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The Woods.

Enter TIMON. Tim. O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth Rotten humidity; below thy sister's orb} Infect the air! Twinn'd brothers of one womb, Whose procreation, residence, and birth, Scarceis dividant,-touch them with several fortunes; The greater scorns the lesser: Not nature, To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune, But by contempt of nature.* Raise me this beggar, and denude that lord; The senator shall bear contempt hereditary, The beggar native honour. It is the pasture lards the brother's sides, The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who


In purity of manhood stand upright,
And say, This man's a flatterer? if one be,
So are they all; for every grize of fortunes
Is smooth'd by that below: the learned pate
Ducks to the golden fool: All is oblique;
There's nothing level in our cursed natures,

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below thy sister's orb-] That is, the moon's, this sublu

nary world.

Not nature,
To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune,

But by contempt of nature,) Mr. M. Mason observes, that this passage “ but by the addition of a single letter may be rendered clearly intelligible ; by merely reading natures instead of nature.The meaning will then be" Not even beings reduced to the utmost extremity of wretchedness, can bear good fortune, without contemning their fellow-creatures.”

-for every grize of fortune-] Grize for step or degree.

But direct villainy. Therefore, be abhorr’d
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men!
His semblable, yea, himself, l'imon disdains:
Destruction fang mankind!-Earth, yield me roots!

Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy most operant poison! What is here?
Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods,
I am no idle votarist. Roots, you clear heavens !8
Thus much of this, will make black, white; foul,

fair; Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward,

valiant. Ha, you gods! why this? What this, you gods?

Why this Will lug your priests and servants from your sides; Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads : This yellow slave Will knit and break religions; bless the accurs’d; Make the hoar leprosy ador’d; place thieves, And give them title, knee, and approbation, With senators on the bench: this is it, That makes the wappen'd widow wed again; She, whom the spital-house, and ulcerous sores Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices To the April day again. Come, damned earth, Thou common whore of mankind, that put'st odds Among the rout of nations, I will make thee



fang mankind !] i. e. seize, gripe.

no idle votarist.] No insincere or inconstant supplicant. Gold will not serve ine instead of roots.

Johnson. you clear heavens!) This may mean either ye cloudless skies, or ye deities exempt from guilt.

9 To the April day again.] The April day does not relate to the widow, but to the other diseased female, who is represented as the outcast of an hospital. She it is whom gold embalms and spices to the April day again : i. e. gold restores her to all the freshness and sweetness of youth.

Do thy right nature. —[March afar off]-Ha! a

drum?—Thou'rt quick,
But yet I'll bury thee: Thou'lt go, strong thief,
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand :-
Nay, stay thou out for earnest.

[Keeping some Gold. Enter ALCIBIADES, with Drum and Fife, in warlike

manner; PHRYNIA and TIMANDRA. Alcib.

What art thou there? Speak. Tim. A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy

heart, For showing me again the eyes of man! Alcil. What is thy name? Is man so hateful to

That art thyself a man?

Tim. I am misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.

I know thee well;
But in thy fortunes am unlearn’d and strange,
Tim. I know thee too; and more, than that I

know thee, I not desire to know. Follow thy drum; With man's blood paint the ground, gules, gules: Religious canons, civil laws are cruel; Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine Hath in her more destruction than thy sword, For all her cherubin look. Phry.

Thy lips rot off! Tim. I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns To thine own lips again.

Alcib. How came the noble Timon to this change?

1 Do thy right nature.] Lie in the earth where nature laid thee. ? — Thou'rt quick,] Thou hast life and motion in thee. VOL, VIII.


Tim. As the moon does, by wanting light to give: But then renew I could not, like the moon; There were no suns to borrow of. Alcib.

Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?

None, but to
Maintain my opinion.

What is it, Timon?
Tim. Promise me friendship, but perform none: If
Thou wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for
Thou art a man! if thou dost perform, confound thee,
For thou’rt a man!

Alcib. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries. Tim. Thou saw'st them, when I had prosperity. Alcib. I see them now; then was a blessed time. Tim. As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots. Timan. Is this the Athenian minion, whom the

world Voic'd so regardfully? Tim.

Art thou Timandra? Timan. Yes. Tim. Be a whore still! they love thee not, that

use thee; Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust. Make use of thy salt hours: season the slaves For tubs, and baths; bring down rose-cheeked youth To the tub-fast, and the diet. Timan.

Hang thee, monster! Alcib. Pardon him, sweet Timandra; for his wits Are drown'd and lost in his calamities.I have but little gold of late, brave Timon, The want whereof doth daily make revolt In my penurious band: I have heard, and griev'd, How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,


If Thou wilt not promise, &c.] That is, however thou may'st act, since thou art a man, hated man, I wish thee evil.

Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states, But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them,

Tim, I pr’ythee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone. Alcib. I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon. Tim. How dost thou pity him, whom thou dost

I had rather be alone.

Why, fare thee well:
Here's some gold for thee.

Keep't, I cannot eat it. Alcib. When I have laid proud Athens on a

heap, Tim. Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens? Alcib.

Ay, Timon, and have cause. Tim. The gods confound them all i’thy conquest;

and Thee after, when thou hast conquer'd! Alcib.

Why me, Timon Tim. That, By killing villains, thou wast born to conquer My country. Put up thy gold; Go on,-here's gold,-go on; Be as a planetary plague, when Jove Will o'er some high-vic'd city hang his poison In the sick air : Let not thy sword skip one: Pity not honour'd age for his white beard, He's an usurer: Strike me the counterfeit matron; It is her habit only that is honest, Herself's a bawd: Let not the virgin's cheek Make soft thy trenchant sword; for those milk

paps, That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes, Are not within the leaf of pity writ, Set them down horrible traitors: Spare not the babe, Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;

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