Imatges de pàgina
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SCENE II.-A Room of State in Timon's House. Hautboys play loud music. A great banquet served in ;

FLAVIUS and others attending: then enter TIMON,
ALCIBIADES, the States, Athenian Lords, and VEN-
TIDIUS, whom TIMON redeemed from prison, and
Attendants: then comes, dropping after all, APEMAN-

TUS, discontentedly, like himself.
Ven. Most honour'd Timon, it hath pleas'd the gods to

remember
My father's age, and call him to long peace.
He is gone happy, and has left me rich :
Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound
To your free heart, I do return those talents,
Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help
I deriv'd liberty.
Tim.

O! by no means,
Honest Ventidius: you mistake my love.
I gave it freely ever; and there's none
Can truly say he gives, if he receives :
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
To imitate them : faults that are rich are fair.

Ven. A noble spirit !
Tim.

Nay, my lords, [After a pause.
Ceremony was but devis'd at first,
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown ;
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.

3-discontentedly, like himself.) We here follow, as nearly as possible, the old stage-direction, to the exclusion of the names of Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius.

Pray, sit : more welcome are ye to my fortunes,
Than

my
fortunes to me.

[They sit down to table.
First Lord. My lord, we always have confess’d it.
Apem. Ho, ho, confess'd it! hang'd it, have you not?
Tim. O, Apemantus !—you are welcome.

Apem. No; you shall not make me welcome :
I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.

Tim. Fie! thou 'rt a churl : you have got a humour there
Does not become a man, 'tis much to blame. -
They say, my lords, ira furor brevis est,
But yond' man is ever angry. —
Go, let him have a table by himself ;
For he does neither affect company,
Nor is he fit for 't, indeed.

Apem. Let me stay at thine apperil,5 Timon :
I come to observe ; I give thee warning on 't.

I Tim. I take no heed of thee; thou art an Athenian ; therefore welcome. I myself would have no power; pr'ythee, let my meat make thee silent.

Apem. I scorn thy meat; 'twould choke me, for I should ne'er flatter thee.- you gods ! what a number of men eat Timon, and he sees them not! It grieves me to see so many dip their meat in one man's blood; and all the madness is, he cheers them up too. I wonder men dare trust themselves with men : Methinks they should invite them without knives; Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.

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• But yond' man is Ever angry.] “Very angry” in the folios. Rowe made the change ; also found in the Cor. fol. 1632.

at thine APPERIL.] This word occurs in the same form at least four times in Ben Jonson. We do not recollect it elsewhere.

5

There's much example for’t; the fellow, that sits next him now, parts bread with him, pledges the breath of him in a divided draught, is the readiest man to kill him : it has been proved. If I were a huge man, I should fear to drink at meals ; Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes : Great men should drink with harness on their throats. Tim. My lord, in heart ; and let the health go round.

[Drinking to him. Second Lord. Let it flow this way, my good lord. Apem. Flow this way? A brave fellow !—he keeps his

y tides well. Those healths will make thee and thy state look ill, Timon. Here's that, which is too weak to be a fire, 8 Honest water, which ne'er left man i' the mire : This and my food are equals, there's no odds; Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.

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APEMANTUS's GRACE.
Immortal gods, I crave no pelf ;
I pray for no man, but myself.
Grant I may never prove so fond,
To trust man on his oath or bond;
Or a harlot for her weeping ;
Or a dog that seems a sleeping ;
Or a keeper with my freedom ;
Or my friends, if I should need 'em.
Amen.-So fall to 't ;
Rich men sin, and I eat root. [Eats and drinks.

6

-10 be a Fire,] So the Cor.fol. 1632, misprinted "to be a sinner," in all the old copies : the rhyme detects the blunder, occasioned, in part, by confusion between the long s and the letter f.

Much good dich thy good heart," Apemantus !

Tim. Captain Alcibiades, your heart 's in the field now.
Alcib. My heart is ever at your service, my lord.

Tim. You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies thana dinner of friends.

Alcib. So they were bleeding-new, my lord, there's no meat like 'em : I could wish my best friend at such a feast.

Apem. 'Would all those flatterers were thine enemies then, that then thou mightst kill 'em, and bid me to 'eme.

First Lord. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby we might express some part of our zeals, we should think ourselves for ever perfect

Tim. O! no doubt, my good friends; but the gods themselves have provided that I shall have much help from you : how had you been my friends else? why have you that charitable title from thousands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you to myself, than you can with modesty speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O, you gods! think I, what need we have any friends, if we should ne'er have need of 'em ? they were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er have use for 'em ; and would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keep their sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wished myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We are born to do benefits;

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? Much good DICH thy good heart,] So printed in all old copies; an apparent corruption of d’it for do it.

8 —and Bid me to 'em.] i.e., Invite me to 'em. To bid was constantly used in this sense. See Much Ado about Nothing, act v, sc. i, p. 83, Merchant of Venice, act ii, sc. 5, p. 33, etc.

1

and what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends ? O! what a precious comfort 'tis, to have so many, like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes. O joy, e'en made away ere it can be born! Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks : to forget their faults, I drink to you.

A pem. Thou weep'st to make them drink, Timon.

Second Lord. Joy had the like conception in our eyes, And at that instant like a babe sprung up.

A pem. Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard. Third Lord. I promise you, my lord, you moved me

much. A pem. Much!

[Tucket sounded within. Tim. What means that trump ?-How now!

Enter a Servant. Serv. Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies most

desirous of admittance. Tim. Ladies! What are their wills ?

Serv. There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which bears that office to signify their pleasures. Tim. I pray, let them be admitted.

Enter CUPID.
Cup. Hail to thee, worthy Timon; and to all
That of his bounties taste !—The five best senses
Acknowledge thee their patron ; and come freely
To gratulate thy plenteous bosom. The ear,9

9 The EAR, taste, etc.] Warburton's ingenious restoration of a difficult passage, which in the old copies runs thus:

There taste, touch, all pleas'd from thy table rise.”

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