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The Tragedy of Timon of Athens

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Act III, Scene 6

The same. A banqueting-room in Timon’s house.


[Music. Tables set out: Servants attending.] [p]Enter divers Lords, Senators and others, at [p]several doors]

  • Second Lord. I also wish it to you. I think this honourable lord
    did but try us this other day. 1440
  • First Lord. Upon that were my thoughts tiring, when we
    encountered: I hope it is not so low with him as
    he made it seem in the trial of his several friends.
  • Second Lord. It should not be, by the persuasion of his new feasting.
  • First Lord. I should think so: he hath sent me an earnest 1445
    inviting, which many my near occasions did urge me
    to put off; but he hath conjured me beyond them, and
    I must needs appear.
  • Second Lord. In like manner was I in debt to my importunate
    business, but he would not hear my excuse. I am 1450
    sorry, when he sent to borrow of me, that my
    provision was out.
  • First Lord. I am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all
    things go.
  • Second Lord. Every man here's so. What would he have borrowed of 1455

[Enter TIMON and Attendants]

  • Timon. With all my heart, gentlemen both; and how fare you?
  • First Lord. Ever at the best, hearing well of your lordship.
  • Second Lord. The swallow follows not summer more willing than we
    your lordship. 1465
  • 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. 1470
  • 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.
  • Timon. Ah, my good friend, what cheer? 1475
  • 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,— 1480
  • Timon. Let it not cumber your better remembrance.
    [The banquet brought in]
    Come, bring in all together.
  • Third Lord. Doubt not that, if money and the season can yield
  • Third Lord. Alcibiades is banished: hear you of it?
  • First Lord. [with Second Lord] Alcibiades banished! 1490
  • Timon. My worthy friends, will you draw near?
  • Third Lord. I'll tell you more anon. Here's a noble feast toward. 1495
  • Timon. Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to 1500
    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 1505
    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 1510
    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, 1515
    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. 1520
    Uncover, dogs, and lap.
    [The dishes are uncovered and seen to be full of]
    warm water]
  • 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 1530
    Your reeking villany.
    [Throwing the water in their faces]
    Live loathed and long,
    Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
    Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears, 1535
    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;— 1540
    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 1545
    Of Timon man and all humanity!


[Re-enter the Lords, Senators, &c]

  • Second Lord. Know you the quality of Lord Timon's fury? 1550
  • First Lord. He's but a mad lord, and nought but humour sways him.
    He gave me a jewel th' other day, and now he has
    beat it out of my hat: did you see my jewel? 1555
  • Fourth Lord. One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.