Page images

Hath in her more destruction than thy sword,
For all her cherubin look.


Thy lips rot off!

Tim. I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns To thine own lips again.

Alcib. How came the noble Timon to this change?

Tim. As the moon does, by wanting light to

But then renew I could not, like the moon ;
There were no suns to borrow of.

[blocks in formation]

Tim. Promise me friendship, but perform none if thou wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for thou art a man: if thou dost perform, confound thee, for thou art a man!

Alcib. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries. Tim. Thou saw'st them, when I had prosperity. Alcib. I see them now; then was a blessed time. Tim. As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.

Timan. Is this the Athenian minion, whom the world

Voiced so regardfully?


Timan. Yes.

Art thou Timandra?

Tim. Be a whore still: they love thee not that

use thee;

Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
Make use of thy salt hours: season the slaves
For tubs and baths; bring down rose-cheeked



To the tub-fast and the diet.


Hang thee, monster!

Alcib. Pardon him, sweet Timandra; for his wits

Are drown'd and lost in his calamities.

I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
The want whereof doth daily make revolt

In my penurious band: I have heard, and grieved,
How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them,—
Tim. I prithee, beat thy drum, and get thee

Alcib. I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.

Tim. How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?

I had rather be alone.



Why, fare thee well:

Keep it, I cannot eat it. 100

Here is some gold for thee.


Alcib. When I have laid proud Athens on a

[blocks in formation]

And thee after, when thou hast conquer'd!

Alcib. Why me, Timon?


That, by killing of villains,

Thou wast born to conquer my country.

Put up thy gold: go on,-here 's gold,-go on;
Be as a planetary plague, when Jove

Will o'er some high-viced city hang his poison

108. planetary plague; the result of being 'struck' by a

planet (cf. Hamlet, i. 1. 162; Troilus and Cressida, i. 3. 89).

In the sick air: let not thy sword skip one:
Pity not honour'd age for his white beard;

He is an usurer: strike me the counterfeit matron; It is her habit only that is honest,

Herself's a bawd: let not the virgin's cheek

Make soft thy trenchant sword; for those milk-

That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes,
Are not within the leaf of pity writ,

But set them down horrible traitors: spare not the babe,

Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;

Think it a bastard, whom the oracle

Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorse: swear against objects;
Put armour on thine ears and on thine eyes,
Whose proof, nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay thy

Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
Confounded be thyself! Speak not, be gone.
Alcib. Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold
thou givest me,

Not all thy counsel.

Tim. Dost thou, or dost thou not, heaven's
curse upon thee!

Phr. and Timan. Give us some gold, good
Timon: hast thou more?

Tim. Enough to make a whore forswear her

And, to make whores, a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
Your aprons mountant: you are not oathable,—
Although, I know, you'll swear, terribly swear

122. objects, i.e. of dislike.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
The immortal gods that hear you,-spare your


I'll trust to your conditions: be whores still;

And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you, 140
Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up;
Let your close fire predominate his smoke,

And be no turncoats: yet may your pains, six months,

Be quite contrary: and thatch your poor thin roofs With burthens of the dead;— some that were hang'd,

No matter :-wear them, betray with them: whore


Paint till a horse may mire upon your face.

A pox of wrinkles!

Phr. and Timan. Well, more gold: what then? Believe 't, that we'll do any thing for gold.

Tim. Consumptions sow

In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins, And mar men's spurring. Crack the lawyer's


That he may never more false title plead,

Nor sound his quillets shrilly: hoar the flamen,
That scolds against the quality of flesh,

And not believes himself: down with the nose,
Down with it flat; take the bridge quite away
Of him that, his particular to foresee,

Smells from the general weal: make curl'd-pate

ruffians bald;

And let the unscarr'd braggarts of the war
Derive some pain from you: plague all;
That your activity may defeat and quell

The source of all erection. There's more gold:

155. quillets, 'quidlibets,' legal subtleties,

159. particular,





Do you damn others, and let this damn you,
And ditches grave you all!

Phr. and Timan. More counsel with more

money, bounteous Timon.

Tim. More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.

Alcib. Strike up the drum towards Athens !
Farewell, Timon:

If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.

Tim. If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.
Alcib. I never did thee harm.

Tim. Yes, thou spokest well of me.

[blocks in formation]

[Drum beats. Exeunt Alcibiades,
Phrynia, and Timandra.

Tim. That nature, being sick of man's un-

Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou,


Whose womb unmeasurable, and infinite breast,
Teems, and feeds all; whose self-same mettle,
Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puff'd, 180
Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
The gilded newt and eyeless venom'd worm,
With all the abhorred births below crisp heaven
Whereon Hyperion's quickening fire doth shine;
Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate,

179. mettle, material.

181-183. adder blue, etc. The adder, the only poisonous English snake, is earth-coloured; by blue is probably meant ‘livid.'

The blind-worm is not venomous, but was currently believed to be so.

184. Hyperion, the sun god.

« PreviousContinue »