The Heavens Themselves…

The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre 
Observe degree, priority and place, 
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, 
Office and custom, in all line of order; 
And therefore is the glorious planet Sol 
In noble eminence enthroned and sphered 
Amidst the other; whose medicinable eye 
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil, 
And posts, like the commandment of a king, 
Sans cheque to good and bad: but when the planets 
In evil mixture to disorder wander, 
What plagues and what portents! what mutiny! 
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! O, when degree is shaked, 
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 primogenitive and due of birth, 
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, 
But by degree, stand in authentic place? 

Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act I, Scene III.

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