List iconTimon of AthensList icon

Timon of Athens
Entire Play

Synopsis:

Contents

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…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
ACT 1
Scene 1
Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweler, and Merchant, at several
doors.


POET Good day, sir.
PAINTER I am glad you’re well.
POET 
 I have not seen you long. How goes the world?
PAINTER 
 It wears, sir, as it grows.
POET 5 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 conjured to attend. I know the merchant.
PAINTER 10I know them both. Th’ other’s a jeweler.
MERCHANT, to Jeweler 
 O, ’tis a worthy lord!
JEWELER  Nay, that’s most fixed.
MERCHANT 
 A most incomparable man, breathed, as it were,
 To an untirable and continuate goodness.
15 He passes.
JEWELER I have a jewel here—
MERCHANT 
 O, pray, let’s see ’t. For the Lord Timon, sir?
7

9
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

JEWELER 
 If he will touch the estimate. But for that—
POET, to Painter 
 When we for recompense have praised the vile,
20 It stains the glory in that happy verse
 Which aptly sings the good.
MERCHANT, looking at the jewel 
 ’Tis a good form.
JEWELER  And rich. Here is a water, look ye.
PAINTER, to Poet 
 You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
25 To the great lord.
POET  A thing slipped idly from me.
 Our poesy is as a gum which oozes
 From whence ’tis nourished. The fire i’ th’ flint
 Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
30 Provokes itself and, like the current, flies
 Each bound it chases. What have you there?
PAINTER 
 A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?
POET 
 Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
 Let’s see your piece.
PAINTER 35’Tis a good piece.
POET 
 So ’tis. This comes off well and excellent.
PAINTER 
 Indifferent.
POET  Admirable! How this grace
 Speaks his own standing! What a mental power
40 This eye shoots forth! How big imagination
 Moves in this lip! To th’ dumbness of the gesture
 One might interpret.
PAINTER 
 It is a pretty mocking of the life.
 Here is a touch. Is ’t good?

11
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

POET 45 I will say of it,
 It tutors nature. Artificial strife
 Lives in these touches livelier than life.

Enter certain Senators.

PAINTER How this lord is followed.
POET 
 The senators of Athens, happy men.
PAINTER 50Look, more.
POET 
 You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors.
 (Indicating his poem.) I have in this rough work
 shaped out a man
 Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
55 With amplest entertainment. My free drift
 Halts not particularly but moves itself
 In a wide sea of wax. No leveled malice
 Infects one comma in the course I hold,
 But flies an eagle flight, bold and forth on,
60 Leaving no tract behind.
PAINTER How shall I understand you?
POET I will unbolt to you.
 You see how all conditions, how all minds,
 As well of glib and slipp’ry creatures as
65 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-faced flatterer
70 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.
PAINTER I saw them speak together.
POET 
75 Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill

13
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Feigned Fortune to be throned. The base o’ th’ mount
 Is ranked with all deserts, all kind of natures
 That labor on the bosom of this sphere
 To propagate their states. Amongst them all
80 Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fixed,
 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.
PAINTER 85 ’Tis conceived to scope.
 This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
 With one man beckoned from the rest below,
 Bowing his head against the steepy mount
 To climb his happiness, would be well expressed
90 In our condition.
POET  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,
95 Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear,
 Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
 Drink the free air.
PAINTER  Ay, marry, what of these?
POET 
 When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
100 Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants,
 Which labored after him to the mountain’s top
 Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
 Not one accompanying his declining foot.
PAINTER ’Tis common.
105 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
110 The foot above the head.

15
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

Trumpets sound. Enter Lord Timon, addressing himself
courteously to every suitor. He is accompanied by a
Messenger and followed by Lucilius and other
Servants.


TIMON Imprisoned is he, say you?
MESSENGER 
 Ay, my good lord. Five talents is his debt,
 His means most short, his creditors most strait.
 Your honorable letter he desires
115 To those have shut him up, which failing
 Periods his comfort.
TIMON  Noble Ventidius. Well,
 I am not of that feather to shake off
 My friend when he must need me. I do know him
120 A gentleman that well deserves a help,
 Which he shall have. I’ll pay the debt and free him.
MESSENGER Your Lordship ever binds him.
TIMON 
 Commend me to him. I will send his ransom;
 And, being enfranchised, bid him come to me.
125 ’Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
 But to support him after. Fare you well.
MESSENGER All happiness to your Honor.He exits.

Enter an old Athenian.

OLD MAN 
 Lord Timon, hear me speak.
TIMON  Freely, good father.
OLD MAN 
130 Thou hast a servant named Lucilius.
TIMON I have so. What of him?
OLD MAN 
 Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.
TIMON 
 Attends he here or no?—Lucilius!

17
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

LUCILIUS Here, at your Lordship’s service.
OLD MAN 
135 This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature,
 By night frequents my house. I am a man
 That from my first have been inclined to thrift,
 And my estate deserves an heir more raised
 Than one which holds a trencher.
TIMON 140 Well. What further?
OLD MAN 
 One only daughter have I, no kin else
 On whom I may confer what I have got.
 The maid is fair, o’ th’ youngest for a bride,
 And I have bred her at my dearest cost
145 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.
TIMON The man is honest.
OLD MAN 150Therefore he will be, Timon.
 His honesty rewards him in itself;
 It must not bear my daughter.
TIMON Does she love him?
OLD MAN She is young and apt.
155 Our own precedent passions do instruct us
 What levity’s in youth.
TIMON, to Lucilius  Love you the maid?
LUCILIUS 
 Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.
OLD MAN 
 If in her marriage my consent be missing—
160 I call the gods to witness—I will choose
 Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world
 And dispossess her all.
TIMON How shall she be endowed
 If she be mated with an equal husband?

19
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

OLD MAN 
165 Three talents on the present; in future, all.
TIMON 
 This gentleman of mine hath served 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,
170 And make him weigh with her.
OLD MAN  Most noble lord,
 Pawn me to this your honor, she is his.
TIMON 
 My hand to thee; mine honor on my promise.
LUCILIUS 
 Humbly I thank your Lordship. Never may
175 That state or fortune fall into my keeping
 Which is not owed to you.
He exits with the old Athenian.
POET, presenting his poem to Timon 
 Vouchsafe my labor, and long live your Lordship.
TIMON 
 I thank you. You shall hear from me anon.
 Go not away.—What have you there, my friend?
PAINTER 
180 A piece of painting which I do beseech
 Your Lordship to accept.
TIMON  Painting is welcome.
 The painting is almost the natural man,
 For, since dishonor traffics with man’s nature,
185 He is but outside; these penciled 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.
PAINTER  The gods preserve you.
TIMON 
190 Well fare you, gentleman. Give me your hand.

21
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

 We must needs dine together.—Sir, your jewel
 Hath suffered under praise.
JEWELER  What, my lord? Dispraise?
TIMON 
 A mere satiety of commendations.
195 If I should pay you for ’t as ’tis extolled,
 It would unclew me quite.
JEWELER  My lord, ’tis rated
 As those which sell would give. But you well know
 Things of like value, differing in the owners,
200 Are prizèd by their masters. Believe ’t, dear lord,
 You mend the jewel by the wearing it.
TIMON Well mocked.
MERCHANT 
 No, my good lord. He speaks the common tongue,
 Which all men speak with him.

Enter Apemantus.

TIMON 205Look who comes here. Will you be chid?
JEWELER We’ll bear, with your Lordship.
MERCHANT He’ll spare none.
TIMON 
 Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus.
APEMANTUS 
 Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow—
210 When thou art Timon’s dog, and these knaves honest.
TIMON 
 Why dost thou call them knaves? Thou know’st
 them not.
APEMANTUS Are they not Athenians?
TIMON Yes.
APEMANTUS 215Then I repent not.
JEWELER You know me, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS Thou know’st I do. I called thee by thy
 name.
TIMON Thou art proud, Apemantus.

23
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

APEMANTUS 220Of nothing so much as that I am not like
 Timon.
TIMON Whither art going?
APEMANTUS To knock out an honest Athenian’s brains.
TIMON That’s a deed thou ’lt die for.
APEMANTUS 225Right, if doing nothing be death by th’ law.
TIMON How lik’st thou this picture, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS The best, for the innocence.
TIMON Wrought he not well that painted it?
APEMANTUS He wrought better that made the painter,
230 and yet he’s but a filthy piece of work.
PAINTER You’re a dog.
APEMANTUS Thy mother’s of my generation. What’s
 she, if I be a dog?
TIMON Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS 235No. I eat not lords.
TIMON An thou shouldst, thou ’dst anger ladies.
APEMANTUS O, they eat lords. So they come by great
 bellies.
TIMON That’s a lascivious apprehension.
APEMANTUS 240So thou apprehend’st it. Take it for thy
 labor.
TIMON How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS Not so well as plain-dealing, which will
 not cost a man a doit.
TIMON 245What dost thou think ’tis worth?
APEMANTUS Not worth my thinking.—How now, poet?
POET How now, philosopher?
APEMANTUS Thou liest.
POET Art not one?
APEMANTUS 250Yes.
POET Then I lie not.
APEMANTUS Art not a poet?
POET Yes.
APEMANTUS Then thou liest. Look in thy last work,
255 where thou hast feigned him a worthy fellow.

25
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

POET That’s not feigned. He is so.
APEMANTUS Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee
 for thy labor. He that loves to be flattered is worthy
 o’ th’ flatterer. Heavens, that I were a lord!
TIMON 260What wouldst do then, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS E’en as Apemantus does now—hate a lord
 with my heart.
TIMON What? Thyself?
APEMANTUS Ay.
TIMON 265Wherefore?
APEMANTUS That I had no angry wit to be a lord.—Art
 not thou a merchant?
MERCHANT Ay, Apemantus.
APEMANTUS Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not.
MERCHANT 270If traffic do it, the gods do it.
APEMANTUS Traffic’s thy god, and thy god confound
 thee!

Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger.

TIMON What trumpet’s that?
MESSENGER 
 ’Tis Alcibiades and some twenty horse,
275 All of companionship.
TIMON 
 Pray, entertain them. Give them guide to us.
Some Servants exit with Messenger.
 You must needs dine with me. Go not you hence
 Till I have thanked you.—When dinner’s done
 Show me this piece.—I am joyful of your sights.

Enter Alcibiades with the rest.

280 Most welcome, sir.They bow to each other.
APEMANTUS, apart So, so, there!
 Aches contract and starve your supple joints!
 That there should be small love amongst these sweet
 knaves,

27
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 1

285 And all this courtesy! The strain of man’s bred out
 Into baboon and monkey.
ALCIBIADES, to Timon 
 Sir, you have saved my longing, and I feed
 Most hungerly on your sight.
TIMON  Right welcome, sir.
290 Ere we depart, we’ll share a bounteous time
 In different pleasures. Pray you, let us in.
All but Apemantus exit.

Enter two Lords.

FIRST LORD What time o’ day is ’t, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS Time to be honest.
FIRST LORD That time serves still.
APEMANTUS 
295 The most accursèd thou, that still omit’st it.
SECOND LORD Thou art going to Lord Timon’s feast?
APEMANTUS 
 Ay, to see meat fill knaves, and wine heat fools.
SECOND LORD Fare thee well, fare thee well.
APEMANTUS 
 Thou art a fool to bid me farewell twice.
SECOND LORD 300Why, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS 
 Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean to give
 thee none.
FIRST LORD Hang thyself.
APEMANTUS 
 No, I will do nothing at thy bidding.
305 Make thy requests to thy friend.
SECOND LORD 
 Away, unpeaceable dog, or I’ll spurn thee hence.
APEMANTUS I will fly, like a dog, the heels o’ th’ ass.
He exits.
FIRST LORD 
 He’s opposite to humanity. Come, shall we in

29
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

 And taste Lord Timon’s bounty? He outgoes
310 The very heart of kindness.
SECOND LORD 
 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
315 All use of quittance.
FIRST LORD  The noblest mind he carries
 That ever governed man.
SECOND LORD 
 Long may he live in fortunes. Shall we in?
 I’ll keep you company.
They exit.


Scene 2
Hautboys playing loud music. A great banquet served
in, and then enter Lord Timon, the States, the Athenian
Lords (including Lucius), Alcibiades, and Ventidius
(which Timon redeemed from prison). Flavius and others
are in attendance. Then comes dropping after all
Apemantus discontentedly like himself.


VENTIDIUS Most honored Timon,
 It hath pleased the gods to remember my father’s age
 And call him to long peace.
 He is gone happy and has left me rich.
5 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 derived liberty.He offers a purse.
TIMON  O, by no means,
10 Honest Ventidius. You mistake my love.
 I gave it freely ever, and there’s none
 Can truly say he gives if he receives.

31
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

 If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
 To imitate them. Faults that are rich are fair.
VENTIDIUS 15A noble spirit!
TIMON 
 Nay, my lords, ceremony was but devised 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.
20 Pray, sit. More welcome are you to my fortunes
 Than my fortunes to me.They sit.
FIRST LORD My lord, we always have confessed it.
APEMANTUS 
 Ho, ho, “confessed it”? Hanged it, have you not?
TIMON O Apemantus, you are welcome.
APEMANTUS 25No, you shall not make me welcome.
 I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.
TIMON 
 Fie, thou ’rt a churl. You’ve got a humor there
 Does not become a man. ’Tis much to blame.—
 They say, my lords, Ira furor brevis est, but yond
30 man is ever angry. Go, let him have a table by
 himself, for he does neither affect company, nor is
 he fit for ’t indeed.
APEMANTUS Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon. I
 come to observe; I give thee warning on ’t.
TIMON 35I take no heed of thee. Thou ’rt an Athenian,
 therefore welcome. I myself would have no power;
 prithee, let my meat make thee silent.
APEMANTUS I scorn thy meat. ’Twould choke me, for I
 should ne’er flatter thee. (Apart.) O you gods,
40 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.
45 Methinks they should invite them without knives.

33
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

 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 draft, is the readiest
50 man to kill him. ’T ’as been proved. 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
55 throats.
TIMON, responding to a toast 
 My lord, in heart! And let the health go round.
SECOND LORD Let it flow this way, my good lord.
APEMANTUS, apart “Flow this way”? A brave fellow.
 He keeps his tides well. Those healths will make
60 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’ th’ mire.
 This and my food are equals. There’s no odds.
 Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.

Apemantus’ grace.


65 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,
70 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.

He eats and drinks.
75 Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!
TIMON Captain Alcibiades, your heart’s in the field now.
ALCIBIADES My heart is ever at your service, my lord.

35
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

TIMON You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies
 than a dinner of friends.
ALCIBIADES 80So they were bleeding new, my lord,
 there’s no meat like ’em. I could wish my best
 friend at such a feast.
APEMANTUS, apart Would all those flatterers were
 thine enemies, then, that then thou mightst kill
85 ’em and bid me to ’em.
FIRST LORD 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 forever perfect.
TIMON 90O, 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
95 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
100 ne’er have use for ’em, and would most resemble
 sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keeps
 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
105 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’s e’en made away ere ’t
 can be born! Mine eyes cannot hold out water,
110 methinks. To forget their faults, I drink to you.
APEMANTUS, apart Thou weep’st to make them drink,
 Timon.

37
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

SECOND LORD 
 Joy had the like conception in our eyes
 And, at that instant, like a babe sprung up.
APEMANTUS, apart 
115 Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.
THIRD LORD 
 I promise you, my lord, you moved me much.
APEMANTUS, apart Much!Sound tucket.
TIMON What means that trump?

Enter Servant.

 How now?
SERVANT 120Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies
 most desirous of admittance.
TIMON Ladies? What are their wills?
SERVANT There comes with them a forerunner, my lord,
 which bears that office to signify their pleasures.
TIMON 125I pray, let them be admitted.Servant exits.

Enter “Cupid.”

CUPID 
 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. There
130 Taste, touch, all, pleased from thy table rise;
 They only now come but to feast thine eyes.
TIMON 
 They’re welcome all. Let ’em have kind admittance.
 Music, make their welcome!
LUCIUS 
 You see, my lord, how ample you’re beloved.

Music. Enter the masque of Ladies as Amazons,
with lutes in their hands, dancing and playing.


APEMANTUS, apart 135Hoy-day!

39
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

 What a sweep of vanity comes this way.
 They dance? They are madwomen.
 Like madness is the glory of this life
 As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.
140 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 depravèd or depraves?
145 Who dies that bears not one spurn to their graves
 Of their friends’ gift?
 I should fear those that dance before me now
 Would one day stamp upon me. ’T ’as 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 single out an Amazon, and
all dance, men with women, a lofty strain or two to the
hautboys, and cease.


TIMON 
150 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 luster,
 And entertained me with mine own device.
155 I am to thank you for ’t.
FIRST LADY 
 My lord, you take us even at the best.
APEMANTUS, apart Faith, for the worst is filthy and
 would not hold taking, I doubt me.
TIMON 
 Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you.
160 Please you to dispose yourselves.
ALL LADIES Most thankfully, my lord.
Cupid and Ladies exit.
TIMON Flavius.

41
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

FLAVIUS 
 My lord?
TIMON  The little casket bring me hither.
FLAVIUS 165Yes, my lord. (Aside.) More jewels yet?
 There is no crossing him in ’s humor;
 Else I should tell him well, i’ faith I should.
 When all’s spent, he’d be crossed then, an he could.
 ’Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
170 That man might ne’er be wretched for his mind.
He exits.
FIRST LORD Where be our men?
SERVANT Here, my lord, in readiness.
SECOND LORD 
 Our horses.

Enter Flavius, with the casket.

TIMON  O my friends, I have one word
175 To say to you. Look you, my good lord,
 I must entreat you, honor me so much
 As to advance this jewel. Accept it and wear it,
 Kind my lord.
FIRST LORD 
 I am so far already in your gifts—
ALL 180So are we all.

Enter a Servant.

SERVANT 
 My lord, there are certain nobles of the Senate
 Newly alighted and come to visit you.
TIMON 
 They are fairly welcome.Servant exits.
FLAVIUS  I beseech your Honor,
185 Vouchsafe me a word. It does concern you near.
TIMON 
 Near? Why, then, another time I’ll hear thee.

43
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

 I prithee, let’s be provided to show them
 entertainment.
FLAVIUS, aside I scarce know how.

Enter another Servant.

SECOND SERVANT 
190 May it please your Honor, Lord Lucius,
 Out of his free love, hath presented to you
 Four milk-white horses trapped in silver.
TIMON 
 I shall accept them fairly. Let the presents
 Be worthily entertained.Servant exits.

Enter a third Servant.

195 How now? What news?
THIRD SERVANT Please you, my lord, that honorable
 gentleman Lord Lucullus entreats your company
 tomorrow to hunt with him and has sent your
 Honor two brace of greyhounds.
TIMON 
200 I’ll hunt with him; and let them be received,
 Not without fair reward.Servant exits.
FLAVIUS, aside  What will this come to?
 He commands us to provide, and give great gifts,
 And all out of an empty coffer.
205 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
210 For ev’ry 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 forced out.
 Happier is he that has no friend to feed

45
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

215 Than such that do e’en enemies exceed.
 I bleed inwardly for my lord.He exits.
TIMON, to Lords You do yourselves much wrong.
 You bate too much of your own merits.
 (Offering a gift.) Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.
SECOND LORD 
220 With more than common thanks I will receive it.
THIRD LORD O, he’s the very soul of bounty!
TIMON And now I remember, my lord, you gave good
 words the other day of a bay courser I rode on. ’Tis
 yours because you liked it.
FIRST LORD 
225 O, I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, in that.
TIMON 
 You may take my word, my lord. I know no man
 Can justly praise but what he does affect.
 I weigh my friends’ affection with mine own.
 I’ll tell you true, I’ll call to you.
ALL LORDS 230O, none so welcome.
TIMON 
 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,
235 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 pitched field.
ALCIBIADES Ay, defiled land, my lord.
FIRST LORD 240We are so virtuously bound—
TIMON And so am I to you.
SECOND LORD So infinitely endeared—
TIMON All to you.—Lights, more lights.
FIRST LORD 
 The best of happiness, honor, and fortunes
245 Keep with you, Lord Timon.

47
Timon of Athens
ACT 1. SC. 2

TIMON Ready for his friends.
All but Timon and Apemantus exit.
APEMANTUS What a coil’s here,
 Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums!
 I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums
250 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 court’sies.
TIMON 
 Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen,
 I would be good to thee.
APEMANTUS 255No, 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 giv’st so
 long, Timon, I fear me thou wilt give away thyself
 in paper shortly. What needs these feasts, pomps,
260 and vainglories?
TIMON Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am
 sworn not to give regard to you. Farewell, and
 come with better music.He exits.
APEMANTUS So. Thou wilt not hear me now, thou shalt
265 not then. I’ll lock thy heaven from thee.
 O, that men’s ears should be
 To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
He exits.


ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter a Senator, with papers.

SENATOR 
 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.
5 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,
10 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 sound his state in safety.—Caphis, ho!
 Caphis, I say!

Enter Caphis.

CAPHIS 15 Here, sir. What is your pleasure?
SENATOR 
 Get on your cloak and haste you to Lord Timon.
 Importune him for my moneys. Be not ceased
 With slight denial, nor then silenced when
 “Commend me to your master” and the cap
20 Plays in the right hand thus; but tell him
 My uses cry to me. I must serve my turn
51

53
Timon of Athens
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Out of mine own. His days and times are past,
 And my reliances on his fracted dates
 Have smit my credit. I love and honor him
25 But must not break my back to heal his finger.
 Immediate are my needs, and my relief
 Must not be tossed and turned to me in words
 But find supply immediate. Get you gone.
 Put on a most importunate aspect,
30 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.
CAPHIS I go, sir.
SENATOR 
35 “I go, sir”? Take the bonds along with you
 And have the dates in. Come.
He hands Caphis papers.
CAPHIS  I will, sir.
SENATOR  Go.
They exit.


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.

59
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.

61
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.

65
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.

67
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.

69
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.


ACT 3
Scene 1
Enter Flaminius waiting to speak with Lucullus,
from his master.


Enter a Servant to him.

SERVANT I have told my lord of you. He is coming
 down to you.
FLAMINIUS I thank you, sir.

Enter Lucullus.

SERVANT Here’s my lord.
LUCULLUS, aside 5One of Lord Timon’s men? A gift, I
 warrant. Why, this hits right. I dreamt of a silver
 basin and ewer tonight.—Flaminius, honest
 Flaminius, you are very respectively welcome, sir.
 (To Servant.) Fill me some wine.(Servant exits.)
10 And how does that honorable, complete, free-hearted
 gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful
 good lord and master?
FLAMINIUS His health is well, sir.
LUCULLUS I am right glad that his health is well, sir.
15 And what hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty
 Flaminius?
FLAMINIUS Faith, nothing but an empty box, sir, which
 in my lord’s behalf I come to entreat your Honor
 to supply; who, having great and instant occasion
73

75
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 1

20 to use fifty talents, hath sent to your Lordship to
 furnish him, nothing doubting your present assistance
 therein.
LUCULLUS La, la, la, la. “Nothing doubting” says he?
 Alas, good lord! A noble gentleman ’tis, if he would
25 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
30 fault, and honesty is his. I ha’ told him on ’t, but I
 could ne’er get him from ’t.

Enter Servant with wine.

SERVANT Please your Lordship, here is the wine.
LUCULLUS Flaminius, I have noted thee always wise.
 Here’s to thee.He drinks.
FLAMINIUS 35Your Lordship speaks your pleasure.
LUCULLUS 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
40 thee.—Get you gone, sirrah.Servant exits.
 Draw nearer, honest Flaminius. Thy lord’s a bountiful
 gentleman, but thou art wise and thou
 know’st well enough, although thou com’st to me,
 that this is no time to lend money, especially upon
45 bare friendship, without security. Here’s three solidares
 for thee. (Gives him money.) Good boy,
 wink at me, and say thou saw’st me not. Fare thee
 well.
FLAMINIUS 
 Is ’t possible the world should so much differ,
50 And we alive that lived? Fly, damnèd baseness,
 To him that worships thee!
He throws the money back at Lucullus.

77
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 2

LUCULLUS Ha! Now I see thou art a fool and fit for thy
 master.Lucullus exits.
FLAMINIUS 
 May these add to the number that may scald thee!
55 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
60 Unto his honor has my lord’s meat in him.
 Why should it thrive and turn to nutriment
 When he is turned to poison?
 O, may diseases only work upon ’t,
 And when he’s sick to death, let not that part of
65 nature
 Which my lord paid for be of any power
 To expel sickness, but prolong his hour.
He exits.


Scene 2
Enter Lucius, with three Strangers.

LUCIUS Who, the Lord Timon? He is my very good
 friend and an honorable gentleman.
FIRST STRANGER We know him for no less, though we
 are but strangers to him. But I can tell you one
5 thing, my lord, and which I hear from common
 rumors: now Lord Timon’s happy hours are done
 and past, and his estate shrinks from him.
LUCIUS Fie, no, do not believe it. He cannot want for
 money.
SECOND STRANGER 10But believe you this, my lord, that
 not long ago one of his men was with the Lord
 Lucullus to borrow fifty talents, nay, urged
 extremely for ’t, and showed what necessity
 belonged to ’t, and yet was denied.

79
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 2

LUCIUS 15How?
SECOND STRANGER I tell you, denied, my lord.
LUCIUS What a strange case was that! Now, before the
 gods, I am ashamed on ’t. Denied that honorable
 man? There was very little honor showed in ’t. For
20 my own part, I must needs confess I have received
 some small kindnesses from him, as money, plate,
 jewels, and suchlike trifles, nothing comparing to
 his; yet had he mistook him and sent to me, I
 should ne’er have denied his occasion fifty talents.

Enter Servilius.

SERVILIUS, aside 25See, by good hap, yonder’s my lord.
 I have sweat to see his Honor. To Lucius. My
 honored lord.
LUCIUS Servilius. You are kindly met, sir. Fare thee
 well. Commend me to thy honorable virtuous lord,
30 my very exquisite friend.He turns to exit.
SERVILIUS May it please your Honor, my lord hath
 sent—
LUCIUS Ha! What has he sent? I am so much endeared
 to that lord; he’s ever sending. How shall I thank
35 him, think’st thou? And what has he sent now?
SERVILIUS Has only sent his present occasion now, my
 lord, requesting your Lordship to supply his
 instant use with fifty talents.
LUCIUS 
 I know his Lordship is but merry with me.
40 He cannot want fifty-five hundred talents.
SERVILIUS 
 But in the meantime he wants less, my lord.
 If his occasion were not virtuous,
 I should not urge it half so faithfully.
LUCIUS 
 Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?
SERVILIUS 45Upon my soul, ’tis true, sir.

81
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 2

LUCIUS What a wicked beast was I to disfurnish
 myself against such a good time, when I might ha’
 shown myself honorable! How unluckily it happened
 that I should purchase the day before for a
50 little part, and undo a great deal of honor! 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 ’t
55 now. Commend me bountifully to his good Lordship,
 and I hope his Honor will conceive the fairest
 of me, because I have no power to be kind. And tell
 him this from me: I count it one of my greatest
 afflictions, say, that I cannot pleasure such an honorable
60 gentleman. Good Servilius, will you
 befriend me so far as to use mine own words to
 him?
SERVILIUS Yes, sir, I shall.
LUCIUS I’ll look you out a good turn, Servilius.
Servilius exits.
65 True, as you said, Timon is shrunk indeed,
 And he that’s once denied will hardly speed.
He exits.
FIRST STRANGER Do you observe this, Hostilius?
SECOND STRANGER Ay, too well.
FIRST STRANGER 
 Why, this is the world’s soul, and just of the same
70 piece
 Is every flatterer’s sport. 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,
75 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

83
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 3

 When he looks out in an ungrateful shape!—
80 He does deny him, in respect of his,
 What charitable men afford to beggars.
THIRD STRANGER 
 Religion groans at it.
FIRST STRANGER  For mine own part,
 I never tasted Timon in my life,
85 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 honorable carriage,
 Had his necessity made use of me,
90 I would have put my wealth into donation,
 And the best half should have returned to him,
 So much I love his heart. But I perceive
 Men must learn now with pity to dispense,
 For policy sits above conscience.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter a Third Servant of Timon’s with Sempronius,
another of Timon’s friends.


SEMPRONIUS 
 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 redeemed from prison. All these
5 Owes their estates unto him.
SERVANT My lord,
 They have all been touched and found base metal,
 For they have all denied him.
SEMPRONIUS How? Have they denied him?
10 Has Ventidius and Lucullus denied him,
 And does he send to me? Three? Humh!

85
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 3

 It shows but little love or judgment in him.
 Must I be his last refuge? His friends, like physicians,
 Thrive, give him over. Must I take th’ cure upon me?
15 Has much disgraced 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 wooed me first;
 For, in my conscience, I was the first man
 That e’er received gift from him.
20 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 th’ rest, and I ’mongst lords be thought a fool.
 I’d rather than the worth of thrice the sum
25 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 honor shall not know my coin.
He exits.
SERVANT Excellent! Your Lordship’s a goodly villain.
30 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
35 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,
40 Doors that were ne’er acquainted with their wards
 Many a bounteous year must be employed
 Now to guard sure their master.
 And this is all a liberal course allows:
 Who cannot keep his wealth must keep his house.
He exits.




87
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 4

Scene 4
Enter Varro’s two Men, meeting Titus and others, all
being Men of Timon’s creditors to wait for his coming
out. Then enter Lucius’ Man and Hortensius.


VARRO’S FIRST MAN 
 Well met. Good morrow, Titus and Hortensius.
TITUS 
 The like to you, kind Varro.
HORTENSIUS  Lucius!
 What, do we meet together?
LUCIUS’ MAN 5 Ay, and I think
 One business does command us all,
 For mine is money.
TITUS  So is theirs and ours.

Enter Philotus.

LUCIUS’ MAN 
 And, sir, Philotus’ too.
PHILOTUS 10 Good day at once.
LUCIUS’ MAN Welcome, good brother.
 What do you think the hour?
PHILOTUS  Laboring for nine.
LUCIUS’ MAN 
 So much?
PHILOTUS 15 Is not my lord seen yet?
LUCIUS’ MAN  Not yet.
PHILOTUS 
 I wonder on ’t. He was wont to shine at seven.
LUCIUS’ MAN 
 Ay, but the days are waxed shorter with him.
 You must consider that a prodigal course
20 Is like the sun’s,
 But not, like his, recoverable. I fear
 ’Tis deepest winter in Lord Timon’s purse:

89
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 4

 That is, one may reach deep enough and yet
 Find little.
PHILOTUS 25 I am of your fear for that.
TITUS 
 I’ll show you how t’ 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,
30 For which I wait for money.
HORTENSIUS It is against my heart.
LUCIUS’ MAN 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
35 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.
VARRO’S FIRST MAN 
 Yes, mine’s three thousand crowns. What’s yours?
LUCIUS’ MAN 40Five thousand mine.
VARRO’S FIRST MAN 
 ’Tis much deep, and it should seem by th’ sum
 Your master’s confidence was above mine,
 Else surely his had equaled.

Enter Flaminius.

TITUS One of Lord Timon’s men.
LUCIUS’ MAN 45Flaminius? 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
50 too diligent.He exits.

Enter Flavius, the Steward in a cloak, muffled.


91
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 4

LUCIUS’ MAN 
 Ha! Is not that his steward muffled so?
 He goes away in a cloud. Call him, call him.
TITUS Do you hear, sir?
VARRO’S SECOND MAN By your leave, sir.
FLAVIUS 55What 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.
60 Why then preferred 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 th’ int’rest into their glutt’nous maws.
 You do yourselves but wrong to stir me up.
65 Let me pass quietly.
 Believe ’t, my lord and I have made an end.
 I have no more to reckon, he to spend.
LUCIUS’ MAN Ay, but this answer will not serve.
FLAVIUS 
 If ’twill not serve, ’tis not so base as you,
70 For you serve knaves.He exits.
VARRO’S FIRST MAN How? What does his cashiered
 Worship mutter?
VARRO’S SECOND MAN No matter what. He’s poor, and
 that’s revenge enough. Who can speak broader
75 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
80 some other hour, I should derive much from ’t. For
 take ’t of my soul, my lord leans wondrously to discontent.

93
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 4

 His comfortable temper has forsook him.
 He’s much out of health and keeps his chamber.
LUCIUS’ MAN 
 Many do keep their chambers are not sick;
85 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 90Servilius, help! My lord, my lord!

Enter Timon in a rage.

TIMON 
 What, are my doors opposed against my passage?
 Have I been ever free, and must my house
 Be my retentive enemy, my jail?
 The place which I have feasted, does it now,
95 Like all mankind, show me an iron heart?
LUCIUS’ MAN Put in now, Titus.
TITUS My lord, here is my bill.
LUCIUS’ MAN Here’s mine.
HORTENSIUS And mine, my lord.
VARRO’S SECOND MAN 100And ours, my lord.
PHILOTUS All our bills.
TIMON 
 Knock me down with ’em! Cleave me to the girdle.
LUCIUS’ MAN Alas, my lord—
TIMON Cut my heart in sums!
TITUS 105Mine, fifty talents.
TIMON Tell out my blood.
LUCIUS’ MAN Five thousand crowns, my lord.
TIMON 
 Five thousand drops pays that.—What yours?—And
 yours?
VARRO’S FIRST MAN 110My lord—
VARRO’S SECOND MAN My lord—

95
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 4

TIMON 
 Tear me, take me, and the gods fall upon you!
Timon exits.
HORTENSIUS Faith, I perceive our masters may throw
 their caps at their money. These debts may well be
115 called desperate ones, for a madman owes ’em.
They exit.

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?
FLAVIUS 120My 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.
125 I’ll once more feast the rascals.
FLAVIUS  O my lord,
 You only speak from your distracted soul.
 There’s not so much left to furnish out
 A moderate table.
TIMON 130Be 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.
They exit.




97
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 5

Scene 5
Enter three Senators at one door, Alcibiades meeting
them, with Attendants.


FIRST SENATOR, to the Second Senator 
 My lord, you have my voice to ’t. The fault’s
 Bloody. ’Tis necessary he should die.
 Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.
SECOND SENATOR Most true. The law shall bruise ’em.
ALCIBIADES 
5 Honor, health, and compassion to the Senate!
FIRST SENATOR Now, captain?
ALCIBIADES 
 I am an humble suitor to your virtues,
 For pity is the virtue of the law,
 And none but tyrants use it cruelly.
10 It pleases time and fortune to lie heavy
 Upon a friend of mine, who in hot blood
 Hath stepped into the law, which is past depth
 To those that without heed do plunge into ’t.
 He is a man—setting his fate aside—
15 Of comely virtues.
 Nor did he soil the fact with cowardice—
 An honor in him which buys out his fault—
 But with a noble fury and fair spirit,
 Seeing his reputation touched to death,
20 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 proved an argument.
FIRST SENATOR 
 You undergo too strict a paradox,
25 Striving to make an ugly deed look fair.
 Your words have took such pains as if they labored
 To bring manslaughter into form and set quarreling
 Upon the head of valor—which indeed

99
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 5

 Is valor misbegot, and came into the world
30 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,
35 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 40 You cannot make gross sins look clear.
 To revenge is no valor, but to bear.
ALCIBIADES 
 My lords, then, under favor, pardon me
 If I speak like a captain.
 Why do fond men expose themselves to battle
45 And not endure all threats? Sleep upon ’t,
 And let the foes quietly cut their throats
 Without repugnancy? If there be
 Such valor in the bearing, what make we
 Abroad? Why, then, women are more valiant
50 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.
55 Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood?
 To kill, I grant, is sin’s extremest gust,
 But in defense, by mercy, ’tis most just.
 To be in anger is impiety,
 But who is man that is not angry?
60 Weigh but the crime with this.
SECOND SENATOR You breathe in vain.
ALCIBIADES In vain? His service done

101
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 5

 At Lacedaemon and Byzantium
 Were a sufficient briber for his life.
FIRST SENATOR 65What’s that?
ALCIBIADES 
 Why, I say, my lords, has done fair service
 And slain in fight many of your enemies.
 How full of valor did he bear himself
 In the last conflict, and made plenteous wounds!
SECOND SENATOR 
70 He has made too much plenty with ’em.
 He’s a sworn rioter. He has a sin
 That often drowns him and takes his valor prisoner.
 If there were no foes, that were enough
 To overcome him. In that beastly fury,
75 He has been known to commit outrages
 And cherish factions. ’Tis inferred to us
 His days are foul and his drink dangerous.
FIRST SENATOR 
 He dies.
ALCIBIADES  Hard fate! He might have died in war.
80 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
85 Security, I’ll pawn my victories, all
 My honor, 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 
90 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.

103
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 5

SECOND SENATOR 95How?
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
100 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 forever.
ALCIBIADES 105 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.
110 And, not to swell our spirit,
 He shall be executed presently.Senators exit.
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
115 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.
120 It comes not ill. I hate not to be banished.
 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 honor with most lands to be at odds.
125 Soldiers should brook as little wrongs as gods.
He exits.




105
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 6

Scene 6
Music. Enter divers Friends at several doors.

FIRST FRIEND The good time of day to you, sir.
SECOND FRIEND I also wish it to you. I think this honorable
 lord did but try us this other day.
FIRST FRIEND Upon that were my thoughts tiring when
5 we encountered. I hope it is not so low with him as
 he made it seem in the trial of his several friends.
SECOND FRIEND It should not be, by the persuasion of
 his new feasting.
FIRST FRIEND I should think so. He hath sent me an
10 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 FRIEND In like manner was I in debt to my
 importunate business, but he would not hear my
15 excuse. I am sorry, when he sent to borrow of me,
 that my provision was out.
FIRST FRIEND I am sick of that grief too, as I understand
 how all things go.
SECOND FRIEND Every man here’s so. What would he
20 have borrowed of you?
FIRST FRIEND A thousand pieces.
SECOND FRIEND A thousand pieces!
FIRST FRIEND What of you?
SECOND FRIEND He sent to me, sir—

Enter Timon and Attendants.

25 Here he comes.
TIMON With all my heart, gentlemen both! And how
 fare you?
FIRST FRIEND Ever at the best, hearing well of your
 Lordship.
SECOND FRIEND 30The swallow follows not summer
 more willing than we your Lordship.

107
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 6

TIMON, aside Nor more willingly leaves winter, such
 summer birds are men.—Gentlemen, our dinner
 will not recompense this long stay. Feast your ears
35 with the music awhile, if they will fare so harshly
 o’ th’ trumpets’ sound. We shall to ’t presently.
FIRST FRIEND I hope it remains not unkindly with your
 Lordship that I returned you an empty messenger.
TIMON O, sir, let it not trouble you.
SECOND FRIEND 40My noble lord—
TIMON Ah, my good friend, what cheer?
SECOND FRIEND My most honorable 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 45Think not on ’t, sir.
SECOND FRIEND 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 FRIEND All covered dishes!
FIRST FRIEND 50Royal cheer, I warrant you.
THIRD FRIEND Doubt not that, if money and the season
 can yield it.
FIRST FRIEND How do you? What’s the news?
THIRD FRIEND Alcibiades is banished. Hear you of it?
FIRST AND SECOND FRIENDS 55Alcibiades banished?
THIRD FRIEND ’Tis so. Be sure of it.
FIRST FRIEND How? How?
SECOND FRIEND I pray you, upon what?
TIMON My worthy friends, will you draw near?
THIRD FRIEND 60I’ll tell you more anon. Here’s a noble
 feast toward.
SECOND FRIEND This is the old man still.
THIRD FRIEND Will ’t hold? Will ’t hold?
SECOND FRIEND It does, but time will—and so—
THIRD FRIEND 65I do conceive.

109
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 6

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.
70 Sit, sit. (They 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
75 not lend to another; for, were your godheads 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
80 dozen of them be as they are. The rest of your fees,
 O gods, the Senators of Athens, together with the
 common tag 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
85 in nothing bless them, and to nothing are they
 welcome.

 Uncover, dogs, and lap.
The dishes are uncovered. They contain
only water and stones.

SOME SPEAK What does his Lordship mean?
SOME OTHER I know not.
TIMON 
90 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,
95 Washes it off and sprinkles in your faces
 Your reeking villainy. (He throws water in their
 faces.) 
Live loathed and long,

111
Timon of Athens
ACT 3. SC. 6

 Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
 Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
100 You fools of fortune, trencher-friends, time’s flies,
 Cap-and-knee slaves, vapors, and minute-jacks.
 Of man and beast the infinite malady
 Crust you quite o’er! (They stand.) What, dost thou
 go?
105 Soft! Take thy physic first—thou too—and thou.—
 Stay. I will lend thee money, borrow none.
He attacks them and forces them out.
 What? All in motion? Henceforth be no feast
 Whereat a villain’s not a welcome guest.
 Burn, house! Sink, Athens! Henceforth hated be
110 Of Timon man and all humanity!He exits.

Enter Timon’s Friends, the Senators, with other Lords.

FIRST FRIEND How now, my lords?
SECOND FRIEND Know you the quality of Lord Timon’s
 fury?
THIRD FRIEND Push! Did you see my cap?
FOURTH FRIEND 115I have lost my gown.
FIRST FRIEND He’s but a mad lord, and naught but
 humors 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?
SECOND FRIEND 120Did you see my cap?
THIRD FRIEND Here ’tis.
FOURTH FRIEND Here lies my gown.
FIRST FRIEND Let’s make no stay.
SECOND FRIEND 
 Lord Timon’s mad.
THIRD FRIEND 125 I feel ’t upon my bones.
FOURTH FRIEND 
 One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.
The Senators and the others exit.


ACT 4
Scene 1
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,
5 Pluck the grave wrinkled Senate from the bench
 And minister in their steads! To general filths
 Convert o’ th’ instant, green virginity!
 Do ’t in your parents’ eyes! Bankrupts, hold fast!
 Rather than render back, out with your knives
10 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’ th’ brothel. Son of sixteen,
 Pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire;
15 With it beat out his brains! Piety and fear,
 Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
 Domestic awe, night rest, and neighborhood,
 Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
 Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
20 Decline to your confounding contraries,
 And yet confusion live! Plagues incident to men,
 Your potent and infectious fevers heap
 On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,
115

117
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 2

 Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
25 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 th’ Athenian bosoms, and their crop
30 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!
35 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!—
 Th’ Athenians both within and out that wall,
 And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
40 To the whole race of mankind, high and low!
 Amen.
He exits.


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.


Scene 3
Enter Timon in the woods, with a spade.

TIMON 
 O blessèd breeding sun, draw from the Earth
 Rotten humidity! Below thy sister’s orb
 Infect the air! Twinned brothers of one womb,
 Whose procreation, residence, and birth
5 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;
10 The Senators shall bear contempt hereditary,
 The beggar native honor.
 It is the pasture lards the brother’s sides,
 The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who
 dares

123
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

15 In purity of manhood stand upright
 And say “This man’s a flatterer”? If one be,
 So are they all, for every grise of fortune
 Is smoothed by that below. The learnèd pate
 Ducks to the golden fool. All’s obliquy.
20 There’s nothing level in our cursèd natures
 But direct villainy. Therefore be abhorred
 All feasts, societies, and throngs of men.
 His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains.
 Destruction fang mankind! Earth, yield me roots!
25 Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
 With thy most operant poison! (Digging, he finds
 gold.) 
What is here?
 Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
 No, gods, I am no idle votarist.
30 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,
35 this
 Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
 Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads.
 This yellow slave
 Will knit and break religions, bless th’ accursed,
40 Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
 And give them title, knee, and approbation
 With senators on the bench. This is it
 That makes the wappened widow wed again;
 She whom the spital house and ulcerous sores
45 Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
 To th’ April day again. Come, damnèd earth,
 Thou common whore of mankind, that puts odds
 Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
 Do thy right nature. (March afar off.) Ha? A drum?
50 Thou ’rt quick,

125
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 But yet I’ll bury thee. Thou ’lt go, strong thief,
 When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.
 Nay, stay thou out for earnest.
He buries the gold, keeping some out.

Enter Alcibiades, with Drum and Fife, in warlike
manner, and Phrynia and Timandra.


ALCIBIADES What art thou there? Speak.
TIMON 
55 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.
60 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 unlearned and strange.
TIMON 
 I know thee too, and more than that I know thee
65 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,
70 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 
75 As the moon does, by wanting light to give.

127
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 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 80What is it, Timon?
TIMON Promise me friendship, but perform none. If
 thou wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for
 thou art a man. If thou dost perform, confound
 thee, for thou art a man.
ALCIBIADES 
85 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 blessèd time.
TIMON 
 As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.
TIMANDRA 
 Is this th’ Athenian minion whom the world
90 Voiced 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.
95 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
100 Are drowned and lost in his calamities.—
 I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
 The want whereof doth daily make revolt

129
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 In my penurious band. I have heard and grieved
 How cursèd Athens, mindless of thy worth,
105 Forgetting thy great deeds when neighbor 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?
110 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 115 Ay, Timon, and have cause.
TIMON 
 The gods confound them all in thy conquest,
 And thee after, when thou hast conquered!
ALCIBIADES 
 Why me, Timon?
TIMON  That by killing of villains
120 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-viced city hang his poison
 In the sick air. Let not thy sword skip one.
125 Pity not honored 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,
130 That through the window-bars bore at men’s eyes,

131
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 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
135 mercy;
 Think it a bastard whom the oracle
 Hath doubtfully pronounced the throat shall cut,
 And mince it sans remorse. Swear against objects;
 Put armor on thine ears and on thine eyes,
140 Whose proof nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
 Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
 Shall pierce a jot. (He offers gold.) There’s gold to
 pay thy soldiers.
 Make large confusion and, thy fury spent,
145 Confounded be thyself! Speak not. Begone.
ALCIBIADES 
 Hast thou gold yet? I’ll take the gold thou givest me,
 Not all thy counsel.
TIMON 
 Dost thou or dost thou not, heaven’s curse upon thee!
BOTH WOMEN 
 Give us some gold, good Timon. Hast thou more?
TIMON 
150 Enough to make a whore forswear her trade,
 And to make whores a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
 Your aprons mountant. (He begins throwing gold
 into their aprons.) 
You are not oathable,
 Although I know you’ll swear—terribly swear
155 Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
 Th’ 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.
160 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

133
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 With burdens of the dead—some that were hanged,
 No matter; wear them, betray with them. Whore
165 still.
 Paint till a horse may mire upon your face.
 A pox of wrinkles!
BOTH WOMEN  Well, more gold. What then?
 Believe ’t that we’ll do anything for gold.
TIMON 170Consumptions 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,
175 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 curled-pate
180 ruffians bald,
 And let the unscarred 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.
185 Do you damn others, and let this damn you,
 And ditches grave you all!
BOTH WOMEN 
 More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.
TIMON 
 More whore, more mischief first! I have given you
 earnest.
ALCIBIADES 
190 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.

135
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

TIMON 
195 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, to the Women  We but offend him.—
200 Strike.The drum sounds; all but Timon exit.
TIMON 
 That nature, being sick of man’s unkindness,
 Should yet be hungry! (He digs.) Common mother,
 thou
 Whose womb unmeasurable and infinite breast
205 Teems and feeds all; whose selfsame mettle—
 Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puffed—
 Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
 The gilded newt and eyeless venomed worm,
 With all th’ abhorrèd births below crisp heaven
210 Whereon Hyperion’s quick’ning fire doth shine:
 Yield him who all thy human sons do hate,
 From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root!
 Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb;
 Let it no more bring out ingrateful man.
215 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 plow-torn leas,
220 Whereof ingrateful man with liquorish drafts
 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
225 Thou dost affect my manners and dost use them.

137
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

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
230 From change of future. Why this spade? This place?
 This slavelike habit and these looks of care?
 Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft,
 Hug their diseased perfumes, and have forgot
 That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods
235 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,
240 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. Had’st thou wealth again,
245 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,
250 Will put thy shirt on warm? Will these moist trees,
 That have outlived 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
255 Whose naked natures live in all the spite
 Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhousèd trunks,

139
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 To the conflicting elements exposed,
 Answer mere nature. Bid them flatter thee.
 O, thou shalt find—
TIMON 260 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 
265 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 270 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
275 Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
 Outlives incertain pomp, is crowned before;
 The one is filling still, never complete,
 The other at high wish. Best state, contentless,
 Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
280 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 favor never clasped but bred a dog.
285 Hadst thou, like us from our first swathe, proceeded
 The sweet degrees that this brief world affords

141
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 To such as may the passive drugs of it
 Freely command, thou wouldst have plunged
 thyself
290 In general riot, melted down thy youth
 In different beds of lust, and never learned
 The icy precepts of respect, but followed
 The sugared game before thee. But myself—
 Who had the world as my confectionary,
295 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
300 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
305 men?
 They never flattered 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
310 Poor rogue hereditary. Hence, begone.
 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 315I, 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!
320 Thus would I eat it.He gnaws a root.
APEMANTUS, offering food  Here, I will mend thy feast.

143
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

TIMON 
 First mend my company. Take away thyself.
APEMANTUS 
 So I shall mend mine own by th’ lack of thine.
TIMON 
 ’Tis not well mended so; it is but botched.
325 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 330 The best and truest,
 For here it sleeps and does no hired harm.
APEMANTUS Where liest a-nights, Timon?
TIMON Under that’s above me. Where feed’st thou
 a-days, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS 335Where 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 340To 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
 mocked thee for too much curiosity. In thy rags
345 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 350An thou ’dst hated meddlers sooner, thou
 shouldst have loved thyself better now. What man
 didst thou ever know unthrift that was beloved
 after his means?

145
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

TIMON Who, without those means thou talk’st of, didst
355 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
360 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 365Wouldst 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
 t’ attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would
370 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 dullness would
 torment thee, and still thou lived’st but as a breakfast
375 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
380 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 germane
 to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were
 jurors on thy life. All thy safety were remotion, and
385 thy defense absence. What beast couldst thou be
 that were not subject to a beast? And what a beast
 art thou already that seest not thy loss in
 transformation!
APEMANTUS If thou couldst please me with speaking to

147
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

390 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
395 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
400 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 
405 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!
410 Choler does kill me that thou art alive.
 I swoon to see thee.
APEMANTUS 
 Would thou wouldst burst!
TIMON  Away, thou tedious rogue!
 I am sorry I shall lose a stone by thee.
Timon throws a stone at Apemantus.
APEMANTUS 415Beast!
TIMON Slave!
APEMANTUS Toad!

149
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

TIMON Rogue, rogue, rogue!
 I am sick of this false world, and will love nought
420 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.
425 (To his 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, loved, and delicate wooer,
430 Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
 That lies on Dian’s lap; thou visible god,
 That sold’rest close impossibilities
 And mak’st them kiss, that speak’st with every
 tongue
435 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!
440 But not till I am dead. I’ll say thou ’st gold;
 Thou wilt be thronged to shortly.
TIMON  Thronged to?
APEMANTUS  Ay.
TIMON 
 Thy back, I prithee.
APEMANTUS 445 Live and love thy misery.
TIMON Long live so, and so die. I am quit.

Enter the Banditti.

APEMANTUS 
 More things like men.—Eat, Timon, and abhor
 them.Apemantus exits.
FIRST BANDIT Where should he have this gold? It is

151
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

450 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
455 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?
OTHERS 460Where?
SECOND BANDIT ’Tis his description.
THIRD BANDIT He. I know him.
ALL Save thee, Timon.
TIMON Now, thieves?
ALL 
465 Soldiers, not thieves.
TIMON  Both, too, and women’s sons.
ALL 
 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.
470 Within this mile break forth a hundred springs.
 The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips.
 The bounteous huswife Nature on each bush
 Lays her full mess before you. Want? Why want?
FIRST BANDIT 
 We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
475 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 professed, that you work not
 In holier shapes, for there is boundless theft
480 In limited professions. Rascal thieves,

153
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Here’s gold. (He gives them gold.) Go, suck the
 subtle blood o’ th’ grape
 Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
 And so ’scape hanging. Trust not the physician;
485 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
490 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 stol’n
495 From gen’ral excrement. Each thing’s a thief.
 The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
 Has unchecked theft. Love not yourselves. Away!
 Rob one another. There’s more gold. (He gives them
 gold.) 
Cut throats.
500 All that you meet are thieves. To Athens go.
 Break open shops. Nothing can you steal
 But thieves do lose it. Steal less for this I give you,
 And gold confound you howsoe’er! Amen.
THIRD BANDIT Has almost charmed me from my profession
505 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
510 over my trade.
FIRST BANDIT Let us first see peace in Athens. There is
 no time so miserable but a man may be true.
Thieves exit.

Enter Flavius the Steward, to Timon.

FLAVIUS O you gods!

155
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Is yond despised and ruinous man my lord?
515 Full of decay and flailing? O, monument
 And wonder of good deeds evilly bestowed!
 What an alteration of honor has desp’rate want
 made!
 What viler thing upon the Earth than friends,
520 Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
 How rarely does it meet with this time’s guise,
 When man was wished to love his enemies!
 Grant I may ever love, and rather woo
 Those that would mischief me than those that do!
525 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 
 Away! What art thou?
FLAVIUS  Have you forgot me, sir?
TIMON 
530 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.
535 I never had honest man about me, I. 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.
He weeps.
TIMON 
540 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.

157
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

545 Strange times that weep with laughing, not with
 weeping!
FLAVIUS 
 I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
 T’ accept my grief, and, whilst this poor wealth lasts,
 To entertain me as your steward still.
He offers money.
TIMON 550Had 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.
555 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,
560 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;
565 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,
 A usuring kindness, and as rich men deal gifts,
570 Expecting in return twenty for one?
FLAVIUS 
 No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
 Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late.
 You should have feared false times when you did
 feast.
575 Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
 That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,
 Duty, and zeal to your unmatchèd mind,

159
Timon of Athens
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Care of your food and living. And believe it,
 My most honored lord,
580 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,
585 Here, take. (Timon offers gold.) The gods out of my
 misery
 Has sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy,
 But thus conditioned: thou shalt build from men;
 Hate all, curse all, show charity to none,
590 But let the famished flesh slide from the bone
 Ere thou relieve the beggar; give to dogs
 What thou deniest to men; let prisons swallow ’em,
 Debts wither ’em to nothing; be men like blasted
 woods,
595 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 hat’st curses,
600 Stay not. Fly whilst thou art blest and free.
 Ne’er see thou man, and let me ne’er see thee.
They exit.


ACT 5
Scene 1
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 rumor
 hold for true that he’s so full of gold?
PAINTER 5Certain. 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
10 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
15 in us and is very likely to load our purposes with
 what they travail for, if it be a just and true report
 that goes of his having.

Enter Timon, behind them, from his cave.

POET What have you now to present unto him?
PAINTER Nothing at this time but my visitation. Only I
20 will promise him an excellent piece.
POET I must serve him so too—tell him of an intent
 that’s coming toward him.
163

165
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 1

PAINTER Good as the best. Promising is the very air o’
 th’ time; it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance
25 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
30 judgment that makes it.
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
35 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
40 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.
45 When the day serves, before black-cornered night,
 Find what thou want’st by free and offered light.
 Come.
TIMON, aside 
 I’ll meet you at the turn. What a god’s gold
 That he is worshiped in a baser temple
50 Than where swine feed!
 ’Tis thou that rigg’st the bark and plow’st the foam,
 Settlest admirèd reverence in a slave.
 To thee be worship, and thy saints for aye
 Be crowned with plagues, that thee alone obey!
55 Fit I meet them.He comes forward.
POET 
 Hail, worthy Timon.

167
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 1

PAINTER  Our late noble master.
TIMON 
 Have I once lived to see two honest men?
POET Sir,
60 Having often of your open bounty tasted,
 Hearing you were retired, your friends fall’n off,
 Whose thankless natures—O, abhorrèd spirits!
 Not all the whips of heaven are large enough—
 What, to you,
65 Whose starlike 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.
70 You that are honest, by being what you are
 Make them best seen and known.
PAINTER  He and myself
 Have travailed in the great shower of your gifts
 And sweetly felt it.
TIMON 75 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 
80 You’re honest men. You’ve heard that I have gold.
 I am sure you have. Speak truth. You’re honest men.
PAINTER 
 So it is said, my noble lord, but therefor
 Came not my friend nor I.
TIMON 
 Good honest men. (To the Painter.) Thou draw’st a
85 counterfeit

169
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 1

 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
90 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-natured friends,
 I must needs say you have a little fault.
95 Marry, ’tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
 You take much pains to mend.
BOTH  Beseech your Honor
 To make it known to us.
TIMON  You’ll take it ill.
BOTH 100Most thankfully, my lord.
TIMON Will you indeed?
BOTH Doubt it not, worthy lord.
TIMON 
 There’s never a one of you but trusts a knave
 That mightily deceives you.
BOTH 105 Do we, my lord?
TIMON 
 Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
 Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
 Keep in your bosom. Yet remain assured
 That he’s a made-up villain.
PAINTER 110I know none such, my lord.
POET Nor I.
TIMON 
 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 draft,
115 Confound them by some course, and come to me,
 I’ll give you gold enough.
BOTH Name them, my lord, let ’s know them.

171
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 1

TIMON 
 You that way and you this, but two in company.
 Each man apart, all single and alone,
120 Yet an archvillain keeps him company.
 (To one.) If where thou art, two villains shall not be,
 Come not near him. (To the other.) If thou wouldst
 not reside
 But where one villain is, then him abandon.—
125 Hence, pack. There’s gold. You came for gold, you
 slaves.
 (To one.) You have work for me. There’s payment.
 Hence.
 (To the other.) You are an alchemist; make gold of
130 that.
 Out, rascal dogs!
Timon drives them out and then exits.

Enter Steward Flavius, and two Senators.

FLAVIUS 
 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
135 Is friendly with him.
FIRST SENATOR  Bring us to his cave.
 It is our part and promise to th’ Athenians
 To speak with Timon.
SECOND SENATOR  At all times alike
140 Men are not still the same. ’Twas time and griefs
 That framed 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.
FLAVIUS 145 Here is his cave.—
 Peace and content be here! Lord Timon! Timon!
 Look out, and speak to friends. Th’ Athenians
 By two of their most reverend Senate greet thee.
 Speak to them, noble Timon.

173
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 1

Enter Timon out of his cave.

TIMON 
150 Thou sun that comforts, burn!—Speak and be
 hanged!
 For each true word a blister, and each false
 Be as a cauterizing to the root o’ th’ tongue,
 Consuming it with speaking.
FIRST SENATOR 155 Worthy Timon—
TIMON 
 Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.
FIRST SENATOR 
 The Senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.
TIMON 
 I thank them and would send them back the plague,
 Could I but catch it for them.
FIRST SENATOR 160 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
165 For thy best use and wearing.
SECOND SENATOR  They confess
 Toward thee forgetfulness too general gross;
 Which now the public body, which doth seldom
 Play the recanter, feeling in itself
170 A lack of Timon’s aid, hath sense withal
 Of it own fall, restraining aid to Timon,
 And send forth us to make their sorrowed render,
 Together with a recompense more fruitful
 Than their offense can weigh down by the dram—
175 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.
TIMON  You witch me in it,

175
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 1

180 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.
FIRST SENATOR 
 Therefore, so please thee to return with us
 And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
185 The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks;
 Allowed with absolute power, and thy good name
 Live with authority. So soon we shall drive back
 Of Alcibiades th’ approaches wild,
 Who like a boar too savage doth root up
190 His country’s peace.
SECOND SENATOR  And shakes his threat’ning sword
 Against the walls of Athens.
FIRST SENATOR  Therefore, Timon—
TIMON 
 Well sir, I will. Therefore I will, sir, thus:
195 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 agèd men by th’ beards,
 Giving our holy virgins to the stain
200 Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brained war,
 Then let him know, and tell him Timon speaks it
 In pity of our agèd 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,
205 While you have throats to answer. For myself,
 There’s not a whittle in th’ 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
210 As thieves to keepers.
FLAVIUS, to Senators  Stay not. All’s in vain.
TIMON 
 Why, I was writing of my epitaph.

177
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 1

 It will be seen tomorrow. My long sickness
 Of health and living now begins to mend,
215 And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still.
 Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
 And last so long enough!
FIRST SENATOR  We speak in vain.
TIMON 
 But yet I love my country and am not
220 One that rejoices in the common wrack,
 As common bruit doth put it.
FIRST SENATOR  That’s well spoke.
TIMON 
 Commend me to my loving countrymen.
FIRST SENATOR 
 These words become your lips as they pass through
225 them.
SECOND SENATOR 
 And enter in our ears like great triumphers
 In their applauding gates.
TIMON  Commend me to them
 And tell them that, to ease them of their griefs,
230 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.
235 I’ll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades’ wrath.
FIRST SENATOR, to Second Senator 
 I like this well. He will return again.
TIMON 
 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,
240 Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree
 From high to low throughout, that whoso please
 To stop affliction, let him take his haste,

179
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Come hither ere my tree hath felt the ax,
 And hang himself. I pray you, do my greeting.
FLAVIUS, to Senators 
245 Trouble him no further. Thus you still shall find him.
TIMON 
 Come not to me again, but say to Athens,
 Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
 Upon the beachèd verge of the salt flood,
 Who once a day with his embossèd froth
250 The turbulent surge shall cover. Thither come
 And let my gravestone be your oracle.
 Lips, let four words go by and language end.
 What is amiss, plague and infection mend.
 Graves only be men’s works, and death their gain.
255 Sun, hide thy beams. Timon hath done his reign.
Timon exits.
FIRST SENATOR 
 His discontents are unremovably
 Coupled to nature.
SECOND SENATOR 
 Our hope in him is dead. Let us return
 And strain what other means is left unto us
260 In our dear peril.
FIRST SENATOR  It requires swift foot.
They exit.


Scene 2
Enter two other Senators, with a Messenger.

THIRD SENATOR 
 Thou hast painfully discovered. Are his files
 As full as thy report?
MESSENGER  I have spoke the least.
 Besides, his expedition promises
5 Present approach.

181
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 3

FOURTH SENATOR 
 We stand much hazard if they bring not Timon.
MESSENGER 
 I met a courier, one mine ancient friend,
 Whom, though in general part we were opposed,
 Yet our old love made a particular force
10 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’ th’ cause against your city,
 In part for his sake moved.

Enter the other Senators.

THIRD SENATOR 15 Here come our brothers.
FIRST SENATOR 
 No talk of Timon; nothing of him expect.
 The enemy’s drum is heard, and fearful scouring
 Doth choke the air with dust. In, and prepare.
 Ours is the fall, I fear, our foe’s the snare.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter a Soldier in the woods, seeking Timon.

SOLDIER 
 By all description this should be the place.
 Who’s here? Speak, ho! No answer? What is this?
He reads an epitaph.
 Timon is dead, who hath out-stretched his span.
 Some beast read this; there does not live a man.

5 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 aged interpreter, though young in days.

183
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Before proud Athens he’s set down by this,
10 Whose fall the mark of his ambition is.
He exits.


Scene 4
Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his Powers
before Athens.


ALCIBIADES 
 Sound to this coward and lascivious town
 Our terrible approach.Sounds a parley.

The Senators appear upon the walls.

 Till now you have gone on and filled the time
 With all licentious measure, making your wills
5 The scope of justice. Till now myself and such
 As slept within the shadow of your power
 Have wandered with our traversed arms and breathed
 Our sufferance vainly. Now the time is flush,
 When crouching marrow in the bearer strong
10 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.
FIRST SENATOR  Noble and young,
15 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.
SECOND SENATOR 20 So did we woo
 Transformèd Timon to our city’s love
 By humble message and by promised means.
 We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
 The common stroke of war.

185
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 4

FIRST SENATOR 25 These walls of ours
 Were not erected by their hands from whom
 You have received your grief, nor are they such
 That these great towers, trophies, and schools
 should fall
30 For private faults in them.
SECOND SENATOR  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,
35 Into our city with thy banners spread.
 By decimation and a tithèd death,
 If thy revenges hunger for that food
 Which nature loathes, take thou the destined tenth
 And, by the hazard of the spotted die,
40 Let die the spotted.
FIRST SENATOR  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,
45 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,
50 But kill not all together.
SECOND SENATOR  What thou wilt,
 Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
 Than hew to ’t with thy sword.
FIRST SENATOR  Set but thy foot
55 Against our rampired gates and they shall ope,
 So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before
 To say thou ’lt enter friendly.
SECOND SENATOR  Throw thy glove,
 Or any token of thine honor else,
60 That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress

187
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 4

 And not as our confusion, all thy powers
 Shall make their harbor in our town till we
 Have sealed thy full desire.
ALCIBIADES  Then there’s my glove.
65 Descend and open your unchargèd 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
70 Shall pass his quarter or offend the stream
 Of regular justice in your city’s bounds
 But shall be remedied to your public laws
 At heaviest answer.
BOTH  ’Tis most nobly spoken.
ALCIBIADES 75Descend and keep your words.
The Senators descend.

Enter a Soldier, with the wax tablet.

SOLDIER 
 My noble general, Timon is dead,
 Entombed upon the very hem o’ th’ sea,
 And on his gravestone this insculpture, which
 With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
80 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.
85 Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay not here
 thy gait.

 These well express in thee thy latter spirits.
 Though thou abhorred’st in us our human griefs,
 Scorned’st our brains’ flow and those our droplets
90 which
 From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit

189
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
 On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
 Is noble Timon, of whose memory
95 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.
100 Let our drums strike.
Drums. They exit.