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PHI. I wonder on't; he was wont to fhine at
LUC. SERV. Ay, but the days are waxed fhorter with him:
You must confider, that a prodigal course
Is like the fun's; but not, like his, recoverable.
'Tis deepeft winter in lord Timon's purse;
I am of your fear for that.
a prodigal courfe
Is like the fun's, That is, like him in blaze and splendor. "Soles occidere & redire poffunt." Catul. JOHNSON. Theobald and the fubfequent editors, elegantly enough, but without neceffity, read—a prodigal's courfe We have the fame phrafe as that in the text in the laft couplet of the preceding scene: "And this is all a liberal courfe allows." MALONE.
reach deep enough, and yet
Find little. Still, perhaps, alluding to the effects of winter, during which fome animals are obliged to seek their feanty pro. vilion through a depth of fhow. STEEVENS.
TIT. I'll fhow you how to observe a strange event. Your lord fends now for money.
Moft true, he does.
TIT. And he wears jewels now of Timon's gift, For which I wait for money.
HOR. It is against my heart.
Mark, how ftrange it shows, Timon in this fhould pay more than he owes: And e'en as if your lord fhould wear rich jewels, And fend for money for 'em.
HOR. I am weary of this charge,' the gods can witness:
I know, my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
LUC. SERV. Five thousand mine.
1. VAR. SERV. 'Tis much deep and it should
Your master's confidence was above mine;
7 I am weary of this charge,] this employment. JOHNSON.
8 Elfe, furely, his had equall'd.] mine had equall'd. JOHNSON.
That is, of this commiffion, of
Should it not be, Elfe, furely,
The meaning of the paffage is evidently and fimply this: Your mafter, it feems, had more confidence in lord Timon than mine, olherwife his fi. e. my mafter's) debt (i. e. the money due do him from Timon) would certainly have been as great as your master's (i. e. as the money which Timon owes to your master); that is, my mafter being as rich as yours, could and would have advanced Timon as large a fum as your mafter has advanced him, if he (my master had thought it prudent to do fo. RITSON.
The meaning may be, The coufidential friendship subsisting between your mafter [Lucius ] and Timon, was greater than that fubfifting between my mafter [Varro] and Timon; elfe furely the
TIT. One of lord Timon's men.
LUC. SERV. Flaminius! fir, a word: 'Pray, is my lord ready to come forth?
fum borrowed by Timon from your mafter had been equal to, and not greater than, the fum borrowed from mine; and this equality would have been produced by the application made to my mafter being raised from three thousand crowns to five thousand."
Two fums of unequal magnitude may be reduced to an equality, as well by addition to the leffer fum, as by subtraction from the greater. Thus, if A. has applied to B. for ten pounds, and to C. for five, and C. requests that he may lend A. precisely the same sum as he shall be furnished with by B, this may be done, either by C's augmenting his loan, and lending ten pounds as well as B, or by B's diminishing his loan, and, like C, lending only five pounds. The word of Varro's fervant therefore may mean, Elfe furely the fame Jums bad been borrowed by Timon from both our masters. I have preferved this interpretation, because I once thought it probable, and because it may ftrike others as juft. But the true explication I believe is this (which I alfo formerly propofed). His may refer to mine. "It should feem that the confidential friendship fubfifting between your mafter and Timon, was greater than that fubfifting between Timon and my mafter; elfe furely his fum, i. e. the fum borrowed from my mafter, [the laft antecedent] had been as large as the fum borrowed from yours."
The former interpretation (though I think it wrong,) I have ftated thus precifely, and exacly in fubftance as it appeared feveral years ago, (though the expreffion is a little varied,) becaufe a REMARKER [Mr. Ritfon] has endeavoured to reprefent is as unintelligible.
This Remarker, however, it is obfervable, after faying, that be shall take no notice of fuch fee-faw conjectures, with great gravity propofes a comment evidently formed on the latter of them, as an original interpretation of his own, on which the reader may safely rely. MALONE.
It must be perfe&ly clear, that the Remarker could not be indebted to a note which, fo far as it is intelligible, feems diametrically oppofite to his idea. It is equally fo, that the editor | Mr. Malone has availed himself of the above Remark, to vary the expreffion of his conjecture, and give it a fenfe it would otherwife never have had. RITSON.
FLAM. No, indeed, he is not.
TIT. We attend his lordfhip; 'pray, fignify fo
FLAM. I need not tell him that; he knows, you are too diligent. [Exit FLAMINIUS.
Enter FLAVIUS in a cloak, muffled.
LUC. SERV. Ha! is not that his fteward muffled fo?
He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him.
1. VAR. SERV. By your leave, fir,
FLAV. What do you afk of me, my friend? TIT. We wait for certain money, here fir. FLAV.
If money were as certain as your waiting,
Upon his debts, and take down th' interest
To flir me up; let me pafs quietly;
LUC. SERV. Ay, but this anfwer will not ferve.
If 'twill not, 9
'Tis not fo base as you; for you ferve knaves.
9 If 'twill not,] Old copy If 'twill not ferue. I have ventured to onit the ufelefs repetition of the verb-farve, because it injures the metre. STEEVENS.
1, VAR. SERV. How! what does his cafhier'd worship mutter?
2. VAR. SERV. No matter what; he's poor, and that's revenge enough. Who can fpeak broader than he that has no houfe to put his head in? fuch may rail against great buildings.
TIT. O, here's Servilius; now we shall know Some answer.
If I might befeech you, gentlemen, To repair fome other hour, I fhould much Derive from it; for, take it on my foul, My lord leans wond'roufly to difcontent. His comfortable temper has forfook him; He is much out of health, and keeps his chamber. LUC. SERV. Many do keep their chambers, are not fick :
And, if it be fo far beyond his health, Methinks, he fhould the fooner pay his debts, And make a clear way to the gods.
Good gods! TIT. We cannot take this for an anfwer, 4 fir. FLAM. [Within.] Servilius, help!-my lord! my lord!
Enter Servilius.] It may be observed that Shakspeare has unfkilfully filled his Greek ftory with Roman names. JOHNSON.
For this flight traufpofition, by which the metre is reftored, I am anfwerable. STEEVENS.
- for an answer,] The article an, which is deficient in the ld copy, was fupplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. STELVENS.