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Timon of Athens
Act 4, scene 2

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Characters in the Play

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 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,
5 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 10 As we do turn our backs

119
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 2

 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 picked; and his poor self,
15 A dedicated beggar to the air,
 With his disease of all-shunned poverty,
 Walks, like contempt, alone.

Enter other Servants.

 More of our fellows.
FLAVIUS 
 All broken implements of a ruined house.
THIRD SERVANT 
20 Yet do our hearts wear Timon’s livery.
 That see I by our faces. We are fellows still,
 Serving alike in sorrow. Leaked is our bark,
 And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck,
 Hearing the surges threat. We must all part
25 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,
30 As ’twere a knell unto our master’s fortunes,
 “We have seen better days.” (He offers them
 money.) 
Let each take some.
 Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more.
 Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
The Servants embrace and part several ways.
35 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 mocked with glory, or to live
 But in a dream of friendship,
40 To have his pomp and all what state compounds
 But only painted, like his varnished friends?

121
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 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!
45 Who then dares to be half so kind again?
 For bounty, that makes gods, do still mar men.
 My dearest lord, blest to be most accursed,
 Rich only to be wretched, thy great fortunes
 Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord!
50 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 inquire him out.
55 I’ll ever serve his mind with my best will.
 Whilst I have gold, I’ll be his steward still.
He exits.