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Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others,

Poet. Good day, sir.


at several doors.

I am glad you're well.

Poet. I have not seen you long: how goes the world?
Pain. It wears, sir, as it grows.


Ay, that's well known:
But what particular rarity? what strange,
Which manifold record not matches? See,
Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power
Hath conjured to attend.

I know the merchant.

Pain. I know them both; th' other's a jeweller.

Mer. O, 'tis a worthy lord!


Nay, that's most fix'd.

Mer. A most incomparable man, breathed, as it were,
To an untirable and continuate goodness:
He passes.


I have a jewel here


Mer. O, pray, let's see't: for the Lord Timon, sir?
Jew. If he will touch the estimate: but, for that-
Poet. [Reciting to himself] When we for recompense have
praised the vile,

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It stains the glory in that happy verse

Which aptly sings the good.'

Mer. [Looking on the jewel]

'Tis a good form.

Jew. And rich: here is a water, look ye.

Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
To the great lord.


A thing slipp'd idly from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 'tis nourish'd: the fire i' the flint
Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
Provokes itself, and, like the current, flies

Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
Pain. A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?
Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.


Let's see your piece.

'Tis a good piece.

Poet. So 'tis this comes off well and excellent.
Pain. Indifferent.


Admirable how this grace

Speaks his own standing! what a mental power
This eye shoots forth! how big imagination
Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture
One might interpret.

Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.


Here is a touch; is 't good?

I will say of it,

It tutors nature: artificial strife

Lives in these touches, livelier than life.

Enter certain Senators, and pass over.

Pain. How this lord is follow'd!

Poet. The senators of Athens: happy man!




Pain. Look, moe!

Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors.
I have, in this rough work, shaped out a man,
Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
With amplest entertainment: my free drift
Halts not particularly, but moves itself
In a wide sea of wax: no levell'd malice
Infects one comma in the course I hold;
But flies an eagle flight, bold and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.

Pain. How shall I understand you?



I will unbolt to you.
You see how all conditions, how all minds,
As well of glib and slippery creatures as
Of grave and austere quality, tender down
Their services to Lord Timon: his large fortune,
Upon his good and gracious nature hanging,
Subdues and properties to his love and tendance
All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-faced flatterer
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Than to abhor himself: even he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace
Most rich in Timon's nod.


Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill

I saw them speak together.

Feign'd Fortune to be throned: the base o' the mount
Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures,
That labour on the bosom of this sphere
To propagate their states: amongst them all,
Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix'd,
One do I personate of Lord Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her; 70



Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
Translates his rivals.

'Tis conceived to scope.

This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
With one man beckon'd from the rest below,
Bowing his head against the steepy mount

To climb his happiness, would be well express'd
In our condition.

Nay, sir, but hear me on.

All those which were his fellows but of late,

Some better than his value, on the moment

Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance, 80
Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear,

Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
Drink the free air.

Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants
Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top
Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.

Pain. 'Tis common:

A thousand moral paintings I can show,


That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.

Trumpets sound. Enter Lord Timon, addressing himself courteously to every suitor; a Messenger from Ventidius talking with him; Lucilius and other servants following.


Imprison'd is he, say you?

Mess. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt;
His means most short, his creditors most strait :
Your honourable letter he desires


To those have shut him up; which failing,
Periods his comfort.

Noble Ventidius! Well,


I am not of that feather to shake off

My friend when he must need me.

I do know him

A gentleman that well deserves a help:

Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt and free him.

Mess. Your lordship ever binds him.

Tim. Commend me to him: and I will send his ransom;
And, being enfranchised, bid him come to me:
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after. Fare you well.
Mess. All happiness to your honour !

Enter an old Athenian.

Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.



Freely, good father. IIO

Old Ath. Thou hast a servant named Lucilius.

Tim. I have so: what of him?

Old Ath. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.
Tim. Attends he here, or no? Lucilius!

Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.

Old Ath. This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature,


By night frequents my house. I am a man

That from my first have been inclined to thrift,

And my estate deserves an heir more raised

Than one which holds a trencher.

Well, what further? 120

Old Ath. One only daughter have I, no kin else,

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