The Life of Timon of Athens
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- TIMON, a noble Athenian
- LUCULLUS flattering Lords.
- VENTIDIUS, one of Timon's false Friends.
- APEMANTUS, a churlish Philosopher.
- ALCIBIADES, an Athenian Captain.
- FLAVIUS, Steward to Timon.
- LUCILIUS Servants to Timon.
- PHILOTUS Servants to Timon's Creditors.
- Servants of Ventidius, and of Varro and Isidore (two of Timon's Creditor's).
- THREE STRANGERS.
- AN OLD ATHENIAN.
- A PAGE.
- A FOOL.
- Poet, Painter, Jeweller, and Merchant.
- PHRYNIA Mistresses to Alcibiades.
Lords, Senators, Officers, Soldiers, Servants, Thieves, and
CUPID and Amazons in the Masque.
Scene.—Athens, and the neighbouring Woods.
SCENE I.—Athens. A Hall in TIMON'S House
[Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and Others, at several doors.]
- Good day, sir.
- I am glad you're well.
- I have not seen you long. How goes the world?
- It wears, sir, as it grows.
- Ay, that's well known;
- But what particular rarity? what strange,
- Which manifold record not matches? See,
- Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power
- Hath conjur'd to attend! I know the merchant.
- I know them both; th' other's a jeweller.
- O, 'tis a worthy lord!
- Nay, that's most fix'd.
- A most incomparable man; breath'd, as it were,
- To an untirable and continuate goodness.
- He passes.
- I have a jewel here—
- O, pray let's see't: for the Lord Timon, sir?
- If he will touch the estimate: but for that—
- When we for recompense have prais'd the vile,
- It stains the glory in that happy verse
- Which aptly sings the good.
MERCHANT. [Looking at the jewel.]
- 'Tis a good form.
- And rich: here is a water, look ye.
- You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
- To the great lord.
- A thing slipp'd idly from me.
- Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
- From whence 'tis nourish'd: the fire i' the flint
- Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
- Provokes itself, and like the current flies
- Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
- A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?
- Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
- Let's see your piece.
- 'Tis a good piece.
- So 'tis: this comes off well and excellent.
- Admirable! How this grace
- Speaks his own standing! what a mental power
- This eye shoots forth! how big imagination
- Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture
- One might interpret.
- It is a pretty mocking of the life.
- Here is a touch; is't good?
- I'll say of it,
- It tutors nature: artificial strife
- Lives in these touches, livelier than life.
[Enter certain SENATORS, who pass over the stage.]
- How this lord is followed!
- The senators of Athens: happy man!
- Look, more!
- You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors.
- I have, in this rough work, shap'd out a man
- Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
- With amplest entertainment: my free drift
- Halts not particularly, but moves itself
- In a wide sea of wax: no levell'd malice
- Infects one comma in the course I hold:
- But flies an eagle flight, bold and forth on,
- Leaving no tract behind.
- How shall I understand you?
- I will unbolt to you.
- You see how all conditions, how all minds—
- As well of glib and slipp'ry creatures as
- Of grave and austere quality—tender down
- Their services to Lord Timon: his large fortune,
- Upon his good and gracious nature hanging,
- Subdues and properties to his love and tendance
- All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-fac'd flatterer
- To Apemantus, that few things loves better
- Than to abhor himself: even he drops down
- The knee before him, and returns in peace
- Most rich in Timon's nod.
- I saw them speak together.
- Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
- Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd: the base o' the mount
- Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures
- That labour on the bosom of this sphere
- To propagate their states: amongst them all,
- Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix'd
- One do I personate of Lord Timon's frame,
- Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her;
- Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
- Translates his rivals.
- 'Tis conceiv'd to scope.
- This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
- With one man beckon'd from the rest below,
- Bowing his head against the steepy mount
- To climb his happiness, would be well express'd
- In our condition.
- Nay, sir, but hear me on.
- All those which were his fellows but of late,
- Some better than his value, on the moment
- Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
- Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear,
- Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
- Drink the free air.
- Ay, marry, what of these?
- When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
- Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants,
- Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top
- Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
- Not one accompanying his declining foot.
- '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 LORD TIMON, addressing himself courteously to every suitor: a MESSENGER from VENTIDIUS talking with him; LUCILIUS and other servants following.]
- Imprison'd is he, say you?
- 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.
- 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.
- Your lordship ever binds him.
- Commend me to him; I will send his ransom;
- And being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me.
- 'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
- But to support him after. Fare you well.
- All happiness to your honour.
[Enter an OLD ATHENIAN.]
- Lord Timon, hear me speak.
- Freely, good father.
- Thou hast a servant nam'd Lucilius.
- I have so: what of him?
- Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.
- Attends he here or no? Lucilius!
- Here, at your lordship's service.
- This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature,
- By night frequents my house. I am a man
- That from my first have been inclin'd to thrift,
- And my estate deserves an heir more rais'd
- Than one which holds a trencher.
- Well; what further?
- 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.
- The man is honest.
- Therefore he will be, Timon:
- His honesty rewards him in itself;
- It must not bear my daughter.
- Does she love him?
- She is young and apt:
- Our own precedent passions do instruct us
- What levity's in youth.
TIMON. [To Lucilius.]
- Love you the maid?
- Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.
- 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.
- How shall she be endow'd,
- If she be mated with an equal husband?
- Three talents on the present; in future, all.
- This gentleman of mine hath serv'd 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.
- Most noble lord,
- Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.
- My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise.
- Humbly I thank your lordship. Never may
- That state or fortune fall into my keeping
- Which is not owed to you!
[Exeunt LUCILIUS and OLD ATHENIAN.]
- [Presenting his poem]
- Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your lordship!
- I thank you; you shall hear from me anon:
- Go not away. What have you there, my friend?
- A piece of painting, which I do beseech
- Your lordship to accept.
- Painting is welcome.
- The painting is almost the natural man;
- For 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.
- The gods preserve you!
- Well fare you, gentleman: give me your hand;
- We must needs dine together. Sir, your jewel
- Hath suffered under praise.
- What, my lord! dispraise?
- A mere satiety of commendations;
- If I should pay you for 't as 'tis extoll'd,
- It would unclew me quite.
- 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.
- Well mock'd.
- No, my good lord; he speaks the common tongue,
- Which all men speak with him.
- Look who comes here. Will you be chid?
- We'll bear, with your lordship.
- He'll spare none.
- Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!
- Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow;
- When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest.
- Why dost thou call them knaves? thou know'st them not.
- Are they not Athenians?
- Then I repent not.
- You know me, Apemantus?
- Thou know'st I do; I call'd thee by thy name.
- Thou art proud, Apemantus.
- Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.
- Whither art going?
- To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.
- That's a deed thou'lt die for.
- Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.
- How likest thou this picture, Apemantus?
- The best, for the innocence.
- Wrought he not well that painted it?
- He wrought better that made the painter; and yet he's
- but a filthy piece of work.
- You're a dog.
- Thy mother's of my generation: what's she, if I be a dog?
- Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?
- No; I eat not lords.
- An thou shouldst, thou'dst anger ladies.
- O! they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.
- That's a lascivious apprehension.
- So thou apprehendest it, take it for thy labour.
- How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?
- Not so well as plain dealing, which will not cost a man
- a doit.
- What dost thou think 'tis worth?
- Not worth my thinking. How now, poet!
- How now, philosopher!
- Thou liest.
- Art not one?
- Then I lie not.
- Art not a poet?
- Then thou liest: look in thy last work, where thou hast
- feigned him a worthy fellow.
- That's not feigned; he is so.
- 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!
- What wouldst do then, Apemantus?
- Even as Apemantus does now; hate a lord with my heart.
- What, thyself?
- That I had no angry wit to be a lord. Art not thou a merchant?
- Ay, Apemantus.
- Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not!
- If traffic do it, the gods do it.
- Traffic's thy god, and thy god confound thee!
[Trumpet sounds. Enter a MESSENGER.]
- What trumpet's that?
- 'Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty horse,
- All of companionship.
- 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 his Company.]
Most welcome, sir!
- So, so, there!
- Aches contract and starve your supple joints!
- That there should be small love 'mongst these sweet knaves,
- And all this courtesy! The strain of man's bred out
- Into baboon and monkey.
- Sir, you have sav'd my longing, and I feed
- Most hungerly on your sight.
- Right welcome, sir!
- Ere we depart we'll share a bounteous time
- In different pleasures. Pray you, let us in.
[Exeunt all but APEMANTUS.]
[Enter two LORDS.]
- What time o' day is't, Apemantus?
- Time to be honest.
- That time serves still.
- The more accursed thou that still omitt'st it.
- Thou art going to Lord Timon's feast.
- Ay; to see meat fill knaves and wine heat fools.
- Fare thee well, fare thee well.
- Thou art a fool to bid me farewell twice.
- Why, Apemantus?
- Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean to give thee none.
- Hang thyself!
- No, I will do nothing at thy bidding: make thy requests to thy
- Away, unpeaceable dog! or I'll spurn thee hence.
- I will fly, like a dog, the heels of an ass.
- He's opposite to humanity. Come, shall we in,
- And taste Lord Timon's bounty? he outgoes
- The very heart of kindness.
- He pours it out; Plutus, the god of gold,
- Is but his steward: no meed but he repays
- Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him
- But breeds the giver a return exceeding
- All use of quittance.
- The noblest mind he carries
- That ever govern'd man.
- Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we in?
- I'll keep you company.
SCENE II.— The Same. A room of state in TIMON'S House.
[Hautboys playing loud music. A great banquet served in; FLAVIUS and Others attending: then enter LORD TIMON, ALCIBIADES, Lords, and Senators, VENTIDIUS and Attendants. Then comes, dropping after all, APEMANTUS, discontentedly, like himself.]
- Most honour'd Timon,
- It hath pleas'd 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 deriv'd liberty.
- 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.
- A noble spirit.
[They all stand ceremoniously looking on TIMON.]
- Nay, my lords, ceremony was but devis'd 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.
- My lord, we always have confess'd it.
- Ho, ho! confess'd it; hang'd it, have you not?
- O! Apemantus, you are welcome.
- You shall not make me welcome:
- I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.
- 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 it, indeed.
- Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon:
- I come to observe; I give thee warning on't.
- I take no heed of thee; thou'rt an Athenian, therefore, welcome.
- I myself would have no power; prithee; let my meat make thee
- I scorn thy meat; 't'would choke me, for I should
- Ne'er flatter thee. O you gods! what a number
- Of men eats 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 prov'd.
- If I were a huge man, I should fear to drink at meals;
- Lest they should spy my wind-pipe's dangerous notes:
- Great men should drink with harness on their throats.
- My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.
- Let it flow this way, my good lord.
- 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.
- 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!
- Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.
- My heart is ever at your service, my lord.
- You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than a dinner of
- So they were bleeding—new, my lord, there's no meat
- like 'em: I could wish my best friend at such a feast.
- 'Would all those flatterers were thine enemies then, that
- then thou mightst kill 'em, and bid me to 'em.
- 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.
- 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 call
- 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 it can be born.
- Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks: to forget their
- faults, I drink to you.
- Thou weepest to make them drink, Timon.
- Joy had the like conception in our eyes,
- And, at that instant like a babe, sprung up.
- Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.
- I promise you, my lord, you mov'd me much.
- What means that trump?
[Enter a SERVANT.]
- Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies most desirous of
- Ladies? What are their wills?
- There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which bears
- that office, to signify their pleasures.
- I pray, let them be admitted.
- 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, Smell, pleas'd from thy table rise;
- They only now come but to feast thine eyes.
- They are welcome all; let 'em have kind admittance:
- Music, make their welcome!
- You see, my lord, how ample you're belov'd.
[Music. Re-enter CUPID, with a masque of LADIES as Amazons,
- with lutes in their hands, dancing and playing.]
- 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 friend's gift?
- I should fear those that dance before me now
- Would one day stamp upon me: it 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.]
- 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.
- My lord, you take us even at the best.
- Faith, for the worst is filthy; and would not hold taking, I
- doubt me.
- Ladies, there is an idle banquet
- Attends you; please you to dispose yourselves.
- Most thankfully, my lord.
[Exeunt CUPID and LADIES.]
- My lord!
- The little casket bring me hither.
- Yes, my lord. [Aside.] More jewels yet!
- There is no crossing him in 's humour;
- Else I should tell him well, i' faith, I should,
- When all's spent, he'd be cross'd then, an he could.
- 'Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
- That man might ne'er be wretched for his mind.
- Where be our men?
- Here, my lord, in readiness.
- Our horses!
[Re-enter FLAVIUS, with the casket.]
- 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.
- I am so far already in your gifts—
- So are we all.
[Enter a SERVANT.]
- My lord, there are certain nobles of the Senate
- Newly alighted and come to visit you.
- They are fairly welcome.
- I beseech your honour,
- Vouchsafe me a word; it does concern you near.
- Near! why then, another time I'll hear thee.
- I prithee let's be provided to show them entertainment.
- I scarce know how.
[Enter another SERVANT.]
- May it please vour honour, Lord Lucius,
- Out of his free love, hath presented to you
- Four milk-white horses, trapp'd in silver.
- I shall accept them fairly; let the presents
- Be worthily entertain'd.
[Enter a third SERVANT.]
How now! What news?
- 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.
- I'll hunt with him; and let them be receiv'd,
- Not without fair reward.
- [Aside.] What will this come to?
- He commands us to provide, and give great gifts,
- And all out of an empty coffer;
- Nor will he know his purse, or yield me this,
- To show him what a beggar his heart is,
- Being of no power to make his wishes good.
- His promises fly so beyond his state
- That what he speaks is all in debt; he owes
- For every word: he is so kind that he now
- Pays interest for 't; his land's put to their books.
- Well, would I were gently put out of office
- Before I were forc'd out!
- Happier he that has no friend to feed
- Than such that do e'en enemies exceed.
- I bleed inwardly for my lord.
- You do yourselves much wrong;
- You bate too much of your own merits;
- Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.
- With more than common thanks I will receive it.
- O! he's the very soul of bounty!
- 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 lik'd it.
- O! I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, in that.
- 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.
- O! none so welcome!
- 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.
- Ay, defil'd land, my lord.
- We are so virtuously bound,—
- And so am I to you.
- So infinitely endear'd,—
- All to you. Lights, more lights!
- The best of happiness,
- Honour, and fortunes, keep with you, Lord Timon!
- Ready for his friends.
[Exeunt ALCIBIADES, Lords, and etc.].]
- 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 curtsies.
- Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen,
- I would be good to thee.
- 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 needs these feasts, pomps,
- and vain-glories?
- Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am sworn not to
- give regard to you. Farewell; and come with better music.
- So: Thou wilt not hear me now; thou shalt not then;
- I'll lock thy heaven from thee.
- O! that men's ears should be
- To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
SCENE I. Athens. A Room in a SENATOR'S House.
[Enter A SENATOR, with papers in his hand.]
- 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.
- 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,
- 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!
- Here, sir; what is your pleasure?
- Get on your cloak, and haste you to Lord Timon;
- Importune him for my moneys; be not ceas'd
- With slight denial, nor then silenc'd when—
- '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
- 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:
- 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.
- I go, sir.
- Take the bonds along with you,
- And have the dates in compt.
- I will, sir.
SCENE II. The same. A Hall in TIMON'S House.
[Enter FLAVIUS, with many bills in his hand.]
- No care, no stop! So senseless of expense,
- That he will neither know how to maintain it,
- Nor cease his flow of riot: takes no account
- How things go from him, nor resumes no care
- Of what is to continue: never mind
- Was to be so unwise, to be so kind.
- What shall be done? He will not hear, till feel:
- I must be round with him. Now he comes from hunting.
- Fie, fie, fie, fie!
[Enter CAPHIS, and the SERVANTS Of ISIDORE and VARRO.]
- Good even, Varro. What! You come for money?
- Is't not your business too?
- It is: and yours too, Isidore?
- It is so.
- Would we were all discharg'd!
- I fear it.
- Here comes the lord!
[Enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, and Lords, etc.]
- So soon as dinner's done, we'll forth again.
- My Alcibiades. With me? what is your will?
- My lord, here is a note of certain dues.
- Dues! Whence are you?
- Of Athens here, my lord.
- Go to my steward.
- Please it your lordship, he hath put me off
- To the succession of new days this month:
- My master is awak'd 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.
- Mine honest friend,
- I prithee, but repair to me next morning.
- Nay, good my lord,—
- Contain thyself, good friend.
- One Varro's servant, my good lord,—
- From Isidore; he humbly prays your speedy payment.
- If you did know, my lord, my master's wants,—
- 'Twas due on forfeiture, my lord, six weeks and past.
- Your steward puts me off, my lord; and
- I am sent expressly to your lordship.
- 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 clamorous demands of date-broke bonds,
- And the detention of long-since-due debts,
- Against my honour?
- 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.
- Do so, my friends.
- See them well entertain'd.
- Pray, draw near.
[Enter APEMANTUS and FOOL.]
- Stay, stay; here comes the fool with Apemantus:
- Let's ha' some sport with 'em.
- Hang him, he'll abuse us!
- A plague upon him, dog!
- How dost, fool?
- Dost dialogue with thy shadow?
- I speak not to thee.
- No; 'tis to thyself. [To the FOOL.]
- Come away.
ISIDORE'S SERVANT. [To VARRO'S SERVANT.]
- There's the fool hangs on your back already.
- No, thou stand'st single; thou'rt not on him yet.
- Where's the fool now?
- He last asked the question. Poor rogues and usurers'
- men! bawds between gold and want!
- What are we, Apemantus?
- That you ask me what you are, and do not know yourselves. Speak
- to 'em, fool.
- How do you, gentlemen?
- Gramercies, good fool. How does your mistress?
- She's e'en setting on water to scald such chickens as you
- are. Would we could see you at Corinth!
- Good! gramercy.
- Look you, here comes my mistress' page.
PAGE. [To the FOOL.]
- Why, how now, Captain! what do you in this wise company? How dost
- thou, Apemantus?
- Would I had a rod in my mouth, that I might answer thee
- Prithee, Apemantus, read me the superscription of these
- letters: I know not which is which.
- Canst not read?
- There will little learning die, then, that day thou art
- hanged. This is to Lord Timon; this to Alcibiades. Go; thou wast
- born a bastard, and thou'lt die a bawd.
- Thou wast whelped a dog, and thou shalt famish a dog's death.
- Answer not; I am gone.
- E'en so thou outrunn'st grace.—
- Fool, I will go with you to Lord Timon's.
- Will you leave me there?
- If Timon stay at home. You three serve three usurers?
- Ay; would they served us!
- So would I, as good a trick as ever hangman served thief.
- Are you three usurers' men?
- Ay, fool.
- I think no usurer but has a fool to his servant: my mistress
- is one, and I am her fool. When men come to borrow of your
- masters, they approach sadly, and go away merry; but they enter
- my mistress' house merrily, and go away sadly: the reason of
- I could render one.
- Do it, then, that we may account thee a whoremaster and a
- knave; which notwithstanding, thou shalt be no less esteemed.
- What is a whoremaster, fool?
- A fool in good clothes, and something like thee. 'Tis a
- spirit: sometime 't appears like a lord; sometime like a lawyer;
- sometime like a philosopher, with two stones more than's
- artificial one. He is very often like a knight; and generally,
- in all shapes that man goes up and down in from fourscore to
- thirteen, this spirit walks in.
- Thou art not altogether a fool.
- Nor thou altogether a wise man:
- as much foolery as I have, so much wit thou lackest.
- That answer might have become Apemantus.
- Aside, aside; here comes Lord Timon.
[Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS.]
- Come with me, fool, come.
- I do not always follow lover, elder brother, and woman;
- sometime the philosopher.
[Exeunt APEMANTUS and FOOL.]
- Pray you walk near: I'll speak with you anon.
- 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?
- You would not hear me,
- At many leisures I propos'd.
- Go to:
- Perchance some single vantages you took,
- When my indisposition put you back;
- And that unaptness made your minister
- Thus to excuse yourself.
- 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 checks, 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.
- Let all my land be sold.
- 'Tis all engag'd, 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?
- To Lacedaemon did my land extend.
- 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!
- You tell me true.
- 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 blaz'd with lights and bray'd with minstrelsy,
- I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock,
- And set mine eyes at flow.
- Prithee, no more.
- 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.
- Come, sermon me no further;
- No villainous 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.
- Assurance bless your thoughts!
- 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!
[Enter FLAMINIUS, SERVILIUS, and other Servants.]
- My lord! my lord!
- 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 them toward a supply of
- money: let the request be fifty talents.
- As you have said, my lord.
- [Aside.] Lord Lucius and Lucullus? hum!
TIMON. [To another Servant.]
- Go you, sir, to the senators,—
- Of whom, even to the state's best health, I have
- Deserv'd this hearing,—Bid 'em send o' the instant
- A thousand talents to me.
- 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.
- Is't true? can't be?
- 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.
- You gods, reward them!
- Prithee, man, look cheerly. These old fellows
- Have their ingratitude in them hereditary;
- Their blood is cak'd, '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.—[To Flavius.]
- Prithee, be not sad,
- Thou art true and honest; ingenuously 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.
- 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.
- I would I could not think it:
- That thought is bounty's foe;
- Being free itself, it thinks all others so.
Scene I. Athens. A Room in LUCULLUS' House.
[Enter a SERVANT to him.]
- I have told my lord of you; he is coming down to you.
- I thank you, sir.
- Here's my lord.
- [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.
And how does that honourable, complete, freehearted
- gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good lord and master?
- His health is well, sir.
- I am right glad that his health is well, sir. And what
- hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty 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 use fifty talents, hath sent to
- your lordship to furnish him, nothing doubting your present
- assistance therein.
- La, la, la, la! 'Nothing doubting,' says he? Alas, good
- lord! a noble gentleman 'tis, if he would not 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 is his. I ha'
- told him on't, but I could ne'er get him from it.
[Re-enter SERVANT with wine.]
- Please your lordship, here is the wine.
- Flaminius, I have noted thee always wise. Here's to thee.
- Your lordship speaks your pleasure.
- 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. [To SERVANT.]—Get you gone, sirrah.—
Draw nearer, honest Flaminius.Thy lord's a bountiful gentleman;
- but thou art wise, and thou know'st 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
- Is't possible the world should so much differ,
- And we alive that liv'd? Fly, damned baseness,
- To him that worships thee.
[Throwing the money away.]
- Ha! now I see thou art a fool, and fit for thy master.
- May these add to the number that may scald thee!
- Let molten coin be thy damnation,
- Thou disease of a friend, and not himself!
- Has friendship such a faint and milky heart
- It turns in less than two nights? O you gods!
- I feel my 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?
- 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.
SCENE II. A Public Place.
[Enter Lucius, with three STRANGERS.]
- Who, the Lord Timon? he is my very good friend, and an
- honourable gentleman.
- We know him for no less, though we are but strangers to him. But
- I can tell you one thing, my lord, and which I hear from common
- rumours: now Lord Timon's happy hours are done and past, and his
- estate shrinks from him.
- Fie, no, do not believe it; he cannot want for money.
- But believe you this, my lord, that, not long ago, one of his men
- was with the Lord Lucullus to borrow so many talents, nay, urged
- extremely for't, and showed what necessity belonged to't, and yet
- was denied.
- I tell you, denied, my lord.
- What a strange case was that! now, before the gods, I am
- ashamed on't. Denied that honourable man! there was very little
- honour showed in't. For my own part, I must needs confess, I have
- received some small kindnesses from him, as money, plate, jewels,
- and such like trifles, nothing comparing to his; yet, had he
- mistook him, and sent to me, I should ne'er have denied his
- occasion so many talents.
- See, by good hap, yonder's my lord; I have sweat to see
- his honour. [To LUCIUS.] My honoured lord!
- Servilius! you are kindly met, sir. Fare thee well: commend
- me to thy honourable virtuous lord, my very exquisite friend.
- May it please your honour, my lord hath sent—
- Ha! What has he sent? I am so much endeared to that lord;
- he's ever sending: how shall I thank him, thinkest thou? And what
- has he sent now?
- Has only sent his present occasion now, my lord;
- requesting your lordship to supply his instant use with so many
- I know his lordship is but merry with me;
- He cannot want fifty-five hundred talents.
- But in the mean time he wants less, my lord.
- If his occasion were not virtuous,
- I should not urge it half so faithfully.
- Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?
- Upon my soul, 'tis true, sir.
- What a wicked beast was I to disfurnish myself against such
- a good time, when I might ha' shown myself honourable! how
- unluckily it happened, that I should purchase the day before for
- a little part, and undo a great deal of honour! Servilius, now,
- before the gods, I am not able to do; the more beast, I say; I
- was sending to use Lord Timon myself, these gentlemen can
- witness; but I would not, for the wealth of Athens, I had done it
- now. Commend me bountifully to his good lordship; and I hope his
- honour will conceive the fairest of me, because I have no power
- to be kin: and tell him this from me, I count it one of my
- greatest afflictions say, that I cannot pleasure such an
- honourable gentleman. Good Servilius, will you befriend me so far
- as to use mine own words to him?
- Yes, sir, I shall.
- I'll look you out a good turn, Servilius.
True, as you said, Timon is shrunk indeed;
- And he that's once denied will hardly speed.
- Do you observe this, Hostilius?
- Ay, too well.
- Why, this is the world's soul; and just of the same piece
- Is every flatterer's spirit. Who can call him
- His friend that dips in the same dish? for, in
- My knowing, Timon has been this lord's father,
- And kept his credit with his purse,
- Supported his estate; nay, Timon's money
- Has paid his men their wages: He ne'er drinks
- But Timon's silver treads upon his lip;
- And yet, O! see the monstrousness of man,
- When he looks out in an ungrateful shape,
- He does deny him, in respect of his,
- What charitable men afford to beggars.
- Religion groans at it.
- For mine own part,
- I never tasted Timon in my life,
- Nor came any of his bounties over me
- To mark me for his friend; yet I protest,
- For his right noble mind, illustrious virtue,
- And honourable carriage,
- Had his necessity made use of me,
- I would have put my wealth into donation,
- And the best half should have return'd to him,
- So much I love his heart. But, I perceive,
- Men must learn now with pity to dispense;
- For policy sits above conscience.
SCENE III. The Same. A Room in SEMPRONIUS' House.
[Enter SEMPRONIUS and a SERVANT of TIMON'S.]
- Must he needs trouble me in't? Hum! 'bove all others?
- He might have tried Lord Lucius, or Lucullus;
- And now Ventidius is wealthy too,
- Whom he redeem'd from prison: all these
- Owe their estates unto him.
- My lord,
- They have all been touch'd and found base metal, for
- They have all denied him.
- How! have they denied him?
- Has Ventidius and Lucullus denied him?
- And does he send to me? Three? Hum!
- It shows but little love or judgment in him:
- Must I be his last refuge? His friends, like physicians,
- Thrice give him over; must I take the cure upon me?
- Has much disgrac'd me in't; I'm angry at him,
- That might have known my place. I see no sense for't,
- But his occasions might have woo'd me first;
- For, in my conscience, I was the first man
- That e'er received gift from him:
- And does he think so backwardly of me now,
- That I'll requite it last? No:
- So it may prove an argument of laughter
- To the rest, and I 'mongst lords be thought a fool.
- I had rather than the worth of thrice the sum,
- Had sent to me first, but for my mind's sake;
- I'd such a courage to do him good. But now return,
- And with their faint reply this answer join;
- Who bates mine honour shall not know my coin.
- Excellent! Your lordship's a goodly villain. The devil
- knew not what he did when he made man politic; he crossed
- himself by't: and I cannot think but, in the end the villainies
- of man will set him clear. How fairly this lord strives to appear
- foul! takes virtuous copies to be wicked, like those that under
- hot ardent zeal would set whole realms on fire:
- Of such a nature is his politic love.
- This was my lord's best hope; now all are fled
- Save only the gods. Now his friends are dead,
- Doors, that were ne'er acquainted with their wards
- Many a bounteous year, must be employ'd
- Now to guard sure their master:
- And this is all a liberal course allows:
- Who cannot keep his wealth must keep his house.
SCENE IV. A hall in TIMON'S House.
[Enter two Servants of VARRO, and the Servant of LUCIUS, meeting TITUS, HORTENSIUS, and other Servants to TIMON's Creditors, waiting his coming out.]
FIRST VARRO'S SERVANT.
- Well met; good morrow, Titus and Hortensius.
- The like to you, kind Varro.
- Lucius! What! do we meet together!
- Ay, and I think one business does command us all; for mine is
- So is theirs and ours.
- And Sir Philotus too!
- Good day at once.
- Wlcome, good brother.
- What do you think the hour?
- Labouring for nine.
- So much?
- Is not my lord seen yet?
- Not yet.
- I wonder on't; he was wont to shine at seven.
- Ay, but the days are waxed shorter with him:
- 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.
- I am of your fear for that.
- I'll show you how to observe a strange event.
- Your lord sends now for money.
- Most true, he does.
- And he wears jewels now of Timon's gift,
- For which I wait for money.
- It is against my heart.
- Mark, how strange it shows,
- Timon in this should pay more than he owes:
- And e'en as if your lord should wear rich jewels,
- And send for money for 'em.
- 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.
FIRST VARRO'S SERVANT.
- Yes, mine's three thousand crowns; what's yours?
- Five thousand mine.
FIRST VARRO'S SERVANT.
- 'Tis much deep: and it should seem by the sum,
- Your master's confidence was above mine;
- Else, surely, his had equall'd.
- One of Lord Timon's men.
- Flaminius! Sir, a word. Pray, is my lord ready to
- come forth?
- No, indeed, he is not.
- We attend his lordship; pray, signify so much.
- I need not tell him that; he knows you are too diligent.
[Enter FLAVIUS, in a cloak, muffled.]
- Ha! is not that his steward muffled so?
- He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him.
- Do you hear, sir?
SECOND VARRO'S SERVANT.
- By your leave, sir.
- What do you ask of me, my friend?
- We wait for certain money here, sir.
- If money were as certain as your waiting,
- '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 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.
- Ay, but this answer will not serve.
- If 'twill not serve, 'tis not so base as you;
- For you serve knaves.
FIRST VARRO'S SERVANT.
- How! what does his cashiered worship mutter?
SECOND VARRO'S 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 great buildings.
- O, here's Servilius; now we shall know some answer.
- If I might beseech you, gentlemen, to repair some other
- hour, I should derive much from't; for, 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.
- Many do keep their chambers are not sick:
- And, if it be so far beyond his health,
- Methinks he should the sooner pay his debts,
- And make a clear way to the gods.
- Good gods!
- We cannot take this for answer, sir.
- [Within.] Servilius, help! my lord! my lord!
[Enter TIMON, in a rage; FLAMINIUS following.]
- What! are my doors oppos'd 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?
- Put in now, Titus.
- My lord, here is my bill.
- Here's mine.
- And mine, my lord.
BOTH VARRO'S SERVANTS.
- And ours, my lord.
- All our bills.
- Knock me down with 'em: cleave me to the girdle.
- Alas, my lord—
- Cut my heart in sums.
- Mine, fifty talents.
- Tell out my blood.
- Five thousand crowns, my lord.
- Five thousand drops pays that. What yours? and yours?
FIRST VARRO'S SERVANT.
- My lord—
SECOND VARRO'S SERVANT.
- My lord—
- Tear me, take me; and the gods fall upon you!
- 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.
[Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS.]
- They have e'en put my breath from me, the slaves.
- Creditors? devils!
- My dear lord—
- What if it should be so?
- My lord—
- I'll have it so. My steward!
- Here, my lord.
- So fitly! Go, bid all my friends again:
- Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius; all:
- I'll once more feast the rascals.
- O my lord!
- You only speak from your distracted soul;
- There is not so much left to furnish out
- A moderate table.
- Be it 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.
SCENE V. The Same. The Senate House. The Senate Sitting.
- My lord, you have my voice to it: the fault's
- Bloody. 'tis necessary he should die;
- Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.
- Most true; the law shall bruise him.
[Enter ALCIBIADES, attended.]
- Honour, health, and compassion to the senate!
- Now, captain.
- I am a humble suitor to your virtues;
- For pity is the virtue of the law,
- And none but tyrants use it cruelly.
- It pleases time and fortune to lie heavy
- Upon a friend of mine, who, in hot blood
- Hath stepp'd into the law, which is past depth
- To those that without heed do plunge into't.
- He is a man, setting his fate aside,
- Of comely virtues;
- Nor did he soil the fact with cowardice,—
- An honour in him which buys out his fault,—
- But, with a noble fury and fair spirit,
- Seeing his reputation touch'd to death,
- He did oppose his foe;
- And with such sober and unnoted passion
- He did behave his anger, ere 'twas spent,
- As if he had but prov'd an argument.
- You undergo too strict a paradox,
- Striving to make an ugly deed look fair:
- Your words have took such pains as if they labour'd
- To bring manslaughter into form, and set
- Quarrelling upon the head of valour; which indeed
- Is valour misbegot, and came into the world
- When sects and factions were newly born.
- He's truly valiant that can wisely suffer
- The worst that man can breathe, and make his wrongs
- his outsides, to wear them like his raiment, carelessly,
- And ne'er prefer his injuries to his heart,
- To bring it into danger.
- If wrongs be evils, and enforce us kill,
- What folly 'tis to hazard life for ill!
- My lord,—
- You cannot make gross sins look clear;
- To revenge is no valour, but to bear.
- My lords, then, under favour, pardon me,
- If I speak like a captain.
- Why do fond men expose themselves to battle,
- And not endure all threats? sleep upon't,
- And let the foes quietly cut their throats
- Without repugnancy? If there be
- Such valour in the bearing, what make we
- Abroad? why, then, women are more valiant
- That stay at home, if bearing carry it,
- And the ass more captain than the lion, the felon
- Loaden with irons wiser than the judge,
- If wisdom be in suffering. O my lords!
- As you are great, be pitifully good:
- Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood?
- To kill, I grant, is sin's extremest gust;
- But, in defence, by mercy, 'tis most just.
- To be in anger is impiety;
- But who is man that is not angry?
- Weigh but the crime with this.
- You breathe in vain.
- In vain! his service done
- At Lacedaemon and Byzantium
- Were a sufficient briber for his life.
- What's that?
- I say, my lords, has done fair service,
- And slain in fight many of your enemies.
- How full of valour did he bear himself
- In the last conflict, and made plenteous wounds!
- He has made too much plenty with 'em;
- He's a sworn rioter; he has a sin that often
- Drowns him and takes his valour prisoner;
- If there were no foes, that were enough
- To overcome him; in that beastly fury
- He has been known to commit outrages
- And cherish factions; 'tis inferr'd to us,
- His days are foul and his drink dangerous.
- He dies.
- Hard fate! he might have died in war.
- My lords, if not for any parts in him,—
- Though his right arm might purchase his own time,
- And be in debt to none,—yet, more to move you,
- Take my deserts to his, and join 'em both;
- And, for I know your reverend ages love
- Security, I'll pawn my victories, all
- My honour to you, upon his good returns.
- If by this crime he owes the law his life,
- Why, let the war receive't in valiant gore;
- For law is strict, and war is nothing more.
- We are for law; he dies: urge it no more,
- On height of our displeasure. Friend or brother,
- He forfeits his own blood that spills another.
- Must it be so? it must not be. My lords,
- I do beseech you, know me.
- Call me to your remembrances.
- I cannot think but your age has forgot me;
- It could not else be I should prove so base,
- To sue, and be denied such common grace.
- My wounds ache at you.
- Do you dare our anger?
- 'Tis in few words, but spacious in effect;
- We banish thee for ever.
- Banish me!
- Banish your dotage; banish usury,
- That makes the Senate ugly.
- If, after two days' shine, Athens contain thee,
- Attend our weightier judgment. And, not to swell our spirit,
- He shall be executed presently.
- Now the gods keep you old enough; that you may live
- Only in bone, that none may look on you!
- I'm worse than mad: I have kept back their foes,
- While they have told their money and let out
- Their coin upon large interest; I myself
- Rich only in large hurts: all those for this?
- Is this the balsam that the usuring senate
- Pours into captains' wounds? Banishment!
- It comes not ill; I hate not to be banish'd;
- It is a cause worthy my spleen and fury,
- That I may strike at Athens. I'll cheer up
- My discontented troops, and lay for hearts.
- 'Tis honour with most lands to be at odds;
- Soldiers should brook as little wrongs as gods.
SCENE VI. A room of State in TIMON'S House.
[Music. Tables set out: Servants attending. Enter divers LORDS, SENATORS, and Others, at several doors.]
- The good time of day to you, sir.
- I also wish it to you. I think this honourable lord
- did but try us this other day.
- 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.
- It should not be, by the persuasion of his new feasting.
- I should think so: he hath sent me an earnest inviting,
- which many my near occasions did urge me to put off; but he hath
- conjured me beyond them, and I must needs appear.
- In like manner was I in debt to my importunate business, but he
- would not hear my excuse. I am sorry, when he sent to borrow of
- me, that my provision was out.
- I am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all things go.
- Every man here's so. What would he have borrowed you?
- A thousand pieces.
- A thousand pieces!
- What of you?
- He sent to me, sir—here he comes.
[Enter TIMON and Attendants.]
- With all my heart, gentlemen both; And how fare you?
- Ever at the best, hearing well of your lordship.
- The swallow follows not summer more willing than we
- your lordship.
- 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.
- I hope it remains not unkindly with your lordship that
- I return'd you an empty messenger.
- O! sir, let it not trouble you.
- My noble lord,—
- Ah! my good friend, what cheer?
- 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.
- Think not on't, sir.
- If you had sent but two hours before,—
- Let it not cumber your better remembrance.
[The banquet brought in.]
Come, bring in all together.
- All covered dishes!
- Royal cheer, I warrant you.
- Doubt not that, if money and the season can yield it.
- How do you? What's the news?
- Alcibiades is banished: hear you of it?
FIRST AND SECOND LORDS.
- Alcibiades banished!
- 'Tis so, be sure of it.
- How? how?
- I pray you, upon what?
- My worthy friends, will you draw near?
- I'll tell you more anon. Here's a noble feast toward.
- This is the old man still.
- Will't hold? will't hold?
- It does; but time will—and so—
- I do conceive.
- 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 god—heads 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 foes, 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 uncovered are full of warm water.]
- What does his lordship mean?
- I know not.
- May you a better feast never behold,
- You knot of mouth-friends! 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
[Throwing the water in their faces.]
Your reeking villainy. Live loath'd, 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.]
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!
[Re-enter the LORDS, SENATORS, and &c.]
- How now, my lords!
- Know you the quality of Lord Timon's fury?
- Push! did you see my cap?
- I have lost my gown.
- 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?
- Did you see my cap?
- Here 'tis.
- Here lies my gown.
- Let's make no stay.
- Lord Timon's mad.
- I feel't upon my bones.
- One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.
SCENE I. Without the walls of Athens
- Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall,
- That girdles 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 lin'd 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,
- That their society, as their friendship, may
- Be 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
- Th' 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!
SCENE II. Athens. A Room in TIMON's House.
[Enter FLAVIUS, with two or three SERVANTS.]
- Hear you, Master Steward! where's our master?
- Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining?
- Alack! my fellows, what should I say to you?
- Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,
- I am as poor as you.
- Such a house broke!
- So noble a master fall'n! All gone! and not
- One friend to take his fortune by the arm
- And go along with him!
- As we do turn our backs
- From our companion, thrown into his grave,
- So his familiars to his buried fortunes
- Slink all away, leave their false vows with him,
- Like empty purses pick'd; and his poor self,
- A dedicated beggar to the air,
- With his disease of all—shunn'd poverty,
- Walks, like contempt, alone. More of our fellows.
[Enter other SERVANTS.]
- All broken implements of a ruin'd house.
- Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery,
- That see I by our faces; we are fellows still,
- Serving alike in sorrow. Leak'd is our bark,
- And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck,
- Hearing the surges threat: we must all part
- Into this sea of air.
- Good fellows all,
- The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you.
- Wherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake
- Let's yet be fellows; let's shake our heads, and say,
- As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortune,
- 'We have seen better days.' Let each take some;
[Giving them money.]
Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more:
- Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
[They embrace, and part several ways.]
O! the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us.
- Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
- Since riches point to misery and contempt?
- Who would be so mock'd with glory? or so live,
- But in a dream of friendship?
- To have his pomp, and all what state compounds
- But only painted, like his varnish'd friends?
- Poor honest lord! brought low by his own heart,
- Undone by goodness. Strange, unusual blood,
- When man's worst sin is he does too much good!
- Who then dares to be half so kind agen?
- For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men.
- My dearest lord, bless'd, to be most accurs'd,
- Rich, only to be wretched, thy great fortunes
- Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas! kind lord,
- He's flung in rage from this ingrateful seat
- Of monstrous friends;
- Nor has he with him to supply his life,
- Or that which can command it.
- I'll follow and enquire him out:
- I'll ever serve his mind with my best will;
- Whilst I have gold, I'll be his steward still.
SCENE III. Woods and Caves near the Sea-shore.
[Enter TIMON from the Cave.]
- 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 grize 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 villainy. 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 head:
- This yellow slave
- Will knit and break religions; bless the accurs'd,
- Make the hoar leprosy ador'd; 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 putt'st odds
- Among the rout 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.]
- What art thou there? speak.
- A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart,
- For showing me again the eyes of man!
- What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee,
- That art thyself a man?
- I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
- For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
- That I might love thee something.
- I know thee well,
- But in thy fortunes am unlearn'd and strange.
- 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 cherubin look.
- Thy lips rot off!
- I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns
- To thine own lips again.
- How came the noble Timon to this change?
- 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.
- Noble Timon,
- What friendship may I do thee?
- None, but to maintain my opinion.
- What is it, Timon?
- Promise me friendship, but perform none: if thou wilt not
- promise, the gods plague thee, for thou art man! If thou dost
- perform, confound thee, for thou art a man!
- I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.
- Thou saw'st them when I had prosperity.
- I see them now; then was a blessed time.
- As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.
- Is this the Athenian minion whom the world
- Voic'd so regardfully?
- Art thou Timandra?
- 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.
- Hang thee, monster!
- 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 griev'd
- How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
- Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
- But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them,—
- I prithee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone.
- I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.
- How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
- I had rather be alone.
- Why, fare thee well:
- Here is some gold for thee.
- Keep it, I cannot eat it.
- When I have laid proud Athens on a heap,—
- Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens?
- Ay, Timon, and have cause.
- The gods confound them all in thy conquest;
- And thee after, when thou hast conquer'd!
- Why me, 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-vic'd 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 pronounc'd 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 thy soldiers:
- Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
- Confounded be thyself! Speak not, be gone.
- Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou giv'st me,
- Not all thy counsel.
- Dost thou, or dost thou not, heaven's curse upon thee!
PHRYNIA AND TIMANDRA.
- Give us some gold, good Timon:
- Hast thou more?
- 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 burdens 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 AND TIMANDRA.
- Well, more gold. What then?
- Believe't that we'll do anything for gold.
- 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 AND TIMANDRA.
- More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.
- More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.
- Strike up the drum towards Athens! Farewell, Timon:
- If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.
- If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.
- I never did thee harm.
- Yes, thou spok'st well of me.
- Call'st thou that harm?
- Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
- Thy beagles with thee.
- We but offend him. Strike!
[Drum beats. Exeunt all but 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 ingrateful man, with liquorish draughts
- And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind,
- That from it all consideration slips!
More man! Plague! plague!
- I was directed hither: men report
- Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.
- 'Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog
- Whom I would imitate: consumption catch thee!
- 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 diseas'd 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 gav'st thine ears, like tapsters that bade 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.
- Were I like thee I'd throw away myself.
- 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 outliv'd the eagle, page thy heels
- And skip when thou point'st out? will the cold brook,
- Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste
- To cure thy o'ernight's surfeit? Call the creatures
- Whose naked natures live in all the spite
- Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhoused trunks,
- To the conflicting elements expos'd,
- Answer mere nature; bid them flatter thee;
- O! thou shalt find—
- A fool of thee. Depart.
- I love thee better now than e'er I did.
- I hate thee worse.
- Thou flatter'st misery.
- I flatter not, but say thou art a caitiff.
- Why dost thou seek me out?
- To vex thee.
- Always a villain's office or a fool's.
- Dost please thyself in't?
- What! a knave too?
- If thou didst put this sour-cold habit on
- To castigate thy pride, 'twere well; but thou
- Dost it enforcedly; thou'dst courtier be again
- Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
- Outlives incertain 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.
- 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 plung'd 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, have 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.
- Art thou proud yet?
- Ay, that I am not thee.
- I, that I was
- No prodigal.
- I, that I am one now;
- Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
- I'd give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.
- That the whole life of Athens were in this!
- Thus would I eat it.
[Eating a root.]
- Here; I will mend thy feast.
- First mend my company, take away thyself.
- So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.
- 'Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd.
- If not, I would it were.
- What wouldst thou have to Athens?
- Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
- Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.
- Here is no use for gold.
- The best and truest;
- For here it sleeps and does no hired harm.
- Where liest o' nights, Timon?
- Under that's above me.
- Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus?
- Where my stomach finds meat; or rather, where I eat it.
- Would poison were obedient and knew my mind!
- Where wouldst thou send it?
- To sauce thy dishes.
- The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the
- extremity of both ends. When thou wast in thy gilt and thy
- perfume, they mock'd thee for too much curiosity; in thy rags
- thou know'st none, but art despised for the contrary. There's a
- medlar for thee; eat it.
- On what I hate I feed not.
- Dost hate a medlar?
- Ay, though it look like thee.
- An thou hadst hated medlars sooner, thou shouldst have loved
- thyself better now. What man didst thou ever know unthrift
- that was beloved after his means?
- Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever
- know beloved?
- I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a dog.
- What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to
- thy flatterers?
- Women nearest; but men, men are the things themselves. What
- wouldst thou do with the world, Apemantus, if it lay in thy
- Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.
- Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of men, and
- remain a beast with the beasts?
- Ay, Timon.
- A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee to attain to.
- If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile thee; if thou wert
- the lamb, the fox would eat thee; 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 beast art thou
- already, that seest not thy loss in transformation!
- 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.
- How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the
- 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.
- When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be
- welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than Apemantus.
- Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
- Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!
- A plague on thee! thou art too bad to curse!
- All villains that do stand by thee are pure.
- There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st.
- If I name thee,
- I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
- I would my tongue could rot them off!
- Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
- Choler does kill me that thou art alive;
- I swound to see thee.
- Would thou wouldst burst!
- Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry I shall lose
- A stone by thee.
[Throws a stone at him.]
- 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 of the sea may beat
- Thy gravestone daily: make thine epitaph,
- That death in me at others' lives may laugh.
[Looking on 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, lov'd, 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 mak'st 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!
- Would 'twere so:
- But not till I am dead; I'll say thou'st gold:
- Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.
- Throng'd to?
- Thy back, I prithee.
- Live, and love thy misery!
- Long live so, and so die!
I am quit.
- More things like men! Eat, Timon, and abhor them.
- Where should he have this gold? It is some poor
- fragment, some slender ort of his remainder. The mere want of
- gold, and the falling-from of his friends, drove him into this
- It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.
- Let us make the assay upon him: if he care not for't,
- he will supply us easily; if he covetously reserve it, how
- shall's get it?
- True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis hid.
- Is not this he?
- 'Tis his description.
- He; I know him.
- Save thee, Timon!
- Now, thieves?
- Soldiers, not thieves.
- Both too, and women's sons.
- We are not thieves, but men that much do want.
- 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 briars scarlet hips;
- The bounteous housewife, Nature, on each bush
- Lays her full mess before you. Want! Why want?
- We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
- As beasts and birds and fishes.
- 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
- More than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
- Do villainy, 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
- Has uncheck'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!
- Has almost charm'd me from my profession by
- persuading me to it.
- 'Tis in the malice of mankind that he thus advises
- us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.
- I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.
- Let us first see peace in Athens. There is no time so
- miserable but a man may be true.
- 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!
- He 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 comes forward.]
- Away! What art thou?
- Have you forgot me, sir?
- Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men;
- Then, if thou grant'st thou'rt a man, I have forgot thee.
- An honest poor servant of yours.
- Then I know thee not:
- I never had honest man about me; ay all
- I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.
- The gods are witness,
- Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
- For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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?
- No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
- Doubt and suspect, alas! are plac'd 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'd exchange
- For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
- To requite me by making rich yourself.
- 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.
- O! let me stay
- And comfort you, my master.
- If thou hatest curses,
- Stay not; fly, whilst thou'rt bless'd and free:
- Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
SCENE I. The woods. Before TIMON's Cave.
[Enter POET and PAINTER.]
- As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he
- What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true that
- he is so full of gold?
- Certain. Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had
- gold of him: he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with
- great quantity. 'Tis said he gave unto his steward a mighty sum.
- Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends?
- Nothing else. You shall see him a palm in Athens again,
- and flourish with the highest. Therefore 'tis not amiss we tender
- our loves to him in this supposed distress of his; it will show
- honestly in us, and is very likely to load our purposes with what
- they travail for, if it be just and true report that goes of his
- What have you now to present unto him?
- Nothing at this time but my visitation; only, I will
- promise him an excellent piece.
- I must serve him so too, tell him of an intent that's coming
- toward him.
- Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the time;
- it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance is ever the duller
- for his act, and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people,
- the deed of saying is quite out of use. To promise is most
- courtly and fashionable; performance is a kind of will or
- testament which argues a great sickness in his judgment that
- makes it.
[Enter TIMON from his cave.]
- [Aside.] Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad
- as is thyself.
- 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.
- [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.
- Nay, let's seek him;
- Then do we sin against our own estate
- When we may profit meet, and come too late.
- When the day serves, before black—corner'd night,
- Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.
- [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.
[Advancing from his cave.]
- Hail, worthy Timon!
- Our late noble master!
- Have I once liv'd to see two honest men?
- Having often of your open bounty tasted,
- Hearing you were retir'd, 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.
- 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.
- He and myself
- Have travail'd in the great shower of your gifts,
- And sweetly felt it.
- Ay, you are honest men.
- We are hither come to offer you our service.
- Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
- Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? No?
- What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.
- Ye're honest men! Ye've heard that I have gold;
- I am sure you have. Speak truth; ye're honest men.
- So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore
- Came not my friend nor I.
- Good honest men! Thou draw'st a counterfeit
- Best in all Athens. Thou'rt, indeed, the best;
- Thou counterfeit'st most lively.
- So, so, my lord.
- E'en so, sir, as I say.
[To the POET.]
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-natur'd 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.
- Beseech your honour
- To make it known to us.
- You'll take it ill.
- Most thankfully, my lord.
- Will you indeed?
- Doubt it not, worthy lord.
- There's never a one of you but trusts a knave
- That mightily deceives you.
- Do we, my lord?
- Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
- Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
- Keep in your bosom; yet remain assur'd
- That he's a made-up villain.
- I know not such, my lord.
- Nor I.
- 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.
- Name them, my lord; let's know them.
- You that way, and you this, but two in company;
- Each man apart, all single and alone,
- Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
[To the PAINTER.]
If, where thou art, two villians shall not be,
- Come not near him.
[To the POET.]
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 the PAINTER.]
You have work for me; there's payment; hence!
[To the POET.]
You are an alchemist; make gold of that.
- Out, rascal dogs!
[Beats them out and then returns to his cave.]
[Enter FLAVIUS and two SENATORS.]
- It is vain that you would speak with Timon;
- For he is set so only to himself
- That nothing but himself, which looks like man,
- Is friendly with him.
- Bring us to his cave.
- It is our part and promise to the Athenians
- To speak with Timon.
- At all times alike
- Men are not still the same; 'twas time and griefs
- That fram'd him thus. Time, with his fairer hand,
- Offering the fortunes of his former days,
- The former man may make him. Bring us to him,
- And chance it as it may.
- Here is his cave.
- Peace and content be here! Lord Timon! Timon!
- Look out, and speak to friends. The Athenians
- By two of their most reverend Senate greet thee.
- Speak to them, noble Timon.
[Enter TIMON from his cave.]
- Thou sun that comfort'st, burn! Speak and be hang'd!
- For each true word, a blister! and each false
- Be as a cauterizing to the root o' the tongue,
- Consuming it with speaking!
- Worthy Timon,—
- Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.
- The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.
- I thank them; and would send them back the plague,
- Could I but catch it for them.
- O! forget
- What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
- The senators with one consent of love
- Entreat thee back to Athens, who have thought
- On special dignities, which vacant lie
- For thy best use and wearing.
- 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 it 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.
- 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.
- Therefore so please thee to return with us,
- And of our Athens—thine and ours—to take
- The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
- Allow'd with absolute power, and thy good name
- Live with authority. So soon we shall drive back
- Of Alcibiades the approaches wild,
- Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
- His country's peace.
- And shakes his threat'ning sword
- Against the walls of Athens.
- Therefore, 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 he 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.
- Stay not, all's in vain.
- 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!
- We speak in vain.
- But yet I love my country, and am not
- One that rejoices in the common wrack,
- As common bruit doth put it.
- That's well spoke.
- Commend me to my loving countrymen,—
- These words become your lips as they pass through
- And enter in our ears like great triumphers
- In their applauding gates.
- 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.
- I like this well; he will return again.
- 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.
- Trouble him no further; thus you still shall find him.
- 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 gravestone 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.
[Exit TIMON into his cave.]
- His discontents are unremovably
- Coupled to nature.
- Our hope in him is dead. Let us return
- And strain what other means is left unto us
- In our dear peril.
- It requires swift foot.
SCENE II. Before the walls of Athens.
[Enter two other SENATORS with a MESSENGER.]
- Thou hast painfully discover'd; are his files
- As full as thy report?
- I have spoke the least.
- Besides, his expedition promises
- Present approach.
- We stand much hazard if they bring not Timon.
- I met a courier, one mine ancient friend,
- Whom, though in general part we were oppos'd,
- Yet our old love had a particular force,
- And made us speak like friends. This man was riding
- From Alcibiades to Timon's cave
- With letters of entreaty, which imported
- His fellowship i' the cause against your city,
- In part for his sake mov'd.
[Enter the other SENATORS, from TIMON.]
- Here come our brothers.
- No talk of Timon, nothing of him expect.
- The enemies' drum is heard, and fearful scouring
- Doth choke the air with dust. In, and prepare.
- Ours is the fall, I fear; our foes the snare.
SCENE III. The Woods. TIMON's cave, and a rude tomb seen.
[Enter a SOLDIER in the woods, seeking TIMON.]
- By all description this should be the place.
- Who's here? Speak, ho! No answer! What is this?
- Timon is dead, who hath outstretch'd his span.
- Some beast rear'd this; here does not live a man.
- Dead, sure; and this his grave. What's on this tomb
- I cannot read; the character I'll take with wax.
- Our captain hath in every figure skill,
- An ag'd interpreter, though young in days;
- Before proud Athens he's set down by this,
- Whose fall the mark of his ambition is.
SCENE IV. Before the walls of Athens
[Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES with his powers.]
- Sound to this coward and lascivious town
- Our terrible approach.
[A parley sounded. The SENATORS appear upon the walls.]
Till now you have gone on and fill'd the time
- With all licentious measure, making your wills
- The scope of justice; till now, myself, and such
- As slept within the shadow of your power,
- Have wander'd with our travers'd arms, and breath'd
- Our sufferance vainly. Now the time is flush,
- When crouching marrow, in the bearer strong,
- Cries of itself, 'No more!' Now breathless wrong
- Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease,
- And pursy insolence shall break his wind
- With fear and horrid flight.
- Noble and young,
- When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
- Ere thou hadst power or we had cause of fear,
- We sent to thee, to give thy rages balm,
- To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
- Above their quantity.
- So did we woo
- Transformed Timon to our city's love
- By humble message and by promis'd means.
- We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
- The common stroke of war.
- These walls of ours
- Were not erected by their hands from whom
- You have receiv'd your griefs; nor are they such
- That these great towers, trophies, and schools, should fall
- For private faults in them.
- Nor are they living
- Who were the motives that you first went out;
- Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess
- Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord,
- Into our city with thy banners spread.
- By decimation and a tithed death,—
- If thy revenges hunger for that food
- Which nature loathes,-take thou the destin'd tenth,
- And by the hazard of the spotted die
- Let die the spotted.
- All have not offended;
- For those that were, it is not square to take,
- On those that are, revenge: crimes, like lands,
- Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
- Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage;
- Spare thy Athenian cradle, and those kin
- Which, in the bluster of thy wrath, must fall
- With those that have offended. Like a shepherd
- Approach the fold and cull th' infected forth,
- But kill not all together.
- What thou wilt,
- Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
- Than hew to 't with thy sword.
- Set but thy foot
- Against our rampir'd gates and they shall ope,
- So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before
- To say thou'lt enter friendly.
- Throw thy glove,
- Or any token of thine honour else,
- That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress
- And not as our confusion, all thy powers
- Shall make their harbour in our town till we
- Have seal'd thy full desire.
- Then there's my glove;
- Descend, and open your uncharged ports.
- Those enemies of Timon's and mine own,
- Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof,
- Fall, and no more. And, to atone your fears
- With my more noble meaning, not a man
- Shall pass his quarter or offend the stream
- Of regular justice in your city's bounds,
- But shall be render'd to your public laws
- At heaviest answer.
- 'Tis most nobly spoken.
- Descend, and keep your words.
[The SENATORS descend and open the gates.]
[Enter a SOLDIER.]
- My noble General, Timon is dead;
- Entomb'd upon the very hem o' the sea;
- And on his gravestone this insculpture, which
- With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
- Interprets for my poor ignorance.
[ALCIBIADES reads the Epitaph.]
'Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft;
- Seek not my name. A plague consume you wicked caitiffs left!
- Here lie I, Timon, who alive all living men did hate.
- Pass by, and curse thy fill; but pass, and stay not here thy
- These well express in thee thy latter spirits.
- Though thou abhorr'dst in us our human griefs,
- Scorn'dst our brain's flow, and those our droplets which
- From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit
- Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
- On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
- Is noble Timon, of whose memory
- Hereafter more. Bring me into your city,
- And I will use the olive with my sword;
- Make war breed peace, make peace stint war, make each
- Prescribe to other,as each other's leech.
- Let our drums strike.