Page images
PDF
EPUB

TIMON TO ALCIBIADES.

Go on,-here's gold,-go on; Be as a planetary plague, when Jove Will o’er some high-vic'd city hang his poison In the sick air: let not thy sword skip one: Pity not honour'd age for his white beard, He's an usurer: Strike me the counterfeit matron: It is her habit only that is honest, Hersell's a bawd: Let not the virgin's cheek Make soft thy trenchant* sword; for those milk paps, That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes, Are not within the leaf of pity writ, Set them down horrible traitors: Spare not the babe, Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy; Think it a bastard, † whom the oracle Hath doubtfully pronounc'd thy throat shall cut, And mince it sans reinorse:1 Swear against objects;$ Put armour on thine ears, and on thine eyes; Whose proof nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes, Nor sight of priests in boly vestments bleeding, Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay thy soldiers: Make large consusion; and, thy fury spent, Confounded be thysell! Speak not, be gone.

TO THE COURTESANS.

Consumption sow In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins, And mar men's spurring. Crack the lawyer's voice, That he may never more false title plead, Nor sound his quillets|| shrilly; hear the flamen, That scolds against the quality of flesh, And not believes himself: down with the nose, Down with it flat; take the bridge quite away Of him, that his particular to foresee, Smells from the general weal: make curl'd-pate ruf

fians bald;
And let the unscard braggarts of the war
Derive some pain from you.

+ An allusion to the tale of Cedipus.
† Without pity
§ i. e. Against objects of charity and compassion.
11 Subtilties.

* Cutting

HIS REFLECTIONS ON THE EARTH. That nature, being sick of man's unkindness, Should yet be hungry!-Common mother, thou,

[Digging Whose womb unmeasurable, and infinite breast,* Teems, and feeds all; whose self-same mettle, Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puff'd, Engenders the black toad, and adder blue, The gilded newt, and eyeless venom'd wormt With all the abhorred births below crispt heaven Whereon Hyperion's quickening fire doth shine; Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate, From forth thy plenteous bosom one poor root! Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb, Let it no more bring out ingrateful man! Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears: Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face Hath to the marbled mansion all above Never presented !

-0, a root,-Dear thanks! Dry up thy marrow, vines, and plough-torn leas; Whereof ingrateful man, with liquorish draughts, And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind, That from it all consideration slips!

HIS DISCOURSE WITH APEMANTUS. Apem. This is in thee a nature but affected: A poor unmanly melancholy, sprung, From change of fortune. Why this spade? this

place?
This slave-like habit? and these looks of care?,
Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft;
Hug their diseas'd perfumes, and have forgot
That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods,
By putting on the cunning of a carper,l!
Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive
By that which has undone thee, hinge thy knee,
And let his breath, whom thou'lt observe,

* Boundless surface.
+ The serpent called the blind worm.

* Bent.
§ i. e. Their diseased perfumed mistresses.
ll i. e. Shame not these woods by finding fault.

Blow off thy cap; praise his most vicious strain,
And call it excellent: Thou wast told thus;
Thou gav'st thine ears, like tapsters, that bid wel

come,
To knaves, and all approachers; 'Tis most just,
That thou turn rascal; hadst thou wealth again,
Rascals should hav't. Do not assume my likeness.

Tim. Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself.
Apem. Thou hast cast away thyself, being like

thyself;
A madman so long, now a fool: What think'st
That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
Will put thy shirt on warm? Will these moss'd

trees, That have outliv'd the eagle, page thy heels, And skip when thou point'st out. Will the cold Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste, To cure thy o’ernight's surfeit? call the creatures, Whose naked natures live in all the spite Of wreakful heaven; whose bare unhoused trunks, To the conflicting elements expos'd, Answer mere nature,-bid them flatter thee; O! thou shalt find

brook,

[merged small][ocr errors]

Tim. Thou art a slave, whom Fortune's tender

arm

[ocr errors]

With favour never clasp'd; but bred a dog.
Hadst thou, like us, from our first swath,* proceeded
The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
To such as may the passive drugs of it
Freely command, thou would'st have plung'd thy

self
In general riot; melted down thy youth
In different beds of lust; and never learn'd
The icy precepts of respectf but follow'd
The sugar'd game before thee. But myself,
Who had the world as my confectionary;

* From infancy.
# The cold admonitions of cautious prudence.

men

The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of
At duty, more than I could frame employment;
That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves
Do on the oak, have with one winter's brush
Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare
For every storm that blows;-I, to bear this
That never knew but better, is some burden:
Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time
Hath made thee hard in't. Why shouldest thou

hate men?
They never flatter'd thee: What hast thou given
If thou wilt curse—thy father, that poor rag,
Must be thy subject; who, in spite, put stuff
To some she beggar, and compounded thee
Poor rogue hereditary. Hence! be gone!
If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave, and flatterer.

ON GOLD.

0, thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce

(Looking on the Gold. Twixt natural son and sire; Thou bright defiler Of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars!

Thou ever young, fresh, lov'd, and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian's lap! thou visible god,
That solder'st close impossibilities,
And mak'st them kiss! that speak’st with every

tongue,
To every purpose; 0, thou touch* of hearts!
Think, thy slave man rebels; and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire!
Why should you want? Behold the earth hath roots;
Within this mile break forth a hundred springs:
The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips;
The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want? why want?

* For touchstone.

TIMON TO THE THIEVES.

[ocr errors]

1 Thief. We cannot live on grass, on berries,

water,
As beasts, and birds, and fishes.
Tim. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and

fishes;
You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con,
That you are thieves profess’d; that you

work not
In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft
In limited* professions. Rascal thieves,
Here's gold: Go, suck the subtle blood of the grape,
Till the high fever seeth your blood to froth,
And so 'scape hanging: trust not the physician;
His antidotes are poison, and he slays
More than you rob: také wealth and lives together;
Do, villany, do, since you profess to do't,
Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery:
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composturet stolen
From general excrement: each thing's a thief;
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves: away;
Rob one another. There's more gold: Cut throats;
All that you meet are thieves: 'To Athens, go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it.

ON HIS HONEST STEWARD.
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
Perpetual sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man,-mistake me not, --but one:
No more, I pray,--and he is a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeem'st thyself: But all, save thee,
I fell with curses.
Methinks thou art more honest now, than wise;
For, by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou might'st hare sooner got another service:

+ Compost, manure.

[ocr errors]

For legal.

« PreviousContinue »