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The fame. A publick Place.

Enter LUCIUS, with three Strangers.

Luc. Who, the lord Timon? he is my very good friend, and an honourable gentleman.

1. STRAN. We know him for no lefs,3 though we are but frangers to him. But I can tell you one thing, my lord, and which I hear from common rumours; now lord Timon's happy hours are done and past, and his eftate fhrinks from him.

Luc. Fye, no, do not believe it; he cannot want for money.

2. STRAN. But believe you this, my lord, that, not long ago, one of his men was with the lord Lucullus, to borrow so many talents; nay, urged


3 We know him for no lefs, ] That is, we know him by report to be no less than you'reprefent him, though we are ftrangers to his perfon. JOHNSON.

To know, in the prefent, and several other inftances, is used by our author for to acknowledge. So, in Coriolanus, A& V. fc. v: You are to know

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"That profperously I have attempted, and

"With bloody paffage led your wars" &c., STEEVENS. —— are done —] i. e. confumed. See Vol. XIV. p. 123, n. 8.

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to borrow fo many talents; ] Such is the reading of the old copy. The modern editors read arbitrarily — fifty talents. So many is not an uncommon colloquial expreffion for an indefinite number. The ftranger might not know the exa& fum.

So, Queen Elizabeth to one of her parliaments:

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STEEVENS. And for me,

it fhall be fufficient that a marble fone declare that a queen having

extremely for't, and show'd what neceffity belong'd to't, and yet was denied.

Luc. How?

2. STRAN. I tell you, denied, my lord.

Luc. What a flrange cafe was that? now, before the gods, I am afham'd on't. Denied that bonourable man? there was very little honour show'd in't. For my own part, I muft needs confefs, I have received fome fmall kindneffes from him, as money, plate, jewels, and fuch like trifles, nothing comparing to his; yêt, had he mistook him, and fent to me, I fhould ne'er have denied his occafion To many talents."


Leigned fuch a time, [ i. c. the time that the fhould have reigned, whatever time that might happen to be,] lived and died a virgin."

So, Holinshed: "The bishop commanded his fervant to bring him the book bound in white vellum, lying in his fludy, in fuch à place." We should now writė—iù a certain place.

Again, in the Account-book, kept by Emson in the time of Henry the Seventh, and quoted by Bacon in his Hiftory of that king:

Item, Received of fuch a one five marks, for a pardon to be procured, and if the pardon do not pafs, the money to be repaid." "He fold fo much of his eftate, when he came of age," (meaning a certain portion of his eftate,) is yet the phrafeology of Scotland.


6 -yet, had he miftook him, and fent to me, ] We should read: mislook'd him, i. è. överlooked, neglected to fend to him.


I rather read, yet had he not mislook him, and fent to me.

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JOHNSON. Mr. Edwards proposes to read yet had he miffed him. Lucius has juft declared that be had bad fewer prefents from Timon, than Lucullus bad received, who therefore ought to have been the first to affift him. Yet, fays he, had Timon mistook him, or overlooked that circumfiance, and fent to me, I should not have denied &t.


That is, "had he (Timon) miftaken himself and fent to me, would ne'er" &c. He means to infinuate that it would have been ■ kind of mistake in Timon to apply to a person who had réceived



SER. See, by good hap, yonder's my lord; I have fweat to fee his honour. My honour'd lord,[TO LUCIUS.

Luc. Servilius! you are kindly met, fir. Fare thee well:-Commend me to thy honourable-virtuous lord, my very exquifite friend.

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SER. May it please your honour, my lord hath fent

Luc. Ha! what has he fent? I am fo much endear'd to that lord; he's ever fending: How fhall 1 thank him, think'ft thou? And what has he fent now?

SER. He has only fent his prefent occafion now, my lord; requesting your lordship to fupply his inftant use with fo maný talents.


fuch trifling favours from him, in preference to Lucullus, who had received much greater; but if Timon had made that mistake, he should no have denied him fo many talents. M. MASON.

Had he mistook him means, had be by miftake thought him under lefs obligations than me, and fend to me accordingly. HEATH. I think with Mr. Steevens that kim relates to Timon, and that miftook him is a reflective participle. MALONE.

7- denied his occafion fo many talents.] i. e. a ceftain number of talents, fuch a number as he might happen to want. This pasfage, as well as a former, (fee n. 5, p. 77,) fhews that the text below is not corrupt.


8 —— with fo many talents.] Such again is the reading with which the old copy fupplies us. Probably the exa& number of talents wanted was not exprefsly fet down by Shak (peare. If this was the cafe, the player who reprefented the character, spoke of the fift number that was uppermost in his mind; and the printer, who copied from the playhouse books, put down an indefinite for the definite fum, which remained unspecified. The modern editors read again in this inftance, fifty talents. Perhaps the fervant brought a note with him which he tendered to Lucullus. STEEVENS.

Luc. I know, his lordship is but merry with me; He cannot want fifty-five hundred talents.

SER But in the mean time he wants lefs, my lord. If his occafion were not virtuous, 9

I fhould no urge it half fo faithfully. 2

Luc. Doft thou speak ferioufly, Servilius?
SER. Upon my foul, 'tis true, fir.

Luc. What a wicked beaft was I, to disfurnish myfelf against fuch a good time, when I might have shown myself honourable? how unluckily it happen'd, that I fhould purchase the day before for a little part, and undo a great deal of honour?3

There is, I am confident, no error. I have met with this kind' of phrafeology in many books of Shakspeare's age. In Julius Cafar we have the phrase used here. Lucilius fays to his adver fary:

"There is fo much, that thou wilt kill me ftraight."


9 If his occafion were not virtuous,] Virtuous for ftrong, forcible, preffing. WARBURTON.

The meaning may more naturally be-If he did not want it for a good ufe. JOHNSON.

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Dr. Johnson's explication is certainly right.-We had before: "Some good neceffity touches his friend." MALONE.

half fo faithfully.] Faithfully for fervently. Therefore, without more ado, the Oxford editor alters the text to fervently. But he might have feen, that Shakspeare used faithfully for fervently, as in the former part of the sentence he had ufed virtuous for forcible. WARBURTON.

Zeal or fervour usually attending fidelity. MALONE.



that I should purchase the day before for a little part, and undo a great deal of honour ?] Though there is a feeming plaufible antithefis in the terms, I am very well affured they are corrupt at the bottom. For a little part of what? Honour is the only fubftantive that follows in the fentence. How much is the antithefis improved by the fenfe which my emendation gives? That E fhould purchase for a little dirt, and undo a great deal of honour!"


Servilius, now before the gods, I am not able to do't; the more beast, I say:-I was fending to use lord Timon myself, thefe gentlemen can witnefs; but I would not, for the wealth of Athens, I had done it now. Commend me bountifully to his good lordship; and I hope, his honour will conceive the faireft of me, because I have no power to be kind;-And tell him this from me, I count it one of my greatest afflictions, fay, that I cannot pleasure fuch an honourable gentleman. Good Servilius, will you befriend me fo far, as to use mine own words to him?

SER. Yes, fir, I fhall.

Luc. I will look you out a good turn, Servilius.[Exit SERVILIUS.

This emendation is received, like all others, by Sir T. Hanmer, but neglected by Dr. Warburton. I think Theobald right in fufpeding a corruption; nor is his emendation injudicious, though perhaps we may better read, purchase the day before for a little park.


I am satisfied with the old reading, which is fufficiently in our author's manner. By purchafing what brought me but little honour, I have loft the more honourable opportunity of fupplying the wants of my friend. Dr. Farmer, however, fufpects a quibble between honour in its common acceptation, and honour (i. e. the lordship of a place,) in a legal fenfe. See Jacobs's Dictionary.


I am neither fatisfied with the amendments propofed, or with Steevens's explanation of the prefent reading; and have little doubt but we fhould read "purchase for a little port," inftead of part, and the meaning will then be "How unlucky was I to have purchafed, but the day before, out of a little vanity, and by that means difabled myself from doing an honourable action." Port means show, or magnificence. M. MASON.

I believe Dr. Johnson's reading is the true one. I once fufpe& ‹ d the phrase purchase for;" but a more attentive examination of our author's works and thofe of his contemporaries, has fhewn me the folly of fufpe&ting corruptions in the text, merely becaule it exhibits a different phrafeology from that used at this day.




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