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Timon of Athens
Act 2, scene 2

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Entire Play

In Timon of Athens, Lord Timon discovers the limits of wealth and friendship. He spends freely on others and hosts banquets…

Act 1, scene 1

The stage fills with suitors to and admirers of Lord Timon. When he arrives, he spends lavishly in freeing a…

Act 1, scene 2

Timon lavishly entertains friends and suitors with food and drink and a masque of Cupid and Amazons, and displays his…

Act 2, scene 1

A senator, predicting the end of Timon’s days of glory, sends a servant to Timon to collect overdue loans.

Act 2, scene 2

Servants of Timon’s creditors gather and confront Timon, demanding immediate repayment of loans. Learning that he is bankrupt, Timon dispatches…

Act 3, scene 1

Timon’s servant Flaminius approaches Timon’s friend Lucullus for money and is denied.

Act 3, scene 2

Timon’s servant Servilius approaches Timon’s friend Lucius for money and is refused. Three strangers condemn the ingratitude of Timon’s “friends”…

Act 3, scene 3

Timon’s servant approaches Timon’s friend Sempronius for money and is refused.

Act 3, scene 4

The servants of Timon’s creditors gather at his gates. He confronts them in a rage and, after they are gone,…

Act 3, scene 5

Alcibiades pleads in vain before three Athenian senators for the life of one of his soldiers. Frustrated at being denied,…

Act 3, scene 6

Timon’s friends come to dinner again, but this time he serves them only water and stones and drives them away.

Act 4, scene 1

Timon abandons Athens and retires to the woods.

Act 4, scene 2

Flavius shares his remaining money with his fellow servants as they disperse.

Act 4, scene 3

Timon, digging for roots to eat, finds gold. He is visited by Alcibiades and his concubines, to whom he gives…

Act 5, scene 1

Timon is visited by the Poet and the Painter seeking the gold Timon is now rumored to possess. After he…

Act 5, scene 2

Athens learns that it will surely fall to Alcibiades. Its senators seek shelter behind its walls.

Act 5, scene 3

One of Alcibiades’ soldiers discovers Timon’s tomb and, since he cannot read Timon’s epitaph, he resolves to bring a wax…

Act 5, scene 4

A victorious Alcibiades listens to the apologies of the senators and agrees to the conditions they set. Athens then opens…

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Scene 2
Enter Steward Flavius, with many bills in his hand.

FLAVIUS 
 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
5 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.
10 Fie, fie, fie, fie!

55
Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

Enter Caphis, and the Men of Isidore and Varro.

CAPHIS 
 Good even, Varro. What, you come for money?
VARRO’S MAN Is ’t not your business too?
CAPHIS It is. And yours too, Isidore?
ISIDORE’S MAN It is so.
CAPHIS 15Would we were all discharged!
VARRO’S MAN I fear it.
CAPHIS Here comes the lord.

Enter Timon, and his train, with Alcibiades.

TIMON 
 So soon as dinner’s done we’ll forth again,
 My Alcibiades. (To Caphis.) With me? What is your
20 will?
CAPHIS, offering Timon a paper 
 My lord, here is a note of certain dues.
TIMON Dues? Whence are you?
CAPHIS Of Athens here, my lord.
TIMON Go to my steward.
CAPHIS 
25 Please it your Lordship, he hath put me off
 To the succession of new days this month.
 My master is awaked by great occasion
 To call upon his own and humbly prays you
 That with your other noble parts you’ll suit
30 In giving him his right.
TIMON  Mine honest friend,
 I prithee but repair to me next morning.
CAPHIS 
 Nay, good my lord—
TIMON  Contain thyself, good friend.
VARRO’S MAN, offering a paper 35One Varro’s servant,
 my good lord—

57
Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

ISIDORE’S MAN, offering a paper 
 From Isidore. He humbly prays your speedy
 payment.
CAPHIS 
 If you did know, my lord, my master’s wants—
VARRO’S MAN 
40 ’Twas due on forfeiture, my lord, six weeks and past.
ISIDORE’S MAN 
 Your steward puts me off, my lord, and I
 Am sent expressly to your Lordship.
TIMON Give me breath.—
 I do beseech you, good my lords, keep on.
45 I’ll wait upon you instantly.
Alcibiades and Timon’s train exit.
To Flavius. Come hither. Pray you,
 How goes the world that I am thus encountered
 With clamorous demands of debt, broken bonds,
 And the detention of long-since-due debts
50 Against my honor?
FLAVIUS, to the creditors’ Men  Please you, gentlemen,
 The time is unagreeable to this business.
 Your importunacy cease till after dinner,
 That I may make his Lordship understand
55 Wherefore you are not paid.
TIMON  Do so, my friends.—
 See them well entertained.
FLAVIUS  Pray, draw near.
Timon and Flavius exit.

Enter Apemantus and Fool.

CAPHIS Stay, stay, here comes the Fool with Apemantus.
60 Let’s ha’ some sport with ’em.
VARRO’S MAN Hang him! He’ll abuse us.
ISIDORE’S MAN A plague upon him, dog!
VARRO’S MAN How dost, Fool?
APEMANTUS Dost dialogue with thy shadow?
VARRO’S MAN 65I speak not to thee.

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Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

APEMANTUS No, ’tis to thyself. (To the Fool.) Come
 away.
ISIDORE’S MAN, to Varro’s Man There’s the fool hangs
 on your back already.
APEMANTUS 70No, thou stand’st single; thou ’rt not on
 him yet.
CAPHIS, to Isidore’s Man Where’s the fool now?
APEMANTUS He last asked the question. Poor rogues
 and usurers’ men, bawds between gold and want.
ALL THE MEN 75What are we, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS Asses.
ALL THE MEN Why?
APEMANTUS That you ask me what you are, and do not
 know yourselves.—Speak to ’em, Fool.
FOOL 80How do you, gentlemen?
ALL THE MEN Gramercies, good Fool. How does your
 mistress?
FOOL She’s e’en setting on water to scald such chickens
 as you are. Would we could see you at Corinth!
APEMANTUS 85Good. Gramercy.

Enter Page.

FOOL Look you, here comes my master’s page.
PAGE, to Fool Why, how now, captain? What do you in
 this wise company?—How dost thou, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS Would I had a rod in my mouth that I
90 might answer thee profitably.
PAGE Prithee, Apemantus, read me the superscription
 of these letters. I know not which is which.
He shows some papers.
APEMANTUS Canst not read?
PAGE No.
APEMANTUS 95There 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.

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Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

PAGE Thou wast whelped a dog, and thou shalt famish
100 a dog’s death. Answer not. I am gone.He exits.
APEMANTUS E’en so thou outrunn’st grace.—Fool, I
 will go with you to Lord Timon’s.
FOOL Will you leave me there?
APEMANTUS If Timon stay at home.—You three serve
105 three usurers?
ALL THE MEN Ay. Would they served us!
APEMANTUS So would I—as good a trick as ever hangman
 served thief.
FOOL Are you three usurers’ men?
ALL THE MEN 110Ay, fool.
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 master’s
115 house merrily and go away sadly. The reason
 of this?
VARRO’S MAN I could render one.
APEMANTUS Do it then, that we may account thee a
 whoremaster and a knave, which notwithstanding,
120 thou shalt be no less esteemed.
VARRO’S MAN What is a whoremaster, fool?
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,
125 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.
VARRO’S MAN Thou art not altogether a Fool.
FOOL 130Nor thou altogether a wise man. As much foolery
 as I have, so much wit thou lack’st.
APEMANTUS That answer might have become Apemantus.
ALL THE MEN Aside, aside! Here comes Lord Timon.

63
Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

Enter Timon and Steward Flavius.

APEMANTUS Come with me, fool, come.
FOOL 135I do not always follow lover, elder brother, and
 woman; sometime the philosopher.
Apemantus and the Fool exit.
FLAVIUS, to the creditors’ Men 
 Pray you, walk near. I’ll speak with you anon.
The Men exit.
TIMON 
 You make me marvel wherefore ere this time
 Had you not fully laid my state before me,
140 That I might so have rated my expense
 As I had leave of means.
FLAVIUS  You would not hear me.
 At many leisures I proposed
TIMON  Go to.
145 Perchance some single vantages you took
 When my indisposition put you back,
 And that unaptness made your minister
 Thus to excuse yourself.
FLAVIUS  O, my good lord,
150 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—
155 Yea, ’gainst th’ authority of manners prayed 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 lovèd lord,
160 Though you hear now too late, yet now’s a time.
 The greatest of your having lacks a half
 To pay your present debts.
TIMON  Let all my land be sold.

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Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

FLAVIUS 
 ’Tis all engaged, some forfeited and gone,
165 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 reck’ning?
TIMON 
 To Lacedaemon did my land extend.
FLAVIUS 
170 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!
TIMON  You tell me true.
FLAVIUS 
 If you suspect my husbandry of falsehood,
175 Call me before th’ exactest auditors,
 And set me on the proof. So the gods bless me,
 When all our offices have been oppressed
 With riotous feeders, when our vaults have wept
 With drunken spilth of wine, when every room
180 Hath blazed with lights and brayed with minstrelsy,
 I have retired me to a wasteful cock
 And set mine eyes at flow.
TIMON  Prithee, no more.
FLAVIUS 
 Heavens, have I said, the bounty of this lord!
185 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!
190 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 couched.
TIMON  Come, sermon me no further.

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Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

195 No villainous bounty yet hath passed 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
200 And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
 Men and men’s fortunes could I frankly use
 As I can bid thee speak.
FLAVIUS  Assurance bless your thoughts!
TIMON 
 And in some sort these wants of mine are crowned,
205 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 three Servants, Flaminius, Servilius, and another.

SERVANTS My lord, my lord.
TIMON 210I will dispatch you severally. (To Servilius)
 You to Lord Lucius, (to Flaminius) to Lord
 Lucullus you—I hunted with his Honor today; (to
 the third Servant) 
you to Sempronius. Commend
 me to their loves, and I am proud, say, that my
215 occasions have found time to use ’em toward a
 supply of money. Let the request be fifty talents.
FLAMINIUS As you have said, my lord.Servants exit.
FLAVIUS, aside Lord Lucius and Lucullus? Humh!
TIMON Go you, sir, to the Senators,
220 Of whom, even to the state’s best health, I have
 Deserved this hearing. Bid ’em send o’ th’ instant
 A thousand talents to me.
FLAVIUS  I have been bold—
 For that I knew it the most general way—
225 To them to use your signet and your name,
 But they do shake their heads, and I am here
 No richer in return.

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Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

TIMON  Is ’t true? Can ’t be?
FLAVIUS 
 They answer in a joint and corporate voice
230 That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot
 Do what they would, are sorry. You are honorable,
 But yet they could have wished—they know not—
 Something hath been amiss—a noble nature
 May catch a wrench—would all were well—’tis pity.
235 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.
TIMON  You gods, reward them!
240 Prithee, man, look cheerly. These old fellows
 Have their ingratitude in them hereditary.
 Their blood is caked, ’tis cold, it seldom flows;
 ’Tis lack of kindly warmth they are not kind;
 And nature, as it grows again toward earth,
245 Is fashioned for the journey, dull and heavy.
 Go to Ventidius. Prithee, be not sad.
 Thou art true and honest—ingeniously I speak—
 No blame belongs to thee. Ventidius lately
 Buried his father, by whose death he’s stepped
250 Into a great estate. When he was poor,
 Imprisoned, and in scarcity of friends,
 I cleared him with five talents. Greet him from me.
 Bid him suppose some good necessity
 Touches his friend, which craves to be remembered
255 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.
He exits.
FLAVIUS I would I could not think it.
 That thought is bounty’s foe;
260 Being free itself, it thinks all others so.
He exits.