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When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest.
TIM. Why dost thou call them knaves? thou know'st them not.
APEM. Are they not Athenians"?
APEM. Then I repent not.
JEW. You know me, Apemantus.
APEM. Thou knowest, I do; I call'd thee by thy
TIM. Thou art proud, Apemantus.
APEM. Of nothing so much, as that I am not like Timon.
TIM. Whither art going?
APEM. To knock out an honest Athenian's brains. TIM. That's a deed thou❜lt die for.
5 When thou art Timon's dog,] When thou hast gotten a better character, and instead of being Timon as thou art, shalt be changed to Timon's dog, and become more worthy kindness and salutation. JOHNSON.
This is spoken dentinus, as Mr. Upton says, somewhere :striking his hand on his breast.
"Wot you who named me first the kinge's dogge?" says Aristippus in Damon and Pythias. FARMER.
Apemantus, I think, means to say, that Timon is not to receive a gentle good morrow from him till that shall happen which never will happen; till Timon is transformed to the shape of his dog, and his knavish followers become honest men. Stay for thy good morrow, says he, till I be gentle, which will happen at the same time when thou art Timon's dog, &c. i. e. never. MALone.
Mr. Malone has justly explained the drift of Apemantus. Such another reply occurs in Troilus and Cressida, where Ulysses, desirous to avoid a kiss from Cressida, says to her; give me one— "When Helen is a maid again," &c. STEEVENS.
6 Are they not Athenians ?] The very imperfect state in which the ancient copy of this play has reached us, leaves a doubt whether several short speeches in the present scene were designed for verse or prose. I have therefore made no attempt at regulation. STEEVENS.
Why should not the same doubt exist with regard to other scenes, in which Mr. Steevens has not acted with the some moderation? BOSWELL.
APEM. Right, if doing nothing be death by the
TIM. How likest thou this picture, Apemantus ? APEM. The best, for the innocence.
TIM. Wrought he not well, that painted it ? APEM. He wrought better, that made the painter; and yet he's but a filthy piece of work. PAIN. You are a dog".
APEM. Thy mother's of my generation; What's she, if I be a dog?
TIM. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus ?
APEM. No; I eat not lords.
TIM. An thou should'st, thou'dst anger ladies. APEM. O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.
TIM. That's a lascivious apprehension.
APEM. So thou apprehend'st it: Take it for thy labour.
TIM. How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus? APEM. Not so well as plain-dealing, which will not cost man a doit.
TIM. What dost thou think 'tis worth?
APEM. Not worth my thinking.-How now, poet?
POET. How now, philosopher?
APEM. Thou liest.
POET. Art not one?
POET. Then I lie not.
7 Pain. You are a dog.] This speech, which is given to the Painter in the old editions, in the modern ones must have been transferred to the Poet by mistake: it evidently belongs to the former. RITSON.
8 Not so well as plain-dealing.] Alluding to the proverb: "Plain dealing is a jewel, but they that use it die beggars."
APEM. Then thou liest: look in thy last work, where thou hast feign'd him a worthy fellow. POET. That's not feign'd, he is so.
APEM. Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thy labour: He, that loves to be flattered, is worthy o' the flatterer. Heavens, that I were a
TIM. What would'st do then, Apemantus ?
APEM. Even as Apemantus does now, hate a lord with my heart.
TIM. What, thyself?
TIM. Wherefore ?
APEM. That I had no angry wit to be a lord o.Art not thou a merchant?
9 That I had NO ANGRY wit to be a lord.] This reading is absurd, and unintelligible. But, as I have restored the text: "That I had so hungry a wit to be a lord,"
it is satirical enough of conscience, viz. I would hate myself, for having no more wit than to covet so insignificant a title. In the same sense, Shakspeare uses lean-witted in his King Richard II. : "And thou a lunatick, lean-witted fool." WARBURTON, The meaning may be,-I should hate myself for patiently enduring to be a lord. This is ill enough expressed. Perhaps some happy change may set it right. I have tried, and can do nothing, yet I cannot heartily concur with Dr. Warburton.
Mr. Heath reads:
"That I had so wrong'd my wit to be a lord." But the passage before us, is, in my opinion, irremediably corrupted. STEEvens.
Perhaps the compositor has transposed the words, and they should be read thus:
Angry that I had no wit,-to be a lord."
Angry to be a lord,—that I had no wit." BLACKSTONE. Perhaps we should read:
"That I had an angry wish to be a lord;
Meaning, that he would hate himself for having wished in his anger to become a lord.-For it is in anger that he says:
Heavens, that I were a lord!" M. MASON.
I believe Shakspeare was thinking of the common expression—
MER. Ay, Apemantus.
APEM. Traffick confound thee, if the gods will not!
MER. If traffick do it, the gods do it. APEM. Traffick's thy god, and thy god confound thee!
Trumpets sound. Enter a Servant.
TIM. What trumpet's that? SERV. 'Tis Alcibiades, and Some twenty horse, all of companionship 1. TIM. Pray, entertain them; give them guide to [Exeunt some Attendants You must needs dine with me :-Go not you hence, Till I have thank'd you; and, when dinner's done 2, Show me this piece. I am joyful of your sights.
Enter ALCIBIADES, with his Company. [They salute. Aches contract and starve your supple joints!
Most welcome, sir!
So, so; there!
"he has wit in his anger;" and that the difficulty arises here, as many other places, from the original editor's paying no attention to abrupt sentences. Our author, I suppose, wrote:
"That I had no angry wit.-To be a lord!
"Art thou, &c.
Apemantus is asked, why after having wished to be a lord, he should hate himself. He replies,-For this reason; that I had no wit [or discretion] in my anger, but was absurd enough to wish myself one of that set of men, whom I despise. He then exclaims with indignation-To be a lord!-Such is my conjecture, in which however I have not so much confidence as to depart from the mode in which this passage has been hitherto exhibited. MALONE.
I all of companionship.] This expression does not mean barely that they all belong to one company, but that "they are all such as Alcibiades honours with his acquaintance, and sets on a level with himself." STEEVENS.
AND, when dinner's done,] And, which is wanting in the first folio, is supplied by the second. STEEVENS.
That there should be small love 'mongst these sweet knaves,
And all this court'sy! The strain of man's bred out Into baboon and monkey3.
ALCIB. Sir, you have sav'd my longing, and I feed Most hungrily on your sight.
TIM. Right welcome, sir: Ere we depart 4, we'll share a bounteous time In different pleasures. Pray you, let us in. [Exeunt all but APEMANTUS.
Enter Two Lords.
1 LORD. What time a day is't, Apemantus? APEM. Time to be honest.
1 LORD. That time serves still.
APEM. The most accursed thou 5, that still omit'st it.
2 LORD. Thou art going to lord Timon's feast. APEM. Ay; to see meat fill knaves, and wine heat fools.
2 LORD. Fare thee well, fare thee well.
APEM. Thou art a fool, to bid me farewell twice.
The strain of man's bred out
Into baboon and monkey.] Man is exhausted and degenerated; his strain or lineage is worn down into a monkey.
4 Ere we DEPART.] Who depart? Though Alcibiades was to leave Timon, Timon was not to depart. Common sense favours my emendation. THEOBALD.
Mr. Theobald proposes-do part. Common sense may favour it, but an acquaintance with the language of Shakspeare would not have been quite so propitious to his emendation. Depart and part have the same meaning. So, in King John:
"Hath willingly departed with a part."
i. e. hath willingly parted with a part of the thing in question. See vol. iv. p. 315, n. 7. STEEVENS.
5 The MOST accursed thou,] Read:
"The more accursed thou." RITSON.
So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
The more degenerate and base art thou-." STEEVENS