Imatges de pÓgina
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gift, I warrant. Why, this hits right; I dreamt of a silver bason and ewer to-night. Flaminius, honest Flaminius; you are very respectivelyl welcome, sir.- Fill some wine.-[Exit Servant.)-And how does that honourable, complete, free-hearted gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good lord and master ?

Flam. His health is well, sir.

Lucul. I am right glad that his health is well, sir: And what hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty Flaminius?

Flam. 'Faith, nothing but an empty box, sir; which, in my lord's behalf, I come to entreat your honour to supply; who, having great and instant occasion to use fifty talents, hath sent to your lordship to furnish him; nothing doubting your present assistance therein.

Lucul. La, la, la, la,-nothing doubting, says he? alas, good lord! a noble gentleman 'tis, if he would not keep 80 good a house. Many a time and often I have dined with him, and told him on't; and come again to supper to him, of purpose to have him spend less: and yet he would embrace no counsel, take no warning by my coming. Every man has his fault, and honesty2 is his; I have told him on't, but I could never get him from it.

Re-enter Servant, with wine.
Serv. Please your lordship, here is the wine.

Lucul. Flaminius, I have noted thee always wise. Here's to thee.

Flam. Your lordship speaks your pleasure.

Lucul. I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt spirit,-give thee thy due,—and one that knows what belongs to reason: and canst use the time well, if the time use thee well: good parts in

! i. e. consideratively, regardfully. See vol. iii. p. 91, note 16.

? Honesty here means liberality. That nobleness of spirit or honesty that free-born men have. --Baret.

thee.-Get you gone, sirrah.--[To the Servant, who goes out.}-Draw nearer, honest Flaminius. Thy lord's a bountiful gentleman: but thou art wise ; and thou knowest well enough, although thou comest to me, that this is no time to lend money; especially upon bare friendship, without security. Here's three solidares3 for thee; good boy, wink at me, and say, thou saw'st me not. Fare thee well.

Flam. Is't possible, the world should so much

differ;

And we alive, that liv'd4? Fly, damned baseness, To him that worships thee.

[Throwing the money away. Lucul. Ha! Now I see, thou art a fool, and fit for thy master.

[Erit LUCULLUS. Flam. May these add to the number that may

scald thee!
Let molten coin be thy damnations,
Thou disease of a friend, and not himself !
Has friendship such a faint and milky heart,
It turns in less than two nights? O you gods,
I feel my master's passion?! This slave
Unto his honours, has my lord's meat in him:
Why should it thrive, and turn to nutriment,

3 Steevens says,

I believe this coin is from the mint of the poet. We are not to look for the name of a Greek coin here; but he probably formed it from solidari, or soldi, a small coin, which Florio makes equal to shillings in value.

4 And we alive now who lived then. As much as to say, in 80 short a time.

5 One of the punishments invented for the covetous and avaricious in hell of old was to have melted gold poured down their throats. In the old Shepherd's Calendar Lazarus declares himself to have seen covetove men and women in hell dipped in caldrous of molten metal. And in the old black letter ballad of The Dead Man's Song :

Ladles foll of melted gold

Were poured down their throats.' Crassus was so punished by the Parthians. 6 So in King Lear:

,- my daughter,

Or rather a disease,' &c. ? i. e. suffering, grief. Othello, when Desdemona weepe, says,

() well diesembled passion.' 8 Some modern editions have changed his honour into this hour

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When he is turn'd to poison ? 0, may diseases only work upon't ! And, when he is sick to death, let not that part of

nature Which my lord paid for, be of any power To expel sickness, but prolong his hour!! [Erit.

SCENE II.
The same.

A public Place.
Enter Lucius, with three Strangers.
Luc. Who, the Lord Timon ? he is my very good
friend, and an honourable gentleman.

1 Stran. We knowl him for no less, though we are but strangers to him. But I can tell thing, my lord, and which I hear from common rumours; now Lord Timon's happy hours are done and past, and his estate shrinks from him.

Luc. Fye no, do not believe it; he cannot want

you one

for money

2 Stran. But believe you this, my lord, that, not long ago, one of his men was with the Lord Lucullus, to borrow so many talents?; nay, urged extremely for't, and showed what necessity belonged to't, and yet was denied.

Luc. How?
2 Stran. I tell you, denied, my lord.

Luc. What a strange case was that? now, before the gods, I am ashamed on't. Denied that honourable man? there was very little honour showed in't.

I think the old reading which Steevens explains, • This slave (to the bonour of his character) has,' &c. not what is meant to be expressed, and should prefer the correction.

i. e. prolong, his hour of suffering. Thus Timon, in a future passage, says, • Live loath'd, and long! And in Coriolanus, Menenius says to the Roman sentinel, Be that you are long; and your misery increase with your age.'

1 Acknowledge.

2 • So many ialents,' a common colloquial phrase for an indefinite number: the stranger apparently did not know the exact sum; and yet some editors have arbitrarily substituted fifty talents.'

For my own part, I must needs confess, I have received some small kindnesses from him, as money, plate, jewels, and such like trifles, nothing comparing to his; yet had he mistook him, and sent to me, I should ne'er have denied his occasion 80 many talents.

Enter SERVILIUS. Ser. See, by good hap, yonder's my lord; I have sweat to see his honour.--My honoured lord,

[To Lucius. Luc. Servilius! you are kindly met, sir. Fare thee well:-Commend me to thy honourable-virtuous lord, my very exquisite friend.

Ser. May it please your honour, my lord hath sent

Luc. Ha! what has he sent? I am so much endeared to that lord; he's ever sending: How shall I thank him, thinkest thou? And what has he sent now ?

Serv. He has only sent his present occasion now, my lord; requesting your lordship to supply his instant use with so many talents4.

Luc. I know, his lordship is but merry with me; He cannot want fifty-five hundred talents.

Ser. But in the mean time he wants less, my lord.
If his occasion were not virtuous5,
I should not urge it half so faithfully.

Luc. Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?
Ser. Upon my soul, 'tis true, sir.

Luc. What a wicked beast was I, to disfurnish myself against such a good time, when I might have shown myself honourable! how unluckily it happened, that I should purchase the day before for a little part, and undo a great deal of honoure! -Servilius, now before the gods, I am not able to do't; the more beast, I say:-I was sending to use Lord Timon myself, these gentlemen can witness; but I would not, for the wealth of Athens, I had done it now. Commend me bountifully to his good lordship: and I hope, his honour will conceive the fairest of me, because I have no power to be kind: And tell him this from me, I count it one of my greatest afflictions, say, that I cannot pleasure such an honourable gentleman. Good Servilius, will you befriend me so far, as to use mine own words to him?

3 Lucius means to insinuate that it would have been a kind of mistake in Timon to apply to him, who had received but few favours from him in comparison to those bestowed on Lucullus.

4 Such is again the reading the old copy supplies; some modern editors have here again substituted fifty taleuts. But this was the phraseology of the poet's age. In Julius Cæsar Lucilius says to his adversary :

• There is so much that thou wilt kill me straight.' 5. If he did not want it for a good use.'

Ser. Yes, sir, I shall.
Luc. I will look you out a good turn, Servilius,

[Erit SERVILIUS. True, as you said, Timon is shrunk, indeed; And he, that's once denied, will hardly speed.

[Exit Lucius. 1 Stran. Do you observe this, Hostilius? 2 Stran. Ay, too well.

1 Stran. Why this Is the world's soul; and just of the same piece Is every flatterer's spirit?. Who can call him His friend, that dips in the same dish ? for, in My knowing, Timon has been this lord's father, And kept his credit with his purse; Supported his estate; nay, Timon's money Has paid his men their wages: He ne'er drinks, But Timon's silver treads upon his lip; And yet (0, see the monstrousness of man

6 i. e. ' by purchasing what brought me but little honour, I have Jost the more honourable opportunity of supplying the wants of my friend, i The old copy reads :

• Is every flatterer's sport.'The emendation is Theobald's. I think with Malone that this speech was never intended for verse, though printed as such in the folio.

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