Page images

SCE N Eny a public Street. Enter LUCIUS, with three Strangers. Luc. Who, the Lord Timon? he is my very good friend, and an honourable gentleman.

Stran. We know him for no less, though we are but strangers to hiin. But I can tell you one thing, my Lord, and which I hear from common rumours, now Lord Timon's happy hours are done and past, and his estate shrinks from him.

Luc. Fy, no, do not believe it: he cannot want

for money.

2 Stran. But believe you this, my Lord, that not long ago one of his men was with the Lord Lucullus, to borrow fifty talents, nay, urged extremely for't, and shewed what neceflity belonged to't, and yet was denied.

Luc. How?
2 Stran. I tell



Lord. Luc. What a strange cafe was that? now, before the gods, I am ashamed on't. Denied that honour. able man? there was very little honour shewed in that. For my own part, I must needs confefs I have received some small kindnesses from him, as money, plate, jewels, and fueh like trifles, nothing comparing to his; yet had he mistook him, and fent him to me, I fhould ne'er have denied his occasion for



Enter SERVILIUS, Ser. See, by good hap, yonder's my Lord, I have fwate to see his Honour --My honoured Lord-

[TO Lucius, Luc. Servilius ! you are kindly met, Sir. Fare thee well; commend me to thy honourable virtuous Lord, my very exquisite friend.

Ser. May it please your Honour, my Lord hath sent.....

Luc. Ha! what hath he sent? I am so much en. deared to that Lord; he's ever fending: how shalt J thank him, think'it thou? and what has he fent now?

Ser. He's only sent his present occasion now, my Lord, requesting your Lordihip to fupply his inStant use with fifty talents.

Luc. I know his Lordship is but merry with me;
He cannot want fifty-five hundred talents,
Ser. But in the mean time he wants lefs, my

If his occasion were not virtuous,
I should not urge it half fo faithfully.

Luc. Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?
Ser. Upon my soul, 'tis true, Sir.

Luc. What a wicked beast was I, to disfurnish myself against such a good time, when I might ha' fhewn myself honourable ! how unluckily it happened, that I should purchase the day before for a little (17) dirt, and undo a great deal of honour'!

(17) That I N:ould purchase the day before for a little part, and undo a great deal of honour ?] Though there is a seeming plaulible antithesis in the terms, I am very well affured they are corrupt at the bottom, For a little part of what? hinsur is the only substantive that follows in the sentence; but men don't purchase for honour, though sometimes they may turn purchasers out of ostentation. How much is the antithefis improved by the sense which my emendation gives ! That I should be so unlucky to make this purchase, for the lucre of a little dirt, and undo a great deal of honour! This manner of expresting contemptuoully of land, is very free quent with the poets

so Hamlet, act fifth, speaking of Ofrick; 9, he hath much land and fertile ;-'uis a chough; but, 19 I say, spacious in the poffcilion of uirt,

Servilius, now before the gods, I am not able to do---(the more beałt, I say) ---I was sending to use Lord Timon myself, these gentlemen can witness; but I would not, for the wealth of Athens, I had done't now. Commend me bountifully to his good Lordship, and, I hope, his Honour will conceive the fairest of me, because I have no power to be kind. And tell him this from me, I count it one. of my greatest africtions that I cannot pleasure such an honourable gentleman. Good Servilius, will you

befriend me so far as to use my own words to him? Ser. Yes, Sir, I shall.

[Exit Servilius. Luc. I'll lock you out a good turn, Servilius--True, as you faid, Timon is shrunk, indeed; And he, that's once denied, will hardly speed.

[Exit. i Stran. Do you observe this, Hoftilius? 2 Stran. Ay, too well.

Stran. Why, this is the world's foul ; Of the fame piece is every flatterer's fpirit: (18) Who can call him his friend That dips in the fame dith? for, in my knowing, Timon has been to this Lord as a father,

So Beaumont and Fletcher, in the Scornful Lady, aet first;

--your brother's house is big enough; and to say truth, he has too much land; hang it, dirt. And again, in the second act;

noble boy, the god of gold here has feed thee well; take money for thy dirt. And the Elder Bratber, act third ;

Had you only shewed me land, I had delivered it, ' And been a proud man to have parted with it:

'Tis dirt and labour. More authorities would be fuperfluous.

(18) Is every flatterer's sport :) This senseless corruption has hitherto run through all the editions, and, as I suppose, without fu!picion.


And kept his credit with his bounteous purse:
Supported his estate ; nay, Timon's money
Has paid his men their wages.

He ne'er drinks,
But Timon's silver treads upon his lip;
And yet, oh, see the monstrousness of man,
When he looks out in an ungrateful shape !
He does deny him (in respect of his)
What charitable men afford to beggars.

3 Strun. Religion groans at it.

i Stran. For mine own part,
I never tasted Timon in my life;

of his bounties came o'er me,
To mark me for his friend: yet, I protest,
For his right noble mind, illustrious virtue,
And honourable carriage,
Had his necessity made use of me,
I would have put my wealth into donation,
And the best half should have returned to him,
So much I love his heart: but I perceive,
Men must learn now with pity to dispense,
For policy fits above conscience. [Exeunt.

Exter a third Servant with SEMPRONIUS.
Sem. Must he needs trouble me in't, 'bove all

others ?---
He might have tried Lord Lucius, or Lucullus,
And now Ventidius is wealthy too,
Whom he redeemed from prison: all these three
Owe their estates unto him.

Ser. Oh, my Lord,
They've all been touched, and all are found base

For they have all denied him.

Sem. How? denied him?
Ventidius and Lucullus both denied him?
And does he send to me three! hum-..

[ocr errors]

It shevis but little love or judgment in him.
Must I be his last refuge? his friends, like physi-

cians, (19)
Thrived, give him over? must I take the cure
On me? h'as much disgraced me in't; I'm angry.
He might have known my place; I see no fense fort,
But his occasions might have wooed me first:
For, in my confcience, I was the first man
That e’er received gift from him.
And does he think to backwardly of me,
That I'll requité it last? no:
So it may prove an argument of laughter
Toth’reit, and 'mongst Lords I be thought a fool :
I'd rather than the worth of thrice the lum,
H'ad sent to me first, but for my mind's sake :
I'd such a courage to have done him good.
But now return,
And with their faint reply this answer join;
Who bates mine honour, thall not know iny coin.

[Exit. Ser. Excellent! your Lordship's a goodly villain. The devil knew not what he did, when he made man politic; he crossed himself by't: and I cannot


-his friends, like physicians Thrived, give him orer?) I have restored this old reading, only amended the pointing which was faulty. Mr Pope, suspecting the phrase, has substituted ihree in the rooin of Thrived, and fo difarmed the Poet's fatire. Physicians Shrived is no more than physicians grown rich; onlộ the adjective passive of this verb, indeed, is not lo common in use, and yet it is a familiar expression to this day, to say fuch a one is well thriven on his trade. This very sarcalin of our Au. thor is made use of by Webster a contemporary Poet, in his Duchess of Malfy, the cloathing only a litle varied;

Physicians thus,
With their hands full of money, use to give o'er
Their patients.

« PreviousContinue »