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POET. What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold ?
PAIN. Certain : Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him: he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: 'Tis said, he gave unto his steward a mighty sum. POET. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.
PAIN. Nothing else: you shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the highest. There
terview with Timon, and had therefore returned back into the city. RITSON.
I am afraid, many of the difficulties which the commentators on our author have employed their abilities to remove, arise from the negligence of Shakspeare himself, who appears to have been less attentive to the connection of his scenes, than a less hasty writer may be supposed to have been. On the present occasion I have changed the beginning of the Act. It is but justice to observe, that the same regulation has already been adopted by Mr. Capell. REED
I perceive no difficulty. It is easy to suppose that the Poet and Painter, after having been seen at a distance by Apemantus, have wandered about the woods separately in search of Timon's habitation. The Painter might have heard of Timon's having given gold to Alcibiades, &c. before the Poet joined him; for it does not appear that they set out from Athens together; and his intelligence concerning the Thieves and the Steward might have been gained in his rambles: or, having searched for Timon's habitation in vain, they might, after having been descried by Apemantus, have returned again to Athens, and the Painter alone have heard the particulars of Timon's bounty.-But Shakspeare was not very attentive to these minute particulars; and if he and the audience knew of the several persons who had partaken of Timon's wealth, he would not scruple to attribute this knowledge to persons who perhaps had not yet an opportunity of acquiring it.
The news of the Steward's having been enriched by Timon, though that event happened only in the end of the preceding scene, has, we here find, reached the Painter; and therefore here undoubtedly the fifth Act ought to begin, that a proper interval may be supposed to have elapsed between this and the last. MALONE.
a PALM-and FLOURISH, &c.] This allusion is scriptural,
fore, 'tis not amiss, we tender our loves to him, in this supposed distress of his : it will show honestly in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.
POET. What have you now to present unto him? PAIN. Nothing at this time but my visitation : only I will promise him an excellent piece.
POET. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.
PAIN. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the time: it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of saying is quite out of use 5. To promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will, or testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.
TIM. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.
POET. I am thinking, what I shall say I have provided for him: It must be a personating of himself a satire against the softness of prosperity;
and occurs in Psalm xcii. 11: "The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree." STEEVENS.
the deed OF SAYING is quite out of use.] The doing of that which we have said we would do, the accomplishment and performance of our promise, is, except among the lower classes of mankind, quite out of use. So, in King Lear:
In my true-heart
"I find she names my very deed of love."
Again, more appositely, in Hamlet:
"As he, in his peculiar act and force,
Mr. Pope rejected the words of saying, and the four following editors adopted his licentious regulation. MALONE.
I claim the merit of having restored the old reading.
6 It must be a PERSONATING of himself:]
with a discovery of the infinite flatteries, that follow youth and opulency.
TIM. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.
POET. Nay, let's seek him :
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.
When the day serves 7, before black-corner'd night
TIM. I'll meet you at the turn.
What a god's
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple,
Than where swine feed!
'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough'st the
Settlest admired reverence in a slave :
To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
representing simply. For the subject of this projected satire was Timon's case, not his person. WARBURTON.
7 When the day serves, &c.] Theobald with some probability assigns these two lines to the Poet. MALONE.
8 before BLACK-CORNER'D night,] An anonymous correspondent sent me this observation: "As the shadow of the earth's body, which is round, must be necessarily conical over the hemisphere which is opposite to the sun, should we not read blackconed? See Paradise Lost, book iv."
To this observation I might add a sentence from Philemon Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, b. ii. "Neither is the night any thing else but the shade of the earth. Now the figure of this shadow resembleth a pyramis pointed forward, or a top turned upside down."
I believe, nevertheless, that Shakspeare, by this expression, meant only, Night which is as obscure as a dark corner. Measure for Measure, Lucio calls the Duke, a duke of dark corners." Mr. M. Mason proposes to read-" black-crown'd night;" another correspondent, "black-cover'd night."
Be crown'd with plagues, that thee alone obey! 'Fit I do meet them 9.
POET. Hail, worthy Timon!
Our late noble master.
TIM. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men ? POET. Sir,
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retir'd, your friends fall'n off,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
With any size of words.
TIM. Let it go naked, men may see't the better: You, that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen, and known.
He, and myself, Have travell'd in the great shower of your gifts, And sweetly felt it.
Ay, you are honest men. PAIN. We are hither come to offer you our ser
TIM. Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no. BOTH. What we can do, we'll do, to do you
TIM. You are honest men: You have heard that I have gold;
I am sure, you have: speak truth: you are honest
PAIN. So it is said, my noble lord: but therefore Came not my friend, nor I.
9 'Fit I Do meet them.] For the sake of harmony in this hemistich, I have supplied the auxiliary verb. STEEVENS.
TIM. Good honest men :-Thou draw'st a coun
Best in all Athens: thou art, indeed, the best ;
So, so, my lord.
TIM. Even so, sir, as I say:-And, for thy fic
[To the Poet. Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth, That thou art even natural in thine art.But, for all this, my honest-natur'd friends, I must needs say, you have a little fault : Marry, 'tis not monstrous in you: neither wish I, You take much pains to mend.
To make it known to us.
Beseech your honour,
You'll take it ill.
Will you, indeed?
BOTH. Most thankfully, my lord.
BOTH. Doubt it not, worthy lord.
TIM. There's ne'er a one of you but trusts a
That mightily deceives you.
Do we, my lord?
TIM. Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissem
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
a COUNTERFEIT] It has been already observed, that a portrait was so called in our author's time:
"Fair Portia's counterfeit!" Merchant of Venice.
―a MADE-UP villain.] That is, a villain that adopts qualities and characters not properly belonging to him; a hypocrite.
A made-up villain, may mean a complete, a finished villain.