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The Life of Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare [Craig edition]

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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.

[Exit.]

SERVANT.
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.

[Exit.]

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.

TITUS.
The like to you, kind Varro.

HORTENSIUS.
Lucius! What! do we meet together!

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Ay, and I think one business does command us all; for mine is
money.

TITUS.
So is theirs and ours.

[Enter PHILOTUS.]

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
And Sir Philotus too!

PHILOTUS.
Good day at once.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Wlcome, good brother.
What do you think the hour?

PHILOTUS.
Labouring for nine.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
So much?

PHILOTUS.
Is not my lord seen yet?

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Not yet.

PHILOTUS.
I wonder on't; he was wont to shine at seven.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
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.

PHILOTUS.
I am of your fear for that.

TITUS.
I'll show you how to observe a strange event.
Your lord sends now for money.

HORTENSIUS.
Most true, he does.

TITUS.
And he wears jewels now of Timon's gift,
For which I wait for money.

HORTENSIUS.
It is against my heart.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
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.

HORTENSIUS.
I'm weary of this charge, the gods can witness:
I know my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth.

FIRST VARRO'S SERVANT.
Yes, mine's three thousand crowns; what's yours?

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
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.

[Enter FLAMINIUS.]

TITUS.
One of Lord Timon's men.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Flaminius! Sir, a word. Pray, is my lord ready to
come forth?

FLAMINIUS.
No, indeed, he is not.

TITUS.
We attend his lordship; pray, signify so much.

FLAMINIUS.
I need not tell him that; he knows you are too diligent.

[Exit FLAMINUS.]

[Enter FLAVIUS, in a cloak, muffled.]

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Ha! is not that his steward muffled so?
He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him.

TITUS.
Do you hear, sir?

SECOND VARRO'S SERVANT.
By your leave, sir.

FLAVIUS.
What do you ask of me, my friend?

TITUS.
We wait for certain money here, sir.

FLAVIUS.
Ay,
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.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Ay, but this answer will not serve.

FLAVIUS.
If 'twill not serve, 'tis not so base as you;
For you serve knaves.

[Exit.]

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.

[Enter SERVILIUS.]

TITUS.
O, here's Servilius; now we shall know some answer.

SERVILIUS.
If I might beseech you, gentlemen, to repair some other
hour, I should derive much from't; for, 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.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
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.

SERVILIUS.
Good gods!

TITUS.
We cannot take this for answer, sir.

FLAMINIUS.
[Within.] Servilius, help! my lord! my lord!

[Enter TIMON, in a rage; FLAMINIUS following.]

TIMON.
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?

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Put in now, Titus.

TITUS.
My lord, here is my bill.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Here's mine.

HORTENSIUS.
And mine, my lord.

BOTH VARRO'S SERVANTS.
And ours, my lord.

PHILOTUS.
All our bills.

TIMON.
Knock me down with 'em: cleave me to the girdle.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Alas, my lord--

TIMON.
Cut my heart in sums.

TITUS.
Mine, fifty talents.

TIMON.
Tell out my blood.

LUCIUS' SERVANT.
Five thousand crowns, my lord.

TIMON.
Five thousand drops pays that. What yours? and yours?

FIRST VARRO'S SERVANT.
My lord--

SECOND VARRO'S SERVANT.
My lord--

TIMON.
Tear me, take me; and the gods fall upon you!

[Exit.]

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

[Exeunt.]

[Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS.]

TIMON.
They have e'en put my breath from me, the slaves.
Creditors? devils!

FLAVIUS.
My dear lord--

TIMON.
What if it should be so?

FLAMINIUS.
My lord--

TIMON.
I'll have it so. My steward!

FLAVIUS.
Here, my lord.

TIMON.
So fitly! Go, bid all my friends again:
Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius; all:
I'll once more feast the rascals.

FLAVIUS.
O my lord!
You only speak from your distracted soul;
There is not so much left to furnish out
A moderate table.

TIMON.
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.

[Exeunt.]

Scene V. The Same. The Senate House. The Senate Sitting.

FIRST SENATOR.
My lord, you have my voice to it: the fault's
Bloody. 'tis necessary he should die;
Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.

SECOND SENATOR.
Most true; the law shall bruise him.

[Enter ALCIBIADES, attended.]

ALCIBIADES.
Honour, health, and compassion to the senate!

FIRST SENATOR.
Now, captain.

ALCIBIADES.
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.

FIRST SENATOR.
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!

ALCIBIADES.
My lord,--

FIRST SENATOR.
You cannot make gross sins look clear;
To revenge is no valour, but to bear.

ALCIBIADES.
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.

SECOND SENATOR.
You breathe in vain.

ALCIBIADES.
In vain! his service done
At Lacedaemon and Byzantium
Were a sufficient briber for his life.

FIRST SENATOR.
What's that?

ALCIBIADES.
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!

SECOND SENATOR.
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.

FIRST SENATOR.
He dies.

ALCIBIADES.
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.

FIRST SENATOR.
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.

ALCIBIADES.
Must it be so? it must not be. My lords,
I do beseech you, know me.

SECOND SENATOR.
How!

ALCIBIADES.
Call me to your remembrances.

THIRD SENATOR.
What!

ALCIBIADES.
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.

FIRST SENATOR.
Do you dare our anger?
'Tis in few words, but spacious in effect;
We banish thee for ever.

ALCIBIADES.
Banish me!
Banish your dotage; banish usury,
That makes the Senate ugly.

FIRST SENATOR.
If, after two days' shine, Athens contain thee,
Attend our weightier judgment. And, not to swell our spirit,
He shall be executed presently.

[Exeunt SENATORS.]

ALCIBIADES.
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.

[Exit.]

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.]

FIRST LORD.
The good time of day to you, sir.

SECOND LORD.
I also wish it to you. I think this honourable lord
did but try us this other day.

FIRST LORD.
Upon that were my thoughts tiring when we encountered:
I hope it is not so low with him as he made it seem in the trial
of his several friends.

SECOND LORD.
It should not be, by the persuasion of his new feasting.

FIRST LORD.
I should think so: he hath sent me an earnest inviting,
which many my near occasions did urge me to put off; but he hath
conjured me beyond them, and I must needs appear.

SECOND LORD.
In like manner was I in debt to my importunate business, but he
would not hear my excuse. I am sorry, when he sent to borrow of
me, that my provision was out.

FIRST LORD.
I am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all things go.

SECOND LORD.
Every man here's so. What would he have borrowed you?

FIRST LORD.
A thousand pieces.

SECOND LORD.
A thousand pieces!

FIRST LORD.
What of you?

SECOND LORD.
He sent to me, sir--here he comes.

[Enter TIMON and Attendants.]

TIMON.
With all my heart, gentlemen both; And how fare you?

FIRST LORD.
Ever at the best, hearing well of your lordship.

SECOND LORD.
The swallow follows not summer more willing than we
your lordship.

TIMON. [Aside.]
Nor more willingly leaves winter; such summer-birds
are men. Gentlemen, our dinner will not recompense this long
stay: feast your ears with the music awhile, if they will fare so
harshly o' the trumpet's sound; we shall to't presently.

FIRST LORD.
I hope it remains not unkindly with your lordship that
I return'd you an empty messenger.

TIMON.
O! sir, let it not trouble you.

SECOND LORD.
My noble lord,--

TIMON.
Ah! my good friend, what cheer?

SECOND LORD.
My most honourable lord, I am e'en sick of shame, that
when your lordship this other day sent to me I was so
unfortunate a beggar.

TIMON.
Think not on't, sir.

SECOND LORD.
If you had sent but two hours before,--

TIMON.
Let it not cumber your better remembrance.

[The banquet brought in.]

Come, bring in all together.

SECOND LORD.
All covered dishes!

FIRST LORD.
Royal cheer, I warrant you.

THIRD LORD.
Doubt not that, if money and the season can yield it.

FIRST LORD.
How do you? What's the news?

THIRD LORD.
Alcibiades is banished: hear you of it?

FIRST AND SECOND LORDS.
Alcibiades banished!

THIRD LORD.
'Tis so, be sure of it.

FIRST LORD.
How? how?

SECOND LORD.
I pray you, upon what?

TIMON.
My worthy friends, will you draw near?

THIRD LORD.
I'll tell you more anon. Here's a noble feast toward.

SECOND LORD.
This is the old man still.

THIRD LORD.
Will't hold? will't hold?

SECOND LORD.
It does; but time will--and so--

THIRD LORD.
I do conceive.

TIMON.
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.]

SOME SPEAK.
What does his lordship mean?

SOME OTHER.
I know not.

TIMON.
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!

[Exit.]

[Re-enter the LORDS, SENATORS, and &c.]

FIRST LORD.
How now, my lords!

SECOND LORD.
Know you the quality of Lord Timon's fury?

THIRD LORD.
Push! did you see my cap?

FOURTH LORD.
I have lost my gown.

FIRST LORD.
He's but a mad lord, and nought but humour sways him.
He gave me a jewel th' other day, and now he has beat it out of
my hat: did you see my jewel?

THIRD LORD.
Did you see my cap?

SECOND LORD.
Here 'tis.

FOURTH LORD.
Here lies my gown.

FIRST LORD.
Let's make no stay.

SECOND LORD.
Lord Timon's mad.

THIRD LORD.
I feel't upon my bones.

FOURTH LORD.
One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.

[Exeunt.]

Act IV.

Scene I. Without the walls of Athens

[Enter TIMON.]

TIMON.
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!
Amen.

[Exit.]

Scene II. Athens. A Room in TIMON's House.

[Enter FLAVIUS, with two or three SERVANTS.]

FIRST SERVANT.
Hear you, Master Steward! where's our master?
Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining?

FLAVIUS.
Alack! my fellows, what should I say to you?
Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,
I am as poor as you.

FIRST SERVANT.
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!

SECOND SERVANT.
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.]

FLAVIUS.
All broken implements of a ruin'd house.

THIRD SERVANT.
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.

FLAVIUS.
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.

[Exit.]

SCENE III. Woods and Caves near the Sea-shore.

[Enter TIMON from the Cave.]

TIMON.
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!

[Digging.]

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.]

ALCIBIADES.
What art thou there? speak.

TIMON.
A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart,
For showing me again the eyes of man!

ALCIBIADES.
What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee,
That art thyself a man?

TIMON.
I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.

ALCIBIADES.
I know thee well,
But in thy fortunes am unlearn'd and strange.

TIMON.
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.

PHRYNIA.
Thy lips rot off!

TIMON.
I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns
To thine own lips again.

ALCIBIADES.
How came the noble Timon to this change?

TIMON.
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.

ALCIBIADES.
Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?

TIMON.
None, but to maintain my opinion.

ALCIBIADES.
What is it, Timon?

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!

ALCIBIADES.
I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.

TIMON.
Thou saw'st them when I had prosperity.

ALCIBIADES.
I see them now; then was a blessed time.

TIMON.
As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.

TIMANDRA.
Is this the Athenian minion whom the world
Voic'd so regardfully?

TIMON.
Art thou Timandra?

TIMANDRA.
Yes.

TIMON.
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.

TIMANDRA.
Hang thee, monster!

ALCIBIADES.
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,--

TIMON.
I prithee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone.

ALCIBIADES.
I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.

TIMON.
How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
I had rather be alone.

ALCIBIADES.
Why, fare thee well:
Here is some gold for thee.

TIMON.
Keep it, I cannot eat it.

ALCIBIADES.
When I have laid proud Athens on a heap,--

TIMON.
Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens?

ALCIBIADES.
Ay, Timon, and have cause.

TIMON.
The gods confound them all in thy conquest;
And thee after, when thou hast conquer'd!

ALCIBIADES.
Why me, Timon?

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.

ALCIBIADES.
Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou giv'st me,
Not all thy counsel.

TIMON.
Dost thou, or dost thou not, heaven's curse upon thee!

PHRYNIA AND TIMANDRA.
Give us some gold, good Timon:
Hast thou more?

TIMON.
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.

TIMON.
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.

TIMON.
More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.

ALCIBIADES.
Strike up the drum towards Athens! Farewell, Timon:
If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.

TIMON.
If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.

ALCIBIADES.
I never did thee harm.

TIMON.
Yes, thou spok'st well of me.

ALCIBIADES.
Call'st thou that harm?

TIMON.
Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
Thy beagles with thee.

ALCIBIADES.
We but offend him. Strike!

[Drum beats. Exeunt all but TIMON.]

TIMON.
That nature, being sick of man's unkindness,
Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou,

[Digging.]

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!

[Enter APEMANTUS.]

More man! Plague! plague!

APEMANTUS.
I was directed hither: men report
Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.

TIMON.
'Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog
Whom I would imitate: consumption catch thee!

APEMANTUS.
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.

TIMON.
Were I like thee I'd throw away myself.

APEMANTUS.
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--

TIMON.
A fool of thee. Depart.

APEMANTUS.
I love thee better now than e'er I did.

TIMON.
I hate thee worse.

APEMANTUS.
Why?

TIMON.
Thou flatter'st misery.

APEMANTUS.
I flatter not, but say thou art a caitiff.

TIMON.
Why dost thou seek me out?

APEMANTUS.
To vex thee.

TIMON.
Always a villain's office or a fool's.
Dost please thyself in't?

APEMANTUS.
Ay.

TIMON.
What! a knave too?

APEMANTUS.
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.

TIMON.
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.

APEMANTUS.
Art thou proud yet?

TIMON.
Ay, that I am not thee.

APEMANTUS.
I, that I was
No prodigal.

TIMON.
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.]

APEMANTUS.
Here; I will mend thy feast.

TIMON.
First mend my company, take away thyself.

APEMANTUS.
So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.

TIMON.
'Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd.
If not, I would it were.

APEMANTUS.
What wouldst thou have to Athens?

TIMON.
Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.

APEMANTUS.
Here is no use for gold.

TIMON.
The best and truest;
For here it sleeps and does no hired harm.

APEMANTUS.
Where liest o' nights, Timon?

TIMON.
Under that's above me.
Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS.
Where my stomach finds meat; or rather, where I eat it.

TIMON.
Would poison were obedient and knew my mind!

APEMANTUS.
Where wouldst thou send it?

TIMON.
To sauce thy dishes.

APEMANTUS.
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.

TIMON.
On what I hate I feed not.

APEMANTUS.
Dost hate a medlar?

TIMON.
Ay, though it look like thee.

APEMANTUS.
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?

TIMON.
Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever
know beloved?

APEMANTUS.
Myself.

TIMON.
I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a dog.

APEMANTUS.
What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to
thy flatterers?

TIMON.
Women nearest; but men, men are the things themselves. What
wouldst thou do with the world, Apemantus, if it lay in thy
power?

APEMANTUS.
Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.

TIMON.
Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of men, and
remain a beast with the beasts?

APEMANTUS.
Ay, Timon.

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!

APEMANTUS.
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.

TIMON.
How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the
city?

APEMANTUS.
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.

TIMON.
When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be
welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than Apemantus.

APEMANTUS.
Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.

TIMON.
Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!

APEMANTUS.
A plague on thee! thou art too bad to curse!

TIMON.
All villains that do stand by thee are pure.

APEMANTUS.
There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st.

TIMON.
If I name thee,
I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.

APEMANTUS.
I would my tongue could rot them off!

TIMON.
Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me that thou art alive;
I swound to see thee.

APEMANTUS.
Would thou wouldst burst!

TIMON.
Away,
Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry I shall lose
A stone by thee.

[Throws a stone at him.]

APEMANTUS.
Beast!

TIMON.
Slave!

APEMANTUS.
Toad!

TIMON.
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!

APEMANTUS.
Would 'twere so:
But not till I am dead; I'll say thou'st gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.

TIMON.
Throng'd to?

APEMANTUS.
Ay.

TIMON.
Thy back, I prithee.

APEMANTUS.
Live, and love thy misery!

TIMON.
Long live so, and so die!

[Exit APEMANTUS.]

I am quit.
More things like men! Eat, Timon, and abhor them.

[Enter BANDITTI.]

FIRST BANDIT.
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
melancholy.

SECOND BANDIT.
It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.

THIRD BANDIT.
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?

SECOND BANDIT.
True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis hid.

FIRST BANDIT.
Is not this he?

BANDITTI.
Where?

SECOND BANDIT.
'Tis his description.

THIRD BANDIT.
He; I know him.

BANDITTI.
Save thee, Timon!

TIMON.
Now, thieves?

BANDITTI.
Soldiers, not thieves.

TIMON.
Both too, and women's sons.

BANDITTI.
We are not thieves, but men that much do want.

TIMON.
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?

FIRST BANDIT.
We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
As beasts and birds and fishes.

TIMON.
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!
Amen.

THIRD BANDIT.
Has almost charm'd me from my profession by
persuading me to it.

FIRST BANDIT.
'Tis in the malice of mankind that he thus advises
us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.

SECOND BANDIT.
I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.

FIRST BANDIT.
Let us first see peace in Athens. There is no time so
miserable but a man may be true.

[Exeunt BANDITTI.]

[Enter FLAVIUS.]

FLAVIUS.
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.]

TIMON.
Away! What art thou?

FLAVIUS.
Have you forgot me, sir?

TIMON.
Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men;
Then, if thou grant'st thou'rt a man, I have forgot thee.

FLAVIUS.
An honest poor servant of yours.

TIMON.
Then I know thee not:
I never had honest man about me; ay all
I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.

FLAVIUS.
The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.

TIMON.
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!

FLAVIUS.
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.

TIMON.
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?

FLAVIUS.
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.

TIMON.
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.

FLAVIUS.
O! let me stay
And comfort you, my master.

TIMON.
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.

[Exeunt severally.]

Act V.

Scene I. The woods. Before TIMON's Cave.

[Enter POET and PAINTER.]

PAINTER.
As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he
abides.

POET.
What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true that
he is so full of gold?

PAINTER.
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.

POET.
Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends?

PAINTER.
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
having.

POET.
What have you now to present unto him?

PAINTER.
Nothing at this time but my visitation; only, I will
promise him an excellent piece.

POET.
I must serve him so too, tell him of an intent that's coming
toward him.

PAINTER.
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.]

TIMON.
[Aside.] Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad
as is thyself.

POET.
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.

TIMON.
[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.

POET.
Nay, let's seek him;
Then do we sin against our own estate
When we may profit meet, and come too late.

PAINTER.
True;
When the day serves, before black--corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.
Come.

TIMON.
[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.]

POET.
Hail, worthy Timon!

PAINTER.
Our late noble master!

TIMON.
Have I once liv'd to see two honest men?

POET.
Sir,
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.

TIMON.
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.

PAINTER.
He and myself
Have travail'd in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.

TIMON.
Ay, you are honest men.

PAINTER.
We are hither come to offer you our service.

TIMON.
Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? No?

BOTH.
What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.

TIMON.
Ye're honest men! Ye've heard that I have gold;
I am sure you have. Speak truth; ye're honest men.

PAINTER.
So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore
Came not my friend nor I.

TIMON.
Good honest men! Thou draw'st a counterfeit
Best in all Athens. Thou'rt, indeed, the best;
Thou counterfeit'st most lively.

PAINTER.
So, so, my lord.

TIMON.
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.

BOTH.
Beseech your honour
To make it known to us.

TIMON.
You'll take it ill.

BOTH.
Most thankfully, my lord.

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