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TIMON, a noble Athenian.
Lucullus, lords, and flatterers of Timon.
VENTIDIUS, one of Timon's false friends.
FLAVIUS, steward to Timon.
Two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of Isidore; two of Timon's creditors.
CUPID and Maskers. Three Strangers.
Other Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Thieves, and Attendants.
SCENE, Athens; and the Woods adjoining.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
ACT THE FIRST.
Athens. A Hall in Timon's House.
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others at several Doors.
Poet. Good day, sir.
I am glad you are well.
Poet. I have not seen you long; How goes the
Pain. It wears sir, as it grows.
Ay, that's well known: But what particular rarity? what strange, Which manifold record not matches? See, Magick of bounty! all these spirits thy power Hath conjur'd to attend. I know the merchant. Pain. I know them both; t'other's a jeweller. Mer. O, 'tis a worthy lord!
Nay, that's most fix'd. Mer. A most incomparable man; breath'd', as it
To an untirable and continuate' goodness:
He passes. 3
I have a jewel here.
■ Inured by constant practice.
3 i. e. Exceeds, goes beyond common bounds.
Mer. O, pray, let's see't: For the lord Timon, sir?
It stains the glory in that happy verse
'Tis a good form.
Jew. And rich: here is a water, look you. Pain. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
To the great lord.
A thing slipp'd idly from me. Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 'tis nourished: The fire i'the flint
Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir. Let's see your piece.
'Tis a good piece.
Poet. So 'tis: this comes off well and excellent. Pain. Indifferent.
Admirable: How this grace
Speaks his own standing! what a mental power
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
Here is a touch; Is't good?
I'll say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial strife'
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.
4 As soon as my book has been presented to Timon. 5 i. e. The contest of art with nature.
Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord's follow'd!
Poet. The senators of Athens:- Happy men!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors.
I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man,
Pain. How shall I understand you?
Poet. I'll unbolt to you. You see how all conditions, how all minds, (As well of glib and slippery creatures, as Of grave and austere quality,) tender down Their services to lord Timon: his large fortune, Upon his good and gracious nature hanging, Subdues and properties to his love and tendance All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-fac'd flat
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
I saw them speak together. Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill, Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd: The base o'the
Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures,
My design does not stop at any particular character. 7 One who shows by reflection the looks of his patron. 8 To advance their conditions of life.