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3 Lord. Pish! did you see my cap? 4 Lord. I have lost my gown.
3 Lord. He's but a mad lord, and nought but humour sways him. He gave me a jewel the other day, and now he has beat it out of my hat:-Did you see my jewel?
4 Lord. Did you see my cap?
I feel't upon my bones. 4 Lord. One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.
SCENE I. Without the Walls of Athens.
Enter TIMON. Tim. Let me look back upon thee, O thou wall, That girdlest in those wolves! Dive in the earth, And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent; Obedience fail in children! slaves, and fools, Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench, And minister in their steads! to general filths* Convert o'the instant, green virginity! Do't in your parents' eyes! bankrupts, hold fast; Rather than render back, out with your knives, And cut your trusters' throats! bound servants, steal ! Large-handed robbers your grave masters are, And pill by law! maid, to thy master's bed;
general filths) i. e. common sewers.
Thy mistress is o'the brothel! son of sixteen,
halt As lamely as their manners! lust and liberty? Creep in the minds and manners of our youth; That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive, And drown themselves in riot! itches, blains, Sow all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop Be general leprosy! breath infect breath; That their society, as their friendship, may Be merely poison! Nothing I'll bear from thee, But nakedness, thou détestable town! Take thou that too, with multiplying banns !8 Timon will to the woods; where he shall find The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind. The gods confound (hear me, you good gods all) The Athenians both within and out that wall ! And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow To the whole race of mankind, high, and low! Amen.
confounding contraries,] i. e. contrarieties whose nature it is to waste or destroy each other.
yet confusion -] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, let confusion.
liberty -] Liberty is here used for libertinism.
multiplying banns?] i. e. accumulated curses. *Multiplying for multiplied: the active participle with a passive signification.
Athens. A Room in Timon's House. Enter Flavius, with Two or Three Servants. 1 Serv. Hear you, master steward, where's our
master? Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining?
Flav. Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you? Let me be recorded by the righteous gods, I am as poor as you.
i Serv. . Such a house broke! So noble a master fallen! All gone! and not One friend, to take his fortune by the arm, And go along with him! 2 Serv.
As we do turn our backs! From our companion, thrown into his grave; So his familiars to his buried fortunes Slink all away; leave their false vows with him, Like empty purses pick'd: and his poor self, A dedicated beggar to the air, With his disease of all-shunn'd poverty, Walks, like contempt, alone.-More of our fellows.
Enter other Servants. Flav. All broken impleinents of a ruin'd house.
3 Serv. Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery, That see I by our faces; we are fellows still, Serving alike in sorrow: Leak’d is our bark; And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck, Hearing the surges threat: we must all part
Enter Flavius,] Nothing contributes more to the exaltation of Timon's character than the zeal and fidelity of his servants. Nothing but real virtue can be honoured by domesticks; nothing but impartial kindness can gain affection from dependants.
Into this sea of air.
Good fellows all,
[Giving them money. Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more: Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
[Exeunt Servants. O, the fierce wretchedness' that glory brings us! Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt, Since riches point to misery and contempt? Who'd be so mock'd with glory? or to live But in a dream of friendship? To have his pomp, and all what state compounds, But only painted, like his varnish’d friends ? Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart; Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood, When man's worst sin is, he does too much good! Who then dares to be half so kind again? For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men. My dearest lord,-bless'd, to be most accurs’d, Rich, only to be wretched; thy great fortunes Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord ! He's flung in rage from this ungrateful seat Of monstrous friends: nor has he with him to Supply his life, or that which can command it. I'll follow, and enquire him out: I'll serve his mind with my best will; Whilst I have gold, I'll be his steward still. [Exit.
'0, the fierce wretchedness -] Fierce is here used for hasty, precipitate.
- Strange, unusual blood,] Strange, unusual blood, may mean, strange, unusual disposition.
Tim. O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth
- below thy sister's orb—] That is, the moan's, this sublu
But by contempt of nature,] Mr. M. Mason observes, that this passage “ but by the addition of a single letter may be rendered clearly intelligible ; by merely reading natures instead of nature.” The meaning will then be" Not even beings reduced to the utmost extremity of wretchedness, can bear good fortune, without contemning their fellow-creatures."
-for every grize of fortune-] Grize for step or degree.