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Enter Flavius and two Senators. Flav. It is in vain that you would speak with Timon: For he is set so only to himself, That nothing but himself, which looks like man Is friendly with him.
i Sen. Bring us to his cave. It is our part and promise to th’ Athenians To speak with Timon.
2 Sen. At all times alike
Flav. Here is his cave:
Enter Timon out of his Cave.
i Sen. Worthy Timon, --
of Timon. 2 Sen. The Senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.
Tim. I thank them. And would send them back the Could I but catch it for them.
i Sen. O, forget
2 Sen. They confess
Which now the publick body, (which doth seldom
Tim. You witch me in it,
i Sen. Therefore so please thee to return with us,
2 Sen. And Thakes his threatning fword Against the walls of Athens.
1 Sen. Therefore, TimonTim. Well, Sir, I will; therefore I will, Sir; thusIf Alcibiades kill my countrymen, Let Alcibiades know this of Timon, That Timon cares not. If he fack fair Athens, And take our goodly aged men by th' beards, Giving our holy virgins to the stain Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd war ; Then let him know,--and tell him, Timon speaks it ; In pity of our aged, and our youth, I cannot chuse but tell him, that I care not. And let him take't at worst; for their knives care not, While
have throats to answer. For myself,
The reverend'st throat in Athens.
So I leave you
Flav. Stay not, all's in vain.
Tim. Why, I was writing of my epitaph,
i Sen. We speak in vain.
Tim. But yet I love my country, and am not
i Sen. That's well spoke.
them. 2 Sen. And enter in our ears, like
great triumphers In their applauding gates,
Tim. Comniend me to them,
2 Sen. I like this well, he will return again.
here in my close, That mine own use invites me to cut down, And shortly must I fell it. Tell my friends, Tell Athens, in the frequence of degree, From high to low throughout, that whoso please To stop affliction, let him take his hafte; (38)
Come (38) let him take bis-tate;] I dont know, upon what authority Mr. Pope in both his editions has given us this reading; I have reford the text from the old books, and, I am persuaded, as the author
Timon's whole harangue is copied from this passage of Plutarch in the life of M. Antony : " Ye men of rithens, in a court-yard
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the ax,
Flav. Vex him no further, thus you still shall find him.
Tim. Come not to me again, but ray to Athens,
[Exit Timon. 1 Sen. His discontents are unremoveably coupled to his
nature. 2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead; let us return, And strain what other means is left unto us In our dear peril. (39) 1 Sen. It requires swift foot.
e belonging to my house grows a large fig-tree; on which many an » honest citizen has been pleas'd to hang himielf: Now, as I have " thoughts of building upon that spot, I could not omit giving you “ this publick notice; to the end, that if any more among you have " a mind to make the fame use of my tree, they may do it speedily *** before it is destroy’d." And Rabelais, who, in the oldest prologue to his fourth book, has inserted this story from Plutarch, thus renders the close of the sentence.
Pourtant quiconque de Vous autres, et de toute la ville aura a su pendre, s'en depesche promptement,
(39) In our dead peril.] Thus Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope have given us this passage; but is it not strange that the Athenians 'peril hoult be dead, because one of their hopes was dead? Such a disappointment must naturally give fresh life and strength to their danger. We muit certainly read with the old Folio's; In cur dear peril. i, e, dread, deep. So in As you like it; For my
father hated his father dearly, So in Jul. Caf.
Would it not grieve thee dearer than thy death, &c. And in Hamlet;
Would I had met my dearest foe in heav'n, &c. And in an hundred other passages, that might be quoted from our author,
SCENE changes to the Walls of Athens,
Hou haft painfully discover'd; are his files
As full as thy report? Mes. I have spoke the least. Besides, his expedition promises Present approach.
2 Sen. We stand much hazard, if they bring not Timor,
Mef, I met a courier, one mine ancient friend;
Yet our old love made a particular force,
Enter the other Senators,
3 Sen. No talk of Timon, nothing of him expect.The enemies drum is heard, and fearful scouring Doth choak the air with dust. In, and prepare; Ours is the fall, I fear, our foes the snare. Exeunt.
Enter a Soldier in the woods, seeking Timon. Sol. By all description this should be the place, Who's here: speak, ho.No answer?
What is this? Timon is dead, who haih out-stretcht his span ;-: Some beast rear'd this; here does not live a man. (40)
Dead, (40) Some beast read this: bere does not live a mano] Some beast read what? The soldier had yet only seen the rude pile of earth heap'd up for Timon's grave, and not the inscription upon it. My friend Mr. Warburton ingeniously advis'd me to amend the text, as I have done; and a paffage occurs to me, (from Beaumont and Fletcher's Cupid's revenge) that seems very strong in support of his conjecture:
Comfort was never here;