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2 Sen. The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon. Tim. I thank them; and would send them back the

plague,
Could I but catch it for them.
I Sen.

O, forget
What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
The senators, with one consent of love, 1
Entreat thee back to Athens; who have thought
On special dignities, which vacant lic
For thy best use and wearing.
2 Sen.

They confess,
Toward thee, forgetfulness too general, gross:
Which now the publick body,2 — which doth seldom
Play the recanter-feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fall,s restraining aid to Timon ; *
And send forth us, to make their sorrowed render, 5

1

- with one consent of love,] With one united voice of affection. So, in Sternhold's translation of the 100th Psalm:

“ With one consent let all the earth." All our old writers spell the word improperly, consent, without regard to its etymology, concentus. Malone.

This sense of the word consent, or concent, was originally point. ed out and ascertained in a note on the first scene of The First Part of King Henry VI. See Vol. X, p. 10, n. 4. Steevens.

2 Which now the publick body,] Thus the old copy, ungrammatically certainly; but our author frequently thus begins a sentence, and concludes it without attending to what has gone be. fore: for which perhaps the carelessness and ardour of colloquial language may be an apology. See Vol. II, p. 15, n. 4. So afterwards in the third scene of this Act:

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

" And made us speak like friends." See also the Poets last speech in p. 441.-Sir Thomas Hanmer and the subsequent editors read here more correctly - And now the publick body, &c. but by what oversight could Which be printed instead of And? Malone.

The mistake might have been that of the transcriber, not the printer. Steevens.

3 Of its own fall,] The Athenians had sense, that is, felt the danger of their own fall, by the arms of Alcibiades. Fohnson.

restraining aid to Timon;] I think it should be refraining aidl, that is, with-holding aid that should have been given to Timon. Johnson.

Where is the difference? To restrain, and to refrain, both mean to withhold.M. Mason.

Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram; 6
Ay, even such heaps and sums of love and wealth,
As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs,
And write in thee the figures of their love,
Ever to read them thine.
Tim.

You witch me in it;
Surprize me to the very brink of tears:
Lend me a fool's heart, and a woman's eyes,
And I 'll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.

1 Sen. Therefore, so please thee to return with us,
And of our Athens (thine, and ours,) to take
The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allow'd with absolute power, 7 and thy good name
Live with authority:

:-So soon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades the approaches wild;
Who, like a boar too savage, dotlı root up8

5

sorrowed render,] Thus the old copy. Render is confession. So, in Cymbeline, Act IV, sc. iv:

may drive is to a render “ Where we have liv'd." The modern editors read-tender. Steevens.

6 Than their offence cun weigh down by the dram ;] This, which was in the former editions, can scarcely be right, and yet I know not whether my reading will be thought to rectify it. I take the meaning to be, We will give thee a recompense that our offences cannot outweigh, henps of wealth down by the dram, or delivered according to the exactest measure. A little disorder may perhaps have happened in transcribing, which may be reformed by reading:

Ay, ev'n such heaps,
And sums of love and wealth, down by the dram,

1s shall to thee Johnson. The speaker means, a recompense that shall more than coun. ierpoise their offences, though weighed with the most scrupulous

M. Mason. A recompense so large, that the offence they have committed, though every dram of that offence should be put into the scale, cannot counterpoise it. The recompense will outweigh the offence, which, instead of weighing down the scale in which it is placed, will kick the beam. Malone.

7 Allow'd with absolute power,] Allowed is licensed, privileged, uncontrolled. So of a buffoon, in Love's Labour's Lost, it is said, that he is allowed, that is, at liberty to say what he will, a privileged ecoffer. Fohnson. like a boar too

savage,

doth root up-] This image might:

exactness.

3

Ifis country's peace. 2 Sen.

And shakes his threat’ning sword Against the walls of Athens. | Sen.

Therefore, Timon,
Tim. Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; Thus,
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That-Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by the beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain’d war;
Then, let him know-and, tell him, Timon speaks it,
In pity of our aged, and our youth,
I cannot choose but tell him, that I care not,
And let him tak’t at worst; for their knives care not,
While you have throats to answer: for myself,
There's not a whittle in the unruly camp,
But I do prize it al my love, before
The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you
To the protection of the prosperous gods,
As thieves to keepers.
Flav.

Stay not, all's in vain.
Tim. Why, I was writing of my epitaph,
It will be seen to-morrow; My long sicknessa

1

have been caught from Psalm Ixxx, 13: “ The wild boar out of the wood doth root it up,&c. Steevens.

9 There's not a whittle in the unruly camp,] A whittle is still in the midland counties the common name for a pocket clasp knife, such as children use. Chaucer speaks of a “ Sheffield thwittell."

Steevens. of the prosperous gods,] I believe prosperous is used here with our poet's usual laxity, in an active, instead of a passive, sense: the gods who are the authors of the prosperity of mankind. So, in Othello:

“ To my unfolding lend a prosperous ear.” I leave you, says Timon, to the protection of the gods, the great distributors of prosperity, that they may so keep and guard you, as jailors do thieves; i. e. for final punishment. Malone.

I do not see why the epithet---prosperous, may not be employed here with its common signification, and mean-the gods who are prosperous in all their undertakings. Our author, elsewhere, has blessed gods, clear gods, &c. Steevens.

My long sickness - ] The disease of life begins to promise me a period. Johnson.

2

Of health, and living, now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still-;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough!
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 bruit3 doth put it.
1 Sen.

That 's well spoke,
Tim. Commend me to thy loving countrymen,
1 Sen. These words become your lips as they pass

through them. 2 Sen. And enter in our ears, like great triúmphers In their applauding gates. Tim.

Commend me to them; And tell them, that, to ease them of their griefs, Their iears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses, Their pangs of love, with other incident throes That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them:5 I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.

2 Sen. I like this well, he will return again. Tim. I liave a tree,6 which grows here in my close,

3

5

bruit - }i. e. report, rumour. Steevens. 4 Their pangs of love, &c.] Compare this part of Timon's speech with part of the celebrated soliloquy in Hamlet. Steevens.

· I will some kindness &c.] i. e. I will do them some kind. ness, for such, elliptically considered, will be the sense of these words, independent of the supplemental do them, which only serves to derange the metre, and is, I think, a certain interpolation. Steevens.

6 I have a tree, &c.] Perhaps Shakspeare was indebted to Chavacer's Wife of Bath's Prologue, for this thought. He might, however, have found it in Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. I, Nov. 38, as well as in several other places Steevens.

Our author was indebted for this thought to Plutarch's Life of intony: “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 listening to hear what he would say, because it was a wonder to see him in that place, at length he began 10 speak in this manner: "My lordes of Athens, I have a little pard in my house where there groweth a figge tree, on the which

7

That mine own use invites me to cut down,
And shortly must I fell it; Tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree,
From high to low throughout, that whoso please
To stop affliction, let him take his haste,
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.
Tim. Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Which once a days with his embossed frotho
The turbulent surge shall cover; thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.-
Lips, let sour words go by, and language end:
What is amiss, plague and infection mend!
Graves only be men's works; and death, their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign.

[Exit Tiu. i Sen. His discontenis are unremoveably

many citizens have hanged themselves; and because 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 go hang yourselves.".

Malone. ? in the sequence of degree,] Methodically, from highest to lowest. Fohnson.

8 Which once a day-] Old copy-Who. For the correction [whom] I am answerable. Whom refers to Timon. All the modern editors (following the second folio) read-Which once &c.

Malone. Which, in the second folio, (and I have followed it) is an apparent correction of-Who. Surely, it is the everlasting mansion, or the beuch on which it stands, that our author meant to cover with the foam, and not the corpse of Timon. Thus we often say that the grave in a churchyard, and not the body within it, is trodden down by cattle, or overgrown with weeds. Steevens.

-embossed froth - ) When a deer was run hard, and foamed at the mouth, he was said to be embossed. See Vol. VI, p. 16, n. 9. The thought is from Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. I, Nov. 28. Steevens.

Embossed froth, is swollen froth; from bosse, Fr. a tumour. The term embossed, when applied to deer, is from emboçar, Span. to past out of the mouth. Malane.

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