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You see how all conditions, how all minds,
Pain. I saw them speak together. 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,3 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; Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
Translates his rivals.
"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:
glass-fac'd flatterer-] That shows in his look, as by reflection, the looks of his patron. JOHNSON.
3 rank'd with all deserts,] Cover'd with ranks of all kinds of men. JOHNSON.
To propagate their states:] To advance or improve their various conditions of life. JOHNSON.
.5. — conceiv'd to scope.] Properly imagined, appositely, to the purpose. JOHNSON.
"In our condition.] Condition for art.
All those which were his fellows but of late,
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,9
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
Trumpets sound. Enter TIMON, attended; the Servant of VENTIDIUS talking with him. Tim. Imprison'd is he, say your Ven. Serv. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt;
His means most short, his creditors most strait:
To those have shut him up; which failing to him,
'Rain sacrificial whisperings—] i. e. whisperings of officious servility, the incense of the worshipping parasite to the patron as to a god.
Drink the free air.] That is, breathe only with his permission. A thousand moral paintings I can show,] Shakspeare seems to intend in this dialogue to express some competition between the two great arts of imitation. Whatever the poet declares himself to have shown, the painter thinks he could have shown better. mean eyes] i. e. inferior spectators.
Periods his comfort.
Tim. Noble Ventidius! Well; I am not of that feather, to shake off My friend when he most 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. Ven. Serv. Your lordship ever binds him.
Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his ran
And, being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me :-
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
Tim. Attends he here, or no?-Lucilius!
Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.
Old Ath. This fellow here, lord Timon, this thy
By night frequents my house. I am a man
Well; what further? Old Ath. One only daughter have I, no kin else,
your honour!] The common address to a lord in our author's time, was your honour, which was indifferently used with your lordship.
On whom I may confer what I have got:
Does she love him? Old Ath. She is young, and apt: Our own precedent passions do instruct us What levity's in youth.
Tim. [To LUCILIUS.] Love you the maid? Luc. Ay, my good ford, and she accepts of it. Old Ath. If in her marriage my consent be missing, I call the gods to witness, I will choose Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world, And dispossess her all.
Tim. How shall she be endow'd, If she be mated with an equal husband? Old Ath. Three talents, on the present; in future,
Tim. This gentleman of mine hath serv'd me long; To build his fortune, I will strain a little, For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: What you bestow, in him I'll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her.
Old Ath. Most noble lord, Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.
3 Therefore he will be, Timon:] The thought is closely expressed, and obscure: but this seems the meaning: "If the man be honest, my lord, for that reason he will be so in this; and not endeavour at the injustice of gaining my daughter without my consent." WARBURTON.
Tim. My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise.
Luc. Humbly I thank your lordship: Never may That state or fortune fall into my keeping, Which is not ow'd to you!*
[Exeunt LUCILIUS and old Athenian. Poet. Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your lordship!
Tim. I thank you; you shall hear from me anon: Go not away. What have you there, my friend? Pain. A piece of painting, which I do beseech Your lordship to accept.
Painting is welcome.
The gods preserve you! Tim. Well fare you gentlemen: Give me your hand;
We must needs dine together.-Sir, your jewel
What, my lord? dispraise? Tim. A meer satiety of commendations. If I should pay you for't as 'tis extoll'd, It would unclew me quite.5
Jew. My lord, 'tis rated As those, which sell, would give: But you well know, Things of like value, differing in the owners,
That state or fortune fall into my keeping,
Which is not ow'd to you!] The meaning is, let me never henceforth consider any thing that I possess, but as owed or due to you; held for your service, and at your disposal. JOHNSON. -unclew me quite.] To unclew is to unwind a ball of thread. To unclew a man, is to draw out the whole mass of his fortunes.