ページの画像
PDF

More than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
Do villainy, do, since you profess to do't,
Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery:
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun :
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears : the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture* stolen
From general excrement: each thing's a thief;
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves: away;
Rob one another. There's more gold: Cut throats;
All that you meet are thieves: To Athens, go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it: Steal not less, for this
I give you, and gold confound you howsoever !
Amen.

[Timon retires to his cade. 3 Thief. He has almost charined me from my profession, by persuading me to it.

1 Thief. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mys. tery.

Thief, I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.

1 Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens: There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.

[Exeunt Thieves. Enter Flavius. Flao. O you gods! Is yon despis'd and ruinous man my lord ? Full of decay and failing ? O monument And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd! What an alteration of honourt has Desperate want made! What viler thing upon the earth, than friends,

• Compost, manure.

+ An alteration of honour is an alteration of an honourable state to a state of disgrace.

Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarelydoes it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wisk'st to love his enemies :
Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me, than those that do !
He has caught me in his eye: I will present
My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord,
Still serve him with my life. My dearest master!

Timon comes forward from his cave.
Tim. Away! what art thou ?
Flad. .

Have you forgot me, sir? Tim. Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men; Then, if thou grant'st thou'rt man, I have forgot thee.

Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.
Tim.

Then
I know thee not: I ne'er had honest man
About me, I ; all that I kept were knaves,
To serve in meat to villains.
Flat.

The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
Tim. What, dost thou weep?-Come nearer ;-

then I love thee, Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give, But thorough lust, and laughter. Pity's sleeping: Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with

weeping! Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord, To accept my grief, and whilst this poor wealth lasts, To entertain me as your steward still.

Tim. Had I a steward so true, so just, and now So comfortable? It almost turns My dangerous nature wild. Let me behold Thy face.-Surely, this man was born of woman, Forgive my general and exceptless rashness, Perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaias One honest man,-mistake me not, but one;

[ocr errors][merged small]

No more, I pray,--and he is a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeem'st thyself: But all, save thee,
I fell with curses.
Methinks, thou art more honest now, than wise ;
For, by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou might'st have sooner got another service:
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell mne true
(For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure),
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness; and as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one ?

Flav. No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are plac'd too late:
You should have fear'd false times, when you did

feast : Suspect still comes where an estate is least. That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love, Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind, Care of your food and living: and, believe it, My most honour'd lord, For any benefit that points to me, Either in hope, or present, I'd exchange For this one wish, That you had power and wealth To requite me, by making rich yourself.

Tiin. Look thee, 'tis so!--Thou singly honest man, Here take :-the gods out of my misery Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich, and happy: But thus condition'd; Thou shalt build from men* ; Hate all, curse all: show charity to none; But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone, Ere thou relieve the beggar: give to dogs What thou deny'st to men; let prisons swallow them, Debts wither thein : Be men like blasted woods, And may diseases lick up their false bloods ! And so, farewell, and thrive.

• Away from human habitation,

Flao.

0, let me stay, And comfort you, my master. Tim.

If thou hat'st Curses, stay not; fly, whilst thou'rt bless'd and free: Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.

(Exeunt severally.

[ocr errors]

SCENE I. The same. Before Timon's cave.

Enter Poet and Painter; Timon behind, unseen.

Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.

Poet. What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour Hold for true, that he is so full of gold?

Pain. Certain : Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him: he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: 'Tis said, he gave unto his steward a mighty sum.

Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.

Pain. Nothing else: you shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the bighest. Therefore, 'tis not amiss, we tender our loves to him, in this supposed distress of his : it will show honestly in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.

Poet. What have you now to present unto him?

Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation : only I will promise him an excellent piece.

Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.

Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very

air o'the time: it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of saying* is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will and testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgement that makes it.

Tim. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.

Poet. I am thinking, what I shall say I have provided for him: It must be a personating of himself: a satire against the softness of prosperity; with a discovery of the infinite flatteries, that follow youth and opulency.

Tim. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.

Poet. Nay, let's seek him:
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.

Pain. True;
When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.
Come.
Tim. I'll meet you at the turn. What a god's

gold, That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple, Than where swine feed! 'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough'st the

foam ; Settlest admired reverence in a slave : To thee be worship ! and thy saints for aye Be crown'd with plagues, that thee alone obey! 'Fit I do meet them.

(Advancing. Poet. Hail, worthy Timon ! Pain.

Our late noble master. Tim. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men? Poet. Sir,

• The doing of that we said we would do.

« 前へ次へ »