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of Timon's Creditors.
SCENE;'-Athens;:axd she Woods adjoining,
A CT I. SCENE I.
Athens. A Hall in Timon's House.
Poet. The story of the Misanthrope is told in almost every collection of the time, and particularly in two books, with which Shakspeare was intimately acquainted; the Palace of Pleasure, and the English Plso tarcb. Indeed from a paliage in an old play, called Jack Drum's Entertainment, I conjecture that he had before made his appearance ca the stage. FARMER.
Shakspeare undoubtedly formed this play on the passage in Plutarch's Life of Antony relative to Timon, and not on the swenty-eighth novel of the first volume of Painter's Palace of Pleasure; because he is thereby merely described as “ a man-hater, of a ftrange and beastly nature," without any cause assigned; whereas Plutarch furnished our authout with the following hint to work upon. “ Antonius forlook the citie, and companie of his friendes,-laying, that he would lead Timon's life, because he had the like wrong offered him, that was offered unto Timon; and for ibe untbankfulness of sbose be bad done good unto, and abom be looke to be bis friendes, be was angry wirb all men, and would Iruft no man."
To the manuscript play mentioned by Mr. Steevens, our authour, I have no doubt, was also indebted for some other circumstances. Here he found the faithful steward, the banquet-scene, and the story of Timon's being posseiled of great sums of gold which he had dug up in the woods : a circumstance which he could not have had from Lucian, there being then no translation of the dialogue chabrelates to this subject.
Spon says, there is a building year' Achens, xer remaining, called Timon's Tower,
Timon of Arbens was written, I imagine, in the year 1610. See An Attempt ro ascertain the order if Sbokspeare's plays, Vol. I. MALONE.
The passage in Jack Drum's:Entrainment or Pasquil and Karbarini, 1601, is this: “ Come, I'll be as fociable
as Timor of Athens." But the allusion is so flight, that it might'as well have been borrowed from Plutarch or the Novel. Mr. Strutt the engraver, to whom our antiquaries are under no
Poet, I have not seen you long; How goes the world ?
Poet. Ay, that's well known:
Which inconsiderable obligations, has in his poffeffion a Mi. play on this subject. It appears to have been written, or transcribed, about the year 1600. There is a scene in it resembling Shakspeare's banquet given by Timon to his flatterers. Instead of warm water be sets before them fones painted like articbokes, and afterwards beats them out of the room. He then retires to the woods attended by his faithful steward, who (like Kent in King Lear) has disguised himself to continue his services to his master. Timon, in the last act is followed by his fickle mistress, &c. after he was reported to have discovered a hidden treasure by digging. The piece itself (though it appears to be the work of an academick) is a wretched one. The perfonæ dramalis are as follows.
The actors names.
STEEVENS 2 In the old copy; Emiter, &: Merubami and Mercer, &c.
STEEVENS. 3 Bui what particulary artys:&c.]. Dr. Johnson, because “ the poet alks a question, and stays Dere for an answer," would give the word see in his speech to the painter. But.ihere is, in my opinion, not the least occafion for suchy z licentions legation of the text. The poet is led by what ebe pointer, baslaid, to at vhegher any thing very strange and unparalleled had lately happened, withoat any expectation that any Cuch had happened ;--and is prevented from waiting for an answer by
} Two lying philosophers.