The Life of Timon of Athens


William Shakespeare

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The Life of Timon of Athens Page 01

Enter Poet, Painter, Ieweller, Merchant, and Mercer, at seuerall doores.

Poet. Good day Sir

Pain. I am glad y'are well

Poet. I haue not seene you long, how goes the World? Pain. It weares sir, as it growes

Poet. I that's well knowne: But what particular Rarity? What strange, Which manifold record not matches: see Magicke of Bounty, all these spirits thy power Hath coniur'd to attend. I know the Merchant

Pain. I know them both: th' others a Ieweller

Mer. O 'tis a worthy Lord

Iew. Nay that's most fixt

Mer. A most incomparable man, breath'd as it were, To an vntyreable and continuate goodnesse: He passes

Iew. I haue a Iewell heere

Mer. O pray let's see't. For the Lord Timon, sir? Iewel. If he will touch the estimate. But for that- Poet. When we for recompence haue prais'd the vild, It staines the glory in that happy Verse, Which aptly sings the good

Mer. 'Tis a good forme

Iewel. And rich: heere is a Water looke ye

Pain. You are rapt sir, in some worke, some Dedication to the great Lord

Poet. A thing slipt idlely from me. Our Poesie is as a Gowne, which vses From whence 'tis nourisht: the fire i'th' Flint Shewes not, till it be strooke: our gentle flame Prouokes it selfe, and like the currant flyes Each bound it chases. What haue you there? Pain. A Picture sir: when comes your Booke forth? Poet. Vpon the heeles of my presentment sir. Let's see your peece

Pain. 'Tis a good Peece

Poet. So 'tis, this comes off well, and excellent

Pain. Indifferent

Poet. Admirable: How this grace Speakes his owne standing: what a mentall power This eye shootes forth? How bigge imagination Moues in this Lip, to th' dumbnesse of the gesture, One might interpret

Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life: Heere is a touch: Is't good? Poet. I will say of it, It Tutors Nature, Artificiall strife Liues in these toutches, liuelier then life. Enter certaine Senators.

Pain. How this Lord is followed

Poet. The Senators of Athens, happy men

Pain. Looke moe

Po. You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors, I haue in this rough worke, shap'd out a man Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hugge With amplest entertainment: My free drift Halts not particularly, but moues it selfe In a wide Sea of wax, no leuell'd malice Infects one comma in the course I hold, But flies an Eagle flight, bold, and forth on, Leauing no Tract behinde

Pain. How shall I vnderstand you? Poet. I will vnboult to you. You see how all Conditions, how all Mindes, As well of glib and slipp'ry Creatures, as Of Graue and austere qualitie, tender downe Their seruices to Lord Timon: his large Fortune, Vpon his good and gracious Nature hanging, Subdues and properties to his loue and tendance All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glasse-fac'd Flatterer To Apemantus, that few things loues better Then to abhorre himselfe; euen hee drops downe The knee before him, and returnes in peace Most rich in Timons nod

Pain. I saw them speake together

Poet. Sir, I haue vpon a high and pleasant hill Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd. The Base o'th' Mount Is rank'd with all deserts, all kinde of Natures That labour on the bosome of this Sphere, To propagate their states; among'st them all, Whose eyes are on this Soueraigne Lady fixt, One do I personate of Lord Timons frame, Whom Fortune with her Iuory hand wafts to her, Whose present grace, to present slaues and seruants Translates his Riuals

William Shakespeare
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Timon von Athen