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Make sacred even his stirrop, and through him
Drink the free air. 2

Ay, marry, what of these?
Puet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of

Spurns down her late belov’d, all his dependants,
Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top,
Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,3
Not one accompanying his declining foot.

Pain. 'Tis common:
A thousand moral paintings I can show,



expression, calls sacrificial whisperings, alluding to the victims offered up to idols. Warburton.

Wbisperings attended with such respect and veneration as accompany sacrifices to the gods. Such, I suppose, is the meaning.

Malone. By sacrificial whisórrings, I should simply understand whisperings of officious servility, the incense of the worshipping parasite to the patron as to a god. These whisperings might probably immolate reputations for the most part, but I should not reduce the epithet in question to that notion here. Mr. Gray has excellently expressed in his Elegy these sacrificial offerings to the great from the poetick tribe :

“ To heap the shrine of luxury and pride
“ With incense kindled at the muse's flame.” Wakefield.

through him
Drink the free air.] That is, catch his breath in affected fond-

Johnson. A similar phrase occurs in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Hu

“ By this air, the most divine tobacco I every drank .!" To drink, in both these instances, signifies to inhale. Steevens.

Dr. Johnson's explanation appears to me highly unnatural and unsatisfactory. To drink the air,” like the haustus ætherios of Virgil, is merely a poetical phrase for draw the air, or breathe. To “drink the free air,” therefore, “ through another," is to breathe freely at his will only; so as to depend on him for the privilege of life: not even to breathe freely without his permission. Wakefield. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :

“ His nostrils drink the air." Again, in The Tempest :

I drink the air before me." Malone.
- let him slip down,] The old copy reads :

let him sit down.
The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. Steevens.

4 A thousand moral paintings I can show,] Shakspeare seems to intend in this dialogue to express some competition between the



That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune 5
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well,
To show lord Timon, that mean eyes6 have seen
The foot above the head.
Trumhets sound. Enter Timon, attended; the Servant

of VENTIDIUS talking with him.

Imprison'd is he, say you? Ven. Serv. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt; His means most short, his creditors most strait: Your honourable letter he desires To those have shut him up; which failing to him, 8 Periods his comfort.9 Tim.

Noble Ventidius! Well; I am not of that feather, to shake off



two great arts of imitation. Whatever the poet declares himself to have shown, the painter thinks he could have shown better.

Fohnson these quick blows of fortune - ] [Old copy--fortune's -] This was the phraseology of Shakspeare's time, as I have already observed in a note on King Fohn, Vol. VII, p. 305, n. 8. The modern editors read, more elegantly,-of fortune. The alteration was first made in the second folio, from ignorance of Shakspeare's diction. Malone.

Though I cannot impute such a correction to the ignorance of the person who made it, I can easily suppose what is here styled the phraseology of Shakspeare, to be only the mistake of a vulgar transcriber or printer. Had our author been constant in his use of this mode of speech (which is not the case) the propriety of Mr. Malone's remark would have been readily admitted.

Steevens. mean eyes -] i. e. inferior spectators. So, in Wotton's Letter to Bacon, dated March the last, 1613: “Before their majesties, and almost as many other meaner eyes," &c. Tollet.

? Imprisond is he, say you?) Here we have another interpo.lation destructive to the metre. Omitting-is hewe ought to read:

Imprison'd, say you? Steevens..

- which failing to him,] Thus the second folio. The first omits—to him, and consequently mutilates the verse. Steevens.

9 Periods his comfort. ] To period is, perhaps, a verb of Shakspeare's introduction into the English language. I find it, how. ever, used by Heywood, after him, in A Maidenhead well. losty, 1634:

“ How easy could I period' all my care.' Again, in The Country Girl, by T. B. 1647:To period our vain-grievings.”. Steevenss.

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My friend when he must need me. I do know him
A gentleman, that well deserves a help,
Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt, and free him.

Ven. Serv. Your lordship ever binds him.

Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his ransome; And, being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me:'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, But to support him after.2-Fare you well. Ven. Serv. All happiness to your honour!3 [Exit.

Enter an old Athenian. Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak. Tim.

Freely, good father. Old Ath. Thou hast a servant nam'd Lucilius. Tim. I have so: What of him? Old with. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee. Tim. Attends he here, or no?-Lucilius!

Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.
Old Ath. This fellow here, lord Timon, this thy crea-

By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first have been inclin'd to thrift;
And my estate deserves an heir more rais’d,
Than one which holds a trencher.

Well; what further?
Old Ath. One only daughter have I, no kin else,
On whom I may confer what I have got:
The maid is fair, o'the youngest for a bride,
And I have bred her at my dearest cost,


must need me.] i.e. when he is compelled to have need of my assistance; or, as Mr. Malone has more happily explained the phrase,"cannot but want my assistance.” Steevens.

2'Tis not enough &c.] This thought is better expressed by Dr. Madden in his Elegy on Archbishop Boulter:

“ More than they ask'd he gave; and deem'd it mean

“ Only to help the poor-to beg again.” Fohnson. It has been said that Dr. Jobnson was paid ten guineas by Dr. Madden for correcting this poem. Steevens.

your honour !] The common address to a lord in our author's time, was your honour, which was indifferently used with your lordship. See any old letter, or dedication of that age; and Vol. XI, p. 95, where a Pursuivant, speaking to Lord Hastings, says," I thank your honour." Steevens.


In qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her love: I pr’ythee, noble lord,
Join with me to forbid him her resort;
Myself have spoke in vain.

The man is honest.
Old Ath. Therefore he will be, Timon : 4
His honesty rewards him in itself,
It must not bear my daughter.5

Does she love him! Old Ath. She is young, and apt:

Sent »

4 Therefore he will be, Timon :) The thought is closely express. ed, and obscure: but this seems the meaning: “If the man be honest, my lord, for that reason he will be so in this; and not en. deavour at the injustice of gaining my daughter without my con

I rather think an emendation necessary, and read:

Therefore well be him, Timon:

His honesty rewards him in itself. That is, “ If he is honest, bene sit illi, I wish him the proper happiness of an honest man, but his honesty gives him no claim to my daughter." The first transcriber probably wrote-will be with him, which the next, not understanding, changed to,-he will be. Fohnson.

I think Dr. Warburton's explanation is best, because it exacts no change. So, in King Henry VIII:

May he continue
“ Long in his highness' favour; and do justice

For truth's sake and his conscience." Again, more appositely, in Cymbeline :

" This hath been
Your faithful servant: I dare lay mine honour

6. He will reinain so." Steevens. Therefore he will be, Timon:] Therefore he will continue to be so, and is sure of being sufficiently rewarded by the consciousness of virtue; and he does not need the additional blessing of a beautiful and accomplished wife.

It has been objected, I forget by whom, if the old Athenian means to say that Lucilius will still continue to be virtuous, what occasion has he to apply to Timon to interfere relative to this marriage? But this is making Shakspeare write by the card. The words mean undoubtedly, that he will be honest in his general conduct through life ; in every other action except that now complained of. Malone.

bear my daughter.] A similar expression occurs in Othello:

" What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe,
« If he can carry her thus!” Steevens.


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Our own precedent passions do instruct us
What levity's in youth.
Tim. [to Luc.] Love


the maid? Luc. Āy, my good lord, and she accepts of it.

Old Ath. If in her marriage my consent be missing, I call the gods to witness, I will choose Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world, And dispossess her all. Tim.

How shall she be endow'd, If she be mated with an equal husband ?6

Old Ath. Three talents, on the present; in future, all:

Tim. This gentleman of mine hath serv'd me long; To build his fortune, I will strain a little, For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: What you bestow, in him I 'll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her. Old Ath.

Most noble lord, Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.

Tim. My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise.

Luc. Humbly I thank your lordship: Never may That state of fortune fall into my keeping, Which is not ow'd to you!? [Exeunt Luc. and old Ath. Poet. Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your lord

ship! Tim. I thank you; you shall hear from me anon; Go not away. What have you there, my friend?

And dispossess her all.

How shall she be endow'd, If she be mated with an equal husband?] The players, those avowed enemies to even a common ellipsis, have here again dis. ordered the metre by interpolation. Will a single idea of our au. thor's have been lost, if, omitting the useless and repeated words. she be, we should regulate the passage thus :

How shall she be
Endow'd, if mated with an equal husband? Steedens.


Never may

That state or fortune fall into my keeping,

Which is not ow'd to you!] The meaning is, let me never henceforth consider any thing that I possess, but as owed or due to you; held for your service, and at your disposal. Johnson. So Lady Macbeth says to Duncan:

“ Your servants ever
“ Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt,
“ To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
“Still to return your own." Malone.

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