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Of present dues: the future comes apace:
What shall defend the interim ? and at length
How goes our reckoning ?3

Tim. To Lacedæmon did my land extend.

Flav. () my good lord, the world is but a word ;*
Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
How quickly were it gone?
Tim.

You tell me true.
Flav. If you suspect my husbandry, or falsehood,
Call me before the exactest auditors,
And set me on the proof. So the gods bless me,
When all our officess have been oppress'd
With riotous feeders ;6 when our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine; when every room

3 and at length

How goes our reckoning?] This Steward talks very wildly. The Lord indeed might have asked, what a Lord seldom knows:

How goes our reckoning? But the Steward was too well satisfied in that matter. I would read therefore:

Hold good our reckoning? Warburton. It is common enough, and the commentator knows it is common to propose, interrogatively, that of which neither the speaker nor the hearer has any doubt. The present reading may therefore stand. Johnson.

How will you be able to subsist in the time intervening between the payment of the present demands (which your whole substance will hardly satisfy) and the claim of future dues, for which you have no fund whatsoever; and finally on the settlement of all accounts in what a wretched plight will you be ?

Malone. 4 O my good lord, the world is but a word;] The meaning is, as the world itself may be comprised in a word, you might give it away in a breath. Warburton

5 our offices i.e. the apartments allotted to culinary pur. poses, the reception of domesticks, &c. Thus, in Macbeth:

“ Sent forth great largess to your offices.Would Duncan have sent largess to any but servants? See Vol. VII, p. 78, n. 3. It appears that what we now call offices, were anciently called houses of office So, in Chaucer's Clerkes Tale, v. 8140, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edition:

Houses of office stuffed with plentee

“ Ther mavst thou see of deinteous vittaile.” Steedens. 6 With riotous feeders ;] Feedlers are servants, whose los debau. cheries are practised in the offices of a house. See a note on Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. xi : " one who looks on feeders"

Steerensi Tim.

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.

Pr’ythee, no more.
Fluv. Heavens, have I said, the bounty of this lord!
How many prodigal bits have slaves, and peasants,
This night englutted! Who is not Timon's ?8
What heart, head, sword, force, means, but is lord Ti-

mon's ? Great Timon, noble, worthy, royal Timon? Ah! when the means are gone, that buy this praise, The breath is gone whereof this praise is made : Feast-won, fast-lost; one cloud of winter showers, These flies are couch'd. Tim.

Come, sermon me no further: No villainous bounty yet hath pass'd my heart; Unwisely, not ignobiy, have I given.'

7 a wasteful cock,]i.e. a cockloft, a garret. And a wasteful cock, signifies a garret lying in waste, neglected, put to no use.

Hanmer. Sir Thomas Hanmer's explanation is received by Dr. Warburton, yet I think them both apparently mistaken. A wasteful cock is a cock or pipe with a turning stopple running to waste. In this sense, both the terms have their usual meaning; but I know not that cock is ever used for cockloft, or wasteful for lying in waste, or that lying in waste is at all a phrase. Johnson.

Whatever be the meaning of the present passage, it is certain, that lying in waste is still a very common phrase. Farmer.

A wasteful cock is what we now call a waste pipe; a pipe which is continually running, and thereby prevents the overflow of cisterns, and other reservoirs, by carrying off their superfluous wa. ter. This circumstance served to keep the idea of Timon's un. ceasing prodigality in the mind of the Steward, while its remote. ness from the scenes of luxury within the house, was favourable to meditation. Collins.

The reader will have a perfect notion of the method taken by Mr. Pope in his edition, when he is informed that, for wasteful cock, that editor reads-lonely room. Malone.

8 Who is not Timon's?) I suppose we ought to read, for the sake of measure:

Who is not lord Timon's? Steevens. 9 No villainous bounty yet hath pass'd my heart;

Unwisely, not ignobly, have I given.] Every reader must rejoice in this circumstance of comfort which presents itself to Timon, who, although beggar'd through want of prudence, consoles bim. self with reflection that his ruin was not brought on by the pure suit of guilty pleasures. Steevens.

Why dost thou weep? Canst thou the conscience lack,
To think I shall lack friends? Secure thy heart;
If I would broach the vessels of my love,
And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
Men, and men's fortunes, could I frankly use,
As I can bid thee speak.
Flav.

Assurance bless your thoughts! Tim. And, in some sort, these wants of mine are

crown'd, 3
That I account them blessings; for by these
Shall I try friends: You shall perceive, how you
Mistake my fortunes; I am wealthy in my friends.
Within there, ho!4-Flaminius !5 Servilius !

Enter FLAMINIUS, SERVILIUS, and other Servants.
Serv. My lord, my lord,
Tim. I will despatch you severally.-You, to lord Lu-

cius,
To lord Lucuilus you; I hunted with his

1 And try the argument -] The licentiousness of our author forces is often upon far-fetched expositions Arguments may mean contents, as the arguments of a book; or evidences and proofs.

Johnson. The matter contained in a poem or play was in our author's time commonly thus denominated. The contents of his Rape of Lucrece, which he certainly published himself, he calls The Argumnent. Hence undoubtedly his use of the word. If I would, says Timon, by borrowing, try of what men's hearts are composed, what they have in them, &c. The old copy reads--argument; not, as Dr. Johnson supposed-arguments Malone

So, in Hamlet : “ Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in it?” Many more instances to the same purpose might be subjoined. Steevens.

2 As I can bid thee speak.) Thus the old copy; but it being clear from the overloaded measure that these words are a play-house interpolation, I would not hesitate to omit them. They are under. stood, though not expressed. Steevens.

3 — crown'd,) i. e. dignified, adorned, made respectable. So, in King Henry VIII:

" And yet no day without a deed to crown it.” Steevens. 4 Within there, ho!) Ho, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. The frequency of Shakspeare's use of this interjection, needs no examples. Steevens.

5- Flaminius!! The old copy has--Flavius. The correction was made by Mr. Rode The error probably arose from Fla. only being set down in the MS. Malone.

Honour to-day ;-You, to Sempronius;
Commend me to their loves; and, I am proud, says
That my occasions have found time to use them
Toward a supply of money: let the request
Be fifty talents.

Flam. As you have said, my lord.
Flav. Lord Lucius, and lord Lucullus?6 humph!

[Aside. Tim. Go you, sir, [to another Serv.] to the senators,7 (Of whom, even to the state's best health, I have Desery'd this hearing,) bid 'em send o' the instant A thousand talents to me. Flav.

I have been bold,
(For that I knew it the most general way:)
To them to use your signet, and your name;
But they do shake their heads, and I am here
No richer in return.
Tim.

Is 't true? can it be?
Flav. They answer, in a joint and corporate voice,
That now they are at fall,9 want treasure, cannot
Do what they would ; are sorry you are honourable,
But yet they could have wish’d--they know not-but?
Something hath been amissa noble nature
May catch a wrench-would all were well-'tis pity-
And so, intendinga other serious matters,

6 lord Lucullus?] As the Steward is repeating the words of Timon, I have not scrupled to supply the title lord, which is wanting in the old copy, though necessary to the metre.

Steevens. 7 Go you, sir, to the senators,] To complete the line, we might read, as in the first scene of this play:

the senators of Athens. Steevens. 8 I knew it the most general way,] General is not speedy, but compendious, the way to try many at a time. Fohnson. 9- at fall,] i.e. at an ebb. Steevens.

- but — ] was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to complete the verse. Steevens.

? intending – ] is regarding, turning their notice to other things. Johnson.

To intend and to attend had anciently the same meaning. So, in The Spanish Curate of Beaumont and Fletcher:

“Good sir, intend this business.” See Vol. II, p. 357, n. 4. Steevens.

So, in Wits, Fits, and Fancies, &c. 1595:

After distasteful looks, and these hard fractions, 3
With certain half-caps, and cold-moving nods,s
They froze me into silence.
Tüm.

You gods, reward them!
I pr'ythee, man, look cheerly: These old fellows
Have their ingratitude in them hereditary:6
Their blood is cak’d, 'tis cold, it seldom flows;
'Tis lack of kindly warmth, they are not kind;
And nature, as it grows again toward earth,
Is fashion'd for the journey, dull, and heavy.
Go to Ventidius,-[to a Serv.] 'Pr’ythee, [to Flav.

be not sad, Thou art too true, and honest; ingeniously! I speak, No blame belongs to thee:- {to Serv.] Ventidius lately Buried his father; by whose death, he's stepp'd

- Tell this man that I am going to dinner to my lord maior, and that I cannot now intend his tittle-tattle.” Again, in Pasquil's Night-Cap, a poem, 1623:

“ For we have many secret ways to spend,

“Which are not fit our husbands should intend.Malone. 3_ and these hard fractions,) Flavius, by fractions, means broken hints, interrupted sentences, abrupt remarks. Fohnson. 4 half-caps,] A half-cap is a cap slightly moved, not put off.

Fohnson. 5 cold-moving nods,] By cold-moving I do not understand with Mr. Theobald, chilling or cold-producing nods, but a slight motion of the head, without any warmth or cordiality.

Cold-moving is the same as coldly-moving. So-perpetual sober gods, for perpetually sober; lazy-pacing clouds,-loving-jealousAattering sweet, &c. Sach distant and uncourteous salutations are properly termed cola-moving, as.proceeding from a cold and unfriendly disposition. Malone.

6 Have their ingratitude in them hereditary:] Hereditary, for by natural constitution. But some distempers of natural constitution being called hereditary, he calls their ingratitude so.

Warburton. 7 And nature, as it grows again toward earth,

Is fashion'd for the journey, dull, and heavy.) The same thought occurs in The Wife for a Month, by Beaumont and Fletcher:

“ Beside, the fair soul's old too, it grows covetous,
" Which show's all honour is departed from us,
“ And we are earth again.”

pariterque senescere mentem. Lucret I. Steedens. 8c ingeniously-1 Ingenious was anciently used instead of ingenuous. So, in The Taming of the Shrew:

“ A course of learning and ingenious studies.” Reed.

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