Internet Shakespeare Editions

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


90
Timon of Athens.

Plucke the graue wrinkled Senate from the Bench,
And minister in their steeds, to generall Filthes.
1510Conuert o'th' Instant greene Virginity,
Doo't in your Parents eyes. Bankrupts, hold fast
Rather then render backe; out with your Kniues,
And cut your Trusters throates. Bound Seruants, steale,
Large-handed Robbers your graue Masters are,
1515And pill by Law. Maide, to thy Masters bed,
Thy Mistris is o'th' Brothell. Some of sixteen,
Plucke the lyn'd Crutch from thy old limping Sire,
With it, beate out his Braines, Piety, and Feare,
Religion to the Gods, Peace, Iustice, Truth,
1520Domesticke awe, Night-rest, and Neighbour-hood,
Instruction, Manners, Mysteries, and Trades,
Degrees, Obseruances, Customes, and Lawes,
Decline to your confounding contraries.
And yet Confusion liue: Plagues incident to men,
1525Your potent and infectious Feauors, heape
On Athens ripe for stroke. Thou cold Sciatica,
Cripple our Senators, that their limbes may halt
As lamely as their Manners. Lust, and Libertie
Creepe in the Mindes and Marrowes of our youth,
1530That 'gainst the streame of Vertue they may striue,
And drowne themselues in Riot. Itches, Blaines,
So we all th' Athenian bosomes, and their crop
Be generall Leprosie: Breath, infect breath,
That their Society (as their Friendship) may
1535Be meerely poyson. Nothing Ile beare from thee
But nakednesse, thou detestable Towne,
Take thou that too, with multiplying Bannes:
Timon will to the Woods, where he shall finde
Th'vnkindest Beast, more kinder then Mankinde.
1540The Gods confound (heare me you good Gods all)
Th'Athenians both within and out that Wall:
And graunt as Timon growes, his hate may grow
To the whole race of Mankinde, high and low.
Amen.
Exit.
1545
Enter Steward with two or three Seruants.

1 Heare you M. Steward, where's our Master?
Are we vndone, cast off, nothing remaining?
Stew. Alack my Fellowes, what should I say to you?
Let me be recorded by the righteous Gods,
1550I am as poore as you.
1 Such a House broke?
So Noble a Master falne, all gone, and not
One Friend to take his Fortune by the arme,
And go along with him.
15552 As we do turne our backes
From our Companion, throwne into his graue,
So his Familiars to his buried Fortunes
Slinke all away, leaue their false vowes with him
Like empty purses pickt; and his poore selfe
1560A dedicated Beggar to the Ayre,
With his disease, of all shunn'd pouerty,
Walkes like contempt alone. More of our Fellowes.
Enter other Seruants.
Stew. All broken Implements of a ruin'd house.
15653 Yet do our hearts weare Timons Liuery,
That see I by our Faces: we are Fellowes still,
Seruing alike in sorrow: Leak'd is our Barke,
And we poore Mates, stand on the dying Decke,
Hearing the Surges threat: we must all part
1570Into this Sea of Ayre.
Stew. Good Fellowes all,
The latest of my wealth Ile share among'st you.
Where euer we shall meete, for Timons sake,
Let's yet be Fellowes. Let's shake our heads, and say
1575As 'twere a Knell vnto our Masters Fortunes,
We haue seene better dayes. Let each take some:
Nay put out all your hands: Not one word more,
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poore.
Embrace and part seuerall wayes.
1580Oh the fierce wretchednesse that Glory brings vs!
Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since Riches point to Misery and Contempt?
Who would be so mock'd with Glory, or to liue
But in a Dreame of Friendship,
1585To haue his pompe, and all what state compounds,
But onely painted like his varnisht Friends:
Poore honest Lord, brought lowe by his owne heart,
Vndone by Goodnesse: Strange vnvsuall blood,
When mans worst sinne is, He do's too much Good.
1590Who then dares to be halfe so kinde agen?
For Bounty that makes Gods, do still marre Men.
My deerest Lord, blest to be most accurst,
Rich onely to be wretched; thy great Fortunes
Are made thy cheefe Afflictions. Alas (kinde Lord)
1595Hee's flung in Rage from this ingratefull Seate
Of monstrous Friends:
Nor ha's he with him to supply his life,
Or that which can command it:
Ile follow and enquire him out.
1600Ile euer serue his minde, with my best will,
Whilst I haue Gold, Ile be his Steward still.
Exit.
Enter Timon in the woods.

Tim. O blessed breeding Sun, draw from the earth
Rotten humidity: below thy Sisters Orbe
1605Infect the ayre. Twin'd Brothers of one wombe,
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
Scarse is diuidant; touch them with seuerall fortunes,
The greater scornes the lesser. Not Nature
(To whom all sores lay siege) can beare great Fortune
1610But by contempt of Nature.
Raise me this Begger, and deny't that Lord,
The Senators shall beare contempt Hereditary,
The Begger Natiue Honor.
It is the Pastour Lards, the Brothers sides,
1615The want that makes him leaue: who dares? who dares
In puritie of Manhood stand vpright
And say, this mans a Flatterer. If one be,
So are they all: for euerie grize of Fortune
Is smooth'd by that below. The Learned pate
1620Duckes to the Golden Foole. All's obliquie:
There's nothing leuell in our cursed Natures
But direct villanie. Therefore be abhorr'd,
All Feasts, Societies, and Throngs of men.
His semblable, yea himselfe Timon disdaines,
1625Destruction phang mankinde; Earth yeeld me Rootes,
Who seekes for better of thee, sawce his pallate
With thy most operant Poyson. What is heere?
Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious Gold?
No Gods, I am no idle Votarist,
1630Roots you cleere Heauens. Thus much of this will make
Blacke, white; fowle, faire; wrong, right;
Base, Noble; Old, young; Coward, valiant.
Ha you Gods! why this? what this, you Gods? why this
Will lugge your Priests and Seruants from your sides:
1635Plucke stout mens pillowes from below their heads.
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