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TIMON, A noble Athenian.
two flattering Lords.
Apemantus, a churlish Philosopher.
Sempronius, another flattering Lord.
Alcibiades, an Athenian General.
Flavius, Steward to Timon.
Lucilius, Timon's servants.
Several Servants to Ufurers.
Ventidius, one of Timon's falfe Friends.
Cupid and Maskers.
Phrynia, Mifresses to Alcibiades.
, } Thieves, Senators, Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Mercer and Merchant; with divers servants and attendants.
SCENE, Athens ; and the Woods not far
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and
Mercer, at several doors.
Po E т.
OOD day, Sir.
Pain. I am glad y' are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long; how
Pain. It wears, Sir, as it goes.
Poet. Ay, that's well known,
But what particular rarity? what so strange,
Which manifold Record not matches ? see,
(Magick of Bounty!) all these Spirits thy power
Hath conjur'd to attend. I know the merchant.
Pain. Í know them both; th' other's a jeweller.
Mer. O'tis a worthy lord !
Jew. Nay, that's most fixt.
Mer. A most incomparable man, breath'd as it were
To an untirable and continuate goodness,
Jew. I have a jewel here.
Mer. O, pray, let's see't : For the lord Timon, Sir?
Jew. If he will touch the estimate : but for that -
Poet. When we for recompence have prais'd the vile,
It stains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly fings the good.
Mer. 'Tis a good form. [Looking on the jewel.
Jew. And rich; here is a water, look ye.
Pain. You're rapt, Sir, in some Work, fome dedi-
To the great lord.
Poet. A thing slipt idly from me.
Our Poesie is as a Gum, which issues
From whence 'tis nourished. The fire i'th' flint
Shews not, 'till it be ftruck : our gentle flame
Provokes it self, and like the current flies
Each Bound it chafes. What have you there? (1)
Pain. A picture, Sir:-
when comes your book forth? Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, Sir. Let's see your piece.
Pain. 'Tis a good piece.
Poet. So 'tis,
This comes off well and excellent.
Poet. Admirable! how this grace
Speaks his own standing what a mental power
This eye shoots forth how big imagination
Moves in this lip? to th' dumbness of the gesture:
One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life:
Here is a touch
Poets I'll say of it,
It tutors Nature; artificial strife
Lives, in those touches, livelier than life.
(1) Each Bound it chases.---] How, chases? The Flood, indeed, bearing up upon the shore, covers a Part of it, but cannot be said to drive the shore away. The Poet's Allusion is to a Wave, which, foaming and chafing on the shore, breaks ; and then the Water seems to the Eye to retire..
Enter certain Senators.
Pain, How this lord is followed !
Poet. The Senators of Athens! happy man! (2)
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of visiters.
I have, in this rough Work, shap'd out a Man,
Whom this beneath-world doth embrace and hug
With amplest entertainment. My free drift
Halts not particular, but moves itself
In a wide sea of wax ; no levell'd malice
Infects one Comma in the course I hold,
But Aies an eagle-flight, bold, and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.
Pain. How shall I understand you ?.
Poet. I'll unbolt to you.
You see, how all conditions, how all minds,
As well of glib and flipp’ry creatures, as
grave and auftere quality, tender down
Their Service to lord Timon: his large fortune,
Upon his good and gracious nature hanging,
Subdues and properties to his love and tendance
All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-fac'd Aatterer
- To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Than to abhor himself; ev'n he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace
Most rich in Timon's nod.
Pain. I saw them speak together.
Poet. I have upon a high and pleasant hill
Feign'd Fortune to be thron’d. The Base o'ch' 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 sov'reign lady fixt,
(2) Happy Men!) Thus the printed Copies: but I cannot think the Poet meant, that the Senators were happy in being admitted to Timon; their Quality might command That : but that Timon was happy in being follow'd, and caress’d, by those of their Rank and Digaity.
One do I personate of Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her iv'ry hand wafts to her,
Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
Translates his rivals.
Pain. 'Tis conceiv'd to th' Scope. (3)
This throne, this Fortune, and this Hill, methinks,
With one man becken'd from the rest below,
Bowing his head against the steepy mount
To climb his happiness, would be well exprest
In our condition.
Poet. Nay, but hear me on:
All 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 whisp'rings in his ear ;
Make sacred even his stirrop; and through him
Drink the free air.
Pain. Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune in her shift and change of lood
Spurns down her late belov'd, all his Dependants
(Which labour'd after 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 fhew,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To fhew lord Timon, that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.
(3) 'Tis conceiv'd, to scope
This Throne, this Fortune, &c.] Thus all the Editors hitherto have nonsensically writ, and pointed, this Passage. But, sure, the Painter would tell the Poet, your Conception, Sir, hits the very Scope you aim at. This the Greeks would have render'd, vê oxons Tuges, retà ad Scopum tendis: and Cicero has thus cxpress’d on the liks Occasion, Signum ecalis deftinatum feris,