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Spurns down her late beloved, 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's

More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.

Trumpets sound.

Enter LORD TIMON, addressing himself courteously to every suitor; a Messenger from VENTIDIUS talking with him; LUCILIUS and other servants following.

Tim.

Imprison'd is he, say you? Mess. 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 failing,
Periods his comfort.

Tim.

Noble Ventidius! Well;

I do know

I am not of that feather to shake off

My friend when he must need me.

him

A gentleman that well deserves a help:

Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt, and free

him.

Mess. Your lordship ever binds him.

Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his

ransom;

99. Periods, cuts short.

100

90

And being enfranchised, bid him come to me:
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after. Fare you well.
Mess. All happiness to your honour!

Enter an old Athenian.

Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.

Tim.

[Exit.

Freely, good father. 110

Old Ath. Thou hast a servant named 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 !

Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.

Old Ath. This fellow here, Lord Timon, this

thy creature,

By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first have been inclined to thrift,
And my estate deserves an heir more raised
Than one which holds a trencher.

Tim.

Well; what further? 120

Old Ath. One only daughter have I, no kin

else,

On whom I may confer what I have got:
The maid is fair, o' the youngest for a bride,
And I have bred her at my dearest cost
In qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her love: I prithee, noble lord,
Join with me to forbid him her resort;
Myself have spoke in vain.

The man is honest.

Tim.
Old Ath. Therefore he will be, Timon:

129. Therefore he will be, Timon. The line has been suspected; but Coleridge's explanation is probably correct,

-he is honest for the sake of being honest, not in hope of some other reward, as e.g. in this case to win a wife.

His honesty rewards him in itself;
It must not bear my daughter.

Tim.

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 lord, 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, all.

Tim. This gentleman of mine hath served 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.

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 owed 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?

130

140

150

Pain. A piece of painting, which I do beseech Your lordship to accept.

Tim.

Painting is welcome.
The painting is almost the natural man;
For since dishonour traffics with man's nature,
He is but outside these pencill'd figures are
Even such as they give out.
And you shall find I like it:

Till you hear further from me.

Pain.

I like your work; wait attendance

The gods preserve ye!

Tim. Well fare you, gentleman: give me your

hand;

We must needs dine together. Sir, your jewel

Hath suffer'd under praise.

What, my lord! dispraise?

Jew.
Tim. A mere satiety of commendations.
If I should pay you for 't as 'tis extoll'd,
It would unclew me quite.

Jew.

My lord, 'tis rated

As those which sell would give: but you well know,
Things of like value differing in the owners

160

170

Are prized by their masters: believe 't, dear lord,
You mend the jewel by the wearing it.

Tim. Well mock'd.

Mer. No, my good lord; he speaks the common

tongue,

Which all men speak with him.

Tim. Look, who comes here: will you be chid?

Enter APEMANTUS.

Jew. We'll bear, with your lordship.

He'll spare none.

Mer.
Tim. Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus !
Apem. Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good
morrow;

168. unclew, unwind, i.e. strip bare.

When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves

honest.

Tim. Why dost thou call them knaves? thou know'st them not.

Apem. Are they not Athenians?

Tim. Yes.

Apem. Then I repent not.

Jew. You know me, Apemantus?

Apem. Thou know'st I do; I call'd thee by thy name.

Tim. Thou art proud, Apemantus.

Apem. Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.

Tim. Whither art going?

Apem. To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.

Tim. That's a deed thou 'lt die for.

Apem. Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.

Tim. How likest thou this picture, Apemantus?

Apem. The best, for the innocence.

Tim. Wrought he not well that painted it? Apem. He wrought better that made the painter; and yet he's but a filthy piece of work. Pain. You're a dog.

Apem. Thy mother's of my generation: what's she, if I be a dog?

Tim. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus ?

Apem. No; I eat not lords.

Tim. An thou shouldst, thou 'ldst anger ladies. Apem. O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.

Tim. That's a lascivious apprehension.

Apem. So thou apprehendest it: take it for thy labour.

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