Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)

Timon of Athens.
2030To euerie purpose: O thou touch of hearts,
Thinke thy slaue-man rebels, and by thy vertue
Set them into confounding oddes, that Beasts
May haue the world in Empire.
Ape. Would 'twere so,
2035But not till I am dead. Ile say th'hast Gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd too shortly.
Tim. Throng'd too?
Ape. I.
Tim. Thy backe I prythee.
2040Ape. Liue, and loue thy misery.
Tim. Long liue so, and so dye. I am quit.
Ape. Mo things like men,
Eate Timon, and abhorre then.
Exit Apeman.

Enter the Bandetti.

20451 Where should he haue this Gold? It is some poore
Fragment, some slender Ort of his remainder: the meere
want of Gold, and the falling from of his Friendes, droue
him into this Melancholly.
2 It is nois'd
2050He hath a masse of Treasure.
3 Let vs make the assay vpon him, if he care not for't,
he will supply vs easily: if he couetously reserue it, how
shall's get it?
2 True: for he beares it not about him:
2055'Tis hid.
1 Is not this hee?
All. Where?
2 'Tis his description.
3 He? I know him.
2060All. Saue thee Timon.
Tim. Now Theeues.
All. Soldiers, not Theeues.
Tim. Both too, and womens Sonnes.
All. We are not Theeues, but men
2065That much do want.
Tim. Your greatest want is, you want much of meat:
Why should you want? Behold, the Earth hath Rootes:
Within this Mile breake forth a hundred Springs:
The Oakes beare Mast, the Briars Scarlet Heps,
2070The bounteous Huswife Nature, on each bush,
Layes her full Messe before you. Want? why Want?
1 We cannot liue on Grasse, on Berries, Water,
As Beasts, and Birds, and Fishes.
Ti. Nor on the Beasts themselues, the Birds & Fishes,
2075You must eate men. Yet thankes I must you con,
That you are Theeues profest: that you worke not
In holier shapes: For there is boundlesse Theft
In limited Professions. Rascall Theeues
Heere's Gold. Go, sucke the subtle blood o'th' Grape,
2080Till the high Feauor seeth your blood to froth,
And so scape hanging. Trust not the Physitian,
His Antidotes are poyson, and he slayes
Moe then you Rob: Take wealth, and liues together,
Do Villaine do, since you protest to doo't.
2085Like Workemen, Ile example you with Theeuery:
The Sunnes a Theefe, and with his great attraction
Robbes the vaste Sea. The Moones an arrant Theefe,
And her pale fire, she snatches from the Sunne.
The Seas a Theefe, whose liquid Surge, resolues
2090The Moone into Salt teares. The Earth's a Theefe,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolne
From gen'rall excrement: each thing's a Theefe.
The Lawes, your curbe and whip, in their rough power
Ha's vncheck'd Theft. Loue not your selues, away,
2095Rob one another, there's more Gold, cut throates,
All that you meete are Theeues: to Athens go,
Breake open shoppes, nothing can you steale
But Theeues do loose it: steale lesse, for this I giue you,
And Gold confound you howsoere: Amen.
21003 Has almost charm'd me from my Profession, by per-
swading me to it.
1 'Tis in the malice of mankinde, that he thus aduises
vs not to haue vs thriue in our mystery.
2 Ile beleeue him as an Enemy,
2105And giue ouer my Trade.
1 Let vs first see peace in Athens, there is no time so
miserable, but a man may be true.
Exit Theeues.

Enter the Steward to Timon.

Stew. Oh you Gods!
2110Is yon'd despis'd and ruinous man my Lord?
Full of decay and fayling? Oh Monument
And wonder of good deeds, euilly bestow'd!
What an alteration of Honor has desp'rate want made?
What vilder thing vpon the earth, then Friends,
2115Who can bring Noblest mindes, to basest ends.
How rarely does it meete with this times guise,
When man was wisht to loue his Enemies:
Grant I may euer loue, and rather woo
Those that would mischeefe me, then those that doo.
2120Has caught me in his eye, I will present my honest griefe
vnto him; and as my Lord, still serue him with my life.
My deerest Master.
Tim. Away: what art thou?
Stew. Haue you forgot me, Sir?
2125Tim. Why dost aske that? I haue forgot all men.
Then, if thou grunt'st, th'art a man.
I haue forgot thee.
Stew. An honest poore seruant of yours.
Tim. Then I know thee not:
2130I neuer had honest man about me, I all
I kept were Knaues, to serue in meate to Villaines.
Stew. The Gods are witnesse,
Neu'r did poore Steward weare a truer greefe
For his vndone Lord, then mine eyes for you.
2135Tim. What, dost thou weepe?
Come neerer, then I loue thee
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flinty mankinde: whose eyes do neuer giue,
But thorow Lust and Laughter: pittie's sleeping:
2140Strange times yt weepe with laughing, not with weeping.
Stew. I begge of you to know me, good my Lord,
T'accept my greefe, and whil'st this poore wealth lasts,
To entertaine me as your Steward still.
Tim. Had I a Steward
2145So true, so iust, and now so comfortable?
It almost turnes my dangerous Nature wilde.
Let me behold thy face: Surely, this man
Was borne of woman.
Forgiue my generall, and exceptlesse rashnesse
2150You perpetuall sober Gods. I do proclaime
One honest man: Mistake me not, but one:
No more I pray, and hee's a Steward.
How faine would I haue hated all mankinde,
And thou redeem'st thy selfe. But all saue thee,
2155I fell with Curses.
Me thinkes thou art more honest now, then wise:
For, by oppressing and betraying mee,