Sidor som bilder

time in the prime of its vigour. From its first publication to the year 1619, it had passed through six editions, and continued to be popular even in the eighteenth century. Mr. Steevens is still less accurate in stating Le Fevre's work to be a translation from Guido of Colonna; for it is only in the latter part that he has made any use of him. Yet Guido actually had a French translator before the time of Raoul; which translation, though never printed, is remaining in MS. under the whimsical title of "La vie de la piteuse destruction de la noble et supellative cité de Troye le grant. Translatée en Francois lan MCCCLXXX;" and at the end it is called "Listoire tres plaisant de la destruction de Troye la grant." Such part of our play as relates to the loves of Troilus and Cressida was most probably taken from Chaucer, as no other work, accessible to Shakspeare, could have supplied him with what was necessary.



Scene 1. Page 481.


"SEE this character of a cynic finely drawn by Lucian in his Auction of the philosophers; and how well Shakspeare has copied it," says Dr. Warburton; who took it for granted that our author could read Lucian out of English. Until this can be proved, or that any English translation of the above piece existed in Shakspeare's time, we are at liberty to doubt how far Apemantus is a copy from Lucian, or rather to believe that he is a highly finished portrait after a very slight sketch by Plutarch.


Scene 3. Page 587.

TIM. She, [her] whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices To the April day again.

It had been better to have withdrawn Dr. John

son's note, for he has entirely misconceived the meaning of this part of Timon's speech. He has mistaken the person who was to be embalmed to the April day again, and supposed, without reason, that the wedding day is here called April or fools day. Mr. Tollett has already corrected the first of these errors, and properly explained the April day to mean the freshness of youth. See a description of April from an old calendar in vol. i. p. 72. The word day in this instance is equivalent with time.

Sc. 3. p. 593.

TIM. To the tub-fast and the diet.

What this diet was may be seen at large in Dr. Bullein's Bulwarke of defence, fo. 57 b. and in his Booke of compoundes, fo. 42, 43.

In a former note a conclusion was too hastily drawn concerning the origin of Cornelius's tub. It was stated that it took its name from the hero of Randolph's pleasant comedy of Cornelianum dolium; but the term is much older, being mentioned in Lodge's Wit's miserie, 1599, 4to, sig. Fiiij b. Its origin therefore remains in a state of uncertainty; for what Davenant has left us in his Platonick lover, can only be regarded as a piece of pleasantry.

SCIOLT. As for Diogenes that fasted much, and took his habitation in a tub, to make the world believe


he lov'd a strict and severe life, he took the diet, sir, and in that very tub swet for the French disease.

And some unlearned apothecary since, mistaking 's name, call'd it Cornelius tub.

Act iii.

There is yet another passage which may be worth inserting, as it throws a gleam of light on this obscure term. It is from The law of drinking, 1617, 12mo, p. 55. "Like ivie they cling close about Cornelius' bulke; till sleepe surprize them, oblivion divide them, and brave Cornelius guide them to his tub."

Sc. 3. p. 624.

TIM. The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves

The moon into salt tears.

Some difficulty has arisen in the course of the notes on this passage to account for the manner in which the sea could despoil the moon of its moisture and change it into saline tears. It has been judiciously remarked by one of the commentators, that we are not to attend on these occasions merely to philosophical truth, but to consider what might have been the received or vulgar notions of the time: yet no example of such notions applicable to the present occasion has

been produced. The following may perhaps serve to supply this defect, and to establish at the same time the genuineness of the text: "The moone gathereth deawe in the aire, for she printeth the vertue of hir moysture in the aire, and chaungeth the ayre in a manner that is unseene, and breedeth and gendereth deawe in the utter part thereof." Bartholomæus De propriet. rerum, lib. viii. c. 29.


Scene 5. Page 658.

ALCIB. Here lies a wretched corse &c.

There is a fourth epitaph on Timon, which is scarcely worth mentioning, but as it perhaps completes the list, and might even, as well as that in Kendal and Painter, have suggested the slight alteration made by Shakspeare. It is in Pettie's translation of Guazzo's Civile conversa, tion, 1586, 4to, fo. 5, as follows;

"Here doe I lie, ne am the same

I heretofore was wont to bee;
Thou reader never aske my name,

A wretched end God send to thee,"

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