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Of men eat Timon, and he sees them not!
windpipe's dangerous notes': Great men should drink with harness on their
For has here perhaps the signification of because. So, in Othello:
Haply, for I am black.” Malone. so many dip their meat
In one man's blood;] The allusion is to a pack of hounds trained to pursuit by being gratified with the blood of an animal which they kill, and the wonder is that the animal on which they are feeding cheers them to the chase.
Johnson. 9 Methinks, they should invite them withOUT KNIVES :) It was the custom in our author's time for every guest to bring his own knife, which he occasionally whetted on a stone that hung behind the door. One of these whetstones may be seen in Parkinson's Museum. They were strangers, at that period, to the use of forks. Ritson.
1-windpipe's dangerous notes :] The notes of the windpipe seem to be only the indications which show where the windpipe is. Johnson.
Shakspeare is very fond of making use of musical terms, when he is speaking of the human body, and windpipe and notes savour strongly of a quibble. STEEVENS, with harness -] i. e. armour See vol. xi. p. 267.
Tim. My lord, in heart'; and let the health go
round. 2 Lord. Let it flow this way, my good lord. APEM. .
Flow this way! A brave fellow !—he keeps his tides well. Timon, Those healths 4 will make thee, and thy' state, look
I pray for no man, but myself : 3 My lord, in heart;] That is, my lord's health with sincerity. An emendation has been proposed thus :
My love in heart; but it is not necessary.
“ And was all his in chere, as his in herte." Again, in Sir Amyas Poulet's letter to Sir Francis Walsingham, refusing to have any hand in the assassination of Mary Queen of
he (Sir Drue Drury) forbeareth to make any particular answer, but subscribeth in heart to my opinion." Again, in King Henry IV. Part I. Act IV. Sc. I. :
in heart desiring still
Dost thou not wish in heart,
STEEVENS. Timon, Those healths - This speech, except the concluding couplet, is printed as prose in the old copy; nor could it be exhibited as verse but by transferring the word Timon, which follows-look ill, to its present place. The transposition was made by Mr. Capell. The word might have been an interlineation, and so have been misplaced. Yet, after all, I suspect many of the speeches in this play, which the modern editors have exhibited in a loose kind of metre, were intended by the author as prose : in which form they appear in the old copy. Malone.
Scots : "
Grant I may never prove so fond,
[Eats and drinks. Much good dich thy good heart, Āpemantus !
Tim. Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field
Alcib. My heart is ever at your service, my lord.
Tim. You had rather be at a breakfast of ene. mies, than a dinner of friends.
Alcib. So they were bleeding-new, my lord, there's no meat like them; I could wish my best friend at such a feast.
Apem. 'Would all those flatterers were thine enemies then ; that then thou might'st kill 'em, and bid me to 'em.
1 Lord. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby we might express some part of our zeals, we should think ourselves for ever perfecto.
Tim. O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods themselves have provided that I shall have much help from you : How had you been my friends else? why have you that charitable title from thousands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart?? I 5 Rich men sin,] Dr. Farmer proposes to read-sing. Reed.
for ever perfect.] That is, arrived at the perfection of happiness. Johnson. So, in Macbeth : “ Then comes my fit again; I had else been perfect ;
STEEVENS. 7 How had you been my friends else? why have you that CHARITABLE title from thousands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart?) Charitable signifies, dear, endearing. So, Milton:
have told more of you to myself, than you can with modesty speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O, you gods, think I, what need we have any friends, if we should never have need of them ? they were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er have use for them: and 9 would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keep their sounds to themselves. Why, , I have often wished myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We are born to do benefits : and what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends ? O, what a precious comfort ’tis, to have so many, like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes! O joy, e'en made away ere it can be born'! Mine eyes cannot hold
“ Relations dear, and all the charities
“ Of father, son, and brotherAlms, in English, are called charities, and from thence we may collect that our ancestors knew well in what the virtue of almsgiving consisted; not in the act, but in the disposition.
WARBURTON. The meaning is probably this :-Why are you distinguished from thousands by that title of endearment; was there not a particular connection and intercourse of tenderness between you and me? Johnson. 8 I confirm you.] I fix your characters firmly in my own mind.
JOHNSON. - they were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er have use for them : and-] This passage I have restored from the old copy. STEBVENS.
O joy, e'en made away ere it can be born !] Tears being the effect both of joy and grief, supplied our author with an opportunity of conceit, which he seldom fails to indulge.. Timon, weeping with a kind of tender pleasure, cries out, “O joy, e'en made away," destroyed, turned to tears, before " it can be born," before it can be fully possessed. Johnson. So, in Romeo and Juliet :
“ These violent delights have violent ends,
“ And in their triumphs die.” The old copy has-joys. It was corrected by Mr. Rowe.
out water, methinks ?: to forget their faults, I
drink to you.
APEM. Thou weepest to make them drink , Ti
2 Lord. Joy had the like conception in our eyes, And, at that instant, like a babe * sprung up.
2 Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks :] In the original edition the words stand thus : “ Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks. To forget their faults I drink to you.” Perhaps the true reading is this : “Mine eyes cannot hold out; they water. Methinks, to forget their faults, I will drink to you.” Or it may be explained without any change. “ Mine eyes cannot hold out water,” that is, cannot keep water from breaking in upon them. Johnson.
- to make them drink,] Sir T. Hanmer reads—to make them drink thee ; and is followed by Dr. Warburton, I think, without sufficient reason.
The covert sense of Apemantus is, 'what thou losest, they get.' Johnson.
4 — like a babe-] That is, a weeping babe. Johnson.
I question if Shakspeare meant the propriety of allusion to be carried quite so far. To look for babies in the eyes of another, is no uncommon expression. Thus, among the anonymous pieces in Lord Surrey's Poems, 1557:
“ In eche of her two cristall eyes
“ Smileth a naked boye.”. Again, in Love's Mistress, by Heywood, 1636 :
Joy'd in his looks, look'd babies in his eyes.” Again in The Christian turn’d Turk, 1612: “ She makes him sing songs to her, looks fortunes in his fists, and babies in his eyes.”
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 on 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, tha Mr. Tollett'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.