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I have a jewel here.

MER. O, pray, let's fee't: For the lord Timon, fir?

JEW. If he will touch the eflimate: But, for that

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[Looking on the jewel.

JEW. And rich: here is a water, look you.

PAIN. You are rapt, fir, in fome work, fome dedication

To the great lord.


A thing flipp'd idly from me.

Our poefy is as a gum, which oozes9

From whence 'tis nourished: The fire i'the flint Shows not, till it be ftruck; our gentle flame

6 He paffes.

I have a jewel here.] The fyllable wanting in this line, might be restored by reading:


He paffes.-Look, I have a jewel here. STEEVENS.

touch the eflimate:] Come up to the price. Johnson.

When we for recompenfe &c.] We must here fuppofe the poet bufy in reading his own work; and that these three lines are the introdu&ion of the poem addreffed to Timon, which he afterwards gives the painter an account of. WARBURTON.


which oozes-] The folio copy reads which uses. The modern editors have given it—which ifurs. JOHNSON. Gum and issues were infcried by Mr. Pope; oozes by Dr. Johnfon,

The two oldest copies read:

Our poefie is as a gowne which uses. STEEVENS,


Provokes itself, and, like the current, flies

Each bound it chafes. What have you there?

and, like the current, flies

Each bound it chafes.] Thus the folio reads, and rightly. In later editions-chafes. WARBURTON.

This fpeech of the poet is very obfcure. He feems to boat the copiousness and facility of his vein, by declaring that verses drop from a poet as gums from odoriferous trees, and that his flame kindles itself without the violence neceffary to elicit fparkles from the flint. What follows next? that it, like a current, flies each bound it chafes. This may mean, that it expands itself notwithftanding all obftru&ions: but the images in the comparison are fo ill-forted, and the effect fo obfcurely expreffed, that I cannot but think fomething omitted that conne&ed the laft fentence with the former. It is well known that the players often shorten fpeeches to quicken the reprefentation: and it may be fufpected, that they fometimes performed their amputations with more hafte than judge. ment. JOHNSON.

Perhaps the fenfe is, that having touch'd on one fubje&t, it flies off in queft of another. The old copy feems to read:

Each bound it chafes.

The letters and are not always to be diftinguished from each other, especially when the types have been much worn, as in the firft folio. If chafes be the true reading, it is beft explained by the fe fequiturque fugitque" of the Roman poet. Somewhat fimilar occurs in The Tempeft:

"Do chafe the ebbing Neptune, and do fy him
"When he purfues." STEEVENS.

The obfcurity of this paffage arifes merely from the miftake of the editors, who have joined in one, what was intended by Shakfpeare as two diftin& fentences. It should be pointed thus, and

then the fenfe will be evident:

our gentle flame

Provokes itself, and like the current flies; —

Each bound it chafes.

Our gentle flame animates itself; it flies like a current; and every obftacle ferves but to increase its force. M. MASON.

In Julius Cæfar, we have

"The troubled Tyber chafing with her fhores,-"

Again, in The Legend of Pierce Gaveflon, by Michael Drayton, 1594: "Like as the ocean, chafing with his bounds,

"With raging billowes flies against the rocks,

And to the fhore fends forth his hideous founds," &c.


PAIN. A picture, fir. book forth? 3

POET. Upon the heels Let's fee your piece.

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PAIN. 'Tis a good piece. POET. So 'tis: this comes off well and excellent."

This jumble of incongruous images, feems to have been de figned, and put into the mouth of the Poetafter, that the reader might appreciate his talents: his language therefore fhould not be confidered in the abftra&t HENLEY.


And when comes your book forth?] And was fupplied by Sir T. Hanmer, to perfe& the measure. STEEVENS.

4 Upon the heels &c.] As foon as my book has been prefented to lord Timon. JOHNSON.

5 prefentment] The patrons of Shakspeare's age do not appear to have been all Timons.

"I did determine not to have dedicated my play to any body, becaufe forty fhillings I care not for, and above, few or none will beflow on these matters. Preface to A Woman is a Weathercock, by N. Field, 1612. STEEVENS.

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It should however be remembered, that forty fhillings at that time were equal to at leaft fix, perhaps eight, pounds at this day.

6 'Tis a good piece.}


As the metre is here defective, it is not

improbable that our author originally wrote

'Tis a good piece, indeed.

So, in The Winter's Tale :

"'Tis grace indeed." STEEVENS.

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this comes off well and excellent. ] The meaning is, the C'est bien relevé. JOHNSON.

figure rifes well from the canvas.

What is meant by this term of applause I do not exactly know. It occurs again in The Widow, by Ben Jonson, Fletcher, and Middleton:

"It comes off very fair yet.

Again, in A Trick to catch the old One, 1608: "Put a good tale in his ear, fo that it comes off cleanly, and there's a horse and man for us. I warrant thee." Again, in the first part of Marton's Autonio and Mellida:

"Fla. Faith, the fong will feem to come off hardly.
"Catz. Troth, not a whit, if you feem to come off quickly."


PAIN. Indifferent.


Admirable: How this grace

Speaks his own ftanding! what a mental power This eye fhoots forth! how big imagination Moves in this lip! to the dumbnefs of the geflure One might interpret.


How this grace


Speaks his own ftanding!] This relates to the attitude of the figure, and means that it ftands judiciously on its own centre. not only fo, but that it has a graceful ftanding likewife. Of which the poet in Hamlet, fpeaking of another pi&ure, says:

A flation like the herald, Mercury

"New lighted on a heaven-kiffing hill.'

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which lines Milion feems to have had in view, where he says of Raphael:

"At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradife

"He lights, and to his proper fhape returns.


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Like Maia's fon he stood." WARBURTON.

This fentence feems to me obfcure, and, however explained, not very forcible. This grace Speaks his own flanding, is only, The gracefulness of this figure shows how it ftands. I am inclined to think fomething corrupted. It would be more natural and clear thus: How this ftanding

Speaks his own graces!

How this pofture difplays its own gracefulness.
conjecture further, and propofe to read:
How this grace

Speaks understanding! what a mental power
This eye fhoots forth! JOHNSON.

But I will indulge

The affage, to my apprehenfion at least, speaks its own meaning, which is, how the graceful attitude of this figure proclaims that it ftands firm on its center, or gives evidence in favour of its own fixure. Grace is introduced as bearing witnefs to propriety. A fimilar expreffion occurs in Cymbeline, A& II. sc. iv:

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"So likely to report themselves." STEEVENS.

9 to the dumbness of the gefture

One might interpret.] The figure, though dumb, feems to have a capacity of fpeech. The allufion is to the puppet-shows, or motions, as they were termed in our author's time. The perfon

PAIN. It is a pretty mocking of the life. Here is a touch; Is't good?


I'll fay of it,

It tutors nature: artificial ftrife 2

Lives in these touches, livelier than life.

who spoke for the puppets was called an interpreter. See a note on Hamlet, A& III. fc. v. MALONE.

Rather-one might venture to fupply words to fuch intelligible action. Such fignificant gefture afcertains the fentiments that should accompany it. STEEVENS.

artificial ftrife — ] Strife for action or motion.

Strife is either the conteft of art with nature:
Hic ille eft Raphael, timuit, quo fofpile vinci
Rerum magna parens, & moriente mori.


or it is the contraft of forms or oppofition of colours. JOHNSON. So, under the print of Noah Bridges, by Faithorne:

"Faithorne, with nature at a noble Jirife,

"Hath paid the author a great share of life.

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And Ben Jonfon, on the head of Shakspeare by Droefhout:
This figure which thou here feet put,

"It was for gentle Shakspeare cut:

"Wherein the graver had a frife

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"With nature, to out-doo the life.' HENLEY.

That artificial Arife means, as Dr. Johnson has explained it, the contest of art with nature, and not the contrast of forms or oppofition of colours, may appear from our author's Venus and Adonis, wher: the fame thought is more clearly expressed:

"Look, when a painter would furpass the life,
"In limning out a well-proportion'd steed,
His art with nature's workmanship at ftrife,
"As if the dead the living thould exceed ;
"So did this horfe excell, &c.


Io Drayton's Mortimeriados, printed I believe in 1596, (afterwards entitled The Baron's Wars,) there are two lines nearly refembling thefe:

Done for the laft with fuch exceeding life,
As art therein with nature were at frife.'

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