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As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece
Should hold up high in brass; and such again,

As

read,--thatch'd in filver, alluding to his filver hair; the fame metaphor being used by Timon, act IV. sc. iv. to Phryne and Timandra :

-thatch your poor thin roofs " With burthens of the dead But I know not whether the present reading may not be understood to convey the fame allusion ; as I find, that the species of engraving, cailed batching, was particularly used in the hilts of Izvords. See Cotgrave iu v. Haché; hacked, &c. also, Hatched, as the hilt of a sword; and in v. Hacher ; to hacke, &c. also to hatch a hilt. Beaumont and Fletcher's Cuflom of the Country:

“ When thine own bloody sword cried out against thee,

Hatch'd in the life of him. As to what follows, if the reader should have no more conception than I have, of

-a bond of air, strong as the axle-tree

On which the headens ride; he will perhaps excufe me for hazarding a conjecture, that the true reading may possibly be:

-a bond of awe. The expression is uted by Fairfax in his 4th Eclogue, Mufes Library, P 368 :

Unty these bonds of avie and cords of duty." After all, the construction of this passage is very harsh and irregular ; but with that I meddle not, believing it was left fo by the author. TYRWHITT.

Perhaps no alteration is necessary; batch'd in filver, may mean, whose white hair and beard make him look like a figure engraved on silver.

The word is metaphorically used by Heywood in the Iron Age, 1632 :

-his face " Is batch'd with impudency three-fold thick." And again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Humourous Lieutenant :

“ His weapon hatch'd in blood.” Again, literally, in the Two Merry Milkmaids, 1620:

« Double and treble gilt,

Hatch'd and inlaid, not to be worn with time." Again, more appofitely, in Love in a Maze, 1632 :

Thy hair is fine as gold, thy chin is hatch'd

With filver."The voice of Nestor, which on all occafions enforced attention, might be, I think, not un poctically called, a bond of air. because

As venerable Nestor, hatch'd in silver,
Should with a bond of air (strong as the axle-tree
Oh which heaven rides) knit all the Greekish ears
To his experienced tongue,-yet let it please both,-
Thou great,—and wise, to hear Ulysses speak.
7 Agam. Speak, prince of Ithacả; and be't of less

expect
That matter needless, of importless burden,
Divide thy lips ; than we are confident,
When rank Thersites opes his mastiff jaws,

its operations were visible, though his voice like the wind, was enfeen. STEÈVENS.

In the following verses in our author's Rape of Lucrece, nearly the same picture is given. The fifth line of the fir ftrongly confirms Mr. Tyrwhitt's conjecture, who wishes to readtbatched in silver ; or rather supports Mr. Steevens's interpretation of the word in the text, which he has shewn might bear the same meaning. With respect to the breath or speech of Neftor, here called a bond of air, which Mr. Steevens has well explained, it is so truly Shakspearian, that I have not the smallest doubt of the genuineness of the expreffion. The Itanzas above alluded to are these:

“ There pleading you might see grave Neftor stand,
“ As 'twere encouraging the Greeks to fight,
“ Making such sober action with his hand,
“ That it beguild attention, charm'd the fight;
• In speech, it seem'd his beard all filver white
Wagg'd up and down, and from his lips did fly
“ Thin winding breath, which purl'd up to the kya
“ About him was a press of gaping faces,
“ Which seem'd to swallow up his found advice,
“ All jointly lift'ning but with several graces,
“ As if some mermaid did their ears enrice,
“ Some high, some low; the painter was so nice :
" The scalps of many almost hid behind

To jump up higher seem'd, to mock the mind.” What is here called speech that beguiled attention, is in the text e bond of air. Shakfpeare frequently calls words wind. So, in one of his poems : " --Sorrow ebbs, being blown with wind of words."

MALONE. Agam. Speak, &c.] This speech is not in the quarto.

JOHNSO'N.

VOL, IX.

D

WC

We shall hear music, wit, and oracle.

Ulys. Troy, yet upon her basis, had been down, And the great Hector's sword had lack'd a master, 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 factions. · When that the general is not like the hivé, To whom the foragers shall all repair, What honey is expected ? Degree being vižardéd, The unworthiest shews as fairly in the mask. · The heavens themselves, the planets, and this

center,
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custon, in all line of order :
And therefore is the glorious planet, Sol,
In noble eminence enthron’d and spher'd
Amidst the other ; whose med'cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts like the commandment of a king,

8 The specialty of rule] The particular rights of fupreme authority. JOHNSON.

9 When that the general is not like the hive,] The meaning is, When the general is not to the army like the hive to the bees, the repository of the itock of every individual, that to which each particular resorts with whatever he has collected for the good of the whole, what honry is expellid? what hope of advantage ? The sense is clear, the expreslion is confused. JOHNSON.

"The heavens themselves, -] This illustration was probably derived from a passage in Hooker : " If celestial spheres should forget their wonted motion ; if the prince of the lights of heaven should begin to stand ; if the moon should wander from her beaten way; and the seasons of the year blend themselves ; what would become of man?"

The heavens themselves, the planets, and this center,] i. e. the center of the earth, which, according to the Ptolemaic system, then in vogue, is the center of the solar system.

WARBURTON.

Sans

Sans check, 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 ? Ihaking of earth? Commotion in the winds ? frights, changes, horrors, Divert and crack, rend and deracinate The unity and married calm of states?

Quite

But, when the planets, In evil mixture, to disorder wander, &c.] I believe the poet, according to astrological opinions, means, when the planets form malignant configurations, when their af. peats are evil towards one another. This he terms evil mixture.

JOHNSON. The poet's meaning may be somewhat explained by Spenfer, to whom he seems to be indebted for his present allufion?

For who fo lift into the heavens looke,
« And search the courses of the rowling spheres,
• Shall find thạc from the point where they firit tooke
“ Their setting forth, in these few thousand yeares
“ They all are wandred much; that plaine appeares.
For that same golden fleecy ram, which bore
« Phrixus and Helle from their stepdames feares,
“ Hath now forgot where he was plast of yore,
And shouldred hath the bull which fayre Europa bore.
" And eke the bull hath with his bow-bent horne
“ So hardly butted chofe two twinnes of Jove,
“ That they have crush'd the crab, and quite him borne
“ Into the great Nemæan lion's grove.
“ So now all range, and do at random rove
“ Out of their proper places far away,
« And all this world with them amisse doe move,

4 And all his creatures from their course astray,
« Till they arrive at their last ruinous decay.

Faery Queen, B. V. c. i.

Steevens. The apparent irregular motions of the planets were fupposed to portend some disasters to mankind; indeed the planets themselves were not thought formerly to be confined in any fixed orbits of their own, but to wander about ad libitum, as the etymology of their names demonstrates. ANONYMOUS. i married salm of states] The epithet married, which is D 2

uled

Quite from their fixure ? 40, when degree is shak'd,
Which is the ladder to all high designs,
s The enterprize 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, scepters, laurels,
But by degree, itand in authentic place?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows ! each thing meets
In meer oppugnancy : The bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a fop of all this folid globe :
Strength fhould 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)

used to denote an intimate union, is employed in the same fense by Milton :

-Lydian airs “ Married to immortal verse." Again,

-voice and verse
" Wed your divine sounds."
Again, in Sylvester's translation of Du Bartas's Eden :

“ hady groves of noble palm-tree sprays,
" Of amorous myrtles and immortal bays;
“ Never unleav’d, but evermore they're new,

Self-arching, in a thousand arbours grew.
“ Birds marrying their sweet tunes to the angels' lays,

« Sung Adam's bliss, and their great Maker's praile.' The subject of Milton's great poem would naturally have led him to read this description in Sylvester. This quotation I owe to Dr. Farmer.

Shakspeare calls a harmony of features, married lineaments, in Romeo and Juliet. STEEVENS.

-0, when degree is shak’d,] I would read :

-So when degree is foak’d. JOHNSON. 5 The enterprize- Perhaps we should read :

Then enterprize is fick ! JOHNSON 6 brotherhoods in cities,] Corporations, companies, confraternities. JOHNSON,

Should

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