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Amidst the other; whose med'cinable eye
1 Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,] So, the folio. The quarto reads:
Corrects the influence of evil planets. Malone.
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 aspects are evil towards one another. This he terms evil mixture. Fohnson.
The poet's meaning may be somewhat explained by Spenser, to whom he seems to be indebted for his present allusion:
“ For who so liste into the heavens looke,
“ Hath now forgot where he was plast of yore,
" And eke the bull hath with his bow-bent horne
“ And all his creatures from their course astray,
Fairy Queen, B. V, c. i. Stcer'ens. The apparent irregular motions of the planets were supposed to portend some disasters to mankind; indeed the planets them selves were not thought formerly to be confined in any fixed orbits of their own, but to wander about ad libitum, as the etymo. logy of their nameo demonstrates. Anonymous.
deracinote -] i. e. force up by the roots. King Henry V:
the coulter rusts
So again, in
The unity and married calm of states
4_married calm of states -] The epithet-married, which is used to denote an intimate union, is employed in the same sense by Milton:
Lydian airs 16 Married to immortal verse." Shakspeare calls a harmony of features, married lineaments, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc. iii. See note on this passage. Steevens.
-0, when degree is shak’d, ] I would read:
So, when degree is shak'd. Johnson. 6 The enterprize -] Perhaps we should read':
Then enterprize is sick! Johnson.
- brotherhoods in cities,] Corporations, companies, confraternities. Johnson.
dividable shores,] i. e. divided. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, our author uses corrigible for corrected. Mr. M. Mason has the same observation. Stecvens.
mere oppugnancy: ] Mere is absolute. So, in Hamlet:
things rank and gross in nature “ Possess it merely” Steevens. * And make a sop of all this solid globe:) So, in King Lewr:
I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you.” Steevens.
And, last, eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
Nest. Most wisely hath Ulysses here discover'd
Agam. The nature of the sickness found, Ulysses, What is the remedy?
Ulyss. 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 iis tent Lies mocking our designs: With him, Patroclus, Upon a lazy bed the livelong day Breaks scurril jests; And with ridiculous and aukward action (Which, slanderer, he imitation calls,)
this neglection -] This uncommon word occurs again in Pericles, 1609:
if neglection “ Should therein make me vile, --." Malone. 3 That by a pace - ] That goes backward step by step. Johnsan.
with a purpose It hath to climb.] With a design in each man to aggrandize himself, by slighting his immediate superior. Fohnson.
Thus the quarto. Folio-in a purpose. Mulone. 5
bloodless emulation:] An emulation not vigorous and active, but malignant and sluggish. Johnson.
our power -] i. e. our army. So, in another of our au. thor's plass :
s Who leads his power 3” Steevens.
his airy fame,] Verbal elogium; what our author, in Macbeth, has called mouth honour. Malone.
He pageants us. Sometime, great Agamemnon,
8 Thy topless deputation —] Topless is that which has nothing topping or overtopping it; supreme; sovereign. Johnson. So, in Doctor Faustus, 1604:
“Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
“And burnt the topless towers of lium ?” Again, in The Blind Beggar of Alexandria, 1598:
“And topless lionours be bestow'd on thee.” Steevens. g'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage,] The galleries of the Theatre, in the time of our author, were sometimes termed the scaffolds. Malone.
o'er-wrested seeming --] i. e. wrested beyond the truth; overcharged. Both the old copies, as well as all the modern editions, have.-o'er-rested, which affords no meaning Malone.
Over-wrested is--wound up too high. A wrest was an instrument for tuning a harp, by drawing up the strings. See Mr. Douce's note on Act III, sc. iii. Steevens.
--a chime a mending;] To this comparison the praise of originality must be allowed. He who, like myself, has been in thie tower of a church while the chimes were repairing, will never wish a second time to be present at so dissonantly noisy an operation. Steevens.
- ??nequar’il,] i. e. unadapted to their subject, as stones are unfitted to the purposes of architecture, while they are yet 41?squared. Steeveris.
- as near as the extremest ends
Of parallels;] The parallels to which the allusion seems to be made, are the parallels on a map. As like as cast to west. Fohnson.
Yet good Achilles still cries, Excellent!
Nest. And in the imitation of these twain
a palsy fumbling ---) Old copies give this as two distinct words. But it should be written-palsy-fumbling, i. e. paralytick fumbling. Tyrwhitt.
Fumbling is often applied by our old English writers to the speech. So, in King John, 1591:
he fumbleth in the mouth; “ His speech doth fail.” Again, in North’s translation of Plutarch: " he heard his wife Calphurnia being fast asleepe, weepe and sigh, and put forth many fumbling lamentable speaches."
Shakspeare, I believe, wrote-inlis gorget. Malone.
On seems to be used for-at. So, p. 53: “ Pointing on him.” i. e. at him.
Steevens. 6 All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
Severals and generals of grace exact,
Achievements, pluts, &c ) All our good grace exact, means our excellence irreprehensible. Johnson.
? -- to make paradoxes.) Paradoxes may have a meaning, but it is not clear and distinct. I wish the copies had given:
to make parodies. Fohnson.
bears his head In such a rein,] That is, holds np his head as haughtily. We still say of a girl, she bridles. Fohnson.