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SCENE II.-A Room of State in Timon's House. Hautboys play loud music. A great banquet served in ;
FLAVIUS and others attending: then enter TIMON,
TUS, discontentedly, like himself.
O! by no means,
Ven. A noble spirit !
Nay, my lords, [After a pause.
3-discontentedly, like himself.) We here follow, as nearly as possible, the old stage-direction, to the exclusion of the names of Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius.
Pray, sit : more welcome are ye to my fortunes,
[They sit down to table.
Apem. No; you shall not make me welcome :
Tim. Fie! thou 'rt a churl : you have got a humour there
Apem. Let me stay at thine apperil,5 Timon :
I Tim. I take no heed of thee; thou art an Athenian ; therefore welcome. I myself would have no power; pr'ythee, let my meat make thee silent.
Apem. I scorn thy meat; 'twould choke me, for I should ne'er flatter thee.- you gods ! what a number of men eat Timon, and he sees them not! It grieves me to see so many dip their meat in one man's blood; and all the madness is, he cheers them up too. I wonder men dare trust themselves with men : Methinks they should invite them without knives; Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.
• But yond' man is Ever angry.] “Very angry” in the folios. Rowe made the change ; also found in the Cor. fol. 1632.
at thine APPERIL.] This word occurs in the same form at least four times in Ben Jonson. We do not recollect it elsewhere.
There's much example for’t; the fellow, that sits next him now, parts bread with him, pledges the breath of him in a divided draught, is the readiest man to kill him : it has been proved. If I were a huge man, I should fear to drink at meals ; Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes : Great men should drink with harness on their throats. Tim. My lord, in heart ; and let the health go round.
[Drinking to him. Second Lord. Let it flow this way, my good lord. Apem. Flow this way? A brave fellow !—he keeps his
y tides well. Those healths will make thee and thy state look ill, Timon. Here's that, which is too weak to be a fire, 8 Honest water, which ne'er left man i' the mire : This and my food are equals, there's no odds; Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.
-10 be a Fire,] So the Cor.fol. 1632, misprinted "to be a sinner," in all the old copies : the rhyme detects the blunder, occasioned, in part, by confusion between the long s and the letter f.
Much good dich thy good heart," Apemantus !
Tim. Captain Alcibiades, your heart 's in the field now.
Tim. You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies thana dinner of friends.
Alcib. So they were bleeding-new, my lord, there's no meat like 'em : I could wish my best friend at such a feast.
Apem. 'Would all those flatterers were thine enemies then, that then thou mightst kill 'em, and bid me to 'eme.
First Lord. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby we might express some part of our zeals, we should think ourselves for ever perfect
Tim. O! no doubt, my good friends; but the gods themselves have provided that I shall have much help from you : how had you been my friends else? why have you that charitable title from thousands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you to myself, than you can with modesty speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O, you gods! think I, what need we have any friends, if we should ne'er have need of 'em ? they were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er have use for 'em ; and would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keep their sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wished myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We are born to do benefits;
? Much good DICH thy good heart,] So printed in all old copies; an apparent corruption of d’it for do it.
8 —and Bid me to 'em.] i.e., Invite me to 'em. To bid was constantly used in this sense. See Much Ado about Nothing, act v, sc. i, p. 83, Merchant of Venice, act ii, sc. 5, p. 33, etc.
and what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends ? O! what a precious comfort 'tis, to have so many, like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes. O joy, e'en made away ere it can be born! Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks : to forget their faults, I drink to you.
A pem. Thou weep'st to make them drink, Timon.
Second Lord. Joy had the like conception in our eyes, And at that instant like a babe sprung up.
A pem. Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard. Third Lord. I promise you, my lord, you moved me
much. A pem. Much!
[Tucket sounded within. Tim. What means that trump ?-How now!
Enter a Servant. Serv. Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies most
desirous of admittance. Tim. Ladies! What are their wills ?
Serv. There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which bears that office to signify their pleasures. Tim. I pray, let them be admitted.
9 The EAR, taste, etc.] Warburton's ingenious restoration of a difficult passage, which in the old copies runs thus:
“ There taste, touch, all pleas'd from thy table rise.”