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The walls of Athens. Enter two Senators, and a Messenger. i Sen. Thou hast painfully discover'd; are his files As full as thy report? Mess.
I have spoke the least : Besides, his expedition promises Present approach. 2 Sen. We stand much hazard, if they bring not
Timon. 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, And made us speak like friends :- this man was
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.
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
Timon is dead, who hath outstretch'd his span :
Before the walls of Athens.
Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades, and forces.
Alcib. Sound to this coward and lascivious town Our terrible approach.
[A parley sounded.
Noble and young,
So did we woo
# Arms across.
Transformed Timon to our city's love,
These walls of ours
should fall For private faults in them. 2 Sen.
Nor are they living,
All have not offended ;
What thou wilt,
Set but thy foot Against our rampir'd gates, and they shall
ope; So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before, To say, thou'lt enter friendly. 2 Sen.
Throw thy glove; * i. e. By promising him a competent subsistence.
† Not regular, not equitable.
Or any token of thine honour else,
Then there's my glove;
pass his quarter, or offend the stream
'Tis most nobly spoken. Alcib. Descend, and keep your words.
The Senators descend, and open the gates.
Enter a Soldier.
hem o’the sea :
wretched soul bereft; Seek not my name : A plague consume you wicked
caitiff's left! Here lie I Timon ; who, alive, all living men did
hate : Pass by, and curse thy fill; but pass, and stay not
here thy gait. These well express in thee thy latter spirits : Though thou abhorr’dst in us our human griefs, Scorn’dst our brain's flow I, and those our droplets
which * Upattacked gates.
i. e. Our tears.
From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit
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 buys flattery, but not friendship
In this tragedy, are many passages perplexed, obscure, and probably corrupi, 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. † Physician,