Page images

plementary word or two, that other, in the Painter's next speech :

“ Look you now, there's more.” 14. “Glib and slippery creatures,

Means, I believe, loose, pliant, unsteady people -such as are not to be relied on.

The glass-fac'd flatterer.Dr. Johnson's interpretation is elegant and ingenious; but, I believe, the glass-fac'd flatterer is, rather, he who by his looks flatters his patron, as a mirror does the vanity of those who are fond of composing their countenances at it. 15. " 'Tis conceiv'd to scope."

i. e. Says Dr. Johnson, properly imagined, appositely, to the purpose : but is it not rather widely, extensively imagined ?-is it not “ the big imagination," of which we heard a little before? 16. "

Through him Drink the free air."This, I believe, means no more than that these flatterers affected to hold their existence as dependent on Timon, and to breathe the common air only by his permission. 17. 'Tis common..

This fragment' might be admitted into the following line, by withdrawing from the latter the epithet “ moral,” which is unnecessary : “ 'Tis common, å thousand paintings I can shew.” 18. “ Mean eyes have seen

The foot above the head.— I take the sense of this to be, that intermediate, indifferent spectators have seen such revolutions as lower greatness to humility, and raise the foot above the head.

Imprisoned is he, say you ?“Is he” has been interpolated, to spoil the metre. 19. I am not of that feather, to shake off

My friend when he must need me.' I believe the poet wrote, “ when he most needs me." .." Your lordship ever binds him.

I suppose some words have been lost; perhaps these :

To be grateful.Again an awkward hemistic, which might have been made up thus : “All health and happiness attend your honour.”

What follows is deranged. We might regulate: Tim. “ I have so ; what of him ?” Old Ath. “- Most noble Timon,

I pray your honour, call the man

before thee.” Here, at your lordships service.”Perhaps, "! I'm here, so please you, at your lordship's


20. Therefore he will be, Timon.

This certainly affords the meaning, therefore he will continue to be honest; but the deficient measure shews that something has been lost perhaps, “Therefore, in this, he will be honest, Timon.” 21. She is young and apt.

Further deficiency and disorder :-perhaps, " Alack, my noble lord, she's young and apt.” Again :

" And dispossess her all.”. Tim. " How shall she be

“ Endow'd, if mated with an equal husband ?"

Your jewel Hath suffer'd under praise." Hath (I suppose) endured a load or burthen of commendation.

"— Your jewel

Hath suffer'd under praise." The praise which has been so lavishly bestowed on your jewel has proved of disservice to it, viz. by preventing its sale: the idea raised of its excessive costliness having deterred people from offering themselves as purchasers..

LORD CHEDWORTH. More disorder in the metre.

“Which all men speak with him.” Tim. "

Look who comes here, Sour Apemantus; will ye now be

chid ?"

23. 16

Apem. - Reper You

Enter Apemantus. “ We'll bear een with your lordship;

he'll spare none.” Again :

Why, are they not Athenians ?” Tim. "

Yes.” Apem. “ Then I

“ Repent not." Jew.

You do know me, Apemantus." Tim. “ Thou art proud, Apemantus; passing

proud.Apem.Of nought so much as that I'm not

like Timon.” Most of the speeches following are inveterate prose. 26. « How likest thou this picture ?" Apem. The best, for the innocence.

By innocence, I believe, Apemantus would intimate that the picture was destitute of spirit and expression. 27. Apem.That I had no angry wit to be a

[ocr errors]

I do not perceive that any of the attempts to explain this passage has been successful; the best I can make is this :- Apemantus, who is unrestrained by any rules of decorum or respect, to this question of Timon's, “ Wherefore should you hate yourself, being a lord ?” replies, “Because, being a lord, I should of course be destitute of that wit which I can now apply, with due indignation, against so despicable a distinction." Apemantus would infer that sense and title are incompatible things. “To be a lord,” for by being, or in being, a lord.


29. “ I am joyful of your sights.

Timon seems here to have adopted the quaint style of the poet in expressing thus the common compliment, I am glad to see you ; in the same manner as Hamlet amuses himself, with conforming to the diction of Osrick.

's Most welcome, sir.” (They salute.) Apem. “ So so; there, bravely carried.

“Aches contract,” &c. ." And all this courtsy! The strain of man's bred

out Into baboon and monkey."

What sort of a line and half have we here: I would regulate : " And all this courtesy! The strain of man Is bred out into a baboon, and a monkey." And again :

Most hungrily on your sight.

Right welcome, sir.. This is no metre: we might read, : “Most hungrily upon your sight.” Tim.“ Right welcome.” 31. “ No meed, but he repays.

As “meed” stands here for merit, so “ merit” is introduced, in another place, for meed.

All use of quittance." “ Use,” here, I believe, implies something more than Dr. Warburton's interpretation, “customary return in discharge of obligation:" it means, I think, usance, in the utmost latitude,

« PreviousContinue »