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Slave! Арет. .
Rogue, rogue, rogue! [APEMANTUS retreats backward, as going. I am sick of this false world; and will love nought But even the mere necessities upon it. Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave; Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat Thy grave-stone daily: make thine epitaph, That death in me at others' lives may laugh. O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
[Looking on the gold.
'Would 'twere so;-
Δια τέτον έκ αδελφός
Anacreon. 55 Warburton remarks that the imagery here is exquisitely beautiful and sublime. 56 Touch for touchstone:
• O Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
Live, and love thy misery! Tim. Long live so, and so die!—I am quit.
[Exit APEMANTUS, More things like men ?-Eat, Timon, and abhor them.
Enter Thieves 57. 1 Thief. Where should he have this gold ? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder : The mere want of gold, and the fallingfrom of his friends, drove him into this melancholy.
2 Thief. It is noised, he hath a mass of treasure.
3 Thief. Let us make the assay upon him; if he care not for’t, he will supply us easily; If he covetously reserve it, how shall's get it?
2 Thief. True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis hid.
1 Thief. Is not this he? Thieves. Where? 2 Thief, 'Tis his description. 3 Thief. He; I know him. Thieves. Save thee, Timon. Tim. Now, thieves? Thieves. Soldiers, not thieves. Tim. Both too; and women's sons. Thieves. We are not thieves, but men that much
do want. Tim. Your greatest want is, you want much of
87 The old copy reads' Enter the Banditti.' 58 The old copy reads :
* Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.' Theobald proposed ' you want much of meet,' i. e, much of what you ought to be, much of the qualities befitting you as human creatures. Steevens says, perhaps we should read :
"Your greatest want is, you want much of me.' Your greatest want is that you expect supplies from me, of whom you can reasonably expect nothing. Your necessities are
Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;
i Thief. We cannot live on grass, on berries, water, As beasts, and birds, and fishes. Tim. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and
fishes; You must eat men.
Yet thanks I must you con 59, That you are thieves profess'd; that you work not In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft In limited 60 professions. Rascal thieves, indeed desperate, when you apply to one in my situation. Dr. Farmer would point the passage differently, thus :
• Your greatest want is, you want much. Of meat
Why should you want,' &c. Johnson thinks the old reading is the true one, saying that * Timon tells them their greatest want is, that, like other men, they want much of meat; then telling them where meat may be had, he asks, Want? why want? I have adopted Hanmer's reading, which is surely the true one, being exactly in the spirit of Timon's sarcastic bitterness, and supported by what he subsequently says: after telling them where food may be had which will sustain nature, the thieves say. We cannot live on grass, on berries, and on water: Timon replies, ' Nor on the beasts, the birds, and fishes; you must eat men. There is a double meaning implied in you want much of men, which is obvious, and much in Shakspeare's manner. The fact is, that before I was aware that Hanmer had proposed this reading, I had adopted it, from a conviction that it was what the sense of the passage as well as the context required. I have thought it my duty to lay before the reader the proposed emendations of others, that he may judge for himself,
59 See vol. iii. p. 305, note 13. 60 Limited professions are allowed professions. Thus in Mac
• I'll make so bold to call, for 'tis my limited service.' I will request the reader to correct my explanation of limited in Macbeth, vol. iv. p. 251, note 9, where I have anintentionally allowed the old glossarial explanation to stand, which interprets it appointed.
Here's gold: Go, suck the subtle blood of the grape
[TIMON retires to his Cave. 61 The moon is called the moist star in Hamlet, and the poet in the last scene of The Tempest has shown that he was acquainted with her influence on the tides. The watery beams of the moon are spoken of in Romeo and Juliet. The sea is therefore said to resolve her into salt tears, in allusion to the flow of the tides, and perhaps of her influence upon the weather, which she is said to govern. There is an allusion to the lachrymose nature of the planet in the following apposite passage in King Richard III.:
That I, being govern'd by the watry moon,
May bring forth plenteous tears to drown the world.' In the play of Albumazar, the original of which is Lo Astrologo, by Baptista Porta, printed at Venice in 1606, there is a passage which contains similar examples of thievery, beginning The world's a theatre of theft,' &c. And the ode of Anacreon, which seems to have furnished the first idea of all similar passages, had been Englished by John Southern, from the Freneh of Ronsard, previous to 1589.
62 i. e. compost, manure.
3 Thief. He has almost charmed me from my profession, by persuading me to it.
1 Thief. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.
2 Thief. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.
1 Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens: There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true 63.
Enter FLAVIUS. Flav. O you gods! Is yon despis’d and ruinous man my lord ? Full of decay and failing? O monument And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd ! What an alteration of honour 64 has Desperate want made! What viler thing upon the earth, than friends, Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends ! How rarely 65 does it meet with this time's guise, When man was wish'd 66 to love his enemies : Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo Those that would mischief me, than those that do! He has caught me in his eye: I will present My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord, Still serve him with my life. My dearest master!
63 • There is no hour in a man's life so wretched but he always has it in his power to become true, i. e. honest.'
64 An alteration of honour, is an alteration of an honourable state to a state of disgrace.
65 How rarely, i. e. how admirably. So in Much Ado About Nothing, Act iii. Sc. 1,' how rarely featur'd.'
66 i. e, desired. See vol. ii. p. 159, note 4. Friends and enemies here mean those who profess friendship and profess ens mity. The proverbDefend me from my friends, and from my enemies I will defend myself,' is a sufficient comment on this passage.