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Timon of Athens Crux
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1033  Tuesday, 21 November 2006

[1] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 20 Nov 2006 12:18:27 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.1024 Timon of Athens Crux

[2] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 20 Nov 2006 23:18:01 +0000
 	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.1011 Timon of Athens Crux


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Monday, 20 Nov 2006 12:18:27 -0500
Subject: 17.1024 Timon of Athens Crux
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.1024 Timon of Athens Crux

So far, I suppose it is a draw.  Steve Sohmer agrees with me that there is 
"no need of emendation" of the F1 text.  John Kennedy prefers the 
traditional emendations and Peter Bridgman, following Wells, et al., would 
leave "brother's" (subs.) but emend "leave" to "lean."  He asks:

>Which of the following makes the more sense ... ?
>
>It is the pasture that lards the brother's sides,
>The want that makes him lean.
>
>It is the pasture that lards the brother's sides,
>The want that makes him leave.

They are both logically consistent.  But, to my mind, the latter (the F1 
version, subs.) is more closely illustrative of Timon's complaint:  His 
flatterers did not waste away when Timon's fortune was exhausted, but they 
did depart. Besides, we hardly need Shakespeare to tell us that an 
abundance of food is nourishing while a dearth leads to leanness.

Given two sensible readings, doesn't good editorial practice require that 
the copytext be left alone?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Monday, 20 Nov 2006 23:18:01 +0000
Subject: 17.1011 Timon of Athens Crux
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.1011 Timon of Athens Crux

   O blessed breeding Sunday, draw from the earth
   Rotten humidity: Below thy Sisters Orbe
   Infect the ayre.  Twinn'd Brothers of one wombe.
   Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
   Scarce is dividant; touch them with severall fortunes,
   The greater scornes the lesser.  Not Nature
   (To whom all sores lay siege) can bear great Fortune
   But by contempt of Nature.
   Raise me this Begger, and deny't that Lord,
   The Senators shall beare contempt hereditary,
   The Begger Native Honor.
   It is the Pastour, lards the Brothers sides,
   The want that makes him leave: ....[TIM IV.iii]

I join the others in voting for "lean" rather than "leave." Shakespeare 
uses the same "lean-lard" dyad in 1H4 (II.ii): "Falstaff sweats to death/ 
And lards the lean earth as he walks along."

Is the Sun here playing the alchemist as in KING JOHN (III.i)?:

"To solemnize this day the glorious sun/ Stays in his course and plays the 
alchemist,/ Turning with splendor of his precious eye/ The meager cloddy 
earth to glittering gold."

The golden Sun (Sol), in answer to Timon's prayer, has not only drawn 
humidity from the earth to infect the air, but in doing so has transmuted 
the baser earth metals to gold. The instrument of corruption is now at 
hand. His sister, the pale silver Moon (Luna), may have chemically wed 
brother Sun to combine and refine the elements ("roots" or "radices") into 
gold. Such alchemical allusions are strewn throughout Shakespeare's works 
and await detailed explication for many of his plays (e.g. OTHELLO).

Warmest regards,
Joe Egert

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