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And minister in their steads ! to general filth
- the brothel.] So Hanmer. The old copies read, o'tib' brothel.
Joensor. - yet confufion) Hanmer reads, let confufion; but the meaning may be, pheuzb by fucb confusion all things seem to bafter 10 di folution, yet Ict not dijoutica cama!, but ibe mifiries of confunon coniinue.
The Gods confound (hear me, ye good Gods all)
Timon's house. · Enter Flavius, with two or three servants. i Serv. Hear you, master steward, where is our
master? Are we undone ? cast off? nothing remaining ?
Flav. Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you?
i Serv. Such a house broke!
2 Seru. As we do turn our backs
Enter other servants. Flav. All broken implements of a ruin'd house!
Enter Flavius, ) 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 domesticks; nothing but impartial kindness can gain affe&tion from dependants.
JOHNSON. from his buried fortunes] The old copies have to instead of from. The correction is Hanmer's; but the old reading might Aand.
3 Serv. Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery, That see I by our faces; we are fellows still, Serving alike in sorrow. Leak'd is our bark, And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck, Hearing the surges threat: we must all part Into this sea of air.
Flav. Good fellows all, The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you. Where-ever we shall meet, for Timon's fake, Let's yet be fellows ; let's shake our heads, and say, As 'were a knell unto our master's fortunes, We bave seen better days. Let each take some;
[Giving ibem money. Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more: Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
[They embrace, and part several ways. 3 Oh, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us! Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt Since riches point to misery and contempo? Who'd be fo mock'd with glory, as to live But in a dream of friendship? To have his pomp, and all what state compounds, But only painted, like his varnish'd friends; Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart ; Undone by goodness! *strange unusual blood, When man's worst sin is, he does too much good!
3 Ob, ebe fierce wretc!e.dness -] I believe fierce is here used for caly, frecipitate.
STEETENS. *-Arange unusual blood,] Of this passage, I suppose, every reader would wish for a correction ; but the word, harsh as it is, ftands fortified by the rhyme, to which, perhaps, it owes its introduction. I know not what to propose. Perhaps,
frange unusual mood, may, by fome, be thought better, and by others worse.
JOHNSON. I Mould suppose, that the poet meant to apostrophize Timon's ungrateful and unnatural friends, by calling them
Who then dares to be half so kind again?
Tim. "O blessed, breeding sun, draw from the earth
-ftrange unusual brood ! who could treat excess of liberality as they would have treated ex. cess of guilt.
STEEVENS. So blefied breeding fun, -] The sense, as well as elegance of the expreslion, requires that we should read,
O bleffing breeding fun, i. e. Thou that before used to breed bleflings, now breed curfes and contagion ; as afterwards he says, Thou fun obat comfort't, burn.
WARBURTON. I do not see that this emendation much strengthens the sense.
Johnson. *by fifter's orb] That is, the moon's, this fublunary world.
The greater scorns the lesser. Not nature,
The Not ev'n nature, To whom all fores lay hege -] He had said the brother could not bear great fortune without defpising his brother. He now goes further, and asserts that even human nature cannot bear it, but with contempt of its common nature. The sentence is ambiguous, and, besides that, otherwise obscure. I am persuaded, that our author had Alexander here principally in mind; whose uninterrupted course of successes, as we learn from hiftory, turned his head, and made him fancy himfelf a God, and contemn his human origin. The poet says, even nature, meaning nature in its greatest perfection: And Alexander is represented by the ancients as the most accomplished person that ever was, both for his qualities of mind and body, a kind of master. piece of nature. He adds,
To whom all fores lay forge, 1. e. Although the imbecility of the human condition might eably have informed him of his error. Here Shakespeare seems to have had an eye to Plutarch, who, in his life of Alexander, tells us : that it was that which itagger'd him in his sober moments concern. ing the belief of his divinity. "Exiyev di piánoça ouniera. Sosàs az ix të καθεύδεϊν και συνεσίαζειν· ας από μιάς έγινόμενον ασθενείας τη φύσει και το τούν και το ηδόμενον.
WARBURTON. I have preserved this note rather for the sake of the commenta.tor than of the author. How nalure; to wh.m all fores lay frege,
can fo emphatically exprefs natur. in iis greatest perfe&ion, I ,hall not endeavour to explain. The meaning I take to be this: Brother, wben bis fortune is inlarged, will form brother; for this is the general depravity of human nature, which, befreged as it is by mifery, admonished-as it is of want and imperfection, when dlevaled by fortune, will defpise beings of nature like its own.
JOHNSON. • Raise me this beggar, and deny't that lerd,] Where is the feofe and English of deny't that lord? Deny him what? What preceding noun is there to which the pronoun it is to be referi'd! And it would be absurd to think the poet meant, deny to raise that lord. The aptithefis must be, let fortune raise this beggar, and let her Arip and despoil thar lord of all his pomp and ornaments, &c. which sense is compleated by this flight alteration,