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The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast fea. The moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The (17) mounds into falt tears. The earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a coinposure stol'n
From gen’ral excrements: each thing's a thief.
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves, away,
Rob one another; there's more gold; cut throats ;
All that you meet are thieves : to Athens go,
Break open shops, for nothing can you steal
But thieves do lose it.


On his honest Steward. Forgive my gen'ral and exceptless rashness, Perpetual, fober gods! I do proclaim One honest man! mistake me not, but one: No more, I pray; and he's a steward. How fain would I have hated all mankind, And thou redeein'ít thyself: but all, save thee, I fell with curses. (18) Methinks, thou art more honest now than wife; For, by oppressing and betraying me, Thou mightít have fooner got another service : For many so arrive at second masters, Upon their first lord's neck,


(17) Mounds.] This formerly was moon, and the alteration is claimed by Mr. Theobald and Mr. Warburton: the opinion they suppose our author alludes to, is, that the saleness of the sea is caused by several ranges or mounds of rock-falt under water, with which resolving liquor the sea was impregnated. The whole of this seems to be a good deal in the manner of Ana. ercan's celebrated drinking ode, too well known to be inserted here.

(18) Methinks, kc.] Sce Orbullo, p. 205.

SCENE II. Difference betwixt Promise and Per

formance. Promifing is the very air of the time, it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance is ever the duller for its act, and but in the plain and fimpler kind of people, the deed is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable; performance is a kind of will or testiment, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.

Scene V. Wrong and Infolence,

Now breathless wrong
Shall fit and pant in your great chairs of case ;
And pursy infolence shall break his wind
With fear and horrid flight.

General Observations.

THE story of the Misanthrope (says Farmer) is told in almost every collection of the time, and particularly in two books, with which Shakespear was intimately acquainted, the Palace of Pkafure, and the English Plutarch. Indeed from a paffage in an old play, cailed Jack Drum's Entertainment, I conjecture that lie had before made his appearance on the stage.

THE play of Timon (says Johnson) is a domestic tragedy, and therefore strongly fastens on the attention of the Reader. In the plan there is not much art, but the incidents are natural, and the characters various and exact. The catastrophe affords a very powerful warning against that oftentatious liberality, which scatters bounty, but confers no benefits, and buys flattery, but not friendship.

In this tragedy, are many passages perplexed, obscure, and probably corrupt, which I have endeavoured to rectify, or explain, with due diligence; but having only one copy, cannot promise myself that my endeavours shall be much applauded.

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ILT thou draw near the nature of the Gods?

Draw near them then in being merciful; Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge,

SCENE III. Thanks.

Thanks, to men Of noble minds is honourable meed.

SCENE IV. An Invitation to Love. (2) The birds chant melody on every bush, The snake lies rolled in the chearful sun,

The (1) Wilt, &c.] This, as Mr.Whalley has observed, is directly the sense and words of a passage in one of Cicero's finest orations: Homines ad Deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam falutem hominibus dando. Orat. pro Legar. fub. fin. See Enquiry into the learning of Shakespear, p. 64. (2) The birds, &c.]

Nobilis æftivas platanus, &c.
A plain diffus'd its bow'ring verdure wide
Withi trembling pines, which to the Zephyrs figh'd:
Laurels with herries crown'd, the boughs inwove,
And the soft cypress, ever whisp’ring love:

Midst these a brook in winding murmurs stray'd,
Chiding the pebbles over which it play'd,
'Twas love's Elysium. Petron. Arb. by Addison, junior.

The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us fit,
And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down and mark their yelling noise:
And after conflict, such as was suppos'd
The wand'ring prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surpriz’d,
And curtain’d with a counsel-keeping cave;

each wreathed in the other's arms, (Our pastime done) possess a golden slumber; Whilst hounds and horns, and sweet melodious birds Be unto us, as is a nurse's song Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep. SCENE V. Vale, a dark and melancholy one described.

(3) A barren and detested vale, you fee, it is.
The trees, tho' summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O’ercome with moss, and baleful miffeltoe.
Here never shines the sun: here nothing breeds
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven,
And whesi they shew'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here at dead time of the night,

A thousand

(3) Earren, &c.]

Non bac autumino hilus viret; aut alit berbas
Ceff:le laetus azer: non verno persona carti
Lollia difeordi ftrepitu virgulia loquuntur :
Sed chaos, & nigro squallentia pumice saxa
Gaudeni, ferali circum tumulaia cuprillit.
No autunın here e'er cloaths herself with green,
Nor joyful spring the languid herbage cheers;
Nor feather'd warblers chant their pleasing sirains,
In vernal concert to the rustling bouglis :
But chaos reigns, and ragged rocks around,
With nought but baleful cypress are adorn'd.

Penro. Arbit. rrexsland by Baker.

A thousand fiends, a thoufand hiffing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries,
As any mortal body, hearing it,
Should strait fall mad, or else die suddenly.

SCENE VII. Ring, in a dark Pit.
(4) Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole:
Which, like a taper in some monument,
Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy checks,
And thews the ragged entrails of this pit.

Young Lady playing on the Lute and singing.

Fair Philomela, the but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind.
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus has thou met withal,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sew'd than Philomel.
Oh, had the monster seen thofe lily hands
Tremble, like aspen leaves, upon a lute
And make the filken strings delight to kiss them?
He would not then have touch'd them for his life,


(5) Or

(4) Upon, &c.] We may suppose the light thrown into the pit by this ring, Tomething of that kind Milton speaks of, in the first book of Paradise Loft.

A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace fam'd: yet from thosc flarnes
No light, but rather darkness visible

Serv'd only to discover fights of woe, &'c. P.61.

The seat of defolation void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames,
Casts pale and dreadful,

P. 1814

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