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Such a house broke!
As we do turn our backs
Enter other Servants. Flav. All broken implements of a ruin'd house. 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
wealth I'll share amongst you. Wherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake, Let's yet be fellows; let's shake our heads, and say, As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes, We have seen better days. Let each take some;
[Giving them money. Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more: Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor”.
1.So those who were familiar to his buried fortunes, who in the most ample manner participated them, slink all away,' &c. 2 This conceit occurs again in King Lear:
• Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich, being poor.' Johnson observes, that . Nothing contributes more to the ex
0, the fierce 3 wretchedness that glory brings us !
altation 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 affection from dependants.'
3 Fierce here means vehement; as in Love's Labour's Lost, vol. ii. p. 411 :
· With all the fierce endeavour of your wit.' See King Henry VIII. Act i. Sc. 1, note 15.
4 Blood is here used for passion, propensity, affection. Malone asserts that 'blood is used for natural propensity or disposition throughout these plays;' but he has not given a single instance, while we have many passages where it can mean nothing but passion or affection. Thus in Much Ado about Nothing, vol. ii. p. 154:— Wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one that blood hath the victory. And in All's Well that Ends Well, Act iii. Sc. 2:
Now his important blood will nought deny
SCENE III. The Woods.
Enter TIMON. Tim. O blessed breeding sun,
draw from the earth Rotten humidity; below thy sister's orb Infect the air! Twinn'd brothers of one womb,Whose procreation, residence, and birth, Scarce is dividant, touch them with several for
tunes; The greater scorns the lesser.
Not nature, To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune, But by contempt of nature 2: Raise me this beggar, and deny't that lord; The senator shall bear contempt hereditary, The beggar native honour. It is the pasture lards the brother's sides, The want that makes him lean 4. Who dares, who
dares, 1 That is, the moon's—this sublunary world.
2 • Brother, when his fortune is enlarged, will scorn brother ; such is the general depravity of mankind. Not even beings besieged with misery can bear good fortune without contemning their fellow creatures, above whom accident has elevated them. But is here used in its exceptive sense, and signifies without.
3 This is the reading of the old copy. Steevens reads ' denude.' It has been said that there is no antecedent to which 'deny it can be referred. I think that it clearly refers to great fortune in the preceding sentence, with which I have now connected it, by placing a colon instead of a period at nature. The construction will be, · Raise me this beggar to great fortune, and deny it to that lord,' &c. 4 The folio of 1623 reads :
• It is the pastour lards the brother's sides,
The want that makes him leave.' The second folio changes leave to leane. The probable meaning of the passage as it now stands is, “Men are courted and flattered according to their riches. It is the possessions of a man that makes sycophants ‘enlards his fat-already pride;' if he wants wherewith to pasture his flatterers, his vanity will be starved. The poet is still thinking of the rich and poor brother he had before mentioned.
In purity of manhood stand upright,
valiant. Ha, you gods ! why this? What this, you gods?
Why this Will lug your priests and servants from your sides 10 Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads 11: This yellow slave Will knit and break religions; bless the accurs’d;
5 This man does not refer to any particular person, but to any supposed individual. So in As You Like It:
• Who can come in and say that I mean ber,
When such a one as she such is her neighbours.' 6 Grize, step or degree. 7 i.e. seize, gripe.
8 No insincere or inconstant supplicant: gold will not serve me instead of roots. 9 You clear heavens, is you pure heavens. So in Lear:
the clearest gods, who make them honours Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.' 10 Aristophanes, in his Plutus, makes the priest of Jupiter desert his service to live with Plutus.
11 This alludes to an old custom of drawing away the pillow from under the heads of men, in their last agonies, to accelerate their departure.
Make the hoar leprosy ador'd; place thieves,
drum ?—Thou’rt quick,
12 It is not clear what is meant by wappen'd in this passage ; perhaps worn out, debilitated. In Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen (which tradition says was written in conjunction with Shakspeare), we have unwappered in a contrary sense :
we prevent The loathsome misery of
Many and stale. Grose, in his provincial Glossary, cites wapper'd as a Gloucestershire word, and explains it restless or fatigued [perhaps worn out with disease], as spoken of a sick person. Steevens cites a passage from Middleton's and Decker's Roaring Girl, in which wappening and niggling are said to be all one. Niggling, in cant language, was company keeping with a woman. Wed is used for wedded. •It is gold that induces some one to accept in marriage this “wappen'd widow,” that the inhabitants of a spitalhouse or those afflicted with ulcerous sores would cast the gorge at, i.e. reject with loathing, were she not gilded o'er by wealth.'
13 • Restores to all the freshness and sweetness of youth. Youth is called by the old poets the ' April of man's life. Young Fenton, in the Merry Wives of Windsor, smells April and May:
14 i. e. lie in the earth, where nature laid thee; thou'rt quick, means thou hast life and motion in thee.