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By humble message, and by promis'd’mends :
i Sen. These walls of ours
2 Sen. Nor are they living, Who were the motives that you first went out: Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess (42) Hath broke their hearts. March on, oh, noble Lord, Juto our city with thy banners spread ; By decimation and a cithed death, If thy revenges hunger for that food Which nature loaths, take thou the destin'd tenth; And by the hazard of the spotted die, Let die the spotted.
i Sen. All have not offended : For those that were, it is not square to take
By bumble mesage, and by promis’d means: ] Promis’d means mult import a supply of substance, the recruiting his sunk fortunes; but that is not all, in my mind, that the poet would aim at. The fenate had wooed him with humble message, and promise of general reparaa tion for their injuries and ingratitude. This seems included in the jlight change which I have made and by promis'd'mends : and this word, apostrophe’d, or otherwise, is used in common with amends. So in Troilus and Cresida;
Let her be as the is; if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an the be not, the has the mends in her own hands. And so B. Jonson in his Every Man out of his Humour :
Pardon me, gentle friends, I'll make fair mends
For my foul errors past. (42) Shame, that they wanted cunning in exces,
Hath broke their hearts. ] i. e. in other terms,-Shame, that they were not the cunning'st men alive, hath been the cause of their death. For cunning in excess must mean this or nothing. O brave editors ! They had heard it said, that too much wit in some cases might be dangerous, and why not an obsolute vant of it? But had they the skill or courage to remove one perplexing comma, the easy and genuine Sense would immediately arise. is Shame in excess (i. c. extremity « of shame) that they wanted cunning (i. e. that they were not wise “ enough not to banish you;) hath broke their hearts."
On those that are, revenge: crimes, like to lands,
2 Sen. What thou wilt,
i Sen. Set but thy foot
2 Sen. Throw thy glove,
Alc. Then there's my glove;
Both. 'Tis most nobly spoken.
Enter a Soldier.
hem o' th' sea;
* (Alcibiades, reads the epitaph.]
(43) Here lies a wretched coarse,] This epitaph the poet has formid out of two separate diftichs quoted by Plutarch in his life of M. Antony: the first, said to have been compos'd by Timon himself; the other is an epitaph on him made by Callimachus, and extant among his epis grams. The version of the latter, as our author has transmitted it to 11%, avoids those blunders which Leonard Aretine, the Latin transator of the above quoted life in Plutarch, committed in it. I once imagin’d, that Shakespeare might possibly have corrected this translator's blunder from his own acquaintance with the Greek original: but, I find, he has transcrib'd the four lines from an old English version of Plutarch, extant in his time. I have not been able to trace the time, when this play of our author's made its first appearance; but I believe, it was written before the death of Q Elizabetb; because I take it to be hinted at in a piece, callid, Jack Drum's entertainment; or, the comedy of Pasquill and Katherine, play'ó by the children of Powless and printed in 1601.
-Come, come, now I'll be as sociable as Timon of Aidensa 44)
yet rich conceit Taught thee to make vas? Neptune weep. for aye On tby low gravé, on faults forgiven. Dead fs noble Timon, of wboje memory
Hereafter more.-) All the editors, in their learning and fagacity, have suffered an unaccountable absurdity to pass them in this paffage. Why was Nip!une to weep on Timon's faults forgiven? Or, indeed, what faults had Timon committed, except against his own fortune and happy fituation in lite? But the corruption of the text lies on.y in the wad pointing, which I have disengag'd, and restor’d to the true means ing. Acibiades's whole speech, as the editors might have observ’d,
And I will use the olive with my sword;
war; make each Prescribe to other, as each other's leach. Let our drums Atrike.
[Exeunt. is in breaks, betwixt his reflections on Timon's death, and his address ses to the Albenian senators: and as soon as he has commented on the place of Timon's grave, he bids the senate set forward ;. tells 'em, he has forgiven their faults; and promises to use them with mercy. The very fame manner of expression occurs in Antony, and Cleopatra,
Anto. Well; what worft ?
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