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TIMON OF ATHENS.) The story of the Misanthrope is told in almost every colledion of the time, and particularly in two books, with which Shakspeare was intimately acquainted; the Palace of Pleasure, and the English Plutarch. Indeed from a passage in an old play, called Jack Drum's Entertainment, I conje&ure that be bad before made his appearance on the stage. FARMER.
The passage in Jack Drun's Entertainment or Pasquil and Kathea rine, aboi, is this :
" Come, I'll be as sociable as Timon of Athens." But the allulion is so flight, that it might as well have been borrowed from Plutarch or the novel.
Mr. Strutt tbe cograver, lo whom our autiquaries are under no inconsiderable obligations, has in his pofseflion a MS. play on this subje&. It appears to have been written, or transcribed, about the year 1600. There is a scene in it resembling Shakspeare's banquet given by Timon to his flatterers. Saltead of warin water he sets before them fones painted like artichokes, and afterwards beats them out of the room. He theu retires to the woods, attended by bis faithful fteward, who, (like Kent in King Lear) was disguised himself to continue his services to his master. Timon, in the last að is followed by his fickle mitress, &c. after he was reported to have discovered a hidden treasure by digging. The piece itself (though it appears to be the work of au academick) is a wretched one. The persona dramalis are as follows:
* The adors Dames
Laches, his faithful servant.
Eutrapelus, a dissolute young man. " GelaGmus, a cittie heyre. " Pseudocheus, a lying travailer. • Demeas, an orator. “ Philargurus, a covetous churlila ould man. * Hermogenes, a fidler. “ Abyssus, a usurer. “ Lollio, a cuntrey clowne, Philargurus fonne. " Speu lippus,
Two lying philosophers. * Gruonio, a lean servant of Philargurus. * Obba, Tymnon's buller. - Pædio, Gelalmus page. * Two serjcauls. * A sailor. “ Calliwela, Philargurus daughter. “ Blaise, her pratiliog uuise.
Shakspeare undoubtedly formed this play on the passage in Plan tarch's Life of Antony relative to Timon, aod not on the twentyeighth novel of the first volume of Painter's Palace of Pleasure; because he is there merely described as " a man-hater, of a Arange and beaflly nature," without any cause afligned; whereas Plutarch furnished our author with the following hint to work upon, “ Antonius forsook the citie, and companie of his friendes,- saying, that be would lead Timon's life, because he had the like wrong offered him, that was offered unto Timon; and for the unthartfula nefs of those he had done good unto, and whom he tooke to be his friendes, he was angry with all men, and would trust no man."
To the manuscript play mentioned by Mr. Steevens, our author I have no doubt, was also indebted for some other circumstances. Here he found the faithful fteward, the banquet-scene, and the story of Timon's being poffeffed of great sums of gold which he had dug up in the woods : a circumftaoce which he could not have had from Lucian, there being tben no tranlation of the dialogue that relates to this fubje&.
Spoo says, there is a building near Atheos, yet remaining, called
Timon of Athens was written, I imagine, in the year 1610. Sçe
Timon, a noble Athenian.
two of Timon's Creditors.
Timandra,} Mifresses to Alcibiades.
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves,
* Phrynia, ] (or, as this name should have been written by Sbaka speare, Phrync,), was an Athenian courtezan so exquisitely beautiful, that when her judges were proceeding to condemn her for numerous and enormous offences, a fight of ber bosom (which, as we learn from Quintilian, had been arifully deouded by her advocate, disarmed the court of its severity, and secured her life from the fentence of the law. STEEVENS,
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant,
Others, at several doors.
Poet. Good day, sir. 3
I am glad yon are well. Poet. I have not seen you long; How goes the
world? Pain. It wears, fir, as it grows. PoET.
Ay that's well known; But what particular rarity? 4 what strange,
Feweller, Merchant, ]
In tbe old copy :
Enter &c. Merchant and Mercer, &c. STEEVENS.
Poet. Good day, for. ] It would be less abrupt to begin the play thus:
Poet. Good day.
Pain. Good day, fir: I am glad you're well. FARMER. The present deficiency in the metre also pleads strongly io behalf of the supplemental words proposed by Dr. Farmer. STEEVENS.
4 But what particular rarity ? &c.] I cannot but think that this passage is at present in confusion. The poet asks a queftion, and Aays not for an answer, nor has his queflion or consequence. I would range the paffage thus :
Poet. dy, that's well known.
Poet, Magick of bounty! &c. It may not be in properly observed here, that as there is only one copy of this play, no help can be had from collation, and more liberty must be allowed to conje&ure. JOHNSON
Which manifold record not matches? See,
Pain. I know them both; t'other's a jeweller.
Nay, that's most fix'd.
it were, To an untirable and continuate goodness : * 'He passes.
Johnson supposes that there is some' error in this passage, because the Poet asks a question, and stays not for an answer; and there: fore fuggests a new arrangement of it. But tbere is nothing more common in real life than queftions asked in that manner. And with · refpe& to bis proposed arrangement, I can by no nieans approve of it; for as the Poet and the Painter are going to pay their court to Timon, it would be strange if the latter should point out to the former, as a particular rarity, which manifold record could march, a merchant and a jeweller, who came there on the same errand. M. MÁSON,
The poet is led by what the painter has said, to ask whether any thing very Atrange and unparalleled bad lately happened, without any expe&ation that any such bad happened: -and is prevented from waiting for an answer by observing so many conjured by Timon's bounty to atteud. " See, Magick of bounty!" &c. This surely is very natural. MALONE.
breatb'd, as it were, To an untirable and continuate goodness: ] Breathed is inured by constant practice; fo trained as not to ve wearied. To breathe à borse, is to exercise him for the course. Johnson. So, in Hamlet:
“ It is the breathing time of day with me." Steevens.
continuate ) This word is used by many ancient English writers. Thus, by Chapman, in his version of the fourth book of the Odyssey : " Her handmaids join'd in a continuale yell."
STEEVENS 8 He passes, ) i. e. exceeds, goes beyond common bounds. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :
66 Why this pases, master Ford." STEEVENS.