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What are you reading?

Achilles
What are you reading?
Ulysses
A strange fellow here
Writes me that man, how dearly ever parted,
How much in having, or without or in,
Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
As when his virtues, shining  upon others,
Heat them, and they retort that heat again
To the first giver.

How some men creep in skittish Fortune's hall,
Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is fasting in his wantonness!

Achilles
This is not strange, Ulysses.
The beauty that is borne here in the face
The bearer knows not, but commends itself
To others' eyes; nor doth the eye itself,
That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
Not going from itself, but eye to eye opposed
Salutes each other with each other's form.
For speculation turns not to itself
Till it hath traveled and is mirrored  there
Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.
Ulysses
I do not strain at the position—
It is familiar—but at the author's drift,
Who in his circumstance expressly proves
That no man is the lord of anything—
Though in and of him there be much consisting—
Till he communicate his parts to others;
Nor doth he of himself know them for aught
Till he behold them formed in the applause
Where they're extended; who, like an arch, reverb'rate
The voice again or, like a gate of steel
Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this
And apprehended here immediately
Th' unknown Ajax. Heavens, what a man is there!
A very horse, that has he knows not what!
Nature, what things there are
Most abject in regard, and dear in use,
What things again most dear in the esteem
And poor in worth! Now shall we see tomorrow—
An act that very chance doth throw upon him—
Ajax renowned. O, heavens, what some men do
While some men leave to do!
How some men creep in skittish Fortune's hall,
Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is fasting in his wantonness!
To see these Grecian lords—why, even already
They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast
And great Troy shrieking.

Source:
Act 3
Scene 3
Line 98

Source Type:

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