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The fun's a thief, and with his great
ACT V. SCENE I.
On his honeft Steward.
Forgive my gen'ral and exceptlefs rashness,
(18) Methinks, thou art more honest now than wife;
Thou mightst have fooner got another service:
(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). Methinks, &e.] Scc Otbilk, 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 cafe;
THE story 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 Pleasure, 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 Johnlon) is a domestic 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 promise myself that my endeavours fhall be much applauded.
Thanks, to men Of noble minds is honourable meed.
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.
SCENE IV. An Invitation to Love.
(2) The birds chant melody on every bush, The snake 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 fineft orations: Homines ad Deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam falutem hominibus dando. Orat. pro legar. fub. fin. See Enquiry into the learning of Shakespear, p. 64.
(2) The birds, &c.]
Nobilis flivas platanus, &c.
A plain diffus'd its bow'ring verdure wide
With trembling pines, which to the Zephyrs figh'd:
Petron. Arb. by Addison, junior.
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.
SCENE V. Vale, a dark and melancholy one defcribed.
(3) A barren and detefted vale, you fee, it is.
(3) Barren, &c.]
Non hæc autumno tellus viret; aut alit herbas
No autumn here e'er cloaths herself with green,
Petron. Arbit. tranflated by Baker.
A thousand fiends, a thoufand hiffing snakes,
SCENE VII. A Ring, in a dark Pit.
(4) Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
Young Lady playing on the Lute and finging?
Fair Philomela, fhe but loft her tongue,
(4) Upon, &c.] We may fuppofe the light thrown into the pit by this ring, fomething of that kind Milton fpeaks 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, &c.
The feat of defolation void of light,
Save what the glimmering of thefe livid flames,