Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)

Timon of Athens.
Thou might'st haue sooner got another Seruice:
For many so arriue at second Masters,
2160Vpon their first Lords necke. But tell me true,
(For I must euer doubt, though ne're so sure)
Is not thy kindnesse subtle, couetous,
If not a Vsuring kindnesse, and as rich men deale Guifts,
Expecting in returne twenty for one?
2165Stew. No my most worthy Master, in whose brest
Doubt, and suspect (alas) are plac'd too late:
You should haue fear'd false times, when you did Feast.
Suspect still comes, where an estate is least.
That which I shew, Heauen knowes, is meerely Loue,
2170Dutie, and Zeale, to your vnmatched minde;
Care of your Food and Liuing, and beleeue it,
My most Honour'd Lord,
For any benefit that points to mee,
Either in hope, or present, I'de exchange
2175For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
To requite me, by making rich your selfe.
Tim. Looke thee, 'tis so: thou singly honest man,
Heere take: the Gods out of my miserie
Ha's sent thee Treasure. Go, liue rich and happy,
2180But thus condition'd: Thou shalt build from men:
Hate all, curse all, shew Charity to none,
But let the famisht flesh slide from the Bone,
Ere thou releeue the Begger. Giue to dogges
What thou denyest to men. Let Prisons swallow 'em,
2185Debts wither 'em to nothing, be men like blasted woods
And may Diseases licke vp their false bloods,
And so farewell, and thriue.
Stew. O let me stay, and comfort you, my Master.
Tim. If thou hat'st Curses
2190Stay not: flye, whil'st thou art blest and free:
Ne're see thou man, and let me ne're see thee.
Enter Poet, and Painter.
Pain. As I tooke note of the place, it cannot be farre
where he abides.
2195Poet. What's to be thought of him?
Does the Rumor hold for true,
That hee's so full of Gold?
Painter. Certaine.
Alcibiades reports it: Phrinica and Timandylo
2200Had Gold of him. He likewise enrich'd
Poore stragling Souldiers, with great quantity.
'Tis saide, he gaue vnto his Steward
A mighty summe.
Poet. Then this breaking of his,
2205Ha's beene but a Try for his Friends?
Painter. Nothing else:
You shall see him a Palme in Athens againe,
And flourish with the highest:
Therefore, 'tis not amisse, we tender our loues
2210To him, in this suppos'd distresse of his:
It will shew honestly in vs,
And is very likely, to loade our purposes
With what they trauaile for,
If it be a iust and true report, that goes
2215Of his hauing.
Poet. What haue you now
To present vnto him?
Painter. Nothing at this time
But my Visitation: onely I will promise him
2220An excellent Peece.
Poet. I must serue him so too;
Tell him of an intent that's comming toward him.
Painter. Good as the best.
Promising, is the verie Ayre o'th' Time;
2225It opens the eyes of Expectation.
Performance, is euer the duller for his acte,
And but in the plainer and simpler kinde of people,
The deede of Saying is quite out of vse.
To Promise, is most Courtly and fashionable;
2230Performance, is a kinde of Will or Testament
Which argues a great sicknesse in his iudgement
That makes it.

Enter Timon from his Caue.

Timon. Excellent Workeman,
2235Thou canst not paint a man so badde
As is thy selfe.
Poet. I am thinking
What I shall say I haue prouided for him:
It must be a personating of himselfe:
2240A Satyre against the softnesse of Prosperity,
With a Discouerie of the infinite Flatteries
That follow youth and opulencie.
Timon. Must thou needes
Stand for a Villaine in thine owne Worke?
2245Wilt thou whip thine owne faults in other men?
Do so, I haue Gold for thee.
Poet. Nay let's seeke him.
Then do we sinne against our owne estate,
When we may profit meete, and come too late.
2250Painter. True:
When the day serues before blacke-corner'd night;
Finde what thou want'st, by free and offer'd light.
Tim. Ile meete you at the turne:
2255What a Gods Gold, that he is worshipt
In a baser Temple, then where Swine feede?
'Tis thou that rigg'st the Barke, and plow'st the Fome,
Setlest admired reuerence in a Slaue,
To thee be worshipt, and thy Saints for aye:
2260Be crown'd with Plagues, that thee alone obay.
Fit I meet them.
Poet. Haile worthy Timon.
Pain. Our late Noble Master.
Timon. Haue I once liu'd
2265To see two honest men?
Poet. Sir:
Hauing often of your open Bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retyr'd, your Friends falne off,
Whose thankelesse Natures (O abhorred Spirits)
2270Not all the Whippes of Heauen, are large enough.
What, to you,
Whose Starre-like Noblenesse gaue life and influence
To their whole being? I am rapt, and cannot couer
The monstrous bulke of this Ingratitude
2275With any size of words.
Timon. Let it go,
Naked men may see't the better:
You that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seene, and knowne.
2280Pain. He, and my selfe
Haue trauail'd in the great showre of your guifts,
And sweetly felt it.
Timon. I, you are honest man.
Painter. We are hither come
2285To offer you our seruice.
Timon. Most honest men: