[merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. THIS play, which contains many perplexed, obscure, and corrupt passages, was written about the year 1610, und was probably suggested by a passage in Plutarch's Life of Antony, wherein the latter professes to imitate the conduct of Timon, by retiring to the woods, and inveighing against the ingratitude of his friends. The finding of hidden gold, (see Act IV.) was an incident borrowed from a MS. play, apparently transcribed about the year 1600, and at one time in the possession of Mr. Strutt the antiquary. A building yet remains near Athens, called Timon's Tower. Phryuia, one of the courtezans whom Timon reviles so outrageously, was that exquisitely beautiful Phrine, who, when the Athenian Judges were about to condemn her for enormous offences, by the sight of her bosom disarmed the court of its severity, and secured her life from the sentence of the law. Alcibiades, known as a hero who, to the principles of a debauchee added the sagacity of a statesman, the intrepidity of a general, and the humanity of a philosopher, is reduced to comparative insignificance in the present production. I's relative merits, as to action and construction, are succinctly pointed out by Johnson. He describes it as "a domestic tragedy, which strongly fastens on the attention of the reader. In the plan there is not much art; but the incidents are natural, and the characters various and exact. The catastrophe affords a very powerful warning against the ostentatious liberality, which scatters bounty, but confers no benefits, and buys flattery but not friendship."

[blocks in formation]

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,
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. Oh! 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.

[blocks in formation]

Mer. O pray let's see't: For the lord Timon

Sir ?

Jew. If he would 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.
Mer. "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 dedication

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

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, hold, and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.

Pain. How shall I understand you?
Poet. I'll unbolt to you.

You see how all conditions, how all minds,
(As well of glib and slippery creatures, as
Of grave and austere quality,) tender down
Their services to lord Timon: his large fortune,
Upon his good and gracious nature banging,
Subdues and properties to his love and tend-

[blocks in formation]

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
Whose present grace to present slaves and ser-
Translates his rivals.

Pain. 'Tis conceiv'd to scope. [thinks,
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, me-
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 Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance Rain sacrificial whisperings ¶ in his ear, Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him Drink the free air.

Pain. Ay, marry, what of these?

Poet. When Fortune in her shift and change of mood,

[ants, Spurns down her late belov'd, all his dependWhich labour'd after him to the mountain's top, Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,

Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. 'Tis common:

A thousand moral paintings I can show

The contest of art with nature.

+My poem does not allude to any particular character. t Explain. Shewing, as a glass does by reflection, the looks of his patron. To advance their con dations of life. Whisperings of officious servility. Jubale.

[blocks in formation]

Tim. Noble Ventidius! Well ; I am not of that feather to shake off My friend when he must need me. A gentleman that well deserves a help, Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt, and free him.

Ven. Serv. Your lordship ever binds him. Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his ransom;

And, being enfranchis'd, bid him to come to


'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, But to support him after.-Fare you well. Ven. Serv. All happiness to your honour! [Exit.

Enter an old ATHENIAN.

Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.
Tim. Freely, good father.

Old Ath. Thou hast a servant nam'd Lu cilius.

Tim. I have so: What of him?

Old Ath. Most noble Timon, call the man

before thee.

Tim. Attends he here, or no?-Lucilius


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,
Than one which holds a trencher

Tim. Well; what further?

Old Ath. One only daughter have I, no kin

On whom I may confer what I have got:
The maid is fair, o'the youngest for a bride,
And I have bred her at my dearest cost,
In qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her love: I pr'ythee, noble lord,
Join with me to forbid him her resort;
Myself have spoke in vain.

Tim. The man is honest.

Old Ath. Therefore he will be, Timon:
His honesty rewards him in itself,
It must not bear my daughter.

T'im. Does she love him?

Old Ath. She is young, and apt:
Our own precedent passions do instruct us
What levity's in youth.

Tim. [To LUCILIUS.] Love you the maid? Luc. Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.

Old Ath. If in her marriage my consent be missing,

I call the gods to witness, I will choose
Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,
And dispossess her all.

Tim. How shall she be endow'd,

If she be mated with an equal husband? Old Ath. Three talents, ou the present; iu future, all.

Tim. This gentleman of mine hath serv'd me long:

To build his fortune, 1 will strain a little,
For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter;

Inferior spectators.

[blocks in formation]

Go not away. What have you there, my friend? Pain. A piece of painting, which I do beYour lordship to accept.

Tim. Painting is welcome.


The painting is almost the natural man;
For since dishonour traffics with man's nature,
He is but outside: These pencil'd figures are
Even such as they give out. * I like your

And you shall find, I like it: wait attendance
Till you bear further from me.

Pain. The gods preserve you!

Tim. Well fare you, gentlemen: Give me your hand;

We must needs dine together.-Sir, your jewel Hath suffer'd under praise.

Jew. What, my lord? dispraise?

Tim. A mere satiety of commendations.

If I should pay you for't as 'tis extoll'd,
It would unclew + me quite.

Jew. My lord, 'tis rated


As those, which sell, would give: But you well
Things of like value, differing in the owners,
Are prized by their masters: believe't, dear lord,
You mend the jewel by wearing it.

Tim. Well mock'd.

[blocks in formation]

Tim. Yes.

Apem. Then I repent not.

Jew. You know me, Apemantus. Apem. Thou know'st I do; I call'd thee by thy name.

Tim. Thou art proud, Apemantus.

Apem. Of nothing so much, as that I am not like Timon.

Tim. Whither art going?

Apem. To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.

Tim. That's a deed thou'lt die for.

Apem. Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.

Tim. How likest thou this picture, Apemantus ? Apem. The best, for the innocence.

Tim. Wrought he net well, that painted it? Apem. He wrought better, that made the painter; and yet he's but a filthy piece of work. Pain. You are a dog.

Apem. Thy mother's of my generation: What's she, if I be a dog?

Tim. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus ?
Apem. No; I eat not fords.

What they profess to be.

+ Draw out the whole mass of my fortunes.

[blocks in formation]

Apem. Then thou iiest: look in thy last work, where thou hast fign'd him a worthy fellow.

Poet. That's not feign'd, he is so.

Apem. Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thy labour: He that loves to be flattered, is worthy o'the flatterer. Heavens, that I were a lord!

Tim. What would'st do then, Apemantus? Apem. Even as Apemantus does now, hate: lord with my heart.

Tim. What, thyself?

Apem. Ay.

Tim. Wherefore?

Apem. That I had no angry wit to be a lord.Art not thou a mercbant?

Mer. Ay, Apemantus.

Apem. Traffic confound thee, if the gods will

not !

Mer. If traffic do it, the gods do it. Apem. Trafic's thy god, and thy god confound thee!

Trumpets sound. Enter a SERVANT.
Tim. What trumpet's that?
Serv. 'Tis Alcibiades, and

Some twenty horse, all of companionship.
Tim. Pray, entertain them; give them guide
to us.- [Exeunt some Attendants.
You must needs dine with me :-Go not you
Till I have thank'd you; and, when dinner's
Show me this piece.-I am joyful of your

Enter ALCIBIADES, with his Company. Most welcome, Sir! [They salute.

Apem. So, so; there!Aches contract and starve your supple joints !-That there should be small love 'mongst these sweet knaves, [out And all this court'sy! The strain of man's bred Iuto baboon and monkey. +

Alcib. Sir, you have sav'd my longing, and I Most hungrily on your sight. [feed

Tim. Right welcome, Sir: Ere we depart, we'll share a bounteous time In different pleasures. Pray you, let us in. [Exeunt all but APEMANTUS. Enter two Lorus.

1 Lord. What time a day is't, Apemantus ? Apem. Time to be honest.

1 Lord. That time serves still. Apem. The most accursed thou, that still omit'st it.

2 Lord. Thou art going to lord Timon's feast. Apem. Ay; to see meat fill knaves, and wine heat fools.

2 Lord. Fare thee well, fare thee well.

Alluding to the proverb: plain-dealing is a jewel,

but they who use it beggfrs.

His lineage degenerated into a monkey,

Apem. Thou art a fool, to bid me farewell twice.

2 Lord. Why, Apemantus ?

Apem. Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean to give thee none.

1 Lord. Hang thyself.

Apem. No, I will do nothing at thy bidding: make thy requests to thy friend.

2 Lord. Away, unpeaceable dog, or I'll spurn thee hence.


Apem. I will fly, like a dog, the heels of the [Erit. 1 Lord. He's opposite to humanity. Come, shall we in,

And taste lord Timon's bounty? he outgoes
The very heart of kindness.

2 Lord. He pours it out: Plutus, the god gold,

Is but his steward: no meed

but he repays
Sevenfold above itself: no gift to him,
But breeds the giver a return exceeding
All use of quittance. †

1 Lord. The noblest mind he carries, That ever govern'd man.

Apem. Let me stay at thine own peril, T mon;

I come to observe; I give thee warning on't. 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.-O you gods! what a number
Of men cat Tinion, 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;
of Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.
There's much example for't; the fellow that
Sits next him now, parts bread with him, and

2 Lord. Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we in?

1 Lord. I'll keep you company. [Exeunt. SCENE II.—The same.-A Room of State in TIMON'S House.

The breath of him in a divided draught,

Is the readiest man to kill him: it has been If I [prov'd, 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.

2 Lord. Let it flow this way, my good lord. Apem. Flow this way! [mon brave fellow !--he keeps his tides well. Ti Those healths will make thee and thy state look

Hautboys playing loud music. A great ban-
quet served in; FLAVIUS and others attend-
ing; then enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, LU-A
Athenian Senators, with VENTIDIUS, and
Attendants. Then comes, dropping after
all, APEMANTUS, discontentedly.

Ven. Most honour'd Timon, 't hath pleas'd the
gods 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

I deriv'd liberty.

Tim. Oh! 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.

[They all stand ceremoniously looking on TIMON.

Tim. Nay, my lords, ceremony

Was but devis'd at first, to set a gloss

On faint deeds, bollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown;

But where there is true friendship, there needs

[blocks in formation]


Here's that which is too weak to be a sinner, Honest water, which ne'er left n an i'the mire : This and my food, are equals; there's no odds Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.


Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
I pray for no man, but myself:
Grant I may never prove so jond, §
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. Much good dick thy good heart, Apemautus ! 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, than a dinner of friends.

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

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

1 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

[blocks in formation]
« ForrigeFortsett »