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Troilus and Cressida - Act 5, scene 4
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Navigate this workTroilus and Cressida - Act 5, scene 4
Act 5, scene 4
A railing Thersites watches Troilus and Diomedes go off fighting and, surprised by Hector, escapes death only through the Trojan’s contemptuous mercy.⟨Alarum.⟩ Excursions. Enter Thersites.
THERSITES 3339 Now they are clapper-clawing one another.
3340 I’ll go look on. That dissembling abominable varlet,
3341 Diomed, has got that same scurvy doting foolish
3342 ⟨young⟩ knave’s sleeve of Troy there in his helm.
3343 5 I would fain see them meet, that that same young
3344 Trojan ass that loves the whore there might send
3345 that Greekish whoremasterly villain with the sleeve
3346 back to the dissembling luxurious drab, of a sleeveless
3347 errand. O’ th’ t’other side, the policy of those
3348 10 crafty swearing rascals—that stale old mouse-eaten
3349 dry cheese, Nestor, and that same dog-fox,
3350 Ulysses—is ⌜proved not⌝ worth a blackberry. They
3351 set me up, in policy, that mongrel cur, Ajax, against
3352 that dog of as bad a kind, Achilles. And now is the
3353 15 cur Ajax prouder than the cur Achilles, and will
3354 not arm today, whereupon the Grecians ⌜begin⌝ to
3355 proclaim barbarism, and policy grows into an ill
⟨Enter Diomedes, and Troilus ⌜pursuing him.⌝⟩
3357 Soft! Here comes sleeve and t’ other.
⌜Thersites moves aside.⌝
TROILUS, ⌜to Diomedes⌝
3358 20 Fly not, for shouldst thou take the river Styx
3359 I would swim after.
DIOMEDES 3360 Thou dost miscall retire.
p. 2473361 I do not fly, but advantageous care
3362 Withdrew me from the odds of multitude.
3363 25 Have at thee!⌜They fight.⌝
THERSITES 3364 Hold thy whore, Grecian! Now for thy
3365 whore, Trojan! Now the sleeve, now the sleeve!
⌜Diomedes and Troilus exit fighting.⌝
3366 What art ⟨thou,⟩ Greek? Art thou for Hector’s match?
3367 Art thou of blood and honor?
THERSITES 3368 30No, no, I am a rascal, a scurvy railing
3369 knave, a very filthy rogue.
HECTOR 3370 I do believe thee. Live.⌜He exits.⌝
THERSITES 3371 God-a-mercy, that thou wilt believe me!
3372 But a plague break thy neck for frighting me!
3373 35 What’s become of the wenching rogues? I think
3374 they have swallowed one another. I would laugh at
3375 that miracle—yet, in a sort, lechery eats itself. I’ll
3376 seek them.