ページの画像
PDF
ePub

It ftains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly fings the good.

Mer. 'Tis a good form. [Looking on the jewel.
Jew. And rich: here is a water, look you.
Pain. You are rapt, fir, in some work, fome dedication
To the

great lord.
Poet. A thing slipt idly from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 'tis nourished: The fire i' the flint
Shews not, till it be struck; our gentle flame
Provokes itself, and, like the current, flies
Each bound it chafes S. What have

you

there? Pain. A picture, fir. When comes your book forth?

Poet. Upon the heels of my presentment", fir.
Let's see your piece.

Pain. 'Tis a good piece.
Poet. So'tis: this comes off well and excellent.
Pain. Indifferent.

Poet. Admirable: How this grace
Speaks his own standing? what a mental power
This eye shoots forth ? how big imagination
Moves in this lip? to the dumbness of the gesture
One might interpret.

Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
Here is a touch; Is't good?

Poet. I'll say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial ftrife
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.

Inter $ This speech of the poet is very obscure. He seems to boast the copiousness and facility of his vein, by declaring that verses drop from a poet as gums from odoriferous trees, and that his flame kindles itself without the violence necessary to elicit sparkles from the fint. What follows next? that it, like a current, flies each bound it cbafes. This may mean, that it expands itself notwithstanding all obftructions: but the images in the comparison are ro ill-forted, and the effect so obscurely exprefled, that I cannot but think something omitted that connected the last fentence with the former. It is well known that the players often forten speeches to quicken the representation : and it may be suspected, that they sometimes performed their amputations with more halte than judgment. JOHNSON.

6 As soon as my book has been presented to lord Timon. 9 The figure rises well from the canvas. C'est bien relevè.

[ocr errors]

Enter certain Senators, and pass over.
Pain. How this lord is follow'd !
Poet. The senators of Athens ;--- Happy men!
Pain. Look, more!
Poet. You see this confluence, this great flood of vifi-

tors.
I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man,
Whom this beneath world doch embrace and hug
With amplest entertainment : My free drift
Halts not particularly 8, but moves itself
In a wide fea of waxjo : no leve!I'd malice
Infećts one comma in the course 'I hold;
But Aies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.

Pain. How shall I understand you?

Poet. I'll unbolt to you?.
You see, how all conditions, how all minds,
(As well of głib and slippery creatures 3, 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 fatterer *
To Apemantus, that few things loves better

Than to abhor himself: even he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace

K 4

MoR 8 My design does not stop at any rigle characters. 9 Anciently they wrote upon waxen tables with an iron file.

* To level is to aim, to point the shot at a mark. Shakspeare's mean. ing is, my poem is not a satire written with any particular view, or levelled at any fingle person; I fly like an eagle into the general expanseof life, and leave not, by any private mischief, the trace of my pairage.

2 I'll unbolt-] I'll open, I ll explain.

3 - glib and Dippery creatures,] Hanmer, and Warburton after him, read-natures. Slippery is smoorb, unrefiting.

4 That shows in his own look, as by reflection, the looks of his patron.

5 Either Shakspeare meant to put a falfhood into the mouth of lii's poet, or had not yet thoroughly planned the character of Apemantus; for in the ensuing scenes, his behaviour is as cynical to Timon as to his followers.

10

Most rich in Timon's nod.

Pain. I saw them speak together.

Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
Feign's Fortune to be thron'd: The base o’the mount
Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures,
That labour on the bosom of this sphere
To propagate their states ? : amongst them all,
Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix’d,
One do I personate of lord Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her ;
Whose present grace to present flaves and servants
Translates his rivals.

Pain. 'Tis conceiv'd to scope 8:
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
With one man beckon'd from the rest below,
Bowing his head against the steepy mount
To climb his happiness, would be well express'd
In our condition 9.

Poet. Nay, fir, but hear me on:
All those which were his fellows but of late,
(Some better than his value,) on the moment
Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
Rain facrificial whisperings in his ear',
Make sacred even his ftirrop, and through him
Drink the free air2.

Pain. Ay, marry, what of these?

Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of moody
Spurns down her late belov'd, all his dependants,
Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top,
Even on their knees and hands, let him flip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. 'Tis common :

A thousand 6 Cover'd with ranks of all kinds of men. JOHNSON. ? To advance or improve their various conditions of life. 8 Properly imagined, appositely, to the purpose. JOHNSON 9 Condition, for art.

1 Whisperings attended with such respect and veneration as accom. pany facrifices to the gods. Such is the meaning.

? That is, catch his breath in affected fondness.

A thousand moral paintings I can thew 3,
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune's
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well,
To thew lord Timon, that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.

Trumpets found. Enter Timon, attended; the servant

of Ventidius talking with him. Tim. Imprison'd is he, say you ? Ven. Serv. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt; His means moft short, his creditors most strait: Your honourable letter he desires To those have shut him up; which failing, Periods his comfort.

Tim. Noble Ventidius! Well; I am not of that feather, to shake off My friend when he muft need me. I do know him A gentleman, that well deserves a help, Which he shall have : I'll pay the debt, and free him.

Ven. Serv. Your lordship ever binds him.

Tim. Commend me to him : I will send his ransom · And, being enfranchis’d, 'bid him.come to me :'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, But to support him after.---Fare you well. Ven. Serv. All happiness to your honour 4 ! [Exit.

Enter an.old Athenian.. Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.. Tim. Freely, good father.. Old Ath. Thou haft a servant nam'd Lucilius. Tim. I have so: What of him? Old Ath. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee: Tim. Attends he here, or no ?-Lucilius!

Enter

KS.

3 Shakspeare seems to intend in this dialogue to exprefs fome competition between the two great arts of imita ion. Whatever the poet declares himself to have shewn, the painter thinks he could have thewn better.

4 The common address to a lord in our author's time, was young bonour which was indifferently used with your lord hip..

Enter LUCILIUS. Luc. Here, at your lordihip's service. Old Ath. This fellow here, lord Timon, this thy crea.

ture, By night frequents my house. I am a man That from my first have been inclin'd to thrift; And my

eftate deserves an heir more rais'd, Than one which holds a trencher.

Tim. Well; what further?

Old Ath. One only daughter have I, no kin else,
On whom I may confer what I have got:
The maid is fair, o' the youngest for a bride,
And I have bred her at my deareft cost,
In qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her love: I pr'ythee, noble lord,
Join with me to forbid him her resort ;
Myself have spoke in vain.

Tim. The man is honest.

Old Ath. Therefore he will be, Timon:
His honefty rewards him in itself,
It must not bear my daughter.

Tim. Does the love him?

Old Ath. She is young, and apt:
Our own precedent pasions do instruct us
What levity's in youth.

Tim. [to Lucil.) Love you the maid?
Luc. Ay, my good lord, and the accepts of it.

Old Atb. If in her marriage my consent be missing,
I call the gods to witness, I will choose
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 ferv'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 bim I'll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her.

Qld Ath.

« 前へ次へ »