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As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece
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,
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,
“ 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.
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
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.
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?
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,
4 And all his creatures from their course astray,
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
Quite from their fixure ? 40, when degree is shak'd,
used to denote an intimate union, is employed in the same fense by Milton :
-Lydian airs “ Married to immortal verse." Again,
-voice and verse
“ hady groves of noble palm-tree sprays,
Self-arching, in a thousand arbours grew.
« 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,