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We make ourselves fools, to disport ourselves;
and, to show their loves, each singles out an Amazon,
1 Lady. My lord, you take us even at the best.6
9 Like madness is the glory of this life,
As this pomp shows to a little oil, and root.] The glory of this life is very near to madness, as may be made appear from this pomp, exhibited in a place where a philosopher is feeding on oil and roots When we see by example how few are the necessaries of life, we learn what madness there is in so much superfluity.
Fohnson. The word like in this place does not express resemblance, but equality Apemantus does not mean to say that the glory of this life was like madness, but it was just as much madness in the eye of reason, as the pomp appeared to be, when compared to the frugal repast of a philosopher. M. Mason. of their friends' gift?] That is, given them by their friends.
Johnson. fair ladies,) I should wish to read, for the sake of metre fairest ladies. Fair, however may be here used as a dissyllable.
Steevens. lively lustre,] For the epithet-lively, we are indebted to the second folio: it is wanting in the first. Steevens.
mine own device;] The mask appears to have been designed by Timon to surprize his guests. Fohnson.
5 1 Lady. My lord, &c.] In the old copy this speech is given to the 1 Lord. I have ventured to change it to the Lady, as Mr.
Anem. 'Faith, for the worst is filthy; and would not hold taking,? I doubt me.
Tim. Ladies, there is an idle banquet
[Exeunt Cup. and Ladies
Flav. Yes, my lord.—More jewels yet! There is no crossing him in his humour;9 Aside. Else I should tell him,- Well,-i faith, I should, When all 's spent, he 'd be cross'd then, an he could.!
Edwards and Mr. Heath, as well as Dr. Johnson, concur in the emendation. Steevens.
The conjecture of Dr. Johnson, who observes, that I only was probably set down in the MS. is well founded; for that abbreviation is used in the old copy in this very scene, and in many other places. The next speech, however coarse the allusion couched under the word taking may be, puts the matter beyond a doubt. Malone. 6 —even at the best.] Perhaps we should read:
ever at the best. So, Act III, sc. vi:
“ Ever at the best." Tyrwhitt. Take us even at the best, I believe, means, you have seen the best we can do. They are supposed to be hired dancers, and therefore there is no impropriety in such a confession. Mr. Malone's sub. sequent explanation, however, pleases me better than my own.
Steevens. I believe the meaning is, “ You have conceived the fairest of us,” (to use the words of Lucullus in a subsequent scene;) you have estimated us too highly, perhaps above our deserts. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. VI, c. ix: “ He would commend his guift, and make the best."
Malone. 7 would not hold taking, ) i. e. bear handling, words which are employed to the same purpose in King Henry IV, Part II:
“A rotten case abides no handling.” Steevens.
there is an idle banquet
“We have a foolish trifling supper towards." Steevens. 9 There is no crossing him in his humour;) Read:
There is no crossing him in this his humour. Ritson.
he'd be cross'd then, an he could.] The poet does not mean re, that he would be crossed in humour, but that he would have
'Tis pity, bounty had not eyes behind ; 2
[Exit, and returns with the Casket.
Here, my lord, in readiness.
O my friends, I have one word
Enter a Servant.
his hand crossed with money, if he could. He is playing on the word, and alluding to our old silver penny, used before King Ed. ward the First's time, which had a cross on the reverse with a crease, that it might be more easily broke into halves and quar. ters, half-pence and farthings. From this penny, and other pieces, was our common expression derived,- I have not a cross about me; i. e. not a piece of money. Theobald.
So, in As you Like it : “ - yet I should bear no cross, if I did bear you; for, I think you bave no money in your purse."
Steevens. The poet certainly meant this equivoque, but one of the senses intended to be conveyed was, he will then too late wish that it were possible to undo what he had done: he will in vain lament that I did not (cross or] thwart him in his career of prodigality.
Malone. had not eyes behind;] To see the miseries that are following her.
cui vivere fas est
Advance this jewel;] To prefer it; to raise it to honour by wearing it. Johnson.
5 Accept, and &c.] Thus the second folio. The first-unmetri.
“Things of like value, differing in the owners,
Tim. They are fairly welcome.
I beseech your honour, Vouchsafe me a word; it does concern you near.
Tim. Near? why then another time I'll hear thee: I pr'ythee, let us be provided To show them entertainment. Flav.
I scarce know how. [Aside.
Enter another Servant.
Enter a third Servant.
3 Serv. Please you, my lord, that honourable gentleman, lord Lucullus, entreats your company to-morrow to hunt with him; and has sent your honour two brace of greyhounds.
Tim. I 'll hunt with him; And let them be receiv'd,
What will this come to ?
I prythee, let us be provided - ] As the measure is here imper, we may reasonably suppose our author to have written:
I priythee, let us be provided straight
“ Make her grave straight."
And all the while out of an empty coffer. Ritson.
You do yourselves Much wrong, you bate too much of your own merits :Here, my lord; a trifle of our love. 2 Lord. With more than common thanks I will re
ceive it. 3 Lord. O, he is the very soul of bounty!
Tim. And now I remember me, 8 my lord, you gave Good words the other day of a bay courser I rode on: it is yours, because you lik'd it.
2 Lord. I beseech you,9 pardon me, my lord, in that. Tim. You may take my word, my lord; I know, no
Can justly praise, but what he does affect:
None so welcome.
- remember me,) I have added-me, for the sake of mea. sore. So, in King Richard III:
“I do remember me,–Henry the sixth
0, I beseech you, The player editors have been liberal of their tragick oʻs, to the frequent injury of our author's measure. For the same reason I have expelled this exclamation from the beginning of the next speech but one. Steevens.
1 I'll tell you true. ) Dr. Johnson reads, I tell you &c. in which be has been heedlessly followed; for though the change does not affect the sense of the passage, it is quite unnecessary, as may be proved by numerous instances in our author's dialogue. Thus, in the first line of King Henry V :
“ My lord, I'll tell you, that self bill is urg'd" Again, in King John: "I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power, this night -."
Steevens. 'tis not enough to give ; Methinks, I could deal kingdoms -] Thus the passage stood in all the editions before Sir T. Hanmer's, who restored - My thanks. Fohnson.
I have displaced the words inserted by Sir T. Hanmer. What I have already given, says Timon, is not sufficient on the occa. sion: Methinks I could deal kingdoms, i. e. could dispense them on every side with an ungrudging distribution, like that with which I could deal out cards. Steevens.