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With my more noble meaning, not a man
Both. 'Tis most nobly spoken.
Enter a Soldier,
(Alcibiades reads the epitaph.]
Pass by, and curfe tby fill, but fay not here thy gaite. These well express in thee thy latter spirits : Tho' thou abhorr'dft in us our human griefs, Scorn'dt our brains flow, and those our droplets, which
(43) Here lies a wretched Coarse,] This Epitaph the Poet has form'd out of two separate Distichs 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 Epigrams. The Version of the latter, as our Author has transmitted it to us, avoids those Blunders which Leonard Aretine, the Latin Translator of the above
oted 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. Elizabeth ; because I take it to be hinted at in a Piece, calld, Jack Drum's Entertainment ; or, The Comedy of Pasquill and Katherine, play'd by the Children of Powles, and printed in 1601. Come, come, now I'll be as sociable as Timon of Athens.
From niggard nature fall; yet rich conceit (44)
yet rich Conceit Taught thee to make vaft Neptune weep for aye On thy low Grave, on faults forgiven. Dead Is noble Timon, of whose Memory
Hereafter more. -] All the Editors, in their Learning and Sagacity, have suffer'd an unaccountable Absurdity to pass them in this paffage. Why was Neptune to weep on Timon's Faults forgiven? Or, indeed, what Faults had Timon committed, except against his own Fortune and happy Situation in Life ? But the Corruption of the Text lies only in the bad Pointing, which I have disengag’d, and restor'd to the true Meaning. Alcibiades's whole Speech, as the Editors might have observ'd, is in Breaks, betwixt his Reflections on Timon's Death, and his Addresses to the Athenian 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 worst?
Things, that are past, are done with Me.
Saturninus, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and after
wards declarid Emperor himself. Baffianus, Brother to Saturninus, in Love with Lavinia. Titus Andronicus, a Noble Roman, General against the
Goths. Marcus Andronicus, Tribune of the People, and Brother to
Titus. Marcus, Quintus,
Sons to Titus Andronicus.
Tamora, Queen of the Goths, and afterwards married to
Senators, Judges, Officers, Soldiers, and other Attendants,
SCENE, Rome ; and the Country near it.
Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft, as in the Senate.
Enter Saturninus and his followers, at one door ; and Bassianus and his followers, at the other, with Drum and Colours.
Defend the justice of my Cause with arms:
And Countrymen, my loving followers,
I am the first-bořn Son of him, that last
(1) Titus Andronicus.] This is one of those Plays, which I have al. ways thought, with the better Judges, ought not to be acknowledgʻd in the Lift of Shakespeare's genuine Pieces. And, perhaps, I may give a Proof to strengthen this Opinion, that may pat the Matter out of Question. Ben