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1 Sen. These words become your lips as they pass through
Commend me to them;
2 Sen. I like this well; he will return again.
Tim. I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
Flav. Trouble him no farther; thus you still shall find him.
Tim. Come not to me again ; but say to Athens,
[Exit Timon. 1 Sen. His discontents are unremovably coupled to nature.
? - let him take his HALTER,] This is one of the most noticeable of all the verbal emendations in the corr. fo. 1632 : the words have hitherto been “let him take his haste," a very unpredecented expression and not, we may be pretty sure, what the poet wrote: the old compositor misread “halter" haste, the r at the end of "halter" having been imperfectly written. Malone quoted Plutarch's “Life of Mark Antony;" but the following from Painter's “ Palace of Pleasure," Vol. i. fo. 546, edit. Marsh, seems more applicable :-“The citizens (of Athens] on every part of the citie ranne to heare him: to whom he saide that he purposed to cutte downe his figge-tree, to builde a house upon the place where it stoode : • Wherefore, (quoth he) if there be any man, amonges you all in this company, that is disposed to bange himselfe, let him come betimes, before it be cutte downe.'”
2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead. Let us return, And strain what other means is left unto us In our dear peril'. 1 Sen.
It requires swift foot.
The Walls of Athens.
Enter two Senators, and a Messenger.
I have spoke the least;
2 Sen. We stand much hazard, if they bring not Timon.
Mess. I met a courier, one mine ancient friend,
Enter Senators from Timon.
Here come our brothers.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.
3 In our dear peril.] i. e. In our dire or dread peril. In short-hand, dire and “ dear" were spelt with the same letters; and if short-hand were used in taking down the dialogue of plays, this circumstance may sometimes account for the peculiar way in which Shakespeare in many places seems to use " dear.” See however, Vol. ii. p. 714.
-- and fearful SCOURING] Shakespeare and other dramatists not unfrequently use the word skirr or scurr for “scour:" see “ Henry V.,” A. iv. sc. 7, Vol. iii. p. 620.
The Woods near Timon's Cave.
Enter a Soldier, seeking TIMON.
[Finding Timon's grare.
Before the Walls of Athens.
Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES, ani Forces.
[4 parley sounded.
Enter Senators on the Walls. Till now you have gone on, and fill'd the time With all licentious measure, making your wills The scope of justice: till now, myself, and such As slept within the shadow of your power,
5 Some beast REAR'D this ;] The old copies have read for “ rear'd.” Johnson was in favour of read, instead of “rear'd," which was substituted by Theobald. It would however be strange for the Soldier to call upon a beast to read that which, he tells us, just afterwards, he could not read himself. The stage-direction “Finding Timon's grave" is from the corr. fo. 1632, where also read is amended to “rear'd” and no (peculiar to that edition) altered to “not," as it stands in the folios, 1623, 1664, and 1685. We are to suppose“ tomb,” in the next line, to mean merely some appearance of a place of sepulture.
Have wander'd with our travers'd arms, and breath'd
Noble, and young,
So did we woo
These walls of our's
Nor are they living,
All have not offended;
6 Shame, that they wanted CUNNING,] i. e. That they wanted knowledge-the etymological meaning of the word. Sax. connan, to know.
1 -- it is not square to take,] It is fit to mention that the phrase "it is not square" does not seem to have been understood in the time of the old corrector, and he changes it in the fo. 1632, to a question, Is't not severe to take, &c. We prefer the old reading : “not square" means out of ordinary rule.
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage:
What thou wilt,
Set but thy foot
Throw thy glove,
Then, there's my glove:
'Tis most nobly spoken. Alcib. Descend, and keep your words.
[The Senators descend, and the gates are opened.
Enter a Soldier!
Sold. My noble general, Timon is dead;
8 — to atone your fears) i. e. To reconcile your fears. See Vol. iv. p. 694, &c. Massinger uses atonement in the same sense. Gifford's edit. Vol. i. p. 315.
9 But shall be RENDER'd to your public laws] In our former edition we sug. gested that remedied, of the old copies, was a misprint for "render'd :" it was an error probably arising out of mishearing. We now place“ render'd " in our text ; an emendation which the Rev. Mr. Dyce subsequently advocated in his " Remarks," p. 183. The corr. fo. 1632 suggests no change.
· Enter a Soldier.] This is the same Soldier who had taken a wax impression VOL. y.