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The one is filling still, never complete;
The other, at high wish: Best state, contentless,
Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
Worse than the worst, content.
Thou should'st desire to die, being miserable.

Tim. Not by his breath, that is more miserable.
Thou art a slave, whom Fortune's tender arm
With favour never clasp'd; but bred a dog.
Hadst thou, like us, from our first swath, proceeded
The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
To such as may the passive drugs of it*
Freely command, thou would'st have plung'd thyself
In general riot; melted down thy youth
In different beds of lust; and never learn'd
The icy precepts of respect, but follow'd
The sugar'd game before thee. But myself,
Who had the world as my confectionary;
The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of men
At duty, more than I could frame employment;

8- is crown'dl before:] Arrives sooner at high wish; that is, at the completion of its wishes. Johnson.

9 Worse than the worst, content.] Best states contentless have a wretched being, a being worse than that of the worst states that are content. JOHNSON

I by his breath,] By his breath means in our author's language, by his voice or speech, and so in fact by his sentence, Shakspeare frequently uses the word in this sense. It has been twice used in this play.

2 Hadst thou, like us,] There is in this speech a sullen haughtiness, and malignant dignity, suitable at once to the lord and the man-hater. The impatience with which he bears to have his luxury reproached by one that never had luxury within his reach, is natural and graceful. JOHNSON.

s first swath,] From infancy. Swath is the dress of a new-born child.

+ - passive drugs of it-] or drudges.

5 precepts of respect,] “ The icy precepts of respect” mean the cold admonitions of cautious prudence, that deliberately weighs the consequences of every action.

6 — than I could frame employment;] i. e. frame employment for. Shakspeare frequently writes thus.

That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves
Do on the oak, have with one winter's brush
Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare
For every storm that blows;-), to bear this,
That never knew but better, is some burden:
Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time
Hath made thee hard in't. Why should'st thou hate

men?
They never flatter'd thee: What hast thou given?-
If thou wilt curse,--thy father, that poor rag,
Must be thy subject; who, in spite, put stuff
To some she beggar, and compounded thee
Poor rogue hereditary. Hence! be gone!
If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave, and flatterer. |
Арет.

Art thou proud yet? Tim. Ay, that I am not thee. Apen.

I, that I was
No prodigal.

Tim. I, that I am one now;
Were all the wealth I have, shut up in thee,
I'd give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.
That the whole life of Athens were in this!
Thus would I eat it.

[Eating a Root. Apem.

Here; I will mend thy feast.

[Offering him something. Tim. First mnend my company, take away thyself. Apem. So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of Tim. 'Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd; If not, I would it were.

thine,

7 Thou hadst been a knave, and flatterer.] Dryden has quoted two verses of Virgil to show how well he could have written satires. Shakspeare has here given a specimen of the same power by a line bitter beyond all bitterness, in which Timon tells Apemantus, that he had no virtue enough for the vices which he condemns. I have heard Mr. Burke commend the subtilty of discrimination with which Shakspeare distinguishes the present character of Timon from that of Apemantus, whom to vulgar eyes he would now resemble. JOHNSON.

Apem. What would'st thou have to Athens?

Tim. Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt, Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.

Apen. Here is no use for gold.
Tim.

The best, and truest: For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm.

Apem. Where ly'st o’nights, Timon?
Tin.

Under that's above me. Where feed'st thou o'days, Apemantus?

Apem. Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.

Tim. ’Would poison were obedient, and knew my mind!

Apem. Where would'st thou send it?
Tim. To sauce thy dishes.

Apem. The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the extremity, of both ends: When thou wast in thy gilt, and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too much curiosity;8 in thy rags thou knowest none, but art despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for thee, eat it.

Tim. On what I hate, I feed not.
Apem. Dost hate a medlar?
Tim. Ay, though it look like thee.

Apem. An thou hadst hated medlers sooner, thou should'st have loved thyself better now. What man didst thou ever know unthrift, that was beloved after his means ?

Tim. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever know beloved ?

Apem. Myself. .

Tim. I understand thee; thou hadst some means' to keep a dog.

8

- for too much curiosity;] i.e. for too much finical delicacy.

Apem. What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to thy flatterers?

Tim. Women nearest; but men, men are the things themselves. What would'st thou do with the world, Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?..

Apem. Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.

Tim. Would'st thou have thyself fall in the confusion of men, and remain a beast with the beasts?

Apem. Ay, Timon.

Tim. A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee to attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile thee: if thou wert the lamb, the fox would eat thee: if thou wert the fox, the lion would suspect thee, when, peradventure, thou wert accused by the ass: if thou wert the ass, thy dulness would torment thee; and still thou livedst but as a break fast to the wolf: if thou wert the wolf, thy greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou shouldst hazard thy life for thy dinner: wert thon the unicorn,' pride and wrath would confound thee, and make thine own self the conquest of thy fury: wert thou a bear, thou would'st be killed by the horse; wert thou a horse, thou would'st be seized by the leopard; wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were jurors on thy life: all thy safety were remotion;' and thy defence, absence. What beast could'st thou be, that were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art thou already, that seest not thy loss in transformation?

9 ------ the unicorn, &c.] The account given of the unicorn is this: that he and the lion being enemies by nature, as soon as the lion sees the unicorn he betakes himself to a tree : the unicorn in his fury, and with all the swiftness of his course, running at him, sticks his horn fast in the tree, and then the lion falls upon him and kills him.

I were remotion;] i. e. removal from place to place; or perhaps, remoteness.

Apem. If thou could'st please me with speaking to me, thou might'st have hit upon it here: The commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.

Tim. How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city?

Apem. Yonder comes a poet, and a painter: The plague of company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it, and give way: When I know not what else to do, I'll see thee again.

Tim. When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's · dog, than Apemantus.

Apem. Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.2
Tim. 'Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon.
Apem. A plague on thee, thou art too bad to curse.
Tim. All villains, that do stand by thee, are pure.
Apem. There is no leprosy but what thou speak’st.

Tim. If I name thee.
I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.

Apem. I would, my tongue could rot them off!

Tim. Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me, that thou art alive;
I swoon to see thee.
Anem.

'Would thou would'st burst!
Tim. . .

, Away, Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry, I shall lose A stone by thee.

[Throws a Stone at him.
Apem.
Tim.
Apem.

Rogue, rogue, rogue ! TAPEMANTUS retreats backward, as going. I am sick of this false world; and will love nought

hielo Beast glave Toll Robucket love

Tim.

2 Thou art the cap, &c.] The top, the principal. The remaining dialogue has more malignity than wit. Johnson.

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