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  • Title: Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)

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    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)


    1Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

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

    5GOod 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.
    10Poet. 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.
    15I 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,
    20To 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---
    25Poet. 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.
    30Pain. You are rapt sir, in some worke, some Dedica-
    tion 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
    35Shewes 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.
    40Let'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
    45Speakes 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:
    50Heere 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.
    55Pain. 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
    60Whom 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,
    65But 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,
    70As 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
    75All 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.
    80Pain. 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
    85That 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,
    90Whose present grace, to present slaues and seruants
    Translates his Riuals.
    Pain. 'Tis conceyu'd, to scope
    This Throne, this Fortune, and this Hill me thinkes