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What plagues, and what portents ? what inutiny ?
What raging of the sea ? shaking of earth ?
Commotion in the winds ? frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixure? 5 Oh, when degree is shak’d,
Which is the ladder to all high designs,
6 The enterprize is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and 7 brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogeniture, and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, scepters, lawrels,
But by degree, stand in authentick place ?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark what difcord follows ! each thing meets
In meer oppugnancy : the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this folid globe:
Strength should be lord of imbecillity,
And the rude son should strike his father dead :
Force should be right; or rather, right and wrong,
(Between whose endless jar justice resides)
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power intó will, will into appetite;
And appetite, an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce an universal prey,
And last eat up itself. Great Agamemnon!
This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
Follows the choaking:
And this neglection of degree it is,

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Oh, suhen degree is mak'd] I would read,

So when degree is shak'd. JOHNSON, o The enterprizem-] Perhaps we should read, Then enterprize is sick! JOHNSON.

brotherhoods in cities,] Corporations, companies, confraternities. JOHNSON,


* That by a pace goes backward, with a purpose
It hath to climb. The general's disdain’d
By him one step below; he, by the next;
That next, by him beneath: so every step,
Exampled by the first pace that is fick
Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
Of pale and bloodless emulation.
And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length,
Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength.

Neft. Most wisely hath Ulysses here discover'd
The fever, whereof all our power is sick.

Agam. The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses,
What is the remedy?

Ulys. The great Achilles-whom opinion crowns
The linew and the fore-hand of our hoit
Having his ear full of his airy fame,
Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent
Lies mocking our designs. With him, Patroclus,
Upon a lazy bed, the live-long day
Breaks fcurril jests;
And with ridiculous and aukward action,
(Which, Nanderer, he imitation calls)
He pageants us. Sometimes, great Agamemnon,

Thy topless deputation he puts on;
And, like a strutting player--whose conceit
Lies in his ham-string, and doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldagem
Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming

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* That by a pace-] That goes backward step by fep. Joans.

with a purpose It hath to climb. -] With a design in each man to aggrandize himself, by flighting his immediate superior. Johns.

bloodless emulation. An emulation not vigorous and active, but malignant and sluggith. JOHNSON.

? Thy TOPLESS deputation--] Topless is that has nothing topping or overtopping it; fupreme ; sovereign. JOHNSON.


He acts thy greatness in: and when he speaks,
'Tis like a chime a mending; with terms unfquard,
Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropty
Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff
The large Achilles, on his prest-bed lolling,
From his deep cheft laughs out a loud applause;
Cries-excellent !tis Agamemnon just.-
Now play me Nestor ;-hem, and stroke thy beard,
As he, being 'drejt to some oration.
That's done ;3 as near as the extremest ends
Of parallels; as like, as Vulcan and his wife:
Yet god Achilles still cries, excellent !
'Tis Nestor right! now play him me, Patroclus,
Arming to answer in a night clarm.
And, then forsooth, the faint defects of

age Muft be the scene of mirth; to cough and spit, And with a palsy fumbling on his gorget, Shake in and out the rivet : and at this sport, Sir Valour dies; cries, “ O!-enough, Patroclus ; Or give me ribs of steel! I mall split all In pleasure of my spleen.And, in this fashion, 4 All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes, Severals and generals of grace exact, Atchievements, plots, orders, preventions, Excitements to the field, or speech for truce, Success, or loss, what is, or is not, ferves As stuff for these two 5 to make paradoxes.

Neft. And in the imitation of these twain, (Whom, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns


as near as the extremest ends, &c.] The parallels to which the allusion seems to be made are the parallels on a map. As like as Eaft to West. JOHNSON. 4 All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,

Severals and generals of GRACE EXACT,

Atchievements, plots, &c.] The meaning is this, All our good grace exact, means of excellence irreprehenfible. Johns.

s to make paradoxes.] Paradoxes may have a meaning, but it is not clear and distinct. I wish the copies had given, to make parodies. JOHNSON,

With an imperial voice) many are infect.
Ajax is grown self-will'd, and bears his head
In such a rein, in full as proud a place,
As broad Achilles : keeps his tent like him;
Makes factious feasts; rails on our state of war,
Bold as an oracle: and fets Thersites,
(A Nave, whose gall coins slanders like a mint)
To match us in comparisons with dirt;
To weaken and difcredit our exposure,
7 How rank foever rounded in with danger.

Ulys. They tax our policy, and call it cowardife;
Count wisdom as no member of the war ;
Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
But that of hand: the still and mental parts
That do contrive how many hands shall strike,
When fitness call them on; 8 and know by measure
Of their observant toil the enemies' weight ;-
Why this hath not a finger's dignity;
They call this bed-work, mappery, closet-war:
So that the ram, that batters down the wall,
For the great swing and rudeness of his poize,
They place before his hand that made the engine;
Or those, that with the fineness of their souls
By reason guide his execution.

Neft. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse Makes many Thetis sons. [Trumpet sounds.

Agam. What trumpet! look, Menelaus.
Men. From Troy.


bears his head In such a rein, -] That is, holds up his head as haughtily. We ftill say of a girl, she bridles.. JOHNSON.

How rank foever rounded in with danger.] A rank weed is a high weed. The modern editions filently read, How hard soever JOHNSON.

- and know by measure Of their obfervant toil the enemies' weight ;-) I think it were better to read,

and know the measure, By their observant toil, of th' enemies’ weight. Johxs. Vol. IX.



Enter Eneas. Aga. What would you 'fore our tent? Æne. Is this great Agamemnon's tent, I pray you? Aga. Even this.

Æne. May one, that is a herald and a prince, Do a fair message to his 9 kingly ears ?

Aga. With surety stronger than ' Achilles' arm, 'Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice Call Agamemnon head and general.

Æne. Fair leave, and large security. How may ? A stranger to those most imperial looks Know them from eyes of other mortals ?

Aga. How?

Àne. I ask, that I might waken reverence,
And 3 bid the cheek be ready with a blush
Modest as morning, when she coldly eyes
The youthful Phæbus :
Which is that God in office, guiding men ?
Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?

Aga. This Trojan scorns us; or the men of Troy Are ceremonious courtiers.

Æne. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm’d, As bending angels; that's their fame in peace : But when they would seem soldiers, they have galls, Good arms, strong joints, true swords, and, Jove's

accord, Nothing so full of heart. But

But peace, Æneas;


kingly ears ?] The quarto,
kingly eyes. "JOHNSON.

Achilles' arm.] So the copies. Perhaps the author wrote,

Alcides arm. JOHNSON. 2 A ftranger to those mot imperial looks) And yet this was the seventh year of the war. Shakespeare, who so wonderfully preserves character, usually confounds the customs of all nations, and probably supposed that the ancients (like the heroes of chivalry) fought with beavers to their helmets. STEEVENS.'

bid ite cheek--) So the folio. The quarto has,
on the check — JOHNSON.



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