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-- Here, sir, in readiness.” Timon's speech following this is miserably lame and prosaic; but if it is to be measured, let it have fair play: . 2d Lord. “ Our horses." Tim. " -0, my good friends, I have yet
“ One word to say; look you, my lord,
I must “ Entreat that you will honour me so
much “ As to advance this jewel; pray accept,
“And wear it, kind my lord." 1st Lord. “I am so far already in your gifts.” 2d Lord. “
And I.” 3d Lord. “ And I.” 4th Lord. “
And I.” 5th Lord. “
So are we all.” “ Neur ? why then another time I'll hear thee.”
We can here count ten syllables, indeed, but find nothing like metre: I would propose : “ Me! near! why then another time I'll hear
thee.” 48.“ I pr’ythee, let us be provided.”
The defective measure, and the sense of the context, shew that a rhyme was intended here: at some other opportunity, says Timon, I will hear thee, but
“ I pr’ythee let us be provided now,
“ To shew them entertainment." Flao. "
I scarce know how.” “ He commands us to provide, and gire great
“ And all out of an empty coffer."
It is not always in the power of an editor to repair a corrupted passage, or produce metre from a combination of words incorrigibly prosaic; but, I apprehend, he is no where justifiable in counting out syllables merely, and putting into the page, as a quintameter, a line without the cadences necessary to constitute verse.--If the order of the words will not conform to measure, they should, doubtless, be set down as prose :--in the present instance perhaps we might regulate : “ Here he commands us to provide and give “Great gifts, and all out of an empty coffer.” 49.“ To shew him what a beggar his heart is.”
As this awkward rhyme appears to be acciden, tal; I think it would be usefully removed by transposition :
“ To shew him what a beggar is his heart.” Again, the measure wants correction :
He owes “ For every word; he is so kind, that he now,”
That should be taken away. “Well, would I were gently put out of office “ Before I were forc'd out.”
Why should such a disposition of words assume the form of verse? We might, by an easy transposition, restore the first line to measure, and guess at the deficiency of the other: “ Well, would I were put, gently, out of office, “ Before I were forc'd out, and ruin whelm us." Again :
“ I bleed inwardly for my lord.” Tim. "
You do yourselves.”
I repeat that, if the text will not afford metre, it should not assume a metrical shape : perhaps it should be,
" My heart bleeds for my lord.” Tim. "
- You do yourselves
“O, he is the very soul of bounty.”
no man," We should read : “Sir, you may take my word, I know no man,"
&c. 50. “ I'll call on you."
I believe this was, “I'll call you,” according to a mode of speech not unusual with Shakspeare and the writers of his time, and still prevailing in Ireland, for “ I'll call upon you;" and the metre requires some such correction:
“I'll tell you true; I'll call you." Lords. “ None so welcome.” “I'll call you” is, elliptically, I give you a call. "
'Tis not enough to give; “Methinks, I could deal kingdoms.” Sir T. Hanmer, instead of " methinks,” proposed my thanks, a change so plausible that Dr. Johnson adopted it; and, though I believe the
original text is right, Mr. Steevens, I think, was called upon to defend it more effectually than he has done. What chiefly wants to be reconciled is, the phrase, “’tis not enough to give,” which the latter critic interprets, what I have already given is not sufficient on the occasion, a meaning that the construction will by no means admit of. “'Tis," i. e, it is, does not, nor cannot refer to what he had already given. The expression is colloquially elliptical, and implies, all my stock of wealth is not sufficient for the claims (in your deservings) upon my bounty. "Tis not enough” has the power of there's not enough :-“ it,” in certain situations, is often of ponderous inference; In Othello,
16 - If it were now to die,
“ 'Twere now to be most happy," implies, if this were the allotted time for my death, the occasion would furnish the consummation of my happiness.
- All thy living “ Is 'mongst the dead.” This reminds me of what I once heard Mr. Burke say, in compliment to Mr. Hickey, the sculptor, upon perusing the design of a monument by that artist, “ You, sir, live by the dead, and the dead live by you.” Mr. Burke, perhaps, recollected the inscription on the statue of Niobe, “ The Gods, from life, caused me to become stone: Praxitiles, from stone, has restored me to life.”
" --- All the lands thou hast
“ Lie in a pitch'd field.” The conceit here extends a little further than
Dr. Johnson's remark, “a pitched field, and a land defiled or polluted;" it also takes-in the idea of defiles or narrow passes; and, probably, too, for where will the poet stop, when a quibble is before him ? land occupied by soldiers. 51. “ All to you."
i. e. Says Mr. Steevens, all good wishes, or all happiness to you ; and he adds--so in Macbeth, ali to all: but it is not so, in Macbeth, and I think it is not so, here.-When Macbeth utters these words, bis ineaning cannot be mistaken; it is, let all of us drink to Banquo, and all of us to each other. In the present case I suspect corruption, which the disorder in the metre seems to confirm.' I suppose it was written :
s om So infinitely endear'd.” Tim. “ I to you all; more lights.” Lord." - The best of happiness."
“ Ready for his friends." When Mr Steevens went about to repair the metre here; he might have furnished some better expedient than the placing such a word as ever, after “ready." I suppose the poet wrote:
“ Still ready for his friends." 52." Give thyself away in paper."
I think Dr. Farmer's suggestion is proper. 53. “ An you begin to rail on society once.”
Is this presented by the editor as an heroic verse ? A different arrangement is necessary for the metre: .
“ An once you do begin rail on society.”