Sidor som bilder

FLAV. I would, I could not think it; That thought is bounty's foe;

Being free' itself, it thinks all others fo. [Exeunt.

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The fame. A Room in Lucullus's Houfe.

FLAMINIUS waiting. Enter a Servant to him.

SERV. I have told my lord of you, he is coming down to you.

FLAM. I thank you, fir.


SERV. Here's my lord.

LUCUL. [Afide.] One of lord Timon's men? a gift, I warrant. Why, this hits right; I dreamt of a filver bafon and ewer' to-night. Flaminius,

I would, I could not think it; &c.] I concur in opinion with fome former editors, that the words-think it, fhould be omitted. Every reader will mentally infert them from the speech of Timon, though they are not expreffed in that of Flavius. The laws of metre, in my judgement, fhould fuperfede the authority of the players, who appear in many inftances to have taken a defigned ellipfis for an error of omiffion, to the repeated injury of our au thor's verfification. I would read:

I would, I could not: That thought's bounty's foc-.


5-free] is liberal, not parfimonious. JOHNSON.


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filver bafon and ewer-] Thefe utenfils of filver being much in requeft in Shakspeare's time, he has, as ufual, not scrupled


honeft Flaminius; you are very refpectively welcome, fir.'-Fill me fome wine.-[Exit Servant.] And how does that honourable, complete, freehearted gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good lord and mafter?

FLAM. His health is well, fir.

LUCUL. I am right glad that his health is well, fir: And what haft thou there under thy cloak, pretty Flaminius?

FLAM. 'Faith, nothing but an empty box, fir; which, in my lord's behalf, I come to entreat your honour to fupply; who, having great and inftant occafion to use fifty talents, hath fent to your lordship to furnish him; nothing doubting your prefent affistance therein.

LUCUL. La, la, la, la,-nothing doubting, fays he? alas, good lord! a noble gentleman 'tis, if he would not keep fo good a houfe. Many a time. and often I have dined with him, and told him on't; and come again to fupper to him, of purpose to have him spend lefs: and yet he would embrace no counsel, take no warning by my coming. Every

to place them in the house of an Athenian nobleman. So again, in The Taming of the Shrew:


my houfe within the city

"Is richly furnished with plate and gold;

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Bafons and ewers to lave her dainty hands,"

See Vol. VI. p. 499, n. 8. MALONE.

Our author, I believe, has introduced bafons and ewers where they would certainly have been found. The Romans appear to have had them; and the forms of their utenfils were generally copied from those of Greece. STEEVENS.


very refpectively welcome, fir.] i. e. refpectfully. So, in King John:

"'Tis too refpective," &c.

See Vol. VIII. p. 19, n. 5. STEEVENS.

man has his fault, and honefty is his; I have told him on't, but I could never get him from it.

Re-enter Servant, with wine.

SERV. Please your lordship, here is the wine. LUCUL. Flaminius, I have noted thee always wife. Here's to thee.

FLA. Your lordship speaks your pleasure.

LUCUL. I have obferved thee always for a towardly prompt fpirit, give thee thy due, and one that knows what belongs to reafon; and canft use the time well, if the time ufe thee well: good parts in thee. Get you gone, firrah. [To the Servant, who goes out.]-Draw nearer, honeft Flaminius. Thy lord's a bountiful gentleman: but thou art wife; and thou know'ft well enough, although thou comest to me, that this is no time to lend money; especially upon bare friendship, without fecurity. Here's three folidares for thee; good boy, wink at me, and fay, thou faw'ft me not. Fare thee well.

FLAM. Is't poffible, the world fhould fo much differ;

And we alive, that liv'd? Fly, damned baseness, To him that worships thee.

[Throwing the money away. LUCUL. Ha! Now I fee, thou art a fool, and fit

for thy mafter.


Every man has his fault, and honefty is his ;] Honefty does not here mean probity, but liberality. M. MASON.

three folidares-] I believe this coin is from the mint of the poet. STEEVENS.

And we alive, that liv'd?] i. e. And we who were alive then, alive now. As much as to say, in fo fhart a time. WARBURTON.

FLAM. May thefe add to the number that may fcald thee!

Let molten coin be thy damnation,'

Thou disease of a friend, and not himfelf!
Has friendship fuch a faint and milky heart,
It turns in lefs than two nights? O you gods,
I feel my master's paffion! This flave
Unto his honour,' has my lord's meat in him:
Why should it thrive, and turn to nutriment,

Let molten coin be thy damnation,] Perhaps the poet alludes to the punishment inflicted on M. Aquilius by Mithridates. In The Shepherd's Calendar, however, Lazarus declares himself to have feen in hell" a great number of wide cauldrons and kettles, full of boyling lead and oyle, with other hot metals molten, in the which were plunged and dipped the covetous men and women, for to fulfill and replenish them of their infatiate covetise."

Again, in an ancient bl. 1. ballad, entitled, The Dead Man's Song:

"And ladles full of melted gold

"Were poured downe their throates." Mr. M. Mafon thinks that Flaminius more 86 probably alludes to the ftory of Marcus Craffus and the Parthians, who are faid to have poured molten gold down his throat, as a reproach and punishment for his avarice." STEEVENS.

4 Thou disease of a friend,] So, in King Lear:

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my daughter;

"Or rather, a difeafe" &c.

5 It turns in less than tawo nights?]

acefcence of milk. JOHNSON.



Alluding to the turning or

paffion!] i. e. fuffering. So, in Macbeth:

"You fhall offend him, and extend his paffion."

i. e. prolong his fuffering. STEEVENS.

7 Unto his honour,] Thus the old copy. What Flaminius feems to mean is,―This flave (to the honour of his character) has, &c. The modern editors read-Unto this hour, which may be right.


I fhould have no doubt in preferring the modern reading, unto this hour, as it is by far the ftronger expreffion, fo probably the right one. M. MASON.

Mr. Ritfon is of the fame opinion. STEEVENS.

When he is turn'd to poison?

O, may diseases only work upon't!

And, when he is fick to death, let not that part of


Which my lord paid for, be of any power

To expel fickness, but prolong his hour! [Exit.

8 to death,] If these words, which derange the metre, were omitted, would the fentiment of Flaminius be impaired? STEEVENS.

9 - of nature-] So the common copies. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads-nurture. JOHNSON.

Of nature is furely the moft expreffive reading. Flaminius confiders that nutriment which Lucullus had for a length of time received at Timon's table, as conftituting a great part of his animal fyftem. STEEVENS.


- his hour!] i. e. the hour of fickness. His for its.


His in almoft every scene of thefe plays is used for its, but here I think "his hour" relates to Lucullus, and means his life.

If my notion be well founded, we must understand that the Steward wishes that the life of Lucullus may be prolonged only for the purpose of his being miferable; that fickness may " play the torturer by fmall and fmall," and "have him nine whole years in killing."" Live loath'd and long!" fays Timon in a fubfequent fcene; and again:

"Decline to your confounding contraries,

"And yet confufion live!"

This indeed is nearly the meaning, if, with Mr. Steevens, we understand his hour to mean the hour of fickness: and it must be owned that a line in Hamlet adds fupport to his interpretation:

"This phyfick but prolongs thy fickly days." MALONE. Mr. Malone's interpretation may receive further fupport from a paffage in Coriolanus, where Menenius fays to the Roman fentinel: "Be that you are, long; and your misery increase with your age." STEEVENS.

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