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What! a knave too? Apem. If thou didst put this sour-cold habit on To castigate thy pride, 'twere well: but thou Dost it enforcedly; thou'dst courtier be again, Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery Outlives incertain pomp, is crown'd before: The one is filling still, never complete; The other, at high wish: Best state, contentless, Hath a distracted and most wretched being, Worse than the worst, content.
Thou should'st desire to die, being miserable.
Tim. Not by his breath, that is more miserable. Thou art a slave, whom Fortune's tender arm With favour never clasp'd; but bred a dog. Hadst thou, like us, from our first swath, proceeded The sweet degrees that this brief world affords To such as may the passive drugs of it Freely command, thou would'st have plung'd thyself In general riot; melted down thy youth In different beds of lust; and never learn'd The icy precepts of respect, but follow'd The sugar'd game before thee. But myself, Who had the world as my confectionary; The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of men At duty, more than I could frame employment; That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves Do on the oak, have with one winter's brush Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare For every storm that blows;-I, to bear this, That never knew but better, is some burden: Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time Hath made thee hard in't. Why should'st thou hate men?
Tim. "Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd; If not, I would it were.
Apem. What, would'st thou have to Athens? Tim. Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt, Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have. Apem. Here is no use for gold. Tim, The best, and truest: For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm. Apem. Where ly'st o'nights, Timon? Tim. Under that's above me. Where feed'st thou o'days, Apemantus? Apem. Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.
Tim. Would poison were obedient, and knew my mind!
Apem. Where would'st thou send it?
Apem. 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 thou knowest none, but art despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for thee, eat it.
Tim. On what I hate, I feed not. Apem. Dost hate a medlar?
Tim. Ay, though it look like thee. Apem. An thou hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou should'st have loved thyself better now. man didst thou ever know unthrift, that was beloved after his means?
Tim. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever know beloved?
Tim. I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a dog.
Apem. What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to thy flatterers?
Tim. Women nearest; but men, men are the things themselves. What would'st thou do with the world, Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?
Apem. Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men. Tim. Would'st thou have thyself fall in the confusion of men, and remain a beast with the beasts?
Apem. Ay, Timon.
Tim. A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee to attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile thee: if thou wert the lamb, the fox would eat thee: if thou wert the fox, the lion would suspect thee, when, peradventure, thou wert accused by the ass: if thou wert the ass, thy dulness would torment thee; and still thou lived st but as a breakfast to the wolf: if thou wert the wolf, thy greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou should'st hazard thy life for thy dinner: wert thou the unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee, and make thine own self the conquest of thy fury: wert thou a bear, thou would'st be killed by the horse; wert thou a horse, thou would'st be seized by the leopard; wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were jarors on thy life: all thy safety were remotion; and thy defence, absence. What beast could'st thou be, that were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art thou already, that seest not thy loss in transformation?
Apem. If thou could'st please me with speaking to me, thou might'st have hit upon it here: The commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.
Tim. How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city?
Apem. Yonder comes a poet, and a painter: The plague of company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it, and give way: When I know not what else to do, I'll see thee again.
Tim. When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than Apemantus.
Apem. Thou art the cap of all the fools alive. Tim. 'Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon. Apem. A plague on thee, thou art too bad to curse. Tim. All villains, that do stand by thee, are pore. Apem. There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st.
Tim. If I name thee.
O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
And mak'st them kiss! that speak'st with every tongue,
To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
'Would 'twere so ;But not till I am dead!-I'll say, thou hast gold: Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.
Tim. Thy back, I pr'ythee. Apem. Live, and love thy misery! Tim. Long live so, and so die!-I am quit.[Exit Apemantus. More things like men?-Eat, Timon, and abhor them.
1 Thief. Where should he have this gold? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder: The mere want of gold, and the fallingfrom of his friends, drove him into this melancholy.
2 Thief. It is noised, he hath a mass of treasure. 3 Thief. Let us make the assay upon him; if he care not for't, he will supply us easily; If he covetously reserve it, how shall's get it?
2 Thief. True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis bid.
1 Thief. Is not this he? Thieves. Where?
2 Thief. 'Tis his description. 3 Thief. He; know him. Thieves. Save thee, Timon. Tim. Now, thieves?
Thieves, Soldiers, not thieves. Tim. Both too; and women's sons. Thieves. We are not thieves, but men that much do want. [meat. Tim. Your greatest want is, you want much of Why should you want? Behold the earth hath roots; Within this mile break forth a hundred springs : The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips; The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush Lays her full mess before you. Want? why want? Í Thief. We cannot live on grass, on berries, water, As beasts, and birds, and fishes.
Tim. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes;
You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal, But thieves do lose it: Steal not less, for this I give you; and gold confound you howsoever Amen. (Timon retires to his cave.) 3 Thief. He has almost charmed me from my profession, by persuading me to it.
1 Thief. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery. 2 Thief. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.
1 Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens: There is no time so miserable, but a man may be true. [Exeunt Thieves.
Is yon despis'd and ruinous man my lord?
What viler thing upon the earth, than friends,
Flav. The gods are witness. Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
Tim. What, dost thou weep?- Come nearer;then I love thee,
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord, To accept my grief, and, whilst this poor wealth lasts, To entertain me as your steward still.
Tim. Had I a steward so true, so just, and now So comfortable? It almost turns My dangerous nature wild. Let me behold Thy face. Surely, this man was born of woman.— Forgive my general and exceptless rashness, Perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim One honest man,-mistake me not,-but one; No more, I pray,-and he is a steward.How fain would I have hated all mankind, And thou redeem'st thyself: But all, save thee, I fell with curses.
Methinks, thou art more honest now than wise;
If not a usuring kindness; and as rich men deal
Flav. No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are plac'd too late:
Suspect still comes, where an estate is least.
For any benefit that points to me,
Tim. Look thee, 'tis so!-Thou singly honest man,
O, let me stay,
If thou hat'st
Curses, stay not; fly, while thou'rt bless'd and free: Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee. [Exeunt severally.
SCENE I. The same. Before Timon's Cave. Enter Poet and Painter; TIMON behind, unseen. Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.
Poet. What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold?
Pain. Certain : Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: "Tis said, he gave unto his steward a mighty sum. Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.
Pain. 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 shew honesty in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.
Poet. What have you now to present unto him? Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation: only I will promise him an excellent piece.
Poet. must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.
Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o'the time: it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of saying is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will, or testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.
Tim. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.
Poet. I am thinking what I shall say I have provided for him: It must be a personating of himself: a satire against the softness of prosperity; with a discovery of the infinite flatteries that follow youth and opulency.
Tim. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.
Poet. Nay, let's seek him:
Then do we sin against our own estate,
Tim. I'll meet you at the turn. What a god's gold,
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple
When the day serves, before black-corner'd night, Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light. Come
"Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough'st the foam;
Settlest admired reverence in a slave:
To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Poet. Hail, worthy Timon!
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
Tim. Let it go naked, men may see't the better: You, that are honest, by being what you are, Make them best seen, and known.
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.
Tim. Good honest men:-Thou draw'st a counterfeit
Best in all Athens: thou art, indeed, the best; Thou counterfeit'st most lively.
So, so, my lord. Tim. Even so, sir, as I say :-And, for thy fiction, (To the Poet.) Why, thy verses swell with stuff so fine and smooth, That thou art even natural in thine art.But, for all this, my honest-natur'd friends, I must needs say, you have a little fault: Marry, 'tis not monstrous in you; neither wish I, You take much pains to mend.
Beseech your honour,
To make it known to us.
Both. Doubt it not, worthy lord.
Do we, my lord? Tim. Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Pain. I know none such, my lord.
Nor I. Tim. 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 draught, Confound them by some course, and come to me, I'll give you gold enough.
Both. Name them, my lord, let's know them. Tim. You that way, and you this, but two in com pany:
Each man apart, all single and alone,
2 Sen. And shakes his threat'ning sword Against the walls of Athens. 1 Sen.
Therefore, Timon.Tim. Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; Thus,
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company. If where thou art, two villains shall not be, (To the Painter.) Come not near him.-If thou would'st not reside (To the Poet.) But where one villain is, then him abandon.Hence! pack! there's gold, ye came for gold, ye slaves:
You have done work for me, there's payment: Hence!
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd war;
[Exit, beating and driving them out. Then, let him know, and tell him, Timon speaks it,
I cannot choose but tell him, that I care not,
For he is set so only to himself,
At all times alike Men are not still the same: 'Twas time and griefs, That fram'd 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.
SCENE II.-The same.
Enter FLAVIUS and two Senators.
Flav. It is in vain that you would speak with There's not a whittle in the unruly camp,
Flav. Here is his cave.Peace and content be here! Lord Timon! Timon! Look out, and speak to friends: The Athenians, By two of their most reverend senate, greet thee: Speak to them, noble Timon.
Tim. Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn!-Speak, and be hang'd:
For each true word, a blister! and each false
Worthy Timon, Tim. Of none but such as you, and you of Timon. 2 Sen. The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon. Tim. I thank them; and would send them back the plague, Could I but catch it for them. 1 Sen. 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 For thy best use and wearing.
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen, Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
Toward thee, forgetfulness too general, gross :
That-Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens, And take our goodly aged men by the beards, Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Tim. You witch me in it; 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.
1 Sen. Therefore, so please thee to return with us, And of our Athens (thine, and ours,) to take The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks, Allow'd with absolute power, and thy good name Live with authority:-so soon we shall drive back Of Alcibiades the approaches wild; Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up His country's peace.
The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you
Stay not, all's in vain. Tim. Why, I was writing of my epitaph, It will be seen to-morrow; My long sickness Of health, and living, now begins to mend, And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still; Be Alcibiades your plague, you his, And last so long enough!
We speak in vain.
Tim. But yet I love my country; and am not One that rejoices in the common wreck, As common bruit doth put it. 1 Sen. That's well spoke. Tim. Commend me to my loving countrymen,— 1 Sen. These words become your lips as they pass through them.
2 Sen. And enter in our ears like great triumphers In their applauding gates. Tim.
Commend me to them; And them, that, ease them of their griefs, 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:
I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.
Tim. Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead: let us return, And strain what other means is left unto us In our dear peril. 1 Sen.
It requires swift foot. [Exeunt.
1 Sen. Thou hast painfully discover'd; are his files As full as thy report?
2 Sen. Nor are they living, Who were the motives that you first went out; Shame, that they wunted cunning, in excess Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord, Into our city with thy banners spread: By decimation, and a tithed death, (If thy revenges hunger for that food, Which nature loaths,) take thou the destin'd tenth; And by the hazard of the spotted die, Let die the spotted.
1 Sen. All have not offended; For those that were, it is not square to take, On those that are, revenges: crimes, like lands, Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman, 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 the infected forth, But kill not all together. 2 Sen.
Till now you have gone on, and fill'd the time
1 Sen. Noble, and young, 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.
2 Sen. So did we woo Transformed Timon to our city's love, By humble message, and by promis'd means: We were not all unkind, nor all deserve The common stroke of war.
These walls of ours Were not erected by their hands, from whom You have receiv'd your griefs: nor are they such, That these great towers, trophies, and schools should fall For private faults in them.
What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile,
Throw thy glove, Or any token of thine honour else, That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress, And not as our confusion, all thy powers Shall make their harbour in our town, till we Have seal'd thy full desire. Alcib. Then there's my glove; Descend, and open your uncharged 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 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.