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TIMON, a noble Athenian.
Lords, and Flatterers of TIMON.
VENTIDIUS, one of TIMON's false Friends.
ALCIBIADES, an Athenian General.
APEMANTUS, a churlish Philosopher.
FLAVIUS, Steward to TIMON.
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves,
SCENE, ATHENS, and the Woods adjoining.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
SCENE I.-ATHENS. A Hall in TIMON's House.
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others, at several doors.
Poet. Good-day, sir.
I am glad you are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long: how goes the world?
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; th' 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?
Poet. [reciting to himself.] 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 ye.
Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
To the great lord.
A thing slipp'd idly from me.
poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 'tis nourish'd: the fire i' the flint
Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
Pain. A picture, sir.-And when comes your book forth? 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 will 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 is follow'd!
Poet. The senators of Athens:--happy man!
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
I will unbolt to you.
Pain. How shall I understand you?
I saw them speak together.
Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
'Tis conceiv'd to scope.
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of mood,
Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
Pain. 'Tis common:
A thousand moral paintings I can show
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's
To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.
Trumpets sound. Enter TIMON, attended; the Servant of VENTIDIUS talking with him.
Imprison'd is he, say you?
Ven. Serv. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt; His means most short, his creditors most strait:
Your honourable letter he desires
To those have shut him up; which failing him,
Noble Ventidius! Well;
I am not of that feather to shake off
My friend when he most needs me. I do know him
Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt, and free him.
Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his ransom;
"Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after.-Fare you well.
Enter an Old Athenian.
Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.
Freely, good father. Old Ath. Thou hast a servant nam'd Lucilius. Tim. I have so: what of him?
Old Ath. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee. Tim. Attends he here, or no?-Lucilius!
LUCILIUS comes forward from among the Attendants. Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.
Old Ath. This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature, By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first have been inclin❜d to thrift;
And my estate deserves an heir more rais'd
Well; what further?
The man is honest.
It must not bear my daughter.
Does she love him?
Old Ath. She is young and apt:
Tim. [to LUCILIUS.] Love you the maid?
Luc. Ay, my good lord; and she accepts of it.