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Thy face. Surely, this man was born of woman.
gifts, Expecting in return twenty for one ? Flav. No, my most worthy. master, in whose
breast Doubt and suspect, alas, are plac'd too late: You should have fear'd false times, when you did
feast: Suspect still comes where an estate is least. That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love, 8 Perpetual-sober -] Old copy, unmetrically
“ You perpetual,” &c. STEEVENS. 9 If not a usuring —] If not seems to have slipt in here, by an error of the press, from the preceding line. Both the sense and metre would be better without it. TYRWHITT,
I do not see any need of change. Timon asks" Has not thy kindness some covert design ? Is it not proposed with a view to gain some equivalent in return, or rather to gain a great deal more than thou offerest ? Is it not at least the offspring of avarice, if not of something worse, of usury? In this there appears to me no difficulty. MALONE.
My opinion most perfectly coincides with that of Mr. Tyrwhitt. The sense of the line, with or without the contested words, is nearly the same; yet, by the omission of them, the metre would become sufficiently regular. STEEVENS.
Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind,
Debts wither them to nothing?: Be men like
O, let me stay,
If thou hat'st Curses, stay not; fly, whilst thou'rt bless'd and free: Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
from men ;) Away from human habitations. Johnson. 2 Debts wither them :] Old copy :
“ Debts wither them to nothing :-" I have omitted the redundant words, not only for the sake of metre, but because they are worthless. Our author has the same phrase in Antony and Cleopatra :
Age cannot wither her—,” Steevens.
ACT V. SCENE I.
The Same. Before TIMON's Cave.
Enter Poet and Painters; Timon behind, unseen.
Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.
3 Enter Poet and PAINTER;] The Poet and the Painter were within view when Apemantus parted from Timon, and might then have seen Timon, since Apemantus, standing by him could see them : But the scenes of the Thieves and Steward have passed before their arrival, and yet passed, as the drama is now conducted, within their view. It might be suspected, that some scenes are transposed, for all these difficulties would be removed by introducing the Poet and Painter first, and the Thieves in this place. Yet I am afraid the scenes must keep their present order, for the Painter alludes to the Thieves, when he says, “ he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity." This impropriety is now heightened by placing the thieves in one Act, and the Poet and Painter in another: but it must be remembered, that in the original edition this play is not divided into separate Acts, so that the present distribution is arbitrary, and may be changed if any convenience can be gained, or impropriety obviated by alteration. Johnson.
In the immediately preceding scene, Flavius, Timon's steward, has a conference with his master, and receives gold from him. Between this and the present scene, a single minute cannot be supposed to pass ; and yet the Painter tells his companion :“ 'Tis said he gave his steward a mighty sum."—Where was it said ? Why in Athens, whence, it must therefore seem, they are but newly come. Here then should be fixed the commencement of the fifth Act, in order to allow time for Flavius to return to the city, and for rumour to publish his adventure with Timon.
But how are we in this case to account for Apemantus's announcing the approach of the Poet and Painter in the last scene of the preceding Act, and before the Thieves appear? It is possible, that when this play was abridged for representation, all between this passage, and the entrance of the Poet and Painter, been omitted by the players, and these words put into the mouth of Apemantus to introduce them; and that when it was published at large, the interpolation was unnoticed. Or, if we allow the Poet and Painter to see Apemantus, it may be conjectured that they did not think his presence necessary at their in
Poer. What's to be thought of him ? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold ?
Pain. Certain : Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him : he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity : 'Tis said, he gave unto his steward a mighty sum.
Port. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.
Pain. Nothing else : you shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the highest. There
terview with Timon, and had therefore returned back into the city. Ritson.
I am afraid, many of the difficulties which the commentators on our author have employed their abilities to remove, arise from the negligence of Shakspeare himself, who appears to have been less attentive to the connection of his scenes, than a less hasty writer may be supposed to have been. On the present occasion I have changed the beginning of the Act. It is but justice to observe, that the same regulation has already been adopted by Mr. Capell. REED
I perceive no difficulty. It is easy to suppose that the Poet and Painter, after having been seen at a distance by Apemantus, have wandered about the woods separately in search of Timon's habitation. The Painter might have heard of Timon's having given gold to Alcibiades, &c. before the Poet joined him ; for it does not appear that they set out from Athens together ; and his intelligence concerning the Thieves and the Steward might have been gained in his rambles : or, having searched for Timon's habitation in vain, they might, after having been descried by Apemantus, have returned again to Athens, and the Painter alone have heard the particulars of Timon's bounty.-But Shakspeare was not very attentive to these minute particulars ; and if he and the audience knew of the several persons who had partaken of Timon's wealth, he would not scruple to attribute this knowledge to persons who perhaps had not yet an opportunity of acquiring it.
The news of the Steward's having been enriched by Timon, though that event happened only in the end of the preceding scene, has, we here find, reached the Painter; and therefore here undoubtedly the fifth Act ought to begin, that a proper interval may be supposed to have elapsed between this and the last.
MALONE. -a PALM--and FLOURISH, &c.] This allusion is scriptural,
fore, 'tis not amiss, we tender our loves to him, in this supposed distress of his : it will show honestly in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.
Poet. What have you now to present unto him ?
Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation : only I will promise him an excellent piece.
Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.
Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the time: it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of saying is quite out of use". To promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will, or testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.
Tim. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.
Poet. I am thinking, what I shall say I have provided for him : It must be a personating of himself6 : a satire against the softness of prosperity;
and occurs in Psalm xcii. 11 : “ The righteous shall fourish like a palm-tree." Steevens.
the deed OF SAYING is quite out of use.] The doing of that which we have said we would do, the accomplishment and performance of our promise, is, except among the lower classes of mankind, quite out of use. So, in King Lear :
“ As he, in his peculiar act and force,
May give his saying deed.” Mr. Pope rejected the words-of saying, and the four following editors adopted his licentious regulation. MALONE. I claim the merit of having restored the old reading.
Steevens. 6 It must be a PERSONATING of himself:] Personating, for