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LUCIUS, servant to Timon's creditors.
HORTENSIUS, servant to Timon's creditors.
Two Servants of Varro, a creditor of Timon.
A Servant of Isidore, a creditor of Timon.
Cupid and Maskers.
Appear, Act III. sc. 2.
Appears, Act I. sc. 1. Act V. sc. 1.
Appears, Act I. sc. 1. Act V. sc. 1.
Appears, Act II. sc. 2.
PHRYNIA, a mistress to Alcibiades.
TIMANDRA, a mistress to Alcibiades.
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Banditti, and Attendants.
SCENE, ATHENS, AND THE WOODS ADJOINING.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
SCENE I.-Athens. A Hall in Timon's House. Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others, at several doors.
Poet. Good day, sir.
I am glad you are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long: How goes the
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 conjur'd to attend. I know the merchant. Pain. I know them both; th' other 's a jeweller. Mer. O, 't is a worthy lord!
Nay, that 's most fix'd. Mer. A most incomparable man; breath'd, as it
To an untirable and continuate goodness:
a Breath'd. When Hamlet says,
"It is the breathing time of day with me,"
he refers to the time of habitual exercise, by which his animal strength was fitted for "untirable and continuate" exertion. The analogy between this and the habitual exercise of "goodness" is obvious.
b He passes-he excels, he goes beyond common virtues.
Jew. I have a jewel here.
Mer. O, pray, let's see 't: For the lord Timon, sir? Jew. If he will touch the estimate: But, for thatPoet. "When we for recompense have prais'd the vile, It stains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly sings the good."
[Looking at the jewel. Jew. And rich: here is a water, look you.
Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedi
To the great lord.
A thing slipp'd idly from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 't is nourished: The fire i' the flint
Provokes itself, and, like the current, flies
Each bound it chafes.
What have you there?
Pain. A picture, sir.-When comes your book forth? Poet. "Upon the heels of my presentment, sir. Let's see your piece.
"T is a good piece.
Poet. So 't is this comes off well and excellent.
Admirable: How this grace
a The poet is here supposed to be reading his own perform
This passage has been considered difficult, but if we receive bound in the sense of boundary, obstacle, the image is tolerably clear.
The commentators have not noticed what appears to us tolerably obvious, that the flattering painter had brought with him a portrait of Timon, in which the grace of the attitude spoke his own standing," the habitual carriage of the original.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life. Here is a touch: Is 't good?
I'll say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial strife a
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.
Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord 's follow'd!
Poet. The senators of Athens :-Happy men!
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
I'll unbolt to you.
Pain. How shall I understand you? Poet. 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 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.
a Artificial strife-the contest of art with nature.
b An allusion to the ancient practice of writing upon waxen tablets with a style.
• Unbolt-unfold, explain.
I saw them speak together.
Pain. Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill, Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd: The base o' the mount Is rank'd with all deserts, all kinds 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, 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.
"T is conceiv'd to scope.
Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of
Spurns down her late belov'd, all his dependants,
A thousand moral paintings I can show,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune's More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well,
a Condition is here used for art.
b Drink the free air-live, breathe but through him.