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The fun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast fea. The moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.
The fea's a thief, whofe liquid furge refolves
The (17) mounds into falt tears. The earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a compofure ftol'n
From gen'ral excrements: each thing's a thief.
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves, away,
Rob one another; there's more gold; cut throats;
All that you meet are thieves: to Athens go,
Break open fhops, for nothing can you steal
But thieves do lofe it.


On his honeft Steward.

Forgive my gen'ral and exceptlefs rashness,
Perpetual, fober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man! mistake me not, but one:
No more,
I pray; and he's a steward.

How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeem'ft thyfelf: but all, fave thee,
I fell with curfes.

(18) Methinks, thou art more honest now than wife; For, by oppreffing and betraying me,

Thou mightst have fooner got another service:
For many fo arrive at fecond masters,
Upon their first lord's neck,


(17) Mounds.] This formerly was moon, and the alteration is laimed by Mr. Theobald and Mr. Warburton: the opinion they fuppofe our author alludes to, is, that the faltnefs of the fea is caufed by feveral ranges or mounds of rock-falt under water, with which refolving liquor the fea was impregnated. The whole of this feems to be a good deal in the manner of Anarean's celebrated drinking ode, too well known to be inferted here.

(18) Mathniks, &e.] See Othilk, p. 205,

SCENE II. Difference betwixt Promife and Performance.

Promifing is the very air of the time, it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance is ever the duller for its act, and but in the plain and fimpler kind of people, the deed is quite out of ufe. To promife is moft courtly and fashionable; performance is a kind of will or teftament, which argues a great fickness in his judgment that makes it.

SCENE V. Wrong and Infolence.

Now breathlefs wrong

Shall fit and pant in your great chairs of case;
And purfy infolence shall break his wind
With fear and horrid flight.

General Obfervations.

THE ftory of the Misanthrope (fays Farmer) is told in almost every collection of the time, and particularly in two books, with which Shakespear was intimately acquainted, the Palace of Pleafure, and the English Plutarch. Indeed from a paffage in an old play, cailed Jack Drum's Entertainment, I conjecture that he had before made his appearance on the stage.

THE play of Timon (fays Johnson) is a domeftic tragedy, and therefore ftrongly faftens on the attention of the Reader. In the plan there is not much art, but the incidents are natural, and the characters various and exact. The catastrophe affords a very powerful warning against that oftentatious liberality, which fcatters bounty, but confers no benefits, and buys flattery, but not friendship.

In this tragedy, are many paffages perplexed, obfcure, and probably corrupt, which I have endeavoured to rectify, or explain, with due diligence; but having only one copy, cannot promife myself that my endeavours fhall be much applauded.


(1) T







ILT thou draw near the nature of the Gods? Draw near them then in being merciful; Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge,

SCENE III. Thanks.

Thanks, to men

Of noble minds is honourable meed.

SCENE IV. An Invitation to Love.

(2) The birds chant melody on every bush, The fnake lies rolled in the chearful fun,


(1) Wilt, &c.] This, as Mr. Whalley has obferved, is directly the fenfe and words of a paffage in one of Cicero's finest orations: Homines ad Deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam falutem homi nibus dando. Orat. pro legar. fub. fin. See Enquiry into the learning of Shakespear, p. 64.

(2) The birds, &c.]

Nobilis eftivas platanus, &c.

A plain diffus'd its bow'ring verdure wide

With trembling pines, which to the Zephyrs figh'd:
Laurels with berries crown'd, the boughs inwove,

And the foft cypress, ever whisp'ring love:

'Midft these a brook in winding murmurs ftray'd,
Chiding the pebbles over which it play'd,

'Twas love's Elysium. Petron. Arb. by Addison, junior.

The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a chequer'd fhadow on the ground;
Under their fweet fhade, Aaron, let us fit,
And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying fhrilly to the well-tun'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us fit down and mark their yelling noise:
And after conflict, fuch as was fuppos'd
The wand'ring prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy ftorm they were furpriz❜d,
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave;
We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
(Our paftime done) poffefs a golden flumber;
Whilft hounds and horns, and fweet melodious birds
Be unto us, as is a nurse's fong

Of lullaby, to bring her babe afleep.

SCENE V. Vale, a dark and melancholy one defcribed.

(3) A barren and detefted vale, you fee, it is.
The trees, tho' fummer, yet forlorn and lean,
O'ercome with mofs, and baleful miffeltoe.
Here never fhines the fun: here nothing breeds
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven,
And when they fhew'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here at dead time of the night,

(3) Barren, &c.]

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Non hæc autumno tellus viret; aut alit herbas
Ceftite ketus ager: non verno perfona cantu
Mollia difordi ftrepitu virgulia loquuntur:
Sed chaos, & nigro fquallentia pumice faxa
Gaudent, ferali circum tumulata cuprissu.

A thoufand

No autumn here e'er cloaths herfelf with green,
Nor joyful fpring the languid herbage cheers;

Nor feather'd warblers chant their pleafing trains,

In vernal concert to the rustling boughs:

But chaos reigns, and ragged rocks around,
With nought but baleful cypress are adorn'd.

Petron. Arbit, translated by Baker.

A thousand fiends, a thoufand hiffing fnakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make fuch fearful and confused cries,
As any mortal body, hearing it,

Should ftrait fall mad, or elfe die fuddenly.

SCENE VII. A Ring, in a dark Pit.

(4) Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole:
Which, like a taper in fome monument,
Doth fhine upon the dead man's earthy checks,
And fhews the ragged entrails of this pit.

Young Lady playing on the Lute and finging?

Fair Philomela, the but loft her tongue,
And in a tedious fampler few'd her mind.
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus has thou met withal,
And he hath cut thofe pretty fingers off,
That could have better few'd than Philomel.
Oh, had the monfter feen thofe lily hands
Tremble, like afpen leaves, upon a lute
And make the filken ftrings delight to kifs them?
He would not then have touch'd them for his life.

(5) Or

(4) Upon, &c.] We may fuppofe the light thrown into the pit by this ring, fomething of that kind Milton speaks of, in the first book of Paradife Loft.

A dungeon horrible on all fides round,

As one great furnace flam'd: yet from thofe flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover fights of woe,


The feat of defolation void of light,

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P. 6г.

Save what the glimmering of thefe livid flames,
Cafts pale and dreadful.-

P. 181



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