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Timon, a noble Athenian.
Lords, and Flatterers of Timon.
Ventidius, one of Timon's false Friends.
Apemantus, a churlish Philosopher.
Alcibiades, an Athenian General.
Flavius, Steward to Timon.
Lucilius, Timon's Servants.
Servants to Timon's Creditors.
Two Servunts of Varro, and the Servant of Isidore;
two of Timon's Creditors. Cupid, and Maskers. Three Strangers. Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant. An old Athenian. A Page. A Fool.
, } Mistresses to Alcibiades.
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves, and
SCENE, Athens; and the Woods adjoining.
SCENE I. ATHENS. A Hall in Timon's House. Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others,
at several Doors. Poet. Good day, sir. Pain.
I am glad you are well. Poet. I have 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,
Magic 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. 0, 'tis a worthy lord!
Nay, that's most fix'd.
Mer. A most incomparable man; breath’d, as it were,
To an untirable and continuate goodness :
I have a jewel here. Mer. O, pray, let's seelt: For the lord Timon, sir?
Jew. If he will touch the estimate: But, for thal
Poet. When we for recompense have prais'd the vile, It stains the glory in that happy verse Which aptly sings the good. Mer.
'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 dediTo the great lord.
A thing slipp'd idly from me. Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes From whence 'tis nourished: The fire i'the flint Shows not, till it be struck; our gentle flame Provokes itself, and, like the current, flies Each bound it chafes. What have you there? [forth?
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.
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?
I'll say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial strife
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.
Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord's follow'd!
Poet. The senators of Athens :-Happy men!
Pain. Look, more!
[visitors. Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of I bave, in this rough work, shap'd out a man, Whom this beneath world doch embrace and hug \Vith amplest entertainment: My free drift
not particularly, 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 unbolt 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,
Sabdues 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 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.
Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hili,
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 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 bill, 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:
Al 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 whisperings in his ear,
Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
Drink the free air.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of
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 sball demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
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 Timon, attended; the Servant
of VENTIDIUS talking with him. Tim.
Imprison'd is he, say you ?
Ven. Serv. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt;
His means most short, his creditors most strait :
Your bonourable letter he desires
To those have shut him up; which failing to him,
Periods his comfort.
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 shall have: I'll pay the debt, and free him.
Ven. Serv. Your lordship ever binds him.
Tim. Commend me to hiin: I will send his ransom;
And, being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me:-
"Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after.--Fare
well. Ven. Serv. All happiness to your honour! [Erit.
Enter an old ATHENIAN.
Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.
Freely, good father.
Old Ath. Thou hast a servant nam'd Lucilias.
Tim. I have so: What of him?
Old Ath. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.
Tim. Attends he bere, or no?-Lucilius!