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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.
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.
To every purpose! O thou touch3 of heart!
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
(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. 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 :
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,
1 Thief. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.
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,
Tim. Look thee, 'tis so!-Thou singly honest man,
Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich, and happy:
If thou hat'st
1 Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens: There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true. [Exeunt Thieves.
-Flav. O you gods!
Is yon despis'd and ruinous man my lord?
What viler thing upon the earth, than friends,
Tim. Away! what art thou?
I know thee not: I ne'er had honest man
The gods are witness,
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
Tim. Had I a steward so true, so just, and now
Methinks, thou art more honest now, than wise;
Flav. No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
(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.
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 the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Tim. I'll meet you at the turn. What a god's gold,
Tim. Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,
'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
Tim. There's ne'er a one of you but trusts a knave,
To make it known to us.
(1) A portrait was so called.
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,
Pain. I know none such, my lord.
Each man apart, all single and alone,
Entreat thee back to Athens; who have thought
Therefore, Timon,Tim. Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; Thus,
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
You witch me in it;
We speak in vain.
Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do
2 Sen. And enter in our ears like great triumphers In their applauding gates.
(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.
That-Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens,
I cannot choose but tell him, that-I care not,
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,
Tim. Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead: let us return,
1 Sen. Thou hast painfully discover'd; are his files
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:
(5) He means the disease of life begins to promise me a period.
(6) Report, rumour.
(7) Methodically, from highest to lowest.
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,
For private faults in them.
All have not offended;
For those that were, it is not square,4 to take,
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
Or any token of thine honour else,
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.
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.
(7) i. e. Our tears. (8) Stop. (9) Physician.