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TIMON'S EXECRATION OF THE ATHENIANS.
SCENE.-Without the walls of Athens.
Let me look back upon thee, O thou wall,
That girdlest in those wolves! Dive in the earth,
And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent!
Obedience fail in children! slaves, and fools,
Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench,
And minister in their stead! to general filths*
Convert o' the instant, green virginity!
Do't in your parent's eyes! bankrupts, hold fast;
Rather than render back, out with your knives,
And cut your truster's throats! bound servants, steal!
Large handed robbers your grave masters are,
And pill by law! maid, thy master's bed;
Thy mistress is o' the brothel! son of sixteen,
Pluck the lin’d crutch from the old limping sire,
With it beat out his brains! piety, and fear,
Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
Domestic awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood,
Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
Decline to your confounding contraries,
And yet confusion live !-Plagues incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap
On Athens, ripe for stroke! thou cold soiatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners! lust and liberty!
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth;
That'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot! itches, blains,
So all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop
Be general leprosy! breath infect breath;
That their society, as their friendship, may
Be merely poison! Nothing I'll bear from thee,
But nakedness, thou detestavie town!
* Common sewers.
ti. e. Contrarieties, whose nature it is to waste or de#troy each other.
# For libertinism.
A FRIEND FORSAKEN.
As we do turn our backs
From our companion, thrown into his
So his familiars to his buried fortunes
Slink all away; leave their false vows with him
Like empty purses pick'd: and his poor self,
A dedicated beggar to the air,
With his disease of all-shunnid poverty,
Walks, like contempt, alone.
Earth, yield me roots!
Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy mosť operant poison! What is here?
Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods,
I am no idle votarist.* Roots, you clear heavens!
Thus much of this, will make black, white; foul,
Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward,
Ha, you gods! why this? What this, you gods?
Will lug your priests and servants from
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads:
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions; bless the accurs’d;
Make the hoar leprosy ador’d; place thieves,
And give them title, knee, and approbation,
With senators on the bench: this is it,
That makes the wappen’dt widow wed again;
She, whom the spital-house, and ulcerous sores
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To the April day again.1 Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind, that putst odds
Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature.
* No insincere or inconstant supplicant. Gold will not serve me instead of roots.
# i. e. Gold restores her to all the sweetness and freshness of youth.
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 coụnterfeit matron: It is her habit only that is honest, Herself'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 remorse:t 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 holy vestments bleeding, Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay thy soldiers: Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent, Confounded be thyself! Speak not, be gone.
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
And let the unscar'd braggarts of the war
Derive some pain from you.
* Cutting. † An allusion to the tale of Cedipus
# Without pity.
Si. e. Against objects of charity and compassion.
HIS REFLECTIONS ON THE EARTH.
That nature, being sick of man's unkindness, Should yet be hungry!--Common mother, thou,
Whose womb un'measurable, and infinite breast,*
Teems, and feeds all; whose self-same mettle,
Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puffod,
Engenders the black toad, and adder blue,
The gilded newt, and eyeless venom'd wormt
With all the abhorred births below crispț 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
mind, That from it all consideration slips!
HIS DISCOURSE WITH APEMANTUS.
7 Apem. This is in thee a nature but affected.
A poor unmanly melancholy, sprung
From change of fortune. Why this spade? this
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,||
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-
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
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 mossd
That have outliv'd the eagle, page thy heels,
And skip when thou point’sť 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
Tim. Thou art a slave, whom Fortune's tender
With favour never clasp'd; but bred a dog.
Hadst thou, likę 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-
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 sugard game before thee. But myself,
Who had the world as my confectionary;
* From infancy.
+ The cold admonitions of cautious prudence.