A wise friend and a perpetual loyal thorn in the side on all matters relating to our favorite women both real and mythological has sent a note. He now claims to have been in some way-- too bawdy and inconceivable to utter in present company –involved with our beloved Queen Tomyris in some past life. But more importantly, he thought us remiss in having excluded Timon of Athens from the previous post. And right he is.
I think some of my gentle readers would have opted for the last two appearances of Alcibiades in the final scene or perhaps even that of Flavius. My choice today, though, is the furious Timon of Act 4, Scene 3. Be an active reader and imagine the following incorporated as you see fit:
[Woods and cave, near the seashore.]
[Enter TIMON, from the cave]
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,
Scarce is 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 deny 't that lord;
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
The beggar native honour.
It is the pasture lards the rother's sides,
The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who dares,
In purity of manhood stand upright,
And say 'This man's a flatterer?' if one be,
So are they all; for every grise of fortune
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,
But direct villany. Therefore, be abhorr'd
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men!
His semblable, yea, himself, Timon 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!
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 accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored, 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 route of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature.
And do read Mr. Hanson’s article here and consider carefully the Periclean distinction he highlights between citizens and individuals. Think about various ways our societies normally benefit from acknowledging this crucial difference. I’ll tell you why I think this important as I continue speculating in my next post about Mr. Ahura Yazdi’s reception in our marvel of a LaLa Land.