Internet Shakespeare Editions

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


Enter Steward, with many billes in his hand.
Stew. No care, no stop, so senselesse of expence,
That he will neither know how to maintaine it,
Nor cease his flow of Riot. Takes no accompt
660How things go from him, nor resume no care
Of what is to continue: neuer minde,
Was to be so vnwise, to be so kinde.
What shall be done, he will not heare, till feele:
I must be round with him, now he comes from hunting.
665Fye, fie, fie, fie.
Enter Caphis, Isidore, and Varro.
Cap. Good euen Varro: what, you come for money?
Var. Is't not your businesse too?
Cap. It is, and yours too, Isidore?
670Isid. It is so.
Cap. Would we were all discharg'd.
Var. I feare it,
Cap. Heere comes the Lord.
Enter Timon, and his Traine.
675Tim. So soone as dinners done, wee'l forth againe
My Alcibiades. With me, what is your will?
Cap. My Lord, heere is a note of certaine dues.
Tim. Dues? whence are you?
Cap. Of Athens heere, my Lord.
680Tim. Go to my Steward.
Cap. Please it your Lordship, he hath put me off
To the succession of new dayes this moneth:
My Master is awak'd by great Occasion,
To call vpon his owne, and humbly prayes you,
685That with your other Noble parts, you'l suite,
In giuing him his right.
Tim. Mine honest Friend,
I prythee but repaire to me next morning.
Cap. Nay, good my Lord.
690Tim. Containe thy selfe, good Friend.
Var. One Varroes seruant, my good Lord.
Isid. From Isidore, he humbly prayes your speedy pay-
ment.
Cap. If you did know my Lord, my Masters wants.
695Var. 'Twas due on forfeyture my Lord, sixe weekes,
and past.
Isi. Your Steward puts me off my Lord, and I
Am sent expressely to your Lordship.
Tim. Giue me breath:
700I do beseech you good my Lords keepe on,
Ile waite vpon you instantly. Come hither: pray you
How goes the world, that I am thus encountred
With clamorous demands of debt, broken Bonds,
And the detention of long since due debts
705Against my Honor?
Stew. Please you Gentlemen,
The time is vnagreeable to this businesse:
Your importunacie cease, till after dinner,
That I may make his Lordship vnderstand
710Wherefore you are not paid.
Tim. Do so my Friends, see them well entertain'd.
Stew. Pray draw neere.
Exit.
Enter Apemantus and Foole.
Caph. Stay, stay, here comes the Foole with Apeman-
715tus, let's ha some sport with 'em.
Var. Hang him, hee'l abuse vs.
Isid. A plague vpon him dogge.
Var. How dost Foole?
Ape. Dost Dialogue with thy shadow?
720Var. I speake not to thee.
Ape. No 'tis to thy selfe. Come away.
Isi. There's the Foole hangs on your backe already.
Ape. No thou stand'st single, th'art not on him yet.
Cap. Where's the Foole now?
725Ape. He last ask'd the question. Poore Rogues, and
Vsurers men, Bauds betweene Gold and want.
Al. What are we Apemantus?
Ape. Asses.
All. Why?
730Ape. That you ask me what you are, & do not know
your selues. Speake to 'em Foole.
Foole. How do you Gentlemen?
All. Gramercies good Foole:
How does your Mistris?
735Foole. She's e'ne setting on water to scal'd such Chic-
kens as you are. Would we could see you at Corinth.
Ape. Good, Gramercy.
Enter Page.
Foole. Looke you, heere comes my Masters Page.
740Page. Why how now Captaine? what do you in this
wise Company.
How dost thou Apermantus?
Ape. Would I had a Rod in my mouth, that I might
answer thee profitably.
745Boy. Prythee Apemantus reade me the superscripti-
on of these Letters, I know not which is which.
Ape. Canst not read?
Page. No.
Ape. There will litle Learning dye then that day thou
750art hang'd. This is to Lord Timon, this to Alcibiades. Go
thou was't borne a Bastard, and thou't dye a Bawd.
Page. Thou was't whelpt a Dogge, and thou shalt
famish a Dogges death.
Answer not, I am gone.
Exit
755Ape. E'ne so thou out- runst Grace,
Foole I will go with you to Lord Timons.
Foole. Will you leaue me there?
Ape. If Timon stay at home.
You three serue three Vsurers?
760All. I would they seru'd vs.
Ape. So would I:
As good a tricke as euer Hangman seru'd Theefe.
Foole. Are you three Vsurers men?
All. I Foole.
765Foole. I thinke no Vsurer, but ha's a Foole to his Ser-
uant. My Mistris is one, and I am her Foole: when men
come to borrow of your Masters, they approach sadly,
and go away merry: but they enter my Masters house
merrily, and go away sadly. The reason of this?
770Var. I could render one.
Ap. Do it then, that we may account thee a Whore-
master, and a Knaue, which notwithstanding thou shalt
be no lesse esteemed.
Varro. What is a Whoremaster Foole?
775Foole. A Foole in good cloathes, and something like
thee. 'Tis a spirit, sometime t'appeares like a Lord, som-
time like a Lawyer, sometime like a Philosopher, with
two stones moe then's artificiall one. Hee is verie often
like a Knight; and generally, in all shapes that man goes
780vp and downe in, from fourescore to thirteen, this spirit
walkes in.
Var. Thou art not altogether a Foole.
Foole. Nor thou altogether a Wise man,
As much foolerie as I haue, so much wit thou lack'st.
785Ape. That answer might haue become Apemantus.
All. Aside, aside, heere comes Lord Timon.
Enter Timon and Steward.
Ape. Come with me (Foole) come.
Foole. I do not alwayes follow Louer, elder Brother,
790aad Woman, sometime the Philosopher.
Stew. Pray you walke neere,
Ile speake with you anon.
Exeunt.
Tim. You make me meruell wherefore ere this time
Had you not fully laide my state before me,
795That I might so haue rated my expence
As I had leaue of meanes.
Stew. You would not heare me:
At many leysures I propose.
Tim. Go too:
800Perchance some single vantages you tooke,
When my indisposition put you backe,
And that vnaptnesse made your minister
Thus to excuse your selfe.
Stew. O my good Lord,
805At many times I brought in my accompts,
Laid them before you, you would throw them off,
And say you sound them in mine honestie,
When for some trifling present you haue bid me
Returne so much, I haue shooke my head, and wept:
810Yea 'gainst th' Authoritie of manners, pray'd you
To hold your hand more close: I did indure
Not sildome, nor no slight checkes, when I haue
Prompted you in the ebbe of your estate,
And your great flow of debts; my lou'd Lord,
815Though you heare now (too late) yet nowes a time,
The greatest of your hauing, lackes a halfe,
To pay your present debts.
Tim. Let all my Land be sold.
Stew. 'Tis all engag'd, some forfeyted and gone,
820And what remaines will hardly stop the mouth
Of present dues; the future comes apace:
What shall defend the interim, and at length
How goes our reck'ning?
Tim. To Lacedemon did my Land extend.
825Stew. O my good Lord, the world is but a word,
Were it all yours, to giue it in a breath,
How quickely were it gone.
Tim. You tell me true.
Stew. If you suspect my Husbandry or Falshood,
830Call me before th' exactest Auditors,
And set me on the proofe. So the Gods blesse me,
When all our Offices haue beene opprest
With riotous Feeders, when our Vaults haue wept
With drunken spilth of Wine; when euery roome
835Hath blaz'd with Lights, and braid with Minstrelsie,
I haue retyr'd me to a wastefull cocke,
And set mine eyes at flow.
Tim. Prythee no more.
Stew. Heauens, haue I said, the bounty of this Lord:
840How many prodigall bits haue Slaues and Pezants
This night englutted: who is not Timons,
What heart, head, sword, force, meanes, but is L. Timons:
Great Timon, Noble, Worthy, Royall Timon:
Ah, when the meanes are gone, that buy this praise,
845The breath is gone, whereof this praise is made:
Feast won, fast lost; one cloud of Winter showres,
These flyes are coucht.
Tim. Come sermon me no further.
No villanous bounty yet hath past my heart;
850Vnwisely, not ignobly haue I giuen.
Why dost thou weepe, canst thou the conscience lacke,
To thinke I shall lacke friends: secure thy heart,
If I would broach the vessels of my loue,
And try the argument of hearts, by borrowing,
855Men, and mens fortunes could I frankely vse
As I can bid thee speake.
Ste. Assurance blesse your thoughts.
Tim. And in some sort these wants of mine are crown'd,
That I account them blessings. For by these
860Shall I trie Friends. You shall perceiue
How you mistake my Fortunes:
I am wealthie in my Friends.
Within there, Flauius, Seruilius?
Enter three Seruants.
865Ser. My Lord, my Lord.
Tim. I will dispatch you seuerally.
You to Lord Lucius, to Lord Lucullus you, I hunted
with his Honor to day; you to Sempronius; commend me
to their loues; and I am proud say, that my occasions
870haue found time to vse 'em toward a supply of mony: let
the request be fifty Talents.
Flam. As you haue said, my Lord.
Stew. Lord Lucius and Lucullus? Humh.
Tim. Go you sir to the Senators;
875Of whom, euen to the States best health; I haue
Deseru'd this Hearing: bid 'em send o'th' instant
A thousand Talents to me.
Ste. I haue beene bold
(For that I knew it the most generall way)
880To them, to vse your Signet, and your Name,
But they do shake their heads, and I am heere
No richer in returne.
Tim. Is't true? Can't be?
Stew. They answer in a ioynt and corporate voice,
885That now they are at fall, want Treasure cannot
Do what they would, are sorrie: you are Honourable,
But yet they could haue wisht, they know not,
Something hath beene amisse; a Noble Nature
May catch a wrench; would all were well; tis pitty,
890And so intending other serious matters,
After distastefull lookes; and these hard Fractions
With certaine halfe-caps, and cold mouing nods,
They froze me into Silence.
Tim. You Gods reward them:
895Prythee man looke cheerely. These old Fellowes
Haue their ingratitude in them Hereditary:
Their blood is cak'd, 'tis cold, it sildome flowes,
'Tis lacke of kindely warmth, they are not kinde;
And Nature, as it growes againe toward earth,
900Is fashion'd for the iourney, dull and heauy.
Go to Ventiddius (prythee be not sad,
Thou art true, and honest; Ingeniously I speake,
No blame belongs to thee:) Ventiddius lately
Buried his Father, by whose death hee's stepp'd
905Into a great estate: When he was poore,
Imprison'd, and in scarsitie of Friends,
I cleer'd him with fiue Talents: Greet him from me,
Bid him suppose, some good necessity
Touches his Friend, which craues to be remembred
910With those fiue Talents; that had, giue't these Fellowes
To whom 'tis instant due. Neu'r speake, or thinke,
That Timons fortunes 'mong his Friends can sinke.
Stew. I would I could not thinke it:
That thought is Bounties Foe;
915Being free it selfe, it thinkes all others so.
Exeunt