« AnteriorContinua »
This play is more correctly written than most of Shakspeare's compositions, but it is not one of those in which either the extent of his views or elevation of his fancy is fully displayed. As the story abounded with materials, he has exerted little invention; but he has diversified his characters with great variety, and preserved them with great exactness. His vicious characters disgust, but cannot corrupt, for both Cressida and Pardarus are detested and contemned. The comic characters seem to have been the favourites of the writer: they are of the superficial kind, and exhibit more of manners than nature; but they are copiously filled, and powerfully impressed. Shakspeare has in his story followed, for the greater part, the old book of Caxton, which was then very popular; but the character of Thersites, of which it makes no mention, is a proof that this play was written after Chapman had published his version of Homer. JOHNSON.
C. Whittingham Printer, Chiswick.
Timon, a noble Athenian.
Lucullus, Lords, and Flatterers of Timon.
Ventidius, one of Timon's false Friends.
Alcibiades, an Athenian General.
Flavius, Steward to Timon.
Two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of Isidore ; two of Timon's Creditors.
Cupid, and Maskers. Three Strangers.
Timandra, Mistresses to Alcibiades.
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves, and
SCENE, Athens; and the Woods adjoining.
SCENE I. ATHENS. A Hall in TIMON's House. Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others, at several Doors.
I am glad you are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long; How goes the world? Pain. It wears, sir, as it grows.
Ay, that's well known : But what particular rarity? what strange, Which manifold record not matches? See, Magic 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!
Nay, that's most fix'd.
Mer. A most incomparable man; breath'd, as it were, To an untirable and continuate goodness:
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: 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."
'Tis a good form.
[Looking at the Jewel. Jew. And rich: here is a water, look you.
Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dediTo the great lord. Poet.
A thing slipp'd idly from me.
From whence 'tis nourished: The fire i'the flint
Provokes itself, and, like the current, flies
Each bound it chafes. What have you there? [forth? Pain. A picture, sir.-And when comes your book Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
Let's see your piece.
"Tis a good piece.
Poet. So 'tis: this comes off well and excellent.
Admirable: How this grace
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
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 senators of Athens:-Happy men!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of
I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man,
Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug