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TIMON OF ATHENS.

ACTI

SCENE, a Hall in Timon's Houfe.

Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweler, Merchant, and Mercer, at feveral Doors..

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POET.

OOD day, Sir.

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Pain. I am glad y'are well. Poet. I have not feen you long: how goes Pain. It wears, Sir, as it goes. [the world? Poet. Ay, that's well known. But what particular rarity? what fo ftrange, Which manifold record not matches? See, (Magie of Bounty!) all thefe fpirits thy power Hath conjured to attend. I know the merchant. Pain. I know them both; th' other's a jeweler Mer. O'tis a worthy Lord!

Jew. Nay, that's most fixed.

Mer. A moft incomparable man, breathed as it To an untirable and continuate goodnefs. He paffes

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Jew. I have a jewel here.

Mer. O, pray let's fee't:

For the Lord Timon, Sir?

Jew. If he will touch the estimate: but for that-Poet. When we for recompence have praised the It flains the glory in that happy verse. Which aptly fings the good.

[vile,

[Looking on the jewel.

Mer. 'Tis a good form.
Jew. And rich; here is a water, look ye.
Pain. You're rapt, Sir, in fome work, fome
To the great Lord.

[dedication

Poet. A thing flipp'd idly from me.
Our poefy is as a gum which iffues
From whence 'tis nourished. The fire o' th' flint.
Shews not till it be ftruck: our gentle flame
Provokes itself,---and like the current flies
Each bound it chafes. What have you there? (1)
Pain. A picture, Sir:---when comes your book

forth?

Poet. Upon the heels of my prefentment, Sir. Let's fee your piece.

Pain. 'Tis a good piece..

Poet. So 'tis.

This comes off well and excellent.
Pain. Indifferent.

Poet. Admirable ! how this grace

Speaks his own ftanding! what a mental power
This eye fhoots 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?

Poet. I'll fay of it,

It tutors nature; artificial ftrife

Lives in thofe touches livelier than life.

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(1) Each bound it chafes.-] How chafes? The flood, indeed, beating up upon the fhore, covers a part of it, but cannot be faid to drive the fhore away. The Poet's allufion is toa wave, which, foaming and chafing on the hore, breaks, and then the water icems to the eye to retire So, in Lear:

-The murmuring furge,

That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes, &c. And to in Jul Cæfar:

The troubled Tiber, chafing with his fhores.

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Enter certain Senators..

Pain. How this Lord is followed!

Poet. The Senators of Athens ! happy man! (2) Pain. Look, more!

Poet. You fee this confluence, this great flood of vifitors.

I have in this rough work fhaped out a man,
Whom this beneath-world doth embrace and hug
With amplest entertainment. My free drift
Halts not particular, but moves itself
In a wide fea of wax; 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 fhall I understand you?
Poet. I'll unbolt to you.

You fee how all conditions, how all minds,
As well of glib and flipp'ry natures as
Of grave and auftere quality, tender down
Their fervice to Lord Timon: his large fortune,
Upon his good and gracious nature hanging,
Subdues and properties to his love and tendance.
All forts of hearts; yea, from the glass-faced flat-

terer

To Apemantus, that few things loves better.
Than to abhor himself; even he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace
Moft rich in Timon's nod.

Pain. I faw them fpeak together.

Poet. I have upon a high and pleasant hill

(2) Happy men!] Thus the printed copies; but I cannot think the Poet meant that the fenators were happy in being admitted to Timon; their quality might command that; but that Timon was happy in being followed and careffed by those of their rank and dignity.

Feigned Fortune to be throned. The bafe o' th'

mount

Is ranked with all deferts, all kind of natures,
That labour on the bofom of this fphere
To propagate their ftates: amongst them all,
Whofe eyes are on this fovereign lady fix'd,.
One do I perfonate of Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her iv'ry hand wafts to her,
Whofe prefent grace to prefent flaves and fervants.
Tranflates his rivals.

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Pain. 'Tis conceived to the fcope. (3)

This throne, this fortune, and this hill, methinks,
With one man beckoned from the reft below,
Bowing his head against the fteepy mount
To climb his happinefs, would be well expreffed
In our condition.

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Poet. Nay, but hear me on: All thofe which were his fellows but of late, Some better than his value, on the moment Follow his ftrides; his lobbies fill with tendance; Rain facrificial whifp'rings in his ear;

Make facred even his ftirrup; and through him. Drink the free air.

Pain. Ay, marry, what of thefe ?

(3) 'Tis conceived, to ope

This throne, this fortune, &c.] Thus all the editors hitherto have nonfenfically writ and pointed this paffage. But fure the painter would tell the poct, your conceptions, Sir, hit the very scope you aim at. This the Greeks, would have rendered, Toxonй Tuxeîs, recta ad fe pum tendis; and Cicero has thus expreffed on the like occafion, Signum oculis deftinatum feris. This fense our Author, in his Henry VIII. expreffes;

I think you've hit the mark.

And in his Julius Cefar, at the conclufion of the first act;
Him, and his worth, and our great need of him,
You have right well conceited.

Poet. When Fortune in her shift and change of

mood

Spurns dotvn her late beloved, all his dependants
(Which laboured after to the mountain's top,
Even on their knees and hands), let him flip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. Tis common:

A thousand moral paintings I can fhew,
That fhall demonftrate thefe quick blows of
Fortune

More pregnantly then words. Yet you do well
To fhew Lord Timon, that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.

Trumpets found. Enter TIMON, addreffing himself courteously to every Suitor.

Tim. Imprifoned is he, fay you? [To a Meffen. Mef. Ay, my good Lord; five talents in his debt, His means molt fhort, his creditors most straight Your honourable letter he defires

To thofe have fhut him up, which failing to him Periods his comfort.

Tim. Noble Ventidius! well--

I am not of that feather to shake off

My friend when he most needs me. I do know him A gentleman that well deferves a help,

Which he thall have. I'll pay the debt and free him. Mef, Your Lordship ever binds him.

Tim. Commend me to him, I will fend his ran-
fom;

And, being enfranchifed, bid him come to me;
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to fupport him after. Fare

you well.
Mef. All happiness to your honour!

[Exit.

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