NESTOR. And in the imitation of these twain- Who, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns With an imperial voice-many are infect. Ajax is grown self-will'd and bears his head In such a rein, in full as proud a place As broad Achilles; keeps his tent like him; Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war Bold as an oracle, and sets Thersites, A slave whose gall coins slanders like a mint, To match us in comparisons with dirt, To weaken and discredit our exposure, How rank soever rounded in with danger.

ULYSSES. They tax our policy and call it cowardice, Count wisdom as no member of the war, Forestall prescience, and esteem no act But that of hand. The still and mental parts That do contrive how many hands shall strike When fitness calls them on, and know, by measure Of their observant toil, the enemies' weight- Why, this hath not a finger's dignity: They call this bed-work, mapp'ry, closet-war; So that the ram that batters down the wall, For the great swinge and rudeness of his poise, They place before his hand that made the engine, Or those that with the fineness of their souls By reason guide his execution.

NESTOR. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse Makes many Thetis' sons. [Tucket]

AGAMEMNON. What trumpet? Look,

MENELAUS.

MENELAUS. From Troy.

Enter AENEAS

AGAMEMNON. What would you fore our tent?

AENEAS. Is this great Agamemnon's tent, I pray you?

AGAMEMNON. Even this.

AENEAS. May one that is a herald and a prince Do a fair message to his kingly eyes?

AGAMEMNON. With surety stronger than Achilles' an Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice Call Agamemnon head and general.

AENEAS. Fair leave and large security. How may A stranger to those most imperial looks Know them from eyes of other mortals?

AGAMEMNON. How?

AENEAS. Ay; I ask, that I might waken reverence, And bid the cheek be ready with a blush Modest as Morning when she coldly eyes The youthful Phoebus. Which is that god in office, guiding men? Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?

AGAMEMNON. This Troyan scorns us, or the men of Troy Are ceremonious courtiers.

AENEAS. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'd, As bending angels; that's their fame in peace. But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls, Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and, Jove's accord, Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Aeneas, Peace, Troyan; lay thy finger on thy lips. The worthiness of praise distains his worth, If that the prais'd himself bring the praise forth; But what the repining enemy commends, That breath fame blows; that praise, sole pure, transcends.

AGAMEMNON. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Aeneas?

AENEAS. Ay, Greek, that is my name.

AGAMEMNON. What's your affair, I pray you?

AENEAS. Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears.

AGAMEMNON. He hears nought privately that comes from Troy.

AENEAS. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper with him; I bring a trumpet to awake his ear, To set his sense on the attentive bent, And then to speak.

AGAMEMNON. Speak frankly as the wind; It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour. That thou shalt know, Troyan, he is awake, He tells thee so himself.

The History of Troilus and Cressida Page 11

William Shakespeare Plays

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