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You must consider, that a prodigal course
I am of your fear for that.
Most true, he does.
Hor. It is against my heart.
Mark, how strange it shows,
Hor. I am weary of this charge, the gods can wit
I know, my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
What 's yours? Luc. Serv. Five thousand mine. į Var. Serv. 'Tis much deep: and it should seem by
You: master's confidence was above mine ;
a prodigal course
Soles occidere & redire possunt. Catull. Johnson. Theobald, and the subsequent editors, elegantly enough, but without necessity, read-a prodigal's course. We have the same phrase as that in the text in the last couplet of the preceding scene:
“ And this is all a liberal course allows." Malone.
reach deep enough, and yet Find little.] Still, perhaps, alluding to the effects of winter, during which some animals are obliged to seek their scanty provision through a depth of snow. Steevens.
8 I am weary of this charge,] That is, of this commission, of this employment. Fohnson.
9 Else, surely, his had equallid.] Should it not be, Else, surely, mine had equall. Fohnson.
Luc. Serv. Flaminius! sir, a word: 'Pray, is my lord ready to come forth?
The meaning of the passage is evidently and simply this: Your master, it seems, had more confidence in lord Timon than mine, otherwise his (i.e. my master's) debt (i. e. the money due to him from Timon) would certainly have been as great as your master's (i. e. as the money which Timon owes to your master;) that is, my mas. ter being as rich as yours, could and would have advanced Timon as large a sum as your master has advanced him, if he, (my master) had thought it prudent to do so. Ritson.
The meaning may be, "The confidential friendship subsisting between your master (Lucius) and Timon, was greater than that subsisting between my master (Varro) and Timon; else surely the sum borrowed by Timon from your master had been equal to, and not greater than, the sum borrowed from mine; and this equality would have been produced by the application made to my master being raised from three thousand crowns to five thou. sand.”
Two sums of unequal magnitude may be reduced to an equality, as well by addition to the lesser sum, as by subtraction from the greater. Thus, if A has applied to B for ten pounds, and to C for five, and C requests that he may lend A precisely the same sum as he shall be furnished with by B, this may be done, either by C's augmenting his loan, and lending ten pounds as well as B, or by B’s diminishing his loan, and, like C, lending only five pounds. The words of Varro's servant therefore may mean, Else surely the same sums had been borrowed by Timon from both our masters.
I have preserved this interpretation, because I once thought it probable, and because it may strike others as just. But the true explication I believe is this (which I also forinerly proposed). His may refer to mine. “ It should seem that the confidential friendship subsisting between your master and Timon, was greater than that subsisting between Timon and my master; else surely his sum; i. e. the sum borrowed from my master, (the last antece. dent] had been as large as the sum borrowed from yours.”
The former interpretation (though I think it wrong,) I have stated thus precisely, and exactly in substance as it appeared se: veral years ago, (though the expression is a little varied,) because a REMARKER (Mr. Ritson) has endeavoured to represent it as unintelligible.
This Remarker, however, it is observable, after saying, that he shall take no notice of such see-saw conjectures, with great gravity proposes a comment evidently formed on the latter of them, as an original interpretation of his own, on which the reader may safely rely. Malone. it must be perfectly clear, that the Remarker could not be in.
Flam. No, indeed, he is not.
Flam. I need not tell him that; he knows, you are too diligent.
Tit. Do you hear, sir?
friend? Tit. We wait for certain money here, sir. Flav.
Luc. Serv. Ay, but this answer will not serve.
If 'twill not, "Tis not so base as you; for you serve knaves. [Exit.
i Var. Serv. How! what does his cashier'd worship inutter?
2 Var. Serv. No matter what; he's poor, and that 's revenge enough. Who can speak broader than he that has no house to put his head in? such may rail against great buildings.
debted to a note which, so far as it is intelligible, seems diametrically opposite to his idea. It is equally so, that the editor (Mr. Malone) has availed himself of the above Remark, to vary the expression of his conjecture, and gave it a sense it would otherwise never have had. Ritson.
1 If 'twill not,) Old copy--if 'twill not serve. I have ventured to omit the useless repetition of the verb--serve, because it injures the metre. Steevens.
2 Enter Servilius.] It may be observed that Shakspeare has unskilfully filled his Greek story with Roman na'mes. Johnson.
If I might beseech you, gentlemen,
Luc. Serv. Many do keep their chambers, are not sick:
Good gods! Tit. We cannot take this for an answer, 4 sir. Flam. [within) Servilius, help!-my lord! my lord!
Enter Timon, in a rage; FLAMINIUS following.
Luc. Serv. Put in now, Titus.
I should much
- for an answer,] The article an, which is deficient in the old copy, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. Steevens.
5 Hor. Serv. And mine, my lord.) In the old copy this speech is given to Varto. I have given it to the servant of Hortensius, (who would naturally prefer his claim among the rest,) because to the following speech in the old copy is prefixed, 2 Var. which from the words spoken [And ours, my lord.) meant, I conceive, the two servants of Varro. In the modern editions this latter speech is given to Caphis, who is not upon the stage. Malone.
This whole scene perhaps was strictly metrical, when it came from Shakspeare; but the present state of it is such, that it cannot be restored but by greater violence than an editor may be allowed to employ. I have therefore given it without the least at. tempt at arrangement. Steevens.
Phi. All our bills.
Tim. Five thousand drops pays that.-
i Var. Serv. My lord,
[Exit, Hor. ’Faith, I perceive, our masters may throw their caps at their money; these debts may well be called desperate ones, for a madman owes 'em. [Exeunt.
Re-enter Timon and FLAVIUS. Tim. They have e'en put my breath from me, the
slaves: Creditors! - devils.
Flav. My dear lord,
Tim. So fitly? Go, bid all my friends agaili,
o Knock me down with 'em.] Timon quibbles. They present: their written bills; he catches at the word, and alludes to the bills or battle-axes, which the ancient soldiery carried, and were. still used by the watch in Shakspeare's time. See the scene between Dogberry, &c. in Much Ado about Nothing, Vol. IV, p. 244, n. 4. Again, in Heywood's if you know not me you know Nobody, 1633, Second Part, Sir John Gresham says to his creditors : “Friends, you cannot beat me down with your bills.” Again, in Decker's Guls Hornbrok, 1609: “- they durst not strike down their customers with large bills.” Steevens. 7 So fitly? Go, bid all my friends again, Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius; all: :
I'll once more feast the rascals.] Thus the second folio; exeept that, by an apparent error of the press, we have-add instead of and.