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Enter Flavius and two Senators. Flav. It is in vain that you would speak with Timon: For he is set so only to himself, That nothing but himself, which looks like man Is friendly with him.

i Sen. Bring us to his cave. It is our part and promise to th’ Athenians To speak with Timon.

2 Sen. At all times alike
Men are not still the same; 'twas time and griefs
That fram’d him thus. Time, with his fairer hand
Offering the fortunes of his former days,
The former man may make him; bring us to him,
And chance it as it may.

Flav. Here is his cave:
Peace and content be here, Lord Timon! Timon!
Look out, and speak to friends: thAthenians
By two of their most rev'rend senate greet thee;
Speak to them, noble Timon.

Enter Timon out of his Cave.
Tim. Thou fun, that comfort'st, burn!
Speak, and be hang'd;
For each true word a blister, and each false
Be cauterizing to the root o'th' tongue,
Consuming it with speaking.

i Sen. Worthy Timon, --
Tim. –Of none but such as you, and

you

of Timon. 2 Sen. The Senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.

Tim. I thank them. And would send them back the Could I but catch it for them.

i Sen. O, forget
What we are sorry for ourselves, in thee :
The Senators, with one consent of love,
Intreat thee back to Athens; who have thought
On special dignities, which vacant lie
For thy best use and wearing.

2 Sen. They confess
Tow'd thee forgetfulness, too general, gross ;

(plague,

Which

Which now the publick body, (which doth seldom
Play the recanter) feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fall, restraining aid to Timon;
And sends forth us to make their forrowed tender,
Together with a recompence more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram;
Ay, ev'n such heaps and sums of love and wealth,
As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs;
And write in thee the figures of their love,
Ever to read them thine.

Tim. You witch me in it,
Surprize me to the very brink of tears:
Lend me a fool's heart, and a woman's eyes,
And I'll beweep these comforts, worthy fenators.

i Sen. Therefore so please thee to return with us,
And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
The captain ship: thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allow'd with absolute power, and thy good name
Live with authority: foon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades th' approaches wild,
Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
His country's peace.

2 Sen. And Thakes his threatning fword Against the walls of Athens.

1 Sen. Therefore, TimonTim. Well, Sir, I will; therefore I will, Sir; thusIf Alcibiades kill my countrymen, Let Alcibiades know this of Timon, That Timon cares not. If he fack fair Athens, And take our goodly aged men by th' beards, Giving our holy virgins to the stain Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd war ; Then let him know,--and tell him, Timon speaks it ; In pity of our aged, and our youth, I cannot chuse but tell him, that I care not. And let him take't at worst; for their knives care not, While

you

have throats to answer. For myself,
There's not a whittle in th’unruly camp,
But I do prize it at my love, before
VOL. VI.

1

The

The reverend'st throat in Athens.

So I leave you
To the protection of the prosp'rous gods,
As thieves to keepers.

Flav. Stay not, all's in vain.

Tim. Why, I was writing of my epitaph,
It will be seen to-morrow. My long fickness
Of health and living now begins to inend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live ftilly
Be Alcibiades your plague : you his ;
And last so long enough!

i Sen. We speak in vain.

Tim. But yet I love my country, and am not
One that rejoices in the common wrack,
As common bruite doth put it.

i Sen. That's well spoke.
Tim, Commend me to my loving countrymen.
i Sen. These words become your lips, as they pass thro'

them. 2 Sen. And enter in our ears, like

great triumphers In their applauding gates,

Tim. Comniend me to them,
And tell them, that to ease them of their griefs,
'Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,
Their pangs of love, with other incident throes,
That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain
In life's uncertain voyage, I will do
Some kindness to them, teach them to prevent
Wild Alcibiades' wrath.

2 Sen. I like this well, he will return again.
Tim. I have a tree, which grows

here in my close, That mine own use invites me to cut down, And shortly must I fell it. Tell my friends, Tell Athens, in the frequence of degree, From high to low throughout, that whoso please To stop affliction, let him take his hafte; (38)

Come (38) let him take bis-tate;] I dont know, upon what authority Mr. Pope in both his editions has given us this reading; I have reford the text from the old books, and, I am persuaded, as the author

Timon's whole harangue is copied from this passage of Plutarch in the life of M. Antony : " Ye men of rithens, in a court-yard

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Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the ax,
And hang himself-I pray you, do my greeting.

Flav. Vex him no further, thus you still shall find him.

Tim. Come not to me again, but ray to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting manfion
Upon the beached verge of the falt flood;
Which once a day with his embofled froth
The turbulent surge shall cover: Thither come,
And let my grave-ftone be your

oracle.
Lips, let four words go by, and language end :
What is amiss, plague and infection mend !
Graves only be mens works, and death their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams ! Timon hath done his reign.

[Exit Timon. 1 Sen. His discontents are unremoveably coupled to his

nature. 2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead; let us return, And strain what other means is left unto us In our dear peril. (39) 1 Sen. It requires swift foot.

(Exeunt.

e belonging to my house grows a large fig-tree; on which many an » honest citizen has been pleas'd to hang himielf: Now, as I have " thoughts of building upon that spot, I could not omit giving you “ this publick notice; to the end, that if any more among you have " a mind to make the fame use of my tree, they may do it speedily *** before it is destroy’d." And Rabelais, who, in the oldest prologue to his fourth book, has inserted this story from Plutarch, thus renders the close of the sentence.

Pourtant quiconque de Vous autres, et de toute la ville aura a su pendre, s'en depesche promptement,

(39) In our dead peril.] Thus Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope have given us this passage; but is it not strange that the Athenians 'peril hoult be dead, because one of their hopes was dead? Such a disappointment must naturally give fresh life and strength to their danger. We muit certainly read with the old Folio's; In cur dear peril. i, e, dread, deep. So in As you like it; For my

father hated his father dearly, So in Jul. Caf.

Would it not grieve thee dearer than thy death, &c. And in Hamlet;

Would I had met my dearest foe in heav'n, &c. And in an hundred other passages, that might be quoted from our author,

SCENE

I 2

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Į Şen.

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SCENE changes to the Walls of Athens,
Enter trvo other Senators, with a Messenger.

Hou haft painfully discover'd; are his files

As full as thy report? Mes. I have spoke the least. Besides, his expedition promises Present approach.

2 Sen. We stand much hazard, if they bring not Timor,

Mef, I met a courier, one mine ancient friend;
Who, though in general part we were oppos’d,

Yet our old love made a particular force,
And made us speak like friends. This man was riding
From Alcibiades to Timon's cave,
With letters of intreaty, which imported
His fellowship i' th'cause against your city,
In part for his fake mov’d.

Enter the other Senators,
I Sen. Here come our brothers.

3 Sen. No talk of Timon, nothing of him expect.The enemies drum is heard, and fearful scouring Doth choak the air with dust. In, and prepare; Ours is the fall, I fear, our foes the snare. Exeunt.

Enter a Soldier in the woods, seeking Timon. Sol. By all description this should be the place, Who's here: speak, ho.No answer?

What is this? Timon is dead, who haih out-stretcht his span ;-: Some beast rear'd this; here does not live a man. (40)

Dead, (40) Some beast read this: bere does not live a mano] Some beast read what? The soldier had yet only seen the rude pile of earth heap'd up for Timon's grave, and not the inscription upon it. My friend Mr. Warburton ingeniously advis'd me to amend the text, as I have done; and a paffage occurs to me, (from Beaumont and Fletcher's Cupid's revenge) that seems very strong in support of his conjecture:

Comfort was never here;
Here is no food, nor beds; nor any kou e
Built by a better architect than beasts.

The

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