Графични страници
PDF файл

But even the mere necessities upon it.
Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave;
Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat
Thy grave-stone 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, 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

To every purpose ! O thou touch of hearts !3
Think, thy slave man rebels ! and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire !

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

Throng'd to ?

Tim. Thy back, I pr'ythee.

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


Enter Thieves. i 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 fallingfrom of his friends, drove him into this melancholy. 8 0 thou touch of hearts !] Touch, for touchstone.

· 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.

i 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 bath 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?

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

4 In limited professions.] Regular, orderly, professions.

More than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
Do villainy, do, since you profess to do't,
Like workinen. 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 compostures 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 charmed 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.

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

[Exeunt Thieves.

. Enter FLAVIUS.
Flav. O you gods!
Is yon despis'd and ruinous man my lord ?
Full of decay and failing? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow’d!
What an alteration of honour has


by a composture -] i. e. composition, compost,

Desperate want made!
What viler thing upon the earth, than friends,
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!."
How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wish’ds 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!

[ocr errors]

Timon comes forward from his Cave..
Tim. Away! what art thou?

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

* Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.

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.

Flaυ. .. . The gods are witness,


Sen bas

[ocr errors]

6 What an alteration of honour has

Desperate want made!] An alteration of honour, is an altera. tion of an honourable state to a state of disgrace.

? How rarely does it meet -] How curiously; how happily.
8 When man was wish'd ] i. e. recommended.
9 Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo

Those that would mischief me, than those that do!] It is plain, that in this whole speech friends and enemies are taken only for those who profess friendship and profess enmity; for the friend is supposed not to be more kind, but more dangerous than the enemy. The sense is, Let me rather woo or caress those that would mischief, that profess to mean me mischief, than those that really du me mischief, under false professions of kindness. The Spaniards, I think, have this proverb : Defend me from my friends, and from my enemies I will defend myself. This proverb is a sufficient com. ment on the passage. JOHNSON.



Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
Tim. What, dost thou weep :--Come nearer ;-

then I love thee,
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
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 might'st 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 rich men deal.

Expecting in return twenty for one?

I m It almost turns

. My dangerous nature wild.) To turn wild is to distract. An appearance so unexpected, says. Timon, almost turns my savagenes to distraction,

« ПредишнаНапред »