Page images
PDF
EPUB

what do you in this wise company? How dost thou, Apemantus?

Apem. 'Would I had a rod in my mouth, that I might answer thee profitably.

Page. Pr’ythee, Apemantus, read me the supercription of these letters; I know not which is which.

Apem. Canst not read?
Page. No.

Apem. There will little learning die then, that day thou art hanged. This is to lord Timon; this to Alcibiades. Go; thou wast borni a bastard, and thou'lt die a bawd.

Page. Thou wast whelped a dog; and thou shalt famish, a dog's death. Answer not, I am gone.

[Exit Page. Apem. Even so thou out-run'st grace. Fool, I will go

with you to lord Timon's. Fool. Will you leave me there?

Apem. If Timon stay at home. You three serve three usurers?

All Serv. Ay; 'would they served us!

Apem. So would I,--as good a trick as ever hangman served thief.

Fool. Are you three usurers' men?
All Serv. Ay, fool.

Fool. I think, no usurer but has a fool to his servant: My mistress is one, and I am her fool. When men come to borrow of your masters, they approach sadly, and go away merry; but they enter my mistress' house merrily, and go away sadly: The reason of this?

Var. Serv. I could render one.

Apem. Do it then, that we may account thee a whoremaster, and a knave; which notwithstanding, thou shalt be no less esteemed.

Var. Serv. What is a whoremaster, fool?
Fool. A fool in good clothes, and something like

thee. 'Tis a spirit: sometime, it appears like a lord; sometime, like a lawyer; sometime, like a philosopher, with two stones more than his artificial one: He is very often like a knight; and, generally in all shapes, that man goes up and down in, from fourscore to thirteen, this spirit walks in.

Var. Serv. Thou art not altogether a fool.

Fool. Nor thou altogether a wise man: as much foolery as I have, so much wit thou lackest.

Apem. That answer might have become Apemantus.

All Serv. Aside, aside; here comes lord Timon.

anon.

Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS. Apem. Come, with me, fool, come.

Fool. I do not always follow lover, elder brother, and woman; sometime, the philosopher.

[Exeunt APEMANTUS and Fool. Flav. 'Pray you, walk near; I'll speak with you

[Exeunt Serv. Tim. You inake me marvel: Wherefore, ere this

time,
Had you not fully laid my state before me;
That I might so have rated my expence,
As I had leave of means?
Flav.

You would not hear ine,
At many leisures I propos d.
Tim.

Go to:
Perchance, some single vantages you took,
When my indisposition put you back;
And that'unaptness made your minister,
Thus to excuse yourself.
Flav.

O my good lord!
At
many

times I brought in my accounts,

4

made your minister,] The construction is :- And made that unaptness your minister.

Laid them before you; you would throw them off,'
And say, you found them in inine honesty.
When, for some trifting present, you have bid me
Return so much, I have shook my head, and wept;
Yea, 'gainst the authority' of manners, pray'd you
To hold your hand more close: I did endure
Not seldom, nor no slight checks; when I have
Prompted you, in the ebb of your estate,
And your great flow of debts. My dear-lov'd lord,

Though you hear now, (too late!) yet now's a time,
The greatest of your having lacks a half
To pay your present debts.
Tim.

Let all' my land be sold.
Flav. "Tis all engag'd, some forfeited and gone;
And what remains will hardly stop the mouth
Of present dues: the future comes apace:
What shall defend the interim? and at length
How goes our reckoning ??

Tim. To Lacedæmon did my land extend.

Flav, O my good lord, the world is but a word;
Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
How quickly were it gone?
Tim.

You tell me true.
Flav. If you suspect my husbandry, or falsehood,

5 Return so much,] He does not mean so great á sum, but a certain sum, as it might happen to be. Our author frequently uses this kind of expression.

Though you hear now, (too late!') yet now's a time,] i. e. Though I tell you this at too late a period, perhaps, for the information to be of any service to you, yet late as it is, it is necessary that you should be acquainted with it. It is evident, that the steward had very little hope of assistance from his master's friends.

and at length How goes our reckoning?] How will you be able to subsist in the time intervening between the payment of the present demands (which your whole substance wilt hardly satisfy) and the claim of future dueạ, for which you have no fund whatsoever; and finally on the settle:nent of all accounts in whať a wretched plight will you be ? VOL. VII.

E

7

Call me before the exactest auditors,
And set me on the proof. So the gods bless me,
When all our offices have been oppress'd
With riotous feeders; when our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine; when every room
Hath blaz'd with lights, and bray'd with minstrelsy;
I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock,
And set mine eyes at flow.
Tim.

Pr’ythee, no more.
Flav. Heavens, have I said, the bounty of this

lord! How many prodigal bits have slaves, and peasants, This night englutted! Who is not Timon's? What heart, head, sword, force, means, but is lord

Timon's? Great Timon, noble, worthy, royal Timon? Ah! when the means are gone, that buy this praise, The breath is gone whereof this praise is made: Feast-won, fast-lost; one cloud of winter showers, These flies are couch'd. Tim.

Come, sermon me no further: No villainous bounty yet hath pass'd my heart; Unwisely, 'not ignobly, have I given.'

8

[ocr errors]

our offices - ) i. e. the apartments allotted to culinary purposes, the reception of domesticks, &c.

- a wasteful cock,] Of the various explanations of the commentators, the following appears most intelligible. A wasteful cock is what we now call a waste pipe; a pipe which is continually running, and thereby prevents the overflow of cisterns, and other reservoirs, by carrying off their superfluous water. This circumstance served to keep the idea of Timon's unceasing prodigality in the mind of the Steward, while its remoteness from the scenes of luxury within the house, was favourable to meditation,

No villainous bounty yet hoth pass'd my heart;

Unwisely, not ignobly, hare I giren.] Every reader must rejoice in this circumstance of comfort which presents itself to Timon, who, although beggar'd through want of prudence, consoles himself with reflection that his ruin was not brought on by the pursuit of guilty pleasures. STEEVENS.

2

Why dost thou weep? Canst thou the conscience

lack,
To think I shall lack friends ? Secure thy heart;
If I would broach the vessels of my love,
And try the argument' of hearts by borrowing,
Men, and men's fortunes, could I frankly use,
As I can bid thee speak.
Flav.

Assurance bless your thoughts!
Tim. And, in some sort, these wants of mine are

crown'd, That I account them blessings; for by these Shall I try friends: You shall perceive, how you Mistake my fortunes; I am wealthy in my friends. Within there, ho Flaminius! Servilius! Enter FLAMINIUS, SERVILIUS, and other Servants. Serv. My lord, my lord, Tim. I will despatch you severally.-You, to bord

Lucius,-
To lord Lucullus you; I hunted with his
Honour to-day;-You, to Sempronius;
Commend me to their loves; and, I am proud, say,
That my occasions have found time to use them
Toward a supply of money: let the request
Be fifty talents.
Flam.

As you have said, my lord.
Flav. Lord Lucius, and lord Lucullus? humph!

[Aside. Tim. Go you, sir, [To another Serv.] to the se

nators, (Of whom, even to the state's best health, I have Deserv'd this hearing,) bid 'em send o’the instant

And try the argument-) The licentiousness of our author forces us often upon far-fetch'd expositions. Arguments may mean contents, as the arguments of a book; or evidences and proofs. Johnson.

-crown'd,] i.e. dignified, adorned, made respectable. .

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »