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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. 1 Seru.
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 implements 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.
10, 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 Rotten humidity; below thy sister's orb} Infect the air! Twinn'd brothers of one womb,Whose procreation, residence, and birth, Scarceis
dividant, -touch them with several fortunes;
below thy sister's orb-] That is, the moon'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,
But direct villainy. Therefore, be abhorrd
fair; Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward,
valiant. Ha, you gods! why this? What this, you gods?
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides;
6---fang mankind!] i. e. seize, gripe.
no idle rotarist.] No insincere or inconstant supplicant. Gold will not serve ine instead of roots. JOHNSON. - you clear heavens!) This may mean either
cloudless skies, or ye deities exempt from guilt.
9 To the April day again.] The April day does not relate to the uidow, but to the other diseased female, who is represented as the outcast of an hospital. She it is whom gold embalms and spices to the April day again: i, e. gold restores her to all the freshness and sweetness of youth.
Do thy right nature.—[March afar off]-Ha! a
[Keeping some Gold.
Enter ALCIBIADES, with Drum and Fife, in warlike
manner; PHRYNIA and TIMANDRA. Alcil.
What art thou there? Speak. Tim. A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy
heart, For showing me again the eyes of man! Alcib. What is thy name? Is man so hateful to
Tim. I am misanthropos, and hate mankind.
I know thee well;
know thee, I not desire to know. Follow thy drum; With man’s blood paint the ground, gules, gules: Religious canons, civil laws are cruel; Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine Hath in her more destruction than thy sword, For all her cherubin look. Phry.
Thy lips rot off! Tim. I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns To thine own lips again.
Alcib. How came the noble Timon to this change?
1 Do thy right nature.] Lie in the earth where nature laid thee.
Thou'rt quick,] Thou hast life and motion in thee. vol. VII.