Page images

And what hath mass or matter by itself,
Lyes rich in virtue, and unmingled.

Nej. With due obfervance of thy godlike feat,
Great Agamemnon, Nestor shall apply
Thy laicut words. In the reproof of chance
Lyes the true proof of men : the sea being smooth;
How many Thallow bauble boats dare fail
Upon her patient breaft, making their way
With those of nobler bulk ?
But let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
The gentle Thetis, and anon, behold
The Itrong-ribb’d bark thro’ liquid mountains cut,
Bounding between the two moist elemenis,
Like Perleus' horse: Where's then the saucy boat,
Whose weak untimber'd fides but even now
Co-rival'd greatness? or to harbour fled,
Or made a toast for Neptune. Even so
Doth valour's fhew and valour's worth divide
In Itorms of fortune ; for in her ray and brightness,
The herd hath more annoyance by the brize
Than by the tiger ; but when splinting winds
Make flexible the knees of knotted oaks,-
And Aies ger" under fhade, why then the thing of

*courage *, As rous'd with rage, with rage doth sympathize, And, with an accent tun'd in self-fame key, Returns to chiding fòrtune.

Ulyl. Agameninon, Thou great commander, nerve and bone of Greece, Heart of our numbers, soul, and only spirit, In whom the tempers and the minds of all Should be shut up, hear what Ulysses speaks. Besides th' applause and approbation The which, most mighty for thy place and fway,

To Agamemnon: And thou, most rev'rend for thy stretch'd-out life,

[T. Neftor. I give to both your speeches ; which were such,, As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece

• It is said of the tiger, that in storms and high winds'' bio rages and roars molt tvriously. Hanmer.

Should hold up high in brals; and such again,
As venerable Neitor hatch'd t, in silver,
Should with a bond of air, lirong as the axle-tree
On which heav'n rides, knit all the Grecians! ears
To his experienc'd tongue: yet let it please both
Thou great and wise, to hear Ulyffes (peak.

Agam, Speak, prince of Ithaca, and be't of less
That matter needless, of importleis burden, [expect
Divide thy lips ; than we are confident,
When rank Thersites opes his mastiff jais,
We shall hear music, wit, and oracle.

Ulyff. Troy, yet upon her basis, liad been down,
And the great Hector's sword had lack'd a maiter,
But for these instances,
The specialty of rule hath been neglected ;
And, look, how many Grecian tents do stand
Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow fastions.
When that the General is not like the hive,
To whom the foragers shall all repair,
What honey is expected ? Degree being vizardedo
Th' unworthieft fhews as fairly in the mask.
The heav'ns themselves, the planets, and this centres.
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Infisture, course, proportion, sealon, form,
Oifice and custom, in all line of order :
And therefore is the glorious planet Sol
In noble eminence enthron'd and spherd
Ainidst the rest, whose med'cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts like the commandment of a king,
Sans check to good and bad. But when the planets.
In evil mixture to disorder wander,
What plagues, and what portents, what muiny?.
What raging of the sea, shaking of earth,
Commotion in the winds, frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and inarried calm of states
Quite from their fixure? Oh when degree is saken,
Which is the ladder to all high designs,

[ocr errors]

+ That is, adorned with filver, in allusion to his white locks of hair. Revijalaj.?


The enterprize is sick. How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in eities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable flores,
The primogeniture, and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crown, fceptres, 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 fop of all this solid globe;
Strength thould 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 naines, and so should Justice too;
Then every thing include itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforee an universal prey,
And last eat up itself. Great Agamemnon !
This chaos, when degree is suffocaie,
Follows the choaking;
And this neglection of degree is it,
That by a pace goes backward, with a pu pose
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.
Andris this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
Not her own finews. To end a tale of length,
Troy in our weakness lives, not in her strength.

Neft. Most wisely hath Ulysses here discovered
The fever whereof all our power is sick.

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

Uly!r. The great Achilles, whom opinion crowns
The linew and the forehand of our hoft,
Having his ear full of his airy fame,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent
Lyes mocking our gefigns. With him Patroclus,
Upon a lazy bed, the live-long day
Breaks (curril jefts;
And with ridiculous and aukward action,
Which, Nanderer, he imitation calls,
He pageants us. Sometimes, great Agamemnon,
Thy topleis * deputation he puts on;
And, like a strutting player, whole conceit
Lyes in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialect and found
'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage,
Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming
He acts thy greatness in : and when he speaks,
'Tis like a chime a mending, with terms unsquard;
Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon drop'd,
Would seem hyperboles. At this fulty stuff
The large Achilles, on his press’d-bed lolling,
From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause :
Cries-Excellent!--'tis Agamennon juft-
Now play®ne Neftor-hum, and stroke thy beard,
As he, being 'drest to some oration.
That's done as near as the extremest ends
Of paraileis; as like as Vulcan and his wife:
Yet good Achilles still cries, Excellent!
Tis Nestor right! Now play him me, Patroclus,
Arning to answer in a night alarm.
And, then, forsooth, the faint defe&ts of age
Must be the scene of mirth, to cough and spit,
And with a palfy fumbling on his gorget,
Shake in and out the rivet -and at this sport,
Sir Valour dies; cries, 0!-enough, Patroclus-
Or give me ribs of steel, I fall Split all
In pleasure of my spleen. And, in this fashion,
All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
Severals and generals of grace exact +
Archievements, plots, orders, preventions,

Topless, means, what hath nothing a top of or above it, that is, supreme. Revijal.

Severals and generals of grace, exacts; i. e. exa&tments, public taxes and contributions for carryiog on the war.'


Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
Success or loss, what is or is not, ferves
As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.

Neft. And in the imitation of these twain,
Whom, as Ulysses says, opinion crowns
With an imperial voice, many are infect:
Ajax is grown self-willd, and bears his head
In such a rein, in full as proud a place
As broad Achilles, and keeps his tent like him;
Makes factious feasts, rails on our state of war,
Bold as an oracle; and sets Therfites,
A ľave, whole gall coins Randers like a mint,
To match us in comparisons with dirt;
To weaken and discredit our exposure,
How rank foever rounded in with danger.

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

Neft. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse Makes many Theris' fons. Tacket Counds.

Agam. What trumpet ? look, Menelaus.
Menn. From Troy.

* I think it were hetter to read,

and know the measure, By their objervant toil, of th' enemies' weight. Johns.

« PreviousContinue »