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TIMON, a noble Athenian.
} two flattering Lords.
APEMANTUS, a churlish Philosopher.
SEMPRONIUS, another flattering Lord,
ALCIBIADES, an Athenian General.
FLAVIUS, Steward to Timon.
several Servants to Ufurers,
IS DO DORE,
VENTIDIUS, one of Timon's falfe Friends.
CUPID and Maskers.
PHRYNIA, Miffresses to Alcibiades.
Thieves, Senators, Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Mercer and
Mercbant; with divers Servants and Attendants.
SCENE ATHENS, and the Woods not far from it. Tbe bint of part of this play taken from Lucian's
Dialogue of Timon.
ACT I. SCENE I.
A Hall in Timon's House. Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and Mercer,
at several doors.
OOD day, Sir.
Pain. I am glad ye are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long, how goes
Pain, It wears, Sir, as it grows.
Poet. Ay, that's well known.
But what particular rarity? what so Atrange,
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; th' other’s a jeweller.
Mer. O 'tis a worthy Lord !
Few. Nay, that's most fixt.
Mer. A most incomparable man, breath'd as it were
To an untirable and continuate goodness,
Jew. 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, When we for recompence have prais’d the vile,
It tains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly sings the good, [Repeating to bimself.
Mer, 'Tis a good form. (Looking on the jewel.
Few. And rich; here is a water, look ye.
Pain. You're rapt, Sir, in some work, some dedication To the great Lord.
Poet. A thing flipt idly from me.
Our poesie is as a gum, which issues
From whence 'tis nourished. The fire i'th'Aint
Shews not 'till it be struck: our gentle flame
Provokes it self, and, like the current, flies
Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
Pain. A picture, Sir :--and when comes your book forth?
Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, Sir, Let's see your piece.
Pain. 'Tis a good piece.
Poet. So 'tis,
This comes off well and excellent.
Poet, Admirable! how this
Speaks his own standing! what a mental power
This eye shoots forth ? how big imagination
Moves in this lip !. to th' dumbness of the gesture
One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life :
Here is a touch - is't good ?
Poet. I'll say of it,
It tutors nature, artificial Arife
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.
Enter certain Senators.
Pain, How this Lord is followed ! .
Poet. The senators of Athens ! happy man!
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. Yu see this confluence, this great flood of visiters.
I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man
Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
With ampleft entertainment. My free drift
Halts not particularly, but moves it self
In a wide sea of wax*; no levell d malice
* Anciently they wrote upon waxen tables with an iron Ayle.
Infects one comma in the course I hold;
It flies an eagle-flight, bold, and forth on,
Leaving no track behind,
Pain. How shall I understand you ?
Poet. I'll unbolt to you.
You lee how all conditions, how all minds,
As well of glib and Nipp’ry natures, as
Of grave and austere quality, tender down
Their service 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 flatterer
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Than to make himself abhorr'd; ev'n he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace
Most rich in Timon's nod.
Pain. I saw them speak together.
Poet. I have upon a high and pleasant hill Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd. The base o'th' mount Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures, That labour on the bosom of this sphere To propagate their states ; amongłt them all, Whose eyes are on this fov’reign Lady fixt, One do I perfonate of Timon's frame, Whom /ortune with her iv'ry hand wafts to her, Whose present grace to present Naves and servants Translates his rivals.
Pain. 'Tis conceiv'd to th' scope :
This throne, this fortune, and this hill, methinks,
With one man becken'd from the rest below
Bowing his head against the steepy mount,
To climb his happiness, would be well expreft
In our condition.
Poet. Nay, 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 whisp'rings in his ear,
Make sacred even his stirrop, and through him
Drink the free air,
Pain. Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune in her shift and change of moog
Spurns down her late belov'd, all his dependants
(Which labour'd after to the mountain's top,
Èv'n on their knees and hands,) let him Nip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. 'Tis common ;
A thousand moral paintings I can hew,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To fhew Lord Timon, that men's eyes have seen
The foot above the head.
Trumpets found. Enter Timon addressing bimself cour.
teously to every Suitor. Tim. Imprison’d is he, say you ? [To a Messenger.
Mes. Ay, my good Lord, five talents is his debt,
His means moft short, his creditors most straight :
Your honourable letter he defires
To those have fhut bim up, which failing to him
Periods his comfort.
. Tim. Noble Ventidius! well
I am not of that feather, to shake off
My friend when he most needs me. I kaow him
A gentleman that well deserves a help,
Which he shall have. I'll pay the debt, and free him
Mes. Your Lordship ever binds him.
Tim. Commend me to him, I will send his rapsom,
And being enfranchiz’d, bid him come to me,
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after. Fare you well,
Mes. All happiness to your Honour.
[Exit. Enter an old Athenian. 0. Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak. Tim. Freely, good father. 0. Atb, Thou haft a fervant nam'd Lucilius. Tim. I have so: what of him ? 0. Atb. Moft noble Timon, call the man before thee. . Tim, Attends he here or no Lucilius !