Speeches (Lines) for Timon
in "Timon of Athens"

Total: 210

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



Painter. 'Tis common:
A thousand moral paintings I can show
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.
[Trumpets sound. Enter TIMON, addressing himself]
courteously to every suitor; a Messenger from
VENTIDIUS talking with him; LUCILIUS and other
servants following]

Timon. Imprison'd is he, say you?



Messenger. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt,
His means most short, his creditors most strait:
Your honourable letter he desires
To those have shut him up; which failing,
Periods his comfort.

Timon. Noble Ventidius! Well;
I am not of that feather to shake off
My friend when he must need me. I do know him
A gentleman that well deserves a help:
Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt,
and free him.



Messenger. Your lordship ever binds him.

Timon. Commend me to him: I will send his ransom;
And being enfranchised, bid him come to me.
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after. Fare you well.



Old Athenian. Lord Timon, hear me speak.

Timon. Freely, good father.



Old Athenian. Thou hast a servant named Lucilius.

Timon. I have so: what of him?



Old Athenian. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.

Timon. Attends he here, or no? Lucilius!



Old Athenian. This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature,
By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first have been inclined to thrift;
And my estate deserves an heir more raised
Than one which holds a trencher.

Timon. Well; what further?



Old Athenian. One only daughter have I, no kin else,
On whom I may confer what I have got:
The maid is fair, o' the youngest for a bride,
And I have bred her at my dearest cost
In qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her love: I prithee, noble lord,
Join with me to forbid him her resort;
Myself have spoke in vain.

Timon. The man is honest.



Old Athenian. Therefore he will be, Timon:
His honesty rewards him in itself;
It must not bear my daughter.

Timon. Does she love him?



Old Athenian. She is young and apt:
Our own precedent passions do instruct us
What levity's in youth.

Timon. [To LUCILIUS] Love you the maid?



Old Athenian. If in her marriage my consent be missing,
I call the gods to witness, I will choose
Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,
And dispossess her all.

Timon. How shall she be endow'd,
if she be mated with an equal husband?



Old Athenian. Three talents on the present; in future, all.

Timon. This gentleman of mine hath served me long:
To build his fortune I will strain a little,
For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter:
What you bestow, in him I'll counterpoise,
And make him weigh with her.



Old Athenian. Most noble lord,
Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.

Timon. My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise.



Poet. Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your lordship!

Timon. I thank you; you shall hear from me anon:
Go not away. What have you there, my friend?



Painter. A piece of painting, which I do beseech
Your lordship to accept.

Timon. Painting is welcome.
The painting is almost the natural man;
or since dishonour traffics with man's nature,
He is but outside: these pencill'd figures are
Even such as they give out. I like your work;
And you shall find I like it: wait attendance
Till you hear further from me.



Painter. The gods preserve ye!

Timon. Well fare you, gentleman: give me your hand;
We must needs dine together. Sir, your jewel
Hath suffer'd under praise.



Jeweller. What, my lord! dispraise?

Timon. A more satiety of commendations.
If I should pay you for't as 'tis extoll'd,
It would unclew me quite.



Jeweller. My lord, 'tis rated
As those which sell would give: but you well know,
Things of like value differing in the owners
Are prized by their masters: believe't, dear lord,
You mend the jewel by the wearing it.

Timon. Well mock'd.



Merchant. No, my good lord; he speaks the common tongue,
Which all men speak with him.

Timon. Look, who comes here: will you be chid?



Merchant. He'll spare none.

Timon. Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!



Apemantus. Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow;
When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest.

Timon. Why dost thou call them knaves? thou know'st them not.



Apemantus. Are they not Athenians?

Timon. Yes.



Apemantus. Thou know'st I do: I call'd thee by thy name.

Timon. Thou art proud, Apemantus.



Apemantus. Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.

Timon. Whither art going?



Apemantus. To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.

Timon. That's a deed thou'lt die for.



Apemantus. Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.

Timon. How likest thou this picture, Apemantus?



Apemantus. The best, for the innocence.

Timon. Wrought he not well that painted it?



Apemantus. Thy mother's of my generation: what's she, if I be a dog?

Timon. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?



Apemantus. No; I eat not lords.

Timon. An thou shouldst, thou 'ldst anger ladies.



Apemantus. O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.

Timon. That's a lascivious apprehension.



Apemantus. So thou apprehendest it: take it for thy labour.

Timon. How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?



Apemantus. Not so well as plain-dealing, which will not cost a
man a doit.

Timon. What dost thou think 'tis worth?



Apemantus. Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thy
labour: he that loves to be flattered is worthy o'
the flatterer. Heavens, that I were a lord!

Timon. What wouldst do then, Apemantus?



Apemantus. E'en as Apemantus does now; hate a lord with my heart.

Timon. What, thyself?



Apemantus. Ay.

Timon. Wherefore?



(stage directions). [Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger]

Timon. What trumpet's that?



Messenger. 'Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty horse,
All of companionship.

Timon. Pray, entertain them; give them guide to us.
[Exeunt some Attendants]
You must needs dine with me: go not you hence
Till I have thank'd you: when dinner's done,
Show me this piece. I am joyful of your sights.
[Enter ALCIBIADES, with the rest]
Most welcome, sir!



Alcibiades. Sir, you have saved my longing, and I feed
Most hungerly on your sight.

Timon. Right welcome, sir!
Ere we depart, we'll share a bounteous time
In different pleasures. Pray you, let us in.



Ventidius. Most honour'd Timon,
It hath pleased the gods to remember my father's age,
And call him to long peace.
He is gone happy, and has left me rich:
Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound
To your free heart, I do return those talents,
Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help
I derived liberty.

Timon. O, by no means,
Honest Ventidius; you mistake my love:
I gave it freely ever; and there's none
Can truly say he gives, if he receives:
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
To imitate them; faults that are rich are fair.



Ventidius. A noble spirit!

Timon. Nay, my lords,
[They all stand ceremoniously looking on TIMON]
Ceremony was but devised at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown;
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
Pray, sit; more welcome are ye to my fortunes
Than my fortunes to me.



Apemantus. Ho, ho, confess'd it! hang'd it, have you not?

Timon. O, Apemantus, you are welcome.



Apemantus. No;
You shall not make me welcome:
I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.

Timon. Fie, thou'rt a churl; ye've got a humour there
Does not become a man: 'tis much to blame.
They say, my lords, 'ira furor brevis est;' but yond
man is ever angry. Go, let him have a table by
himself, for he does neither affect company, nor is
he fit for't, indeed.



Apemantus. Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon: I come to
observe; I give thee warning on't.

Timon. I take no heed of thee; thou'rt an Athenian,
therefore welcome: I myself would have no power;
prithee, let my meat make thee silent.



Apemantus. I scorn thy meat; 'twould choke me, for I should
ne'er flatter thee. O you gods, what a number of
men eat Timon, and he sees 'em not! It grieves me
to see so many dip their meat in one man's blood;
and all the madness is, he cheers them up too.
I wonder men dare trust themselves with men:
Methinks they should invite them without knives;
Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.
There's much example for't; the fellow that sits
next him now, parts bread with him, pledges the
breath of him in a divided draught, is the readiest
man to kill him: 't has been proved. If I were a
huge man, I should fear to drink at meals;
Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes:
Great men should drink with harness on their throats.

Timon. My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.



Apemantus. Flow this way! A brave fellow! he keeps his tides
well. Those healths will make thee and thy state
look ill, Timon. Here's that which is too weak to
be a sinner, honest water, which ne'er left man i' the mire:
This and my food are equals; there's no odds:
Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.
Apemantus' grace.
Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
I pray for no man but myself:
Grant I may never prove so fond,
To trust man on his oath or bond;
Or a harlot, for her weeping;
Or a dog, that seems a-sleeping:
Or a keeper with my freedom;
Or my friends, if I should need 'em.
Amen. So fall to't:
Rich men sin, and I eat root.
[Eats and drinks]
Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!

Timon. Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.



Alcibiades. My heart is ever at your service, my lord.

Timon. You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than a
dinner of friends.



First Lord. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you
would once use our hearts, whereby we might express
some part of our zeals, we should think ourselves
for ever perfect.

Timon. O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods
themselves have provided that I shall have much help
from you: how had you been my friends else? why
have you that charitable title from thousands, did
not you chiefly belong to my heart? I have told
more of you to myself than you can with modesty
speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm
you. O you gods, think I, what need we have any
friends, if we should ne'er have need of 'em? they
were the most needless creatures living, should we
ne'er have use for 'em, and would most resemble
sweet instruments hung up in cases that keep their
sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wished
myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We
are born to do benefits: and what better or
properer can we can our own than the riches of our
friends? O, what a precious comfort 'tis, to have
so many, like brothers, commanding one another's
fortunes! O joy, e'en made away ere 't can be born!
Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks: to
forget their faults, I drink to you.



(stage directions). [Tucket, within]

Timon. What means that trump?
[Enter a Servant]
How now?



Servant. Please you, my lord, there are certain
ladies most desirous of admittance.

Timon. Ladies! what are their wills?



Servant. There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which
bears that office, to signify their pleasures.

Timon. I pray, let them be admitted.



Cupid. Hail to thee, worthy Timon, and to all
That of his bounties taste! The five best senses
Acknowledge thee their patron; and come freely
To gratulate thy plenteous bosom: th' ear,
Taste, touch and smell, pleased from thy tale rise;
They only now come but to feast thine eyes.

Timon. They're welcome all; let 'em have kind admittance:
Music, make their welcome!



Apemantus. Hoy-day, what a sweep of vanity comes this way!
They dance! they are mad women.
Like madness is the glory of this life.
As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.
We make ourselves fools, to disport ourselves;
And spend our flatteries, to drink those men
Upon whose age we void it up again,
With poisonous spite and envy.
Who lives that's not depraved or depraves?
Who dies, that bears not one spurn to their graves
Of their friends' gift?
I should fear those that dance before me now
Would one day stamp upon me: 't has been done;
Men shut their doors against a setting sun.
[The Lords rise from table, with much adoring of]
TIMON; and to show their loves, each singles out an
Amazon, and all dance, men with women, a lofty
strain or two to the hautboys, and cease]

Timon. You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies,
Set a fair fashion on our entertainment,
Which was not half so beautiful and kind;
You have added worth unto 't and lustre,
And entertain'd me with mine own device;
I am to thank you for 't.



Apemantus. 'Faith, for the worst is filthy; and would not hold
taking, I doubt me.

Timon. Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you:
Please you to dispose yourselves.



(stage directions). [Exeunt Cupid and Ladies]

Timon. Flavius.



Flavius. My lord?

Timon. The little casket bring me hither.



(stage directions). [Re-enter FLAVIUS, with the casket]

Timon. O my friends,
I have one word to say to you: look you, my good lord,
I must entreat you, honour me so much
As to advance this jewel; accept it and wear it,
Kind my lord.



Servant. My lord, there are certain nobles of the senate
Newly alighted, and come to visit you.

Timon. They are fairly welcome.



Flavius. I beseech your honour,
Vouchsafe me a word; it does concern you near.

Timon. Near! why then, another time I'll hear thee:
I prithee, let's be provided to show them



Second Servant. May it please your honour, Lord Lucius,
Out of his free love, hath presented to you
Four milk-white horses, trapp'd in silver.

Timon. I shall accept them fairly; let the presents
Be worthily entertain'd.
[Enter a third Servant]
How now! what news?



Third Servant. Please you, my lord, that honourable
gentleman, Lord Lucullus, entreats your company
to-morrow to hunt with him, and has sent your honour
two brace of greyhounds.

Timon. I'll hunt with him; and let them be received,
Not without fair reward.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Timon. You do yourselves
Much wrong, you bate too much of your own merits:
Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.



Third Lord. O, he's the very soul of bounty!

Timon. And now I remember, my lord, you gave
Good words the other day of a bay courser
I rode on: it is yours, because you liked it.



Second Lord. O, I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, in that.

Timon. You may take my word, my lord; I know, no man
Can justly praise but what he does affect:
I weigh my friend's affection with mine own;
I'll tell you true. I'll call to you.



All Lords. O, none so welcome.

Timon. I take all and your several visitations
So kind to heart, 'tis not enough to give;
Methinks, I could deal kingdoms to my friends,
And ne'er be weary. Alcibiades,
Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich;
It comes in charity to thee: for all thy living
Is 'mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast
Lie in a pitch'd field.



First Lord. We are so virtuously bound—

Timon. And so
Am I to you.



Second Lord. So infinitely endear'd—

Timon. All to you. Lights, more lights!



First Lord. The best of happiness,
Honour and fortunes, keep with you, Lord Timon!

Timon. Ready for his friends.



Apemantus. What a coil's here!
Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums!
I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums
That are given for 'em. Friendship's full of dregs:
Methinks, false hearts should never have sound legs,
Thus honest fools lay out their wealth on court'sies.

Timon. Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen, I would be
good to thee.



Apemantus. No, I'll nothing: for if I should be bribed too,
there would be none left to rail upon thee, and then
thou wouldst sin the faster. Thou givest so long,
Timon, I fear me thou wilt give away thyself in
paper shortly: what need these feasts, pomps and

Timon. Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am
sworn not to give regard to you. Farewell; and come
with better music.



(stage directions). [Enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, and Lords, &c]

Timon. So soon as dinner's done, we'll forth again,
My Alcibiades. With me? what is your will?



Caphis. My lord, here is a note of certain dues.

Timon. Dues! Whence are you?



Caphis. Of Athens here, my lord.

Timon. Go to my steward.



Caphis. Please it your lordship, he hath put me off
To the succession of new days this month:
My master is awaked by great occasion
To call upon his own, and humbly prays you
That with your other noble parts you'll suit
In giving him his right.

Timon. Mine honest friend,
I prithee, but repair to me next morning.



Caphis. Nay, good my lord,—

Timon. Contain thyself, good friend.
He humbly prays your speedy payment.



Caphis. If you did know, my lord, my master's wants—
And I am sent expressly to your lordship.

Timon. Give me breath.
I do beseech you, good my lords, keep on;
I'll wait upon you instantly.
[Exeunt ALCIBIADES and Lords]
Come hither: pray you,
How goes the world, that I am thus encounter'd
With clamourous demands of date-broke bonds,
And the detention of long-since-due debts,
Against my honour?



Flavius. Please you, gentlemen,
The time is unagreeable to this business:
Your importunacy cease till after dinner,
That I may make his lordship understand
Wherefore you are not paid.

Timon. Do so, my friends. See them well entertain'd.



(stage directions). [Exeunt Servants]

Timon. You make me marvel: wherefore ere this time
Had you not fully laid my state before me,
That I might so have rated my expense,
As I had leave of means?



Flavius. You would not hear me,
At many leisures I proposed.

Timon. Go to:
Perchance some single vantages you took.
When my indisposition put you back:
And that unaptness made your minister,
Thus to excuse yourself.



Flavius. O my good lord,
At many times I brought in my accounts,
Laid them before you; you would throw them off,
And say, you found them in mine honesty.
When, for some trifling present, you have bid me
Return so much, I have shook my head and wept;
Yea, 'gainst the authority of manners, pray'd you
To hold your hand more close: I did endure
Not seldom, nor no slight cheques, when I have
Prompted you in the ebb of your estate
And your great flow of debts. My loved lord,
Though you hear now, too late—yet now's a time—
The greatest of your having lacks a half
To pay your present debts.

Timon. Let all my land be sold.



Flavius. 'Tis all engaged, some forfeited and gone;
And what remains will hardly stop the mouth
Of present dues: the future comes apace:
What shall defend the interim? and at length
How goes our reckoning?

Timon. To Lacedaemon did my land extend.



Flavius. O my good lord, the world is but a word:
Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
How quickly were it gone!

Timon. You tell me true.



Flavius. If you suspect my husbandry or falsehood,
Call me before the exactest auditors
And set me on the proof. So the gods bless me,
When all our offices have been oppress'd
With riotous feeders, when our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine, when every room
Hath blazed with lights and bray'd with minstrelsy,
I have retired me to a wasteful cock,
And set mine eyes at flow.

Timon. Prithee, no more.



Flavius. Heavens, have I said, the bounty of this lord!
How many prodigal bits have slaves and peasants
This night englutted! Who is not Timon's?
What heart, head, sword, force, means, but is
Lord Timon's?
Great Timon, noble, worthy, royal Timon!
Ah, when the means are gone that buy this praise,
The breath is gone whereof this praise is made:
Feast-won, fast-lost; one cloud of winter showers,
These flies are couch'd.

Timon. Come, sermon me no further:
No villanous bounty yet hath pass'd my heart;
Unwisely, not ignobly, have I given.
Why dost thou weep? Canst thou the conscience lack,
To think I shall lack friends? Secure thy heart;
If I would broach the vessels of my love,
And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
Men and men's fortunes could I frankly use
As I can bid thee speak.



Flavius. Assurance bless your thoughts!

Timon. And, in some sort, these wants of mine are crown'd,
That I account them blessings; for by these
Shall I try friends: you shall perceive how you
Mistake my fortunes; I am wealthy in my friends.
Within there! Flaminius! Servilius!



All Servants. My lord? my lord?

Timon. I will dispatch you severally; you to Lord Lucius;
to Lord Lucullus you: I hunted with his honour
to-day: you, to Sempronius: commend me to their
loves, and, I am proud, say, that my occasions have
found time to use 'em toward a supply of money: let
the request be fifty talents.



Flavius. [Aside] Lord Lucius and Lucullus? hum!

Timon. Go you, sir, to the senators—
Of whom, even to the state's best health, I have
Deserved this hearing—bid 'em send o' the instant
A thousand talents to me.



Flavius. I have been bold—
For that I knew it the most general way—
To them to use your signet and your name;
But they do shake their heads, and I am here
No richer in return.

Timon. Is't true? can't be?



Flavius. They answer, in a joint and corporate voice,
That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot
Do what they would; are sorry—you are honourable,—
But yet they could have wish'd—they know not—
Something hath been amiss—a noble nature
May catch a wrench—would all were well—'tis pity;—
And so, intending other serious matters,
After distasteful looks and these hard fractions,
With certain half-caps and cold-moving nods
They froze me into silence.

Timon. You gods, reward them!
Prithee, man, look cheerly. These old fellows
Have their ingratitude in them hereditary:
Their blood is caked, 'tis cold, it seldom flows;
'Tis lack of kindly warmth they are not kind;
And nature, as it grows again toward earth,
Is fashion'd for the journey, dull and heavy.
[To a Servant]
Go to Ventidius.
Prithee, be not sad,
Thou art true and honest; ingeniously I speak.
No blame belongs to thee.
[To Servant]
Ventidius lately
Buried his father; by whose death he's stepp'd
Into a great estate: when he was poor,
Imprison'd and in scarcity of friends,
I clear'd him with five talents: greet him from me;
Bid him suppose some good necessity
Touches his friend, which craves to be remember'd
With those five talents.
[Exit Servant]
That had, give't these fellows
To whom 'tis instant due. Ne'er speak, or think,
That Timon's fortunes 'mong his friends can sink.



(stage directions). [Enter TIMON, in a rage, FLAMINIUS following]

Timon. What, are my doors opposed against my passage?
Have I been ever free, and must my house
Be my retentive enemy, my gaol?
The place which I have feasted, does it now,
Like all mankind, show me an iron heart?



Philotus. All our bills.

Timon. Knock me down with 'em: cleave me to the girdle.



Timon. Knock me down with 'em: cleave me to the girdle.

Timon. Cut my heart in sums.



Titus. Mine, fifty talents.

Timon. Tell out my blood.



Timon. Tell out my blood.

Timon. Five thousand drops pays that.
What yours?—and yours?



Second Servant. My lord,—

Timon. Tear me, take me, and the gods fall upon you!



(stage directions). [Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS]

Timon. They have e'en put my breath from me, the slaves.
Creditors? devils!



Flavius. My dear lord,—

Timon. What if it should be so?



Flavius. My lord,—

Timon. I'll have it so. My steward!



Flavius. Here, my lord.

Timon. So fitly? Go, bid all my friends again,
Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius:
All, sirrah, all:
I'll once more feast the rascals.



Flavius. O my lord,
You only speak from your distracted soul;
There is not so much left, to furnish out
A moderate table.

Timon. Be't not in thy care; go,
I charge thee, invite them all: let in the tide
Of knaves once more; my cook and I'll provide.



(stage directions). [Enter TIMON and Attendants]

Timon. With all my heart, gentlemen both; and how fare you?



Second Lord. The swallow follows not summer more willing than we
your lordship.

Timon. [Aside] Nor more willingly leaves winter; such
summer-birds are men. Gentlemen, our dinner will not
recompense this long stay: feast your ears with the
music awhile, if they will fare so harshly o' the
trumpet's sound; we shall to 't presently.



First Lord. I hope it remains not unkindly with your lordship
that I returned you an empty messenger.

Timon. O, sir, let it not trouble you.



Second Lord. My noble lord,—

Timon. Ah, my good friend, what cheer?



Second Lord. My most honourable lord, I am e'en sick of shame,
that, when your lordship this other day sent to me,
I was so unfortunate a beggar.

Timon. Think not on 't, sir.



Second Lord. If you had sent but two hours before,—

Timon. Let it not cumber your better remembrance.
[The banquet brought in]
Come, bring in all together.



Second Lord. I pray you, upon what?

Timon. My worthy friends, will you draw near?



Third Lord. I do conceive.

Timon. Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to
the lip of his mistress: your diet shall be in all
places alike. Make not a city feast of it, to let
the meat cool ere we can agree upon the first place:
sit, sit. The gods require our thanks.
You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with
thankfulness. For your own gifts, make yourselves
praised: but reserve still to give, lest your
deities be despised. Lend to each man enough, that
one need not lend to another; for, were your
godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the
gods. Make the meat be beloved more than the man
that gives it. Let no assembly of twenty be without
a score of villains: if there sit twelve women at
the table, let a dozen of them be—as they are. The
rest of your fees, O gods—the senators of Athens,
together with the common lag of people—what is
amiss in them, you gods, make suitable for
destruction. For these my present friends, as they
are to me nothing, so in nothing bless them, and to
nothing are they welcome.
Uncover, dogs, and lap.
[The dishes are uncovered and seen to be full of]
warm water]



Some Others. I know not.

Timon. May you a better feast never behold,
You knot of mouth-friends I smoke and lukewarm water
Is your perfection. This is Timon's last;
Who, stuck and spangled with your flatteries,
Washes it off, and sprinkles in your faces
Your reeking villany.
[Throwing the water in their faces]
Live loathed and long,
Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
You fools of fortune, trencher-friends, time's flies,
Cap and knee slaves, vapours, and minute-jacks!
Of man and beast the infinite malady
Crust you quite o'er! What, dost thou go?
Soft! take thy physic first—thou too—and thou;—
Stay, I will lend thee money, borrow none.
[Throws the dishes at them, and drives them out]
What, all in motion? Henceforth be no feast,
Whereat a villain's not a welcome guest.
Burn, house! sink, Athens! henceforth hated be
Of Timon man and all humanity!



(stage directions). [Enter TIMON]

Timon. Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall,
That girdlest in those wolves, dive in the earth,
And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent!
Obedience fail in children! slaves and fools,
Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench,
And minister in their steads! to general filths
Convert o' the instant, green virginity,
Do 't in your parents' eyes! bankrupts, hold fast;
Rather than render back, out with your knives,
And cut your trusters' throats! bound servants, steal!
Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,
And pill by law. Maid, to thy master's bed;
Thy mistress is o' the brothel! Son of sixteen,
pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire,
With it beat out his brains! Piety, and fear,
Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
Domestic awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood,
Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
Decline to your confounding contraries,
And let confusion live! Plagues, incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap
On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners. Lust and liberty
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth,
That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains,
Sow all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop
Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath,
at their society, as their friendship, may
merely poison! Nothing I'll bear from thee,
But nakedness, thou detestable town!
Take thou that too, with multiplying bans!
Timon will to the woods; where he shall find
The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
The gods confound—hear me, you good gods all—
The Athenians both within and out that wall!
And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
To the whole race of mankind, high and low! Amen.



(stage directions). [Enter TIMON, from the cave]

Timon. 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.
[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]



Alcibiades. What art thou there? speak.

Timon. A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart,
For showing me again the eyes of man!



Alcibiades. What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee,
That art thyself a man?

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



Alcibiades. I know thee well;
But in thy fortunes am unlearn'd and strange.

Timon. 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 cherubim look.



Phrynia. Thy lips rot off!

Timon. I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns
To thine own lips again.



Alcibiades. How came the noble Timon to this change?

Timon. 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.



Alcibiades. Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?

Timon. None, but to
Maintain my opinion.



Alcibiades. What is it, Timon?

Timon. 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 art a man!



Alcibiades. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.

Timon. Thou saw'st them, when I had prosperity.



Alcibiades. I see them now; then was a blessed time.

Timon. As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.



Timandra. Is this the Athenian minion, whom the world
Voiced so regardfully?

Timon. Art thou Timandra?



Timandra. Yes.

Timon. 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.



Alcibiades. 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 grieved,
How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them,—

Timon. I prithee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone.



Alcibiades. I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.

Timon. How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
I had rather be alone.



Alcibiades. Why, fare thee well:
Here is some gold for thee.

Timon. Keep it, I cannot eat it.



Alcibiades. When I have laid proud Athens on a heap,—

Timon. Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens?



Alcibiades. Ay, Timon, and have cause.

Timon. The gods confound them all in thy conquest;
And thee after, when thou hast conquer'd!



Alcibiades. Why me, Timon?

Timon. That, by killing of 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-viced city hang his poison
In the sick air: let not thy sword skip one:
Pity not honour'd age for his white beard;
He is 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,
But set them down horrible traitors: spare not the babe,
Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;
Think it a bastard, whom the oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorse: swear against objects;
Put armour on thine ears and on thine eyes;
Whose proof, nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay soldiers:
Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
Confounded be thyself! Speak not, be gone.



Alcibiades. Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou
givest me,
Not all thy counsel.

Timon. Dost thou, or dost thou not, heaven's curse
upon thee!



Phrynia. [with Timandra] Give us some gold, good Timon: hast thou more?

Timon. Enough to make a whore forswear her trade,
And to make whores, a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
Your aprons mountant: you are not oathable,
Although, I know, you 'll swear, terribly swear
Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
The immortal gods that hear you,—spare your oaths,
I'll trust to your conditions: be whores still;
And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you,
Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up;
Let your close fire predominate his smoke,
And be no turncoats: yet may your pains, six months,
Be quite contrary: and thatch your poor thin roofs
With burthens of the dead;—some that were hang'd,
No matter:—wear them, betray with them: whore still;
Paint till a horse may mire upon your face,
A pox of wrinkles!



Phrynia. [with Timandra] Well, more gold: what then?
Believe't, that we'll do any thing for gold.

Timon. Consumptions sow
In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins,
And mar men's spurring. Crack the lawyer's voice,
That he may never more false title plead,
Nor sound his quillets shrilly: hoar the flamen,
That scolds against the quality of flesh,
And not believes himself: down with the nose,
Down with it flat; take the bridge quite away
Of him that, his particular to foresee,
Smells from the general weal: make curl'd-pate
ruffians bald;
And let the unscarr'd braggarts of the war
Derive some pain from you: plague all;
That your activity may defeat and quell
The source of all erection. There's more gold:
Do you damn others, and let this damn you,
And ditches grave you all!



Phrynia. [with Timandra] More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.

Timon. More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.



Alcibiades. Strike up the drum towards Athens! Farewell, Timon:
If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.

Timon. If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.



Alcibiades. I never did thee harm.

Timon. Yes, thou spokest well of me.



Alcibiades. Call'st thou that harm?

Timon. Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
Thy beagles with thee.



Alcibiades. We but offend him. Strike!
[Drum beats. Exeunt ALCIBIADES, PHRYNIA,]

Timon. That nature, being sick of man's unkindness,
Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou,
Whose womb unmeasurable, and infinite breast,
Teems, and feeds all; whose self-same mettle,
Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puff'd,
Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
The gilded newt and eyeless venom'd worm,
With all the abhorred births below crisp heaven
Whereon Hyperion's quickening fire doth shine;
Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate,
From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root!
Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb,
Let it no more bring out ingrateful man!
Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears;
Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face
Hath to the marbled mansion all above
Never presented!—O, a root,—dear thanks!—
Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plough-torn leas;
Whereof ungrateful man, with liquorish draughts
And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind,
That from it all consideration slips!
More man? plague, plague!



Apemantus. I was directed hither: men report
Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.

Timon. 'Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog,
Whom I would imitate: consumption catch thee!



Apemantus. This is in thee a nature but infected;
A poor unmanly melancholy sprung
From change of fortune. Why this spade? this place?
This slave-like habit? and these looks of care?
Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft;
Hug their diseased perfumes, and have forgot
That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods,
By putting on the cunning of a carper.
Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive
By that which has undone thee: hinge thy knee,
And let his very breath, whom thou'lt observe,
Blow off thy cap; praise his most vicious strain,
And call it excellent: thou wast told thus;
Thou gavest thine ears like tapsters that bid welcome
To knaves and all approachers: 'tis most just
That thou turn rascal; hadst thou wealth again,
Rascals should have 't. Do not assume my likeness.

Timon. Were I like thee, I'ld throw away myself.



Apemantus. Thou hast cast away thyself, being like thyself;
A madman so long, now a fool. What, think'st
That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
Will put thy shirt on warm? will these moss'd trees,
That have outlived the eagle, page thy heels,
And skip where thou point'st out? will the
cold brook,
Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste,
To cure thy o'er-night's surfeit? Call the creatures
Whose naked natures live in an the spite
Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhoused trunks,
To the conflicting elements exposed,
Answer mere nature; bid them flatter thee;
O, thou shalt find—

Timon. A fool of thee: depart.



Apemantus. I love thee better now than e'er I did.

Timon. I hate thee worse.



Apemantus. Why?

Timon. Thou flatter'st misery.



Apemantus. I flatter not; but say thou art a caitiff.

Timon. Why dost thou seek me out?



Apemantus. To vex thee.

Timon. Always a villain's office or a fool's.
Dost please thyself in't?



Apemantus. Ay.

Timon. What! a knave too?



Apemantus. If thou didst put this sour-cold habit on
To castigate thy pride, 'twere well: but thou
Dost it enforcedly; thou'ldst courtier be again,
Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
Outlives encertain pomp, is crown'd before:
The one is filling still, never complete;
The other, at high wish: best state, contentless,
Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
Worse than the worst, content.
Thou shouldst desire to die, being miserable.

Timon. Not by his breath that is more miserable.
Thou art a slave, whom Fortune's tender arm
With favour never clasp'd; but bred a dog.
Hadst thou, like us from our first swath, proceeded
The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
To such as may the passive drugs of it
Freely command, thou wouldst have plunged thyself
In general riot; melted down thy youth
In different beds of lust; and never learn'd
The icy precepts of respect, but follow'd
The sugar'd game before thee. But myself,
Who had the world as my confectionary,
The mouths, the tongues, the eyes and hearts of men
At duty, more than I could frame employment,
That numberless upon me stuck as leaves
Do on the oak, hive with one winter's brush
Fell from their boughs and left me open, bare
For every storm that blows: I, to bear this,
That never knew but better, is some burden:
Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time
Hath made thee hard in't. Why shouldst thou hate men?
They never flatter'd thee: what hast thou given?
If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag,
Must be thy subject, who in spite put stuff
To some she beggar and compounded thee
Poor rogue hereditary. Hence, be gone!
If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.



Apemantus. Art thou proud yet?

Timon. Ay, that I am not thee.



Apemantus. I, that I was
No prodigal.

Timon. I, that I am one now:
Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
I'ld give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.
That the whole life of Athens were in this!
Thus would I eat it.



(stage directions). [Offering him a root]

Timon. First mend my company, take away thyself.



Apemantus. So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.

Timon. 'Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd;
if not, I would it were.



Apemantus. What wouldst thou have to Athens?

Timon. Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.



Apemantus. Here is no use for gold.

Timon. The best and truest;
For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm.



Apemantus. Where liest o' nights, Timon?

Timon. Under that's above me.
Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus?



Apemantus. Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat

Timon. Would poison were obedient and knew my mind!



Apemantus. Where wouldst thou send it?

Timon. To sauce thy dishes.



Apemantus. The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the
extremity of both ends: when thou wast in thy gilt
and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too much
curiosity; in thy rags thou knowest none, but art
despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for
thee, eat it.

Timon. On what I hate I feed not.



Apemantus. Dost hate a medlar?

Timon. Ay, though it look like thee.



Apemantus. An thou hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou shouldst
have loved thyself better now. What man didst thou
ever know unthrift that was beloved after his means?

Timon. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou
ever know beloved?



Apemantus. Myself.

Timon. I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a



Apemantus. What things in the world canst thou nearest compare
to thy flatterers?

Timon. Women nearest; but men, men are the things
themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world,
Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?



Apemantus. Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.

Timon. Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of
men, and remain a beast with the beasts?



Apemantus. Ay, Timon.

Timon. A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee t'
attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would
beguile thee; if thou wert the lamb, the fox would
eat three: if thou wert the fox, the lion would
suspect thee, when peradventure thou wert accused by
the ass: if thou wert the ass, thy dulness would
torment thee, and still thou livedst but as a
breakfast to the wolf: if thou wert the wolf, thy
greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou shouldst
hazard thy life for thy dinner: wert thou the
unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee and
make thine own self the conquest of thy fury: wert
thou a bear, thou wouldst be killed by the horse:
wert thou a horse, thou wouldst be seized by the
leopard: wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to
the lion and the spots of thy kindred were jurors on
thy life: all thy safety were remotion and thy
defence absence. What beast couldst thou be, that
were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art
thou already, that seest not thy loss in



Apemantus. If thou couldst please me with speaking to me, thou
mightst have hit upon it here: the commonwealth of
Athens is become a forest of beasts.

Timon. How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city?



Apemantus. Yonder comes a poet and a painter: the plague of
company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it
and give way: when I know not what else to do, I'll
see thee again.

Timon. When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be
welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than Apemantus.



Apemantus. Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.

Timon. Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!



Apemantus. A plague on thee! thou art too bad to curse.

Timon. All villains that do stand by thee are pure.



Apemantus. There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st.

Timon. If I name thee.
I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.



Apemantus. I would my tongue could rot them off!

Timon. Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me that thou art alive;
I swound to see thee.



Apemantus. Would thou wouldst burst!

Timon. Away,
Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry I shall lose
A stone by thee.



Apemantus. Beast!

Timon. Slave!



Apemantus. Toad!

Timon. Rogue, rogue, rogue!
I am sick of this false world, and will love nought
But even the mere necessities upon 't.
Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave;
Lie where the light foam the sea may beat
Thy grave-stone daily: make thine epitaph,
That death in me at others' lives may laugh.
[To the gold]
O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
'Twixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler
Of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars!
Thou ever young, fresh, loved and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian's lap! thou visible god,
That solder'st close impossibilities,
And makest them kiss! that speak'st with
every tongue,
To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
Think, thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire!



Apemantus. Would 'twere so!
But not till I am dead. I'll say thou'st gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.

Timon. Throng'd to!



Apemantus. Ay.

Timon. Thy back, I prithee.



Apemantus. Live, and love thy misery.

Timon. Long live so, and so die.
I am quit.
Moe things like men! Eat, Timon, and abhor them.



Banditti. Save thee, Timon.

Timon. Now, thieves?



Banditti. Soldiers, not thieves.

Timon. Both too; and women's sons.



Banditti. We are not thieves, but men that much do want.

Timon. Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;
Within this mile break forth a hundred springs;
The oaks bear mast, the briers scarlet hips;
The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want! why want?



First Bandit. We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
As beasts and birds and fishes.

Timon. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes;
You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con
That you are thieves profess'd, that you work not
In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft
In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
Here's gold. Go, suck the subtle blood o' the grape,
Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
And so 'scape hanging: trust not the physician;
His antidotes are poison, and he slays
Moe than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
Do villany, do, since you protest to do't,
Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery.
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
From general excrement: each thing's a thief:
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheque'd theft. Love not yourselves: away,
Rob one another. There's more gold. Cut throats:
All that you meet are thieves: to Athens go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it: steal no less for this
I give you; and gold confound you howsoe'er! Amen.



Flavius. O you gods!
Is yond despised and ruinous man my lord?
Full of decay and failing? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd!
What an alteration of honour
Has desperate want made!
What viler thing upon the earth than friends
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wish'd to love his enemies!
Grant I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me than those that do!
Has caught me in his eye: I will present
My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord,
Still serve him with my life. My dearest master!

Timon. Away! what art thou?



Flavius. Have you forgot me, sir?

Timon. Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men;
Then, if thou grant'st thou'rt a man, I have forgot thee.



Flavius. An honest poor servant of yours.

Timon. Then I know thee not:
I never had honest man about me, I; all
I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.



Flavius. The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.

Timon. What, dost thou weep? Come nearer. Then I
love thee,
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give
But thorough lust and laughter. Pity's sleeping:
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!



Flavius. I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
To accept my grief and whilst this poor wealth lasts
To entertain me as your steward still.

Timon. Had I a steward
So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
It almost turns my dangerous nature mild.
Let me behold thy face. Surely, this man
Was born of woman.
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
You perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man—mistake me not—but one;
No more, I pray,—and he's a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind!
And thou redeem'st thyself: but all, save thee,
I fell with curses.
Methinks thou art more honest now than wise;
For, by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou mightst have sooner got another service:
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true—
For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure—
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness, and, as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?



Flavius. No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late:
You should have fear'd false times when you did feast:
Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,
Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food and living; and, believe it,
My most honour'd lord,
For any benefit that points to me,
Either in hope or present, I'ld exchange
For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
To requite me, by making rich yourself.

Timon. Look thee, 'tis so! Thou singly honest man,
Here, take: the gods out of my misery
Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy;
But thus condition'd: thou shalt build from men;
Hate all, curse all, show charity to none,
But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone,
Ere thou relieve the beggar; give to dogs
What thou deny'st to men; let prisons swallow 'em,
Debts wither 'em to nothing; be men like
blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
And so farewell and thrive.



Flavius. O, let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.

Timon. If thou hatest curses,
Stay not; fly, whilst thou art blest and free:
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.



(stage directions). [TIMON comes from his cave, behind]

Timon. [Aside] Excellent workman! thou canst not paint a
man so bad as is thyself.



Poet. I am thinking what I shall say I have provided for
him: it must be a personating of himself; a satire
against the softness of prosperity, with a discovery
of the infinite flatteries that follow youth and opulency.

Timon. [Aside] Must thou needs stand for a villain in
thine own work? wilt thou whip thine own faults in
other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.



Painter. True;
When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light. Come.

Timon. [Aside] I'll meet you at the turn. What a
god's gold,
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple
Than where swine feed!
'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark and plough'st the foam,
Settlest admired reverence in a slave:
To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Be crown'd with plagues that thee alone obey!
Fit I meet them.



Painter. Our late noble master!

Timon. Have I once lived to see two honest men?



Poet. Sir,
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retired, your friends fall'n off,
Whose thankless natures—O abhorred spirits!—
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough:
What! to you,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
To their whole being! I am rapt and cannot cover
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any size of words.

Timon. Let it go naked, men may see't the better:
You that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen and known.



Painter. He and myself
Have travail'd in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.

Timon. Ay, you are honest men.



Painter. We are hither come to offer you our service.

Timon. Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.



Both. What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.

Timon. Ye're honest men: ye've heard that I have gold;
I am sure you have: speak truth; ye're honest men.



Painter. So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore
Came not my friend nor I.

Timon. Good honest men! Thou draw'st a counterfeit
Best in all Athens: thou'rt, indeed, the best;
Thou counterfeit'st most lively.



Painter. So, so, my lord.

Timon. E'en so, sir, as I say. And, for thy fiction,
Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth
That thou art even natural in thine art.
But, for all this, my honest-natured friends,
I must needs say you have a little fault:
Marry, 'tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
You take much pains to mend.



Both. Beseech your honour
To make it known to us.

Timon. You'll take it ill.



Both. Most thankfully, my lord.

Timon. Will you, indeed?



Both. Doubt it not, worthy lord.

Timon. There's never a one of you but trusts a knave,
That mightily deceives you.



Both. Do we, my lord?

Timon. Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom: yet remain assured
That he's a made-up villain.



Poet. Nor I.

Timon. Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,
Rid me these villains from your companies:
Hang them or stab them, drown them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me,
I'll give you gold enough.



Both. Name them, my lord, let's know them.

Timon. You that way and you this, but two in company;
Each man apart, all single and alone,
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
If where thou art two villains shall not be,
Come not near him. If thou wouldst not reside
But where one villain is, then him abandon.
Hence, pack! there's gold; you came for gold, ye slaves:
[To Painter]
You have work'd for me; there's payment for you: hence!
[To Poet]
You are an alchemist; make gold of that.
Out, rascal dogs!



(stage directions). [TIMON comes from his cave]

Timon. Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn! Speak, and
be hang'd:
For each true word, a blister! and each false
Be as cauterizing to the root o' the tongue,
Consuming it with speaking!



First Senator. Worthy Timon,—

Timon. Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.



First Senator. The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.

Timon. I thank them; and would send them back the plague,
Could I but catch it for them.



Second Senator. They confess
Toward thee forgetfulness too general, gross:
Which now the public body, which doth seldom
Play the recanter, feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fail, restraining aid to Timon;
And send forth us, to make their sorrow'd render,
Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram;
Ay, even 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.

Timon. You witch me in it;
Surprise 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 senators.



First Senator. Therefore, Timon,—

Timon. Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; thus:
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. But if be sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by the 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 choose 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 the unruly camp
But I do prize it at my love before
The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you
To the protection of the prosperous gods,
As thieves to keepers.



Flavius. Stay not, all's in vain.

Timon. Why, I was writing of my epitaph;
it will be seen to-morrow: my long sickness
Of health and living now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough!



First Senator. We speak in vain.

Timon. But yet I love my country, and am not
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common bruit doth put it.



First Senator. That's well spoke.

Timon. Commend me to my loving countrymen,—



Second Senator. And enter in our ears like great triumphers
In their applauding gates.

Timon. Commend 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 some kindness do them:
I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.



First Senator. I like this well; he will return again.

Timon. 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 sequence of degree
From high to low throughout, that whoso please
To stop affliction, let him take his haste,
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himself. I pray you, do my greeting.



Flavius. Trouble him no further; thus you still shall find him.

Timon. Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover: thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.
Lips, let sour words go by and language end:
What is amiss plague and infection mend!
Graves only be men's works and death their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign.

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