« PreviousContinue »
Tim. As the moon does, by wanting light to
None, but to
What is it, Timon ? Tim. Promise me friendship, but perform none: if thou wilt not promise , the gods plague thee, for thou art a man! if thou dost perform, confound thee, for thou art a man!
Alcis. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries. TIM. Thou saw'st them, when I had pros
perity. Alcib. I see them now; then was a blessed
time 9. Tim. As thine is now, held with a brace of har
lots. Timan. Is this the Athenian minion, whom the
world Voic'd so regardfully? Tim.
Art thou Timandra ? TIMAN. Yes. Tim. Be a whore still ! they love thee not, that
use thee; Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust. Make use of thy salt hours: season the slaves
If Thou wilt not promise, &c.] That is, however thou may'st act, since thou art a man, hated man, I wish thee evil.
JOHNSON. Then was a blessed time.] I suspect, from Timon's answer, that Shakspeare wrote-thine was a blessed time. Malone.
I apprehend no corruption. Now, and then, were designedly opposed to each other. STEEVENS.
For tubs, and baths'; bring down rose-cheeked
To the tub-fast, and the diet '.
i Be a whore still ! they love thee not, that use thee ;
Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
Make use of thy salt hours : &c.] There is here a slight transposition. I would read :
they love thee not that use thee.
bring down Rose-cheeked youth -] This expressive epithet our author might have found in Marlowe's Hero and Leander :
“ Rose-cheek'd Adonis kept a solemn feast." Malone.
- To the TUB-PAST, and the diet.] [Old copy-fub-fast.] One might make a very long and vain search, yet not be able to meet with this preposterous word fub-fast, which has notwithstanding passed current with all the editors. We should readtub-fast.
The author is alluding to the lues venerea and its effects. At that time the cure of it was performed either by guaiacum, or mercurial unctions: and in both cases the patient was kept up very warm and close; that in the first application the sweat might be promoted ; and lest, in the other, he should take cold, which was fatal. “ The regimen for the course of guaiacum (says Dr. Friend, in his History of Physick, vol. ii. p. 380,) was at first strangely circumstantial ; and so rigorous, that the patient was put into a dungeon in order to make him sweat; and in that manner, as Fallopius expresses it, the bones, and the very man himself was macerated.” Wiseman says, in England they used a tub for this purpose, as abroad, a cave, or oven, or dungeon. And as for the unction, it was sometimes continued for thirty-seven days, (as he observes, p. 375,) and during this time there was necessarily an extraordinary abstinence required. Hence the term of the tub-fast. WARBURTON. So, in Jasper Maine's City Match, 1639 :
“ You had better match a ruin'd bawd,
“One ten times cur’d by sweating, and the tub." Again, in The Family of Love, 1608, a doctor says : O for one of the hoops of my Cornelius tub, I shall burst myself with laughing else.” Again, in Monsieur D'Olive, 1606 : “ Our embassage is into France, there may be employment for thee: Hast thou a tub?" The diet was likewise a customary term for the regimen preTiman.
2 B 2
Hang thee, monster! AlciB. Pardon him, sweet Timandra ; for his
wits Are drown'd and lost in his calamities. I have but little gold of late, brave Timon, The want whereof doth daily make revolt In my penurious band : I have heard, and griev'd, How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth, Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states, scribed in these cases. So, in Springes to Catch Woodcocks, a collection of Epigrams, 1606 :
“ Priscus gave out, &c.
“ Priscus had tane the diet all the while." Again, in another collection of ancient Epigrams called The Mastive, &c.
“ She took not diet nor the sweat in season." Thus also, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle:
whom I in diet keep
“ And in a tub that's heated smoaking hot,” &c. . Again, in the same play:
caught us, and put us in a tub,
Steevens. The preceding lines, and a passage in Measure for Measure, fully support the emendation :
Truly, sir, she [the bawd] hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in the tub." MALONE.
In the Latin comedy of Cornelianum Dolium, which was probably written by T. Randolph, there is a frontispiece representing the sweating-tub. Some account of the sweating-tub with a cut of it may be seen in Ambrose Paræus's Works, by Johnson, p. 48. Another very particular representation of it may be likewise found in the Recueil de Proverbes par Jacques Lagniet, with the following lines :
Pour un petit plaisir je soufre mille maux ;
Je ne croy jamais voir la fin de mes travaux.
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them , Tim. I pr’ythee, beat thy drum, and get thee
gone. ALCIB. I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Ti
Tim. How dost thou pity him, whom thou dost
Why, fare thee well:
Keep't, I cannot eat it. ALCIB. When I have laid proud Athens on a
heap,Tim. Warr’st thou 'gainst Athens ? Alcib.
Ay, Timon, and have cause. Tim. The gods, confound them all i' thy con
Thee after, when thou hast conquer'd:
Why me, Timon ?
upon them,] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads—"had trod upon them.” . Shakspeare was not thus minutely accurate.
MALONE. s Be as a planetary plague, when Jove
Will o'er some high-vic'd city hang his poison
In the sick air :) This is wonderfully sublime and picturesque.
or suppose Devouring pestilence hangs in our air.” Malone. The same idea occurs in Chapman's version of the sixth Iliad :
and therefore hangs, I fear, “ A plague above him.” Steevens.
p. 237: “
Pity not honour'd age for his white beard,
paps, That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes,
thy TRENCHANT sword;] So, in Philemon Holland's translation of the ninth Book of Pliny's Natural History, 1601,
they all to cut and hacke them with their trenchant teeth ; " See note on Macbeth, vol. xi. p. 271, n. 5. Steevens.
7 That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes,] The virgin that shows her bosom through the lattice of her chamber.
Johnson. Dr. Johnson's explanation is almost confirmed by the following passage in Cymbeline :
or let her beauty
" And be false with them.” Shakspeare at the same time might aim a stroke at this indecency in the wantons of his own time, which is also animadverted on by several contemporary dramatists. So, in the ancient interlude of The Repentance of Marie Magdalene, 1567 :
“ Your garment must be worne alway,
If young gentlemen may see your white skin,
“ I know them that will lay out their faire teates."
Nam quid lacteolos sinus, et ipsas
Hoc est ad Venerem vocare amantes. Stervens.
spite of heaven's fell rage, “Some beauty peep'd through lattice of fear'd age." I do not believe any particular satire was here intended. Lady Suffolk, Lady Somerset, and many of the celebrated beauties of the time of James I. are thus represented in their pictures ; nor were they, I imagine, thought more reprehensible than the ladies of the present day, who from the same extravagant pursuit of what is called fashion, run into an opposite extreme. MALONE.