Графични страници
PDF файл

the spots of thy kindred were jurors on thy life: all thy safety were remotion; * and thy defence, absence. What beast couldst thou be, that were not subject to a beast ? and what a beast art thou already, that seest not thy loss in transformation ?

Apem. If thou couldst please me with speaking to me, thou mightst have hit upon it here: The commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.

Tim. How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city ?

Apem. Yonder comes a poet, and a painter: The plague of company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it, and give way: When I know not what else to do, I'll see thee again.

Tim. When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog, than Apemantus.

Apem. Thou art the cap t of all the fools alive.
Tim. 'Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon.
Apem. A plague on thee, thou art too bad to curse.
Tim. All villains, that do stand by thee, are pure.
Apem. There is no leprosy but what thou speak’st.

Tim. If I name thee.-
I'll beat thee,-but I should infect my hands.

Apem. I would, my tongue could rot them off!
Tim. Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler doth kill me, that thou art alive;
I swoon to see thee.

Apem. 'Would thou wouldst burst!

Tim. Away,
Thou tedious rogue ! I am sorry, I shall lose
A stone by thee.

[Throws a stone at him.
Apem. Beast!
Tim. Slave!
Apem. Toad!
Tim. Rogue, rogue, rogue !

[APEMANTUS retreats backward, as going. I am sick of this false world; and will love nought But even the mere necessities upon it. Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave; Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat Thy gravestone daily: make thine epitaph, That death in me at others' lives may laugh. O 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, loved, 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! O thou touch I of hearts ! Think, thy slave man rebels; and by thy virtue Set them into confounding odds, that beasts May have the world in empire ! * Remoteness. † Top, principal.

# Touchstone.

Apem. 'Would 'twere so ;-
But not till I am dead !--I'll say, thou hast gold :
Thou wilt be throngʻd to shortly.

Tim. Throng'd to ?
Apem. Ay
Tim. Thy back, I pr’ythee.
Apem. Live, and love thy misery
Tim. Long live so, and so die !- I am quit.-

[Exit APEMANTUS. More things like men ?-Eat, Timon, and abhor them.

Enter THIEVES. 1 Thief. Where should he have this ·gold ? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder : The mere want of gold, and the falling-from of his friends, drove him into this melancholy

2 Thief. It is noised, he hath a mass of treasure.

3 Thief. Let us make the assay upon him: if he care not for't, he will supply us easily; If he covetously reserve it, how shall's get it?

2 Thief. True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis hid.
1 Thief. Is not this he ?
Thieves. Where?
2 Thief. 'Tis his description.
3 Thief. He? I know him.
Thieves. Save thee, Timon.
Tim. Now, thieves?
Thieves. Soldiers, not thieves.
Tim. Both, too; and women's sons.
Thieves. We are not thieves, but men that much do want.
Tim. Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;
Within this mile break forth a hundred springs :
The oaks bear mast, the briers scarlet hips;
The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want? why want?

i 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: take 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,

* Regular.

[ocr errors]

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 composture * 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: Steal not less, for this
I give you; and gold confound you howsoever !

(TIMON retires to his Cave. 3 Thief. He has almost charm’d me from my profession, by persuading me to it.

i Thief: 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.

2 Thief. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.

1 Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens: There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.

[Exeunt THIEVES.
Flav. O you gods !
Is yon despised and ruinous man my lord ?
Full of decay and failing ? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd !
What an alteration of honourt has
Desperate want made!
What viler thing upon the earth, than friends,
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely I does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wish'd § to love his enemies :
Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me, than those that do !
He has caught me in his eye: I will present
My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord,
Still serve him with my life.--My dearest master!

TIMON comes forward from his Cave.
Tim. Away! what art thou ?
Flav. Have you forgot me, Sir ?

Tim. Why dost ask that? 'I have forgot all men;
Then, if thou grant'st thou’rt man, I have forgot thee.

Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.

Tim. Then
I know thee not: I ne'er had honest man
About me, I; all that I kept were knaves,
To serve in meat to villains.

Flav. The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
* Compost, manure.

+ Honourable state.
* Happily.


Tim. What, dost thou weep ?--Come nearer;—then I love thee,
Because thou art a woman, and disclaimost
Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give,
But thorough lust, and laughter. Pity's sleeping:
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping !

Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
To accept my grief, and whilst this poor wealth lasts,
To entertain me as your steward still.

Tim. Had I a steward so true, so just, and now
So comfortable ? it almost turns
My dangerous nature wild. Let me behold
Thy face.-Surely, this man was born of woman.-
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 mightst have sooner got another service :
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true
(For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure),
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness; and as rích men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one ?

Flav. No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late :
You should have fear'd false times, when you did feast:
Suspect still comes where an estaté is least.
That which I show, heaven knows is merely love,
Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food and living: and, believe it,
My most honour'd lord,
For any benefit that points to me,
Either in hope, or present, I'd exchange
For this one wish, That you had power and wealth
To requite me, by making rich yourself.

Tim. Look thee, 'tis so !-Thou singly honest man,
Here take:-the gods out of my misery
Have sent the treasure. Go, live rich and happy :
But thus condition'd; thou shalt build from men ;*
Hate all, curse all: show charity to none;
But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone,
Ere thou relieve the beggar: give to dogs
What thou deniest to men ; let prisons

swallow them,
Debts wither them: Be men, like blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods !
And so, farewell, and thrive.

* From human habitation.

Flav. O, let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.

Tim. If thou hatest
Curses, stay not; fly, whilst thou’rt bless'd and free:
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee. [Exeunt severally.



SCENE I.-The same. Before TIMON's Cave.

Enter POET and PAINTER; TIMON behind, unseen. Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.

Poet. What's to be thought of him ? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold ?

Pain. Certain : Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him: he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: 'Tis said, he gave unto his steward a mighty

Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.

Pain. Nothing else : you shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore, 'tis not amiss, wo tender our loves to him, in this supposed distress of his : will show honestly in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel sor, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.

Poet. What have you now to present unto him?

Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation : only I will promise him an excellent piece.

Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.

Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the time: it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of saying* is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable : performance is a kind of will and testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.

Tim. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.

Poet. I am thinking, what I shall say I have provided for him: It must be a personating

of himself : a satire against the softness of prosperity ; with a discovery of the infinite flatteries, that follow youth and opulency.

Tim. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men ? Do so, I have gold for thee.

Poet. Nay, let's seek him:
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.

* The doing that we said we would do.

« ПредишнаНапред »