Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

2;

My discontented troops, and lay for hearts.
'Tis honour, with most lands to be at odds 2
Soldiers should brook as little wrongs, as gods.

2

and lay for hearts.

[Exit.

'Tis honour, with most LANDS to be at odds ;] But surely even in a soldier's sense of honour, there is very little in being at odds with all about him; which shows rather a quarrelsome disposition than a valiant one. Besides, this was not Alcibiades's case. He was only fallen out with the Athenians. A phrase in the foregoing line will direct us to the right reading." I will lay," says he, " for hearts;" which is a metaphor taken from cardplay, and signifies to game deep and boldly. It is plain then the figure was continued in the following line, which should be read thus:

“'Tis honour with most hands to be at odds ;"

i. e. to fight upon odds, or at disadvantage; as he must do against the united strength of Athens; and this, by soldiers, is accounted honourable. Shakspeare uses the same metaphor on the same occasion, in Coriolanus :

"He lurch'd all swords." WARBURTON.

I think hands is very properly substituted for lands. In the foregoing line, for, lay for hearts, I would read play for hearts. JOHNSON.

I do not conceive that to lay for hearts is a metaphor taken from card play, or that lay should be changed into play. We should now say, to lay out for hearts, i. e. the affections of the people; but lay is used singly, as it is here, by Jonson, in The Devil is an Ass, [Mr. Whalley's edition] vol. iv. p. 33:

66

Lay for some pretty principality." TYRWHITT. A kindred expression occurs in Marlowe's Lust's Dominion, 1657:

pay them
MALONE.

"He takes up Spanish hearts on trust, to "When he shall finger Castile's crown. ""Tis honour with most lands to be at odds;" I think, with Dr. Johnson, that lands cannot be right. To assert that it is honourable to fight with the greatest part of the world, is very wild. I believe, therefore, our author meant that Alcibiades in his spleen against the Senate, from whom alone he has received any injury, should say:

""Tis honour with most lords to be at odds. MALONE. I adhere to the old reading. It is surely more honourable to wrangle for a score of kingdoms, (as Miranda expresses it,) than to enter into quarrels with lords, or any other private adversaries,

STEEVENS.

SCENE VI.

A magnificent Room in TIMON'S House.

Musick. Tables set out: Servants attending. Enter divers Lords, at several Doors.

1 LORD. The good time of day to you, sir. 2 LORD. I also wish it to you. I think, this honourable lord did but try us this other day.

1 LORD. Upon that were my thoughts tiring *,

The objection to the old reading still in my apprehension remains. It is not difficult for him who is so inclined, to quarrel with a lord; (or with any other person;) but not so easy to be at odds with his land. Neither does the observation just made, prove that it is honourable to quarrel, or to be at odds, with most of the lands or kingdoms of the earth, which must, I conceive, be proved, before the old reading can be supported. MALONE.

By most lands, perhaps our author means greatest lands. So, in King Henry VI. Part I. Act IV. Sc. I.:

"But always resolute in most extremes."

i. e. in greatest. Alcibiades, therefore, may be willing to regard a contest with a great and extensive territory like that of Athens, as a circumstance honourable to himself. STEEVENS.

3 Enter divers LORDS,] In the modern editions these are called Senators; ; but it is clear from what is said concerning the banishment of Alcibiades, that this must be wrong. I have therefore substituted Lords. The old copy has "Enter divers friends." MALone.

4 Upon that were my thoughts TIRING,] A hawk, I think, is said to tire, when she amuses herself with pecking a pheasant's wing, or any thing that puts her in mind of prey. To tire upon a thing, is therefore to be idly employed upon it. JOHNSON.

I believe Dr. Johnson is mistaken. Tiring means here, I think, fixed, fastened, as the hawk fastens its beak eagerly on its prey. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :

"Like as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,

"Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone,—” Tirouër, that is tiring for hawks, as Cotgrave calls it, signified any thing by which the falconer brought the bird back, and fixed him to his hand. A capon's wing was often used for this purpose, In King Henry VI. Part. II. we have a kindred expression;

when we encountered: I hope, it is not so low with him, as he made it seem in the trial of his several friends.

2 LORD. It should not be, by the persuasion of his new feasting.

1 LORD. I should think so: He hath sent me an earnest inviting, which many my near occasions did urge me to put off; but he hath conjured me beyond them, and I must needs appear.

2 LORD. In like manner was I in debt to my importunate business, but he would not hear my excuse. I am sorry, when he sent to borrow of me, that my provision was out.

1 LORD. I am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all things go.

2 LORD. Every man here's so.

have borrowed of you?

1 LORD. A thousand pieces.

2 LORD. A thousand pieces! 1 LORD. What of you?

What would he

3 LORD. He sent to me, sir,-Here he comes.

Enter TIMON, and Attendants..

TIM. With all my heart, gentlemen both :-And how fare you?

1 LORD. Ever at the best, hearing well of your lordship.

2 LORD. The swallow follows not summer more willing, than we your lordship.

TIM. [Aside.] Nor more willingly leaves winter; such summer-birds are men.-Gentlemen, our dinner will not recompense this long stay: feast your

[blocks in formation]

Dr. Johnson's explanation, I believe, is right. Thus, in The Winter's Tale, Antigonus is said to be "woman-tir'd," i. e. pecked by a woman, as we now say, with a similar allusion, hen-pecked. STEEVENS.

ears with the musick awhile; if they will fare so harshly on the trumpet's sound: we shall to't presently.

1 LORD. I hope, it remains not unkindly with your lordship, that I returned you an empty mes

senger.

TIM. O, sir, let it not trouble you.

2 LORD. My noble lord,——

TIM. Ah, my good friend! what cheer?

[The Banquet brought in. 2 LORD. My most honourable lord, I am e'en sick of shame, that, when your lordship this other day sent to me, I was so unfortunate a beggar. TIM. Think not on't, sir.

2. LORD. If you had sent but two hours before,— TIM. Let it not cumber your better remembrance .-Come, bring in all together.

5

2 LORD. All covered dishes!

1 LORD. Royal cheer, I warrant you.

3 LORD. Doubt not that, if money, and the season can yield it.

1 LORD. How do you? What's the news?

3 LORD. Alcibiades is banished: Hear you of it? 1 & 2 LORD. Alcibiades banished!

3 LORD. "Tis so, be sure of it.

1 LORD. How? how?

2 LORD. I pray you, upon what?

TIM. My worthy friends, will you draw near? 3 LORD. I'll tell you more anon.

feast toward o.

2 LORD. This is the old man still.

[ocr errors]

Here's a noble

5 your BETTER remembrance.] i. e. your good memory: the comparative for the positive degree. See vol. xi. p. 138, n. 7.

STEEVENS.

6. Here's a noble feast TOWARD.] i. e. in a state of readiness. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

"We have a foolish trifling banquet towards.”

STEEVENS.

3 LORD. Will't hold ? will't hold ?

2 LORD. It does: but time will-and so

3 LORD. I do conceive.

TIM. Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to the lip of his mistress: your diet shall be in all places alike. Make not a city feast of it, to let the meat cool ere we can agree upon the first place: Sit, sit. The gods require our thanks.

You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with thankfulness. For your own gifts, make yourselves praised: but reserve still to give, lest your deities be despised. Lend to each man enough, that one need not lend to another: for, were your godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the gods. Make the meat be beloved, more than the man that gives it. Let no assembly of twenty be without a score of villains: If there sit twelve women at the table, let a dozen of them be—as they are.-The rest your fees, O gods,-the senators of Athens, together with the common lag of people,-what is amiss in them, you gods make suitable for destruction. For these my present friends,—as they are to be nothing, so in nothing bless them, and to nothing they are welcome.

Uncover, dogs, and lap.

7

[The Dishes uncovered are full of warm Water. SOME SPEAK. What does his lordship mean? SOME OTHER. I know not.

[ocr errors]

your diet shall be in all places alike.] See a note on The Winter's Tale, Act I. Sc. II. 8 The rest of your FEES,]

STEEVENS.
We should read-foes.

WARBURTON.

We must surely read foes intead of fees. I find no sense in the present reading. M. MASON.

9- the common LAG-] Old copy-leg. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

The fag-end of a web of cloth, is, in some places, called the lag-end. STEEvens.

« AnteriorContinuar »