Page images
PDF
EPUB

The reverend’st throat in Athens. So I leave you What is amiss, plague and infection mend !
To the protection of the prosperous gods,

Graves only be men's works, and death their gain! As thieves to keepers.

Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign. FLAV. Stay not, all's in vain.

[Exit Truon. Tim. Why, I was writing of my epitaph ;

1 Sen. His discontents are unremovably It will be seen to-morrow ; my long sickness Coupled to nature. Of health and living, now begins to mend,

2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead : let us return, And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still; And strain what other means is left unto us Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,

In our dear peril. And last so long enough!

2 SEN. It requires swift foot. [Exeunt. 1 Sen.

We speak in vain.
Tim. But yet I love my country, and am not
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common bruit doth put it.
1 Sen.

SCENE II.—The Walls of Athens.
That's well spoke.
Tim. Commend me to my loving countrymen,-

Enter Two Senators, and a Messenger. 1 Sen. These words become your lips as they pass through them.

1 Sen. Thou hast painfully discover'd; are his 2 Sen. And enter in our ears like great tri

files úmphers

As full as thy report ?
In their applauding gates.

Mess.
Tim.
Commend me to them;

I have spoke the least :

Besides, his expedition promises And tell them that, to ease them of their griefs,

Present approach. Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,

2 SEN. We stand much hazard, if they bring Their pangs of love, with other incident throes

not Timon. That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain

Mess. I met a courier, one mine ancient In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do

friend ; them,

Whom, though in general part we were oppos’d, I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.

Yet our old love made a particular force, 2 Sen. I like this well; he will return again. Tim. I have a tree, which grows here in my close,

And made us speak like friends :—this man was

riding That mine own use invites me to cut down,

From Alcibiades to Timon's cave,
And shortly must I fell it ; tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree,

With letters of entreaty, which imported

His fellowship i'the cause against your city, From high to low throughout, that whoso please

In part for his sake mov’d. To stop affliction, let him take his haste,"

1 SEN,

Here come our brothers.
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himself.— I pray you, do my greeting.
Flav. Trouble him no further, thus you still
shall find him.

Enter Senators from Timon.
TIM. Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion

3 Sen. No talk of Timon, nothing of him Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;

expect. Who once a day with his embossed froth

The enemy's drum is heard, and fearful scouring The turbulent surge shall cover; thither come,

Doth choke the air with dust. In, and

prepare ; And let my grave-stone be your oracle.— Ours is the fall, I fear, our foes the snare. Lips, let sour * words go by, and language end :

[Exeunt.

(*) Old copy, foure.
a Take his haste,-) To take time, is to go leisurely about
a business; to lake haste is to perform it expeditiously. Mr.
Collier's annotator suggests,-"take his haller.'

Whom, though in general part we were oppos’d,
Yet our old love made a particular force,

And made us speak like friends :-)
The second line is unquestionably corrupt; Hanmer endeavoured
to restore the sense by printing, -

And, though in general part we were opposid,

Yet our old love had a particular force," &c. And Mr. Singer by reading,

When, though on several part we were oppos'd,

Yet our old love had a particular force." We conceive the errors to lurk in the words made and force, the former having been caught by the compositor from the following line, and would read,-

Whom, though in general part we were oppos'd,

Yet our old love took a particular truce,

And made us speak like friends."
To take a truce was an every-day expression in our author's time,
and has been adopted by him more than once; thus, in “ King
John," Act III. Sc. 1:-

“With my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce,"
And in “ Troilus and Cressida," Act II. Sc. 3:-

"-Took a truce, and did hiin service."

his span,

2 Sen.

So did we woo SCENE III.The Woods. Timon's Cave, and Transformed Timon to our city's love, a rough Tomb near it.

By humble message and by promis’d means ;

We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
Enter a Soldier, seeking Timon.

The common stroke of war.
1 SEN.

These walls of ours SOLD. By all description this should be the

Were not erected by their hands from whom place.

[this?

You have receiv'd your grief: nor are they such, Who's here? speak, ho!—No answer? What is

That these great towers, trophies, and schools [Reads.] TIMON IS DEAD!—whohath outstretch'd

should fall

For private faults in them. Some beast-read this; there does not live a man.

2 SEN.

Nor are they living Dead, sure, and this his grave: what's on this tomb

Who were the motives that you first went out ; I cannot read; the character I'll take with wax;

Shame, that they wanted cunning," in excess Our captain hath in every tigure skill ;

Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord, An ag'd interpreter, though young in days:

Into our city with thy banners spread :
Before proud Athens he's set down by this,
Whose fall the mark of his ambition is. [Exit.

By decimation, and a tithed death,
(If thy revenges hunger for that food,

Which nature loathes,) take thou the destin'd SCENE IV.-Before the Walls of Athens.

tenth;

And by the hazard of the spotted die, Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES and Forces. Let die the spotted.

1 Sen.

All have not offended; ALCIB. Sound to this coward and lascivious

For those that were, it is not square,o to take, town

On those that are, revenge: crimes, like lands, Our terrible approach.

[A parley sounded.

Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,

Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage : Enter Senators on the Walls.

Spare thy Athenian cradle, and those kin Till now you have gone on, and fill'd the time Which, in the bluster of thy wrath, must fall, With all licentious measure, making your wills With those that have offended : like a shepherd, The scope of justice; till now, myself, and such Approach the fold, and cull the infected forth, As slept within the shadow of your power,

But kill not all together. Have wander'd with our travers d arms, and 2 Sen.

What thou wilt,
breath'd

Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile,
Our sufferance vainly: now the time is flush, Than hew to’t with thy sword.
When crouching marrow, in the bearer strong,

1 Sen,

Set but thy foot Cries, of itself, No more ! now breathless wrong Against our rampir’d gates, and they shall ope; Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease; So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before, And pursy insolence shall break his wind

To say, thou 'lt enter friendly. With fear and horrid flight.

2 Sen.

Throw thy glove, 1 Sen. Noble and young,

Or
any

token of thine honour else,
When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit, That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress,
Ere thou hadst power, or we had cause of fear, And not as our confusion, all thy powers
We sent to thee; to give thy rages balm,

Shall make their harbour in our town, till we To wipe out our ingratitude with loves

Have seald thy full desire. Above their quantity.

Then there's my glove ; Descend, and open your uncharged ports:

AlciB.

& Who hath, &c.] That is, whoever hath, &c. b

TIMON IS DEAD!- who hath outstretch'd his span,

Some beast-read this; there does not live a man.) of the many erroneous interpretations of Shakespeare's text for which his commentators are responsible, none, perhaps, is so remarkable, and, at the same time, so supremely ridiculous, as that into which they have lapsed with regard to the above passage. Not perceiving-what it seems scarcely possible from the lines themselves and their context to miss--that this couplet is an inscription by Timon to indicate his death, and point to the epitaph on his tomb, they have invariably printed it as a portion of the soldier's speech, and thus represented him as misanthropical as the hero of the piece! Nor was this absurdity sufficient : as, says Warburton, “ The soldier had yet only seen the rude pile of earth heaped up for Timon's grave, and not the inscription upon it," we should read :

“ Some beast rear'd this;"and he prints it accordingly. And because "our poet certainly would not make the soldier call on a beast to read the inscription before he had informed the audience that he could not read it himself; which he does ajterwards," Malone adopts Warburton's reading, and every editor since follows his judicious example! What is still more amusing, too, Mr. Collier, who has claimed for his mysterious annotator three-fourths of the most acute of modern emendations, assigns this precious “ restoration" to him also! We are curious to know whether he derived it from some manuscript copy of the play, or merely from the traditions of the siage.

с our captain hath in every figure skill ;) We are obviously to understand that the insculpture on the tomb, unlike the inscription which he has just read, is in a language the soldier was unacquainted with.

d Cunning,-) That is, wisdom, foresight.
e Square,-) Equiiable.

ALCIB. [Reads.] Here lies a wretched corse, of Those enemies of Timon's, and mine own,

wretched soul bereft. Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof, Seek not my name : a plague consume you wicked Fall, and no more : and,—to atone your fears

caitiff's left! With my more noble meaning,—not a man Here lie I Timon ; who, alive, all living men did Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream

hate : Of regular justice in your city's bounds,

Pass by, and curse thy fill; but pass, and stay But shall be render'd, to your public laws

not here thy gait. At heaviest answer.

These well express in thee thy latter spirits : Вотн. .

'Tis most nobly spoken. Though thou abhorr’dst in us our human griefs, ALCIB. Descend, and keep your words.

Scorn'dst our brain's flow, and those our droplets [The Senators descend, and open the Gates.

which
From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit

Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
Enter a Soldier.

On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
Is noble Timon; of whose memory

Hereafter more.—Bring me into
Sold. My noble general, Timon is dead; And I will use the olive with my sword :
Entomb'd upon the very hem o' the sea :

Make war breed peace; make peace stint war ; And on his grave-stone this insculpture ; which

make each With wax I brought away, whose soft impression Prescribe to other, as each other's leech.Interprets for my poor ignorance.

Let our drums strike.

[E.reunt.

your city,

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

ILLUSTRATIVE COMMENTS.

ACT I.

and because that nature chaunged not in his life time, he would not suffer that death should alter, or varie the same : for like as he liued a beastly and churlish life, euen so he required to haue his funerall done after that maner. By his last will he ordeined himselfe to be interred vpon the sea shore, that the waues and surges might beate and vexe his dead carcas. Yea, and that if it were possible, his desire was to be buried in the depth of the sea : causing an epitaphe to be made, wherin was described the qualities of his brutishe life. Plutarche also reporteth an other to be made by Calimachus, much like to that which Timon made himselfe, whose owne soundeth to this effect in Englishe verse.

My wretched catife dayes,

Expired now and pait:
My carren corps intered here,

Is fast in grounde:
In wallring waues of swel-

ling sea by surges cast,
My name is thou desire,
The gods thee doe confounde.

PAYNTER's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. I.

(1) SCENE I.--Enter Tiron.] It is so interesting to contrast Shakespeare's exalted conception of Timon's character with the popular idea of the misanthrope in his time, that we need ask no indulgence for reprinting the once familiar story on which, it is believed, the present play was based.

THE TWENTY-EIGHTH NOUELL. of the straunge and beastlie nature of Timon of Athens, enemie to

mankinde, with his death, buriali, and Epitaphe. Al the beastes of the worlde do apply theimselues to other beastes of theyr kind, Timon of Athens onely excepted : of whose straunge nature Plutarche is astonied, in the life of Marcus Antonius. Plato and Aristophanes do report his marveylous nature, because he was a man but by shape onely, in qualities hee was the capitall enemie of mankinde, which he confessed franckely viterly to abhorre and hate. He dwelt alone in a litle cabane in the fieldes not farre from Athenes, separated from all neighbours and company; he neuer wente to the citie, or to any other habitable place, except he were constrayned : he could not abide any mans company and conuersation : he was neuer seen to goe to any mannes house, ne yet would suffer them to come to him. At the same time there was in Athenes another of like qualitie, called Apemantus, of the very same nature, differente from the naturall kinde of man, and lodged likewise in the middes of the fields. On a day they two being alone together at dinner, Apemantus said vnto him: "0 Timon, what a pleasant feast is this, and what a merie companie are wee, being no more but thou and I." Naie (quoth Timon) it would be a merie banquet in deede, if there were none here but my selfe.”

Wherein he shewed how like a beast (in deede) he was : for he could not abide any other man, being not able to suffer the company of hin, which was of like nature. And if by chaunce hee happened to goe to Athenes, it was onelye to speake with Alcibiades, who then was an excellente captaine there, whereat many did marueile : and therefore Apemantus demaunded of him, why he spake to no man, but to Alcibiades. “I speake to him sometimes," said Timon, “because I know that by his occasion, the Atheniens shall receiue great hurt and trouble.” Which wordes many times he told to Alcibiades himselfe. He had a garden adioyning to his house in the fields, wherin was a figge tree, wheruppon many desperate men ordinarily did hange themselues : in place whereof, he purposed to set vp a house, and therefore was forced to cutte it donne, for which cause hee went to Athenes, and in the markette place, hee called the people about him, saying that hee had newes to tell them : when the people vnderstoode that he was about to make a discourse vnto them, which was wont to speake to no man, they marueiled, and the citizens on every part of the citie, ranne to heare him : to whom he saide, that he purposed to cutte doune his figge tree, to builde a house vpon the place where it stoode. “Wherefore (quoth he) if there be any man amonges you all in this company, that is disposed to hange himselfe, let him come betimes, before it be cutte doune.” Hauing thus bestowed his charitie amonges the people, hee returned to his lodging, wher he liued a certaine time after, without alteration of nature ;

(2) SCENE I.--Enter APEMANTUS.] The name and disposition of this cynic were probably borrowed by the original author of the play from Paynter's novel, though he appears to have caught some hints for the delineation from the following lively scene in Lucian's Dialogues :

Mercury. You Fellow, with the Scrip over your shoulder, stand forth, and walke round the Assembly. O yes, I sell a stout, ver tuous, well-bred, free mortall. Who buyes him?

Merchant. Do yon sell a Free-man, Cryer?
Mercury. Yes,

Merchant. To what imployment may a man put such a slovenly ill-lookt fellow, unlesse he should make him a Delver, or Water. bearer?

Mercury. That's not all, set him to keep your house, you will need no Dogs. His name is Dogge. Merchant. What's his Countrey or Profession ? Mercury. You were best to ask him.

Merchant. I fear his crabbed, grimme looks, least he should bark, if I should draw neer, and bite me. Do you not see how he lists his Staffe, and bends his Brows, and how threatningly, and Cholerick he looks?

Mercury. Fear him not, he is very tame.
Merchant. Of what Countrey are you, my Friend
Diogenes. Of all Countreys.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Diogenes. The things which you are chiefly to learn, are to be impudent, bold, to barke without distinction at all, both Kinges, and private men. A way to make them regard and adipire you, for a valiant man. Let your speech be Barbarous, and your Elocution rude, and Artlesse, like a dogge. Let your look be forced and your Gate be agreeable to your look. In a word, let your whole behaviour be beastly and savage. Be Modesty, Gentlenesse, and moderation far from you, and all blushing quite blotted out of your face. You are to frequent, also, populous places, and there to walk alone, and unaccompanied, and neither to salute acquaintance or stranger, for that were to destroy your Empire. **** Hereby you will neither need Education or Studies, or such like trifles, but will arrive at glory a more compendious way. Though you be an Idiot, or Tanner, or Salter, or Mason, or Banker, yet these are no hindrances, why you should not be admired, if you have impudence, and boldnesse, and can artificially rayle. From the "Sale of Philosophers," in Lucian's Dialogues, translated by Jasper Mayne, 1638, published 1664, pp. 383-4.

ACT III.

(1) SCENE VI.-

that no man coulde come to it: and upon the same was wrytten this epitaphe. Heere lyes a wretched corse, of wretched soule bereft, Seeke not my name: a plaque consume you wicked wretches

It is reported, that Timon him selfe when he lived made this epitaphe : for that which is commonly rehearsed was not this, but made by the poet Callimachus. Heere lye I Timon who alive all living men did hate, Passe by, and curse thy fill : but passe, and stay not heere thy gate.

NORTH's Plutarch: ed. 1579, p. 1003.

Burn, house! sink, Athens ! henceforth hated be

Of Timon, man and all humanity?] The circumstances which led to Timon's self-expulsion, and many of the incidents in his subsequent career, are touched on, though slightly, in the following passage from Plutarch's Life of Antony :-" Antonius, he forsooke the citie and companie of his frendes, and built him a house in the sea, by the Ile of Pharos, upon certaine forced mountes which he caused to be cast into the sea, and dwelt there, as a man that banished him selfe from all mens companie : saying that he would lead Timons life, bicause he had the like wrong offered him, that was affore offered unto Timon : and that for the unthankefulnes of those he had done good unto, and whom he tooke to be his frendes, he was angry with all men, and would trust no man. This Timon was a citizen of Athens, that lived about the warre of Peloponnesus, as appeareth by Plato, and Aristophanes commedies : in the which they mocked him, calling him a vyper, and malicious man unto mankind, to shunne all other mens companies, but the companie of young Alcibiades, a bolde and insolent youth, whom he woulde greatly feast, and make much of, and kissed him very gladly. Apemantus wondering at it, asked him the cause what he ment to make so muche of that young man alone, and to hate all others : Timon aunswered him, I do it, sayd he, bicause I know that one day he shall do great mischiefe unto the Athenians. This l'imon sometimes would have Apemantus in his companie, bicause he was inuch like to his nature and condicions, and also followed him in maner of life. On a time when they solemnly celebrated the feasts called Choæ at Athens (to wit, the feasts of the dead, where they make sprincklings and sacrifices for the dead), and that they two then feasted together by them selves, A pemantus said unto the other : 0, here is a trimme banket Timon. Timon aunswered againe, yea said he, so thou wert not here. It is reported of him also, that this Timon on a time (the people being assembled in the market place about dispatch of some affaires) got up into the pulpit for Orations, where the Orators commonly use to speake unto the people : and silence being made, everie man listning to heare what he would say, bicause it was a wonder to see him in that place : at length he began to speake in this

My Lordes of Athens, I have a litle yard in my house where there groweth a figge tree, on the which many citizens have hanged them selves : and bicause I meane to make some building upon the place, I thought good to let you all understand it, that before the figge tree be cut downe, if any of you be desperate, you may there in time goe hang your selves. He dyed in the citie of Hales, and was buried upon the sea side. Nowe it chaunced so, that the sea getting in, it compassed his tombe rounde about,

(2) SCENE VI.-One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.) Subjoined is the scene from the old manuscript play, before mentioned, to which Shakespeare or his predecessor is supposed to have been indebted for the idea of the mock banquet in Act III. :

Tim. Why doe yee not fall to? I am at home :
Ile standing suppe, or walking, if I please.
Laches, bring here the artichokes with speede.-
Eutrapelus, Demeas, Hermogenes,
I'le drinke this cuppe, a healthe to all your healths!

Lach. Converte it into poison, o yee gods!
Let it bee ratsbane to them!

[Aside. Gelas. What, wilt thou have the legge or els the winge? Entr. Carve yee that capon.

Dem. I will cutte him up, And make a beaste of him.

Phil. Timon, this healthe to thee.

Tim. lle pledge you, sir.
These artichokes doe noe mans pallat please.

Dem. I love them well, by Jove.
Tim. Here, take them, then.

(Stones painted like to them; and throwes them at them.
Nay, thou shalt have them, thou and all of yee!
Yee wicked, base, perfidious rascalls,
Think yee my hate's soe soone extinguished ?

[Timon beaies HERM, above all the resie. Dem. O my heade! Herm. O my cheekes ! Phil. Is this a feaste? Gelas. Truly, a stony one. Stilpo. Stones sublunary have the same matter with the

heavenly. Tim. If I Joves horridde thunderbolte did holde Within my hande, thus, thus would I darte it! [Hee hills Herm.

Herm. Woe and alas, my braines are dashed out!

Gelas. Alas, alas, twill never bee my happe
To travaile now to the Antipodes !
Ah, that I had my Pegasus but here!
I'de fly away, by Jove. (Eseunt all except Tim. and Lach.

Tim. Yee are a stony generation,
Or harder, if ought harder may bee founde;
Monsters of Scythia in hospitail,
Nay, very divells, hatefull to the gods.
Lach. Master, they are gone.

Act IV. Sc. 5.

maner.

ACT IV.

(1) SCENE III.-I am misanthropos, and hate mankind.) The epithet, misanthropos, was perhaps taken, as Malone conjectured, from a marginal note in North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Antony: “Antonius followeth the life and example of Timon Jři santhropus, the Athenian ;' or it might have been derived by the original author of this drama, from the subjoined soliloquy in “ Lucian : ”–

“I will purchase the whole confines of this countrey, and build a towre over my treasure big enough for myself alone to live in, and which I purpose shall be my sepulchre at my death ; and for the remainder of my ensuing life, will resolve upon these rules, to accompany no man, to take notice of no man, and to live in contempt of all men: the title of friend, or guest, or companion, or the altar of

« PreviousContinue »