Imatges de pÓgina

SUCCESS NOT EQUAL TO OUR HOPES, The ample proposition, that hope makes In all designs begun on earth below, [ters Fails in the promis'd largeness: checks and disasGrow in the veins of actions highest rear'd: As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap, Infect the sound pine, and divert his grain Tortive and errant* from his course of growth.


Why then, you princes, Do you

with cheeks abash'd behold our works; And think them shames, which are, indeed, nought But the protractive trials of great Jove, [else To find persistive constancy in men? The fineness of which metal is not found In fortune's love: for, the bold and coward, The wise and fool, the artist and unread, The hard and soft, seem all affin'dt and kin: But, in the wind and tempest of her frown, Distinction, with a broad and powerful fan, Puffing at all, winnows the light away; And what hath mass, or matter, by itself Lies, rich in virtue, and unmingled.


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,

* Twisted and rambling. + Joined by affinity. * Absolute

(Between whose endless jar justice resides)
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then every thing 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.


The great Achilles,--whom opinion crowns The sinew and the forehand of our host, 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 livelong day Breaks scurril jests; And with ridiculous and awkward action (Which, slanderer, he imitation calls) He pageants* us. Sometime, great Agamemnon, Thy toplesst deputation he puts on; And, like a strutting player, whose conceit Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich To hear the wooden dialogue and sound 'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldageI-Such to-be-pitied and o'er-wrested seeming He acts thy greatness in: and when he speaks, 'Tis like a chime amending; with terms unsquar'dll, Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropp'd, Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff, The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling, From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause; Cries-Excellent !--'tis Agamemnon just.

In modern language, takes us off. + Supreme. # The galleries of the theatre. ş Beyond the truth.

|| Unadapted.

Now play me Nestor ;-hem, and stroke thy beard,
As he, being 'drest to some oration.
That's done;-as near as the extremest ends
Of parallels; as like as Vulcan and his wife:
Yet good Achilles still cries, Excellent !
'Tis Nestor right! Now play him me, Patroclus,
Arming to answer in a night alarm.
And then, forsooth, the faint defects of age
Must 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 shall split all
In pleasure of my-spleen. And in this fashion,
All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
Severals and generals of

grace exact,
Achievements, plots, orders, preventions,
Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
Success, or loss, what is, or is not, serves
As stuff for these two to make paradoxes.

CONDUCT IN WAR SUPERIOR TO ACTION. The still and mental parts, That do contrive how many hands shall strike, When fitness calls them on; 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 poise, They place before his hand that made the engine; Or those, that with the fineness of their souls By reason guide his execution.


I ask, that I might waken reverence,

And bid the cheek be ready with a blush Modest as morning when she coldly eyes The youthful Phoebus.



The wound of



Surety secure; but modest doubt is callid
The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
To the bottom of the worst.


For pleasure, and revenge,
Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
Of any true decision.


Ajax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the engendering of toads. Nest. And yet he loves himself: Is it not strange?

[A side. Ulyss. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow. Agam. What's his excuse ? Ulyss.

He doth rely on none; But carries on the stream of his dispose, Without observance or respect of any, In will peculiar and in self-admission.

Agam. Why will he not, upon our fair request, Untent his


and share the air with us? Ulyss. Things small as nothing, for request's

sake only, He makes important: Possess'd he is with greatAnd speaks not to himself, but with a pride (ness; That quarrels at self-breath: imagin'd worth


Holds in his blood such swoln and hot discourse,
That, 'twixt his mental and his active parts,
Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages,
And batters down himself: What should I say?
He is so plaguy proud, that the death tokens of it
Cry—No recovery.

Let Ajax go to him.-
Dear lord go you and greet him in his tent:
'Tis said, he holds you well; and will be led,

your request, a little from himself.

Ulyss. Ö Agamemnon, let it not be so! We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes When they go from Achilles: Shall the proud lord, That bastes his arrogance with his own seam*, And never suffers matter of the world Enter his thoughts,—save such as do revolve And ruminate himself,—shall he be worshipp'd Of that we hold an idol more than he? No, this thrice worthy and right valiant lord Must not so stale his palm, nobly acquir'd; Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit, As amply titled as Achilles is, By going to Achilles : That were to enlard his fat-already pride; And add more coals to Cancerf when it burns With entertaining great Hyperion I This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid; And say in thunder-Achilles, go to him. Nest. O, this is well; he rubs the vein of him.

[A side. Dio. And how his silence drinks up this applause!

(A side.

* Fat.

+ The sign in the zodiac into which the sun enters June 21.

“And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze.” # The sun.

Thomson. KK

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