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Tim. Ready for his friends.
(Exeunt Lords. Apem. What a coil's here, Serving of becks and jutting out of bums! (9) I doubt, whether their legs be worth the sums That are giv'n for 'em. Friendship's full of dregs : Methinks, false hearts should never have found legs. Thus honeft fools lay out their wealth on courtesies.
Tim. Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not fullen, I would be good to thee.
Apem. No, I'll nothing; for if I should be brib'd too, there would be none left to rail upon thee, and then thou wouldīt fin the faster. Thou giv'it so long Timon, (10) I fear me, thou wilt give away thyself in paper
shortly. (9) Serving of becks] I have not ventur'd to alter this phrase, tho' I confess freely, I don't understand it. It may be made intelligible two ways, with very night alteration. Mr. Warburton acutely fropos'd to me,
Serring of becks, from the French word serrer
, to join close together, to lock one within another; by a metaphor taken from the billing of pigeons, who intæsert their bills into one another. Or, we might read,
Scruing of backs, and jutting out of bums! For Apemantus is observing on the ridiculous congees, and complimental motions of the flat. tering guests in taking their leave. Both conjectures are submitted to judgment.
(10) I fear me, thou wilt give away tbyself in paper shortly.) i. e. be ruined by his fecurities entered into. But this sense, as Mr. Warburton observes, is cold; and relishes very little of that falt which is in Afemantus's other reflections. He proposes,
-give away thyself in proper sortly. j. e. in person; thy proper self. This latter is an expression of our author's in the Tempest;
And ev'n with such like valour men hang and drown
Their proper selves.
-If you please to confer with our author by attorney, you may, Sir: our proper self here stands for him. And the other phrase, thyself in proper—without the substantive subo join’d, I believe, may be justified by similar usage. B. Jonson in his Sejanus ;
My Lords, this strikes at ev'ry Roman's private. i. e, private property, or intereft. And again, in the same play ;
Macro, thou art engag’d; and what before
i. e, thy
fortly. What need these feasts, pomps, and vain-, glories?
Tim. Nay, if you begin to rail on society once, I am fworn not to give regard to you. Farewel, and come. with better mufick.
[Exit. Apem. So-(11) thou wilt not hear me now, thou
Thalt not then.
ACT II. SCENE, a public place in the City.
Enter a Senator.
He owes nine thousand, besides my former sum ; Which makes it five and twenty.Still in motion i. e. thy private concern. And, to quote one authority from an author of more modern date ; Milton in his Paradise Loft, B. 7. v. 367.
By tincture, or reflection, they augment
Their small peculiar.
(11) Thou wilt not bear me now, thou shalt not then.
if he should write,
As offer'd mercy is. i. e. not to be retrieved. In both these passages our poet is alluding to a theological opinion, that the Holy Spirit by secret whispers in the mind, the still voice, inward suggestions, offers its affiftance very often when it is not attended to : either when men are drag'd away by the violence of the passions, or blinded by too great attention to worldly avocations. This by divines is called the loss of offered mer. cy: and when it is for a length of time rejected, or disregarded, the offender's case is looked upon to be the more desperate.
Of raging waste? It cannot hold, it will not.
Sen. Get on your cloak, and haste you to Lord Timor ;
reliance on his fracted dates
(12) Ask nothing, give it him, it foals me straight
An able borse.] The stupidity of this corruption will be very obvi. ous, if we take the whole context together. "If I want gold, (says “ the Senator ) let me steal a beggar's dog, and give it to Timon, the “ dog coins me gold. If I would sell my borse, and had a mind to “ buy ten better instead of him; why, I need but give my horse to “ Timon, to gain this point; and it presently fetches me an borse.". But is that gaining the point proposed ? sense and reason warrant the reading, that I have restored to the text. The first Folio reads, lefs corruptly than the modern impressions,
And able horses. Which reading, join’d to the reasoning of the passage, gave me the hint for this emendation,
When every feather sticks in his own wing,
Cap. I go, Sir.
Sen. I go, Sir!-take the bonds along with you, (13) And have the dates in compt.
Cap. I will, Sir.
SCENE changes to Timon's hall.
Enter Flavius, with many bills in his hand. Flav. O
N That he will neither know how to maintain it,
Nor cease his flow of riot? Takes no account
Enter Caphis, Ifidore, and Varro. Cap. Good evening, Varro; what you come for money? Var. Is’t not your businefs too? Cap. It is; and yours too, Isidore ? Ifid. It is fo. Cap. Would we were all discharg'd. Var. I fear it. Cap. Here comes the Lord. (13)
take tbe bonds along with you, And have tbe dates in. Come.] The abfurdity of this paffage is fo glaring, that one cannot help wendering, none of our poet's editors should have been sagacious enough to stumble at it. Certainly, ever fince bonds were given, the date was put in when the bond was enter'd into: And thefe bonds Timon had already given, and the time limited for their payment was laps’d. The Senator's charge to his servant must be to the tenour as I have amended the text; viz. Take good notice of the dates, for the better computation of the interest due upon them. Mr. Pope has vouchsafed to acknowledge my emendation, and cry re&te to it in the appendix his last impression. 2
Enter Timon, and his train.
[They present their bills.
Cap. Please it your Lordship, he hath put me off
Tim. Mine honest friend,
Tim. Give me breath :-
Flav. Please you, gentlemen,