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Which manifold record not matches? See,
Pain. I know them both; the other's a jeweller.
To an untirable and continuate goodness:
fondness for every thing ftrange, surprizing, and portentous; and, a disregard for whatever is common, or in nature. Shakespeare therefore has with great delicacy of judgment put his poetaster upon this inquiry.
WARBURTON. The learned commentator's note must shift for itself. I cannot but think that this passage is at present in confusion. The poet aks a question, and stays not for an answer, nor has his question any apparent drift or consequence. I would range the passage thus :
Poet. Ay, that's well known.
Poet. Magick of bounty, &c. It may not be improperly observed here, that as there is only one copy of this play, no help can be had from collation, and more liberty muft be allowed to conjecture.
JOHNSON. breaib'd as it were To an untirable and continuate goodness.] Breathed is inured by confiant practice; fo trained as not to be wearied. To brearbe a horse, is to exercise him for the course.
JOHNSON. s-touch the effimate.] Come up to the price. JOHNSON. • When we for ricompence, &c.) We must here suppose the
It ftains the glory in that happy verse
Mer. 'Tis a good form. [Looking on the jeweig
Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedis To the great lord.
[cation Poet. A thing Nipt idly from me. Our poesy is as a gum, - which oozes From whence 'is nourished. The fire i’ the Aint Shews not, 'till it be struck : our gentle fame Provokes itself, 8 and, like the current flies Each bound'it chafes. What have you there! Pain. A picture, sir. When comes your boole
poet busy in reading his own work; and that these three lines are the introduction of the poem addressed to Timon, which he afi terwards gives the painter an account of.
WARD. 7 —which oozes] The folio copy reads, which uses. The mos dern editors have given it, which issues.
JOHNSON The folio copy reads, Our poesie is a goune which uses.
STEEVENS. 8 and like the current f.es
Each bound it chafes.]
WARBURTON. This speech of the poet is very obscure. He seems to boast the copiousness and facility of his vein, by declaring that verses drop from a poet as gums from odoriferous trees, and that his flame kindles itself without the violence necessary to elicit sparkles from the flint. What follows next? that it, iike e current, flies ea ) bound it chafes. This may mean, that it expands itself notwith. standing all obstructions : but the images in the comparison are so ill-forted, and the effect so obscurely expressed, that I cannot but think something omitted that connected the last sentence with the former. It is well known that the players often shorten speeches tổ quicken the representation; and it may be suspected, that they sometimes performed their amputations with more halte than judgment.
JOHNSON. VOL. VIII. T
* Poet. 'Upon the heels of my presentment, fir, Let's see your piece.
Pain. 'Tis a good piece.
9 Upon the beels, &c.] As soon as my book has been presented to lord Timon.
Johnson. * This comes off well and excellent.] By this we are to under. stand what the painters call the goings off of a pi&ture, which requires the nicest execution.
WARBURTON. The note I underítand less than the text. The meaning is, This figure rises well from the canvas. C'est bien relevè.
JOHNSON. how this grace Speaks its own standing ?] This relates to the attitude of the figure ; and means that it stands judiciously on its own centre. And not only fo, but that it has a graceful itanding likewise. Of which the poet in Hamlet (peaking of another picture, says,
A Station like the Harald, Mercury,
New-lig bred on a beav'n-kifing bill. which lines Milton seems to have had in view, where he says of Raphael,
At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise
WARB. This sentence seems to me obscure, and, however explained, not very forcible. This grace spiaks his own ftanding, is only, The gracefulness of this figure bewus how it ftands. I am inclined to think something corrupted. It would be more natural and clear thus :
-how this sianding
Speaks his oun graces? How this posture displays its own gracefulness. But I will indulge conjecture further, and propose to read,
-how tbis grace
Speaks his own standing? What a mental power This eye shoots forth ? How big imagination Moves in this lip? To the dumbness of the gesture One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
Poet. I'll say of it,
Enter certain Senators. Pain. How this lord is followed ! Poet. The senators of Athens ! happy men! Pain. Look, more! Poet. You see + this confluence, this great food of
visitors. I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man, Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug With amplest entertainment. My free drift. 'Halts not particularly, but moves itself
The passage, to my apprehension at least, speaks its own meaning, which is, how the graceful attitude of this figure proclaims that it stands firm on its centre, or gives evidence in favour of its own fixure. Grace is introduced as bearing witness to propriety.
STEEVENS. 3-artificial ftrife] Strife for action or motion. WARR. Strife is either the contest or act with nature.
Hic ille eft Raphael, timuit, quo Spite vinci
Rerum magna parens, & morienie, meri. Or it is the contrast of forms or opposition of colours. JOHNS.
* This confluence, this great flood of visitors.]
Mane falutantûm totis vomit ædibus undam. JOHNSON. 5 Halts not particularly,] My design does not stop at any single characters.
. In a wide sea of wax : 7 no levell'd malice.
Pain. How shall I understand you?
Poet. 8 I'll unbolt to you. You see, how all conditions, how all minds, (As well of 'glib and Nippery creatures, as Of grave and austere quality) tender down Their service to lord Timon: his large fortune, Upon his good and gracious nature hanging, Subdues and properties to his love and tendance, All sorts of hearts; yea, from the 'glass-fac'd Aatterer To Apemantus, that few things loves better Than to abhor himself; · even he drops down The knee before him, and returns in peace Most rich in Timon's nod.
o In a wide sea of wax ;] Anciently they wrote upon waxen tables with an iron file.
HANMER. -NO LEVEJL'D malice.] Why this epithet to malice ? which belongs to all actions whatsoever, which have their aim or levilo Shakespeare wrote,
-no LEVEN'D malice, which is not only a proper epithet for the acidity of that paftion, but answers well to the next words infe:1s, and leaving no iracł bekind, as any thing fermenting or corrosive does. WARBURTON,
To level is to aim, to point the thot at a mark. Shakespeare's meaning is, my poem is not a satire written with any particular view, or levelled at any single person; I ny like an eagle into the general expanse of life, and leave not, by any private mischief, the trace of my passage.
Jonsson. 8 I'll unbol:-) I'll open, I'll explain.
JOHNSON. 9-glib and firp'ry creatures,] Hanmer, and Warburton after him, read, naturis. Slip, cry is moth, unrefifting. JOHNSON.
'-gla/s fae'd fiati’rer.] That shows in his own look, as by reflexion, the looks of his patron.
JOHNSON 2 Evin he drops down, &c.] Either Shakespeare meant to put a falthood into the mouth of his 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 the rest. STEEVENS.