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GREATNESS CONTEMPTIBLE WHEN ON THE DECLINE 'Tis certain, greatness, once fallen out with for

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Must fall out with men too: What the declin'd is,
He shall as soon read in the eyes of others,
As feel in his own fall: for men, like butterflies,
Show not their mealy wings but to the summer:
And not a man, for being simply man,

Hath any honour; but honour for those honours
That are without him, as place, riches, favour,
Prizes of accident as oft as merit:

Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
The love that lean'd on them as slippery too:
Do one pluck down another, and together

Die in the fall.


Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,

Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,

A great-sized monster of ingratitudes:

Those scraps are good deeds past: which are de vour'd

As fast as they are made, forgot as soon

As done: Preservance, dear my lord,

Keeps honour bright: To have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail

In monumental mockery. Take the instant way,
For honour travels in a strait as narrow,

Where one but goes abreast: keep then the path;
For emulation hath a thousand sons,

That one by one pursue; If you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an enter'd tide, they all rush by,
And leave you hindmost:-

Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank,

Lie there for pavement to the abject rear, [present, O'er-run and trampled on: Then what they do in Though less then yours in past, must o'ertop yours: For time is like a fashionable host,

That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,

And with his arms out-stretch'd, as he would fly,
Grasps-in the comer. Welcome ever smiles,

And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not virtue seek Remuneration for the thing it was;

For beauty, wit,

High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,--
That all with one consent, praise new-born gawds,*
Though they are made and moulded of things past,
And give to dust, that is a little gilt,

More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.

The present eye praises the present object.


Sweet, rouse yourself: and the weak wanton Cupid Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold, And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane, Be shook to air.


Ther. A wonder!

Achil. What?


Ther. Ajax goes up and down the field, asking for Achil. How so?

Ther. He must fight singly to-morrow with Hector: and is so prophetically proud of an heroical cudgelling, that he raves in saying nothing.

Achil. How can that be?

Ther. Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, a stride, and a stand: ruminates, like a hostess, that hath no arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning: bites his lip with a politic regard, as who should say there were wit in this head, an 'twould out; and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man's undone for ever; for if Hector break not his neck i' the combat, he'll break it himself in vainglory. He knows not me; I said, Good-morrow, Ajax; and he replies, Thanks, Agamemnon. What New-fashioned toys.

think you of this man,

that takes me for the general. He is grown a very land-fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.

Achil. Thou must be my ambassador to him, 'Thersites.

Ther. Who, I? why, he'll answer nobody; he professes not answering; speaking is for beggars; he wears his tongue in his arms. I will put on his presence; let Patroclus make demands to me, you shall see the pageant of Ajax.

Achil. To him, Patroclus: Tell him,-I humbly desire the valiant Ajax, to invite the most valorous Hector to come unarmed to my tent; and to procure safe conduct for his person, of the magnanimous, and most illustrious, six-or-seven-times-honoured captain general of the Grecian army, Agamemnon. Do this. Patr. Jove bless great Ajax.

Ther. Humph!

Patr. I come from the worthy Achilles,-
Ther. Ha!

Patr. Who most humbly desires you to invite Hector to his tent!

Ther. Humph!

Patr. And to procure safe conduct from Agamem


Ther. Agamemnon?

Patr. Ay, my lord.

Ther. Ha!

Patr. What say you to't?

Ther. God be wi' you, with all my heart.

Patr. Your answer, sir.

Ther. If to-morrow be a fair day, by eleven o'clock it will go one way or other; however he shall pay for me ere he has me.

Patr. Your answer, sir.

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Ther. Fare you well, with al my heart.

Achil. Why, but he is not in this tune, is he? Ther. No, but he's out o' tune thus. What music will be in him when Hector has knocked out his

brains, I know not: But, I am sure, none; unless the fiddler Apollo get nis sinews to make catlings* on. Achil. Come, thou shalt bear a letter to him straight.

Ther. Let me bear another to his horse; for that's the more capablet creature.

Achil. My mind is troubled like a fountain stirr'd And I myself see not the bottom of it.

[Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS. Ther. 'Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I might water an ass at it! I had rather be a tick in a sheep, than such a valiant igno




Tro. O Cressida! but that the busy day, Wak'd by the lark, hath rous'd the ribald‡ crows, And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer, I would not from thee.


Night hath been too brief. Tro. Beshrew the witch! with venomous wights

she stays,

As tediously as hell: but flies the grasps of love,
With wings more momentary swift than thought.


Injurious time now, with a robber's haste, Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how: As many farewells as be stars in heaven,

With distinct breath, and consign'd§ kisses to them, He fumbles up into a loose adieu;

And scants us with a single famish'd kiss:

Distasted with the salt of broken|| tears.


The Grecian youths are full of quality;¶

*Lute-strings made of Catgut.

† Intelligent.

§ Sealed.

Highly accomplished.

Lewd, noisy.

Il Interrupted.

They're loving, well compos'd, with gifts of nature flowing,

And swelling o'er with arts and exercise;

How novelty may move, and parts with person,
Alas, a kind of godly jealousy

(Which I beseech you, call a virtuous sin,)
Makes me afeard.


Now crack thy lungs, and split thy brazen pipe: Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek

Out-swell the colic of puff'd Aquilon:

Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood 'Thou blow'st for Hector.


'Tis he, I ken the manner of his gait; He rises on the toe: that spirit of his In aspiration lifts him from the earth.


There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks: her wanton spirits look out At every joint and motive* of her body. O, these encounterers, so glib of tongue, That give a coasting welcome ere it comes, And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts To every ticklish reader! set them down For sluttish spoils of opportunity,

And daughters of the game.


The youngest son of Priam, a true knight; Not yet mature yet matchless: firm of word; Speaking in deeds, and deedlesst in his tongue; Not soon provok'd, nor, being provok'd soon calm'd His heart and hand both open, and both free; For what he has, he gives, what thinks, he shows; Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty, Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath Manly as Hector, but more dangerous: For Hector, in his blaze of wrath, subscribes§ + No boaster. Unsuitable to his character § Yields, gives way.

* Motion.

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