Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Timon of Athens.
I gaue it freely euer, and ther's none
Can truely say he giues, if he receiues:
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
355To imitate them: faults that are rich are faire.
Vint. A Noble spirit.
Tim. Nay my Lords, Ceremony was but deuis'd at first
To set a glosse on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodnesse, sorry ere 'tis showne:
360But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
Pray sit, more welcome are ye to my Fortunes,
Then my Fortunes to me.
1.Lord. My Lord, we alwaies haue confest it.
Aper. Ho ho, confest it? Handg'd it? Haue you not?
365Timo. O Apermantus, you are welcome.
Aper. No: You shall not make me welcome:
I come to haue thee thrust me out of doores.
Tim. Fie, th'art a churle, ye'haue got a humour there
Does not become a man, 'tis much too blame:
370They say my Lords, Ira furor breuis est,
But yond man is verie angrie.
Go, let him haue a Table by himselfe:
For he does neither affect companie,
Nor is he fit for't indeed.
375Aper. Let me stay at thine apperill Timon,
I come to obserue, I giue thee warning on't.
Tim. I take no heede of thee: Th'art an Athenian,
therefore welcome: I my selfe would haue no power,
prythee let my meate make thee silent.
380Aper. I scorne thy meate, 'twould choake me: for I
should nere flatter thee. Oh you Gods! What a number
of men eats Timon, and he sees 'em not? It greeues me
to see so many dip there meate in one mans blood, and
all the madnesse is, he cheeres them vp too.
385I wonder men dare trust themselues with men.
Me thinks they should enuite them without kniues,
Good for there meate, and safer for their liues.
There's much example for't, the fellow that sits next him,
now parts bread with him, pledges the breath of him in
390a diuided draught: is the readiest man to kill him. 'Tas
beene proued, if I were a huge man I should feare to
drinke at meales, least they should spie my wind-pipes
dangerous noates, great men should drinke with harnesse
on their throates.
395Tim. My Lord in heart: and let the health go round.
2.Lord. Let it flow this way my good Lord.
Aper. Flow this way? A braue fellow. He keepes his
tides well, those healths will make thee and thy state
looke ill, Timon.
400Heere's that which is too weake to be a sinner,
Honest water, which nere left man i'th' mire:
This and my food are equals, there's no ods,
Feasts are to proud to giue thanks to the Gods.

Apermantus Grace.
Immortall Gods, I craue no pelfe,
I pray for no man but my selfe,
Graunt I may neuer proue so fond,
To trust man on his Oath or Bond.
Or a Harlot for her weeping,
410Or a Dogge that seemes asleeping,
Or a keeper with my freedome,
Or my friends if I should need 'em.
Amen. So fall too't:
Richmen sin, and I eat root.
415Much good dich thy good heart, Apermantus
Tim. Captaine,
Alcibiades, your hearts in the field now.
Alci. My heart is euer at your seruice, my Lord.
Tim. You had rather be at a breakefast of Enemies,
420then a dinner of Friends.
Alc. So they were bleeding new my Lord, there's no
meat like 'em, I could wish my best friend at such a Feast.
Aper. Would all those Flatterers were thine Enemies
then, that then thou might'st kill 'em: & bid me to 'em.
4251.Lord. Might we but haue that happinesse my Lord,
that you would once vse our hearts, whereby we might
expresse some part of our zeales, we should thinke our
selues for euer perfect.
Timon. Oh no doubt my good Friends, but the Gods
430themselues haue prouided that I shall haue much helpe
from you: how had you beene my Friends else. Why
haue you that charitable title from thousands? Did not
you chiefely belong to my heart? I haue told more of
you to my selfe, then you can with modestie speake in
435your owne behalfe. And thus farre I confirme you. Oh
you Gods (thinke I,) what need we haue any Friends; if
we should nere haue need of 'em? They were the most
needlesse Creatures liuing; should we nere haue vse for
'em? And would most resemble sweete Instruments
440hung vp in Cases, that keepes there sounds to them-
selues. Why I haue often wisht my selfe poorer, that
I might come neerer to you: we are borne to do bene-
fits. And what better or properer can we call our owne,
then the riches of our Friends? Oh what a pretious com-
445fort 'tis, to haue so many like Brothers commanding
one anothers Fortunes. Oh ioyes, e'ne made away er't
can be borne: mine eies cannot hold out water me thinks
to forget their Faults. I drinke to you.
Aper. Thou weep'st to make them drinke, Timon.
4502.Lord. Ioy had the like conception in our eies,
And at that instant, like a babe sprung vp.
Aper. Ho, ho: I laugh to thinke that babe a bastard.
3.Lord. I promise you my Lord you mou'd me much.
Aper. Much.

Sound Tucket. Enter the Maskers of Amazons, with
Lutes in their hands, dauncing and playing.

Tim. What meanes that Trumpe? How now?

Enter Seruant.
Ser. Please you my Lord, there are certaine Ladies
460Most desirous of admittance.
Tim. Ladies? what are their wils?
Ser. There comes with them a fore-runner my Lord,
which beares that office, to signifie their pleasures.
Tim. I pray let them be admitted.

Enter Cupid with the Maske of Ladies.

Cup. Haile to thee worthy Timon and to all that of
his Bounties taste: the fiue best Sences acknowledge thee
their Patron, and come freely to gratulate thy plentious
470There tast, touch all, pleas'd from thy Table rise:
They onely now come but to Feast thine eies.
Timo. They'r wecome all, let 'em haue kind admit-
tance. Musicke make their welcome.
Luc. You see my Lord, how ample y'are belou'd.
475Aper. Hoyday,
What a sweepe of vanitie comes this way.
They daunce? They are madwomen,