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And made us speak like friends: this man was When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit, riding
Ere thou hadst power, or we had cause of fear, Froin Alcibiades to Timon's cave,
We sent to thee; to give thy rages balm,
To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
2nd Sen. So did we woo
Transforméd Timon to our city's love,
By humble message and by promised means : Ist Sen. Here come our brothers.
| We were not all unkind, nor all deserve 3rd Sen. No talk of Timon, nothing of him ex
The common stroke of war.
1st Sen. These walls of ours The enemies' drum is heard, and fearful scouring Were not erected by their hands from whom Doth choke the air with dust. In, and prepare;
You have received your griefs: nor are they such, Ours is the fall, I fear; our foes the snare. [Exeunt. That these great towers, trophies, and schools
2nd Sen. Nor are they living
Who were the motives that you first went out: Scene IV.— The Woods. Timon's Cave, and a SCEN
Shame that they wanted cunning, in excess, Tombstone seen.
Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord, Enter a Soldier, seeking Timon.
Into our city with thy banners spread : Sol. By all description this should be the place.
By decimation and a tithéd death
(If thy revenges hunger for that food Who's here! speak, ho!-No answer?-What is
Which nature loaths), take thou the destined tenth; this?
And by the hazard of the spotted die, Timon is dead, who hath outstretched his span :
Let die the spotted. Some beast reared this; there does not live a man.
1st Sen. All have not offended; Dead, sure; and this his grave.—
For those that were, it is not square to take, What's on this tomb I cannot read; the character I'll take with wax:
On those that are, revenges: crimes, like lands,
Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman, Our captain hath in every figure skill; An aged interpreter, though young in days :
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage :
Spare thy Athenian cradle, and those kin Before proud Athens he's set down by this
Which, in the bluster of thy wrath, must fall Whose fall the mark of his ambition is. [Exit.
With those that have offended : like a shepherd,
2nd Sen. What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile,
Than hew to 't with thy sword. Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades and Forces.
1st Sen. Set but thy foot Alcib. Sound to this coward and lascivious town
Against our rampired gates, and they shall ope; Our terrible approach. [A parley sounded. So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before,
To say, thou 'lt enter friendly.
2nd Sen. Throw thy glove, Till now you have gone on, and filled the time Or any token of thine honour else, With all licentious measure, making your wills That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress, The scope of justice; till now, myself and such And not as our confusion, all thy powers As slept within the shadow of your power, Shall make their harbour in our town, till we Have wandered with our traversed arms, and Have sealed thy full desire. breathed
Alcib. Then there's my glove : Our sufferance vainly: now the time is flush, Descend, and open your unchargéd ports. When crouching marrow, in the bearer strong, Those enemies of Timon's, and mine own, Cries of itself, “No more:"now breathless wrong Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof, Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease; Fall, and no more: and (to atone your fears And pursy indolence shall break his wind, With my more noble meaning) not a man With fear and horrid flight.
Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream 1st Sen. Noble and young,
Of regular justice in your city's bounds,
But shall be remedied, to your public laws,
Both. 'Tis most nobly spoken.
The Senators descend, and open the gates.
Enter a Soldier. Sol. My noble general, Timon is dead; Entombed upon the very hem o'the sea : And on his gravestone this insculpture, which With wax I brought away, whose soft impression Interprets for my poor ignorance.
Here lie I, Timon ; who, alive, all living men did
hate : Pass by, and curse thy fill; but pass, and stay not
here thy gait." These well express in thee thy latter spirits : Though thou abhorr'dst in us our human griefs, Scorn'dst our brain's flow, and those our droplets
which From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead Is noble Timon; of whose memory Hereafter more.— Bring me into your city, | And I will use the olive with my sword: Make war breed peace; make peace stint war;
make each Prescribe to other, as each other's leech.Let our drums strike.
“Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft: Seek not my name. A plague consume you wicked
" Then we for recompense have praised the vile," &c.
Act I., Scene 1. It must be here supposed, according to the suggestion of Warburton, that the Poet is busy in reading his own work; a tliat these three lines are the introduction to the poem addressed to Timon, of which he afterwards gives an account to the Painter
honest, he will be so in this, and not endeavour at the injustice of gaining my daughter without my consent.'" Coleridge thus explains this difficult passage :-"The meaning of the first line the Poet himself explains, or rather unfolds, in the second. "The man is honest.' *True ; and for that very cause, and with no additional or extrinsic motive, he will be so. No man can be justly called honest who is not so for honesty's sake, itself including its own reward.'"
- Nerer may That stale or fortune fall into my keeping Which is wot owed to you!"-Act I., Scene I.
"Grer poesy is as a gum, which ooza
From whence 'lis nourished." ---Act I, Scene I. The original folio here reads,
“Our poesy is as a gowne, which ures," &c. Pope suggested the alteration of "gowne" to "gum," and Johnson that of "uses" to "oozes." instances of restoratian so sagacious and happy as this (and there are very many such in the received text of Shakspere), may, at least, serve to rescue the commentators generally from the common charge of utter uselessness, or something worse.
That is, “Let me never henceforth consider anything that I possess but as owed or due to you; held for your service, and at your disposal." In the same sense, Lady Macbeth says to Duncan,
"Your servants ever Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt, To make their audit at your highness' pleasure, Still to return your own."
My free drift
In a wide sea of roax."-Act I, Scene 1. The Poet means to say that his design does not stop at any single character. The phrase "sea of wax" is supposed to refer to the ancient practice of writing upon waxen tables with an iron style.
" That I had no angry wit to be a lord."-Act I., Scene 1.
This obscure expression, which is probably corrupt, has hitherto defied all satisfactory interpretation. We may, however, conclude with Johnson, that the substantial meaning is, “I should hate myself for patiently enduring to be a lord."
"No levelled malice
Leaving no tract behind." --Act I., Scene 1. To level is to aim,--to point the shot at a mark. The meaning is, says Johnson, “My poom is not a satire with any particular view, or levelled at any single person : I fly like an eagle into the general expanse of life, and leave not, by any private mischief, the trace of my passage."
"I myself would have no power: pr'y thee, let my meat make thee silent."--Act I., Scene 2.
"Timon," says Mr. Tyrwhitt,“ like a polite landlord, disclaims all power over his guests. His meaning is, “I myself would have no power to make thee silent; but, pr'y thee, let my meat perform that office.'"
-"* A pemantus, that few things loves beller Than to abhor himself: even he drops down
The knce before him."-Act I., Scene 1. Steevens remarks upon this passage, that either Shakspere meant to put a falsehood into the mouth of the Poet, or had not yet thoroughly planned the character of Apemantus; for, in the ensuing scenes, his behaviour is as cynical to Timon as to his followers. Mr. Harness, in reply, observes that the Poet, seeing that Apemantus paid frequent visits to Timon, naturally concluded that he was equally courteous with other guests.
"I wonder men dare trust themselres with men :
Act I., Scene 2.
"Entertained me with mine own device."—Act I., Scene 2.
This mask appears to have been designed by Timon to entertain his guests.
"A thousand moral paintings I can shew,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune
"Shakspere seems to intend in this dialogue," says Johnson, * to express some competition between the two great arts of imitation. Whatever the Poet declares himself to hare shewn, the Painter thinks he could have shewn better."
"There is no crossing him in his humour;
Else I should tell him-well faith I should
Act I., Scene 2. The expression here is equivocal; in the last line, the steward means to say that, in his extremity, Timon would fain have his hand crossed with money. From the circumstance of some of the old coins bearing the impress of a cross, arose the once common phrase, “I have not a cross about me."
Tix. The man is honest.
" The thought," says Warburton, " is closely expressed and obscure; but the meaning seems to be, If the man be
"No porter at his gale; But rather one that smiles, and still inviles
All that pass by.”—Act II., Scene 1. The word "one" in the second line does not refer to 'porter," but signifies a person. Roughness was the imputed characteristic of a porter. There appeared at Killingworth Castle, 1575, “a porter, tall of person, big of limb, and stern of countenance." The meaning of the text is, “He has no stern forbidding porter at his gate to keep people out, but a person who invites them in."
" Tere's three solidares for thee."-Act III., Scene 1.
Where Shakspere found this odd word," says Mr. Nares, " is uncertain. Solidata' is, in low Latin, the word for the daily pay of a common soldier; and 'solidare' the verb expressing the act of paying it; whence comes the word 'soldier itself. From one or the other of these, some writer had formed the English word. Or the true reading may be "solidate,' which is precisely solidata' made English."
"Good even, Varro."-Act II., Scene 2. “Good even," or "good den," was the usual salutation from noon, the moment that “good morrow" became improper. "So soon as dinner's done, we'l forth again."
Act II., Scene 2. It was formerly the custom to hunt as well after dinner as before. From Laneham's “AccounT OP TIE ENTERTAINMENT AT KENILWORTH CASTLE," it appears that Queen Elizabeth, while there, hunted in the afternoon :“ Monday was hot, and therefore her highness kept in till five o'clock in the evening; what time it pleased her to ride forth into the chase, to hunt the hart of force; which found anon, and after sore chased," &c. On the 18th of July. there is another entry to the same effect.
" The devil knew not what he did, when he made man poiitic; he crossed himself by it: and I cannot think but, in the end, the villanies of man will set him clear."
Act III., Scene 3. The meaning of this passage appears to be, that the devil, by putting policy or cunning into the heart of man, merely intended to make him more wicked; but that this cunning has thriven so wonderfully in a congenial soil, that it will finally be turned against its bestower, and enable man to escape from the net of the devil himself.
" Who cannot keep his wealth, must keep his house."
Act III., Scene 3. That is, keep within doors for fear of duns. So in “MEASURE FOR MEASURE" (act ii., scene 2):-"You will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house."
“I have retired me to a wasteful cock,
And set mine eyes al flow."-Act II., Scene 2. By a "wasteful cock" is probably meant what we now call a waste-pipe; a pipe that is continually running, and thereby prevents the overflow of cisterns and other reservoirs, by carrying off their superfluous water. “This circumstance," says Steevens, “served to keep the idea of Timon's unceasing prodigality in the mind of the steward, while its remoteness from the scenes of luxury within the house, was favourable to meditation."
“ PRI. All our bills. • Tim. Knock me down with 'em."- Act III., Scene 4.
This is a quibbling allusion to the weapon called the bill. In Decker's "GULL's HORX BOOK" we find, "They durst not strike down their customers with large bus.
"U pon that were my thoughts tiring."-Act III., Scene 6.
“Tiring" means fastened, as the hawk fastens its beak eagerly on its prey. So in Shakspere's “VENUS AND ADONIS:"
"Like an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
“No villanous bounty yet halh passed my heart; Unwisely, not ignobiy, have I giren."--Act II., Scene 2.
“Every reader must rejoice in this circumstance of comfort which presents itself to Timon; who, although beggared through want of prudence, consoles himself with the reflection that his ruin was not brought on by the pursuit of guilty pleasures."-STEEVENS.
“If I would broach the vessels of my love,
Act II., Scene 2. The contents of a poem or play were formerly called "the argument." "If I would,” says Timon, "by borrowing, try of what men's hearts are composed,.--what they have in them," &c. "(For that I knew it the most general way)."
Act II., Scene 2. "General" does not mean speedy, but compendious; the way to try many at a time.
" 2nd LORD. Lord Timon's mad.
3rd Lord. I feel't upon my bones. 4th Lord. One duy he gives us diamonds, next day stones."
Act III., Scene 6. Timon, in this mock banquet, has thrown nothing at his guests but warm water and the dishes that contained it. The mention of stones in the passage cited, may be thus plausibly accounted for:-Steevens states that Mr. Strutt, the engraver, was in possession of a MS. play on this subject, which is supposed to have been an older drama than Shakspere's. There is said to have been a scene in it resembling the banquet given by Timon in the present play. Instead of warm water, he sets before his false friends stones painted like artichokes, and afterwards beats them out of the room. He then retires to the woods, attended by his faithful steward. In the last act, he is followed by his fickle mistress, &c., after being reported to have discovered a treasure by digging. Steevens states the piece to have been a wretched composition, although apparently the work of an academie. It is possible that this production may have been of some service to Shakspere : at present, no one appears to know what has become of it.
-"These old fellows Have their ingratitude in them hereditary."-Act II., Scene 2.
Some distempers of natural constitution being called “hereditary," Timon so calls the ingratitude of the senators.
“And nature, as it grows again toward earth,
Act II., Scene 2. The same thought occurs in the "WIFE FOR A MONT" of Beaumont and Fletcher:
“Beside, the fair soul's old too, it grows covetous;
"Such a house broke! So noble a master fallen !"-Act IV., Scene 2. It is justly remarked by Johnson, that nothing contributes more to the exaltation of Timon's character, than the zeal and fidelity of his servants. Nothing but real virtue can be honoured by domestics; nothing but impartial kindness can gain affection from dependents.