Imatges de pàgina
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Timon, a noble Athenian.
Lucius,
LUCULLUS, Lords, and Flatterers of Timon.
SEMPRONIUS,
VENTIDIUS, one of Timon's false Friends.
APEMANTUs, a churlish Philosopher.
ALCIBIADES, an Athenian General.
FLAVIUS, Steward to Timon.
FLAMINIUS,
LUCILIUS, Timon's Servants.
SERVILIUS,
CAPHIS,
PHILOTUS,
Titus,

Servants to Timon's Creditors.
Lucius,
HORTENSIUS,
Two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of Isidore ; two

of Timon's Creditors. Cupid and Maskers. Three Strangers. Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant. An old Athenian. A Page. A Fool. Phrynia,

Mistresses to Alcibiades. TIMANDRA,

}

Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves, and

Attendants.

SCENE, ATHENS; and the Woods adjoining.

| Phrynia,] (or as this name should have been written by Shakspeare, Phryne,) was an Athenian courtezan so exquisitely beautiful, that when her judges were proceeding to condemn her for numerous and enormous offences, a sight of her bosom (which as we learn from Quintilian, had been artfully denuded by her advocate,) disarmed the court of its severity, and secured her life from the sentence of the law. STEEVENS.

TIMON OF ATHENS.

ACT I.

SCENE I. -Athens.

A Hall in Timon's House.

Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and Others,

at several Doors.

Poet.
Good day, sir.
Pain.

I am glad you are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long; How goes the world?
Pain. It wears, sir, 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 spirits 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 !
Jew.

Nay, that's most fix’d.
Mer. A most incomparable man; breath'd, as it were,
To an untirable and continuate goodness :
He passes.?

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- breath'd, as it were,] Breathed is inured by constant practice; 60 trained as not to be wearied. To breathe a horse, is to exercise him for the course.' Johnson.

* He passes.) i. e, exceeds, goes beyond common bounds.

Jew.

I have a jewel here.
Mer. O, pray, let's see't: For the lord Timon, sir ?
Jew. If he will touch the estimate 3 : But, for that

Poet. When we for recompense* have prais'd the vile,
It stains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly sings the good.
Mer.

'Tis a good form.

[Looking at the jewel. Jer. And rich: here is a water, look you. Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedi

cation To the great lord. Poet.

A thing slipp'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, flies
Each bound it chafes." What have you there?
Pain. A picture, sir. — And when comes your book

forth?
Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
Let's see your piece.
Pain.

"Tis a good piece.
Poet. So'tis: this comes off well and excellent.
Pain. Indifferent.
Poet.

Admirable: How this grace
Speaks his own standing! what a mental power

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touch the estimate :) Come up to the price. When we for recompense, &c.] We must here suppose the poet busy in reading in his own work; and that these three lines are the introduction of the poem addressed to Timon, which he afterwards gives the painter an-account of. WARBURTON.

- and, like the current, flies

Each bound it chafes.] This jumble of incongruous images seems to have been designed, and put into the mouth of the poetaster, that the reader might appreciate his talents : his language therefore should not be considered in the abstract.

+ Mr. Malone omits And.

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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?
Poet.

I'll say of it,
It tutors nature': artificial strife 6
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.

Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord's follow'd!
Poet. The senators of Athens: - Happy men !
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of

visitors.
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 you?
Poet.

I'll anbolt to you. You see how all conditions, how all minds, (As well of glib and slippery creatures, as

6

- artificial strife - ) Strife is the contest of art with nature. 7 Halts not particularly,] My design does not stop at any single "character. JOHNSON.

6 In a wide sea of wax: ] Anciently they wrote upon waxen tables with an iron style.

9 - no levelld malice, &c.] To level is to aim, to point the shot at a mark. Shakspeare's meaning is, my poem is not a satire written with any particular view, or levelled at any single person; I fly like an eagle into the general expanse of life, and leave not, by any private mischief, the trace of my passage.

- I'U unbolt -) I'll open, I'll explain. JOHNSON.

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 flatterer 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. Pain.

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 sphere
To propagate their states * : amongst them all,
Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix'd,
One do I personate of lord Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her;
Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
Translates his rivals.
Pain.

"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.
Poet.

Nay, sir, but hear me on:
All those which were his fellows but of late,
(Some better than his value,) on the moment

5

6

2

3

glass-fac'd flatterer — ) That shows in his look, as by reflection, the looks of his patron. JOHNSON.

rank'd with all deserts,] Cover'd with ranks of all kinds of men. JOHNSON.

4 To propagate their states:) To advance or improve their various conditions of life. Johnson.

conceiv'd to scope.) Properly imagined, appositely, to the purpose. Johnson.

o In our condition.] Condition for art.

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