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Timon of Athens

ACT III SCENE III A room in Sempronius' house. 
[Enter SEMPRONIUS, and a Servant of TIMON's]
SEMPRONIUSMust he needs trouble me in 't,--hum!--'bove
all others?
He might have tried Lord Lucius or Lucullus;
And now Ventidius is wealthy too,
Whom he redeem'd from prison: all these5
Owe their estates unto him.
ServantMy lord,
They have all been touch'd and found base metal, for
They have all denied him.
SEMPRONIUSHow! have they denied him?10
Has Ventidius and Lucullus denied him?
And does he send to me? Three? hum!
It shows but little love or judgment in him:
Must I be his last refuge! His friends, like
Thrive, give him over: must I take the cure upon me?
Has much disgraced me in't; I'm angry at him,
That might have known my place: I see no sense for't,
But his occasion might have woo'd me first;
For, in my conscience, I was the first man20
That e'er received gift from him:
And does he think so backwardly of me now,
That I'll requite its last? No:
So it may prove an argument of laughter
To the rest, and 'mongst lords I be thought a fool.25
I'ld rather than the worth of thrice the sum,
Had sent to me first, but for my mind's sake;
I'd such a courage to do him good. But now return,
And with their faint reply this answer join;
Who bates mine honour shall not know my coin.30
ServantExcellent! Your lordship's a goodly villain. The
devil knew not what he did when he made man
politic; he crossed himself by 't: and I cannot
think but, in the end, the villainies of man will
set him clear. How fairly this lord strives to35
appear foul! takes virtuous copies to be wicked,
like those that under hot ardent zeal would set
whole realms on fire: Of such a nature is his
politic love.
This was my lord's best hope; now all are fled,40
Save only the gods: now his friends are dead,
Doors, that were ne'er acquainted with their wards
Many a bounteous year must be employ'd
Now to guard sure their master.
And this is all a liberal course allows;45
Who cannot keep his wealth must keep his house.

Timon of Athens, Act 3, Scene 4


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