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VEN. A noble fpirit.

[They all fland ceremoniously looking on TIMON.


Nay, my lords, ceremony

Was but devis'd at first, to set a glofs

On faint deeds, hollow welcomes,

Recanting goodness forry ere 'tis fhown;

But where there is true friendship, there needs none. Pray, fit; more welcome are ye to my fortunes, Than my fortunes to me.

[They fit. 1. LORD. My lord, we always have confefs'd it. APEM. Ho, ho, confess'd it? hang'd it, have

not? 2

TIM. O, Apemantus-you are welcome.

You fhall not make me welcome:

I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.



TIM. Fie, thou art a churl; you have got a hu

mour there

Does not become a man, 'tis much to blame :—

They fay, my lords, that3 ira furor brevis eft,
But yond' man's ever angry.

Go, let him have a table by himself;
For he does neither affect company,

Nor is he fit for it, indeed.


APEM. Let me stay at thine own peril, 5 Timon;

confefs'd it? hang'd it, have you not?] There seems to be fome allufion here to a common proverbial faying of Shakspeare's time: "Confefs and be hang'd." See Othello, A& IV. fc. i.

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3 They fay, my lords, that Hanmer, for the fake of metre.

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That was inferted by Sir Thomas STEEVENS.

4 But gond' man's ever angry.] The old copy has very angry; which can hardly be right. The emendation now adopted was made by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

Perhaps we should read - But yon man's very anger; i. e. anger itfelf, which always maintains its violence.


at thine own peril, ] The old copy reads-at thine apperil.

I come to obferve; I give thee warning on't.

TIM. I take no heed of thee; thou art an Athenian; therefore welcome: I myself would have no power: 'pr'ythee, let my meat make thee filent. APEM. I fcorn thy meat; 'twould choke me, for


I fhould

Ne'er flatter thee.'-O you gods! what a number Of men eat Timon, and he fees them not!

It grieves me, to fee fo many dip their meat


In one man's blood; and all the madness is,

I have not been able to find fuch a word in any Didonary, nor is it reconcileable to etymology. I have therefore adopted an emendation made by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.

Apperil, the reading of the old no other instance of it has been, is, however, in actual use in the


editions, may be right, though or poffibly can be produced. It metropolis, at this day.

I myself would have no power:]



If this be the true

reading, the fenfe is, - all Athenians are welcome to share my fortune: I would myfelf have no exclufive right or power in this house; Perhaps we might read, - I myself would have no poor. I would have every Athenian confider himself as joint poffeffor of my fortune. JOHNSON.

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I understand Timon's meaning to be: I myself would have no power to make thee filent, but I with thou would't let my meat make thee filent. Timon, like a polite landlord, disclaims all power over the meaneft or moft troublesome of his guefts." TYRWHITT.

These words refer to what follows, not to that which precedes. I claim no extraordinary power in right of my being mafter of the houfe: I wish not by my commands to impofe filence on any one: but though I myself do not enjoin you to filence, let my meat flop your mouth. MALONE.

I fcorn thy meat; 'twould choke me, for I should

Ne'er flatter thee.] The meaning is,—I could not swallow thy meat, for I could not pay for it with flattery; and what was given me with an ill will would flick in my throat. JOHNSON.

For has here perhaps the fignification of because. So, in Othello? Haply, for I am black." MALONE.

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8 -So many dip their meat

In one man's blood;] The allufion is to a pack of hounds VOL. XVII.


He cheers them up too.

I wonder, men dare truft themselves with men:
Methinks, they should invite them without knives; *
Good for their meat, and fafer for their lives.
There's much example for't; the fellow, that
Sits next him now, parts bread with him, and pledges
The breath of him in a divided draught,

Is the readieft man to kill him: it has been prov'd.
If I

Were a huge man, I should fear to drink at meals; Left they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes:9 Great men fhould drink with harness




on their

TIм. My lord, in heart; and let the health



trained to purfuít by being gratified with the blood of an animal which they kill, and the wonder is that the animal on which they. are feeding cheers them to the chafe. JOHNSON.


Methinks, they should invite them without knives ;] It was the cuftom in our author's time for every gueft to bring his own knife, which he occafionally whetted on a Rone that hung behind the door. One of thefe whetstones may be seen in Parkinson's Museum. They were ftrangers, at that period, to the ufe of forks. RITSON.

9 windpipe's dangerous notes:] The notes of the windpipe feem to be only the indications which fhow where the windpipe is. JOHNSON.

Shakspeare is very fond of making use of mufical terms, when he is fpeaking of the human body, and windpipe and notes favour Atrongly of a quibble. STEEVENS.


with harness] i. e. armour.

See Vol. XI. p. 255, ❤. 7.

3 My lord, in heart;] That is, my lord's health with fincerity. An emendation has been propofed thus:

My love in heart;

but it is not neceffary. JOHNSON.

So, in The Queen of Corinth, by Beaumont and Fletcher:

I will be never more in heart to you."

Again, in King Henry IV. Part I. Ad IV. fc. i:

in heart defiring ftill

"You may behold," &c.

2. LORD. Let it flow this way, my Good lord. APEM. Flow this way! A brave fellow!-he keeps his tides well. Timon, Those healths will make thee, and thy state, look


Here's that, which is too weak to be a finner,
Honeft water, which ne'er left man i'the mire:
This, and my food, are equals; there's no odds.
Feafts are too proud to give thanks to the gods:

Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
I pray for no man but myself:
Grant I may never prove fo fond,
To trust man on his oath or bond;
Or a harlot, for her weeping;
Or a dog, that Jeems a fleeping;
Or a keeper with my freedom;
Or my friends, if I fhould need 'em:
Amen. So fall to't:


Rich men fin, and I eat root.

[Eats and drinks:

Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!

Again, in Love's Labour's Loft, A& V. fc. ii :

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Doft thou not with in heart,

"The chain were longer, and the letter fhort?"


Timon, Thofe healths This fpeech, except the concluding couplet, is printed as profe in the copy; nor could it be exhibited as verfe but by transferring the word Timon, which follows-look ill, to its prefent place. The tranfpofition was made by Mr. Capell. The word might have been an interlineation, and fo have been mifplaced. Yet, after all, I fufpect many of the fpeeches in this play, which the modern editors have exhibited in a loose kind of metre, were intended by the author as profe; in which form they appear in the old copy. MALONE.

• Rich men fin, ] Dr. Farmer proposes to read-fing. REED

TIM. Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.

ALCIB. My heart is ever at your fervice, my lord. TIM. You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies, than a dinner of friends.

ALCIB. So they were bleeding-new, my lord, there's no meat like them; I could wish my beft friend at fuch a feast.

APEM. Would all thofe flatterers were thine enemies then; that then thou might'ft kill 'em, and bid me to 'em.

1. LORD. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby we might exprefs fome part of our zeals, we should think ourselves for ever perfect."

TIM. O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods themselves have provided that I fhall have much help from you: How had you been my friends elfe? why have you that charitable title from thoufands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart?' I

· for ever perfe&. ] That is, arrived at the perfection of happiness. JOHNSON.

So, in Macbeth:

"Then comes my fit again;. I had elfe been perfect;

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7 How had you been my friends else? why have you that charitable title from thoufands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart!] Charitable fignifies, dear, endearing. So, Milton:

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"Relations dear, and all the charities

"Of father, fon, and brother——.”

Alms, in English, are called charities, and from thence we may colle& that our ancestors knew well in what the virtue of almsgiving confifted; not in the act, but in the difpofition.


The meaning is probably this: — Why are you diftinguished from thousands by that title of endearment, was there not a particular conne&ion and intercourfe of tenderness between you and mc? JOHNSON.

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