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That have out-liv'd the eagle, page thy heels,
Tim. Thou art a slave, whom fortune's tender arm
The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, the hearts of men
(Looking on the gold,
'Twixt natural son and fire ! thou bright defiler
SCENE VII. Timon to the 'Thieves.
want? behold the earth hath roots; Within this mile bre::k forth an hundred springs ; The oaks bear malts, the briers scarler hips : The bounteous huswife nature on each bush Lays her full mess before you. Want? why want?
i Thief. We cannot live on grass, on berries, water, As beasts, and birds, and fishes.
Tim. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds and fishes: You must eat men.
Yet thanks I must you con, That you are thieves profeft; that you work not In holier Shapes : for there is boundless theft In limited professions. Rascals, thieves, Here's gold. Go, fuck the subtle blood o'th' grape, 'Till the high fever seeth your blood to froth, And so 'fcape hanging. Trust not the physician, His antidotes are poifon, and he slays More than you rob ;(16) takes wealth and life together : Do villany, do, since you profess to do't, Like workmen; I'll example you with thievery.
The (15) Whose blush, &c.] The imagery here is exquisitely beautiful and sublime; and that still heightened by allusion to a fable and custom of antiquity, viz. the story of Danae and the golden shower; and the use of consecrating to a god or goddess, that which, from a similarity of nature, they were supposed to hold in esteem. Warburto.
(16) Takes wealth and life together ; Oxford edit. vul. Tahe Wealth and live together.
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
ACT V. SCENE I.
On his honest Steward. Forgive my gen'ral and exceptless rashness, Perpetual, fober gods! I do proclaim One honest man! mistake me not, but one: No more, I pray; and he's a steward. How fain would I have hated all mankind, And thou redeein'ít thyself: but all, save thee, I fell with curses. (18) Methinks, thou art more honest now than wife; For, by oppressing and betraying me, Thou mightít have fooner got another service : For many so arrive at second masters, Upon their first lord's neck,
(17) Mounds.] This formerly was moon, and the alteration is claimed by Mr. Theobald and Mr. Warburton: the opinion they suppose our author alludes to, is, that the saleness of the sea is caused by several ranges or mounds of rock-falt under water, with which resolving liquor the sea was impregnated. The whole of this seems to be a good deal in the manner of Ana. ercan's celebrated drinking ode, too well known to be inserted here.
(18) Methinks, kc.] Sce Orbullo, p. 205.
SCENE II. Difference betwixt Promise and Per
formance. Promifing is the very air of the time, it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance is ever the duller for its act, and but in the plain and fimpler kind of people, the deed is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable; performance is a kind of will or testiment, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.
Scene V. Wrong and Infolence,
Now breathless wrong
THE story of the Misanthrope (says Farmer) is told in almost every collection of the time, and particularly in two books, with which Shakespear was intimately acquainted, the Palace of Pkafure, and the English Plutarch. Indeed from a paffage in an old play, cailed Jack Drum's Entertainment, I conjecture that lie had before made his appearance on the stage.
THE play of Timon (says Johnson) is a domestic tragedy, and therefore strongly fastens on the attention of the Reader. In the plan there is not much art, but the incidents are natural, and the characters various and exact. The catastrophe affords a very powerful warning against that oftentatious liberality, which scatters bounty, but confers no benefits, and buys flattery, but not friendship.
In this tragedy, are many passages perplexed, obscure, and probably corrupt, which I have endeavoured to rectify, or explain, with due diligence; but having only one copy, cannot promise myself that my endeavours shall be much applauded.
Draw near them then in being merciful; Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge,
SCENE III. Thanks.
Thanks, to men Of noble minds is honourable meed.
SCENE IV. An Invitation to Love. (2) The birds chant melody on every bush, The snake lies rolled in the chearful sun,
The (1) Wilt, &c.] This, as Mr.Whalley has observed, is directly the sense and words of a passage in one of Cicero's finest orations: Homines ad Deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam falutem hominibus dando. Orat. pro Legar. fub. fin. See Enquiry into the learning of Shakespear, p. 64. (2) The birds, &c.]
Nobilis æftivas platanus, &c.
Midst these a brook in winding murmurs stray'd,