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But even the mere necessities upon it.
[ Looking on the Gold.
'Would 'twere so ;
Throng'd to ?
Live, and love thy misery!
[Exit APEMANTUS. More things like men ?-Eat, Timon, and abhor
Enter Thieves. i Thief. Where should he have this gold ? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder : The mere want of gold, and the fallingfrom of his friends, drove him into this melancholy. 8 0 thou touch of hearts !] Touch, for touchstone.
· 2 Thief. It is noised, he hath a mass of treasure.
3 Thief. Let us make the assay upon him ; if he care not for't, he will supply us easily; If he covetously reserve it, how shall's get it?
2 Thief. True; for he-bears it not about him, 'tis hid.
i Thief. Is not this he?
meat. Why should you want? Behold, the earth bath roots; Within this mile break forth a hundred springs: The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips;: The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush Lays her full mess before you. Want? why want?
i Thief. We cannot live on grass, on berries, water, As beasts, and birds, and fishes. Tim. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and
fishes; You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con, That you are thieves profess'd; that you work not In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft In limited professions. Rascal thieves, Here's gold: Go, suck the subtle blood of the grape, Till the high fever seeth your blood to froth, And so 'scape hanging: trust not the physician; His antidotes are poison, and he slays
4 In limited professions.] Regular, orderly, professions.
More than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
TIMON retires to his Cave. 3 Thief. He has almost charmed me from my profession, by persuading me to it.
i Thief. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery. • 2 Thief. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.
i Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens: There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.
. Enter FLAVIUS.
by a composture -] i. e. composition, compost,
Desperate want made!
Timon comes forward from his Cave..
Have you forgot me, sir?
Flaυ. .. . The gods are witness,
6 What an alteration of honour has
Desperate want made!] An alteration of honour, is an altera. tion of an honourable state to a state of disgrace.
? How rarely does it meet -] How curiously; how happily.
Those that would mischief me, than those that do!] It is plain, that in this whole speech friends and enemies are taken only for those who profess friendship and profess enmity; for the friend is supposed not to be more kind, but more dangerous than the enemy. The sense is, Let me rather woo or caress those that would mischief, that profess to mean me mischief, than those that really du me mischief, under false professions of kindness. The Spaniards, I think, have this proverb : Defend me from my friends, and from my enemies I will defend myself. This proverb is a sufficient com. ment on the passage. JOHNSON.
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
then I love thee,
weeping! Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord, To accept my grief, and, whilst this poor wealth lasts, To entertain me as your steward still.
Tim. Had I a steward so true, so just, and now
Thy face. Surely, this man was born of woman.
I m It almost turns
. My dangerous nature wild.) To turn wild is to distract. An appearance so unexpected, says. Timon, almost turns my savagenes to distraction,