong, we go wrong.
2952 70 No, yonder—’tis there, where we see the lights.
HECTOR 2953 I trouble you.
AJAX 2954 No, not a whit.
ULYSSES, ⌜to Hector⌝ 2955 Here comes himself to guide you.
2956 Welcome, brave Hector. Welcome, princes all.
AGAMEMNON, ⌜to Hector⌝
2957 75 So now, fair prince of Troy, I bid good night.
2958 Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.
2959 Thanks, and good night to the Greeks’ general.
2960 Good night, my lord.
HECTOR 2961 Good night, sweet lord
2962 80 Menelaus.
p. 217THERSITES, ⌜aside⌝ 2963 Sweet draught. “Sweet,” quoth he?
2964 Sweet sink, sweet sewer.
2965 Good night and welcome, both ⟨at once⟩, to those
2966 That go or tarry.
AGAMEMNON 2967 85Good night.
Agamemnon ⌜and⌝ Menelaus exit.
2968 Old Nestor tarries, and you too, Diomed.
2969 Keep Hector company an hour or two.
2970 I cannot, lord. I have important business,
2971 The tide whereof is now.—Good night, great Hector.
HECTOR 2972 90Give me your hand.
ULYSSES, ⌜aside to Troilus⌝
2973 Follow his torch; he goes to Calchas’ tent.
2974 I’ll keep you company.
TROILUS 2975 Sweet sir, you honor me.
2976 And so, good night.
⌜Diomedes exits, followed by Troilus and Ulysses.⌝
ACHILLES 2977 95 Come, come, enter my tent.
⌜Achilles, Ajax, Nestor, and Hector⌝ exit.
THERSITES 2978 That same Diomed’s a false-hearted rogue,
2979 a most unjust knave. I will no more trust him when
2980 he leers than I will a serpent when he hisses. He
2981 will spend his mouth and promise like Brabbler
2982 100 the hound, but when he performs, astronomers
2983 foretell it; it is prodigious, there will come some
2984 change. The sun borrows of the moon when
2985 Diomed keeps his word. I will rather leave to see
2986 Hector than not to dog him. They say he keeps a
2987 105 Trojan drab and uses the traitor Calchas ⟨his⟩ tent.
2988 I’ll after. Nothing but lechery! All incontinent varlets!