Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery :
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun :
The sea's thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears : the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture? stolen
From general excrement: each thing's a thief;
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves: away;
Rob one another. There's more gold: Cut throats;
All that you meet are thieves : To Athens, go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it : Steal not less, for this
I give you ; and gold confound you howsoever !
Amen.

[Timon retires to his Cave. 3 Thief. He has almost charmed me from my profession, by persuading me to it.

i Thief. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us ; not to have us thrive in our mystery.

2 Thief. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my

trade. 1 Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens : There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.

[Exeunt Thieves.

Enter FLAVIUS.
Flav. O you gods !
Is yon despis’d and ruinous man my lord ?
Full of decay and failing ? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd!

7 Compost, manure.

What an alteration of honour 8 has
Desperate want made !
What viler thing upon the earth, than friends,
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends !
How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wish'd' to love his enemies :
Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me, than those that do!
He has caught me in his eye: I will present
My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord,
Still serve him with my life.--My dearest master!

TIMON comes forward from his Cave.
Tim. Away! what art thou ?
Flav.

Have you forgot me, sir? Tim. Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men; Then, if thou grant'st thou'rt man, I have forgot thee.

Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.
Tim.

Then
I know thee not: I ne'er had honest man
About me, I; all that I kept were knaves,
To serve in meat to villains.
Flav.

The gods are witness, Ne'er did

poor steward wear a truer grief For his undone lord, than mine eyes for

you. Tim. What, dost thou weep?-Come nearer ;

then I love thee, Because thou art a woman,

and disclaim'st Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give,

8

An alteration of honour is an alteration of an honourable state to a state of disgrace, 9 How happily.

i Recommended.

Pain. Certain : Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him : he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: 'Tis 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, 'tis 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 purposes with what they travel 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 : qnly 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 testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.

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

3 The doing of that we said we would do.

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 seek 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-corner'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 do 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- abhorred spirits ! Not all the whips of heaven are large enough What! to you! Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence

VOL. VIII.

H

[ocr errors]

To their whole being ! I'm 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 re-

quite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water ? no.

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

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

you

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 coun-

terfeit 4
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,

[To the Poet.
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,

4 A portrait was so called.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »