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!
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 might'st have sooner got another service:
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,
If not a usuring kindness, and, as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?

Flav. No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are plac'd too late:
You should have fear'd false times when you did feast:
Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,
Duty, and zeal to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food and living; and, believe it,
My most honour'd lord,
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.

Tim. Look thee, 'tis so !—Thou singly honest man,
Here, take:—the gods, out of my misery,
Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy ;
But thus condition'd:-thou shalt build from men;
Hate all, curse all; show charity to none;
But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone
Ere thou relieve the beggar: give to dogs
What thou deny'st to men ; let prisons swallow 'em,
Debts wither 'em to nothing: be men like blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods !
And so, farewell and thrive.

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.

[Exeunt severally.



Enter Poet and Painter; TIMON watching them from

his cave.

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.
Pain. True;

When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.

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:
Settlest admired reverence in a slave:

To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Be crown'd with plagues, that thee alone obe
Fit I meet them.

Poet. Hail, worthy Timon!

[Advancing from his cave.

Our late noble master!

Tim. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men?
Poet. Sir,

Having often of your open bounty tasted,

Hearing you were retir'd, your friends fall'n off,
Whose thankless natures,—O abhorred spirits!—
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough:
What! to you,

Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
To their whole being! I'm rapt, and cannot cover
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude

With any size of words.

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.

He and myself

Have travail'd in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.


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.
Why, thy verse swells 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.

You'll take it ill.
Both. Most thankfully, my lord.

Will you indeed?
Both. Doubt it not, worthy lord.
Tim. There's never a one of you but trusts a knave
That mightily deceives you.

Do we, my lord ?
Tim. Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom: yet remain assur'd
That he's a made-up villain.

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 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.


1 Sen.

Bring us to his cave:
It is our part and promise to the Atheniang
To speak with Timon.
2 Sen.

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.

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.

TIMON comes from his Cave.
Tim. Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn !-Speak, and be

For each true word a blister! and each false
Be as a cauterizing to the root o'the tongue,
Consuming it with speaking!
1 Sen.

Worthy Timon,--
T'im. Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.
1 Sen. The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.
Tim. I thank them; and would send them back the

Could I but catch it for them.
1 Sen.

0, 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.
2 Sen.

They confess
Toward thee forgetfulness too general, gross:
Which now the public body,-- which doth seldom
Play the recanter,-feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fail, restraining aid to Timon;
And send forth us to make their sorrow'd render,
Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram ;
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.

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