Page images
PDF
EPUB

So true, so just; and now so comfortable ?
It almost turns my dangerous nature mild.
Let me behold thy face. Surely, this man
Was born of woman.-
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
You perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man,-mistake me not. --but one ;
No more, I pray,—and he's a steward.—
How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeem'st thyself: but all, save thee,
I fell with curses.
Methinks, thou art more honest now, than wise ;
For by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou mightst have sooner got another service,
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true,
(For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure)
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
Is 't not a usuring kindness as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one ?

Flav. No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas! are plac'd too late.
You should have fear'd false times, when you did feast:
Suspect still comes when an estate is least.
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,
Either in hope, or present, I'd exchange
For this one wish,—that you had power and wealth
To requite me by making rich yourself.

Tim. Look thee, 't is so.—Thou singly honest man, Here, take the gods out of my misery (Giving gold.' Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich, and happy ; But thus condition’d :-thou shalt build from men; Hate all, curse all; show charity to none, But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone, Ere thou relieve the beggar : give to dogs What thou deny'st to men ; let prisons swallow 'em, Debts wither 'em to nothing. Be men like blasted woods, And may diseases lick up their false bloods ! And so, farewell, and thrive.

1 Not in f. e.

Flav.

O! let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.
Tim.

If thou hat'st
Curses, stay not : fly, whilst thou ’rt bless'd and free.
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.

[Exit Flavius; and Timon into his Cave.'

ACT V.

SCENE 1.-The Same. Before TIMON'S Cave.

Enter Poet and Painter. 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. T is 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, 't is 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 pursesa with what wes travail 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 saying is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable : performance is a kind of will, or testa

1 Exeunt severally: in f. e. purposes : in f. e. 3 they:in fe.

2

ment, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.

Enter Timon, behind, from his Cave. 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.

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 seck him :
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.

Pain. True;
When the day serves, before black-cover'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.
Come.

Tim. I'll meet you at the turn. What a god 's gold,
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple,
Than where swine feed !
'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough’st the foam;
Settlest admired reverence in a slave :
To thee be worship, and thy saints for aye
Be crown'd with plagues, that thee alone obey!
Fit I meet them.

[Advancing. Poet. Hail, worthy Timon ! Pain.

Our late noble master. Tim. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men ?

Poet. Sir,
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retir’d, your friends fall’n off,
Whose thankless natures—0, abhorred spirits !
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough-
What! to you,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
To their whole being ? I am rapt, and cannot cover
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any size of words.

Tim. Let it go naked, men may see 't the better :
You, that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen, and known.

Pain.

He, and myself,
Have travell’d in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.
Tim.

Ay, you are honest men.
Pain. We are hither come to offer you our service.

Tim. Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you? Can you eat roots, and drink cold water ? no.

Both. What can we do, we'll do, to do you service. Tim. You are honest men. You have heard that I

have gold; I am sure you have : speak truth; you are honest men.

Pain. So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore Came not my friend, nor I.

Tim. Good honest men !_Thou draw'st a counterfeit Best in all Athens : thou art, indeed, the best ; Thou counterfeit'st most lively. Pain.

So, so, my lord. Tim. Even so. sir, as I say. And for thy fiction, Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth, That thou art even natural in thine art.But, for all this, my honest-natur'd friends. I must needs say, you have a little fault : Marry, 't is not monstrous in you; neither wish I, You take much pains to mend. Both.

Beseech your honour,
To make it known to us.
Tim.

You'll take it ill.
Both. Most thankfully, my lord.
Tim.

Will you, indeed ?
Both. Doubt it not, worthy lord.

Tim. There's never a one of you but trusts a knave, That mightily deceives you. Both.

Do we, my lord ?
Tim. Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom; yet remain assur’d,
That he's a made-up villain.

Pain. I know none such, my lord.
Poet.

Nor I.
Tim. Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,
Rid me these villains from your companies :
Hang them, or stab them, drown them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me
I'll give you gold enough.

[ocr errors]

Both. Name them, my lord; let's know them.

Tim. You that way, and you this ; but two is? com-
Each man apart, all single and alone, (pany -
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company,
If, where thou art, two villains shall not be,

[To the Painter. Come not near him.-If thou wouldst not reside

[To the Poet.
But where one villain is, then him abandon.-
Hence ! pack! there's gold; ye came for gold, ye slaves :
You have done work for me, there's payment : hence !
You are an alchymist, make gold of that.
Out, rascal dogs!

[Exit, beating them out. SCENE II.-The Same.

Enter Flavius, and two Senators.
Flav. It is in vain that you would speak with Timon;
For he is set so only to himself,
That nothing but himself, which looks like man,
Is friendly with him.
1 Sen.

Bring us to his cave:
It is our part, and promise to the Athenians,
To speak with Timon.
2 Sen.

At all times alike
Men are not still the same. ’T was time, and griefs,
That fram'd him thus : time, with his fairer hand
Offering the fortunes of his former days,
The former man may make him. Bring us to him,
And chance it as it may.
Flav.

Here is his cave.-
Peace and content be here ! Lord Timon! Timon !
Look out, and speak to friends. Th’ Athenians,
By two of their most reverend senate, greet thee :
Speak to them, noble Timon.

Enter TIMON.
Tim. Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn !-Speak, and

be hang'd.
For each true word, a blister; and each false
Be as a cauterizing to the root o' the tongue,
Consuming it with speaking !
1 Sen.

Worthy Timon,Tim. Of none but such as you, and you of Timon. 2 Sen. The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.

1 in: in f. e. 2 Not in folio. Added by Malone.

« PreviousContinue »