January 27, 2006


SCENE III. The Grecian camp. Before Agamemnon's tent. (William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida)

O, when degree is shak'd,

Which is the ladder to all high designs,

Then enterprise is sick! How could communities,

Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities,

Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,

The primogenity and due of birth,

Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,

But by degree stand in authentic place?

Take but degree away, untune that string,

And hark what discord follows! Each thing meets

In mere oppugnancy. The bounded waters

Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores

And make a sop of all this solid globe;

Strength should be lord of imbecility,

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 everything includes itself in power,

Power into 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 himself.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2006 1:12 PM

I think I'll try to memorize that one. Very cool.

Posted by: Pepys at January 27, 2006 3:57 PM

Funny thing. I read the post before I read your title. Same two words stood out. Cool phrasing.

Posted by: jdkelly at January 27, 2006 3:58 PM