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and make thine own self the conquest of thy fury: wert thou a bear, thou would'st be killed by the horse; wert thou a horse, thou would'st be seized by the leopard; wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were jurors on thy life: all thy safety were remotion; and thy defence, absence. What beast could'st thou be, that were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art thou already, that seest not thy loss in transformation?

Apem. If thou could'st please me with speaking to me, thou might'st have hit upon it here: The commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.

Tim. How has the ass broke the wall, that art out of the city?

Apem. Yonder comes a poet and a painter: The plague of company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it, and give way: When I know not what else to do, I'll see thee again.

Tim. When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog, than Apemantus.

Apem. Thou art the cap2 of all the fools alive. Tim. 'Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon. Apem. A plague on thee, thou art too bad to


Tim. All villains, that do stand by thee, are pure. Apem. There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st. Tim. If I name thee.

I'll beat thee,--but I should infect my hands.
Apem. I would, my tongue could rot them off!
Tim. Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me, that thou art alive;
I swoon to see thee.



Enter Thieves.

1 Thief. Where should he have this gold? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder: The mere want of gold, and the fallingfrom of his friends, drove him into this melancholy. 2 Thief. It is noised, he hath a mass of treasure. 3 Thief. Let us make the assay upon him; if he care not for't, he will supply us easily; If he covetthouously reserve it, how shall's get it?

2 Thief. True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis hid.

'Would thou would'st burst! Away, Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry, I shall lose A stone by thee! [Throws a stone at him.



Apem. Tim.


Rogue, rogue, rogue!
[Apemantus retreats backward, as going.
I am sick of this false world; and will love nought
But even the mere necessities upon it.
Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave;
Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat
Thy grave-stone daily make thine epitaph,
That death in me at others' lives may laugh.
O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
[Looking on the gold.
'Twixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler
Of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars!
Thou ever young, fresh, lov'd, and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian's lap! thou visible god,
That solder'st close impossibilities,
And mak'st them kiss! that speak'st with every

To every purpose! O thou touch3 of heart!
Think, thy slave man rebels; and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire!



Tim. Thy back, I pr'ythee.

Apem. Live, and love thy misery! Tim. Long live so, and so die!-I am quit.Exit Apemantus. More things like men?-Eat, Timon, and abhor


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'Would 'twere so;-I
But not till I am dead!-I'll say, thou hast gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.

(1) Remoteness, the being placed at a distance from the lion.

(2) The top, the principal.

1 Thief. Is not this he? Thieves. Where?

2 Thief. 'Tis his description. 3 Thief. He; I know him. Thieves. Save thee, Timon. Tim. Now, thieves.

Thieves. Soldiers, not thieves.
Tim. Both too; and women's sons.
Thieves. We are not thieves, but men that much
do want.

Tim. Your greatest want is, you want much of


Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;

Within this mile break forth a hundred springs :
The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips;
The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want? why want?
i Thief. We cannot live on grass, on berries,

water, As beasts, and birds, and fishes.

Tim. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes;

You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con,
That you are thieves profess'd; that you work not
In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft
In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
Here's gold: Go, suck the subtle blood of the grape,
Till the high fever seeth your blood to froth,
And so 'scape hanging: trust not the physician;
His antidotes are poison, and he slays
More than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
Do villany, do, since you profess to do't,
Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery :
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun :
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a compostures stolen
From general excrement: each thing's a thief;
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves: away;
Rob one another. There's more gold: Cut throats;
All that you meet are thieves: To Athens, go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it: Steal not less, for this
give you, and gold confound you howsoever
[Timon retires to his cave.
3 Thief. He has almost charmed me from my
profession, by persuading me to it.

1 Thief. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.

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2 Thief. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give | Suspect still comes where an estate is least. over my trade. That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love, Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind, Care of your food and living: and, believe it, My most honour'd lord,

For any benefit that points to me,
Either in hope, or present, I'd exchange
For this one wish, That you had power and wealth
To requite me, by making rich yourself.

Tim. Look thee, 'tis so!-Thou singly honest man,
Here take-the gods out of my misery

Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich, and happy:
But thus condition'd; Thou shalt build from men ;4
Hate all, curse all: show charity to none;
But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone,
Ere thou relieve the beggar: give to dogs
What thou deny'st to men; let prisons swallow them,
Debts wither them: Be men like blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
And so, farewell, and thrive.

O, let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.

If thou hat'st
Curses, stay not; fly, whilst thou'rt bless'd and free:
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
[Exeunt severally.

1 Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens: There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true. [Exeunt Thieves.

Enter Flavius.

-Flav. O you gods!


Is yon despis'd and ruinous man my lord?
Full of decay and failing? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd!
What an alteration of honour' has
Desperate want made!

What viler thing upon the earth, than friends,
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely2 does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wish'd3 to love his enemies:
Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me, than those that do!
He has caught me in his eye : I will present
My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord,
Still serve him with my life.-My dearest master!
Timon comes forward from his cave.

Tim. Away! what art thou?
Have you forgot me, sir?
Tim. Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men ;
Then, if thou grant'st thou'rt man, I have forgot thee.
Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.


I know thee not: I ne'er had honest man
About me, I; all that I kept were knaves,
To serve in meat to villains.


The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
Tim. What, dost thou weep?-Come nearer ;-
then I love thee,

Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give,
But thorough lust, and laughter. Pity's sleeping:
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with

Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
To accept my grief, and whilst this poor wealth lasts,
To entertain me as your steward still.

Tim. Had I a steward so true, so just, and now
So comfortable? It almost turns
My dangerous nature wild. Let me behold
Thy face. Surely, this man was born of woman.-
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
Perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man,-mistake me not,-but one;
No more, I pray,-and he is a steward.-
How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeem'st thyself: But all, save thee,
I fell with curses.

Methinks, thou art more honest now, than wise;
For, by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou might'st have sooner got another service:
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true
(For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure,)
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness; and as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?

Flav. No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are plac'd too late :
You should have fear'd false times, when you did

(1) An alteration of honour is an alteration of an honourable state to a state of disgrace. (2) How happily. (3) Recommended.


SCENE I-The same. Before Timon's cave.
Enter Poet and Painter; Timon behind, unseen.

Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.

Poet. What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold?

Pain. Certain: Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him: he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: 'Tis said, he gave unto his steward a mighty sum.

Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.

Pain. Nothing else: you shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore, 'tis not amiss, we tender our loves to him, in this supposed distress of his: it will show honestly in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.

Poet. What have you now to present unto him? Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation : only I will promise him an excellent piece. Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.

Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o'the time: it opens the eyes of expectation : performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of sayings is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will and testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.

Tim. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.

Poet. I am thinking, what I shall say I have provided for him: It must be a personating of himself: a satire against the softness of prosperity; with a discovery of the infinite flatteries, that follow youth and opulency.

(4) Away from human habitation.

(5) The doing of that we said we would do.

Tim. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.

Poet. Nay, let's seek him:

Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.
Pain. True;

When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.

Tim. I'll meet you at the turn. What a god's gold,

Nor I.

Tim. Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,
Rid me these villains from your companies:
Hang them, or stab them, drown them in a draught,3

'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough'st the Confound them by some course, and come to me, I'll give you gold enough.


Settlest admired reverence in a slave:

Both. Name them, my lord, let's know them. Tim. You that way, and you this, but two in company:-

That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple,

Than where swine feed!

To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Be crown'd with plagues, that thee alone obey!
'Fit I do meet them.

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Tim. There's ne'er a one of you but trusts a knave,

To make it known to us.
You'll take it ill.
Both. Most thankfully, my lord.
Both. Doubt it not, worthy lord.

(1) A portrait was so called.
(2) A complete, a finished villain.

That mightily deceives you.

Do we, my lord? Tim. Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,

Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom: yet remain assur'd,
That he's a made-up villain.2

Pain. I know none such, my lord.


Each man apart, all single and alone,
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
If, where thou art, two villains shall not be,
To the Painter.
Come not near him.-If thou would'st not reside
[To the Poet.
But where one villain is, then him abandon.
Hence! pack! there's gold, ye came for gold, ye

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O, forget
Will you, indeed? What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
The senators, with one consent of love,

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Entreat thee back to Athens; who have thought
On special dignities, which vacant lie
For thy best use and wearing.

2 Sen.

They confess,
Toward thee, forgetfulness too general, gross:
Which now the public body,-Which doth seldom
Play the recanter,-feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fall, restraining aid to Timon;
And send forth us, to make their sorrowed render!,
Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram;
Ay, even such heaps and sums of love and wealth,
As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs,
And write in thee the figures of their love,
Ever to read them thine.

Therefore, Timon,Tim. Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; Thus,

If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,


You witch me in it;
Surprise me to the very brink of tears:
Lend me a fool's heart, and a woman's eyes,
And I'll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.
1 Sen. Therefore, so please thee to return with us,
And of our Athens (thine, and ours,) to take
The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allow'd2 with absolute power, and thy good name
Live with authority :-so soon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades the approaches wild;
Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
His country's peace.
2 Sen. And shakes his threat'ning swordCoupled to nature.
Against the walls of Athens.
1 Sen.

Stay not, all's in vain.
Tim. Why, I was writing of my epitaph,
It will be seen to-morrow; My long sickness
Of health, and living, now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough!

1 Sen.

We speak in vain.
Tim. But yet I love my country; and am not
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common bruit doth put it.

Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain

In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do

them :

1 Sen.
That's well spoke.
Tim. Commend me to my loving countrymen,-
1 Sen. These words become your lips as they
pass through them.

2 Sen. And enter in our ears like great triumphers In their applauding gates.

Commend me to them;
And tell them, that to ease them of their griefs,
Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,

(2) Licensed, uncontrolled.

(1) Confession. (3) A clasp knife. (4) i. e. The gods who are the authors of the prosperity of mankind.


I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.
2 Sen. I like this well, he will return again.
Tim. I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
That mine own use invites me to cut down,
And shortly must I fell it; Tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree,7
From high to low throughout, that whoso please
To stop affliction, let him take his haste,
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himself:--I pray you, do my greeting.
Flav. Trouble him no further, thus you still shall
find him.

That-Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by the beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd
Then, let him know,--and tell him Timon speaks it,
In pity of our aged, and our youth,

war ;


I cannot choose but tell him, that-I care not,
And let him take't at worst; for their knives care not,
While have throats to answer: for myself,
There's not a whittle3 in the unruly camp,
But I do prize it at my love, before


Mess. I met a courier, one mine ancient friend ;Whom, though in general part we were oppos'd, Yet our old love made a particular force,

The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you And made us speak like friends-this man was To the protection of the prosperous gods,4


As thieves to keepers.

From Alcibiades to Timon's cave,
With letters of entreaty, which imported
His fellowship i'the cause against your city,
In part for his sake mov'd.

Tim. Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Which once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover; thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.---
Lips, let sour words go by, and language end;
What is amiss, plague and infection mend!
Graves only be men's works; and death, their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign.
[Exit Timon.
1 Sen. His discontents are unremoveably

2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead: let us return,
And strain what other means is left unto us
In our dear9 peril.

1 Sen.
It requires swift foot. [Exeunt.
SCENE III-The walls of Athens. Enter two
Senators, and a Messenger.

1 Sen. Thou hast painfully discover'd; are his files
As full as thy report?
I have spoke the least:
Besides, his expedition promises
Present approach.

2 Sen. We stand much hazard, if they bring not

Enter Senators from Timon. 1 Sen. Here come our brothers, 3.Sen. No talk of Timon, nothing of him expect.— The enemies' drum is heard, and fearful scouring Doth choke the air with dust: in and prepare; Ours is the fall, I fear, our foes the snare. [Exeunt. SCENE IV-The woods. Timon's cave, and a tomb-stone seen. Enter a Soldier, seeking Timon.

Sol. By all description this should be the place. Who's here? speak, ho!-No answer?-What is this?

Timon is dead, who hath outstretch'd his span:
Some beast rear'd this; there does not live a man.

(5) He means the disease of life begins to promise me a period.

(6) Report, rumour.

(7) Methodically, from highest to lowest.
(8) Swollen froth. (9) Dreadful


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1 Sen. These walls of ours. Were not erected by their hands, from whom You have receiv'd your griefs: nor are they such, That these great towers, trophies, and schools,

should fall

For private faults in them.
2 Sen.
Nor are they living,
Who were the motives that you first went out;
Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess
Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord,
Into our city with thy banners spread:
By decimation, and a tithed death,
(If thy revenges hunger for that food,
Which nature loaths,) take thou the destin'd tenth;
And by the hazard of the spotted die,
Let die the spotted.

1 Sen.

All have not offended;

For those that were, it is not square,4 to take,
On those that are, revenges: crimes, like lands,
Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage:
Spare thy Athenian cradle, and those kin,
Which, in the bluster of thy wrath, must fall
With those that have offended: like a shepherd,
Approach the fold, and cull the infected forth,
But kill not all together.

2 Sen.
What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile,
Than hew to't with thy sword.

1 Sen.

Set but thy foot Against our rampir'd gates, and they shall ope;

(1) Arms across. (2) Mature.

(3) i. e. By promising him a competent subsis


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Or any token of thine honour else,
That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress,
And not as our confusion; all thy powers
Shall make their harbour in our town, till we
Have seal'd thy full desire.


Then there's my glove; Descend, and open your uncharged ports;5 Those enemies of Timon's and mine own, Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof, Fall, and no more; and,-to atone6 your fears With my more noble meaning,-not a man Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream Of regular justice in your city's bounds, But shall be remedied, to your public laws, At heaviest answer. Both. 'Tis most nobly spoken. Alcib. Descend, and keep your words.

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The play of Timon is a domestic tragedy, and therefore 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 that ostentatious liberality, which scatters bounty, but confers no benefits, and buy's flattery, but not friendship.

In this tragedy, are many passages perplexed, obscure, and probably corrupt, which I have endeavoured to rectify, or explain with due diligence but having only one copy, cannot promise myself that my endeavours shall be much applauded. JOHNSON.

(4) Not regular, not equitable. (5) Unattacked gates.

(6) Reconcile.

(7) i. e. Our tears. (8) Stop. (9) Physician.

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