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Lucul. [aside] One of Lord Timon's men? a gift, I warrant. Why, this hits right; I dreamt of a silver bason and ewers to-night. Flaminius, honest Flaminius; you are very respectively welcome, sir.4_Fill me some wine.-[Exit Serv.] And how does that honourable, complete, free-hearted gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good lord and master?
Flam. His health is well, sir.
Lucul. I am right glad that his hcalth is well, sir: And what hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty Flaminius?
Flam. Faith, nothing but am empty box, sir; which, in my lord's behalf, I come to entreat your honour to supply; who, having great and instant occasion to use fifty talents, hath sent to your lordship to furnish him ; nothing doubting your present assistance therein.
Lucul. La, la, la, la,- nothing doubting, says he ? alas, good lord! a noble gentleman 'tis, if he would not keep so good a house. Many a time and often I have dined
a silver bason and ewer -] These utensils of silver being much in request in Shakspeare's time, he has, as usual, not scrupled to place them in the house of an Athenian nobleman. So again, in The Taming of the Shrew:
my house within the city
“ Basons and ewers to lave her dainty hands." See Vol. VI, p. 104, n. 3. Malone.
Qur author, I believe, has introduced basons and euers where they would certainly have been found. The Romans appear to have had them; and the forms of their utensils were generally copied from those of Greece.
These utensils are not unfrequently mentioned by Homer. Thus, in Chapman's version of the twenty-fourth llind: “ This said, the chamber-maid that held the ewre and be
“ The handmaid water brought, and gave to stream
very respectively welcome, sir.] i. e. respectfully. So, in King Fohn:
“'Tis too respective,” &c. See Vol. VII, p. 295, n. 4. Steevens. VOL. XV.
with him, and told him on 't; and come again to supper to him, of purpose to have him spend less : and yet he would embrace no counsel, take no warning by my coming. Every man has his fault, and honesty is his;s I have told him on 't, but I could never get him from it.
Re-enter Servant, with Wine. Serv. Please your lordship, here is the wine.
Lucul. Flaminius, I have noted thce always wise. Here 's to thee.
Flam. Your lordship speaks your pleasure.
Lucul. I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt spirit-give thee thy due,—and one that knows what belongs to reason; and canst use the time well, if the time use thee well : good parts in thee.-Get you gone, sirrah.—[To the Servant, who goes out.]~Draw nearer, honest Flaminius. Thy lord 's a bountiful gentleman : but thou art wise; and thou knowest well enough, although thou comest to me, that this is no time to lend money; especially upon bare friendship, without security. Here's three solidarese for thee; good boy, wink at me, and say, thou saw'st me not. Fare thee well.
Flam. Is 't possible, the world should so much differ; And we alive, that liv’d?? Fly, damned baseness, To him that worships thee. [Throwing the Money away.
Lucul. Ha! Now I see, thou art a fool, and fit for thy master.
[Exit Lucul Flam. May these add to the number that may scald
thee! Let molten coin be thy damnation,
5 Every man has his fault, and honesty is his;] Honesty does not here mean probity, but liberality. M. Mason.
three solidares --] I believe this coin is from the mint of the poet. Steevens.
? And we alive, that liv’d?] i. e. And we who were alive then, alive now. As much as to say, in so short a time. Warburton.
8 Let molten coin be thy damnation,] Perhaps the poet alludes to the punishment inflicted on M. Aquilius by Mithridates. In The Shepherd's Calendar, however, Lazarus declares himself to have seen in hell “ a great number of wide cauldrons and kettles, full of boyling lead and oyle, with other hot metals molten, in the which were plunged and dipped the covetous men and women, for to fulfill and replenish them of their insatiate covetise."
Again, in an ancient bl. I. ballad, entitled, The Dead Mari's Song :
Thou disease of a friend, 9 and not himself!
“ And ladles full of melted gold
“ Were poured downe their throates." Mr. M. Mason thinks that Flaminius more “probably alludes to the story of Marcus Crassus and the Parthians, who are said to have poured molten gold down his throat, as a reproach and punishment for his avarice.” Steevens. 9 Thou disease of a friend, ] So, in King Lear :
my daughter; “Or rather, a disease" &c. Steevens. 1 It turns in less than two nights?] Alluding to the turning or acescence of milk. Johnson.
- pussion.'] i. e. suffering. So, in Macbeth:
"You shall offend him, and extend his passion." i.e. prolong his suffering. Steevens.
3 Unto his honour,] Thus the old copy. What Flaminius seems to mean is, This slave (to the honour of his character) has, &c. The modern editors read-Unto this hour, which may be right.
Steevens. I should have no doubt in preferring the modern reading, unto this hour, as it is by far the stronger expression, so probably the right one. M. Mason. Mr. Ritson is of the same opinion. Steevens.
to death,) If these words, which derange the metre were omitted, would the sentiment of Flaminius be impaired?
Steevens. -of nature - ] So the common copies. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads-nurture. Johnson.
Of nature is surely the most expressive reading. Flaminius con. siders that nutriment which Lucullus had for a length of time received at Timon's table, as constituting a great part of his ani. mal system. Steevens.
his hour ! ] i.e. the hour of sickness. His for its. Steevens. His in almost every scene of these plays is used for its, but here, I think, “his hour” relates to Lucullus, and means his life.
If my notion be well founded, we must understand that the
The same. A publick Place. Enter Lucius, with Three Strangers. Luc Who, the lord Timon? he is my very good friend, and an honourable gentleman.
I Stran. We know him for no less, though we are but strangers to him. But I can tell you one thing, my lord, and which I hear from common rumours; now lord Ti. mon's happy hours are dones and past, and his estate shrinks from him.
Luc. Fy no, do not believe it; he cannot want for money.
2 Stran. But believe you this, my lord, that, not long ago, one of his men was with the lord Lucullus, to borrow so many talents;' nay, urged extremely for 't, and
Steward wishes that the life of Lucullus may be prolonged only for the purpose of his being miserable; that sickness may “play the torturer by small and small,” and “have himn nine whole years in killing."-"Live loath'd and long !” says Timon in a subsequent scene; and again:
“ Decline to your confounding contraries,
“ And yet confusion live!” This indeed is nearly the meaning, if, with Mr. Steevens, we understand his hour to mean the hour of sickness: and it must be owned that a line in Hamlet adds support to his interpretation:
“ This physick but prolongs thy sickly days." Malone. Mr. Malone's interpretation may receive further support from a passage in Coriolanus, where Menenius says to the Roman sen. tinel: “Be that you are, long; and your misery increase with your age.” Steevens.
? We know him for no less, ] That is, we know him by report to be no less than you represent him, though we are strangers to his person. Johnson.
To know, in the present, and several other instances, is used by our author for—to acknowledge. So, in Coriolanus, Act V, sc. V:
You are to know “ That prosperously I have attempted, and “With bloody passage led your wars -," &c. Steevens. are done - ]i. e. consumed. See Vol. X, p. 88, n. 5.
Malone. to borrow so many talents ;] Such is the reading of the old copy. The modern editors read arbitrarily-fifty talents. So many is not an uncommon colloquial expression for an indefinite number. The Stranger might not know the exact sum. Steevens.
showed what necessity belonged to 't, and yet was denied.
lord. Luc. What a strange case was that? now, before the gods, I am ashamed on 't. Denied that honourable man? there was very little honour show'd in 't. For my own part, I must needs confess, I have received some small kindnesses from him, as money, plate, jewels, and such like trifles, nothing comparing to his; yet, had he mistook him, and sent to me, I should ne'er have denied his occasion so many talents.?
So, Queen Elizabeth to one of her parliaments: “ And for me, it shall be sufficient that a marble stone declare that a queen having reigned such a time, [i. e. the time that she should have reigned, whatever time that might happen to be, ] lived and died a virgin.”
So, Holinshed: “ The bishop commanded his servant to bring him the book bound in white vellum, lying in his study, in such a place." We should now write in a certain place.
Again, in the Account-book, kept by Empson in the time of Henry the Seventh, and quoted by Bacon in his History of that king:
" Items Received of such a one five marks, for a pardon to be procured, and if the pardon do not pass, the money to be repaid."
“He sold so much of his estate, when he came of age,” (meaning a certain portion of his estate) is yet the piraseology of Scotland. Malone.
yet, had he mistook him, and sent to me,] We should read: mislook'd him, i. e. overlooked, neglected to send to him.
Warburton.. I rather read, yet had he not mistook him, and sent to me.
Fohnson. Mr. Edwards proposes to read-yet had he missed him. Lucius has just declared that he had had fewer presents from Timon, than Lucullus had received, who therefore ought to have been the first to assist him. Yet, says he, had Timon mistook him, or overlooked that circumstance, and sent to me, I should not have denied &c. Steevens
That is, " had he (Timon) mistaken himself and sent to me, I would ne'er" &c. He means to insinuate that it would have been a kind of mistake in Timon to apply to a person who had received such trifling favours from him, in preference to Lucullus, who had received much greater; but if Timon bad made that mistake, he should not have denied him so many talents. M. Mason.
Had he mistook him, means, had he by mistake thought him under less obligations than me, and sent to me accordingly,