Re-enter ULYSSES

AJAX. I do hate a proud man as I do hate the engend'ring of toads.

NESTOR. [Aside] And yet he loves himself: is't not strange?

ULYSSES. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.

AGAMEMNON. What's his excuse?

ULYSSES. He doth rely on none; But carries on the stream of his dispose, Without observance or respect of any, In will peculiar and in self-admission.

AGAMEMNON. Why will he not, upon our fair request, Untent his person and share the air with us?

ULYSSES. Things small as nothing, for request's sake only, He makes important; possess'd he is with greatness, And speaks not to himself but with a pride That quarrels at self-breath. Imagin'd worth Holds in his blood such swol'n and hot discourse That 'twixt his mental and his active parts Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages, And batters down himself. What should I say? He is so plaguy proud that the death tokens of it Cry 'No recovery.'

AGAMEMNON. Let Ajax go to him. Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent. 'Tis said he holds you well; and will be led At your request a little from himself.

ULYSSES. O Agamemnon, let it not be so! We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes When they go from

ACHILLES. Shall the proud lord That bastes his arrogance with his own seam And never suffers matter of the world

Enter his thoughts, save such as doth revolve And ruminate himself-shall he be worshipp'd Of that we hold an idol more than he? No, this thrice-worthy and right valiant lord Shall not so stale his palm, nobly acquir'd, Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit, As amply titled as Achilles is, By going to

ACHILLES. That were to enlard his fat-already pride, And add more coals to Cancer when he burns With entertaining great Hyperion. This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid, And say in thunder 'Achilles go to him.'

NESTOR. [Aside] O, this is well! He rubs the vein of him.

DIOMEDES. [Aside] And how his silence drinks up this applause!

AJAX. If I go to him, with my armed fist I'll pash him o'er the face.

AGAMEMNON. O, no, you shall not go.

AJAX. An 'a be proud with me I'll pheeze his pride. Let me go to him.

ULYSSES. Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.

AJAX. A paltry, insolent fellow!

NESTOR. [Aside] How he describes himself!

AJAX. Can he not be sociable?

ULYSSES. [Aside] The raven chides blackness.

AJAX. I'll let his humours blood.

AGAMEMNON. [Aside] He will be the physician that should be the patient.

AJAX. An all men were a my mind-

ULYSSES. [Aside] Wit would be out of fashion.

AJAX. 'A should not bear it so, 'a should eat's words first. Shall pride carry it?

NESTOR. [Aside] An 'twould, you'd carry half.

ULYSSES. [Aside] 'A would have ten shares.

AJAX. I will knead him, I'll make him supple.

NESTOR. [Aside] He's not yet through warm. Force him with praises; pour in, pour in; his ambition is dry.

ULYSSES. [To AGAMEMNON] My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.

NESTOR. Our noble general, do not do so.

DIOMEDES. You must prepare to fight without


ULYSSES. Why 'tis this naming of him does him harm. Here is a man-but 'tis before his face; I will be silent.

NESTOR. Wherefore should you so? He is not emulous, as Achilles is.

ULYSSES. Know the whole world, he is as valiant.

AJAX. A whoreson dog, that shall palter with us thus! Would he were a Troyan!

NESTOR. What a vice were it in Ajax now-

ULYSSES. If he were proud.

DIOMEDES. Or covetous of praise.

ULYSSES. Ay, or surly borne.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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