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That of his bounties taste !—The five best senses
[Exit CUPID. 1 Lord. You see, my lord, how amply y'are belov’d. Music. Re-enter CUPID, with a masque of Ladies as Amazons,
with lutes in their hands, dancing, and playing.
The Lords rise from table, with much adoring of TIMON; and,
to show their loves, each singles out an Amazon, and all dance, Men with Women, a lofty strain or two to the hautboys, and
THE EAR, Taste, touch, smell, pleas'd from thy table rise ;] This is Warburton's ingenious emendation of a difficult passage, which in the old copies runs thus :
“ There taste, touch, all pleas'd from thy table rise." Warburton's restoration of the text (for such it merits to be called) makes four of the senses to be gratified at Timon's table, while the fifth is to be delighted by the coming mask. Coleridge, in his Lit. Rem., Vol. ii. p. 147, adverting to Warburton's change, truly says, " This is indeed an excellent emendation."
1- they are mad women.] In allusion to their dancing, which, Apemantus pretends, proceeds from insanity. Among other passages Steevens aptly cited the following from Cicero pro Muræna, 6 :- Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit. Stubbes, in his “ Anatomy of Abuses," 8vo, 1583, Sign. O, has this marginal note, “ Dauncers thought mad-men."
Tim. You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies, Set a fair fashion on our entertainment, Which was not half so beautiful and kind : You have added worth unto't, and lively lustre', And entertain'd me with mine own device; I am to thank you for it.
1 Lady. My lord', you take us ever at the best.
Apem. 'Faith, for the worst is filthy; and would not hold taking, I doubt me.
Tim. Ladies, there is an idle banquet Attends you: please you to dispose yourselves. All Lad. Most thankfully, my lord.
[Exeunt CUPID, and Ladies.
The little casket bring me hither.
[Exit, and returns with the casket. 1 Lord. Where be our men ? Serv. Here, my lord, in readiness. 2 Lord. Our horses ! Tim.
Oh, my friends!
1 Lord. I am so far already in your gifts,-
' - and LIVELY lustre,] The folio, 1632, inserts " lively" before “lustre,” required by the metre. We may not unreasonably suspect that many other words had dropped out, or been omitted in this part of the play, especially in the last speech of Apemantus, where some lines rhyme, and others do not rhyme for want of missing portions.
3 | Lady. My lord,] This speech is assigned in the old copies to 1 Lord, but no doubt, as Johnson suggested, by mistake ; the error having arisen from the circumstance, that in the old MS. 1 L. was the prefix, the single letter being employed to denote either Lady or Lord. The expression used by the 1 Lady, in the folios, is "you take us even at the best ;" but in the corr. fo. 1632 even is altered to "ever," the meaning being, that Timon always puts the best construction on what is done to please him : see “ever at the best" on p. 254,
Enter a Servant. Serv. My lord, there are certain nobles of the senate newly alighted, and come to visit you.
Tim. They are fairly welcome.
I beseech your honour, Vouchsafe me a word : it does concern you near.
Tim. Near? why then another time I'll hear thee :
Enter another Servant.
Tim. I shall accept them fairly: let the presents
Enter a third Servant.
3 Serv. Please you, my lord, that honourable gentleman, lord Lucullus, entreats your company to-morrow to hunt with him ; and has sent your honour two brace of greyhounds.
Tim. I'll hunt with him; and let them be receiv'd,
What will this come to ?
You do yourselves Much wrong: you bate too much of your own merits.Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.
2 Lord. With more than common thanks I will receive it. 3 Lord. Oh! he's the very soul of bounty.
Tim. And now I remember, my lord, you gave
2 Lord. Oh! I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, in that.
Tim. You may take my word, my lord : I know no man Can justly praise, but what he does affect : I weigh my friend's affection with mine own; I'll tell you true. I'll call to you. AU Lords.
Oh! none so welcome. Tim. I take all, and your several visitations, So kind to heart, 'tis not enough to give: Methinks, I could deal kingdoms to my friends, And ne'er be weary.—Alcibiades, Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich : It comes in charity to thee; for all thy living Is 'mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast Lie in a pitch'd field. Alcib.
Ay, defil'd land, my lord'. 1 Lord. We are so virtuously bound, Tim.
2 Lord. So infinitely endear’d, —
The best of happiness,
[Exeunt ALCIBIADES, Lords, &c. Apem.
What a coil's here !
Tim. Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen,
+ Ay, Depil'd land, my lord.] Alcibiades plays upon the word pitch'd used by Timon. The editor of the second folio, not observing the quibble, supposed “ defil'd" a misprint, and altered it to “I defy land, my lord;” meaning that a soldier disregarded landed possessions.
s I doubt whether their LEGS] i.e. Their bous : to make a leg was formerly, as now, to make a bow : see Vol. iii. pp. 275. 364, &c.
Apem. No, I'll nothing; for if I should be brib'd too, there would be none left to rail upon thee, and then thou wouldst sin the faster. Thou giv'st so long, Timon, I fear me, thou wilt give away thyself in paper shortlyo : what need these feasts, pomps, and vain glories ?
Tim. Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am sworn not to give regard to you. Farewell; and come with better music.
[Exit. Apem. So thou wilt not hear me now, Thou shalt not then’; I'll lock thy heaven from thee. Oh, that men's ears should be To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
ACT II. SCENE I.
The Same. A Room in a Senator's House.
Enter a Senator, with papers in his hand.
6 – thou wilt give away thyself in PAPER shortly:] A question has arisen among the commentators, whether we are to take “in paper" to mean in securities, or to treat it as a misprint for in proper, when it might mean that Timon would soon give even himself away. There is no difficulty in the received text, and considerable doubt as to the change.
7 Thou shalt not then ;] i. e. “ As thou wilt not hear me now, thou shalt not have the opportunity hereafter.” The concluding couplet of this speech may be adduced as an instance of the first line being some syllables short of the proper measure, (see Vol. iv. p. 379,) unless we are to suppose that four syllables have escaped, which is not by any means improbable.
8 A STABLE O' horses.] So the corr. fo. 1632, for “ And able horses" of the old editions, words which have given considerable trouble. The Senator is referring