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WITH A SELECTION
Accurately printed from the Text of the corrected Copy left by the late
GEORGE STEEVENS, Esq.
IN NINE VOLUMES.
OF EXPLANATORY AND HISTORICAL NOTES,
From the most eminent Commentators;
A History of the Stage, a Life of Shakspeare, &c.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington; J. Johnson; R. Baldwin; H. L.
* TIMON OF ATHENS.] 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 Plutarch. Indeed from a passage in an old play, called Jack Drum's Entertainment, I conjecture that he had before made his appearance on the stage.
The passage in Jack Drum's Entertainment, or Pasquil and Katherine, 1601, is this:
"Come, I'll be as sociable as Timon of Athens."
But the allusion is so slight, that it might as well have been borrowed from Plutarch or the novel.
Mr. Strutt the late engraver, to whom our antiquaries are under no inconsiderable obligations, had in his possession a MS. 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 he sets before them stones painted like artichokes, 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 persona dramatis are as follows:
"The actors names.
Eutrapelus, a dissolute young man. "Gelasimus, a cittie heyre. "Pseudocheus, a lying travailer.
"Demeas, an orator.
Philargurus, a covetous churlish ould man.
"Abyssus, a usurer.
(6 Lollio, a cuntrey clowne, Philargurus sonne.
} Two lying philosophers.
"Grunnio, a lean servant of Philargurus.
"Obba, Tymon's butler.
"Pœdio, Gelasimus page.
Callimela, Philargurus daughter.
Blatte, her prattling nurse.