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FOOL. Are you three ufurers' men?
FOOL. I think, no ufurer but has a fool to his fervant: My miftrefs is one, and I am her fool. When men come to borrow of your mallers, they approach fadly, and go away merry; but they enter my miftrefs' houfe merrily, and go away fadly: The reason of this?
VAR. SERV. I could render one.
APEM. Do it then, that we may account thee a whoremafter, and a knave; which notwithstanding, thou fhalt be no lefs efteemed.
VAR. SERV. What is a whoremaster, fool?
FOOL. A fool in good clothes, and fomething like thee. 'Tis a fpirit: fometime, it appears like a lord; fometime, like a lawyer; fometime, like a philofopher, with two ftones more than his artificial one: He is very often like a knight; and, generally, in all fhapes, that man goes up and down in, from fourscore to thirteen, this spirit walks in.
VAR. SERV. Thou art not altogether a fool. FOOL. Nor thou altogether a wife man: as much foolery as I have, fo much wit thou lack'ft.
3 my miftrefs' house] Here again the old copy reads. mafier's. I have corre&ed it for the reafon already afsigned. The context puts the matter beyond a doubt. Mr. Theobald, I find, had filently made the fame emendation; but in fubfequent editions the corrupt reading of the old copy was again reftored.
his artificial one:] Meaning the celebrated philofopher's Atone, which was in thofe times much talked of. Sir Thomas Smith was one of those who loft confiderable fums in seeking of it. JOHNSON.
Sir Richard Steele was one of the laft eminent men who entertained hopes of being fuccessful in this pursuit. His laboratory was at Poplar, a village near London, and is now converted inte a garden house, STELVENS.
APEM. That anfwer might have become Ape
ALL. SERV. Afide, afide; here comes lord Timon.
Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS.
APEM. Come with me, fool, come.
FOOL. I do not always follow lover, elder brother, and woman; fometime, the philofopher.
[Exeunt APEMANTUS and Fool. FLAV. 'Pray you, walk near; I'll fpeak with you [Excunt Serv. TIM. You make me marvel: Wherefore, ere this
Had you not fully laid my flate before me;
You would not hear me,
At many leifures I propos'd.
Perchance, fome fingle vantages you took,
O my good lord! At many times I brought in my accounts,
Laid them before you; you would throw them off, And fay, you found them in mine honesty.
When, for fome trifling prefent, you have bid me
made your minifter, ] So the original. The.fecond folio
and the later editions have all :
made you minifter. JOHNSON.
The conftruction is:-And made that unaptness your minifler.
Return fo much, I have fhook my head, and wept;
7 Return fo much, ] certain fum, as it might this kind of expreffion. talents," p. 77, n. 5.
Let all my land be fold."
He does not mean fo great a fum, but a
* —— My dear-lov'd lord,] Thus the fecond folio. The first omits the epithet-dear, and confequently vitiates the measure.
9 Though you hear now, too late!) yet now's a time,] i. e. Though it be now too late to retrieve your former fortunes, yet it is not too late to prevent by the affiftance of your friends, your future miferies. Had the Oxford editor underflood the fenfe, he would not have altered the text to,
Though you hear me now, yet now's too late a time.
I think Sir T. Hanmer right, and have received his emendation.
The old reading is not properly explained by Dr. Warburton. "Though I tell you this (fays Flavius) at too late a period, perhaps, for the information to be of any fervice to you, yet late as it is, it is neceffary that you should be acquainted with it." It is evident, that the steward had very little hope of affiftance from his malter's friends. RITSON.
Though you now at last liften to my remonftrances, yet now your affairs are in fuch a ftate that the whole of your remaining fortune will scarce pay half your debts. You are therefore wife too late. MALONE.
The greatest of your having
lacks a half
Let all my land be fold.] The re
FLAV. 'Tis all engag'd, fome forfeited and gone; And what remains will hardly ftop the mouth Of prefent dues: the future comes apace: What fhall defend the interim? and at length How goes our reckoning?
TIM. To Lacedæmon did my land extend. FLAV. O my good lord, the world is but a word;4 Were it all yours, to give it in a breath,
How quickly were it gone?
You tell me true.
FLAV. If you fufpect my hufbandry, or falfe
Call me before the exacteft auditors,
And fet me on the proof. So the gods blefs me,
dundancy of measure in this paffage perfuades me that it flood originally thus:
Your greatest having lacks a half to pay
and at length
Let all my land be fold. STEEVENS.
How goes our reckoning?] This fteward talks very wildly. The lord indeed might have asked, what a lord feldom knows:
How goes our reckoning?
But the fteward was too well fatisfied in that matter. I would read therefore :
Hold good our reckoning? WARBURTON.
It is common enough, and the commentator knows it is common to propose, interrogatively, that of which neither the speaker nor the hearer has any doubt. The prefent reading may therefore stand. JOHNSON.
How will you be able to subsist in the time intervening between the payment of the prefent demands (which your whole fubflance. will hardly fatisfy) and the claim of future dues, for which you. have no fund whatsoever; and finally on the fettlement of all accounts in what a wretched plight will you be? MALONE.
40 my good lord, the world is but a word;] The meaning is, at the world itself may be comprised in a word, you might give it away in a breath. WARBURTON.
When all our offices have been opprefs'd
I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock, 7
our offices -] i. e. the apartments allotted to culinary purposes, the reception of domefticks, &c.
Thus, in Macbeth:
Sent forth great largefs to your offices." Would Duncan have fent largefs to any but fervants? See Vol. XI. p. 83, n. 8. It appears that what we now call offices, were anciently called houses of office. So, in Chaucer's Clerkes Tale, v. 8140, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edition:
Houfes of office stuffed with plentee
"Ther may thou fee of deinteous vittaile. "
With riotous feeders; ] Feeders are fervants, whofe low debaucheries are practifed in the offices of a houfe. See a note on Antony and Cleopatra, A& III. fc. xi: “——one who looks on feeders." STEEVENS.
7 ——a wasteful cock, ] i. e. a cockloft, a garret. And a wasteful cock, fignifies a garret lying in wafte, neglected, put to no use.
Sir T. Hanmer's explanation is received by Dr. Warburton, yet I think them both apparently mistaken. A wasteful cock is a cock or pipe with a turning ftopple running to waste. In this fenfe, both the terms have their ufual meaning but I know not that cock is ever used for cockloft, or wafteful for lying in wale, or that lying in wafte is at all a phrafe. JOHNSON.
Whatever be the meaning of the prefent paffage, it is certain, that lying in wafe is ftill a very commou phrase. FARMER:
A wafeful cock is what we now call a waste pipe; a pipe which is continually running, and thereby prevents the overflow of cifterns and other refervoirs, by carrying off their superfluous water. This circumftance served to keep the idea of Timou's unceasing prodigality in the mind of the fleward, while its remotenels from the fcenes of luxury within the house, was favourable to meditation. COLLINS.
The reader will have a perfe& notion of the method taken by Mr. Pope in his edition, when he is informed that, for wastefuk cock, that editor reads lonely room. MALONE.