Imatges de pÓgina

They have all been touch'd1, and found base metal;


They have all denied him.


How! have they denied him? Has Ventidius and Lucullus denied him? And does he send to me? Three? humph?!It shows but little love or judgment in him.

Must I be his last refuge? His friends, like physicians,

Thrive3, give him over; Must I take the cure upon me ?

He has much disgrac'd me in't; I am angry at him, That might have known my place: I see no sense for't,

But his occasions might have woo'd me first;

1 Alluding to the trial of metals by the touchstone. Thus in King Richard III.:

'O Buckingham, now do I play the touch,

To try if thou be current gold indeed.'

2 This speech appears to be mutilated, and therefore unmetrical; the first part of it may perhaps bear modifying thus:— 'Ventidius, and Lucius, and Lucullus,

Have denied him, and does he send to me?

Three? humph!

It shows,' &c.

'I can only point out metrical dilapidations, which I profess myself unable to repair,' says Steevens.

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but says, 'perhaps the old reading is the true;' which Steevens illustrates by the following passage in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy:

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Physicians thus,

With their hands full of money, use to give o'er
Their patients.'

The passage will then mean, 'His friends, like physicians, thrive by his bounty and fees, and either relinquish and forsake him, or give up his case as desperate.' It is remarked by Malone that Webster has frequently imitated Shakspeare, and that this passage may be an imitation of that in the text.

For, in my conscience, I was the first man
That e'er received gift from him:

And does he think so backwardly of me now,
That I'll requite it last? No: So it may prove
An argument of laughter to the rest,

And I amongst the lords be thought a fool.
I had rather than the worth of thrice the sum,

He had sent to me first, but for my mind's sake;
I had such a courage to do him good.


But now And with their faint reply this answer join; Who bates mine honour, shall not know my coin.

[Exit. Serv. Excellent! Your lordship's a goodly villain. The devil knew not what he did, when he made man politick; he crossed himself by't: and I cannot think, but, in the end, the villanies of man will set him clear. How fairly this lord strives to appear foul! takes virtuous copies to be wicked; like those that, under hot ardent zeal, would set whole realms on fire 5.

Of such a nature is his politick love.

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4 I take the sense of this passage to be, The devil knew not what he did when he made man politick (i. e. crafty, or full of cunning shifts); he thwarted himself by so doing, overreached himself: and I cannot think but in the end the villanies of man will (make the devil appear in comparison innocent) set him clear, and that they will change places; man becoming the tempter, not the tempted. So in Cymbeline, Posthumus says: It is I

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That all the abhorred things o' the earth amend,
By being worse than they.'

And in Lear:

'Those wicked creatures yet do look well favour'd,
When others are more wicked.'

5 Warburton thinks that this is levelled at the Puritans. 'Sempronius, like them, takes a virtuous semblance to be wicked, pretending that warm affection and generous jealousy of friendship, that is affronted if any other be applied to before it.'

This was my lord's best hope; now all are fled,
Save the gods only: Now his friends are dead,
Doors, that were ne'er acquainted with their wards
Many a bounteous year, must be employ'd
Now to guard sure their master.

And this is all a liberal course allows;

Who cannot keep his wealth, must keep his house.



The same.

A Hall in Timon's House..

Enter two Servants of VARRO, and the Servant of LUCIUS, meeting TITUS, HORTENSIUS, and other Servants to TIMON's Creditors, waiting his coming out.

Var. Serv. Well met; good-morrow, Titus and Hortensius.

Tit. The like to you, kind Varro.

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i.e. keep within doors for fear of duns. Thus in Measure for Measure, Act iii. Sc. 2: You will turn good husband now, Pompey, you will keep the house.'

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Luc. Serv. So much?


Luc. Serv.

Is not my lord seen yet?

Not yet.

Phi. I wonder on't; he was wont to shine at seven. Luc. Serv. Ay, but the days are waxed shorter with him:

You must consider, that a prodigal course

Is like the sun's 1; but not, like his, recoverable. I fear,

'Tis deepest winter in Lord Timon's purse; That is, one may reach deep enough, and yet Find little 2.


I am of your fear for that.

Tit. I'll show you how to observe a strange event. Your lord sends now for money.


Most true, he does.

Tit. And he wears jewels now of Timon's gift, For which you3 wait for money.

Hor. It is against my heart.

Luc. Serv.

Mark, how strange it shows,

Timon in this should pay more than he owes : And e'en as if your lord should wear rich jewels, And send for money for 'em.

Hor. I am weary of this charge, the gods can

I know, my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth.
1 Var. Serv. Yes, mine's three thousand crowns:
What's yours?

Luc. Serv. Five thousand mine.

1 i. e. like him in blaze and splendour.

'Soles occidere et redire possunt.' Catull.

2 Still perhaps alluding to the effects of winter, during which some animals are obliged to seek their scanty provision through a depth of snow.

3 The old copy reads, For which I wait for money.'

4 i. e. this office or employment.

1 Var. Serv. 'Tis much deep: and it should seem

by the sum,

Your master's confidence was above mine;

Else, surely, his had equall'd5.


Tit. One of Lord Timon's men.

Luc. Serv. Flaminius! sir, a word: 'Pray, is my lord ready to come forth?

Flam. No, indeed, he is not.

Tit. We attend his lordship; 'pray, signify so much.

Flam. I need not tell him that; he knows, you are too diligent. [Exit FLAMINIUS.

Enter FLAVIUS in a cloak, muffled.

Luc. Serv. Ha! is not that his steward muffled so? He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him. Tit. Do you hear, sir?

1 Var. Serv. By your leave, sir,

Flav. What do you ask of me, my friend?
Tit. We wait for certain money here, sir.


If money were as certain as your waiting,
'Twere sure enough. Why then preferr❜d you not
Your sums and bills, when your false masters eat
Of my lord's meat? Then they could smile, and fawn
Upon his debts, and take down th' interest

5 The commentators thought this simple passage required a comment; and the reader will be surprised to hear that it bears several constructions. It is obvious that the meaning is, it should seem by the sum your master lent, his confidence in Timon was greater than that of my master, else surely my master's loan had equalled his.' If there be any obscurity, it is because the relative pronoun his does not quite clearly refer to its immediate antecedent mine. I should not have thought the passage needed explanation, had it not been the subject of contention.

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