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Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and Mercer,
at several doors.
OOD day, Sir.
Pain. I am glad y' are well.
G Poet. I have not seen you long; how goes
Pain. It wears, Sir, as it goes.
Poet. Ay, that's well known.
But what particular rarity? what so strange,
Which manifold Record not matches ? fee,
(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 !
Jew. 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 fee'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 stains the glory in that happy verse Which aptly sings the good.
Mer. 'Tis a good form. (Looking on the jewel. Jew. 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 nipt idly from me.
Our Poesie is as a Gum, which issues
From whence 'tis nourished. The fire i'th' flint
Shews not, 'till it be struck : our gentle flame
Provokes it self, and like the current Aies
Each Bound it chafes. What have you there? (1)
Pain. A picture, Sir :- when comes your book forth?
Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, Sir. Let's see your piece.
Pain. "Tis a good piece.
This comes off well and excellent.
Poet. Admirable ! how this grace
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.
(1) Each Bound it chases.-) How, chases? The Flood, indeed, beating up upon the Shore, covers a Part of it
, but cannot be faid to drive the Shore away. The Poet's Allusion is to a Wave, which, foaming and chafing on the Shore, breaks ; and then the Water seems to the Eye to retire. So, in Lear,
-The murmuring Surge,
That on th unnumber'd idle Pebbles chafes, &c.
And so in Jul. Cæfar.
The troubled Tiber, chafing with his Shores,
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 ftrife
Lives in those touches, livelier than life.
Enter certain Senators.
Pain. How this lord is followed !
Poet. The Senators of Athens ! happy man! (2)
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You 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 amplest entertainment. My free drift
Halts not particular, but moves itself
In a wide sea of wax ; no leveli'd malice
Infects one Comma in the course I hold,
But fies an eagle-fight, bold, and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.
Pain. How shall I understand you?
Poet. I'll unbolt to you.
You see, how all conditions, how all minds,
As well of glib and slipp'ry creatures, 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 Aatterer
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Than to abhor himself; 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,
(2) Happy Men !] Thus the printed Copies: but I cannot think the Poet meant, that the Senators were happy in being admitted to Timon ; their Quality might command That : but that Timon was happy in being follow'd, and capels'd, by those of their Rank and Dignity. VOL. V.
That labour on the bosom of this sphere
To propagate their states ; amongst them all,
Whose eyes are on this sov'reign lady fixt,
One do I perfonate of Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her iv'ry hand wafts to her,
Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
I'ranslates his rivals.
Pain. 'Tis conceiv'd to th' Scope. (3)
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 mood
Spurns down her late belov’d, all his Dependants
(Which labour'd after to the mountain's top,
Even on their knees and hands,) let him nip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. 'Tis common :
A thousand moral Paintings I can shew,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
(3) 'Tis conceiv'd, to scope
This Throne, this Fortune, &c.) Thus all the Editors hitherto have nonsenfically writ, and pointed, this Passage. But, fure, the Palater would tell the Poet, your Conception, Sir, hits the very Scope you aim
This the Greeks would have render'd, 78 OXOTð tugas, rectà ad Scopum tendis : and Cicero has thus express’d on the like Occasion, Signum oculis deftinatum feris. This Sense our Author, in his Henry 8th, expresses ;
I think, you've hit the Mark.
And in his Julius Cæsar, at the Conclusion of the first Act ;
Him, and his Worth, and our great Need of him,
You have right well conceited.
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To Thew lord Timon, that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.
Trumpets found. Enter Timon, addresing himself courteously
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 most short, his creditors most straight:
Your honourable letter he desires
To those have shut him 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 do know 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 himn, I will send his ransom ;
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 !
Enter an old Athenian.
Old Alb. Lord Timon, hear me speak.
Tim. Freely, good father.
Old Atb. Thou hast a fervant nam'd Lucilius.
Tim. I have fo: what of him?
Old Atb. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.
Tim. Attends he here or no? Lucilius !
Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.
Old Atb. This fellow here, lord Timon, this thy creature
By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first have been inclin'd to thrift,
And my estate deserves an heir more rais'd,
Than one which holds a trencher.