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Speaks his own standing! what a mental
One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
Here is a touch; Is't good?
I'll say of it,
.. It tutors nature: artificial strife"
Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord's follow'd!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of
I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man,
Pain. How shall I understand you?
I'll unbolt' to you.
artificial strife-] Strife is the contest of art with
▾ Halts not particularly,] My design does not stop at any single character. JOHNSON.
In a wide sea of war:] Anciently they wrote upon waxen tables with an iron style.
9-no levell'd malice, &c.] To level is to aim, to point the shot at a mark. Shakspeare's meaning is, my poem is not a satire written with any particular view, or levelled at any single person; I fly like an eagle into the general expanse of life, and leave not, by any private mischief, the trace of my passage.
'I'й unbolt-] I'll open, I'll explain. JOHNSON.
You see how all conditions, how all minds,
Pain. I saw them speak together. Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill, Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd: The base o'the mount Is rank'd with all deserts,3 all kind of natures, That labour on the bosom of this sphere To propagate their states: amongst them all, Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix'd, One do I personate of lord Timon's frame, Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her; Whose present grace to present slaves and servants Translates his rivals.
Pain. 'Tis conceiv'd to scope." This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks, With one man beckon'd from the rest below, Bowing his head against the steepy mount To climb his happiness, would be well express'd In our condition."
Nay, sir, but hear me on:
-glass-fac'd flatterer-] That shows in his look, as by reflection, the looks of his patron. JOHNSON.
rank'd with all deserts,] Cover'd with ranks of all kinds JOHNSON.
4 To propagate their states:] To advance or improve their
various conditions of life. JOHNSON.
conceiv'd to scope.] Properly imagined, appositely, to the
6 In our condition.] Condition for art.
All those which were his fellows but of late,
Ay, marry, what of these? Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of mood,
Spurns down her late belov'd, all his dependants, Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top, Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down, Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. 'Tis common:
A thousand moral paintings I can show,9
Trumpets sound. Enter TIMON, attended; the Servant of VENTIDIUS talking with him. Imprison'd is he, say you? Ven. Serv. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt;
His means most short, his creditors most strait:
To those have shut him up; which failing to him,
Rain sacrificial whisperings-] i. e. whisperings of officious servility, the incense of the worshipping parasite to the patron as to a god.
Drink the free air.] That is, breathe only with his permission. A thousand moral paintings I can show,] Shakspeare seems to intend in this dialogue to express some competition between the two great arts of imitation. Whatever the poet declares himself to have shown, the painter thinks he could have shown better.
mean eyes-] i. e. inferior spectators.
Periods his comfort.
Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his ran-
And, being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me:-
Enter an old Athenian.
Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.
Old Ath. Most noble Timon, call the man before
Tim. Attends he here, or no?-Lucilius!
Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.
Old Ath. This fellow here, lord Timon, this thy
By night frequents my house. I am a man
your honour!] The common address to a lord in our author's time, was your honour, which was indifferently used with your lordship.
On whom I may confer what I have got:
The man is honest.
Old Ath. She is young, and apt:
Does she love him?
Tim. [To LUCILIUS.] Love you the maid?
Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,
Tim. How shall she be endow'd, If she be mated with an equal husband? Old Ath. Three talents, on the present; in future, all.
Tim. This gentleman of mine hath serv'd me long; To build his fortune, I will strain a little, For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: What you bestow, in him I'll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her.
Old Ath. Most noble lord, Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.
Therefore he will be, Timon:] The thought is closely expressed, and obscure: but this seems the meaning: "If the man be honest, my lord, for that reason he will be so in this; and not endeavour at the injustice of gaining my daughter without my consent." WARBURTON.