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Timon of Athens

ACT II SCENE II The same. A hall in Timon's house. 
[Enter FLAVIUS, with many bills in his hand]
FLAVIUSNo care, no stop! so senseless of expense,
That he will neither know how to maintain it,
Nor cease his flow of riot: takes no account
How things go from him, nor resumes no care
Of what is to continue: never mind5
Was to be so unwise, to be so kind.
What shall be done? he will not hear, till feel:
I must be round with him, now he comes from hunting.
Fie, fie, fie, fie!
[Enter CAPHIS, and the Servants of Isidore and Varro]
CAPHISGood even, Varro: what,10
You come for money?
Varro's ServantIs't not your business too?
CAPHISIt is: and yours too, Isidore?
Isidore's ServantIt is so.
CAPHISWould we were all discharged!15
Varro's ServantI fear it.
CAPHISHere comes the lord.
[Enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, and Lords, &c]
TIMONSo soon as dinner's done, we'll forth again,
My Alcibiades. With me? what is your will?
CAPHISMy lord, here is a note of certain dues.20
TIMONDues! Whence are you?
CAPHISOf Athens here, my lord.
TIMONGo to my steward.
CAPHISPlease it your lordship, he hath put me off
To the succession of new days this month:25
My master is awaked by great occasion
To call upon his own, and humbly prays you
That with your other noble parts you'll suit
In giving him his right.
TIMONMine honest friend,30
I prithee, but repair to me next morning.
CAPHISNay, good my lord,--
TIMONContain thyself, good friend.
Varro's ServantOne Varro's servant, my good lord,--
Isidore's ServantFrom Isidore;35
He humbly prays your speedy payment.
CAPHISIf you did know, my lord, my master's wants--
Varro's Servant'Twas due on forfeiture, my lord, six weeks And past.
Isidore's ServantYour steward puts me off, my lord;
And I am sent expressly to your lordship.40
TIMONGive me breath.
I do beseech you, good my lords, keep on;
I'll wait upon you instantly.
[Exeunt ALCIBIADES and Lords]
Come hither: pray you,
How goes the world, that I am thus encounter'd45
With clamourous demands of date-broke bonds,
And the detention of long-since-due debts,
Against my honour?
FLAVIUSPlease you, gentlemen,
The time is unagreeable to this business:50
Your importunacy cease till after dinner,
That I may make his lordship understand
Wherefore you are not paid.
TIMONDo so, my friends. See them well entertain'd.
FLAVIUSPray, draw near.55
[Enter APEMANTUS and Fool]
CAPHISStay, stay, here comes the fool with Apemantus:
let's ha' some sport with 'em.
Varro's ServantHang him, he'll abuse us.
Isidore's ServantA plague upon him, dog!
Varro's ServantHow dost, fool?60
APEMANTUSDost dialogue with thy shadow?
Varro's ServantI speak not to thee.
APEMANTUSNo,'tis to thyself.
[To the Fool]
Come away.
Isidore's ServantThere's the fool hangs on your back already.65
APEMANTUSNo, thou stand'st single, thou'rt not on him yet.
CAPHISWhere's the fool now?
APEMANTUSHe last asked the question. Poor rogues, and
usurers' men! bawds between gold and want!
All ServantsWhat are we, Apemantus?70
All ServantsWhy?
APEMANTUSThat you ask me what you are, and do not know
yourselves. Speak to 'em, fool.
FoolHow do you, gentlemen?75
All ServantsGramercies, good fool: how does your mistress?
FoolShe's e'en setting on water to scald such chickens
as you are. Would we could see you at Corinth!
APEMANTUSGood! gramercy.
[Enter Page]
FoolLook you, here comes my mistress' page.80
Page[To the Fool] Why, how now, captain! what do you
in this wise company? How dost thou, Apemantus?
APEMANTUSWould I had a rod in my mouth, that I might answer
thee profitably.
PagePrithee, Apemantus, read me the superscription of85
these letters: I know not which is which.
APEMANTUSCanst not read?
APEMANTUSThere will little learning die then, that day thou
art hanged. This is to Lord Timon; this to90
Alcibiades. Go; thou wast born a bastard, and thou't
die a bawd.
PageThou wast whelped a dog, and thou shalt famish a
dog's death. Answer not; I am gone.
APEMANTUSE'en so thou outrunnest grace. Fool, I will go with95
you to Lord Timon's.
FoolWill you leave me there?
APEMANTUSIf Timon stay at home. You three serve three usurers?
All ServantsAy; would they served us!
APEMANTUSSo would I,--as good a trick as ever hangman served thief.100
FoolAre you three usurers' men?
All ServantsAy, fool.
FoolI think no usurer but has a fool to his servant: my
mistress is one, and I am her fool. When men come
to borrow of your masters, they approach sadly, and105
go away merry; but they enter my mistress' house
merrily, and go away sadly: the reason of this?
Varro's ServantI could render one.
APEMANTUSDo it then, that we may account thee a whoremaster
and a knave; which not-withstanding, thou shalt be110
no less esteemed.
Varro's ServantWhat is a whoremaster, fool?
FoolA fool in good clothes, and something like thee.
'Tis a spirit: sometime't appears like a lord;
sometime like a lawyer; sometime like a philosopher,115
with two stones moe than's artificial one: he is
very often like a knight; and, generally, in all
shapes that man goes up and down in from fourscore
to thirteen, this spirit walks in.
Varro's ServantThou art not altogether a fool.120
FoolNor thou altogether a wise man: as much foolery as
I have, so much wit thou lackest.
APEMANTUSThat answer might have become Apemantus.
All ServantsAside, aside; here comes Lord Timon.
[Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS]
APEMANTUSCome with me, fool, come.125
FoolI do not always follow lover, elder brother and
woman; sometime the philosopher.
[Exeunt APEMANTUS and Fool]
FLAVIUSPray you, walk near: I'll speak with you anon.
[Exeunt Servants]
TIMONYou make me marvel: wherefore ere this time
Had you not fully laid my state before me,130
That I might so have rated my expense,
As I had leave of means?
FLAVIUSYou would not hear me,
At many leisures I proposed.
TIMONGo to:135
Perchance some single vantages you took.
When my indisposition put you back:
And that unaptness made your minister,
Thus to excuse yourself.
FLAVIUSO my good lord,140
At many times I brought in my accounts,
Laid them before you; you would throw them off,
And say, you found them in mine honesty.
When, for some trifling present, you have bid me
Return so much, I have shook my head and wept;145
Yea, 'gainst the authority of manners, pray'd you
To hold your hand more close: I did endure
Not seldom, nor no slight cheques, when I have
Prompted you in the ebb of your estate
And your great flow of debts. My loved lord,150
Though you hear now, too late--yet now's a time--
The greatest of your having lacks a half
To pay your present debts.
TIMONLet all my land be sold.
FLAVIUS'Tis all engaged, some forfeited and gone;155
And what remains will hardly stop the mouth
Of present dues: the future comes apace:
What shall defend the interim? and at length
How goes our reckoning?
TIMONTo Lacedaemon did my land extend.160
FLAVIUSO my good lord, the world is but a word:
Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
How quickly were it gone!
TIMONYou tell me true.
FLAVIUSIf you suspect my husbandry or falsehood,165
Call me before the exactest auditors
And set me on the proof. So the gods bless me,
When all our offices have been oppress'd
With riotous feeders, when our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine, when every room170
Hath blazed with lights and bray'd with minstrelsy,
I have retired me to a wasteful cock,
And set mine eyes at flow.
TIMONPrithee, no more.
FLAVIUSHeavens, have I said, the bounty of this lord!175
How many prodigal bits have slaves and peasants
This night englutted! Who is not Timon's?
What heart, head, sword, force, means, but is
Lord Timon's?
Great Timon, noble, worthy, royal Timon!180
Ah, when the means are gone that buy this praise,
The breath is gone whereof this praise is made:
Feast-won, fast-lost; one cloud of winter showers,
These flies are couch'd.
TIMONCome, sermon me no further:185
No villanous bounty yet hath pass'd my heart;
Unwisely, not ignobly, have I given.
Why dost thou weep? Canst thou the conscience lack,
To think I shall lack friends? Secure thy heart;
If I would broach the vessels of my love,190
And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
Men and men's fortunes could I frankly use
As I can bid thee speak.
FLAVIUSAssurance bless your thoughts!
TIMONAnd, in some sort, these wants of mine are crown'd,195
That I account them blessings; for by these
Shall I try friends: you shall perceive how you
Mistake my fortunes; I am wealthy in my friends.
Within there! Flaminius! Servilius!
[Enter FLAMINIUS, SERVILIUS, and other Servants]
ServantsMy lord? my lord?200
TIMONI will dispatch you severally; you to Lord Lucius;
to Lord Lucullus you: I hunted with his honour
to-day: you, to Sempronius: commend me to their
loves, and, I am proud, say, that my occasions have
found time to use 'em toward a supply of money: let205
the request be fifty talents.
FLAMINIUSAs you have said, my lord.
FLAVIUS[Aside] Lord Lucius and Lucullus? hum!
TIMONGo you, sir, to the senators--
Of whom, even to the state's best health, I have210
Deserved this hearing--bid 'em send o' the instant
A thousand talents to me.
FLAVIUSI have been bold--
For that I knew it the most general way--
To them to use your signet and your name;215
But they do shake their heads, and I am here
No richer in return.
TIMONIs't true? can't be?
FLAVIUSThey answer, in a joint and corporate voice,
That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot220
Do what they would; are sorry--you are honourable,--
But yet they could have wish'd--they know not--
Something hath been amiss--a noble nature
May catch a wrench--would all were well--'tis pity;--
And so, intending other serious matters,225
After distasteful looks and these hard fractions,
With certain half-caps and cold-moving nods
They froze me into silence.
TIMONYou gods, reward them!
Prithee, man, look cheerly. These old fellows230
Have their ingratitude in them hereditary:
Their blood is caked, 'tis cold, it seldom flows;
'Tis lack of kindly warmth they are not kind;
And nature, as it grows again toward earth,
Is fashion'd for the journey, dull and heavy.235
[To a Servant]
Go to Ventidius.
Prithee, be not sad,
Thou art true and honest; ingeniously I speak.
No blame belongs to thee.
[To Servant]
Ventidius lately240
Buried his father; by whose death he's stepp'd
Into a great estate: when he was poor,
Imprison'd and in scarcity of friends,
I clear'd him with five talents: greet him from me;
Bid him suppose some good necessity245
Touches his friend, which craves to be remember'd
With those five talents.
[Exit Servant]
That had, give't these fellows
To whom 'tis instant due. Ne'er speak, or think,
That Timon's fortunes 'mong his friends can sink.250
FLAVIUSI would I could not think it: that thought is
bounty's foe;
Being free itself, it thinks all others so.

Timon of Athens, Act 3, Scene 1


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