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So did we woo
Transformed Timon to our city's love,
By humble meffage, and by promis'd means;"
These walls of ours Were not erected by their hands, from whom You have receiv'd your griefs: nor are they fuch, That these great towers, trophies, and fchools fhould
For private faults in them."
2. SEN. Nor are they living," Who were the motives that you first went out;*
Their refers to griefs. "To give thy rages balm," must be conLidered as parenthetical. ingratitudes for ingratitude.
7 So did we woo
The modern editors have fubftituted MALone.
Transformed Timon to our city's love,
By humble meffage, and by promis'd means;] Promis'd means muft import the recruiting of his funk fortunes; but this is not all. The fenate had wooed him with humble meffage, and promife of general reparation. This feems included in the flight change which
I have made:
and by promis'd mends. THEOBALD,
Dr. Warburton agrees with Mr. Theobald, but the old reading may well fland. JOHNSON.
By promis'd means, is by promifing him a competent fubfiftence. So, in King Henry IV. P. II: "Your means are very flender, and your wafte is great.' MALONE.
* You have receiv'd your griefs:] The old copy has-grief; but as the fenator in his preceding fpeech ufes the plural, grief was probably here an error of the prefs. The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.
9 For private faults in them.] you have received your griefs.
That is, in the persons from whom
the motives that you first went out;] i. e. thofe who made the motion for your exile. This word is as perversely employed in Troilus and Creffida:
Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess
(If thy revenges hunger for that food,
Which nature loaths,) take thou the deftin'd tenth; And by the hazard of the spotted die,
Let die the fpotted.
All have not offended';
For those that were, it is not fquare, 5 to take,
Which, in the blufter of thy wrath, must fall
4 Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess
Hath broke their hearts.] Shame in excefs (i. e. extremity of hame) that they wanted cunning (i. e. that they were not wife enough not to banish you) hath broke their hearts. THEOBALD.
I have no wish to difturb the manes of Theobald, yet think fome emendation may be offered that will make the conftruction less harsh, and the fentence more ferious. I read :
Shame that they wanted, coming in excess,
Hath broke their hearts.
Shame which they had fo long wanted, at last coming in its utmost excefs. JOHNSON.
I think that Theobald has, on this occafion, the advantage of Johnfoo. When the old reading is clear and intelligible, we should not have recourse to correction, Cunning was not, in Shakspeare's time, confined to a bad fenfe, but was used to exprefs knowledge or understanding.
not Square,] Not regular, not equitable. JOHNSON.
Steevens. See the preceding fpeech. MALONE.
thy Athenian cradle,] Thus Ovid, Met. VIII. 99:
· Jovis incunabula Crete." STEEVENS.
Approach the fold, and cull the infected forth,
Thou rather fhalt enforce it with thy fmile,
What thou wilt,
Set but thy foot
Against our rampir'd gates, and they fhall ope; So thou wilt fend thy gentle heart before,
To fay, thou'lt enter friendly.
Throw thy glove,
Or any token of thine honour elle,
That thou wilt ufe the wars as thy redress,
ALCIB. Then there's my glove; Defcend, and open your uncharged ports: 'Thofe enemies of Timon's, and mine own, Whom you yourselves fhall fet out for reproof, Fall, and no more: and,-to atone your fears With my more noble meaning, '—not a màn
Shall pafs his quarter, or offend the stream
But kill not all together. ] The old copy reads altogether. M. M. Mafon fuggefted the corredion I have made.
uncharged ports:] That is, unguarded gates. JOHNSON. M. MASON.
Uncharged means unattacked, not unguarded.
Mr. M. Mason is right. So, in Shakspeare's 70th Sonnet: "Thou haft pafs'd by the ambush of young days, "Either not affail'd, or victor, being charg'd." MALONE. to atone your fears
With my more noble meaning, ] i. e. to reconcile them to it. So, in Cymbeline: "I was glad I did atone my countryman and you."
not a man
Shall pafs his quarter,] Not a foldier fhall quit his ftation, or be let loose upon you; and, if any commits violence, he thall anfwer it regularly to the law. JOHNSON.
Of regular juftice in your city's bounds,
'Tis most nobly spoken. ALCIB. Defcend, and keep your words.
The Senators defcend, and open the gates.
SOL. My noble general, Timon is dead;
And, on his grave-ftone, this infculpture which With wax I brought away, whose soft impreffion Interprets for my poor ignorance.o
ALCIB. [Reads.] Here lies a wretched corfe, of wretched foul bereft:
Seek not my name: A plague confume you wicked cailiffs left!"
4 But fhall be remedied,]
The conftru&ion is, But he fhall be remedied; but Shakipeare means, that his offence thall be remedied, the word offence being included in offend in a former line. The editor of the fecond folio, for to, in the laft line but one of this fpeech, fubftituted by, which all the fubfequent editors adopted. MALONE.
I profefs my inability to extract any determinate fenfe from thefe words as they fland, and rather suppose the reading in the fecond folia to be the true one. To be remedied by, affords a glimpse of meaning: to be remedied to, is "the blanket of the dark. STEEVENS.
5 Defcend, and keep your words.] Old copy-Defend. by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
- for my poor ignorance.] Poor is here ufed as a diffyllable,
as door is in The Merchant of Venice.
7 caitiffs left!
This epitaph is found in fir T. North's tranflation of Plutarch, with the difference of one word only, viz. wretches inftead of caitiffs. STEEVENS.
This epitaph is formed out of two diftin&t epitaphs which Shakfpeare found in Plutarch. The first couplet is faid by Plutarch to have been compofed by Timon himself as his epitaph; the fecond to have been written by the poet Callimachus.
Here lie I Timon; who, alive, all living men did hate; Pafs by, and curfe thy fill; but pass, and ftay not here thy gait.
Thefe well exprefs in thee thy latter spirits:
Though thou abhorr'dft in us our human griefs, Scorn'dft our brain's flow, and those our droplets
From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit
Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. 9 Dead
Perhaps the flight variation mentioned by Mr. Steevens, arose from our author's having another epitaph before him, which is found in Kendal's Flowers of Epigrammes, 1577, and in Painter's Palace of Pleafure, Vol. I. Nov. 28:
ΤΙΜΟΝ HIS EPITAPH F.
"My wretched caitiffe daies expired now and paft,
our brain's flow, ] Sir T. Hanmer and Dr. Warburton read, brine's flow. Our brain's flow is our tears; but we may read, our brine's flow, our falt tears. Either will serve. JOHNSON. Our brain's flow is right. So, in Sir Giles Goofecap, 1606: "Ifhed not the tears of my brain."
Again, in The Miracles of Mofes, by Drayton:
"But he from rocks that fountains can command,
"Cannot yet ftay the fountains of his brain. STEEVENS, 9 on faults forgiven.] Alcibiades's whole fpeech is in breaks, betwixt his reflections on Timon's death, and his addreffes to the Athenian fenators: and as foon as he has commented on the place of Timon's grave, he bids the fenate fet forward; tells 'em, he has forgiven their faults; and promises to use them with mercy. THEOBALD.
One fault (viz. the ingratitude of the Athenians to Timon) is forgiven, i. c. exempted from punishment by the death of the injured perfon. TYRWHITT.
The old reading and pun&uation appear to me fufficiently intelligible. Mr. Theobald afks," why should Neptune weep over