Imatges de pàgina
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And fo attending other serious Matters,
After diftasteful Looks, and these hard Fractions,
With certain Half-caps, and cold-moving Nods,
They froze me into Silence.
| Tim. You Gods reward 'em!
I pr’ytheé, Man, look cheerly. These old Fellows
Have their Ingratitude in them hereditary;
Their Blood is cak'd, 'tis cold, it seldom flows, .
And Nature, as its grows again toward Earth,
Is fashion’d for the Journey, dull and heavy.
But be not'sad; no Blame belongs to thee:
Thou'rt true and juft. And never doubt, or think
That Timon's Virtues 'mong his Friends can sink.
· Flav. Would I could not: That Thought its Bounty's Foe;
Being free itself, it thinks all others so.

Enter first Servant.
Tim. Peace, here comes my Messenger from Lord Lucullus,
Well, what Success ?

I Serv. Soon as I saw my Lord Lucullus; Honest Friend, says he, you are very respectfully welcome. Fill me some Wine. And how does that honourable, compleat, freehearted Gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good Lord and Master ? His Health, said I, is very well, Sir. I am right glad to hear, quoth he, his Health is well: And what haft thou there under thy Cloak? A Gift, I warrant: Why this hits well, I dreamt of a Silver Bason and Ewer last Night. No, faith, my Lord, says I, here's nothing but an empty Box, which, in my Lord's behalf, I come to entreat your Honour to supply; who having great and instant Occasion ta use fifty Talents, hath sent to your Lordship to furnish him, nothing doubting your present Amistance therein. Nothing doubting ! says he, with an alter'd Tone and Countenance; alas, good Lord, a noble Gentleman ’tis, if he would not keep so good a House. Many a time and often I have din'd with him, and told him of it, and came again to Supper with him, on purpose to have him spend less. And yet he would embrace no Counsel, take no Warning by my coming. Every Man hath his Fault, and Honesty is his. I have told him of it, but I could never get him from it. Good Friend, he goes on, I have noted thee always wise; here's to thee. I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt Spirit, give thee thy Due; and one that knows what belongs to Reason; and canst use the Time well, if the Time use thee well. Good

Parts

liver your Meliane fent-Ha! Word; he's evers

Parts in thee.-Draw nearer, honest Friend : Thy Lord's a bountiful Gentleman; but thou art wife, and thou knowest well enough (altho' thou com'st to me) that this is no Time to lend Money, especially upon bare Friendship, without Security. Here's three Solidares for thee; good Boy wink at me, and say thou saw'st me not.-Is't possible, quoth I, the World should so much differ? Fly, damned Baseness, to him that worthips thee! (and threw it back with Scorn.) Tim. I thank thee for thy honeft Zeal.

[Enter 2d Servant.] But here Comes he I sent to Lucius. What say'st thou ?

2d Serv. My Lord, I saw Lord Lucius, and began to deliver your Message to him. May it please your Honour, said I, my Lord hath sent-Ha! what hath he sent ? says he; I am so much endear'd to that Lord; he's ever sending: how shall I thank him, think'st thou ? And what has he sent? He has only sent his present Occasion now, my Lord, says I; requesting your Lordship to supply his instant Use with fifty Talents. I know his Lordship is but merry with me, quoth he; he cannot want fifty times five hundred Talents. Were his Occafion, I reply'd,' less pressing, I should not urge it half so fervently. Dost thou speak seriously then ? says he. Why what a wicked Beast was Ī, to disfurnish myself against such a good Time, when I might have shewn myself honourable? How unluckily it happen'd that I should make a Purchase but a Day before? I am vastly sorry I am not able to do I was sending to use Lord Timon myself, these Gentlemen can witness; but I would not for the Wealth of Athens, I had done it now. Commend me bountifully to his good Lordship; and I hope his Honour will conceive the fairelt of me, because I have really no Power to be kind. And tell him this from me, I count it one of my greatest Amictions, that I cannot pleasure such an honourable Gentleman,

Tim. And is this all? This the Return for all I've done? But see my Messenger from Sempronius. What says he?

3d Serv. Sempronirs, my Lord, after much Hesitation, and muttering to himself, cry'd in a surly Tone, Must he needs trouble Me in't?-Me above all others ?-He might have try'd Lord Lucius, or Lucullus ; and now Ventidius is wealthy too, whom he redeem'd from Prison: All these owe their Estates unto him. O, my Lord, says I, they've all been touch'd, and all are found base Metal; for they've all deny'd him. How! deny'd him? says he; Ventidius and Lucullus both deny'd him?' And does he send to me? Huin !--- It shews but little Love or Judgment in him. Must I be his last Re

fuge ? fuge? He has much disgrac'd me in it. I'm angry. He might have known my Place; I see no Cause, but his Occasions might have woo'd me firft: for in my Conscience I was the first Man that e'er receiv'd a Present from him. And does he think so backwardly of me that I'll requite it last? No: so it may prove an Argument of Laughter to the rest, and I 'mongst Lords be thought a Fool. I'd rather than the Worth of thrice the Sum, he'd sent to me first, but for my Mind's Sake: I had such a Courage to have done him good. But now return,

And with their faint Reply this Answer join,

Who doubts mine Honour, shall not know my Coin! Tim. Excellent! a goodly Villain!

Flav. Why, this is the World's Soul; Of the same Piece is every Flatterer's Spirit. O Timon ! see the Monstrousness of Man, When he looks out in an ungrateful Shape !

These Trencher-friends do now deny to thee, What charitable Men afford to Beggars..

Tim. And is it thus?—This then is Timon's last.Ye Knot of Mouth-friends! Smoke, and lukewarm Water, Are your true Likeness. O live loath'd, and long, Ye smiling, smooth, detested Parasites ! Athens, adieu! Nothing I'll bear from thee But Nakedness, thou detestable Town ! Timon will to the Woods, where he shall find, Th’unkindeft Beast more friendly than Mankind.

[Exit in a Rage. If Serv. Hark you, good Steward, where's our Master gone! Are we undone, cast off, nothing remaining?

Flav. Alack, my Fellows, what should I say to you?
Let me be recorded by the righteous Gods, i
I'm near as poor as you.

1/7 Serv. Such a House broke up!
So noble a Master fall’n! all gone! and not
One Friend to take his Fortune by the Arm,
And go along with him?

2d Serv. As we do turn our Backs
From our Companion, thrown into his Grave;
So his Familiars from his bury'd Fortunes
Slink all away; leave their false Vows with him,
Like empty Purses pick’d: And his poor Self,
A dedicated Beggar to the Air,
With his Difcale of all-thun’d Poverty,
Walks, like Contempt, alone.

3d Serv,

3d Serv. Yet do our Hearts wear Timon's Livery,
That see I by our Faces; we are Fellows still,
Serving alike in Sorrow. Leak'd is our Bark,
And we, poor Mates, stand on the dying Deck,
Hearing the Surges threat.

Flav. Good Fellows all;
The latest of my Wealth I'll share amongst you.
Where ever we shall meet, for Timon's Sake,
Let's yet bé Fellows; shake our Heads, and say,
(As 'twere a Knell unto our Master's Fortunes)
We have seen better Days. .
O the vast Wretchedness that Grandeur brings !
Who'd be fo mock'd with Glory as to live
But in a Dream of Friendship? All his Pomp
But only painted, like his varnish'd Friends !
Poor honeft Lord! brought low by his own Heart,
Undone by Goodness; strange, unusual Mood!
This Man's worst Crime was doing too much Good.

[Exeunt.

SECT. III.
On Writing LETTERS.

AFTER Reading and Speaking with Grace and ProA priety, the next thing to be considered, is the Art of Writing Letters; as a great Part of the Commerce of human Life is carry'd on by this means.

The Art of epistolary Writing, as the late Translator of Pliny's Letters has observ'd, was esteemed by the Romans, in the Number of liberal and polite Accomplishments; and we find Cicero mentioning with great Pleasure in some of his Letters to Atticus, the elegant Specimen he had receiv'd from his Son, of his Genius in this Way *. It seems indeed to have formed Part of their Education; and in the Opinion of Mr. Locke, it well deserves to have a Share in ours." The “ Writing of Letters (as that judicious Author observes) enters .66 fo much into all the Occasions of Life, that no GentleYOL, I.

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« man can avoid showing himself in Compositions of this kind. « Occurrences will daily force him to make this Use of his • Pen, which lays open his Breeding, his Sense, and his Abi« lities, to a severer Examination than any oral Discourse," It is to be wonder'd we have so few Writers in our own Language, who deserve to be pointed out as Models upon such an Occasion. After having nam'd Sir William Temple, it would be difficult perhaps to add a Second. The elegant Writer of Cowley's Life, mentions him as excelling in this uncommon Talent; but as that Author declares himself of Opinion, « That Letters which pass between familiar Friends, if they « are written as they should be, can scarce ever be fit to fee « the Light," the World is deprived of what, no doubt, would have been well worth its Inspection. A late distinguished Genius treats the very Attempt as ridiculous, and profeffes himself “a mortal Enemy to what they call à fine Letter.” His Averfion however was not so strong, but he knew how to conquer it when he thought proper, and the Letter which closes his Correspordence with Bishop Atterbury, is, perhaps, the most genteel and manly Address that ever was pen'd to a Friend in Disgrace. The Truth is, a fine Letter does not consist in saying fine things, but in expressing ordinary ones in an uncommon manner. It is the proprie communia dicere, the Art of giving Grace and Elegance to familiar Occurrences, that constitutes the Merit of this kind of Writing. Mr. Gay's Letter concerning the two Lovers who were struck dead with the same Flash of Lightning, is a Master-piece of the Sort; and the Specimen he has there given of his Talents for this Species of Composition, makes it much to be regretted, we have not more from the same Hand: We might then have equalled, if not excelled, our Neighbours the French in this, as we have in every other Branch of polite Literature, and have found a Name among our own Countrymen to mention with the easy Voiture.

I will here give you, from our best Authors in this Way, some Specimens of Letters of different kinds, as also some Translations from the Latin and French, by way of Examples; and I shall close with an original which I have by me, written to a young Gentleman at School, on the Subject of Writing

Letters.

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