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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter ACHILLES and PATROCLUS

ACHILLES

I'll heat his blood with Greekish wine to-night,Which with my scimitar I'll cool to-morrow.Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.

ACHILLES

I'll heat Hector's blood with Greek wine tonight, and tomorrow I will cool it with my scimitar. Patroclus, lets entertain him well.

PATROCLUS

Here comes Thersites.

PATROCLUS

Here comes Thersites.

Enter THERSITES

ACHILLES

How now, thou core of envy!Thou crusty batch of nature, what's the news?

ACHILLES

Hey there, you heart of envy! You ugly misfit, what's the news?

THERSITES

Why, thou picture of what thou seemest, and idolof idiot worshippers, here's a letter for thee.

THERSITES

That you are what you look like, an idol for people who worship idiots. Here's a letter for you.

ACHILLES

From whence, fragment?

ACHILLES

Who from, worm?

THERSITES

Why, thou full dish of fool, from Troy.

THERSITES

You dish of fool, from Troy.

PATROCLUS

Who keeps the tent now?

PATROCLUS

Who is staying in their tent now?

THERSITES

The surgeon's box, or the patient's wound.

THERSITES

I'll laugh at his wounds.

PATROCLUS

Well said, adversity! and what need these tricks?

PATROCLUS

Very clever, always understanding the opposite of what I'm saying! Are your tricks useful?

THERSITES

Prithee, be silent, boy; I profit not by thy talk:thou art thought to be Achilles' male varlet.

THERSITES

Please, stop talking, boy. I don't gain anything from talking to you. You are thought to be Achilles's boy-lover.

PATROCLUS

Male varlet, you rogue! what's that?

PATROCLUS

Boy-lover, you rogue! What did you say?

THERSITES

Why, his masculine whore. Now, the rotten diseases of the south, the guts-griping, ruptures, catarrhs, loads o' gravel i' the back, lethargies, cold palsies, raw eyes, dirt-rotten livers, wheezing lungs, bladders full of imposthume, sciaticas, limekilns i' the palm, incurable bone-ache, and the rivelled fee-simple of the tetter, take and take again such preposterous discoveries!

THERSITES

Why, his male prostitute. Now I will call you syphilis, gut-ache, lesions, mucus, gall-stones, tiredness, fevers, sore eyes, bladders full of abcesses, liver disease, boils, gall-stones, skin-diseases, ringworm, accept these many unacceptable truths!

PATROCLUS

Why thou damnable box of envy, thou, what meanestthou to curse thus?

PATROCLUS

Oh you evil, box of envy. What do you mean by cursing like this?

THERSITES

Do I curse thee?

THERSITES

Are these your names I have been cursing you with?

PATROCLUS

Why no, you ruinous butt, you whoresonindistinguishable cur, no.

PATROCLUS

No, you hateful arse, you son of a whore, you malformed wretch, no.

THERSITES

No! why art thou then exasperate, thou idle immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou green sarcenet flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the poor world is pestered with such waterflies, diminutives of nature!

THERSITES

No? Then why are you so angry, you idle fabric decoration, you pampered eye-patch, you ornament, you? Ah the whole world is filled with leeches like you.

PATROCLUS

Out, gall!

PATROCLUS

Get out, you blister!

THERSITES

Finch-egg!

THERSITES

You finch-egg!

ACHILLES

My sweet Patroclus, I am thwarted quite From my great purpose in to-morrow's battle. Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba, A token from her daughter, my fair love, Both taxing me and gaging me to keep An oath that I have sworn. I will not break it: Fall Greeks; fail fame; honour or go or stay; My major vow lies here, this I'll obey. Come, come, Thersites, help to trim my tent: This night in banqueting must all be spent. Away, Patroclus!

ACHILLES

My sweet Patroclus, I can't carry on with my plan to go to battle tomorrow. This is a letter from Queen Hecuba, and has a message from her daughter, whom I love, which is making me promise not to break an oath I have sworn. I can't break my oath even if it means the Greeks losing or my losing my fame. The only vow I care about is this, and I'll obey it. Come, come, Thersites, tidy up my tent, we will spend this night banqueting. Let's go Patroclus!

Exeunt ACHILLES and PATROCLUS

THERSITES

With too much blood and too little brain, these two may run mad; but, if with too much brain and too little blood they do, I'll be a curer of madmen. Here's Agamemnon, an honest fellow enough and one that loves quails; but he has not so much brain as earwax: and the goodly transformation of Jupiter there, his brother, the bull,—the primitive statue, and oblique memorial of cuckolds; a thrifty shoeing-horn in a chain, hanging at his brother's leg,— to what form but that he is, should wit larded with malice and malice forced with wit 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!

THERSITES

With too much passion and too little brain, these two will go mad. But if they do go mad with too much thinking and too little courage, I will be considered a curer of madmen. Here comes Agamemnon, an honest man and one that loves eating quails. But he doesn't have as much brain as he does earwax. And the walking embodiment of Jupiter stood next to him, his bull-like brother, the original model and monument to all cuckolds, is a coward, like a tool hanging from his brother's belt... What worse shape could an angry god make you into? If he were turned into an ass or an ox that would be fine, because he is already both. If were turned into a dog, a mule, a cat, a polecat, a toad, a lizard, an owl, a hawk, or a worthless fish, I wouldn't care, but I would do anything to avoid being turned into Menelaus. Don't ask me what I would be if I wasn't myself, because I would be perfectly happy as a louse or a leper, anything but Menelaus! Look at that, they are caring torches!

Enter HECTOR, TROILUS, AJAX, AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR, MENELAUS, and DIOMEDES, with lights

AGAMEMNON

We go wrong, we go wrong.

AGAMEMNON

We've gone the wrong way, we've gone the wrong way.

AJAX

No, yonder 'tis;There, where we see the lights.

AJAX

No it is this way, there, where the light is.

HECTOR

I trouble you.

HECTOR

I've asked too much of you.

AJAX

No, not a whit.

AJAX

No, not at all.

ULYSSES

Here comes himself to guide you.

ULYSSES

Here he comes to show us the way.

Re-enter ACHILLES

ACHILLES

Welcome, brave Hector; welcome, princes all.

ACHILLES

Welcome, brave Hector, welcome everyone.

AGAMEMNON

So now, fair prince of Troy, I bid good night.Ajax commands the guard to tend on you.

AGAMEMNON

Well, now I will say goodnight, fair prince of Troy. Ajax will tell the guard to look after you.

HECTOR

Thanks and good night to the Greeks' general.

HECTOR

Thanks and goodnight, Greek general.

MENELAUS

Good night, my lord.

MENELAUS

Goodnight, my lord.

HECTOR

Good night, sweet lord Menelaus.

HECTOR

Goodnight, sweet lord Menelaus.

THERSITES

Sweet draught: 'sweet' quoth 'a! sweet sink,sweet sewer.

THERSITES

[Aside] That's a "sweet" thing to say! "Sweet" like a drain, "sweet" like a sewer.

ACHILLES

Good night and welcome, both at once, to thoseThat go or tarry.

ACHILLES

Goodnight or welcome, if you are coming or going.

AGAMEMNON

Good night.

AGAMEMNON

Goodnight.

Exeunt AGAMEMNON and MENELAUS

ACHILLES

Old Nestor tarries; and you too, Diomed,Keep Hector company an hour or two.

ACHILLES

Old Nestor is staying here, and you too, Diomedes, come in and keep Hector company with me.

DIOMEDES

I cannot, lord; I have important business,The tide whereof is now. Good night, great Hector.

DIOMEDES

I can't, lord, I have important business that must be seen to at once. Goodnight, great Hector.

HECTOR

Give me your hand.

HECTOR

Give me your hand.

ULYSSES

[Aside to TROILUS] Follow his torch; he goes toCalchas' tent:I'll keep you company.

ULYSSES

Aside to TROILUS] Follow his torch, he's going to Calchas's tent: I'll come with you.

TROILUS

Sweet sir, you honour me.

TROILUS

[Aside to ULYSSES] Sweet sir, you honour me.

HECTOR

And so, good night.

HECTOR

And so, good night.

Exit DIOMEDES; ULYSSES and TROILUS following

ACHILLES

Come, come, enter my tent.

ACHILLES

Come this way, enter my tent.

Exeunt ACHILLES, HECTOR, AJAX, and NESTOR

THERSITES

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 Brabbler the hound: but when he performs, astronomers foretell it; it is prodigious, 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 Calchas' tent: I'll after. Nothing but lechery! all incontinent varlets!

THERSITES

That Diomedes is a false-hearted rogue, and an unjust fool. I don't trust him when he looks at me anymore than I do when a snake hisses at me. He is always promising so much and never delivers, like a hound running away from the scent. If he is ever actually honest astronomers see it as a sign from the gods, it is such a rare event: the sun will take its light from the moon before Diomede keeps his word. I'll leave Hector rather than stop following him. Apparently he has a Trojan mistress, and keeps her in Calchas's tent, I'll follow them. I'll have nothing but lechery and easy women!

Exit

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Tom hill
About the Translator: Tom Hill

Tom Hill lives in his native London where he has just finished studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. He has worked in education both in the UK and in Asia. His favorite Shakespeare play is The Merchant of Venice.