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Enter SERVILIUS. Ser. See, by good hap, yonder 's my lord; I have sweat to see his honour.-My honoured lord,
[To Luc. Luc. Servilius? you are kindly met, sir. Fare thee well :-Commend me to thy honourable-virtuous lord, my very exquisite friend.
Ser. May it please your honour, my lord hath sent
Luc. Ha! what has he sent? I am so much endeared to that lord; he's ever sending: How shall I thank him, thinkest thou? And what has he sent now?
Ser. He has only sent his present occasion now, my lord; requesting your lordship to supply his instant use with so many talents.3
Luc. I know, his Lordship is but merry with me; He cannot want fifty-five hundred talents.
Ser. But in the mean time he wants less, my lord.
I think with Mr. Steevens that him relates to Timon, and that mistook him is a reflective participle. Malone.
denied his occasion so many talents.] i.e. a certain number of talents, such a number as he might happen to want. This passage, as well as a former, (see n. 9, p. 364,) shows that the text below is not corrupt. 'Malone.
with so many talents.] Such again is the reading with which the old copy supplies us. Probably the exact number of talents wanted was not expressly set down by Shakspeare. If this was the case, the player who represented the character, spoke of the first number that was uppermost in his mind; and the printer, who copied from the play-house books, put down an indefinite for the definite sum, which remained unspecified. The modern editors read again in this instance, fifty tulents. Perhaps the Servant brought a note with him which he tendered to Lucul. lus. Steevens.
There is, I am confident, no error. I have met with this kind of phraseology in many books of Shakspeare's age. In Julius Cæsar we have the phrase used here. Lucilius says to his adversary: “ There is so much, that thou wilt kill me straight."
Malone. 4 If his occasion were not virtuous,] Virtuous for strong, forcible, pressing. Warburton.
The meaning may more naturally be-If he did not want it for a good use. Fohnson. Dr. Johnson's explication is certainly right.-We had before:
“Some good necessity touches his friend." Malone. 5-half so faithfully.) Faithfully for fervently. Therefore,
Luc. Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?
Luc. What a wicked beast was I, to disfurnish myself against such a good time, when I might have shown myself honourable? how unluckily it happened, that I should purchase the day before for a little part, and undo a great deal of honour?6-Servilius, now before the gods, I am not able to do 't; the more beast, I say :-I was sending to use lord Timon myself, these gentlemen can witness; but I would not, for the wealth of Athens, I had done it
without more ado, the Oxford editor alters the text to fervently. But he might have seen, that Shakspeare used faithfully for fervently, as in the former part of the sentence he had used virtuous for forcible. Warburton.
Zeal or fervour usually attending fidelity. Malone.
6 That I should purchase the day before for a little part, and unde a great deal of honour ?] Though there is a seeming plausible antithesis in the terms, I am very well assured they are corrupt at the bottom. For a little part of what? Honour is the only sub. stantive that follows in the sentence. How much is the antithesis improved by the sense which my emendation gives ? “ That I should purchase for a little dirt, and undo a great deal of honour!"
Theobald. This emendation is received, like all others, by Sir Thomas Hanmer, but neglected by Dr. Warburton. I think Theobald right in suspecting a corruption; nor is his emendation injudi. cious, though perhaps we may better read, purchase the day before for a little park. Johnson.
I am satisfied with the old reading, which is sufficiently in our author's manner. By purchasing what brought me but little ho. nour, I have lost the more honourable opportunity of supplying the wants of my friend. Dr. Farmer, however, suspects a quibble between honour in its common acceptation, and honour (i. e. the fordship of a place) in a legal sense. See Jacob's Dictionary.
Steevens. I am neither satisfied with the amendments proposed, or with Steevens's explanation of the present reading; and have little doubt but we should read “purchase for a little port,” instead of part, and the meaning will then be "How unlucky was I to have purchased, but the day before, out of a little vanity, and by that means disabled myself from doing an honourable action." Port means show, or magnificence. M. Mason.
I believe Dr. Johnson's reading is the true one. I once suspected the phrase "purchase for;" but a more attentive examination of our author's works and those of his contemporaries, has shown me the folly of suspecting corruptions in the text, merely because it exhibits a different phraseology from that used at this day, Malone.
now. Commend me bountifully to his good lordship; and I hope, his honour will conceive the fairest of me, because I have no power to be kind :---And tell him this from ne, I count it one of my greatest afflictions, say, that I cannot pleasure such an honourable gentleman, Good Servilius, will you befriend me *o far, as to use mine own words to him?
Ser. Yes, sir, I shall.
[Exit Ser. True, as you said, Timon is shrunk, indeed; And he, that's once denied, will hardly speed.[Exit Luc.
1 Stran. Do you observe this, Hostilius??
1 Stran. Why this
7 Do you observe this, Hostilius?] I am willing to believe, for the sake of metre, that our author wrote: Observe you this, Hostilius.?
Ay, too well. Steevens. - flatterer's spirit.] This is Dr. Warburton's emendation. The other (modern) editions read:
Why, this is the world's soul;
And just of the same piece is every flatterer's sport. Mr. Upton has not unluckily transposed the two final words, thus :
Why, this is the world's sport;
Of the same piece is every flatterer's soul, The passage is not so obscure as to provoke so much enquiry. This, says he, is the soul or spirit of the world: every flatterer plays the same game, makes sport with the confidence of his friend.
Fohnson. Mr. M. Mason prefers the amendment of Dr. Warburton to : the transposition of Mr. Upton. Steevens.
The emendation, spirit, belongs not to Dr. Warburton, but to Mr. Theobald The word was frequently pronounced as one syl. lable, and sometimes, I think, written sprite. Hence the corruption was easy; whilst on the other hand it is highly improbable that two words so distant from each other as soul and sport (or spirit) should change places. Mr Upton did not take the trouble to look into the old copy; but finding soul and sport the final words of two lines in Mr. Pope's and the subsequent editions, took it for granted they held the same situation in the original edition, which we see was not the case. I do not believe this speech was intend. ed by the author for verse. Malone.
that dips in the same dish?] This phrase is scriptural :
My knowing, Timon has been this lord's father,
3 Stran. Religion groans at it.
For mine own part,
of his bounties over me,
“ He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish." St. Matthew, xxvi, 23. Steevens.
in respect of his,] i. e. considering Timon's claim for what he asks. Warburton.
In respect of his fortune : what Lucius denies to Timon is in proportion to what Lucius possesses, less than the usual alms given by good imen to beggars. Johnson.
Does not his refer to the lip of Timon ? --Though Lucius himself drink from a silver cup which was Timon's gift to him, he refuses to Timon, in return, drink from any cup. Henley. 2 I would have put my wealth into donation,
And the best half should have return'd to him,] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:
I would have put my wealth into partition,
And the best half should have attorn’d to him, Dr. Warburton receives attorn'd. The only difficulty is in the word return'd, which, since he had receiv'd nothing from him, cannot be used but in a very low and licentious meaning.
Fohnson. Had his necessity made use of me, I would have put my fortune into a condition to be alienated, and the best half of what I had gained myself, or received from others, should have found its way to him. Ei. ther such licentious exposition must be allowed, or the passage remain in obscurity, as some readers may not choose to receive Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation.
The following lines, however, in Hamlet, Act II, sc. ii, per
So jouch I love his heart; But, I perceive,
SCENE III. The same. A Room in Sempronius's House. Enter SEMPRONIUS, and a Servant of Timon's. Sem. Must he needs trouble me in 't? Humph! 'Bove
all others? He might have tried lord Lucius, or Lucullus; And now Ventidius is wealthy too,
suades me that my explanation of_put my wealth into donationis somewhat doubtful:
“ Put your dread pleasures more into command
“ Than to entreaty.” Again, in Cymbeline, Act III, sc. iv:
“ And mad st me put into contempt the suits
" Of princely fellow's,” &c. Perhaps the stranger means to say, I would have treated my wealth as a present originally received from him, and on this occasion have returned him the half of that whole for which I sup. posed myself to be indebted to his bounty. Lady Macbeth has nearly the same sentiment :
Stcevens The difficulty of this passage arises from the word return'd. Warburton proposes to read attorn'd; but that word always relates to persons, not to things. It is the tenant that attorns, not the lands. The meaning of this passage appears to be this:-"'Though I never tasted of Timon's bounty, yet I have such an esteem for his virtue, that had be applied to me, I should have considered my wealth as proceeding from his donation, and have returned half of it to him again.” To put his wealth into donation, means, to put it down in account as a donation, to suppose it a donation.
M. Mason. I have no doubt that the latter very happy interpretation given by Mr. Steevens is the true one. Though (says the speaker, I never tasted Timon's bounty in my life, I would have supposed my whole fortune to have been a gift from him, &c. So, the com: mon phrase,--Put yourself [i. e. suppose yourself) in my place, The passages quoted by Mr. Steevens fully support the phrase into donation.
“Return’d to him” necessarily includes the idea of having come from him, and therefore can not mean simply--found its way, the interpretation first given by Mr. Steerens. Malone.