ACT V. SCENE 4. The plain between Troy and the Grecian camp


THERSITES. Excursions

THERSITES. Now they are clapper-clawing one another; I'll go look on. That dissembling abominable varlet, Diomed, has got that same scurvy doting foolish young knave's sleeve of Troy there in his helm. I would fain see them meet, that that same young Troyan ass that loves the whore there might send that Greekish whoremasterly villain with the sleeve back to the dissembling luxurious drab of a sleeve-less errand. A th' t'other side, the policy of those crafty swearing rascals-that stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese, Nestor, and that same dog-fox, Ulysses -is not prov'd worth a blackberry. They set me up, in policy, that mongrel cur, Ajax, against that dog of as bad a kind, Achilles; and now is the cur, Ajax prouder than the cur Achilles, and will not arm to-day; whereupon the Grecians begin to proclaim barbarism, and policy grows into an ill opinion.

Enter DIOMEDES, TROILUS following

Soft! here comes sleeve, and t'other.

TROILUS. Fly not; for shouldst thou take the river Styx I would swim after.

DIOMEDES. Thou dost miscall retire. I do not fly; but advantageous care Withdrew me from the odds of multitude. Have at thee.

THERSITES. Hold thy whore, Grecian; now for thy whore, Troyan-now the sleeve, now the sleeve!

Exeunt TROILUS and DIOMEDES fighting


HECTOR. What art thou, Greek? Art thou for Hector's match? Art thou of blood and honour?

THERSITES. No, no-I am a rascal; a scurvy railing knave; a very filthy rogue.

HECTOR. I do believe thee. Live.


THERSITES. God-a-mercy, that thou wilt believe me; but a plague break thy neck for frighting me! What's become of the wenching rogues? I think they have swallowed one another. I would laugh at that miracle. Yet, in a sort, lechery eats itself. I'll seek them.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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