Open Source Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Timon of Athens

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Act III, Scene 1

A room in Lucullus’ house.


[FLAMINIUS waiting. Enter a Servant to him]

  • Servant. I have told my lord of you; he is coming down to you.
  • Flaminius. I thank you, sir.


  • Servant. Here's my lord. 945
  • Lucullus. [Aside] One of Lord Timon's men? a gift, I
    warrant. Why, this hits right; I dreamt of a silver
    basin and ewer to-night. Flaminius, honest
    Flaminius; you are very respectively welcome, sir.
    Fill me some wine. 950
    [Exit Servants]
    And how does that honourable, complete, free-hearted
    gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good lord
    and master?
  • Flaminius. His health is well sir. 955
  • Lucullus. I am right glad that his health is well, sir: and
    what hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty Flaminius?
  • Flaminius. 'Faith, nothing but an empty box, sir; which, in my
    lord's behalf, I come to entreat your honour to
    supply; who, having great and instant occasion to 960
    use fifty talents, hath sent to your lordship to
    furnish him, nothing doubting your present
    assistance therein.
  • Lucullus. La, la, la, la! 'nothing doubting,' says he? Alas,
    good lord! a noble gentleman 'tis, if he would not 965
    keep so good a house. Many a time and often I ha'
    dined with him, and told him on't, and come again to
    supper to him, of purpose to have him spend less,
    and yet he would embrace no counsel, take no warning
    by my coming. Every man has his fault, and honesty 970
    is his: I ha' told him on't, but I could ne'er get
    him from't.

[Re-enter Servant, with wine]

  • Servant. Please your lordship, here is the wine.
  • Lucullus. Flaminius, I have noted thee always wise. Here's to thee. 975
  • Flaminius. Your lordship speaks your pleasure.
  • Lucullus. I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt
    spirit—give thee thy due—and one that knows what
    belongs to reason; and canst use the time well, if
    the time use thee well: good parts in thee. 980
    [To Servant]
    Get you gone, sirrah.
    [Exit Servant]
    Draw nearer, honest Flaminius. Thy lord's a
    bountiful gentleman: but thou art wise; and thou 985
    knowest well enough, although thou comest to me,
    that this is no time to lend money, especially upon
    bare friendship, without security. Here's three
    solidares for thee: good boy, wink at me, and say
    thou sawest me not. Fare thee well. 990
  • Flaminius. Is't possible the world should so much differ,
    And we alive that lived? Fly, damned baseness,
    To him that worships thee!

[Throwing the money back]

  • Lucullus. Ha! now I see thou art a fool, and fit for thy master. 995


  • Flaminius. May these add to the number that may scald thee!
    Let moulten coin be thy damnation,
    Thou disease of a friend, and not himself!
    Has friendship such a faint and milky heart, 1000
    It turns in less than two nights? O you gods,
    I feel master's passion! this slave,
    Unto his honour, has my lord's meat in him:
    Why should it thrive and turn to nutriment,
    When he is turn'd to poison? 1005
    O, may diseases only work upon't!
    And, when he's sick to death, let not that part of nature
    Which my lord paid for, be of any power
    To expel sickness, but prolong his hour!