William Shakespeare: The History of Troilus and Cressida

SCENE 3. The Grecian camp. Before the tent of ACHILLES

[Enter THERSITES, solus.]

How now, Thersites! What, lost in the labyrinth of thy
fury? Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? He beats me, and I
rail at him. O worthy satisfaction! Would it were otherwise: that
I could beat him, whilst he rail'd at me! 'Sfoot, I'll learn to
conjure and raise devils, but I'll see some issue of my spiteful
execrations. Then there's Achilles, a rare engineer! If Troy be
not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till
they fall of themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus,
forget that thou art Jove, the king of gods, and, Mercury, lose
all the serpentine craft of thy caduceus, if ye take not that
little little less-than-little wit from them that they have!
which short-arm'd ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce,
it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider without
drawing their massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the
vengeance on the whole camp! or, rather, the Neapolitan
bone-ache! for that, methinks, is the curse depending on those
that war for a placket. I have said my prayers; and devil Envy
say 'Amen.' What ho! my Lord Achilles!


Who's there? Thersites! Good Thersites, come in and rail.

If I could 'a rememb'red a gilt counterfeit, thou
wouldst not have slipp'd out of my contemplation; but it is no
matter; thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankind, folly
and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! Heaven bless thee from
a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy
direction till thy death. Then if she that lays thee out says
thou art a fair corse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't she never
shrouded any but lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles?

What, art thou devout? Wast thou in prayer?

Ay, the heavens hear me!



Who's there?

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