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and Lelius, famous for their Faith and Loyalty to one
Lelius. You give me a Character of the present World from the past Injuries you receiv'd, and the villainous Returns the Athenians made you for all those generous Services you did them and your
Country. But, I hope, in this Turn into the World, you avoided those Inconveniencies which you knew before proceeded from too noble a Temper and too excessive a Liberality.
Timon. Tho' those incredible Ingratitudes of my old Country-Men of Greece, might perhaps prevail with another less generous and brave, to condemn all Mankind for ever for their Sakes, as I did in my angry Mood, in my Epitaph; yet, I do assure you, that I represent them very short of their Deserts; and the Athenians were but Dwarfs, in Ingratitude and Selfishness, to the present World. Though the Memory of their Villainies to mę render'd my Abode here very uneasy for many Centuries, which made me at last resolve to drink of Lethe-Lake, to forget them, that I might not disquiet my self any more abont them ; but as I had the Water in my Mouth, I began to reflect, that if I should wholly forget them, I might, in my Return to the World, incur the fame Misfortunes again, and therefore ! let but a Drop or two go down, and spurted out the rest again. So, keeping my Resolution to be as felfish as any, and to give nothing, unless I had almost a Certainty of getting twice as much by it, I enter'd at last into a Body that was just come to a Ripeness to receive a Soul; and as 'tis a Lottery to us, you know what Body we are convey'd into, so I found too late that I was born an English-Man; and as I grew up, I found that Opinion by Experience verify'd, that the Organs and Constitutions of the Body form the Inclinations of the Mird: For, fpight of all my
former - Resolutions, I began to imbibe the pernicious Opinion, That none was born for himself only, and that there was nothing more worthy a Man, or indeed made nearer Approaches to Dini. nity, than to redress the Misfortunes of my fellowCreatures, Thielding off Ruin from those in Distress.
Among the rest of my belov'd Follies, reading your Examples, and those of old Greece, fam'd in the Schools for Friendfiip, I fell into a ridiculous Opinion, That it was possible for me to cull out some dear Pylades or Scipio, to build up that Chimera
of a Pleasure call's Friendship. Nor could I then imagine I could pursue a surer Tract to find that noble Phenix, then in the Circle of their Sciences, which generally inform'd the Minds of the Adorers with more refind and generous Principles than the groveling Souls of the ignorant Part of Mankind ever rise to, believing their elevated Beings to be above those little selfish Tricks lof the crafty designing Part of the human Emmecs. But in such a one, to Thew you the Extremity of the less perfect, I'll give you a short Touch of his Prevarications.
The Agreeableness of our Inclinations I laid for the Basis of our Amity, you allowing no Prospect of Advantage and Interest in these Associations ; and, as I delir'd and expected, he first stood in Need of me. Liberty is the Idol of all Men; that I gave him with the Hazard of my own ; and Life it self he ow'd to my Sword and Purse: Nor could Fortune (envious as she is at the Success of the Ingenious) caft more Distresses on him, than my Friendship did (unask'd) endeavour to hinder him from, as long as my Abilities remain’d : But no sooner had my Generosity to others reduc'd me to want the Returns of a Friend, but he grew faint in the noble Course, and repay'd my past Services with odd,
long, strange, needless, base Put-offs, monstrous · Protestations without any Effect, and Promises without any Performance. Extravagantly kind in Words when I ask'd nothing, but wretchedly and beyond Measure penurious in Action when entreated. An inferior and impudent Fellow should fucceed, when the modest Importunities of his Friend were fruitless. Behold, in a Word, the Difference betwixt lis : The least Occasion was sufficient for me to throw my Favours without being ask'd, (as you in your divine Rules prescribe) and the greatest and most extraordinary Emergency too little to make him remember a Promise,
Lælires. By this Account, I find the World is indeed much alter'd for the worse; for in Athens of old, the Senate and People had ruin'd and condemn'd Calicias, for not aslifting his poor Friend Aristides, if by the Testimony of him he had not satisfy'd the Publick, that Aristides's Poverty was owing to his own abitemious' Inclinations, not his base deferting him in his Distress.
Timon. Ah! if Athens had been always of that Mind, how many of my quondam Parasites had been hang'd ?
Lelirts. But perhaps, good Timon, you weigh'd not well your. Man before you made your Choice. For as the Offices of Friendship are reciprocal, fo Neglect thewing the want of Love, was a just Cause of a Change, without that ignominious Imputation of Levity. . For, as I allerted, 'tis no easy Matter to find out one that is fit Matter to make a Friend of.
Timon. Oh! during my better Days, none more ready in returning all the fuperficial and little Offices that cost nothing, or at least no more than he was sure of again ; but when Fortune had cut off present Hopes, all his Kindnesses were procrastinated 'till a more lucky Hour ; nor would he part even with Words to raise me from Distress.
These Faults may perhaps, Lælius, seem villainous enough to you, yet, compar'd with others, the Dog was a Cherubim. For tho'he affifted ne not, he would not depress me farther ; tho he prefer'd' not my obliging Love and generous Services to a Whore and a Bottle, yet he betray'd me not; and tho' he'd rather let me perish than speak for me, yet he would not cut my Throat himself. Thus, noble Lelius, you have seen the Mirrour of Friendship in the present World above ; I desire you would give me fome Idea of it, as in your Time, since both my Visits thither have never given me the Delight of half a Friend I have, indeed, read fine Stories of
them in Romances and the Histories of the old Ros mars and Grecians ; but at last concluded them to
be only the gay Children of Imagination, pleasant in Speculation, but never to be brought to Use.
Lelius. But is the Iron Age so establish’d, that there is no Remains of Friendlip, no Acts of Kindness from one to another?
Timon. Yes, yes, there is a temporary Friendship yet in the World that lasts as long as the hot Blood of Youth continues ; but then it consists not in Vertue, nor among vertuous Persons, as you require, but in Pimping for one another, in being in rake-hell Exploits together, in spending the Day in Gaming and Intrigues, and the Night in Lewdness, and drinking together 'till both are drunk. You may pimp for a Friend, nay, and fight for him ; lut where it comes to pinch upon your Pocket, there the greatest Friend, Money, is prefer'd to the other calld Max: So that your Sentiment, that Friendship could be a-: mong none but the Veriuous, is now quite inverted ; for they cease to be Friends, as soon as either takes to Sobriety and Vertue. Of these Friends every Place swarms; not a Tavern, Coffee-house, or Stews, but is full of them. Nay, there are another Sort of Friends too, that if you have a pretty Wife, shall endear themselves to you, to have the better Admit
to her, to make you a Cuckold ; or, if you have a fine Daughter, shall omit nothing of the Formalities of a real Friend, 'till he has debauch'd her : If you have a She-Relation that is a Fortune, you will not want Friends that will buy her of you, and stand by you with their Life and Fortune, 'till the Jobb is done. If you are a young Heir, you will not be deftitute of the dearest procesting Creatures, that seem to have learn'd the Diflimulation and Deceit of Hare lots, who will never forsake you ; and if short kept by the Avarice of a Father, will not let you want Money, if you will but pay them for their Kindness in a ftifed obligation, so that, dear Lelius, you