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TIMON OF ATHENS.
A C T I.
SCENE, a Hall in Timon's Houfe.
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweler, Merchant, and Mercer, at feveral Doors..
OOD day, Sir.
Pain. I am glad y'are well.
Poet. I have not feen you long: how goes
Pain. It wears, Sir, as it goes.
Poet. Ay, that's well known.
But what particular rarity? what fo ftrange,
Jew. Nay, that's most fixed.
Mer. A moft incomparable man, breathed as it
To an untirable and continuate goodnefs.
Jew. If he will touch the estimate: but for that-
Poet.. When we for recompence have praised the
It flains the glory in that happy verfe
Which aptly fings the good.
Mer. 'Tis a good form.
[Looking on the jewel.
Jew. And rich; here is a water, look ye.
Pain. You're rapt, Şir, in fome work, fome
To the great Lord.
Poet. A thing flipp'd idly from me.
Our poefy is as a gum which iffues
From whence 'tis nourished. The fire o' th' flint. Shews not till it be ftruck: our gentle fame Provokes itself,---and like the current flies
Each bound it chafes. What have you there? (1) Pain. A picture, Sir::---when comes your book forth?
Poet. Upon the heels of my prefentment, Sir. Let's fee your piece.
Pain. 'Tis a good piece..
Poet. So 'tis.
This comes off well and excellent.
Poet. Admirable ! how this grace
Speaks his own ftanding! what a mental power This eye fhoots forth! how big imagination Moves in this lip! to the dumbnefs of the gefture One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life: Here is a touch---is't good?
Poet. I'll fay of it,
It tutors nature; artificial ftrife
Lives in those touches livelier than life..
(1) Each bound it chafes.-] How chafes? The flood, indeed, beating up upon the fhore, covers a part of it, but cannot be faid to drive the fhore away. The Poet's allufion is to a wave, which, foaming and chafing on the thore, breaks, and then the water icems to the eye to retire So, in Lear:
-The murmuring furge,
That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes, &c. And to in Jul Cæfar:
The troubled Tiber, chafing with his fheres.
Enter certain Senators..
Pain. How this Lord is followed!
Poet. The Senators of Athens! happy man! (2) Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You fee this confluence, this great flood of vifitors.
I have in this rough work fhaped out a man,
Pain. How fhall I understand you?
You fee how all conditions, how all minds,
Of grave and auftere quality, tender down
To Apemantus, that few things loves better.
Pain. I faw them fpeak together.
Poet. I have upon a high and pleafant hill.
(2) Happy men!] Thus the printed copies; but I cannot think the Poet meant that the fenators were happy in being admitted to Timon; their quality might command that; but that Timon was happy in being followed and careffed by those of their rank and dignity,
Feigned Fortune to be throned. The bafe o' th'
Is ranked with all deferts, all kind of natures,
Whom Fortune with her iv'ry hand wafts to her, Whofe prefent grace to prefent flaves and fervants. Tranflates his rivals.
Pain. 'Tis conceived, to the fcope. (3)
This throne, this fortune, and this hill, methinks,
Poet. Nay, but hear me on:
All those which were his fellows but of late,
Maké facred even his stirrup; and through him
Pain. Ay, marry, what of these?
(3) 'Tis conceived, to fope
This throne, this fortune, &c.] Thus all the editors hitherto have nonfenfically writ and pointed this paffage. But fure the painter would tell the poct, your conceptions, Sir, hit the very scope you aim at. This the Greeks would have rendered, roxonỸ тuxeïs, recta ad fe pum tendis; and Cicero. has thus expreffed on the like occafion, Signum oculis deftinatum feris. This fenfe our Author, in his Henry VIII. expreffes;
I think you've hit the mark.
And in his Julius Cefar, at the conclusion of the first act;
Poet. When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants
· Pain. 'Tis common:
A thousand moral paintings I can fhew,
That fhall demonftrate thefe quick blows of Fortune
More pregnantly then words. Yet you do well To fhew Lord Timon, that mean eyes have seen The foot above the head.
Trumpets found. Enter TIMON, addrefing himself courteously to every Suitor.
Tim. Imprifoned is he, fay you? [To a Meffen. Mef. Ay, my good Lord; five talents in his debt, His means moft fhort, his creditors most straight Your honourable letter he defires
To thofe have fhut him up, which failing to him Periods his comfort.
Tim. Noble Ventidius! well--
I am not of that feather to shake off
My friend when he most needs me. I do know him A gentleman that well deferves a help,
Which he thall have. I'll pay the debt and free him. Mef, Your Lordfhip ever binds him.
Tim. Commend me to him, I will fend his ran-
And, being enfranchifed, bid him come to me;