Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,
And dispossess her all.
Tim.

How shall she be endow'd,
If she be mated with an equal husband ?
Old Ath. Three talents, on the present; in future,

all. Tim. This gentleman of mine hath serv'd me long; To build his fortune, I will strain a little, For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: What you bestow, in him I'll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her. Old Ath.

Most noble lord, Pawn me to this your honour, she is his. Tim. My hand to thee; mine honour on my

promise. Luc. Humbly I thank your lordship: Never may That state or fortune fall into my keeping, .Which is not ow'd to you 31 !

[Exeunt LUCILIUS and old Athenian. Poet. Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your

lordship! Tim. I thank you; you shall hear from me anon; Go not away.- What have you

friend?
Pain. A piece of painting, which I do beseech
Your lordship to accept.
Tim.

Painting is welcome.
The painting is almost the natural man;
For since dishonour trafficks with man's nature,
He is but outside: These pencil'd figures are

31 • Let me never henceforth consider any thing that I possess but as owed or due to you; held for your service, and at your disposal.' So Lady Macbeth says to Duncan :

• Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs in compt,
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
Still to return your own.'

there, my

Even such as they give out 32. I like your work; And you

shall find, I like it: wait attendance Till you

hear further from me. Pain.

The gods preserve you!
Tim. Well fare you, gentlemen : Give me your

hand;
We must needs dine together.-Sir, your jewel
Hath suffer'd under praise.
Jew.

What, my lord ? dispraise?
Tim. A meer satiety of commendations.
If I should pay you for't as 'tis extoll’d,
It would unclew 33 me quite.

. Jew.

My lord, 'tis rated As those, which sell, would give: But you well know, Things of like value, differing in the owners, Are prized by their masters 34: believ't, dear lord, You mend the jewel by wearing it. Tim.

Well mock’d. Mer. No, my good lord; he speaks the common

tongue, Which all men speak with him.

Tim. Look, who comes here. Will you be chid ?

Enter APEMANTUS 35.
Jew. We will bear, with your lordship.
Mer.

He'll spare none.
Tim. Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus !

32 Pictures have no hypocrisy; they are what they profess to be.

33 To unclew a man is to draw out the whole mass of his fortunes. To unclew being to anwind a ball of thread.

34 Are rated according to the esteem in which their possessor is held.

35 See this character of a cynic finely drawn by Lucian, in bis Auction of the Philosophers; and how well Shakspeare has copied it.

Apem. Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good

morrow; When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves

honest 36. Tim. Why dost thou call them knaves ? thou

know'st them not. Apem. Are they not Athenians ? Tim. Yes. Apem. Then I repent not. Jew. You know me, Apemantus. Apem. Thou knowest, I do; I call’d thee by thy

name.

Tim. Thou art proud, Apemantus.

Apem. Of nothing so much, as that I am not like Timon.

Tim. Whither art going ?
Apem. To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.
Tim. That's a deed thou’lt die for.
Apem. Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.
Tim. How likest thou this picture, Apemantus ?
Apem. The best for the innocence.
Tim. Wrought he not well, that painted it?

Apem. He wrought better, that made the painter; and yet he's but a filthy piece of work.

Pain. You are a dog.

Apem. Thy mother's of my generation; What's she, if I be a dog ?

Tim. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus ?
Apem. No; I eat not lords.
Tim. An thou shouldst, thou’dst

anger

ladies. Apem. O, they eat lords ; so they come by great bellies.

Tim. That's a lascivious apprehension.

36

Stay for thy good morrow till I be gentle, which will happen at the same time when thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest.' i. e. never.

Apem. So thou apprehend'st it: Take it for thy labour.

Tim. How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus ?

Apem. Not so well as plain dealing 37, which will not cost a man a doit.

Tim. What dost thou think 'tis worth?
Apem. Not worth my thinking.-How now, poet!
Poet. How now, philosopher?
Apem. Thou liest.
Poet. Art not one?
Apem. Yes.
Poet. Then I lie not.
Apem. Art not a poet?
Poet. Yes.

Apem. Then thou liest: look in thy last work, where thou hast feign'd him a worthy fellow.

Poet. That's not feign’d, he is so.

Apem. Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thy labour: He, that loves to be flattered, is worthy o'the flatterer. Heavens, that I were a lord!

Tim. What would'st do then, Apemantus ?

Apem. Even as Apemantus does now, hate a lord with my heart.

Tim. What, thyself?
Apem. Ay.
Tim. Wherefore?

Apem. That I had no angry wit to be a lord 38.Art not thou a merchant?

37 Alluding to the proverb: Plain dealing is a jewel, but they who use it die beggars.

38 This line is corrupt undoubtedly, and none of the emendations or substitutions that have been proposed are satisfactory. Perhaps we should read • That I had (now angry) wish'd to be a lord:' or, ' That I had (so angry) will to be a lord.' Malone propos d to point the passage thus, ' That I had no angry wit.To be a lord !' and explains it, ' That I had no wit (or discretion]

Mer. Ay, Apemantus.
Apem. Traffick confound thee, if the gods will not!
Mer. If traffick do it, the gods do it.

Apem. Traffick's thy god, and thy god confound thee!

Trumpets sound. Enter a Servant.
Tim. What trumpet's that?
Serv.

"Tis Alcibiades, and Some twenty horse, all of companionship 39. Tim. Pray, entertain them; give them guide to

[Exeunt some Attendants. You must needs dine with me:-Go not you hence, Till I have thank'd you; and, when dinner's done, Show me this piece.—I am joyful of your sights.

us.

Enter ALCIBIADES, with his Company. Most welcome, sir !

[They salute. Арет.

So, so; there! Aches contract and starve your supple joints ! That there should be small love 'mongst these sweet

knaves, And all this court'sy! The strain of man's bred out Into baboon and monkey 40.

Alcib. Sir, you have sav'd my longing, and I feed Most hungrily on your sight. Tim.

Right welcome, sir :

in my anger, but was absurd enough to wish myself one of that set of men, whom I despise. These are the best helps I can afford the reader towards a solution of this enigmatical passage, and it must be confessed they are feeble.

39 i. e. Alcibiades' companions, or such as he consorts with and sets on a level with himself.

40 Man is degenerated ; his strain or lineage is worn down into a monkey.

VOL. VIII.

D

« PreviousContinue »