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TIMON OF ATHENS.
[Vol. vi. COLLIER; vol. ix. KNIGHT.]
SCENE 2.-C. p. 517; K. p. 202.
They say, my lords, ira furor brevis est,
"Very angry' in the folio. Rowe made the change, which seems necessary." COLLIER.
Mr. Knight, however, retains the misprint of the folios: "Rowe," he says, "changed very to ever, marking an antithesis with the Latin sentence. The introduction of a scrap of Latin is not at all in Shakspere's manner, nor indeed is any part of the speech."
In the first place, the writer of the speech (whether Shakespeare or not) evidently intended to contrast "furor brevis" with "ever angry." Secondly, "very" is a common typographical error for "ever:" a line of Beaumont and Fletcher's King and No King (act iv. sc. 4) had been rightly given in all editions,—
"Children and fools are ever credulous,"
till 1812, when Weber's printer altered it thus;
"Children and fools are very credulous."
I may add, that we find in Beaumont and Fletcher's Valentinian;
"If my good master be not ever angry,
You shall command again."
Act iii. sc. 3.
SCENE 2.-C. p. 528; K. p. 215.
"How goes the world, that I am thus encounter'd
And the detention of long-since-due debts,
Against my honour?"
"So the old copies uniformly.
Malone altered the text to
' date-broken bonds,' which may be said to derive some countenance from the next line; but we feel bound, as no change is required by the sense, to adhere to the words of the poet, as far as they have been handed down to us in the folio, 1623." COLLIER.
So too Mr. Knight, who observes;
"We print this passage as in the original. Malone reads,— 'With clamorous demands of date-broken bonds.'
It scarcely appears to us that any change is necessary; for the detention of long-since-due debts' is merely an amplification of the ' clamorous demands of debt.''
Now, Malone's correction is, as he himself remarks, established beyond a doubt by a passage in the preceding scene (a passage which Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight have prudently forborne to mention), viz.;
SCENE 2.-C. p. 532; K. p. 219.
"So the gods bless me,
When all our offices have been oppress'd
With riotous feeders; when our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine; when every room
Hath blaz'd with lights, and bray'd with minstrelsy,
I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock,
And set mine eyes at flow."
"This passage has occasioned a good deal of comment: the ' wasteful cock' seems to mean the flowing eyes of Flavius, which ran to waste, in vain grief at his lord's boundless expenditure. Pope, not understanding the allusion, substituted lonely room;' and Sir T. Hanmer took wasteful cock' to be a cock-loft, a garret lying
Mr. Collier's remark, that in the line,
"I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock,"
"the wasteful cock' seems to mean the flowing eyes of Flavius," is the more astounding, since that line is immediately followed by
AND set mine eyes at flow."
Nares (Gloss. in v. Wasteful) and Mr. Knight refer the "wasteful cock" to the preceding "spilth of wine;" Mr. Knight, moreover, wishing to alter the text (which I believe to be free from any corruption) to
"I have retired me from a wasteful cock."
One thing is quite clear,-that "wasteful cock" can only mean a pipe with a turning stopple running to waste,' whether we refer it to the "spilth of wine," or whether we adopt the following interpretation by Capell;
"Cock is-cock of water, and wasteful-running to waste, in some outhouse or place adjoining; for the thought of retiring to such a cock is suggested by what was passing within doors."-Notes and Various Readings, &c., vol. ii. 81.
Is the world's soul; and just of the same piece
Is every flatterer's sport."
"We adhere to the old reading, thinking that it affords at least as good a meaning as the modern change of sport' to spirit." COLLIER.
Mr. Knight also retains "sport;" which appears to me to be the veriest nonsense.
SCENE 5.-C. p. 549; K. p. 234.
"2 Sen. You breathe in vain.
In vain his service done
At Lacedæmon, and Byzantium,
1 Sen. What's that?
And slain in fight many of your enemies.
How full of valour did he bear himself
In the last conflict, and made plenteous wounds?
2 Sen. He has made too much plenty with him,
He's a sworn rioter," &c.
"The folio, 1632, reads, Why, I say, my lords,' &c., but needlessly, the meaning being, Why, admit, or acknowledge, my lords, that he has done fair service."" COLLIER.
Mr. Knight also gives (without any note) the reading of the first folio; which is manifestly wrong.
Why, say" means "Why, admit, or acknowledge," only when the speaker is either himself admitting, or requiring others to admit, something, before he proceeds to discuss the matter in question. But here Alcibiades is not arguing; he is making a simple assertion,-repeating with greater emphasis what he has previously stated;
Why, I say, my lords, he has done fair service," &c.
The point after “wounds" ought to be (as in Mr. Knight's edition) a point of admiration.
In the last of the above speeches, "him," which Mr. Collier (in opposition to the other modern editors) has adopted from the first folio, makes the passage nonsense: the second folio gives the obvious correction, "'em." That "him" and "'em" were frequently confounded by early printers, has been already shewn: see p. 64.
SCENE 3.-C. p. 566; K. p. 252.
That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
Will put thy shirt on warm? Will these moist trees,
And skip when thou point'st out?"
On the reading, "moist," Mr. Collier says ne verbum quidem. Mr. Knight, who also gives it, has the following note;
This epithet was changed by Hanmer to moss'd. Whiter, upon his principle of the association of ideas, thus explains the use of the word moist :-' Warm and moist were the appropriate terms in the
days of Shakespeare for what we should now call an air'd and a damp shirt. So John Florio (Second Frutes, 1591), in a dialogue between the master Torquato and his servant Ruspa :
T. Dispatch, and give me a shirt!
R. Here is one with ruffs.
T. Thou dolt, seest thou not how moyst it is?
R. Pardon me, good sir, I was not aware of it.
Can the reader doubt (though he may perhaps smile at the association) that the image of the chamberlain putting the shirt on warm, impressed the opposite word moist on the imagination of the poet?"
If the reader of Whiter's explanation "smiles," it ought to be with contempt at such ingenious trifling. "Moist" (an epithet of no propriety here) is clearly the transcriber's or printer's error for "mosst" (moss'd). The tree under which Oliver lay sleeping had its boughs "moss'd with age." As you like it, act iv. sc. 3. So the trees to which Apemantus here refers were "moss'd"—they had "outliv'd the eagle."
I give you; and gold confound you howsoe'er! Amen."
"And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
In the present passage also he ought to have placed "Amen" in a line by itself.
SCENE 5.-C. p. 588; K. p. 272.
Then, dear countryman,
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage:
Spare thy Athenian cradle, and those kin,
Which in the bluster of thy wrath must fall
With those that have offended. Like a shepherd,