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hanging at his brother's leg, to what form, but that he is, should wit larded with malice, and malice forced with wit,o turn him to? To an ass, were nothing; he is both ass and ox: to an ox were nothing; he is both ox and ass. To be a dog, a mule, a cat, a fitchew, a toad, a lizard, an owl, a puttock, or a herring without a roe, I would not care: but to be Menelaus,— I would conspire against destiny. Ask me not what I would be, if I were not Thersites; for I care not to be the louse of a lazar, so I were not Menelaus.-Hey-day! spirits and fires ! Enter HECTOR, TROILUS, AJAX, AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR, MENELAUS, and DIOMED, with Lights. Agam. We go wrong, we go wrong. Ajax.
No, yonder 'tis; There, where we see the lights. Hect.
I trouble you. Ajax. No, not a whit.
Here comes himself to guide you.
Enter ACHILLES. Achil. Welcome, brave Hector; welcome, princes all. Agam. So now, fair prince of Troy, I bid good night.
9 forced with wit, ] Stuffed with wit. A term of cookery. In this speech I do not well understand what is meant by loving quails. Yohnson
By loving quails the poet may mean loving the company of har. lots A quail is remarkably salacious. Mr. Upton says that Xenophon, in his memoirs of Socrates, has taken notice of this quality in the bird. A similar allusion occurs in The Hollander, a comedy, by Glapthorne, 1640:
“ the hot desire of quails,
"To yours is modest appetite.” Steevens. In old French, caille was synonymous to fille de joie. In the Dict. Comique par le Roux, under the article caille, are these words:
“ Chaud comme une caille.
“ Caille coeffée, --Sobriquet qu'on donne aux femmes. Sig. nifie femme eveillée, amoureuse.”
So, in Rabelais:"Cailles coiffées mignonnement chantans ;" which Motteux has thus rendered (probably from the old trans. lation): “coated quails and laced mutton, waggishly singing."
Malone. 1 a fitchew,] i. e. a polecat. So, in Othello: "'Tis such another fitchew, marry a perfum'd one " Steevens.
2- spirits and fires! This Thersites speaks upon the first sight of the distant lights. Johnson.
Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.
Hect. Thanks, and good night, to the Greeks' general,
. Good night, sweet Menelaus.s Ther. Sweet draught:4 Sweet, quoth 'a! sweet sink, sweet sewer.
Achil. Good night,
Agam. Good night. [Exeunt AGAM, and Mex.
Achil. Old Nestor tarries; and you too, Diomed,
Dio. I cannot, lord; I have important business,
Hect. Give me your hand.
Follow his torch, he goes To Calchas' tent; I'll keep you company.
[Aside to TROI. Tro. Sweet sir, you honour me. Hect.
And so good night. [Exit Dio.; Ulyss. and Tror. following. Achil. Come, come, enter my tent.
[Exeunt AchiL. HECT. AJAX, and NEST. Ther. That same Diomed 's a false-hearted rogue, a most unjust knave; I will no more trust him when he leers, than I will a serpent when he hisses: he will spend his mouth, and promise, like Brabler the hound;5 but when he performs, astronomers foretell it; it is · prodigious, 6 there will come some change; the sun borrows of the moon, when Diomed keeps his word. I will rather leave to see Hector than not to dog him : they say, he keeps a Trojan drab,? and uses the traitor
3- sweet Menelaus. ] Old, copy, redundantly,-sweet lord Menelaus. Steevens.
4 Sweet draught:] Draught is the old word for forica. It is used in the vulgar translation of the Bible. Malone.
So, in Holinshed, and a thousand other places. Steevens.
5 he will spend his mouth, and promise, like Brabler the hound;) If a hound gives his mouth, and is not upon the scent of the game, he is by sportsmen called a babler or brabler. The proverb says-"Brabling curs never want sore ears.” Anonymous. . 6 prodigious,] i. e. portentous, ominous. So, in King Richard III:
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light.” Steerents.
Calchas' tent: I'll after.-Nothing but lechery! all incontinent varlets!
Dio. Diomed.-Calchas, I think. - Where's your daughter?
Cal. [within] She comes to you. Enter TROILUS and ULYSSES, at a distance ; after them
THERSITES. Ulyse. Stand where the torch may not discover us.
Enter CRESSIDA. Tro. Cressid come forth to him!
How now, my charge? Cres. Now, my sweet guardian!-Hark! a word with you.
[Whispers. Tro. Yea, so familiar! Ulyss. She will sing any man at first sight. Ther. And any man may sing her, if he can take her cliff;' she's noted.
Dio. Will you remember?
Nay, but do then; And let your mind be coupled with your words.
Tro. What should she remember?
7- they say, he keeps a Trojan drab,] This character of Dio. med is likewise taken from Lydgate. Steevens.
8 She will sing any man at first sight.] We now say_sing at sight. The meaning is the same. Malone.
9 — her cliff;] That is, her key. Clef, French. Fohnson.
Cliff, i.e. a mark in musick at the beginning of the lines of a song; and is the indication of the pitch, and bespeaks what kind of voice-as base, tenour, or treble, it is proper for.
Sir 7. Hawkins. i Nay, but do then;] I suppose, for the sake of metre, the word
Nay, should be omitted. Yet such is the irregularity or mutilation of this dialogue, that it is not always easy to determine how much of it was meant for prose or verse. Steedens:
Ulyss. List! · Cres. Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly. Ther. Roguery! Dio. Nay, then Cres.
I'll tell you what: Dio. Pho! pho! come, tell a pin: You are forsworn. Cres. In faith, I cannot: What would you have me do? Ther. A juggling trick, to be-secretly open. Dio. What did you swear you would bestow on me?
Cres. I pr’ythee, do not hold me to mine oath;
Dio. Good night.
How now, Trojan? Cres.
Diomed, Dio. No, no, good night? I'll be your fool no more. Tro. Thy better must. Cres.
Hark, one word in your ear.
Tro. Behold, I pray you!
Now, my good lord, go off: You flow to great destruction ;come, my lord.
Tro. I pr’ythee, stay.
2 You flow to great destruction;] Means, I think, your impe. tuosity is such as must necessarily expose you to imminent danger. Malone. The folio has:
You flow to great distraction; The quarto:
You flow to great destruction ; - Fohnson. I would adhere to the old reading: You flow to great destruction, or distraction, means the tide of your imagination will hurry you either to noble death from the hand of Diomed, or to the height of madness from the predominance of your own passions.
Steevens Possibly we ought to read destruction, as Ulysses has told Treilus just before:
" this place is dangerous ;
You have not patience; come.
And so, good night.
Doth that grieve thee?
Why, how now, lord ?
Guardian !-why, Greek!
Ulyss. You shake, my lord, at something; will you go? You will break out.
She strokes his cheek!
Ther. How the devil luxury, with his fat rump, and potatoe finger, tickles these together!4 Fry, lechery, fry!
Dio. But will you then?
Fear me not, my lord;
3 — palter.] i. e. shuffe, behave with duplicity. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
“ And palter in the shifts of lowness.” Steevens. 4 How the devil luxury, with his fat rump, and potatoe finger, tickles these together!] Potatoes were anciently regarded as provocatives. See Mr. Collins's note, which, on account of its length, is given at the end of the play. Steevens.
5 keep this sleeve.] The custom of wearing a lady's sleeve for a favour, is mentioned in Hall's Chronicle, fol. 12: “ One