Tuesday, November 11, 2014
O, when degree is shaked,
Which is the ladder to all high designs,
The enterprise is sick.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 3, l. 101-3.
By "degree" he means hierarchy, the relative positions of people on a social scale; "enterprise" = social or political project, here the Trojan war.