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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)

    Hoboyes Playing lowd Musicke.
    A great Banquet seru'd in: and then, Enter Lord Timon, the
    States, the Athenian Lords, Ventigius which Timon re-
    340deem'd from prison. Then comes dropping after all Ape-
    mantus discontentedly like himselfe.
    Ventig. Most honoured Timon,
    It hath pleas'd the Gods to remember my Fathers age,
    And call him to long peace:
    345He is gone happy, and has left me rich:
    Then, as in gratefull Vertue I am bound
    To your free heart, I do returne those Talents
    Doubled with thankes and seruice, from whose helpe
    I deriu'd libertie.
    350Tim. O by no meanes,
    Honest Ventigius: You mistake my loue,
    I gaue
    Timon of Athens. 81
    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.
    405 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.
    455Sound 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.
    465 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,
    gg3 Like
    82Timon of Athens.
    Like Madnesse is the glory of this life,
    As this pompe shewes to a little oyle and roote.
    480We make our selues Fooles, to disport our selues,
    And spend our Flatteries, to drinke those men,
    Vpon whose Age we voyde it vp agen
    With poysonous Spight and Enuy.
    Who liues, that's not depraued, or depraues;
    485Who dyes, that beares not one spurne to their graues
    Of their Friends guift:
    I should feare, those that dance before me now,
    Would one day stampe vpon me: 'Tas bene done,
    Men shut their doores against a setting Sunne.
    490The Lords rise from Table, with much adoring of Timon, and
    to shew their loues, each single out an Amazon, and all
    Dance, men with women, a loftie straine or two to the
    Hoboyes, and cease.
    Tim. You haue done our pleasures
    495Much grace (faire Ladies)
    Set a faire fashion on our entertainment,
    Which was not halfe so beautifull, and kinde:
    You haue added worth vntoo't, and luster,
    And entertain'd me with mine owne deuice.
    500I am to thanke you for't.
    1 Lord. My Lord you take vs euen at the best.
    Aper. Faith for the worst is filthy, and would not hold
    taking, I doubt me.
    Tim. Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you,
    505Please you to dispose your selues.
    All La. Most thankfully, my Lord. Exeunt.
    Tim. Flauius.
    Fla. My Lord.
    Tim. The little Casket bring me hither.
    510Fla. Yes, my Lord. More Iewels yet?
    There is no crossing him in's humor,
    Else I should tell him well, yfaith I should;
    When all's spent, hee'ld be crost then, and he could:
    'Tis pitty Bounty had not eyes behinde,
    515That man might ne're be wretched for his minde. Exit.
    1 Lord. Where be our men?
    Ser. Heere my Lord, in readinesse.
    2 Lord. Our Horses.
    Tim. O my Friends:
    520I haue one word to say to you: Looke you, my good L.
    I must intreat you honour me so much,
    As to aduance this Iewell, accept it, and weare it,
    Kinde my Lord.
    1 Lord. I am so farre already in your guifts.
    525All. So are we all.
    Enter a Seruant.
    Ser. My Lord, there are certaine Nobles of the Senate
    newly alighted, and come to visit you.
    Tim. They are fairely welcome.
    530 Enter Flauius.
    Fla. I beseech your Honor, vouchsafe me a word, it
    does concerne you neere.
    Tim. Neere? why then another time Ile heare thee.
    I prythee let's be prouided to shew them entertainment.
    535Fla. I scarse know how.
    Enter another Seruant.
    Ser. May it please your Honor, Lord Lucius
    (Out of his free loue) hath presented to you
    Foure Milke-white Horses, trapt in Siluer.
    540Tim. I shall accept them fairely: let the Presents
    Be worthily entertain'd.
    Enter a third Seruant.
    How now? What newes?
    3.Ser. Please you my Lord, that honourable Gentle-
    545man Lord Lucullus, entreats your companie to morrow,
    to hunt with him, and ha's sent your Honour two brace
    of Grey-hounds.
    Tim. Ile hunt with him,
    And let them be receiu'd, not without faire Reward.
    550Fla. What will this come to?
    He commands vs to prouide, and giue great guifts, and
    all out of an empty Coffer:
    Nor will he know his Purse, or yeeld me this,
    To shew him what a Begger his heart is,
    555Being of no power to make his wishes good.
    His promises flye so beyond his state,
    That what he speaks is all in debt, he ows for eu'ry word:
    He is so kinde, that he now payes interest for't;
    His Land's put to their Bookes. Well, would I were
    560Gently put out of Office, before I were forc'd out:
    Happier is he that has no friend to feede,
    Then such that do e'ne Enemies exceede.
    I bleed inwardly for my Lord. Exit
    Tim. You do your selues much wrong,
    565You bate too much of your owne merits.
    Heere my Lord, a trifle of our Loue.
    2.Lord. With more then common thankes
    I will receyue it.
    3.Lord. O he's the very soule of Bounty.
    570Tim. And now I remember my Lord, you gaue good
    words the other day of a Bay Courser I rod on. Tis yours
    because you lik'd it.
    1.L. Oh, I beseech you pardon mee, my Lord, in that.
    Tim. You may take my word my Lord: I know no
    575man can iustly praise, but what he does affect. I weighe
    my Friends affection with mine owne: Ile tell you true,
    Ile call to you.
    All Lor. O none so welcome.
    Tim. I take all, and your seuerall visitations
    580So kinde to heart, 'tis not enough to giue:
    Me thinkes, I could deale Kingdomes to my Friends,
    And nere be wearie. Alcibiades,
    Thou art a Soldiour, therefore sildome rich,
    It comes in Charitie to thee: for all thy liuing
    585Is mong'st the dead: and all the Lands thou hast
    Lye in a pitcht field.
    Alc. I, defil'd Land, my Lord.
    1.Lord. We are so vertuously bound.
    Tim. And so am I to you.
    5902.Lord. So infinitely endeer'd.
    Tim. All to you. Lights, more Lights.
    1.Lord. The best of Happines, Honor, and Fortunes
    Keepe with you Lord Timon.
    Tim. Ready for his Friends. Exeunt Lords
    595Aper. What a coiles heere, seruing of beckes, and iut-
    ting out of bummes. I doubt whether their Legges be
    worth the summes that are giuen for 'em.
    Friendships full of dregges,
    Me thinkes false hearts, should neuer haue sound legges.
    600Thus honest Fooles lay out their wealth on Curtsies.
    Tim. Now Apermantus (if thou wert not sullen)
    I would be good to thee.
    Aper. No, Ile nothing; for if I should be brib'd too,
    there would be none left to raile vpon thee, and then thou
    605wouldst sinne the faster. Thou giu'st so long Timon (I
    feare me) thou wilt giue away thy selfe in paper shortly.
    What needs these Feasts, pompes, and Vaine-glories?
    Timon of Athens. 83
    Tim. Nay, and you begin to raile on Societie once, I
    am sworne not to giue regard to you. Farewell, & come
    610with better Musicke. Exit
    Aper. So: Thou wilt not heare mee now, thou shalt
    not then. Ile locke thy heauen from thee:
    Oh that mens eares should be
    To Counsell deafe, but not to Flatterie. Exit