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Timon, a noble Athenian.
LUCULLUS, Lords, and Flatterers of Timon.
Ventidius, one of Timon's false Friends.
APEMANTUS, a churlish Philosopher.
Alcibiades, an Athenian General.
Flavius, Steward to Timon.
LUCILIUS, Timon's Servants.

Servants to Timon's Creditors.
Two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of Isidore, two

of Timon's Creditors.
Cupid and Maskers. Three Strangers.
Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant.
An old Athenian. A Page. A Fool.


, } 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. Poet. Good day, sir. Pain.

I am glad you are well. Poet. I have not seen you long; how goes the world? 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 conjured 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 fixed. Mer. A most incomparable man; breathed, as it

were, To an untirable and continuate goodness.

He passes.

Jew. I have a jewel here.
Mer. O, pray, let's see't; for the lord Timon, sir ?

i The poet merely means to ask if any thing extraordinary or out of the common course of things has lately happened; and is prevented from waiting for an answer by observing so many conjured by Timon's bounty to attend.

2 Breathed is exercised, inured by constant practice. He passes, i. e. exceeds or goes beyond common bounds.


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Jew. If he will touch the estimate. But for that

Poet.? When we for recompense have praised 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 ded

ication To the great lord. Poet.

A thing slipped idly from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 'tis nourished. The fire i'the flint
Shows not, till it be struck; our gentle flame
Provokes itself, and like the current, flies
Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
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 6 and excellent.
Pain. Indifferent.

Admirable. How this
Speaks his own standing ?? what a mental power
This eye shoots forth! how big imagination
Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture
One might interpret.

Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life. Here is a touch ; is't good ?

How this grace



1 Touch the estimate, that is, come up to the price.

2 We must here suppose the poet busy in reciting part of his own work. 3 The old copies read :

“Our poesie is a gowne which uses." 4 It is not certain whether this word is chafes or chases, in the folio. 5 i. e. as soon as my book has been presented to Timon. 6 This comes off well, apparently means this piece is well executed.

7 How the graceful attitude of this figure proclaims that it stands firm on its centre, or gives evidence in favor of its own fixture. Grace 18 introduced as bearing witness to propriety.

8 One might venture to supply words to such intelligible action.



I'll say of it,
It tutors nature ; artificial strife1
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.


Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord's followed!
Poet. The senators of Athens ;-happy men !
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of

I have, in this rough work, shaped 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.4 No levelled malice
Infects one comma in the course I hold;
But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.

Pain. How shall I understand you?

Poet. I'll unbolts 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 hanging,
Subdues and properties 6 to his love and tendance
All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-faced flatterer?
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Than to abhor himself; even he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace,
Most rich in Timon's nod.


1 i. e. the contest of art with nature.

2 So in Measure for Measure we have, “ This under generation ;” and in King Richard III., the lower world.

3 My design does not stop at any particular character.

4 An allusion to the Roman practice of writing with a style, on tablets covered with wax; a custom which also prevailed in England until about the close of the fourteenth century.

5 i. e. open, explain.
6 i. e. subjects and appropriates.
7 One who shows by reflection the looks of his patron.

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I saw them speak together.
Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill,
Feigned Fortune to be throned. The base o’the mount
Is ranked with all deserts, all kind of natures,
That labor on the bosom of this sphere
To propagate their states. Amongst them all,
Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fixed,
One do I personate of lord Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her ;
Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
Translates his rivals.

'Tis conceived to scope.?
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
With one man beckoned from the rest below,
Bowing his head against the steepy mount
To climb his happiness, would be well expressed
In our condition.3

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,4
Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
Drink the free air.5

Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of mood,
Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants,
Which labored 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,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well,

1 i. e. to improve their conditions. 2 i. e. extensively imagined. 3 i. e. in our art, in painting. Condition was used for profession, quality.

4 Whisperings of officious servility, the incense of the worshipping parasite to the patron as a god.

5 To " drink the free air through another,” is to breathe freely at his

will only.

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