Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Methinks, thou art more honest now, than wise;
For, by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou might'st have sooner got another service:
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true,
(For I must ever doubt, tho’ ne'er so sure)
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness, and as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one ?

Flav. No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
Doubt and fufpect, alas, are plac'd too late :
You should have fear'd false times, when you did feast;
Suspect still comes, where an estate is leaft.
That which I Thew, heaven knows, is merely love,
Duty, and zeal, to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food and living: and, believe it,
My most honour'd lord,
For any benefit that points to me
Either in hope or present, I'd exchange it
For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
To requite me by making rich yourself.

Tim. Look thee, 'tis fo!- Thou singly honest man, Here, take. The Gods out of my misery Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy, But thus condition'd; thou shalt build : from men; Hate all, curse all; shew charity to none ; But let the familh'd flesh Nide from the bone, Ere thou relieve the beggar. Give to dogs What thou deny'st to men ; let prisons swaliow 'em, * Debts wither 'em to nothing. Be men like blafted

woods, And may diseases lick up their false bloods !

3 from men;] Away from human habitations. Johnson.

Debes wither them.] Debts witber them to nothing.--Folio. Johns. I have replaced the reading of the folio.

STEEVENS.

And

And so farewell, and thrive.

Flav. O, let me stay, and comfort you, my master:

Tim. If thou hat'st curses,
Stay not; but fly, whilst thou art bleft and free :
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.

(Exeunt severally. SCENE II.

5 Enter Poet and Painter. Pain. As I took note of the place, it can't be far where he abides.

Poet. What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold?

Pain. Certain. Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him : he likewise enrich'd poor ftraggling soldiers with great quantity. 'Tis said, he gave his steward a mighty sum.

Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends?

Pain. Nothing else: you shall see him a palm ia Athens again, and flourish with the highest. There:

s Enter Poet and Painter.] The poet and the painter were with. in view when Apemantus parted from Timon, and might then have seen Timon, fince Apemantus, standing by him could not see them : But the scenes of the thieves and steward have passed before their arrival, and yet passed, as the drama is now conducted within their view. It might be suspected that some scenes are transposed, for all these difficulties would be removed by introducing the poet and painter first, and the thieves in this place. Yet I am afraid the scenes must keep their present order; for the painter alludes to the thieves when he says, be likewise ariched poor fraggling soldiers with great quantity. This impropriety is now heightened by placing the thieves in one act, and the poet and painter in another: but it must be remembered, that in the original edition this play is not divided into separate acts, so that the present distribution is arbitrary, and may be changed if any convenience can be gained, or impropriety obviated by alteration.

JOHNSON.

fore,

fore, 'cis not amiss, we tender our loves to him, in this suppos’d distress of his; it will shew honestly in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having

Poet. What have you now to present unto him?

Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation : only I will promise him an excellent piece.

Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.

Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very aic oʻthe time ; it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, * the deed is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable : performance is a kind of will or testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.

Re-enter Timon from his cave, unseen. Tim. Excellent workman! thou canst not paint a man so bad as thyself.

Poet. I am thinking what I shall say I have provided for him. It must be a personating of himself: a' facire against the softness of prosperity, with a difcovery of the infinite Aatteries that follow youth and opulency,

Tim. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.

Poet. Nay, let's seek him.

* the deed is) In the old edition, the deed of saying is quite out of us.

JOHNSON. s' It must be a personating of himself:] Perforating, for representing fimply. For the subject of this projected fatire was Ti. mon's cafi, not his perfon.

WARBURTON.

Then

Then do we fin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.

Pain, True :
• While the day servęs, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st, by free and offer'd light.
Come.
Tim. I'll meet you at the turn. What a God's

gold, That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple, Than where swine feed ! 'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plow'st the foam, Settlest admired reverence in a llave. To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye Be crown'd with plagues, that thee alone obey ! 'Tis fit I meet them.

Poet. Hail! worthy Timon.
Pain. Our late noble master.
Tim. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men ?

Poet. Sir, having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retir’d, your friends fall'n off,
Whose thankless natures, (oh abhorred spirits !)
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough-

6 While : be day ferves, before black-corner'd night,] We thould read,

black cornette night. A cornette is a woman's head-dress for the night. So in another place he calls her black-brow'd night.

WARBURTON. Black-corner'd night is probably corrupt, but black-cornette can hardly be right, for it should be black-cornetted night. I cannot propose any thing, but must leave the place in its present states

JOHNSON. An anonymous correspondent sent me this observation. “ As 6c the shadow of the earth's body, wbich is round, must be neces. · sarily conical over the hemisphere which is opposite to the son, “ should we not read black-conid? See Parad. loft, Book IV."

I believe, nevertheless, that Shakespeare, by this expression, meant only, Night which is as obscure as a dark corner. In Measure for Measure, Lucio calls the Duke, a duke of dark-corners.

What!

ATHENS: 385 What! to you! Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence To their whole being ! I am rapt, and cannot cover The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude With any size of words.

Tim. » Let it go naked, men may fee't the better : You that are honest, by being what you are, Make them beft feen, and known.

Pain. He, and myself, Have travell'd in the

great

shower of And sweetly felt it.

Tim. Ay, you are honest men.
Pain. We are hither come to offer you our service:

Tim. Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.

Botb. What we can do, we'll do, to do you service. Tim. You are honest men. You have heard, that

I have gold; I am sure, you have. Speak truth ; you are honest

your gifts,

you ?

men.

Pain: So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore Came not my friend, nor I.

Tim. Good honest men : thou draw'st a counterfeit
Best in all Athens: thou art, indeed, the best ;
Thou counterfeit'ít most lively.

Pain. So, so, my lord.
Tim. Even fo, fir, as I lay :-And for thy fiction,

[To the Poet. Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth, That thou art even natural in thine art.

? Let it go naked, men may fee't the better :] The humour of this reply is incomparable. It infinuates not only the highest contempt of the flatterer in particular, but this useful lesson in general, that the images of things are clearest seen through a simplicity of phrase ; of which, in the words of the precept, and in those which occafion'd it, he has given us examples.

WARBURTON, VOL, VIII, Сс

Buta

« ZurückWeiter »