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the Greek women.

Thofe who follow it for a maintenance

⚫ are employed in it from morning till night.' (M. Guys). So that the prophecy of old TIRESIAS,

The days fhall come, when many
a maid of GREECE
Shall fing, till dusky eve, ALCMENA's name,

hath been fulfilled in its most literal application: The energies of its completion might be obferved, perhaps, at the present


• There it was, where our fleet lay!' exclaimed the old Greek pilot to Mr. ANSON, meaning the Grecian fleet, at the fiege of TROY: The Greek ladies, alike interested in the ftory of Alcmena, may still celebrate her actions as but of yesterday!

LINE 99.

He shall be call'd the fon-in-law of Gods, &c. • And his name shall be called Wonderful, &c. &c.'

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Then with the fawn the harmless wolf shall dwell.

-Borrowed, without a doubt, from ISAIAH: The wolf fhall ⚫ dwell with the lamb, and the leopard fhall lie down with the kid.' It is furprifing that our author (particularly in this prophetic part of the poem) has not more strikingly alluded to ISAIAH'S writings, with which he was, indifputably, well acquainted. Indeed the style of TIRESIAS is that of the facred prophet.

LINE 106.

Such copfe or low-wood as the forests bear,
The rough afpalathus, &c. &c.

Sometimes the ominous thing was burnt with ligna infelicia, that is, fuch fort of wood as was in tutelâ inferûm deorûm avertentiumque-(facred to the gods of hell, and those which averted evil omens) being chiefly thorns, and fuch other trees as were


only fit to be burnt. Sometimes the prodigy, when burnt, was caft into the water; and particularly into the fea, as THEOCRITUS hath described it. POTTER.

The Afpalathus is the Rofe of Jerufalem, or our Lady's Thorn. (JOHNSON's Dictionary.) The Paliurus may be the plant, which is cultivated in our gardens under the name of Chrift's Thorn. Of this is fuppofed to have been made our Saviour's crown, when he was led to crucifixion. (MARTYN.) The Acherdus occurs in HOMER's Odyffey, b. 14. The Sylvan Lodge of Eumæus is fenced with it. POPE tranflates the passage, Encircled with a fence of living thorn.

The most powerful of all incantations, was to throw the ashes of the facrifice backwards into the water. Thus VIRGIL,

Fer cineres Amarylli, foras; rivoque fluenti,
Tranfque caput jace; ne refpexeris.-

LINE 127.

As the young plant amidst the garden grows, &c.

A fimple and beautiful comparison, much used by the ancient poets. THEOCRITUS seems to have borrowed it from HOMER, Iliad 18. Here THETIS, speaking of her fon ACHILLES, fays:

Like fome fair plant, beneath my careful hand,
He grew, be flourish'd, and he grac'd the land.

In the Pfalms, the flourishing child is compared to an olivebranch.

LINE 154.

Nor dash the glowing axle on the goal.

Iliad, b. 23.

In the ancient chariot-races, the goal was a large trunk of an oak or pine-tree, erected on the confines about a cubit's height, and supported on each fide, by two white polished stones. See MENARD'S Maurs des Grecs.

Thus NESTOR cautions his fon.

LINE 172.

Beneath his mother's eye the hero grew.

Thus have we had an opportunity of contemplating the inftitution of youth, in those heroic ages, which we regard with a kind of fuperftitious veneration. At thefe times of primæval fimplicity, when luxury had neither enervated the body, nor corrupted the mind, it is with pleasure we observe the care and diligence of the parent, in the education of his children—a tafk, of all, the most momentous that can engage the attention of a reafonable being. But among the ancients (according to DIONY. SIUS HALICARN.) there prevailed, though in a later age than that of HERCULES, a moft vicious and diffolute mode of education. The corruption introduced, indeed, by ARISTODEMUS among the Cumaan youth, would fhock the fimplicity of human nature; though, in this luxurious age, we may confider it with little emotion. Yet, amidst all our luxuries, we may poffibly be fomewhat surprised at a studied fyftem of effeminacy. We are told that ARISTODEMUS entirely abolished the gymnastic exercises— that he ordered boys to wear their hair long, in the manner of females, to ftain it of a yellow color, and pay particular attention to the curling of it-to fhelter themselves with umbrellas from the fun, or the inclemency of the weather-to use fans-to wear the fofteft garments, richly wrought-to frequent the baths-to perfume themselves with the sweeteft unguents-to pass a great part of their time under the care of women, amidst music, dancing, and revelry-and, in fhort, to reduce themselves, by every poffible expedient, to the most abandoned state of effeminate fenfuality. It was alfo decreed, that this procefs of fyftematic corruption fhould be continued to the age of twenty. DIONYS. HALICARN. Antiqu. Rom. vol. i. b. 7. p. 409. edit. Oxon.




LINE 19.

here, beneath the dew, &c.


Nonnus. Dion. b. 3. 1. 15.

Laugh'd the fresh floweret, wash'd by vernal dews.

ΕΑΡΙΝΑΙΣ εγέλασσε λελόμενον εερσαις.

LINE 35.

And, widely waving, far as yonder hills,
These shadowy gardens-

The gardens of Augias, in refpect to their extenfiveness, seem to have been laid out on MASON's idea. See English Garden, b. i. l.


Does then the fong forbid the planter's hand

To clothe the diftant hills, and veil with woods

Their barren fummits? No-it but forbids
All poverty of clothing. Rich the robe,
And ample let it flow, that nature wears
On her thron'd eminence: Where'er he takes
Her horizontal march, purfue her step
With Sweeping train of foreft: hill to bill
Unite with prodigality of fhade.

LINE 69.

Oft he would afk, whence came this hero-guest?

We may, perhaps, wonder that our old herdsman hath not yet taken the liberty of afking HERCULES, his name; or rather, that the hero himself had not given him the information, at the beginning of their interview. But the ancients never enquired the names of their ftranger-guefts.

This fpecies of etiquette is obfervable in HOMER's Phænicians, who are represented as hofpitably entertaining ULYSSES, though they were ignorant of his name, and did not presume to ask it. It seems that filence was enjoined on fuch occafions, by the laws of ancient hospitality; which were held facred by all the nations of antiquity, but peculiarly adhered to, in the more northern countries.

TACITUS, fpeaking of the Germans, tells us: Quemcunque mortalium arcere tecto nefas habetur: pro fortunâ quisque apparatis epulis excipit. Notum ignotumque, quantum ad jus hofpitii, nemo difcernit.

De Morib. Germ. c. 21.

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It was a custom among the ancient Scots (particularly the Highlanders) to let their doors open the whole night; fo that the ftranger had free access to their houses, even while they were asleep. This answers to the description of TIBULLUS, in his fine representation of the Golden Age. To ask their gueft, with any degree of importunity, from what country he came-whither he was going-or what was his name, 'till he had spent a year under their roof, was thought a breach of civility and good-manners. MACBETH's murder of DUNCAN, therefore, in SHAKSPEARE, was doubly criminal, from the circumftance of DUNCAN's having been his gueft. His violation of the popular laws of hofpitality, greatly enhanced the atrocity of his crime. He was obliged, by the ftrongeft ties of religion, to observe those laws himself, and, as a perfonage of rank, to enforce the observation of them. Not one of SHAKSPEARE's numerous commentators feems to have noticed this circumstance. Dr. WARTON.

LINE 78.

And drove the scattering maftiffs far away.

In this paffage THEOCRITUS plainly imitates HOMER, Odyss. b. 14. Great attention was paid to dogs by the princes and heroes of old. TELEMACHUS, Odyff. b. 2, was followed by two domeftic

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