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highest sense of the term, as distinguished alike from personal lampoons and from the playful exhibition of transient follies. In this he poured forth his soul in those scenes and soliloquies, the idea of which had invited him to the subject; while, as to the rest, he contented himself with a rapid and careless composition of some scenes, and probably on others (such as that of Alcibiades with the senate) contenting himself with simply sketching out the substance of an intended dialogue to be afterwards elaborated. In this there is no improbability, for literary history has preserved the evidence of such a mode of composition in Milton and others. The absence of all trace of the piece from this time till it was printed in 1623 induces the supposition that in this state the author threw aside his unfinished work, perhaps deterred by its want of promise of stage effect and interest, perhaps invited by some more congenial theme. When, therefore, it was wanted by his friends and fellows,' Heminge and Condell, after his death, for the press and the stage, some literary artist like Heywood was invited to fill up the accessory and subordinate parts of the play upon the author's own outline; and this was done or attempted to be done, in the manner of the great original, as far as possible, but with little distinction of his varieties

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of style.



"Upon this hypothesis, I suppose the play to be mainly and substantially Shakespeare's, filled up, indeed, by an inferior

nd, but not interpolated in the manner of Tate, Davenant, or Dryden, with the rejection and adulteration of parts of the original; so that its history would be nearly that of many of the admired paintings of Rubens and Murillo, and other prolific artists, who often left the details

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and accessories of their work to be completed by pupils or dependants."

This theory was between 1868 and 1874 worked out in great detail by Fleay, with whom Hudson and Rolfe are in general accord. The conclusion at which Fleay arrived is shown in the subjoined conspectus of the portions which he assigns to Shakespeare and of the extent to which the two latter critics concur.1


Rolfe. 1. i. 1-185, 249-264, 284-1. i. 1-185, 249–264, 284-1. i. 1-185, 249–264, 284293. 293.

293 11. i. (whole). II. i. (whole).

11. i. (whole). 11. ii. 1-45, 132–194, 204- 11. ii. 1-45, 132–194, 204- 11. ii. 1-45, 132–242. 242.

242. Ill. vi. 95-115. III. vi. 27-115.

III. vi. 95-115. iv. i. (whole). iv. i. (whole).

iv. i. (whole). iv. ii. 1-30. iv. iii. 1-291, 363-398, Iv. iii. 1-463, 476-543. iv. iii. 1-291, 363–398, 414-453.

414-453. v. i. 50-231. v. i. (whole).

v. i. 58-231. v. ii. (whole). v. ii. (whole).

v. ii. (whole). v, iv. (whole). v. iv. (whole).

v. iv. (whole).

It is impossible within any reasonable limit to follow Fleay through his detailed examination of the play. I shall therefore content myself with stating what seem to me the more important points of his criticism, and with explaining how far I am able to accept his conclusions.

In 11. ii., “when," says Fleay, “ Timon has demanded an explanation of the steward, and the steward has desired the duns to cease their importunity till after dinner, he adds to

1 The lines are numbered as in the Globe edition.

Fleay's distribution as here shown is taken from his Introduction to Shakespearian Study, pp. 37, 38. In his Manual, the distribution in Part I. differs in some points from that in Part II., while both Parts differ more or less from the Introduction. Originally Fleay rejected the whole of iv. iii.

3 Hudson stars those parts in which he is “thoroughly satisfied that the lines have nothing of Shakespeare in them. There are, besides, several passages which I am doubtful about, and therefore leave them unstarred."

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them, Pray you, walk neere! I 'le speak with you anon'; and straightway gives the explanation desired; but the playwright who improved the drama wanted Apemantus to talk nonsense to the Page and the Fool of a harlot (unknown in the rest of the piece): so he makes the steward say, ' Pray, draw neere!' and go out with Timon, apparently to have out their explanation. Caphis and Co. do not draw neere, but stop to talk to Apemantus. When we've had enough of that, in come Timon and the steward, who again says, 'Pray you, walk neere,' which the creditors do this time, and Timon and the steward go on with their talk as if they had never left the stage to say anything outside." Here it is to be noted that the steward is not again made to say “Pray you, walk near.” His invitation, “ Pray, draw near,” is, I contend, manifestly addressed to Timon, for the latter's exit after line 44, due to Pope, is unknown to the folio; while the words, “Pray you, walk near,” are not an invitation to draw near, but a request to the servants to walk a little way off, out of earshot. But there is a further difficulty which Fleay's excision does not remove. In line 49 Timon says, “Do so, my friends. See them well entertained." Now, the former part of the line is addressed to the servants; the latter to the steward. Yet, in any hypothesis, the steward pays no heed to this injunction. To cut out these words also, would be to make Timon's exit 1 abrupt and discourteous. Again, it helps us nothing to suppose, with Johnson, that a whole scene is missing, since this would involve an inordinately long interval before Timon and the steward return to the scene,

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1 In a matter of so much doubt I have left both exits as usually printed, together with the re-entry of Timon and the steward after line 118.

and at the same time leave the former's injunction disregarded. In spite of the stage-directions, I am fully persuaded that there is no exit by Timon and the steward, but that they only walk about apart from the servants. Still, to these, during the steward's disclosures, some dialogue must be given whether it be with Apemantus, the Page, and the Fool, or among themselves; for when Timon again comes forward, his words, “You make me marvel,” etc., show that a revelation not to be told in a few sentences has been made to him.

A more important difficulty, which Johnson was the first to point out, occurs in iv. iii., where Apemantus descries the poet and the painter approaching.

The talk, says Fleay, goes on "for 60 lines, and then enter-Banditti! more talk with Banditti 63 lines, and then enter-Steward ! more talk (80 lines), and then at last enter 'poet and painter'! To avoid this, modern editors make the curtain fall when the steward goes out; but this makes matters worse; the poet and painter must be coming yonder,' not only while that interminable talk goes on, but while the curtain is down: imagine this to be Shakespeare's arrangement ! But suppose the curtain does not fall? Then the poet and painter enter as the steward goes out: and one of the first things they tell us is that 'tis said he gave unto his steward a mighty sum. No, as the play stands, the curtain must fall in the middle of a scene, and the poet and painter wait yonder all the while.

This point alone settles the question of the present arrangement being Shakespeare's.” No explanation of this muddle has yet been given, for Hudson's substitution of the words “a parcel of soldiers” for “a poet and a painter" can hardly be



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accounted as such. Fleay further rejects not only the steward's soliloquy, but also his conversation with Timon, which, though garbled, appears to me to have abundant marks of Shakespeare's mind.

Regarding the sums of money mentioned in different parts of the play, Fleay (in the second of the two papers in Part II. of his Manual) enters into an elaborate calcula

tion, the only result of which, as it seems to me, is to show ha that neither Shakespeare nor the second author (supposing

his presence) knew or cared to remember the real value of a talent. In II. ii. 197 (admitted to be genuine Shakespeare) Timon proposes to borrow a thousand talents. This would be equivalent to £245,750, a sum so outrageous that Fleay is driven to alter “talents" into "pieces.” That

“talent” was at times used vaguely is shown by the and anonymous Timon where (1. ii.) four or five talents are aid spoken of as equivalent to £200, and this in a play which

from its use of the language of philosophy must have been

meant for an academic audience, an audience, that is, much zile

more likely to be accurate and critical on such a point. The difficulty which, in III. vi. 22, Fleay originally found as to the thousand "pieces,” he has since got rid of by rejecting

the prose part of that scene, as he rejects II. ii. 186–191, he

where the three servants are being despatched to borrow

fifty talents apiece, and the scenes in which those servants Las

are presented asking for the loans. My reasons for accepting these last scenes as genuine will be stated later on; and as I do not believe that any definite value is to be attached

to either talents or pieces, any more than to "solidares,” the cel sums mentioned do not cause me any doubts.

I have mentioned that circumstances connected with



ce's LII:





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