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Apem. Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard. 3 Lord. I promise you, my lord, you mov'd me much. Apem. Much!5
[Tucket sounded. Tim. What means that trump?—How now?
Enter a Servant. Serv. Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies most desirous of admittance.
Tim. Ladies? What are their wills?
Serv. There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which bears that office, to signify their pleasures. Tim. I pray, let them be admitted.
Again, in Churchyard's Tragicall Discours of a dolorous Gentlewoman, 1593:
“Men will not looke for babes in hollow eyen.” Steevens. Does not Lucullus dwell ou Timon's metaphor by referring to circumstances preceding the birth, and means joy was conceived in their eyes, and sprung up there, like the motion of a babe in the womb? Tollet.
The word conception, in the preceding line, shows, I think, that Mr. Tollet's interpretation of this passage is the true one. We have a similar imagery in Troilus and Cressida:
and, almost like the gods, “ Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles." Malone, 5 Much!! Apemantus means to say,—That's extraordinary. Much was formerly an expression of admiration. See Vol. V, p. 116, n. 9. Malone.
Much! is frequently used, as here, ironically, and with some indication of contempt. Steevens.
&c.] In former copies--
They only now.
Th' ear, taste, touch, smell, pleas'd from thy table rise,
These only now, &c. i. e, the five senses, Timon, acknowledge thee their patron; four of them, viz. the hearing, taste, touch, and smell, are all feasted at thy board; and these ladies come with me to entertain your sight
6 The ear,
They only now come but to feast thine eyes.
[Exit Cup. | Lord. You see, my lord, how ample you are belov’d, Musick. Re-enter Cupid, with a masque of Ladies as
Amazons, with Luies in their Hands, dancing, and playing. Apem. Hey day! what a sweep of vanity comes this
in a masque. Massinger, in his Duke of Millaine, copied the passage from Shakspeare; and apparently before it was thus corrupted; where, speaking of a banqurt, he says
All that may be had
* Are carefully provided." Warburton. Dr. Warburton and the subsequent editors omit the word-all; but omission is the most dangerous mode of emendation. The corrupted word-There, shows that- The ear was intended to be contracted into one syllable; and table also was probably used as taking up only the time of a monosyllable. Malone.
Perhaps the present arrangement of the foregoing words, renders monosyllabification needless. Steevens. Musick, make their welcome. ] Perhaps, the poet wrote:
Musick, make known their welcome. So, in Macbeth:
“We will require her welcome,
“ Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends." Steevens. 8 They dance!} I believe They dance to be a marginal note only; and perhaps we should read:
These are mad women. Tyrwhitt. They dance! they are mad women.) Shakspeare seems to have borrowed this idea from the puritanical writers of his own time. Thus in Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 8vo. 1583: “ Dauncers thought to be mad men.” “And as in all feasts and pastimes dauncing is the last, so it is the extream of all other vice: And again, there were (saith Ludovicus Vives) from far countries certain men brought into our parts of the world, who when they saw men daunce, ran away marvelously affraid, crying out and think. ing them to have been mall," &c.
Perhaps the thought originated from the following passage from Cicero pro Murena, 6: “ Nemo enim ferè salta: sobrius, nisi fortè insanit," Steevens.
We make ourselves fools, to disport ourselves;
and, to show their loves, each singles out an Amazon,
1 Lady. My lord,5 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.
Fohnson. 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 de. signed 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 1 Lady, as Mr.
Apem. '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;) [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 obs es, that L only was probably set down in the MS. is well founded; for that abbre. viation 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.
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 subsequent 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. 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. . 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 here, 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. I Lord. Where be our men? Serv.
Here, my lord, in readiness. 2 Lord. Our horses. Tim.
O my friends, I have one word To say to
you, my good lord, I must
lord. I Lord. I am so far already in your gifts, All. So are we all.
Enter a Servant. Serv. My lord, there are certain nobles of the senate Newly alighted, and come to visit you.
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 quarters, half-pence and farthings. From this penny, and other pieces, was our common expression derived,-) have not a cross about
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 have 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. Johnson. Persius has a similar idea, Sat. I:
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-unmetrically,- Accept it Steevens. So, the jeweller says in the preceding scene :
s Things of like value, differing in the owners,