Page images
[merged small][ocr errors]

SCENE I. Athens. A hall in Timon's house.

Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and

others, at several doors.

GOOD day, sir.

I am glad you are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long; How goes the

world? Pain. It wears, sir, as it grows. Poet.

Ay, that's well known:
But what particular rarity? what strange,
Which manifold record not matches ? See,
Magick of bounty ! all these spirits thy power
Hath conjur'd to attend. I know the merchant.

Pain. I know them both; t'other's a jeweller.
Mer. O, 'tis a worthy lord!

Nay, that's most fix'd. Mer. A most incomparable man; breath'd*, as it



Inured by constant practice.

To an untirable and continuate goodness:
He passes t.

Jcw. . I have a jewel here.
Mer. O, pray, let's see't: For the lord Timon, sir?
Jcw. If he will touch the estimate: But, for that
Poet. When we for recompense hade prais'd the

It stains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly sings the good.

'Tis a good form.

(Looking at the jewel. Jew. And rich : here is a water, look you. Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedi

cation To the great lord. Poet.

A thing slipp'd idly from me. Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes From whence'tis nourished: The fire i'the fint Shows not, till it be struck; our gentle flame Provokes itself, and, like the current, fies Each bound it chafes. What have you there? Pain. A picture, sir. And when comes your book

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 ?

• For continual.
ti. e. Exceeds, goes beyond common bounds.

As soon as my book has been presented to Timon. Poet.

I'll say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial strife*
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.

Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Påin. How this lord's follow'd !
Poet. The senators of Athens :-Happy men !
Puin. Look, more!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of

I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man,
Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
With amplest entertainment: My free drift
Halts not particularly t, 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 track behind.

Pain. How shall I understand you?

I'll upbolt 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-fac'd Aat-

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.

I saw them speak together.

• i. e. The contest of art with nature.

+ My design does not stop at any particular character.

Open, explain.

One who shows by reflection the looks of his pa. tron,

Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill, Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd: 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 land wafts to her; Whose present grace to present slaves and servants Translates his rivals. Pain.

'Tis conceiv'd 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,
Rain sacrificial whisperiugst 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-belov'd, 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 More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well To show lord Timon, that mean eyes g have seen The foot above the head.

• To advance their conditions of life. + Whisperings of officious servility.

Inhale, si. e. Inferior spectators.

Trumpets sound. Enter Timon, attended ; the

Servant of Ventidius talking with him.


Imprison'd is he, say you? Ven. Sero. 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 falling to him, Periods his comfort. Tim.

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 sball have: l'll pay the debt, and free him.

Ven. Serv. Your lordship ever binds him.
Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his ran.

som ;
And, being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me:
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after.-Fare you well.
Ven. Sero. All happiness to your honour !


Enter an old Athenian,

Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.

Freely, good father.
Old Ath. Thou hast a servant nam'd 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 !

Enter Lucilius.

Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.
Old Ath. This fellow here, lord Timon, this thy


« PreviousContinue »