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Timon, a noble Athenian.
LUCULLUS, Lords, and flatterers of Timon.
VENTIDIUS, one of Timon's false Friends.
APEMANTUS, a churlish Pbilosopher.
ALCIBIADES, an Athenian General.
FLAVIUS, Steward to Timon.
LUCILIUS, Timon's Servants.
Servants to Timon's Creditors.
Two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of Isidore ; two of
Cupid and Maskers. Three Strangers.
Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant.
An old Athenian. A Page. A Fool.
} Misfresses to Alcibiades.
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves, and
Athens. A Hall in Timon's House. Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and Others, at
Poet. 100D day, sir.
I am glad you are well, Poet. I have not seen you long; How goes the world? Pain. It wears, fir, as it grows. Poet.
Ay, that's well known:
But what particular rarity? what strange,
Which manifold record not matches? See,
Magick of bounty! all these fpirits thy power
Hath conjur'd to attend. I know the merchant.
Pain. I know them both; t'other's a jeweller.
Mer. O, 'tis a worthy lord!
Nay, that's most fix'd.
Mer. A most incomparable man; breath'd, as it were,
To an untirable and continuate goodness :
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 recompense have prais'd the vile,
It stains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly fings the good.
'Tis a good form.
[Looking on the jewel. Jew. And rich: here is a water, look you.
Pain. You are rapt, fir, in some work, some dedication
To the great lord.
A thing flipp'd idly from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 'tis nourished: The fire i'the flint
Shows not, till it be struck; our gentle flame
Provokes itself, and, like the current, fies
Each bound it chafes. What have
there? Pain. A picture, fir.-- And when comes your book
Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, fir.
Let's see your piece.
'Tis a good piece.
Poet. So 'tis: this comes off well and excellent.
Admirable : How this grace
Speaks his own standing : what a mental power
This eye shoots forth! how big imagination
Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture
One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
Here is a touch; Is’t good ?
I'll say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial strife
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.
Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord's follow'd!
Poet. The fenators of Athens ;-Happy men!
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of visi-
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 particularly, but moves itself
In a wide sea of wax: no levell'd malice
Infects one comma in the course I hold;
But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.
Pain. How shall I understand
I'll unbolt to you.
You see how all conditions, how all minds,
(As well of glib and nippery creatures, as
Of grave and austere quality,) tender down
Their services 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 fatterer
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Than to abhor himself: even he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace
Most rich in Timon's nod.
I saw them speak together. Poet. Sir, I have, upon a high and pleasant hill, Feign'd Fortune to be thron’d: The base o’the mount Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures, That labour on the bosom of this fphere To propagate their states : amongst them all, Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix’d, One do I perfonate of lord Timon's frame, Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her;
Whose present grace to present flaves and servants
Translates his rivals.
'Tis conceiv'd to scope.
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
With one man beckon'd from the rest below,
Bowing his head against the steepy mount
To climb his happiness, would be well express’d
In our condition.
Nay, fir, 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 whisperings in his ear,
Make sacred even his stirrop, and through him
Drink the free air.
Ay, marry, what of these ?
Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of mood,
Spurns down her late belov'd, all his dependants,
Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top,
Even on their knees and hands, let him flip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. 'Tis common :
A thousand moral paintings I can show,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well,
To show lord Timon, that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.
Trumpets found. Enter Timon, attended; the Servant of
VENTIDIUS talking with him. Tim,
Imprison'd is he, fay you? Ven. Serv. Ay, my good lord : five talents is his debt;