Imatges de pÓgina

If I would sell my horse, and buy twenty more
Better than he, why, give my horse to Timon,
Ask nothing, give it him, it foals me1, straight,
And able horses: No porter at his gate 2;
But rather one that smiles, and still invites
All that pass by. It cannot hold; no reason
Can sound his state in safety3. Caphis, ho!
Caphis, I say!



Here, sir; What is your pleasure? Sen. Get on your cloak, and haste you to Lord Timon;

Impórtune him for my monies; be not ceas'd⭑

1 The commentators have made difficulties about this passage, which appears to me quite plain and intelligible without a comment. If I give my horse to Timon it immediately foals, i. e. produces me several able horses.' We have, as Malone observes, the same sentiment, differently expressed, before :

no meed but he repays

Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him

But breeds the giver a return exceeding
All use of quittance.'

2 Sternness was the characteristic of a porter. There appeared at Kenilworth Castle [1575] a porter tall of parson, big of lim, and stearn of countinauns.' And in Decker's play of A Knight's Conjuring, &c. 'You mistake, if you imagine that Plutoe's porter is like one of those big fellowes that stand like gyants at lordes gates, &c.-Yet hee's surly as those key-turners are.' The word one, in the second line, does not refer to porter, but means a person. He has no stern forbidding porter at his gate to keep people out, but a person who smiles and invites them in.'

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3 Johnson altered this to 'found his state in safety.' But the reading of the folio is evidently sound, which I think will bear explanation thus:- No reason can proclaim his state in safety, or not dangerous. So in King Henry VIII. Act v. Sc. 2:Pray heaven he sound not my disgrace!' Again in Julius Cæsar, Act i. Sc. 2:

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'Why should that name be sounded more than yours?'

4 Be not stayed or stopped:

'Why should Tiberius' liberty be ceased?"

Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607.

With slight denial; nor then silenc'd, when-
Commend me to your master-and the cap

Plays in the right hand, thus:-but tell him, sirrah,
My uses cry to me, I must serve my turn
Out of mine own; his days and times are past,
And my reliances on his fracted dates

Have smit my credit: I love, and honour him;
But must not break my back, to heal his finger:
Immediate are my needs; and my relief

Must not be toss'd and turn'd to me in words,
But find supply immediate. Get you gone:
Put on a most importunate aspéct,

A visage of demand; for, I do fear,
When every feather sticks in his own wing,
Lord Timon will be left a naked gull5,

Which flashes now a phoenix. Get you gone.
Caph. I go, sir.

Sen. I go, sir?-take the bonds along with you, And have the dates in compt.


I will, sir.

Go. [Exeunt.

5 This passage has been thus explained by Roger Wilbraham, Esq. in his Glossary of words used in Cheshire:- Gull, s. a naked gull; so are called all nestling birds in quite an unfledged state. They have a yellowish cast; and the word is, I believe, derived from the A. S. geole, or the Sui. Got. gul, yellow, Somn. and Ihre. The commentators, not aware of the meaning of the term naked gull, blunder in their attempts to explain those words in Timon of Athens.'--Archæologia, vol. xix. Mr. Boswell observes that in the Blacke Booke, 1604, sig. C. 3. a young heir is termed a guil-finch; and that it is probably used with the same meaning in When You See Me You Know Me, by Sam. Rowley, 1633, sig. E. 2. verso, The angels has flown about to night, and two gulls are light into my hands.'

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6 Which for who. The pronoun relative applied to things is frequently used for the pronoun relative applied to persons by old writers, and does not seem to have been thought a grammatical It is still preserved in the Lord's prayer.


The same.


A Hall in Timon's House.

Enter FLAVIUS, with many Bills in his hand, Flav. No care, no stop! so senseless of expense, That he will neither know how to maintain it, Nor cease his flow of riot: Takes no account How things go from him; nor resumes no care Of what is to continue; Never mind

Was to be so unwise, to be so kind1.

What shall be done? He will not hear, till feel:
I must be round with him now he comes from hunting.
Fye, fye, fye, fye!

Enter CAPHIS, and the Servants of ISIDORE and



You come for money?
Var. Serv.

Good even2, Varro: What,

Is't not your business too?

It is so.

I fear it.

Caph. It is;-And yours too, Isidore?

Isid. Serv.

Caph. 'Would we were all discharg'd!

Var. Serv.

Caph. Here comes the lord.

Enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, and Lords, &c. Tim. So soon as dinner's done, we'll forth again3, My Alcibiades. With me? What's your will? 1 This is elliptically expressed :

Never mind

Was [made] to be unwise [in order] to be so kind.' Conversation, as Johnson observes, affords many examples of similar lax expression.

2 Good even, or good den, was the usual salutation from noon, the moment that good morrow became improper. See Romeo and Juliet, Act ii. Sc. 4.

i e. to hunting; in our author's time it was the custom to

Caph. My lord, here is a note of certain dues. Tim. Dues? Whence are you?


Of Athens, here, my lord.

Tim. Go to my steward.

Caph. Please it your lordship, he hath put me off
To the succession of new days this month:
My master is awak'd by great occasion,
To call upon his own; and humbly prays you,
That with your other noble parts you'll suit*,
In giving him his right.

Mine honest friend,
I pr'ythee, but repair to me next morning.

Caph. Nay, good my lord,


Contain thyself, good friend. Var. Serv. One Varro's servant, my good lord,

Isid. Serv.

From Isidore; He humbly prays your speedy payment,

Caph. If you did know, my lord, my master's


Var. Serv. 'Twas due on forfeiture, my lord, six weeks,

And past,

Isid. Serv. Your steward puts me off, my And I am sent expressly to your lordship. Tim. Give me breath,

I do beseech you, good my lords, keep on;


[Exeunt ALCIBIADES and Lords. I'll wait upon you instantly.-Come hither, pray [To FLAVIUS.


How goes the world, that I am thus encounter'd

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hunt as well after dinner as before. Thus in Tancred and Gismunda, 1592, He means this evening in the park to bunt.' Queen Elizabeth, during her stay at Kenilworth Castle, she always hunted in the afternoon.

i. e. that you will behave on this occasion in a manner consistent with your other noble qualities.

With clamorous demands of date-broke bonds,
And the detention of long-since-due debts,
Against my honour?

Please you, gentlemen,
The time is unagreeable to this business:
Your importunacy cease, till after dinner;
That I may make his lordship understand
Wherefore you are not paid.


See them well entertain'd.


Do so, my friends:

[Exit TIMON.

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Enter APEMANTUS and a Fool".

Caph. Stay, stay, here comes the fool with Ape-
mantus; let's have some sport with 'em.
Var. Serv. Hang him, he'll abuse us.
Isid. Serv. A plague upon him, dog!
Var. Serv. How dost, fool?

Apem. Dost dialogue with thy shadow?
Var. Serv. I speak not to thee.

Apem. No; 'tis to thyself,-Come away.

[To the Fool:

Isid. Serv. [To VAR. Serv.] There's the fool hangs on your back already.

Apem. No, thou stand'st single, thou art not on

him yet.

5 The old copy reads:

of debt, broken bonds.'

The emendation, which was made by Malone, is well supported by corresponding passages in the poet. Thus at p. 32, ante :'And my reliances on his fracted dates.'

6 Johnson thought that a scene or passage had been here lost, in which the audience were informed that the fool and the page that follows him belonged to Phrynia, Timandra, or some other courtesan; upon the knowledge of which depends the greater part of the ensuing jocularity.

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