Imatges de pÓgina

So are they all; for every grize of fortunes
Is smooth'd by that below: the learned pate
Ducks to the golden fool : All is oblique;
There's nothing level in our cursed natures,
But direct villainy. Therefore, be abhorr'd
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men !
His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains:
Destruction fang mankind !- Earth, yield me roots !

Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy most operant poison! What is here?
Gold ? yellow, glittering, precious gold ? No, gods,
I am no idle votarist.? Roots, you clear heavens !8
Thus much of this, will make black, white; foul, fair;
Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward, va-

liant. Ha, you gods ! why this ? What this, you gods ? Why

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'd 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.' Come, damned earth,



- for every grize of fortune - ] Grize for step or degree. 6 fang mankind. i.e. seize, gripe.

7- no idle votarist.] No insincere or inconstant supplicant. Gold will not serve me instead of roots. Johnson.

you clear heavens !) This may mean either ye cloudless skies, or ye deities exempt from guilt.

9 To the April day again.] The April day does not relate to the widow, but to the other diseased female, who is represented the


Thou common whore of mankind, that put'st odds
Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature. ' --[March afar off:] - Ha! a

drum ? — Thou'rt quick,?
But yet I'll bury thee: Thou’lt go, strong thief,
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand :
Nay, stay thou out for earnest. [Keeping some gold.

[ocr errors]

Enter AlcIBIADES, with Drum and Fife, in warlike

manner; PHRYNIA and TIMANDRA. Alcib.

What art thou there? Speak. Tim. A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy

heart, For showing me again the eyes of man !

Alcib. What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee, That art thyself a man?

Tim. I am misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.

I know thee well;
But in thy fortunes am unlearn'd and strange.
Tim. I know thee too, and more, than that I know

I not desire to know. Follow thy drum ;
With man's blood paint the ground, gules, gules :
Religious canons, civil laws are cruel;
Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine
Hath in her more destruction than thy sword,
For all her cherubin look.

Thy lips rot off!

outcast of an hospital. She it is whom gold embalms and spices to the April day again : i. e. gold restores her to all the freshness and sweetness of youth. i Do thy right nature.] Lie in the earth where nature laid thee. Thou'rt quick,] Thou hast life and motion in thee.


Tim. I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns To thine own lips again.

Alcib. How came the noble Timon to this change?

Tim. As the moon does, by wanting light to give :
But then renew I could not, like the moon;
There were no suns to borrow of.

Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?

None, but to
Maintain my opinion.

What is it, Timon ?
Tim. Promise me friendship, but perform none: If
Thou wilt not promise", the gods plague thee, for
Thou art a man ! if thou dost perform, confound thee,
For thou’rt a man !

Alcib. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries. Tim. Thou saw'st them, when I had prosperity. Alcib. I see them now; then was a blessed time. Tim. As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.

Timan. Is this the Athenian minion, whom the world
Voic'd so regardfully ?

Art thou Timandra ?
Timan. Yes.
Tim. Be a whore still ! they love thee not, that use

Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
Make use of thy salt hours: season the slaves
For tubs, and baths; bring down rose-cheeked youth
To the tub-fast, and the diet.

Hang thee, monster! Alcib. Pardon him, sweet Timandra; for his wits Are drown'd and lost in his calamities. I have but little gold of late, brave Timon, The want whereof doth daily make revolt

[ocr errors]


Thou wilt not promise, &c.) That is, however thou may'st act, since thou art a man, hated man, I wish thee evil.

In my penurious band; I have heard, and griev'd,
How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them, —

Tim. I prythee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone.
Alcib. I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.
Tim. How dost thou pity him, whom thou dost

I had rather be alone.

Why, fare thee well:
Here's some gold for thee.

Keep't, I cannot eat it.
Alcib. When I have laid proud Athens on a heap, -
Tim. Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens ?

Ay, Timon, and have cause. Tim. The gods confound them all i’thy conquest; and Thee after, when thou hast conquer'd ! Alcib.

Why me, Timon ? Tim. That, By killing villains, thou wast born to conquer My country. Put up thy gold; 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 counterfeit 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

+ « But set them down” -- MALONE.
baslard,] An allusion to the tale of Qdipus..



Hath doubtfully pronounc'd thy throat shall cut, And mince it sans remorse: Swear against objects ;S 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. Alcib. Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou

giv'st me, Not all thy counsel.

Tim. Dost thou, or dost thou not, heaven's curse

upon thee!

[ocr errors]

Phr. f Timan. Give us some gold, good Timon:

Hast thou more? Tim. Enough to make a whore forswear her trade, And to make whores, a bawd. Hold up, you sluts, Your aprons mountant: You are not oathable, Although, I know, you'll swear, terribly swear, Into strong shudders, and to heavenly agues, The immortal gods that hear you, - spare your oaths, I'll trust to your conditions 6: Be whores still; And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you, Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up; Let your close fire predominate his smoke, And be no turncoats: Yet may your pains, six months, Be quite contrary: And thatch your poor thin roofs With burdens of the dead; — some that were hang’d, No matter :-wear them, betray with them : whore still; Paint till a horse may mire upon your face: A pox of wrinkles !

Phr. & Timan. Well, more gold ;- What then ?Believ't, that we'll do any thing for gold.

5 Swear against objects ;] Against objects is, against objects of cha. rity and compassion.

6 l’u to your conditions :) I will trust to your inclinations, or rather vocations.

« AnteriorContinua »