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Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
Flav. No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Tim. Look thee, 'tis so !—Thou singly honest man,
0, let me stay, And comfort you, my master. Tim.
If thou hat'st curses, Stay not; but fly whilst thou’rt bless’d and free: Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
SCENE I-THE WOODS. Before TIMON's Cave.
Enter Poet and Painter; TIMON watching them from
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's 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 show honestly 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.
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. I inust 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. 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
When we may profit meet and come too late.
When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Tim. I'll meet you at the turn.
What a god's gold,
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple
Than where swine feed!
'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough'st the foam:
To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Poet. Hail, worthy Timon!
[Advancing from his cave.
Our late noble master!
Tim. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men?
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retir'd, your friends fall'n off,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
With any size of words.
Tim. Let it go naked, men may see't the better:
He and myself
Ay, you are honest men.
Pain. We are hither come to offer you our service. Tim. 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. Tim. Ye're honest men: ye've heard that I have gold; I am sure you have: speak truth; ye're honest men. Pain. So it is said, my noble lord: but therefore Came not my friend nor I.
Tim. Good honest men!-Thou draw'st a counterfeit Best in all Athens: thou'rt indeed the best;
Thou counterfeit'st most lively.
So, so, my lord.
Tim. E'en so, sir, as I say.-And, for thy fiction,
[To the Poet.
Beseech your honour
You'll take it ill.
Will you indeed?
Do we, my lord ?
Pain. I know none such, my lord.
Both. Name them, my lord ; let's know them.
Tim. You that way, and you this, --but two in company: Each man apart, all single and alone, 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 wouldst 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!You are an alchemist, make gold of that: Out, rascal dogs!
[Exit, beating and driving them out. Enter FLAVIUS and two Senators. Flav. It is in vain that you would speak with Timon; For he is set so only to himself That nothing but himself
, which looks like man, Is friendly with him.
Bring us to his cave:
At all times alike
Here is his cave. —
TIMON comes from his Cave.