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And ne'er be weary.-Alcibiades,
Ay, defiled land, 3 my lord.
Am I to you.
2 Lord. So infinitely endear'd,
The best of happiness,
[Exeunt Alcis. Lords, &c. Apem.
What a coil 's here! Serving of becks, and jutting out of bums! I doubt whether their legs? be worth the suns
3 Ay, defiled land,] 1,- is the old reading, which apparently de. pends on a very low quibble. Alcibiades is told, that his estate lies in a pitch'd field. Now pitch, as Falstaff' says, doth defile. Alci. biades therefore replies, that his estate lies in defled land. This, as it happened, was not understood, and all the editors pubLished
I defy land, Fohnson. 1 being always printed in the old copy for Ay, the editor of the second folio made the absurd alteration mentioned by Dr. Johnson. Malone
4 All to you.] i.e. all good wishes, or all happiness to you. So, Macbeth:
" All to all.” Steevens. 5 Ready for his friends. ] I suppose, for the sake of enforcing the sense, as well as restoring the measure, we should read:
Ready ever for his friends. Stecoens. 6 Serving of becks,] Beck means a salutation made with the head. So, Milton :
“ Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles." Po serve a beck, is to offer a salutation. Johnson.
To serve a beck, means, I believe, to pay a courtly obedience to a d. Thus, in The Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601:
" And with a low beck
« Prevent a sharp check."
" Then I to every soul again,
That are given for 'em. Friendship 's full of dregs:
Tim. Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen,
No, I'll nothing: for,
Nay, An you begin to rail on society once, I am sworn, not to give regard to you.
In Ram- Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611, I find the same word:
“I had my winks, my becés, treads on the toe.” Again, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630:
wanton looks, " And privy becks, savouring incontinence." Again, in Lyly's Woman in the Moon, 1597:
“ And he that with a beck controuls the heavens." It happens then that the word beck has no less than four distinct significations. In Drayton's Polyolbion, it is enumerated among the appellations of small streams of water. In Shakspeare's Antony and Cleopatra, it has its common meaning-a sign of invitation made by the hand. In Timon, it appears to denote a bow, and in Lyly's play, a nod of dignity or command; as well as in Marius and Sylla, 1594:
“ Yea Sylla with a beck could break thy neck.” Again, in the interlude of Facob and Esau, 1568:
“ For what, O Lord, is so possible to man's judgment
Steevens. See Surrey's Poems, p. 29: “ And with a becke full lowe he bowed at her feete.”
Tyrwhir 7 I doubt whether their legs &c ] He plays upon the word le it signifies a limb, and a bow or act of obeisanec. Johnson. See Vol. VIII, p. 247, n. 5. Malone.
- I fear me, thou Wilt give away thyself in paper shortly: ] i. e. be ruined by his securities entered into Warburton
Dr. Farmer would read-in proper. So, in William Roy's Satire against Wolsey:
Farewel; and come with better musick.
So; Thou ’lt not hear me now,thou shalt not then, I 'll lock Thy heavenfrom thee. O, that men's ears should be To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
ACT II.....SCENE I.
The same. A Room in a Senator's House.
Enter a Senator, with Papers in his Hand. Sen. And late, five thousand to Varro; and to Isidore He owes nine thousand; besides my former sum, Which makes it five and twenty.Still in motion Of raging waste? It cannot hold; it will not. If I want gold, steal but a beggar's dog, And give it Timon, why, the dog coins gold: If I would sell my horse, and buy twentymore Better than he, why, give my horse to Timon, Ask nothing, give it him, it foals me, straight, And able horses :3 No porter at his gate;
9 Thou ’lt not hear me now,—thou shalt not then, I'll lock - ] The measure will be restored by the omission of an unnecessary word
Thou 'lt not hear now,--thou shalt not then, I 'll lock
Steevens. 1 Thy heaven -] The pleasure of being flattered. Johnson.
Apemantus never intended, at any event, to flatter Timon, nor did Timon expect any flattery from him. By his heaven he means good advice, the only thing by which he could be saved. The fol. lowing lines confirm this explanation. M. Mason.
twenty – ] Mr. Theobald hasten. Dr. Farmer proposes to read-twain. Recd. 3 Ask nothing, give it him, it foals me, straight, And able horses: ] Mr. Theobald reads:
Ten able horses. Steevens. “ If I want gold (says the Senator) let me steal a beggar's dog, and give it Timon, the dog coins me gold. If I would sell my horse, and had a mind to buy ten better instead of him; why, I need but give my horse to Timon, to gain this point; and it pre. sently fetches me an horse.” But is that gaining the point proposed? The first folio reads:
And able horses :
But rather one that smiles, and still invites
Which reading, joined to the reasoning of the passage, gave me the bint for this emendation. Theobald.
The passage which Mr. Theobald would alter, means only this: “ If I give my borse to Timon, it immediately foals, and not only produces more, but able horses.” The same construction occurs in Much Ado about Nothing: “ – and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too.
Something similar occurs also in Beaumont and Fletcher's Humorous Lieutenant:
- some twenty, young and handsome,
“ As also able maids, for the court service.” Steevens. Perhaps the letters of the word me were transposed at the press. Shakspeare might have written:
it foals 'em straight And able horses. If there be no corruption in the text, the word twenty in the preceding line, is understood here after me.
We have had this sentiment differently expressed in the preceding Act :
no meed but he repays
No porter at his gate ; But rather one that smiles, and still invites —] I imagine that a line is lost here, in which the behaviour of a surly porter was de. scribed. Johnson.
There is no occasion to suppose the loss of a line. Sternness was the characteristick of a porter. There appeared at Killingworth castle, (1575] “ a porter, tall of parson, big of lim, and stearn of countinauns."
Farmer. So also, in A Knight's Conjuring &c. by Decker: “You mistake, if you imagine that Plutoes porter is like one of those big fellowes that stand like gyants at Lordes gates &c.--yet hee 's as surly as those key-turners are.” Steevens.
The word-one, in the second line, does not refer to porter, but means a person. He has no stern forbidding porter at his gate, to keep people out, but a person who invites them in.
Can found his state in safety.) (Old copy--Sound ] The sup. posed meaning of this must be,- No reason, by sounding, fathoming, or trying, his state, can find it safe But as the words stand, they imply, that no reason can safely sound his state. I read thus:
Caphis, I say!
Sen. Get on your cloak, and haste you to lord Timon;
Reason cannot find his fortune to have any safe or solid foundation.
The types of the first printer of this play were so worn and defaced, that f and s are not always to be distinguished.
Johnson. The following passage in Macbeth affords countenance to Dr. Johnson's emendation: “ Whole as the marble, founded as the rock ;
Steevens. be not ceas'd - ] i. e. stopped. So, in Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607 :
“ Why should Tiberius' liberty be ceased?" Again, in The Valiant Welchman, 1615:
pity thy people's wrongs,
Steevens. sirrah,) was added for the sake of the metre by the edi. tor of the second folio. Malone.
a naked gull,] A gull is a bird as remarkable for the poyerty of its feathers, as a phenix is supposed to be for the rich. ness of its plumage. Steevens.
. Which flashes &c.] Which, the pronoun relative, relating to things, is frequently used, as in this instance, by Shakspeare, in
ead of who, the pronoun relative, applied to persons. The use of