Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)


THE LIFE OF TYMON
OF ATHENS.
1
Actus Primus. Scœna Prima.
Enter Poet, Painter, Ieweller, Merchant, and Mercer,
at seuerall doores.
Poet.
5Good day Sir.
Pain. I am glad y'are well.
Poet. I haue not seene you long, how goes
the World?
Pain. It weares sir, as it growes.
10Poet. I that's well knowne:
But what particular Rarity? What strange,
Which manifold record not matches: see
Magicke of Bounty, all these cspirits thy power
Hath coniur'd to attend.
15I know the Merchant.
Pain. I know them both: th' others a Ieweller.
Mer. O 'tis a worthy Lord.
Iew. Nay that's most fixt.
Mer. A most incomparable man, breath'd as it were,
20To an vntyreable and continuate goodnesse:
He passes.
Iew. I haue a Iewell heere.
Mer. O pray let's see't. For the Lord Timon, sir?
Iewel. If he will touch the estimate. But for that---
25Poet. When we for recompence haue prais'd the vild,
It staines the glory in that happy Verse,
Which aptly sings the good.
Mer. 'Tis a good forme.
Iewel. And rich: heere is a Water looke ye.
30Pain. You are rapt sir, in some worke, some Dedica-
tion to the great Lord.
Poet. A thing slipt idlely from me.
Our Poesie is as a Gowne, which vses
From whence 'tis nourisht: the fire i'th' Flint
35Shewes not, till it be strooke: our gentle flame
Prouokes it selfe, and like the currant flyes
Each bound it chases. What haue you there?
Pain. A Picture sir: when comes your Booke forth?
Poet. Vpon the heeles of my presentment sir.
40Let's see your peece.
Pain. 'Tis a good Peece.
Poet. So 'tis, this comes off well, and excellent.
Pain. Indifferent.
Poet. Admirable: How this grace
45Speakes his owne standing: what a mentall power
This eye shootes forth? How bigge imagination
Moues in this Lip, to th' dumbnesse of the gesture,
One might interpret.
Pain. It is a pretty mocking of the life:
50Heere is a touch: Is't good?
Poet. I will say of it,
It Tutors Nature, Artificiall strife
Liues in these toutches, liuelier then life.
Enter certaine Senators.
55Pain. How this Lord is followed.
Poet. The Senators of Athens, happy men.
Pain. Looke moe.
Po. You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors,
I haue in this rough worke, shap'd out a man
60Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hugge
With amplest entertainment: My free drift
Halts not particularly, but moues it selfe
In a wide Sea of wax, no leuell'd malice
Infects one comma in the course I hold,
65But flies an Eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
Leauing no Tract behinde.
Pain. How shall I vnderstand you?
Poet. I will vnboult to you.
You see how all Conditions, how all Mindes,
70As well of glib and slipp'ry Creatures, as
Of Graue and austere qualitie, tender downe
Their seruices to Lord Timon: his large Fortune,
Vpon his good and gracious Nature hanging,
Subdues and properties to his loue and tendance
75All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glasse-fac'd Flatterer
To Apemantus, that few things loues better
Then to abhorre himselfe; euen hee drops downe
The knee before him, and returnes in peace
Most rich in Timons nod.
80Pain. I saw them speake together.
Poet. Sir, I haue vpon a high and pleasant hill
Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd.
The Base o'th' Mount
Is rank'd with all deserts, all kinde of Natures
85That labour on the bosome of this Sphere,
To propagate their states; among'st them all,
Whose eyes are on this Soueraigne Lady fixt,
One do I personate of Lord Timons frame,
Whom Fortune with her Iuory hand wafts to her,
90Whose present grace, to present slaues and seruants
Translates his Riuals.
Pain. 'Tis conceyu'd, to scope
This Throne, this Fortune, and this Hill me thinkes
With one man becken'd from the rest below,
95Bowing his head against the steepy Mount
To climbe his happinesse, would be well exprest
In our Condition.
Poet. Nay Sir, but heare me on:
All those which were his Fellowes but of late,
100Some better then his valew; on the moment
Follow his strides, his Lobbies fill with tendance,
Raine Sacrificiall whisperings in his eare,
Make Sacred euen his styrrop, and through him
Drinke the free Ayre.
105Pain. I marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
Spurnes downe her late beloued; all his Dependants
Which labour'd after him to the Mountaines top,
Euen on their knees and hand, let him sit downe,
110Not one accompanying his declining foot.
Pain. Tis common:
A thousand morall Paintings I can shew,
That shall demonstrate these quicke blowes of Fortunes,
More pregnantly then words. Yet you do well,
115To shew Lord Timon, that meane eyes haue seene
The foot aboue the head.
Trumpets sound.
Enter Lord Timon, addressing himselfe curteously
to euery Sutor.
120Tim. Imprison'd is he, say you?
Mes. I my good Lord, fiue Talents is his debt,
His meanes most short, his Creditors most straite:
Your Honourable Letter he desires
To those haue shut him vp, which failing,
125Periods his comfort.
Tim. Noble Ventidius, well:
I am not of that Feather, to shake off
My Friend when he must neede me. I do know him
A Gentleman, that well deserues a helpe,
130Which he shall haue. Ile pay the debt, and free him.
Mes. Your Lordship euer bindes him.
Tim. Commend me to him, I will send his ransome,
And being enfranchized bid him come to me;
'Tis not enough to helpe the Feeble vp,
135But to support him after. Fare you well.
Mes. All happinesse to your Honor.
Exit.
Enter an old Athenian.
Oldm. Lord Timon, heare me speake.
Tim. Freely good Father.
140Oldm. Thou hast a Seruant nam'd Lucilius.
Tim. I haue so: What of him?
Oldm. Most Noble Timon, call the man before thee.
Tim. Attends he heere, or no? Lucillius.
Luc. Heere at your Lordships seruice.
145Oldm. This Fellow heere, L. Timon, this thy Creature,
By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first haue beene inclin'd to thrift,
And my estate deserues an Heyre more rais'd,
Then one which holds a Trencher.
150Tim. Well: what further?
Old. One onely Daughter haue I, no Kin else,
On whom I may conferre what I haue got:
The Maid is faire, a'th' youngest for a Bride,
And I haue bred her at my deerest cost
155In Qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her loue: I prythee (Noble Lord)
Ioyne with me to forbid him her resort,
My selfe haue spoke in vaine.
Tim. The man is honest.
160Oldm. Therefore he will be Timon,
His honesty rewards him in it selfe,
It must not beare my Daughter.
Tim. Does she loue him?
Oldm. She is yong and apt:
165Our owne precedent passions do instruct vs
What leuities in youth.
Tim. Loue you the Maid?
Luc. I my good Lord, and she accepts of it.
Oldm. If in her Marriage my consent be missing,
170I call the Gods to witnesse, I will choose
Mine heyre from forth the Beggers of the world,
And dispossesse her all.
Tim. How shall she be endowed,
If she be mated with an equall Husband?
175Oldm. Three Talents on the present; in future, all.
Tim. This Gentleman of mine
Hath seru'd me long:
To build his Fortune, I will straine a little,
For 'tis a Bond in men. Giue him thy Daughter,
180What you bestow, in him Ile counterpoize,
And make him weigh with her.
Oldm. Most Noble Lord,
Pawne me to this your Honour, she is his.
Tim. My hand to thee,
185Mine Honour on my promise.
Luc. Humbly I thanke your Lordship, neuer may
That state or Fortune fall into my keeping,
Which is not owed to you.
Exit
Poet. Vouchsafe my Labour,
190And long liue your Lordship.
Tim. I thanke you, you shall heare from me anon:
Go not away. What haue you there, my Friend?
Pain. A peece of Painting, which I do beseech
Your Lordship to accept.
195Tim. Painting is welcome.
The Painting is almost the Naturall man:
For since Dishonor Traffickes with mans Nature,
He is but out-side: These Pensil'd Figures are
Euen such as they giue out. I like your worke,
200And you shall finde I like it; Waite attendance
Till you heare further from me.
Pain. The Gods preserue ye.
Tim. Well fare you Gentleman: giue me your hand.
We must needs dine together: sir your Iewell
205Hath suffered vnder praise.
Iewel. What my Lord, dispraise?
Tim. A meere saciety of Commendations,
If I should pay you for't as 'tis extold,
It would vnclew me quite.
210Iewel. My Lord, 'tis rated
As those which sell would giue: but you well know,
Things of like valew differing in the Owners,
Are prized by their Masters. Beleeu't deere Lord,
You mend the Iewell by the wearing it.
215Tim. Well mock'd.
Enter Apermantus.
Mer. No my good Lord, he speakes ye common toong
Which all men speake with him.
Tim. Looke who comes heere, will you be chid?
Iewel. Wee'l beare with your Lordship.
220Mer. Hee'l spare none.
Tim. Good morrow to thee,
Gentle Apermantus.
Ape. Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow.
When thou art Timons dogge, and these Knaues honest.
225Tim. Why dost thou call them Knaues, thou know'st
them not?
Ape. Are they not Athenians?
Tim. Yes.
Ape. Then I repent not.
230Iew. You know me, Apemantus?
Ape. Thou know'st I do, I call'd thee by thy name.
Tim. Thou art proud Apemantus?
Ape. Of nothing so much, as that I am not like Timon
Tim. Whether art going?
235Ape. To knocke out an honest Athenians braines.
Tim. That's a deed thou't dye for.
Ape. Right, if doing nothing be death by th' Law.
Tim. How lik'st thou this picture Apemantus?
Ape. The best, for the innocence.
240Tim. Wrought he not well that painted it.
Ape. He wrought better that made the Painter, and
yet he's but a filthy peece of worke.
Pain. Y'are a Dogge.
Ape. Thy Mothers of my generation: what's she, if I
245be a Dogge?
Tim. Wilt dine with me Apemantus?
Ape. No: I eate not Lords.
Tim. And thou should'st, thoud'st anger Ladies.
Ape. O they eate Lords;
250So they come by great bellies.
Tim. That's a lasciuious apprehension.
Ape. So, thou apprehend'st it,
Take it for thy labour.
Tim. How dost thou like this Iewell, Apemantus?
255Ape. Not so well as plain-dealing, which wil not cast
a man a Doit.
Tim. What dost thou thinke 'tis worth?
Ape. Not worth my thinking.
How now Poet?
260poet. How now Philosopher?
pe. Thou lyest.
Poet. Art not one?
Ape. Yes.
Poet. Then I lye not.
265Ape. Art not a Poet?
Poet. Yes.
Ape. Then thou lyest:
Looke in thy last worke, where thou hast fegin'd him a
worthy Fellow.
270Poet. That's not feign'd, he is so.
Ape. Yes he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thy
labour. He that loues to be flattered, is worthy o'th flat-
terer. Heauens, that I were a Lord.
Tim. What wouldst do then Apemantus?
275Ape. E'ne as Apemantus does now, hate a Lord with
my heart.
Tim. What thy selfe?
Ape. I.
Tim. Wherefore?
280Ape. That I had no angry wit to be a Lord.
Art not thou a Merchant?
Mer. I Apemantus.
Ape. Traffick confound thee, if the Gods will not.
Mer. If Trafficke do it, the Gods do it.
285Ape. Traffickes thy God, & thy God confound thee.
Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger.
Tim. What Trumpets that?
Mes. 'Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty Horse
All of Companionship.
290Tim. Pray entertaine them, giue them guide to vs.
You must needs dine with me: go not you hence
Till I haue thankt you: when dinners done
Shew me this peece, I am ioyfull of your sights.
Enter Alcibiades with the rest.
295Most welcome Sir.
Ape. So, so; their Aches contract, and sterue your
supple ioynts: that there should bee small loue amongest
these sweet Knaues, and all this Curtesie. The straine of
mans bred out into Baboon and Monkey.
300Alc. Sir, you haue sau'd my longing, and I feed
Most hungerly on your sight.
Tim. Right welcome Sir:
Ere we depatt, wee'l share a bounteous time
In different pleasures.
305Pray you let vs in.
Exeunt.
Enter two Lords.
1.Lord What time a day is't Apemantus?
Ape. Time to be honest.
1 That time serues still.
310Ape. The most accursed thou that still omitst it.
2 Thou art going to Lord Timons Feast.
Ape. I, to see meate fill Knaues, and Wine heat fooles.
2 Farthee well, farthee well.
Ape. Thou art a Foole to bid me farewell twice.
3152 Why Apemantus?
Ape. Should'st haue kept one to thy selfe, for I meane
to giue thee none.
1 Hang thy selfe.
Ape. No I will do nothing at thy bidding:
320Make thy requests to thy Friend.
2 Away vnpeaceable Dogge,
Or Ile spurne thee hence.
Ape. I will flye like a dogge, the heeles a'th' Asse.
1 Hee's opposite to humanity.
325Come shall we in,
And raste Lord Timons bountie: he out- goes
The verie heart of kindnesse.
2 He powres it out: Plutus the God of Gold
Is but his Steward: no meede but he repayes
330Seuen- fold aboue it selfe: No guift to him,
But breeds the giuer a returne: exceeding
All vse of quittance.
1 The Noblest minde he carries,
That euer gouern'd man.
3352 Long may he liue in Fortunes. Shall we in?
Ile keepe you Company.
Exeunt.