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النشر الإلكتروني

Dead, sure, and this his grave; what's on this tomb?
I cannot read; the character I'll take with wax;
Our captain hath in every figure skill,
An agà interpreter, tho' young in days:
Before proud Athens he's set down by this,
Whose fall the mark of his ambition is.


SCENE, before the Walls of Athens.


'Till now, you


Trumpets found. Enter Alcibiades with his powerso Alc. Ound to this coward and lascivious town

Our terrible approach. (Sound a parley. The Senators appear upon the wallso


gone on, and fill'd the time
With all lícentious meafare, making your wills
The fcope of justice. 'Till now myself, and fuch
As slept within the shadow of your power,
Have wander'd with our traverst arms, and breath'd
Our sufferance vainly. Now the time is flush,
When crouching marrow in the bearer strong
Cries, of itself, no more: now breathless wrong
Shall fit and pant in your great chairs of ease,
And pursy insolence shall break his wind
With fear and horrid flight.

i Sen. Noble and young,
When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
Ere thou hadft power, or we had caufe to fear;
We sent to thee, to give thy rages balm,
To wipe out our ingratitude, with loves
Above their quantity.

2 Sen. So did we woo (41)
Transformed Timon to our city's love

The soldier, seeking by order for Timon, fees such an irregular mole,
as he concludes must have been the work manfhip of some beast in-
habiting the woods; and such a cavity, as either must have been so
over-arch’d, or happen'd by the casual falling in of the ground. This
Jarter species of caverns, produced by nature, Æschylus, I remember,
in his Prometbeus, elegantly calls autóxlıt' cövtpaSelf-buil denso

So did we woo
Transformed Timon to our city's love

By humble message, and by promis'd 'mends:
We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
The common stroke of war.

i Sen. These walls of ours
Were not erected by their hands, from whom
You have receiv'd your griefs : nor are they such,
That these great tow'rs, trophies, and schools should fall
For private faults in them.

2 Sen. Nor are they living, Who were the motives that you first went out: Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess (42) Hath broke their hearts. March on, oh, noble Lord, Into our city with thy banners spread; By decimation and a tithed death, If thy revenges hunger for that food Which nature loaths, take thou the destin'd tenth : And by the hazard of the spotted die, Let die the spotted.

i Sen. All have not offended : For those that were, it is not square to take

By bum:ble message, and by promis'd means: ] Promis’d mean mu import a supply of substance, the recruiting his sunk fortunes; but that is not all, in my mind, that the poet would aim at. The senate had wooed him with humble meslage, and promise of general reparation for their injuries and ingratitude. This feems included in the Night change which I have made--and by promis’d’mends: and this word, apofiropbe'd, or ottierwise, is ufed in common with amends. So in Troilus and Crefida;

Let her be as she is; if she be fair, 'tis the better for her: an he be not, she has the mends in her own hands. And so B. Jonson in his Every Man out of his Humour :

Pardon me, gentle friends, I'll make fair mends

For my foul errors past. (42) Shame, that they wanted cunning in exce's,

Hath broke their bearts.] i. e. in other terms,-Shame, that they were not the cunning'st men alive, hath been the cause of their death. For cunning in excess must mean this or nothing. O brave editors ! They had heard it said, that too much wit in some cases might be dangerous, and why not an obsolute vant of it? But had they the skill or courage to remove one perplexing comma, the easy and genuine Sense would immediately arise. in Shame in excess (i. c. extremity “ of shame) that they wanted cunning (i. e. that they were not wise “ enough not to banith you;) hath broke their hearts.”


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On those that are, revenge: crimes, like to lands,
Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage;
Spare thy Athenian cradle, and those kin,
Which in the bluiter of thy wrath must fall
With those that have offended; like a shepherd,
Approach the fold, and cull th' infected forth;
But kill not all together.

2 Sen. What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile,
Than hew to’t with thy sword.

i Sen. Set but thy foot
Against our rampir'd gates, and they shall ope;
So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before,
To say, thou'lt enter friendly,

2 Sen. Throw thy glove,

token of thine honour else,
That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress,
And not as our confufion: all thy powers
Shall make their harbour in our town, till we
Have seal'd thy full desire.

Alc. Then there's my glove;
Descend, and open your uncharged ports ;
Those enemies of Timon's, and mine own,
Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof,
Fall, and no more ; and to atone your fears
With my more noble meaning, not a man
Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream
Of regular justice in your city's bounds;
But shall be remedied by publick laws
At heaviest answer.

Both. 'Tis most nobly spoken.
Alc. Descend, and keep your words.

Enter a Soldier.
Sol. My noble General, Timon is dead;



hem o'th' sea;
And on the grave-stone this infculpture, which
With wax I brought away; whose soft impresion
Interpreteth for my poor ignorance.



(Alcibiades, reads the epitaph.] Herelyes a wretched coarse, of wretched foul bereft: (43) Seek not my name: a plague consume you caitiffs left! Here lye I Timon, who all living men did hate, Pass by, and curse thy fill, but stay not here thy gaite.

These well express in thee thy latter fpirits:
Thothou abhorr'it in us our human griefs,
Scorn'ait our brains flow, and those our droplets, which
From niggard nature fall; yet rich conceit (44)
Taught thee to make vaft Neptune weep for aye
On thy low grave.--On: faults forgiven.--Dead
Is noble Timan, of whose memory
Hereafter more-Bring me into your city,


(43) Here lies a wretched coarse,] This epitaph the poet has form’d out of two separate distichs quoted by Plutarch in his life of M. Antony: the first, said to have been compos’d by Timon himself; the other is an epitaph on him made by Callimachus, and extant among his epigrams. The version of the latter, as our author has transmitted it to us, avoids those blunders whieh Leonard Aretine, the Latin translator of the above quotes life in Plutarch, committed in it. I once imagin'd, that Shakespeare might possibly have corrected this translator's blunder from his own acquaintance with the Greek original: but, I find, be has transcrib'd the four lines from an old English version of Plutarcb, extant in his time. I have not been able to trace the time, when this play of our author's made its first appearance; but I believe, it was written before the death of e Elizabetb; because I take it to be hinted at in a piece, callid, Jack Drum's entertainment; or, the comedy of Pasquill and Katherine, play'a by the children of Powles, and printed in 1601.

-Come, come, now I'll be as sociable as Timon of Arbenson
Taught thee to make vasi Neptune weep for aye
On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
Is noble Timon, of whose, memory

Hereafter more.-) All the editors, in their learning and fagacity, have suffer'd an unaccountable absurdity to pass them in this pallage. Why was Neptune to weep on Timon's faults forgiven? Or, indeed, what faults bad Timon committed, except against his own fortune and happy situation in life? But the corruption of the text-lies only in the bad pointing, which I have disengag d, and restor’d to the true mean.ing. Alcibiades's whole speech, as the editors might have observ’d,

yet rich conceit

And I will use the olive with my sword;
Make war breed peace; make peace stint war; make each
Prescribe to other, as each other's leach.
Let our drums strike.-

[Exeunt. is in breaks, betwixt his reflections on Timon's death, and his addierses to the Abenian senators: and as soon as he has commented on the place of Timon's grave, be bids the fenate set forward; tells 'em, he has forgiven their faults; and promises to use them with mercy. The very same manner of expression occurs in Antony, and Cleopatra,

Anto. Well; what worst?
Mel. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Anto. When it concerns the fool or coward :

Things, that are part, are done with me,


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