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Timon, a noble Athenian.
Servants to Timon's Creditors.
of Timon's Creditors. Cupid and Maskers. Three Strangers. Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant. An old Athenian. A Page. A Fool. Phrynia,
Mistresses to Alcibiades. TIMANDRA,
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves, and
SCENE, ATHENS; and the Woods adjoining.
| Phrynia,] (or as this name should have been written by Shakspeare, Phryne,) was an Athenian courtezan so exquisitely beautiful, that when her judges were proceeding to condemn her for numerous and enormous offences, a sight of her bosom (which as we learn from Quintilian, had been artfully denuded by her advocate,) disarmed the court of its severity, and secured her life from the sentence of the law. STEEVENS.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
SCENE I. -Athens.
A Hall in Timon's House.
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and Others,
at several Doors.
I am glad you are well.
Ay, that's well known:
Pain. I know them both; t'other's a jeweller.
Nay, that's most fix’d.
- breath'd, as it were,] Breathed is inured by constant practice; 60 trained as not to be wearied. To breathe a horse, is to exercise him for the course.' Johnson.
* He passes.) i. e, exceeds, goes beyond common bounds.
I have a jewel here.
Poet. When we for recompense* have prais'd the vile,
'Tis a good form.
[Looking at the jewel. Jer. And rich: here is a water, look you. Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedi
cation To the great lord. Poet.
A thing slipp'd idly from me.
"Tis a good piece.
Admirable: How this grace
touch the estimate :) Come up to the price. When we for recompense, &c.] We must here suppose the poet busy in reading in his own work; and that these three lines are the introduction of the poem addressed to Timon, which he afterwards gives the painter an-account of. WARBURTON.
- and, like the current, flies
Each bound it chafes.] This jumble of incongruous images seems to have been designed, and put into the mouth of the poetaster, that the reader might appreciate his talents : his language therefore should not be considered in the abstract.
+ Mr. Malone omits And.
shoots-forth ! how big imagination Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
I'll say of it,
Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How shall I understand you?
I'll anbolt to you. You see how all conditions, how all minds, (As well of glib and slippery creatures, as
- artificial strife - ) Strife is the contest of art with nature. 7 Halts not particularly,] My design does not stop at any single "character. JOHNSON.
6 In a wide sea of wax: ] Anciently they wrote upon waxen tables with an iron style.
9 - no levelld malice, &c.] To level is to aim, to point the shot at a mark. Shakspeare's meaning is, my poem is not a satire written with any particular view, or levelled at any single person; I fly like an eagle into the general expanse of life, and leave not, by any private mischief, the trace of my passage.
- I'U unbolt -) I'll open, I'll explain. JOHNSON.
grave and austere quality,) tender down' Their services to lord Timon: his large fortune, Upon his good and gracious nature hanging, Subdues and properties to his love and tendance All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-fac'd flatterer To Apemantus, that few things loves better Than to abhor himself: even he drops down The knee before him, and returns in peace Most rich in Timon's nod. Pain.
I saw them speak together.
"Tis conceiv'd to scope.
Nay, sir, but hear me on:
glass-fac'd flatterer — ) That shows in his look, as by reflection, the looks of his patron. JOHNSON.
rank'd with all deserts,] Cover'd with ranks of all kinds of men. JOHNSON.
4 To propagate their states:) To advance or improve their various conditions of life. Johnson.
conceiv'd to scope.) Properly imagined, appositely, to the purpose. Johnson.
o In our condition.] Condition for art.