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The sugar'd game before thee. But myself 2,
At duty, more than I could frame employment;
supposes, a regard to the opinion of the world: but I think it has a more enlarged signification, and implies a consideration of consequences, whatever they may be. In this sense it is used by There's the respect
"That makes calamity of so long life." M. MASON. "The icy precepts of respect" mean the cold admonitions of cautious prudence, that deliberately weighs the consequences of every action. So, in Troilus and Cressida :
Reason and respect,
"Makes livers pale, and lustihood deject." Again, in our poet's Rape of Lucrece :
Then, childish fear, avaunt! debating die! Respect and reason wait on wrinkled age ! "Sad pause and deep regard become the sage." Hence in King Richard III. the King says:
"I will converse with iron-witted fools,
"That look into me with considerate eyes." MALONE. Respect, I believe, means the qu'en dira't on? the regard of Athens, that strongest restraint on licentiousness: the icy precepts, i. e. that cool hot blood; what Mr. Burke, in his admirable Reflections on the Revolution in France, has emphatically styled "one of the greatest controuling powers on earth, the sense of fame and estimation." STEEVENS.
But myself.] The connection here requires some attention. But is here used to denote opposition; but what immediately precedes is not opposed to that which follows. The adversative particle refers to the two first lines:
"Thou art a slave, whom fortune's tender arm
"Who had the world as my confectionary," &c. The intermediate lines are to be considered as a parenthesis of passion. JOHNSON.
3 than I could frame employment;] i. e. frame employment for. Shakspeare frequently writes thus. See vol. xii, p. 23, n. 6. MALONE.
Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare*
They never flatter'd thee: What hast thou given ?
with one winter's brush
Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare, &c.] So, in Massinger's Maid of Honour :
"O summer friendship,
"Whose flatt'ring leaves that shadow'd us in our
"In the autumn of adversity." STEEVENS.
Somewhat of the same imagery is found in our author's 73d Sonnet:
"That time of year thou may'st in me behold,
that poor RAG.] If we read-poor rogue, it will correspond rather better to what follows. JOHNSON.
In King Richard III. Margaret calls Gloster rag of honour; in the same play, the overweening rags of France are mentioned ; and John Florio speaks of a tara-rag player." STEEVENS. We now use the word ragamuffin in the same sense.
M. MASON. The term is yet used. The lowest of the people are yet denominated-Tag, rag, &c. So, in Julius Cæsar: " if the tag-rag people did not clap him and hiss him, I am no true man." MALONE.
6 Thou hadst been a KNAVE, and flatterer.] Dryden has quoted two verses of Virgil to show how well he could have written satires. Shakspeare has here given a specimen of the same power by a line bitter beyond all bitterness, in which Timon tells Ape
Art thou proud yet?
I, that I was
TIM. Ay, that I am not thee.
I, that I am one now;
[Eating a Root.
Here; I will mend thy feast. [Offering him something. TIM. First mend my company7, take away thyself 8.
APEM. So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.
TIM. "Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd; If not, I would it were.
APEM. What would'st thou have to Athens ?
TIM. Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt, Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.
mantus, that he had not virtue enough for the vices which he condemns.
Dr. Warburton explains worst by lowest, which somewhat weakens the sense, and yet leaves it sufficiently vigorous.
I have heard Mr. Burke commend the subtlety of discrimination with which Shakspeare distinguishes the present character of Timon from that of Apemantus, whom to vulgar eyes he would now resemble. JOHNSON.
Knave is here to be understood of a man who endeavours to recommend himself by a hypocritical appearance of attention, and superfluity of fawning officiousness; such a one as is called in King Lear, a finical superserviceable rogue.-If he had had virtue enough to attain the profitable vices, he would have been profitably vicious. STEEVENS.
7 First mend my company,] The old copy reads—“ mend thy company." The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
8-take away thyself.] This thought seems to have been adopted from Plutarch's Life of Antony. It stands thus in Sir Thomas North's translation: " Apemantus said unto the other, O, here is a trimme banket, Timon. Timon aunswered, yea, said he, so thou wert not here." STEEVENS.
The best, and truest:
APEM. Here is no use for gold. TIM. For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm. APEM. Where ly'st o' nights, Timon ? TIM. Under that's above me". Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus ?
APEM. Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.
TIM. 'Would poison were obedient, and knew my mind!
APEM. Where would'st thou send it?
APEM. The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the extremity of both ends: When thou wast in thy gilt, and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too much curiosity1; in thy rags thou knowest none, but art despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for thee, eat it.
TIM. On what I hate, I feed not.
9 Apem. Where ly'st o' nights, Timon?
Tim. Under that's above me.] So, in Coriolanus:
"Cor. Under the canopy." STEEVENS.
for too much CURIOSITY ;] i. e. for too much finical delicacy. The Oxford editor alters it to courtesy. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton has explained the word justly. So, in Jervas Markham's English Arcadia, 1606 : " — for all those eye-charming graces, of which with such curiosity she had boasted.” Again, in Hobby's translation of Castiglione's Cortegiano, 1556:
A waiting gentlewoman should flee affection or curiosity." Curiosity is here inserted as a synonyme to affection, which means affectation. Curiosity likewise seems to have meant capriciousness. Thus, in Greene's Mamillia, 1593: “Pharicles hath shewn me some curtesy, and I have not altogether requited him with curiosity: he hath made some shew of love, and I have not wholly seemed to mislike." STEEVENS.
Ay, though it look like thee.] Timon here supposes that an
APEM. An thou hadst hated medlers sooner, thou should'st have loved thyself better now. What man didst thou ever know unthrift, that was beloved after his means?
TIM. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever know beloved?
TIM. I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a dog.
APEM. What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to thy flatterers?
TIM. Women nearest; but men, men are the things themselves. What would'st thou do with the world, Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?
APEM. Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men. TIM. Would'st thou have thyself fall in the confusion of men, and remain a beast with the beasts?
APEM. Ay, Timon.
TIM. A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee to attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile thee if thou wert the lamb, the fox would eat thee: if thou wert the fox, the lion would suspect thee, when, peradventure, thou wert accused by the ass: if thou wert the ass, thy dulness would torment thee; and still thou livedst but as a breakfast to the wolf: if thou wert the wolf, thy greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou shouldst hazard thy life for thy dinner: wert thou
objection against hatred, which through the whole tenor of the conversation appears an argument for it. One would have expected him to have answered
"Yes, for it looks like thee."
The old edition, which always gives the pronoun instead of the affirmative particle, has it
I, though it look like thee."
Perhaps we should read:
"I thought it look'd like thee." JOHNSON.