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SCENE II.

Athens. A Room in TIMON'S House.

Enter Flavius , with Two or Three Servants. 1 Serv. Hear you, master steward, where's our

master ? Are we undone ? cast off? nothing remaining ?

Flav. Alack, my fellows, what should I say to

you?

Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,
I am as poor as you.
1 SERV.

Such a house broke!
So noble a master fallen ! All gone! and not
One friend to take his fortune by the arm,
And go along with him !
2 SERV.

As we do turn our backs
From our companion, thrown into his grave;
So his familiars to his buried fortunes

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7 Enter Flavius,] Nothing contributes more to the exaltation of Timon's character than the zeal and fidelity of his servants. Nothing but real virtue can be honoured by domesticks; nothing but impartial kindness can gain affection from dependants.

JOHNSON. 8 Let me be recorded -] In compliance with ancient elliptical phraseology, the word me, which disorders the measure, might be omitted. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads : “ Let it be recorded,” &c.

STEEVENS. to his buried fortunes -] So the old copies. Sir T. Hanmer reads from ; but the old reading might stand.

Johnson. I should suppose that the words from, in the second line, and to in the third line, have been misplaced, and that the original reading was :

“ As we do turn our backs
“ To our companion thrown into his grave,
“ So his familiars from his buried fortunes
“ Slink all

away ; When we leave a person, we turn our backs to him, not from him.

M. Mason. “ So his familiars to his buried fortunes,” &c. So those who

Slink all away ; leave their false vows with him,
Like empty purses pick'd : and his poor self,
A dedicated beggar to the air,
With his disease of all-shunn'd poverty,
Walks, like contempt, alone.-More of our fellows.

Enter other Servants.
Flav. All broken implements of a ruin'd house.

3 Serv. Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery, That see I by our faces; we are fellows still, Serving alike in sorrow: Leak’d is our bark; And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck, Hearing the surges threat: we must all part Into this sea of air. FLAV.

Good fellows all, The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you. Wherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake, Let's yet be fellows; let's shake our heads, and say, As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes, We have seen better days. Let each take some;

[Giving them money. Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more: Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor'.

[Exeunt Servants. O, the fierce wretchedness ? that glory brings us !

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were familiar to his buried fortunes, who in the most ample manner participated of them, slink all away,” &c. MALONE.

- Rich in sorrow, parting pooR.] This conceit occurs again in King Lear : Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich, being poor."

Steevens. 2 O, the FIERCE wretchedness —] I believe fierce is here used for hasty, precipitate. Perhaps it is employed in the same sense by Ben Jonson in his Poetaster :

“ And Lupus, for your fierce credulity

“ One fit him with a larger pair of ears." In King Henry VIII. our author has fierce vanities. In all instances it may mean glaring, conspicuous, violent. So, in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, the Puritan says:

Who would not wish to be from wealth exémpt,
Since riches point to misery and contempt ?
Who'd be so mock'd with glory? or to live
But in a dream of friendship?
To have his pomp, and all what state compounds,
But only painted, like his varnish'd friends ?
Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart;
Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood,
When man's worst sin is, he does too much good!
Who then dares to be half so kind again ?
For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men.
My dearest lord,-bless'd, to be most accurs’d,
Rich, only to be wretched ;-thy great fortunes
Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord !
He's flung in rage from this ungrateful seat
Of monstrous friends : nor has he with him to

Thy hobby-horse is an idol, a fierce and rank idol.” Again, in King John :

“ O vanity of sickness ! fierce extremes

“ In their continuance will not feel themselves.” Again, in Love's Labour's Lost :

“ With all the fierce endeavour of your wit." STEVENS. 3 - Strange, unusual BLOOD,] Of this passage, I suppose, every reader would wish for a correction : but the word, harsh as it is, stands fortified by the rhyme, to which, perhaps, it owes its introduction. I know not what to propose. Perhaps

Strange, unusual mood,may, by some, be thought better, and by others worse.

Johnson. In The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608, attributed to Shakspeare, blood seems to be used for inclination, propensity :

“ For 'tis our blood to love what we are forbidden." Strange, unusual blood,” may therefore mean, strange unusual disposition.' Again, in the 5th book of Gower, De Confessione Amantis :

“ And thus of thilke unkinde blood

“ Stant the memorie unto this daie." Gower is speaking of the ingratitude of one Adrian, a lord of Rome.

Steevens. Throughout these plays blood is frequently used in the sense of natural propensity or disposition. MALONE.

Supply his life, or that which can command it.
I'll follow, and inquire him out :
I'll serve his mind with my best will;
Whilst I have gold I'll be his steward still. [Erit.

SCENE III.

The Woods.

Enter Timon. Tim. O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth Rotten humidity ; below thy sister's orb 4 Infect the air ! Twinn'd brothers of one womb, Whose procreation, residence, and birth, Scarce is dividant,-touch them with several for

tunes; The greater scorns the lesser: Not nature, To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune, But by contempt of nature".

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4 — below thy sister's orb -] That is, the moon's, this sublunary world. JOHNSON.

Not nature,
To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune,

But by contempt of nature.] The meaning I take to be this: • Brother, when his fortune is enlarged, will scorn brother ; for this is the general depravity of human nature, which, besieged as it is by misery, admonished as it is of want and imperfection, when elevated by fortune will despise beings of nature like its own.'

Johnson. Mr. M. Mason observes, that this passage “but by the addition of a single letter may be rendered clearly intelligible; by merely reading natures instead of nature.” The meaning will then be “ Not even beings reduced to the utmost extremity of wretchedness, can bear good fortune, without contemning their fellow-creatures.”—The word natures is afterwards used in a similar sense by Apemantus :

Call the creatures
“ Whose naked natures live in all the spite
“ Of wreakful heaven,” &c.

Raise me this beggar, and deny't that lordo;
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
The beggar native honour.
It is the pasture lards the brother's sides?,

Perhaps, in the present instance, we ought to complete the measure by reading : not those natures

STEEVENS. But by is here used for without. Malone.

6 Raise me this beggar and denY't that lord,] Where is the sense and English of deny't that lord ? Deny him what? What preceding noun is there to which the pronoun it is to be referred ? And it would be absurd to think the poet meant, deny to raise that lord. The antithesis must be, ' let fortune raise this beggar, and let her strip and despoil that lord of all his pomp and ornaments,' &c. which sense is completed by this slight alteration :

and denude that lord ;So, Lord Rea, in his relation of M. Hamilton's plot, written in 1650 : “ All these Hamiltons had denuded themselves of their fortunes and estates.” And Charles the First, in his message to the parliament, says: Denude ourselves of all.”—Clar. vol. iii. p. 15, octavo edit.

WARBURTON. Perhaps the former reading, however irregular, is the true one. • Raise me that beggar, and deny a proportionable degree of elevation to that lord.' A lord is not so high a title in the state, but that a man originally poor might be raised to one above it. We might read devest that lord. Devest is an English law phrase, which Shakspeare uses in King Lear :

“ Since now we will devest us both of rule,” &c. The word which Dr. Warburton would introduce is not, however, uncommon. I find it in The Tragedie of Croesus, 1604:

“ As one of all happiness denuded." STEEVENS. The objection to the reading of the old copy is, that there is no antecedent to which the word it can be referred; but this is in Shakspeare's manner. So in Othello :

And bid me when my fate would have me wive

“ To give it her.i. e. his wife, which is understood. So in this

passage, this beggar [to eminence), and deny't that lord.” Malone.

7 It is the PASTURE lards the BROTHER's sides,] This, as the editors have ordered it, is an idle repetition at the best; supposing it did, indeed, contain the same sentiment as the foregoing lines. But Shakspeare meant quite a different thing: and having, like a sensible writer, made a smart observation, he illustrates it by a similitude thus:

“ It is the pasture lards the wether's sides,
“ The want that makes him lean."

" Raise me

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