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Whereof ingrateful man, with liquorish draughts, And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind, That from it all consideration slips !
Enter APEMANTUS. More man? Plague! plague!
Apem. I was directed hither: Men report, Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.
Tim. 'Tis then, because thou dost not keep a dog Whom I would imitate: Consumption catch thee!
Apem. This is in thee a nature but affected; A poor unmanly melancholy, sprung From change of fortune. Why this spade? this
place? This slave-like habit? and these looks of care? Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft; Hug their diseas'd perfumes, and have forgot That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods, By putting on the cunning of a carper. Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive By that which has undone thee: hinge thy knee, And let his very breath, whom thou'lt observe, Blow off thy cap; praise his most vicious, strain, And call it excellent: Thou wast told thus; Thou gav'st thine ears, like tapsters, that bid wel
come, To knaves, and all approachers: 'Tis most just, That thou turn råscal; had'st thou wealth again, Rascals should have't. Do not assume my likeness.
Tim. Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself. Apem. Thou hast cast away thyself, being like
thyself; A madmaņ só long, now a fool: What, think'st That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
the cunning of a carper.] i. e. the insidious art of a
Will put thy shirt on warm? Will these moss'd trees,
A fool of thee: Depart.
Thou flatter'st misery. Apen. I flatter not; but say, thou art a caitiff. Tim. Why dost thou seek me out? Apem.
To vex thee. Tim. Always a villain's office, or a fool's. Dost please thyself in't? Apem.
What! a knave too 7 Apem. If thou didst put this sour-cold habit on To castigate thy pride, 'twere well: but thou Dost it enforcedly; thou’dst courtier be again, Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery Outlives incertain pomp, is crown'd before:S
What! a knave too?] Timon had just called Apemantus fool, in consequence of what he had known of him by former acquaintance; but when Apemantus tells him that he comes to vex him, Timon determines that to rex is either the office of a villain or a fool; that to rer by design is villainy, to rex without design is folly. He then properly asks Apemantus whether he takes delight in vexing, and when he answers, yes, Timon replies -What! , knave too? I before only knew thee to be a fool, but now I find thee likewise a knate, JOHNSON.
The one is filling still, never complete;
Tim. Not by his breath, that is more miserable.
before thee. But myself, Who had the world as my confectionary; The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of men At duty, more than I could frame employment;
is crown'd before:] Arrives sooner at high wish; that is, at the completion of its wishes. JOHNSON.
9 IVorse than the worst, content.] Best states contentless have wretched being, a being worse than that of the worst states that are content.
by his breath,] By his breath means in our author's language, by his voice or speech, and so in fact by his sentence. Shakspeare frequently uses the word in this sense. It has been twice insed in this play.
2 Hadst thou, like us,] There is in this speech a sullen haughtiness, and malignant dignity, suitable at once to the lord and the man-hater. The impatience with which he bears to have his luxury reproached by one that never had luxury within his reach, is natural and graceful. JOHNSON.
first swath,] From infancy. Swath is the dress of a new-born child.
passive drugs of it-] or drudges.
precepts of respect,] “ The icy precepts of respect" mean the cold admonitions of cautious prudence, that deliberately weighs the consequences of every action.
than I could frame employment;] i. e. frame employment for. Shakspeare frequently writes thus.
That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves
They never flatter'd thee: What hast thou given?-
Art thou proud yet?
I, that I was No prodigal.
Tim. I, that I am one now; Were all the wealth I have, shut
in thee, I'd give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone. That the whole life of Athens were in this! Thus would I eat it.
[Eating a Root. Apem. .
Here; I will mend thy feast.
[Offering him something. Tim. First mend my company, take away thyself. Apem. So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of
Thou hadst been a knave, and flatterer.] Dryden has quoted two verses of Virgil to show how well he could have written satires. Shakspeare has here given a specimen of the same power by. a line bitter beyond all bitterness, in which Timon tells Apemantus, that he liad no virtue enough for the vices which he condemns. I have heard Mr. Burke commend the subtilty of discrimination with which Shakspeare distinguishes the present character of Timon from that of Apemantus, whom to vulgar eyes he would now resemble.
Tim. "Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd; If not, I would it were.
Apem. What would'st thou have to Athens?
Tim. Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt, Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.
Apem. Here is no use for gold.
The best, and truest: For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm.
Apem. Where ly’st o’nights, Timon?
Under that's above me, Where feed'st thou o'days, Apemantus?
Apem. Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.
Tim. 'Would poison were obedient, and knew
Apem. Where would'st thou send it?
Apem. The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the extremity of both ends: When thou wast in thy gilt, and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too much curiosity;' in thy rags thou knowest none, but art despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for thee, eat it.
Tim. On what I hate, I feed not.
hadst hated medlers sooner, thou should'st have loved thyself better now. didst thou ever know unthrift, that was beloved after his means?
Tim. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever know beloved ?
Tim. I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a dog,
for too much curiosity;] i. e. for too much finical delicacy.