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Timon of Athens - Act 4, scene 3
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Navigate this workTimon of Athens - Act 4, scene 3
Act 4, scene 3
Timon, digging for roots to eat, finds gold. He is visited by Alcibiades and his concubines, to whom he gives gold for the purpose of advancing the destruction of Athens. He is then visited by Apemantus, with whom he violently argues; then by thieves, to whom he gives gold; and, finally, by Flavius.Enter Timon in the woods, ⌜with a spade.⌝
1570 O blessèd breeding sun, draw from the Earth
1571 Rotten humidity! Below thy sister’s orb
1572 Infect the air! ⌜Twinned⌝ brothers of one womb,
1573 Whose procreation, residence, and birth
1574 5 Scarce is dividant, touch them with several fortunes,
1575 The greater scorns the lesser. Not nature,
1576 To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune
1577 But by contempt of nature.
1578 Raise me this beggar, and deny ’t that lord;
1579 10 The Senators shall bear contempt hereditary,
1580 The beggar native honor.
1581 It is the pasture lards the brother’s sides,
1582 The want that makes him ⌜lean.⌝ Who dares, who
p. 1231584 15 In purity of manhood stand upright
1585 And say “This man’s a flatterer”? If one be,
1586 So are they all, for every grise of fortune
1587 Is smoothed by that below. The learnèd pate
1588 Ducks to the golden fool. All’s obliquy.
1589 20 There’s nothing level in our cursèd natures
1590 But direct villainy. Therefore be abhorred
1591 All feasts, societies, and throngs of men.
1592 His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains.
1593 Destruction fang mankind! Earth, yield me roots!
1594 25 Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
1595 With thy most operant poison! (⌜Digging, he finds
gold.⌝) 1596 What is here?
1597 Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
1598 No, gods, I am no idle votarist.
1599 30 Roots, you clear heavens! Thus much of this will
1601 Black white, foul fair, wrong right,
1602 Base noble, old young, coward valiant.
1603 Ha, you gods! Why this? What this, you gods? Why,
1604 35 this
1605 Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
1606 Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads.
1607 This yellow slave
1608 Will knit and break religions, bless th’ accursed,
1609 40 Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
1610 And give them title, knee, and approbation
1611 With senators on the bench. This is it
1612 That makes the wappened widow wed again;
1613 She whom the spital house and ulcerous sores
1614 45 Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
1615 To th’ April day again. Come, damnèd earth,
1616 Thou common whore of mankind, that puts odds
1617 Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
1618 Do thy right nature. (March afar off.) Ha? A drum?
1619 50 Thou ’rt quick,
p. 1251620 But yet I’ll bury thee. Thou ’lt go, strong thief,
1621 When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.
1622 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 1623 What art thou there? Speak.
1624 55 A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart
1625 For showing me again the eyes of man!
1626 What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee
1627 That art thyself a man?
1628 I am Misanthropos and hate mankind.
1629 60 For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
1630 That I might love thee something.
ALCIBIADES 1631 I know thee well.
1632 But in thy fortunes am unlearned and strange.
1633 I know thee too, and more than that I know thee
1634 65 I not desire to know. Follow thy drum.
1635 With man’s blood paint the ground gules, gules!
1636 Religious canons, civil laws are cruel.
1637 Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine
1638 Hath in her more destruction than thy sword,
1639 70 For all her cherubin look.
PHRYNIA 1640 Thy lips rot off!
1641 I will not kiss thee. Then the rot returns
1642 To thine own lips again.
1643 How came the noble Timon to this change?
1644 75 As the moon does, by wanting light to give.
p. 1271645 But then renew I could not, like the moon;
1646 There were no suns to borrow of.
1647 Noble Timon, what friendship may I do thee?
1648 None, but to maintain my opinion.
ALCIBIADES 1649 80What is it, Timon?
TIMON 1650 Promise me friendship, but perform none. If
1651 thou wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for
1652 thou art a man. If thou dost perform, confound
1653 thee, for thou art a man.
1654 85 I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.
1655 Thou saw’st them when I had prosperity.
1656 I see them now. Then was a blessèd time.
1657 As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.
1658 Is this th’ Athenian minion whom the world
1659 90 Voiced so regardfully?
TIMON 1660 Art thou Timandra?
TIMANDRA 1661 Yes.
1662 Be a whore still. They love thee not that use thee.
1663 Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
1664 95 Make use of thy salt hours. Season the slaves
1665 For tubs and baths. Bring down rose-cheeked youth
1666 To the tub-fast and the diet.
TIMANDRA 1667 Hang thee, monster!
1668 Pardon him, sweet Timandra, for his wits
1669 100 Are drowned and lost in his calamities.—
1670 I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
1671 The want whereof doth daily make revolt
p. 1291672 In my penurious band. I have heard and grieved
1673 How cursèd Athens, mindless of thy worth,
1674 105 Forgetting thy great deeds when neighbor states,
1675 But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them—
1676 I prithee, beat thy drum and get thee gone.
1677 I am thy friend and pity thee, dear Timon.
1678 How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
1679 110 I had rather be alone.
1680 Why, fare thee well. Here is some gold for thee.
TIMON 1681 Keep it. I cannot eat it.
1682 When I have laid proud Athens on a heap—
1683 Warr’st thou ’gainst Athens?
ALCIBIADES 1684 115 Ay, Timon, and have cause.
1685 The gods confound them all in thy conquest,
1686 And thee after, when thou hast conquered!
1687 Why me, Timon?
TIMON 1688 That by killing of villains
1689 120 Thou wast born to conquer my country.
1690 Put up thy gold. Go on. Here’s gold. Go on.
1691 Be as a planetary plague when Jove
1692 Will o’er some high-viced city hang his poison
1693 In the sick air. Let not thy sword skip one.
1694 125 Pity not honored age for his white beard;
1695 He is an usurer. Strike me the counterfeit matron;
1696 It is her habit only that is honest,
1697 Herself’s a bawd. Let not the virgin’s cheek
1698 Make soft thy trenchant sword, for those milk paps,
1699 130 That through the ⌜window-bars⌝ bore at men’s eyes,
p. 1311700 Are not within the leaf of pity writ,
1701 But set them down horrible traitors. Spare not the
1703 Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their
1704 135 mercy;
1705 Think it a bastard whom the oracle
1706 Hath doubtfully pronounced the throat shall cut,
1707 And mince it sans remorse. Swear against objects;
1708 Put armor on thine ears and on thine eyes,
1709 140 Whose proof nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
1710 Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
1711 Shall pierce a jot. (⌜He offers gold.⌝) There’s gold to
1712 pay thy soldiers.
1713 Make large confusion and, thy fury spent,
1714 145 Confounded be thyself! Speak not. Begone.
1715 Hast thou gold yet? I’ll take the gold thou givest me,
1716 Not all thy counsel.
1717 Dost thou or dost thou not, heaven’s curse upon thee!
1718 Give us some gold, good Timon. Hast thou more?
1719 150 Enough to make a whore forswear her trade,
1720 And to make whores a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
1721 Your aprons mountant. (⌜He begins throwing gold
into their aprons.⌝) 1722 You are not oathable,
1723 Although I know you’ll swear—terribly swear
1724 155 Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
1725 Th’ immortal gods that hear you. Spare your oaths.
1726 I’ll trust to your conditions. Be whores still.
1727 And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you,
1728 Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up.
1729 160 Let your close fire predominate his smoke,
1730 And be no turncoats. Yet may your pains six months
1731 Be quite contrary. And thatch your poor thin roofs
p. 1331732 With burdens of the dead—some that were hanged,
1733 No matter; wear them, betray with them. Whore
1734 165 still.
1735 Paint till a horse may mire upon your face.
1736 A pox of wrinkles!
BOTH ⌜WOMEN⌝ 1737 Well, more gold. What then?
1738 Believe ’t that we’ll do anything for gold.
TIMON 1739 170Consumptions sow
1740 In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins,
1741 And mar men’s spurring. Crack the lawyer’s voice,
1742 That he may never more false title plead
1743 Nor sound his quillets shrilly. Hoar the flamen,
1744 175 That ⌜scolds⌝ against the quality of flesh
1745 And not believes himself. Down with the nose—
1746 Down with it flat, take the bridge quite away—
1747 Of him that, his particular to foresee,
1748 Smells from the general weal. Make curled-pate
1749 180 ruffians bald,
1750 And let the unscarred braggarts of the war
1751 Derive some pain from you. Plague all,
1752 That your activity may defeat and quell
1753 The source of all erection. There’s more gold.
1754 185 Do you damn others, and let this damn you,
1755 And ditches grave you all!
1756 More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.
1757 More whore, more mischief first! I have given you
1759 190 Strike up the drum towards Athens.—Farewell,
1761 If I thrive well, I’ll visit thee again.
1762 If I hope well, I’ll never see thee more.
ALCIBIADES 1763 I never did thee harm.
1764 195 Yes, thou spok’st well of me.
ALCIBIADES 1765 Call’st thou that harm?
1766 Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
1767 Thy beagles with thee.
ALCIBIADES, ⌜to the Women⌝ 1768 We but offend him.—
1769 200 Strike.⌜The drum sounds; all but Timon⌝ exit.
1770 That nature, being sick of man’s unkindness,
1771 Should yet be hungry! (⌜He digs.⌝) Common mother,
1773 Whose womb unmeasurable and infinite breast
1774 205 Teems and feeds all; whose selfsame mettle—
1775 Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puffed—
1776 Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
1777 The gilded newt and eyeless venomed worm,
1778 With all th’ abhorrèd births below crisp heaven
1779 210 Whereon Hyperion’s quick’ning fire doth shine:
1780 Yield him who all ⌜thy⌝ human sons do hate,
1781 From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root!
1782 Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb;
1783 Let it no more bring out ingrateful man.
1784 215 Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears;
1785 Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face
1786 Hath to the marbled mansion all above
1787 Never presented. O, a root! Dear thanks!
1788 Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plow-torn leas,
1789 220 Whereof ingrateful man with liquorish drafts
1790 And morsels unctuous greases his pure mind,
1791 That from it all consideration slips—
1792 More man? Plague, plague!
1793 I was directed hither. Men report
1794 225 Thou dost affect my manners and dost use them.
1795 ’Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog,
1796 Whom I would imitate. Consumption catch thee!
1797 This is in thee a nature but infected,
1798 A poor unmanly melancholy sprung
1799 230 From change of future. Why this spade? This place?
1800 This slavelike habit and these looks of care?
1801 Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft,
1802 Hug their diseased perfumes, and have forgot
1803 That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods
1804 235 By putting on the cunning of a carper.
1805 Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive
1806 By that which has undone thee. Hinge thy knee,
1807 And let his very breath whom thou ’lt observe
1808 Blow off thy cap; praise his most vicious strain,
1809 240 And call it excellent. Thou wast told thus.
1810 Thou gav’st thine ears, like tapsters that bade
1812 To knaves and all approachers. ’Tis most just
1813 That thou turn rascal. Had’st thou wealth again,
1814 245 Rascals should have ’t. Do not assume my likeness.
1815 Were I like thee, I’d throw away myself.
1816 Thou hast cast away thyself, being like thyself—
1817 A madman so long, now a fool. What, think’st
1818 That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
1819 250 Will put thy shirt on warm? Will these moist trees,
1820 That have outlived the eagle, page thy heels
1821 And skip when thou point’st out? Will the cold brook,
1822 Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste
1823 To cure thy o’ernight’s surfeit? Call the creatures
1824 255 Whose naked natures live in all the spite
1825 Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhousèd trunks,
p. 1391826 To the conflicting elements exposed,
1827 Answer mere nature. Bid them flatter thee.
1828 O, thou shalt find—
TIMON 1829 260 A fool of thee. Depart.
1830 I love thee better now than e’er I did.
1831 I hate thee worse.
APEMANTUS 1832 Why?
TIMON 1833 Thou flatter’st misery.
1834 265 I flatter not but say thou art a caitiff.
TIMON 1835 Why dost thou seek me out?
APEMANTUS 1836 To vex thee.
1837 Always a villain’s office or a fool’s.
1838 Dost please thyself in ’t?
APEMANTUS 1839 270 Ay.
TIMON 1840 What, a knave too?
1841 If thou didst put this sour cold habit on
1842 To castigate thy pride, ’twere well, but thou
1843 Dost it enforcedly. Thou ’dst courtier be again
1844 275 Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
1845 Outlives incertain pomp, is crowned before;
1846 The one is filling still, never complete,
1847 The other at high wish. Best state, contentless,
1848 Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
1849 280 Worse than the worst, content.
1850 Thou shouldst desire to die, being miserable.
1851 Not by his breath that is more miserable.
1852 Thou art a slave whom Fortune’s tender arm
1853 With favor never clasped but bred a dog.
1854 285 Hadst thou, like us from our first swathe, proceeded
1855 The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
p. 1411856 To such as may the passive drugs of it
1857 Freely ⌜command,⌝ thou wouldst have plunged
1859 290 In general riot, melted down thy youth
1860 In different beds of lust, and never learned
1861 The icy precepts of respect, but followed
1862 The sugared game before thee. But myself—
1863 Who had the world as my confectionary,
1864 295 The mouths, the tongues, the eyes and hearts of
1866 At duty, more than I could frame employment,
1867 That numberless upon me stuck as leaves
1868 Do on the oak, have with one winter’s brush
1869 300 Fell from their boughs and left me open, bare,
1870 For every storm that blows—I to bear this,
1871 That never knew but better, is some burden.
1872 Thy nature did commence in sufferance. Time
1873 Hath made thee hard in ’t. Why shouldst thou hate
1874 305 men?
1875 They never flattered thee. What hast thou given?
1876 If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag,
1877 Must be thy subject, who in spite put stuff
1878 To some she-beggar and compounded thee
1879 310 Poor rogue hereditary. Hence, begone.
1880 If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
1881 Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.
1882 Art thou proud yet?
TIMON 1883 Ay, that I am not thee.
APEMANTUS 1884 315I, that I was no prodigal.
TIMON 1885 I, that I am one now.
1886 Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
1887 I’d give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.
1888 That the whole life of Athens were in this!
1889 320 Thus would I eat it.⌜He gnaws a root.⌝
APEMANTUS, ⌜offering food⌝ 1890 Here, I will mend thy feast.
1891 First mend ⌜my⌝ company. Take away thyself.
1892 So I shall mend mine own by th’ lack of thine.
1893 ’Tis not well mended so; it is but botched.
1894 325 If not, I would it were.
APEMANTUS 1895 What wouldst thou have to Athens?
1896 Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
1897 Tell them there I have gold. Look, so I have.
1898 Here is no use for gold.
TIMON 1899 330 The best and truest,
1900 For here it sleeps and does no hired harm.
APEMANTUS 1901 Where liest a-nights, Timon?
TIMON 1902 Under that’s above me. Where feed’st thou
1903 a-days, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS 1904 335Where my stomach finds meat, or rather
1905 where I eat it.
TIMON 1906 Would poison were obedient and knew my
APEMANTUS 1908 Where wouldst thou send it?
TIMON 1909 340To sauce thy dishes.
APEMANTUS 1910 The middle of humanity thou never
1911 knewest, but the extremity of both ends. When
1912 thou wast in thy gilt and thy perfume, they
1913 mocked thee for too much curiosity. In thy rags
1914 345 thou know’st none, but art despised for the contrary.
1915 There’s a medlar for thee. Eat it.
TIMON 1916 On what I hate I feed not.
APEMANTUS 1917 Dost hate a medlar?
TIMON 1918 Ay, though it look like thee.
APEMANTUS 1919 350An thou ’dst hated meddlers sooner, thou
1920 shouldst have loved thyself better now. What man
1921 didst thou ever know unthrift that was beloved
1922 after his means?
p. 145TIMON 1923 Who, without those means thou talk’st of, didst
1924 355 thou ever know beloved?
APEMANTUS 1925 Myself.
TIMON 1926 I understand thee. Thou hadst some means to
1927 keep a dog.
APEMANTUS 1928 What things in the world canst thou nearest
1929 360 compare to thy flatterers?
TIMON 1930 Women nearest, but men—men are the things
1931 themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world,
1932 Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?
APEMANTUS 1933 Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.
TIMON 1934 365Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion
1935 of men and remain a beast with the beasts?
APEMANTUS 1936 Ay, Timon.
TIMON 1937 A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee
1938 t’ attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would
1939 370 beguile thee. If thou wert the lamb, the fox would
1940 eat thee. If thou wert the fox, the lion would suspect
1941 thee when peradventure thou wert accused by
1942 the ass. If thou wert the ass, thy dullness would
1943 torment thee, and still thou lived’st but as a breakfast
1944 375 to the wolf. If thou wert the wolf, thy greediness
1945 would afflict thee, and oft thou shouldst hazard
1946 thy life for thy dinner. Wert thou the unicorn,
1947 pride and wrath would confound thee and
1948 make thine own self the conquest of thy fury. Wert
1949 380 thou a bear, thou wouldst be killed by the horse.
1950 Wert thou a horse, thou wouldst be seized by the
1951 leopard. Wert thou a leopard, thou wert germane
1952 to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were
1953 jurors on thy life. All thy safety were remotion, and
1954 385 thy defense absence. What beast couldst thou be
1955 that were not subject to a beast? And what a beast
1956 art thou already that seest not thy loss in
APEMANTUS 1958 If thou couldst please me with speaking to
p. 1471959 390 me, thou mightst have hit upon it here. The commonwealth
1960 of Athens is become a forest of beasts.
TIMON 1961 How, has the ass broke the wall that thou art
1962 out of the city?
APEMANTUS 1963 Yonder comes a poet and a painter. The
1964 395 plague of company light upon thee! I will fear to
1965 catch it and give way. When I know not what else
1966 to do, I’ll see thee again.
TIMON 1967 When there is nothing living but thee, thou
1968 shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar’s dog
1969 400 than Apemantus.
1970 Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
1971 Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!
1972 A plague on thee! Thou art too bad to curse.
1973 All villains that do stand by thee are pure.
1974 405 There is no leprosy but what thou speak’st.
TIMON 1975 If I name thee.
1976 I’ll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
APEMANTUS 1977 I would my tongue could rot them off!
1978 Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
1979 410 Choler does kill me that thou art alive.
1980 I swoon to see thee.
1981 Would thou wouldst burst!
TIMON 1982 Away, thou tedious rogue!
1983 I am sorry I shall lose a stone by thee.
⌜Timon throws a stone at Apemantus.⌝
APEMANTUS 1984 415Beast!
TIMON 1985 Slave!
APEMANTUS 1986 Toad!
p. 149TIMON 1987 Rogue, rogue, rogue!
1988 I am sick of this false world, and will love nought
1989 420 But even the mere necessities upon ’t.
1990 Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave.
1991 Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat
1992 Thy gravestone daily. Make thine epitaph,
1993 That death in me at others’ lives may laugh.
1994 425 (⌜To his gold.⌝) O thou sweet king-killer and dear
1996 ’Twixt natural son and ⌜sire,⌝ thou bright defiler
1997 Of Hymen’s purest bed, thou valiant Mars,
1998 Thou ever young, fresh, loved, and delicate wooer,
1999 430 Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
2000 That lies on Dian’s lap; thou visible god,
2001 That sold’rest close impossibilities
2002 And mak’st them kiss, that speak’st with every
2004 435 To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts,
2005 Think thy slave, man, rebels, and by thy virtue
2006 Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
2007 May have the world in empire!
APEMANTUS 2008 Would ’twere so!
2009 440 But not till I am dead. I’ll say thou ’st gold;
2010 Thou wilt be thronged to shortly.
TIMON 2011 Thronged to?
APEMANTUS 2012 Ay.
2013 Thy back, I prithee.
APEMANTUS 2014 445 Live and love thy misery.
TIMON 2015 Long live so, and so die. I am quit.
Enter the Banditti.
2016 More things like men.—Eat, Timon, and abhor
2017 ⌜them.⌝Apemantus exits.
FIRST BANDIT 2018 Where should he have this gold? It is
p. 1512019 450 some poor fragment, some slender ort of his
2020 remainder. The mere want of gold and the falling-from
2021 of his friends drove him into this melancholy.
SECOND BANDIT 2022 It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.
THIRD BANDIT 2023 Let us make the assay upon him. If he
2024 455 care not for ’t, he will supply us easily. If he covetously
2025 reserve it, how shall ’s get it?
SECOND BANDIT 2026 True, for he bears it not about him. ’Tis
FIRST BANDIT 2028 Is not this he?
⌜OTHERS⌝ 2029 460Where?
SECOND BANDIT 2030 ’Tis his description.
THIRD BANDIT 2031 He. I know him.
ALL 2032 Save thee, Timon.
TIMON 2033 Now, thieves?
2034 465 Soldiers, not thieves.
TIMON 2035 Both, too, and women’s sons.
2036 We are not thieves, but men that much do want.
2037 Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
2038 Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots.
2039 470 Within this mile break forth a hundred springs.
2040 The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips.
2041 The bounteous huswife Nature on each bush
2042 Lays her full mess before you. Want? Why want?
2043 We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
2044 475 As beasts and birds and fishes.
2045 Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds and fishes;
2046 You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con
2047 That you are thieves professed, that you work not
2048 In holier shapes, for there is boundless theft
2049 480 In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
p. 1532050 Here’s gold. (⌜He gives them gold.⌝) Go, suck the
2051 subtle blood o’ th’ grape
2052 Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
2053 And so ’scape hanging. Trust not the physician;
2054 485 His antidotes are poison, and he slays
2055 More than you rob. Take wealth and lives together.
2056 Do, ⌜villainy,⌝ do, since you protest to do ’t,
2057 Like workmen. I’ll example you with thievery.
2058 The sun’s a thief and with his great attraction
2059 490 Robs the vast sea. The moon’s an arrant thief,
2060 And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.
2061 The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
2062 The moon into salt tears. The earth’s a thief,
2063 That feeds and breeds by a composture stol’n
2064 495 From gen’ral excrement. Each thing’s a thief.
2065 The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
2066 Has unchecked theft. Love not yourselves. Away!
2067 Rob one another. There’s more gold. (⌜He gives them
gold.⌝) 2068 Cut throats.
2069 500 All that you meet are thieves. To Athens go.
2070 Break open shops. Nothing can you steal
2071 But thieves do lose it. Steal less for this I give you,
2072 And gold confound you howsoe’er! Amen.
THIRD BANDIT 2073 Has almost charmed me from my profession
2074 505 by persuading me to it.
FIRST BANDIT 2075 ’Tis in the malice of mankind that he
2076 thus advises us, not to have us thrive in our
SECOND BANDIT 2078 I’ll believe him as an enemy and give
2079 510 over my trade.
FIRST BANDIT 2080 Let us first see peace in Athens. There is
2081 no time so miserable but a man may be true.
Enter ⌜Flavius⌝ the Steward, to Timon.
FLAVIUS 2082 O you gods!
p. 1552083 Is yond despised and ruinous man my lord?
2084 515 Full of decay and flailing? O, monument
2085 And wonder of good deeds evilly bestowed!
2086 What an alteration of honor has desp’rate want
2088 What viler thing upon the Earth than friends,
2089 520 Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
2090 How rarely does it meet with this time’s guise,
2091 When man was wished to love his enemies!
2092 Grant I may ever love, and rather woo
2093 Those that would mischief me than those that do!
2094 525 Has caught me in his eye. I will present
2095 My honest grief unto him and as my lord
2096 Still serve him with my life.—My dearest master.
2097 Away! What art thou?
FLAVIUS 2098 Have you forgot me, sir?
2099 530 Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men.
2100 Then, if thou ⌜grant’st⌝ thou ’rt a man, I have forgot
FLAVIUS 2102 An honest poor servant of yours.
TIMON 2103 Then I know thee not.
2104 535 I never had honest man about me, I. All
2105 I kept were knaves to serve in meat to villains.
FLAVIUS 2106 The gods are witness,
2107 Ne’er did poor steward wear a truer grief
2108 For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.
2109 540 What, dost thou weep? Come nearer, then. I love
2111 Because thou art a woman and disclaim’st
2112 Flinty mankind, whose eyes do never give
2113 But thorough lust and laughter. Pity’s sleeping.
p. 1572114 545 Strange times that weep with laughing, not with
2116 I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
2117 T’ accept my grief, and, whilst this poor wealth lasts,
2118 To entertain me as your steward still.
⌜He offers money.⌝
TIMON 2119 550Had I a steward
2120 So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
2121 It almost turns my dangerous nature ⌜mild.⌝
2122 Let me behold thy face. Surely this man
2123 Was born of woman.
2124 555 Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
2125 You perpetual-sober gods. I do proclaim
2126 One honest man—mistake me not, but one;
2127 No more, I pray!—and he’s a steward.
2128 How fain would I have hated all mankind,
2129 560 And thou redeem’st thyself. But all, save thee,
2130 I fell with curses.
2131 Methinks thou art more honest now than wise,
2132 For by oppressing and betraying me
2133 Thou mightst have sooner got another service;
2134 565 For many so arrive at second masters
2135 Upon their first lord’s neck. But tell me true—
2136 For I must ever doubt, though ne’er so sure—
2137 Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
2138 A usuring kindness, and as rich men deal gifts,
2139 570 Expecting in return twenty for one?
2140 No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
2141 Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late.
2142 You should have feared false times when you did
2144 575 Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
2145 That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,
2146 Duty, and zeal to your unmatchèd mind,
p. 1592147 Care of your food and living. And believe it,
2148 My most honored lord,
2149 580 For any benefit that points to me,
2150 Either in hope or present, I’d exchange
2151 For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
2152 To requite me by making rich yourself.
2153 Look thee, ’tis so. Thou singly honest man,
2154 585 Here, take. (⌜Timon offers gold.⌝) The gods out of my
2156 Has sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy,
2157 But thus conditioned: thou shalt build from men;
2158 Hate all, curse all, show charity to none,
2159 590 But let the famished flesh slide from the bone
2160 Ere thou relieve the beggar; give to dogs
2161 What thou deniest to men; let prisons swallow ’em,
2162 Debts wither ’em to nothing; be men like blasted
2164 595 And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
2165 And so farewell and thrive.
FLAVIUS 2166 O, let me stay
2167 And comfort you, my master.
TIMON 2168 If thou hat’st curses,
2169 600 Stay not. Fly whilst thou art blest and free.
2170 Ne’er see thou man, and let me ne’er see thee.