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The Tragedy of Timon of Athens

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Act II, Scene 1

A Senator’s house.


[Enter Senator, with papers in his hand]

  • Senator. And late, five thousand: to Varro and to Isidore
    He owes nine thousand; besides my former sum,
    Which makes it five and twenty. Still in motion
    Of raging waste? It cannot hold; it will not. 630
    If I want gold, steal but a beggar's dog,
    And give it Timon, why, the dog coins gold.
    If I would sell my horse, and buy twenty more
    Better than he, why, give my horse to Timon,
    Ask nothing, give it him, it foals me, straight, 635
    And able horses. No porter at his gate,
    But rather one that smiles and still invites
    All that pass by. It cannot hold: no reason
    Can found his state in safety. Caphis, ho!
    Caphis, I say! 640

[Enter CAPHIS]

  • Caphis. Here, sir; what is your pleasure?
  • Senator. Get on your cloak, and haste you to Lord Timon;
    Importune him for my moneys; be not ceased
    With slight denial, nor then silenced when— 645
    'Commend me to your master'—and the cap
    Plays in the right hand, thus: but tell him,
    My uses cry to me, I must serve my turn
    Out of mine own; his days and times are past
    And my reliances on his fracted dates 650
    Have smit my credit: I love and honour him,
    But must not break my back to heal his finger;
    Immediate are my needs, and my relief
    Must not be toss'd and turn'd to me in words,
    But find supply immediate. Get you gone: 655
    Put on a most importunate aspect,
    A visage of demand; for, I do fear,
    When every feather sticks in his own wing,
    Lord Timon will be left a naked gull,
    Which flashes now a phoenix. Get you gone. 660
  • Senator. 'I go, sir!'—Take the bonds along with you,
    And have the dates in contempt.