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The Tragedy of Timon of Athens

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Act III, Scene 4

The same. A hall in Timon’s house.


[Enter two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of] [p]LUCIUS, meeting TITUS, HORTENSIUS, and other [p]Servants of TIMON's creditors, waiting his coming out]

  • Titus. The like to you kind Varro. 1160
  • Hortensius. Lucius!
    What, do we meet together?
    One business does command us all; for mine Is money.
  • Titus. So is theirs and ours. 1165


  • Philotus. Good day at once.
    What do you think the hour?
  • Philotus. I wonder on't; he was wont to shine at seven. 1175
    You must consider that a prodigal course
    Is like the sun's; but not, like his, recoverable.
    I fear 'tis deepest winter in Lord Timon's purse;
    That is one may reach deep enough, and yet
    Find little. 1180
  • Titus. I'll show you how to observe a strange event.
    Your lord sends now for money.
  • Titus. And he wears jewels now of Timon's gift,
    For which I wait for money.
  • Hortensius. It is against my heart.
    Timon in this should pay more than he owes:
    And e'en as if your lord should wear rich jewels, 1190
    And send for money for 'em.
  • Hortensius. I'm weary of this charge, the gods can witness:
    I know my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
    And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth. 1195
  • First Servant. 'Tis much deep: and it should seem by the sun, 1200
    Your master's confidence was above mine;
    Else, surely, his had equall'd.
    Enter Flaminius.
  • Titus. One of Lord Timon's men.
    come forth? 1205
  • Titus. We attend his lordship; pray, signify so much.
  • Flaminius. I need not tell him that; he knows you are too diligent.


[Enter FLAVIUS in a cloak, muffled] [p]He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him.

  • Titus. Do you hear, sir?
  • Flavius. What do ye ask of me, my friend?
  • Titus. We wait for certain money here, sir.
  • Flavius. Ay,
    If money were as certain as your waiting, 1220
    'Twere sure enough.
    Why then preferr'd you not your sums and bills,
    When your false masters eat of my lord's meat?
    Then they could smile and fawn upon his debts
    And take down the interest into their 1225
    gluttonous maws.
    You do yourselves but wrong to stir me up;
    Let me pass quietly:
    Believe 't, my lord and I have made an end;
    I have no more to reckon, he to spend. 1230
  • Flavius. If 'twill not serve,'tis not so base as you;
    For you serve knaves.


  • Second Servant. No matter what; he's poor, and that's revenge
    enough. Who can speak broader than he that has no
    house to put his head in? such may rail against 1240
    great buildings.


  • Titus. O, here's Servilius; now we shall know some answer.
  • Servilius. If I might beseech you, gentlemen, to repair some
    other hour, I should derive much from't; for, 1245
    take't of my soul, my lord leans wondrously to
    discontent: his comfortable temper has forsook him;
    he's much out of health, and keeps his chamber.
    And, if it be so far beyond his health,
    Methinks he should the sooner pay his debts, 1250
    And make a clear way to the gods.
  • Titus. We cannot take this for answer, sir.
  • Flaminius. [Within] Servilius, help! My lord! my lord! 1255

[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, 1260
    Like all mankind, show me an iron heart?
  • Titus. My lord, here is my bill.
  • 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. Five thousand drops pays that. 1275
    What yours?—and yours?
  • Timon. Tear me, take me, and the gods fall upon you!


  • Hortensius. 'Faith, I perceive our masters may throw their caps
    at their money: these debts may well be called
    desperate ones, for a madman owes 'em. 1285


[Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS]

  • Timon. They have e'en put my breath from me, the slaves.
    Creditors? devils!
  • Timon. What if it should be so?
  • Timon. I'll have it so. My steward!
  • Timon. So fitly? Go, bid all my friends again, 1295
    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; 1300
    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. 1305