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Servafits to Timon's Creditors
Timon, a noble Athenian.
Lucullus, > Lords : flatterers of Timon.
Ventipius, one of Timon's false Friends.
Apemantus, a churlish Philosopher,
Alcibiades, an Athenian Captain.
Flavius, Steward to Timon.
Lucilius, }> Servants to Timon.
Servants of Varro, Yentidius, and Isidore: two of Timon's
Creditors. Cupid and Maskers. Three Strangers. Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant. An old Athenian. A Page. A Fool.
Timandra \ distresses to Alcibiades.
Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves, and Attendants. SCENE: Athens, and the Woods adjoining.
THE LIFE OF
TIMON OF ATHENS
Scene I. — Athens. A Hall in Timon's House.
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and Others, at several doors.
GOOD day, sir.
world? Pain. It wears, sir, as it grows. Poet. Ay, that's well known;
But what particular rarity? what strange,
Mer. A most incomparable man; breath'd as it
Jew. I have a jewel here —
Mer. 0, pray, let's see't. For the Lord Timon, sir?
Jew. If he will touch the estimate; but, for that —
Poet. \_To himself*.] "When we for recompense have prais'd the vile, It stains the glory in that happy verse Which aptly sings the good."
Mer. \_Looking at the jewel.'] 'Tis a good form.
Jew. And rich: here is a water, look ye.
Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication To the great lord.
Poet. A thing slipp'd idlely from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
Pain. A picture, sir. — When comes your book forth?
Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir. Let's see your piece.
Pain. 'Tis a good piece.
Poet. So 'tis: this comes off well, and excellent.
Poet. Admirable! How this grace
Speaks his own standing; what a mental power
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
Poet. I'll say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial strife
Enter certain Senators, who pass over the stage.
Pain. How this lord is follow'd!
Poet. The Senators of Athens ; — happy man.
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors. I have in this rough work shap'd 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: no levell'd 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 will unbolt to you. You see how all conditions, how all minds, (As well of glib and slipp'ry 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 to his love and tendance All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-fac'd 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.
Pain. I saw them speak together.
Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill, Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd: the base o' th' mount Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures, That labour on the bosom of this sphere To propagate their states: amongst them all, Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix'd,
Vol. x. N
One do I personate of Lord Timon's frame;
Pain. 'Tis conceiv'd to scope.
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
Poet. Nay, sir, but hear me on.
All those which were his fellows but of late,
Pain. Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of mood, Spurns down her late belov'd, all his dependants, Which labour'd 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 shew, That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well To shew Lord Timon, that mean eyes have seen The foot above the head.
Trumpets sound. Enter Timon, attended; the Servant of Ventiditjs talking with him.
Timon, Imprisoned is he, say you?
Ventidius Servant. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt: