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Thieves, Senaters, Pact, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant; with Servants and Attendants,
Poet. When we for recompence have prais'd the vile, It flains the glory in that happy verfe
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant, at 5 Which aptly fings the good.
Mer. 'Tis a good form.
[Looking on the jewel.
Poet. A thing flipt idly from me.
Our poefy is as a gum, which oozes
Speaks his own standing? what a mental power
Mer. O, pray, let's fee't: For the lord Timon,
1 Breathed is inured by constant practice; so trained as not to be wearied. To breathe a horfe is to exercife him for the course. 2 i. e. he exceeds, goes beyond common bounds.
3 i. e. come up to
the price. 4 We must here fuppofe the poet bufy in reading his own work; and that these three lines are the introduction of the poem addreffed to Timon, which he afterwards gives the painter an 5 i. e. according to Dr. Johnson, The figure rifes well from the canvas. C'est bien relevé. That is, How the graceful attitude of this figure proclaims that it ftands firm on its centre, or gives evidence in favour of its own fixture,
3 F 2
This eye fhoots forth? how big imagination Moves in this lip? to the dumbness of the gefture One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life. Here is a touch; Is 't good?
Poet. I'll fay of it,
It tutors nature: artificial ftrife
Lives in thefe touches, livelier than life.
Pain. How this lord is follow'd!
Peet. The fenators of Athens;-Happy men! Fain. Look, more! [of vifitors.
Poet. You fee this confluence, this great flood
Pain. How fhall I understand you?
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 flip down, Not one accompanying his declining foot. Pain. 'Tis common:
15 A thoufand moral paintings I can fhew,
That fhall demonftrate thefe quick blows of fortune More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well, To fhew lord Timon, that mean eyes 13 have feen The foot above the head.
20Trumpets found. Enter Timon, addreffing bimff courteously to every fuitor.
Tim. Imprison'd is he, fay you? [To a Messenger. Mf. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt; His means moft short, his creditors moft ftrait: 25 Your honourable letter he defires
You fee, how all conditions, how all minds,
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Pain. I faw them speak together.
To thofe have fhut him up; which failing him, Periods his comfort.
Tim. 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 deferves a help, Which he fhall have: I'll pay the debt, and free him. Mef. Your lordship ever binds him. [fom; Tim. Commend me to him: I will fend his ran35 And, being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me:'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, But to fupport him after.-Fare you well. Mef. All happiness to your honour 14! Enter an old Athenian.
Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me fpeak. Tim. Freely, good father.
Puet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
Pain. "Tis conceiv'd to fcope 9.
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
Strife is either the conteft or act with nature.
50 By night frequents my houfe. I am a man That from my firft have been inclin'd to thrift; And my eftate deferves an heir more rais'd,
2 i. e. My defign does not stop at any single character. 3 Anciently they wrote upon waxen tables with an iron stile. 4 i. e. I'll open, I'll explain. 5 Slippery is fmooth, unrefifting. 6 Meaning, the flatterer who thows in his own look, as by reflec tion, the looks of his patron. 7 i. e. cover'd with ranks of all kinds of men. improve their various conditions of life. 9 i. e. 'Tis properly imagin'd.
8 i. e. to advance or
1° Condition for art.
That is, calumniate thofe whom Timon hated or envied, or whofe vices were oppofite to his own. This offering up, to the perfon flattered, the murdered reputation of others, Shakspeare, with the utmost beauty of thought and expreffion, calls facrificial whip rings, alluding to the victims offered up to idols. 12 That is, catch his breath in affected fondness. 13 i. e. inferior spectators. common addrefs to a loid in our author's time, was your bonour, which was indifferently used with your lordship.
Than one which holds a trencher.
Old Atb. One only daughter have I, no kin elfe,
Tim. The man is honest.
Old Arb. Therefore he will be, Timon':
His honefty rewards him in itself,
It must not bear my daughter.
Tim. Does the love him?
Old Arb. She is young, and apt:
Our own precedent paffions do inftruct us
Tim. [To Lucil.] Love you the maid?
Luc. Ay, my good lord, and the accepts of it.
I call the gods to witness, I will choose
Tim. How fhall the be endow'd
If the be mated with an equal husband?
Tim. A meer fatiety of commendations. If I fhould pay you for 't, as 'tis extoll'd, It would unclew me quite 3.
Jew. My lord, 'tis rated
5 As thofe, which fell, would give: But you well
Old Atb. Three talents, on the prefent; in future, Tim. This gentleman of mine hath ferv'd me long; To build his fortune, I will strain a little,
For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: 30 What you beftow, in him I'll counterpoise,
And make him weigh with her.
Old Atb. Moft noble lord,
Pawn me to this your honour, fhe is his.
Tim. My hand to thee; mine honour on my 35 promise.
Luc. Humbly I thank your lordship: Never
Things of like value, differing in the owners,
Are prized by their maiters: believe it, 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?
Few. We will bear, with your lordship.
Tim. Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus! Apem. "Till I be gentle, ftay for thy good morrow; [honeft. When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves Tim. Why doft thou call them knaves? thou know'ft them not.
Apem. Are they not Athenians?
Apem. Then I repent not.
Jew. You know me, Apemantus.
Apem. Thou know'ft, I do; I call'd thee by thy name.
Tim. Thou art proud, Apemantus.. [Timon. Apem. Of nothing fo much, as that I am not like Tim. Whither art going?
Apem. To knock out an honeft Athenian's
Tim. That's a deed thou'lt die for.
Apem. Right, if doing nothing be death by
Tim. How lik'ft thou this picture, Apemantus' Apem. The beft, 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. Poet. You are a dog.
Apem. Thy mother's of my generation; What's fhe, if I be a dog?
Tim. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus ?
Tim. An thou should'st, thou’dst anger ladies. Apem. O, they eat lords; fo they come by great bellies.
Tim. That's a lafcivious apprehenfion. Apem. So thou apprehend'st it: Take it for thy labour.
Tim. How doft thou like this jewel, Apemantus? Apem. Not fo well as plain-dealing, which will not coft a man a doit 4.
Tim. What dost thou think 'tis worth? Apem. Not worth my thinking.-How now, poet?
Dr. Warburton explains this paffage thus: "If the man be honeft, my lord, for that reafon he will be fo in this; and not endeavour at the injuftice of gaining my daughter without my confent."
2 or due.
3 To unclew, is to unwind a ball of thread. To unclew a man, is to draw out the whole mafs of his fortunes. 4 This alludes to the proverb: "Plain dealing is a jewel, but they that use it
Apem. Traffick confound thee, if the gods will not!
Apem. Traffick's thy god, and thy god con-
Trumpets found. Enter a Messenger.
Tim. What trumpet's that?
Apem. I will fly, like a dog, the heels of the afs.
And tafte lord Timon's bounty? he out-goes
2 Lord. He pours it out; Plutus, the god of gold,
Mef. "Tis Alcibiades, and fome twenty horfe, 30 All of companionship.
Tim. Pray, entertain them; give them guide
Shew me this piece.-I am joyful of your fights.-
1 Lord. The noblest mind he carries, That ever govern'd man.
2 Lord. Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we in?
1 Lord. I'll keep you company.
Another Apartment in Timon's House. Hautboys playing loud mufick. A great banquet ferv'd in; and then enter Timon, Alcibiades, Lucius, Lucullus, Sempronius, and other Athenian Senators, with Ventidius. Then comes, dropping after all, Apemantus difcontentedly, like bimself.
Ven. Moft honour'd Timon, it hath pleas'd the
My father's age, and call him to long peace.
I deriv'd liberty.
Tim. O, by no means,
Honeft Ventidius: you mistake my love; [outI gave it freely ever; and there's none
And all this courtesy! The ftrain of man's bred
Alc. Sir, you have fav'd my longing, and I feed]
Tim. Right welcome, fir:
Ere we depart 3, we'll share a bounteous time
[Exeunt all but Apemantus.
Enter two Lords.
Lerd. What time a day is't, Apemantus?
Apem. Time to be honest.
45 Can truly fay, he gives, if he receives:
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
[They all fand ceremoniously looking on Times. Tim. Nay, my lords, ceremony
Was but devis'd at first
To fet a glofs on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Pray, fit; more welcome are ye to my fortunes,
The meaning may be, I fhould hate myfelf for patiently enduring to be a lord. 2 or lineage of man's 4 Meed in this place feems to mean defert.
Tim. O, Apemantus!—you are welcome. Apem. No; you shall not make me welcome: I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.
Tim. Fye, thou art a churl; you have got a hu-
Does not become a man, 'tis much to blame :-
But yonder man is ever angry.—
Go, let him have a table by himself;
Apem. Let me stay at thine own peril, Timon;
Ne'er flatter thee.-O you gods! what a number
I wonder, men dare trust themselves with men:
Or a keeper with my freedom;
Or my friends, if I should need 'em.
Rich men fin, and I eat root.
[Eats and drinks. Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus! Tim. Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.
Alc. My heart is ever at your fervice, my lord. Tim. You had rather be at a breakfast of ene. mies, than a dinner of friends.
Alc. So they were bleeding new, my lord, there's no meat like 'em; I could with my best friend at fuch a feast.
Apem. 'Would all thofe flatterers were thing enemies then; that thou might'ft kill 'em, and bid me to 'em.
1 Lord. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby 20we might exprefs fome part of our zeals, we should think ourselves for ever perfect 4.
Tim. O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods themfelves have provided that I fhall have much help from you: How had you been my 25 friends elfe? why have you that charitable 5 title from thoufands, did not you chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you to myself, than you can with modesty speak in your behalf; and thus far I confirm you 7. O, you gods, think I, 30 what need we have any friends, if we should never have need of them? they were the most needlefs creatures living, fhould we ne'er have ufe for them: and would moft refemble fweet inftruments hung up in cafes, that keep their founds to
Left they should fpy my wind-pipe's dangerous
Tim. My lord, in heart 3; and let the health go round.
2 Lord. Let it flow this way, my good lord.
A brave fellow! he keeps his tides well. Timon,
Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
Or a barlot, for her weeping;
poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We are born to do benefits: and what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends? O, what a precious comfort 'tis, to have 40fo many, like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes! O joy, e'en made away ere it can be born! Mine eyes cannot hold water, methinks: to forget their faults, I drink to you.
Tim. What means that trump?-How now?
Or a dog, that feems a fleeping; 'Timon's meaning feems to be: I myself would have no power to make thee filent, but I wish thou would't let my meat make thee filent. Timon, like a polite landlord, difclaims all power over the meanest or most troublesome of his guefts. 2 The allufion, says Dr. Johnson, is to a pack of hounds trained to purfuit by being gratified with the blood of an animal which they kill, and the wonder is, that the animal on which they are feeding cheers them to the chace. 3 That is, my lord's health with fincerity. 4 That is, arrived at the perfection of happiness. 5 i. e. that dear, endearing title. 6 That is, Why are you diftinguished from thousands by that title of endearment, was there not a particular connection and intercourse of tendernefs between you and me? 7 i.e. I fix your characters firmly in my own mind. 8 To look for babies in the eyes of another, is no uncommon expreffion.