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  • Title: Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)

    Enter Steward, and two Senators.
    Stew. It is vaine that you would speake with Timon:
    For he is set so onely to himselfe,
    That nothing but himselfe, which lookes like man,
    2345Is friendly with him.
    1.Sen. Bring vs to his Caue.
    It is our part and promise to th'Athenians
    To speake with Timon.
    2.Sen. At all times alike
    2350Men are not still the same: 'twas Time and Greefes
    That fram'd him thus. Time with his fairer hand,
    Offering the Fortunes of his former dayes,
    The former man may make him: bring vs to him
    And chanc'd it as it may.
    2355Stew. Heere is his Caue:
    Peace and content be heere. Lord Timon, Timon,
    Looke out, and speake to Friends: Th'Athenians
    By two of their most reuerend Senate greet thee:
    Speake to them Noble Timon.
    Enter Timon out of his Caue.
    Tim. Thou Sunne that comforts burne,
    Speake and be hang'd:
    For each true word, a blister, and each false
    Be as a Cantherizing to the root o'th'Tongue,
    2365Consuming it with speaking.
    1 Worthy Timon.
    Tim. Of none but such as you,
    And you of Timon.
    1 The Senators of Athens, greet thee Timon.
    2370Tim. I thanke them,
    And would send them backe the plague,
    Could I but catch it for them.
    1 O forget
    What we are sorry for our selues in thee:
    2375The Senators, with one consent of loue,
    Intreate thee backe to Athens, who haue thought
    On speciall Dignities, which vacant lye
    For thy best vse and wearing.
    2 They confesse
    2380Toward thee, forgetfulnesse too generall grosse;
    Which now the publike Body, which doth sildome
    Play the re-canter, feeling in it selfe
    A lacke of Timons ayde, hath since withall
    Of it owne fall, restraining ayde to Timon,
    2385And send forth vs, to make their sorrowed render,
    Together, with a recompence more fruitfull
    Then their offence can weigh downe by the Dramme,
    I euen such heapes and summes of Loue and Wealth,
    As shall to thee blot out, what wrongs were theirs,
    2390And write in thee the figures of their loue,
    Euer to read them thine.
    Tim. You witch me in it;
    Surprize me to the very brinke of teares;
    Lend me a Fooles heart, and a womans eyes,
    2395And Ile beweepe these comforts, worthy Senators.
    1 Therefore so please thee to returne with vs,
    And of our Athens, thine and ours to take
    The Captainship, thou shalt be met with thankes,
    Allowed with absolute power, and thy good name
    2400Liue with Authoritie: so soone we shall driue backe
    Of Alcibiades th'approaches wild,
    Who like a Bore too sauage, doth root vp
    His Countries peace.
    2 And shakes his threatning Sword
    2405Against the walles of Athens.
    1 Therefore Timon.
    Tim. Well sir, I will: therefore I will sir thus:
    If Alcibiades kill my Countrymen,
    Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
    2410That Timon cares not. But if he sacke faire Athens,
    And take our goodly aged men by'th'Beards,
    Giuing our holy Virgins to the staine
    Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd warre:
    Then let him know, and tell him Timon speakes it,
    2415In pitty of our aged, and our youth,
    I cannot choose but tell him that I care not,
    And let him tak't at worst: For their Kniues care not,
    While you haue throats to answer. For my selfe,
    There's not a whittle, in th'vnruly Campe,
    2420But I do prize it at my loue, before
    The reuerends Throat in Athens. So I leaue you
    To the protection of the prosperous Gods,
    As Theeues to Keepers.
    Stew. Stay not, all's in vaine.
    2425Tim. Why I was writing of my Epitaph,
    It will be seene to morrow. My long sicknesse
    Of Health, and Liuing, now begins to mend,
    And nothing brings me all things. Go, liue still,
    Be Alcibiades your plague; you his,
    2430And last so long enough.
    1 We speake in vaine.
    Tim. But yet I loue my Country, and am not
    One that reioyces in the common wracke,
    As common bruite doth put it.
    24351 That's well spoke.
    Tim. Commend me to my louing Countreymen.
    1 These words become your lippes as they passe tho-
    row them.
    2 And enter in our eares, like great Triumphers
    2440In their applauding gates.
    Tim. Commend me to them,
    And tell them, that to ease them of their greefes,
    Their feares of Hostile strokes, their Aches losses,
    Their pangs of Loue, with other incident throwes
    2445That Natures fragile Vessell doth sustaine
    In lifes vncertaine voyage, I will some kindnes do them,
    Ile teach them to preuent wilde Alcibiades wrath.
    1 I like this well, he will returne againe.
    Tim. I haue a Tree which growes heere in my Close,
    2450That mine owne vse inuites me to cut downe,
    And shortly must I fell it. Tell my Friends,
    Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree,
    From high to low throughout, that who so please
    To stop Affliction, let him take his haste;
    2455Come hither ere my Tree hath felt the Axe,
    And hang himselfe. I pray you do my greeting.
    Stew. Trouble him no further, thus you still shall
    Finde him.
    Tim. Come not to me againe, but say to Athens,
    2460Timon hath made his euerlasting Mansion
    Vpon the Beached Verge of the salt Flood,
    Who once a day with his embossed Froth
    The turbulent Surge shall couer; thither come,
    And let my graue-stone be your Oracle:
    2465Lippes, let foure words go by, and Language end:
    What is amisse, Plague and Infection mend.
    Graues onely be mens workes, and Death their gaine;
    Sunne, hide thy Beames, Timon hath done his Raigne.
    Exit Timon.
    24701 His discontents are vnremoueably coupled to Na-
    2 Our hope in him is dead: let vs returne,
    And straine what other meanes is left vnto vs
    In our deere perill.
    24751 It requires swift foot.