Page images
PDF
EPUB

Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate With thy most operant poison! What is here? Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods, I am no idle votarist*. Roots,

you

clear heavens! Thus much of this will make black, white; foul,

fair. Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward,

valiant. Ha, you gods! why this? What this, you gods?

Why this Will lug your priests and servants from your sides; Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads: This yellow slave Will knit and break religions; bless the accurs’d; . Make the hoar leprosy ador'd; place thieves, And give them title, knee, and approbation, With senators on-the bench: this is it, That makes the wappen'dt widow wed again; She, whom the spital-house, and

cerous sores Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices To the April day again I Come, damned earth, Thou common whore of mankind, that put'st odds Among the rout of nations, I will make thee Do thy right nature.

TIMON TO ALCIBIADES,

Go on,-here's gold,---go on;
Be as a planetary plague, when Jove
Will o'er some high-vic'd city hang his poison
In the sick air: Let not thy sword skip one:
Pity not honour'd age for his white beard,

* No insincere or inconstant supplicant. Gold will not serve me instead of roots.

+ Sorrowful. I i. e. Gold restores her to all the sweetness and freshness of youth.

He's 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-

paps,
That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes,
Are not within the leaf of pity writ, babe,
Set them down horrible traitors: Spare not the
Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their
Think it a bastardt, whom the oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounc'd thy throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorseI: Swear against

objectsg; Put armour on thine ears, and on their

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 solMake large confusion; and, thy fury spent, [diers, Confounded be thyself! Speak not, begone.

[mercy;

TO THE COURTESANS,

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

voice, 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,

* Cutting

* An allusion to the tale of Oedipus. # Without pity. § i. e. Against objects of charity and com. passion.

# Subtleties.

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.

HIS REFLECTIONS ON THE EARTH.

That nature, being sick of man's unkindness, Should yet be hungry!—Common mother, thou,

[Digging, Whose womb unmeasurable, and infinite breast*, Teems, and feeds all; whose self-same mettle, Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puff'd, Engenders the black toad, and adder blue, The gilded newt, and eyeless venom'd wormt, With all the abhorred births below crisp. heaven Whereon Hyperion's quickening fire doth shine; Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate, From forth thy plenteous bosom one poor root! Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb, Let it no more bring out ingrateful man! Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears ; Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face Hath to the marbled mansion all above Never presented!—0, a root,—Dear thanks! Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plough-torn leas; Whereof ingrateful man, with liquorish draughts, And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind, That from it all consideration slips !

HIS DISCOURSE WITH APEMANTUS, Apem. This is in thee a nature but affected; A poor unmanly melancholy, sprung [place? From change of fortune. Why this spade? this * Boundless surface. + The serpent called the blind worm.

* Bent.

This slave-like habit? and these looks of care?
Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft;
Hug their diseas'd perfumes, and have forgot
That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods,
By putting on the cunning of a carpert,
Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive
By that which has undone thee: hinge thy knee,
And let his very breath, whom thou'lt observe,
Blow off thy cap; praise his most vicious strain,
And call it excellent: Thou wast told thus;
Thougav'st thine ears,like tapsters, that bid welcome,
To knaves, and all approachers: 'Tis most just,
That thou turn rascal; hadst thou wealth again,
Rascals should hav't. Do not assume my likeness.

Tim. Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself.
Apem. Thou hast cast" away thyself, being like

thyself; A madman so long, now a fool: What, think'st That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain, Will put thy shirt on warm! Will these moss'd trees, That have outliv'd the eagle, page thy heels, And skip when thou point'st out. Will the cold

brook, Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste, To cure thy o'ernight's surfeit? call the creatures,Whose naked natures live in all the spite Of wreakful heaven; whose baré unhoused trunks, To the conflicting elements expos'd, Answer mere nature,—bid them flatter thee; O! thou shalt find

T'im. Thou art a slave, whom Fortune's tender With favour never clasp'd; but bred a dog. (arm

* i e. Their diseased perfumed mistresess. t i. e. Shame not these woods by finding fault.

Hadst thou, like us, from our first swath*, pro:

ceeded The sweet degrees that this brief world affords To such as may the passive drugs of it Freely command, thou wouldst have plung'd thyself In general riot; melted down thy youth In different beds of lust; and never learn'd The icy precepts of respectt, but follow'd The sugar'd game before thee. But myself, Who had the world as my confectionary; [men The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of At duty, more than I could frame employment; That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves Do on the oak, have with one winter's brush Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare For every storm that blows;—1, to bear this, That never knew but better, is some burden: Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time Hath made thee hard in't. Why shouldst thou

hate men? They never flatter'd thee: What hast thou given? If thou wilt curse,—thy father, that poor rag, Must be thy subject; who, in spite, put stuff To some she beggar, and compounded thee Poor rogue hereditary. Hence! be gone! If thou hadst not been born the worst of men, Thou hadst been a knave, and flatterer.

ON GOLD.

0, thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce

[Looking on the Gold. 'Twixt natural son and sire; Thou bright defiler Of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars! Thou ever young, fresh, lov’d, and delicate wooer, * From infancy. † The cold admonitions of cautious prudence

« PreviousContinue »