Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

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:
96Timon of Athens.
Why how shall I requite you?
Can you eate Roots, and drinke cold water, no?
Both. What we can do,
2290Wee'l do to do you seruice.
Tim. Y'are honest men,
Y'haue heard that I haue Gold,
I am sure you haue, speake truth, y'are honest men.
Pain. So it is said my Noble Lord, but therefore
2295Came not my Friend, nor I.
Timon. Good honest men: Thou draw'st a counterfet
Best in all Athens, th'art indeed the best,
Thou counterfet'st most liuely.
Pain. So, so, my Lord.
2300Tim. E'ne so sir as I say. And for thy fiction,
Why thy Verse swels with stuffe so fine and smooth,
That thou art euen Naturall in thine Art.
But for all this (my honest Natur'd friends)
I must needs say you haue a little fault,
2305Marry 'tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
You take much paines to mend.
Both. Beseech your Honour
To make it knowne to vs.
Tim. You'l take it ill.
2310Both. Most thankefully, my Lord.
Timon. Will you indeed?
Both. Doubt it not worthy Lord.
Tim. There's neuer a one of you but trusts a Knaue,
That mightily deceiues you.
2315Both. Do we, my Lord?
Tim. I, and you heare him cogge,
See him dissemble,
Know his grosse patchery, loue him, feede him,
Keepe in your bosome, yet remaine assur'd
2320That he's a made-vp-Villaine.
Pain. I know none such, my Lord.
Poet. Nor I.
Timon. Looke you,
I loue you well, Ile giue you Gold
2325Rid me these Villaines from your companies;
Hang them, or stab them, drowne them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me,
Ile giue you Gold enough.
Both. Name them my Lord, let's know them.
2330Tim. You that way, and you this:
But two in Company:
Each man a part, all single, and alone,
Yet an arch Villaine keepes him company:
If where thou art, two Villaines shall not be,
2335Come not neere him. If thou would'st not recide
But where one Villaine is, then him abandon.
Hence, packe, there's Gold, you came for Gold ye slaues:
You haue worke for me; there's payment, hence,
You are an Alcumist, make Gold of that:
2340Out Rascall dogges. Exeunt