William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens in the complete original text.
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Timon of Athens

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Act II. Scene II.

Scene II.—The Same. A Hall in TIMON'S
House.

Enter FLAVIUS, with many bills in his hand.

Flav. No 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 mind
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.
Caph. Good even, Varro. What!
You some for money?
Var. Serv. Is't not your business too?
Caph. It is: and yours too, Isidore?
Isid. Serv. It is so.
Caph. Would we were all discharg'd!
Var. Serv. I fear it.
Caph. Here comes the lord!

Enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, and Lords, &c.
Tim. So soon as dinner's done, we'll forth
again,
My Alcibiades. With me? what is your will?
Caph. My lord, here is a note of certain dues.
Tim. Dues! Whence are you?
Caph. Of Athens here, my lord.
Tim. Go to my steward.
Caph. Please it your lordship, he hath put
me off
To the succession of new days this month:
My master is awak'd 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.
Tim. Mine honest friend,
I prithee, but repair to me next morning.
Caph. Nay, good my lord,—
Tim. Contain thyself, good friend.
Var. Serv. One Varro's servant, my good
lord—
Isid. Serv. From Isidore;
He humbly prays your speedy payment.
Caph. If you did know, my lord, my master's
wants,—
Var. Serv. 'Tvvas due on forfeiture, my lord,
six weeks
And past.
Isid. Serv. Your .steward puts me off, my
lord;
And I am sent expressly to your lordship.
Tim. Give me breath.
I do beseech you, good my lords, keep on;
I'll wait upon you instantly.
[Exeunt ALCIBIADES and Lords.
[To FLAVIUS.] Come hither: pray you,
How goes the world, that I am thus encounter'd
With clamorous demands of date-broke bonds,
And the detention of long-since-due debts,
Against my honour?
Flav. Please you, gentlemen,
The time is unagreeable to this business:
Your importunacy cease till after dinner,
That I may make his lordship understand
Wherefore you arc not paid.
Tim. Do so, my friends.
See them well entertained. [Exit.
Flav. Pray, draw near. [Exit.

Enter APEMANTUS and Fool.
Caph. Stay, stay; here comes the fool with
Apemantus: let's ha' some sport with 'em.
Var. Serv. Hang him, he'll abuse us.
Isid. Serv. A plague upon him, dog!
Var. Serv. How dost, fool?
Apem. Dost dialogue with thy shadow?
Var. Serv. I speak not to thee.
Apem. No; 'tis to thyself. [To the Fool.]
Come away.
Isid. Serv. [To VAR. Serv.] There's the fool
hangs on your back already.
Apem. No, thou stand'st single; thou'rt not
on him yet.
Caph. Where's the fool now?
Apem. He last asked the question. Poor
rogues, and usurers' men! bawds between gold
and want!
All Serv. What are we, Apemantus?
Apem. Asses.
All Serv. Why?
Apem. That you ask me what you are, and do
not know yourselves. Speak to 'em, fool.
Fool. How do you, gentlemen?
All Serv. Gramercies, good fool. How does
your mistress?
Fool. She's e'en setting on water to scald
such chickens as you are. Would we could see
you at Corinth!
Apem. Good! gramercy.

Enter Page.
Fool. Look you, here comes my mistress'
page.
Page. [To the Fool] Why, how now, captain!
what do you in this wise company? How dost
thou, Apemantus?
Apem. Would I had a rod in my mouth, that
I might answer thee profitably.
Page. Prithee, Apemantus, read me the
superscription of these letters: I know not
which is which.
Apem. Canst not read?
Page. No.
Apem. There will little learning die then
that day thou art hanged. This is to Lord
Timon; this to Alcibiades. Go; thou wast born
a bastard, and thou'lt die a bawd.
Page. Thou wast whelped a dog, and thou
shalt famish a dog's death. Answer not; I am
gone. [Exit Page.
Apem. E'en so thou outrunn'st grace.—
Fool. I will go with you to Lord Timon's.
Fool. Will you leave me there?
Apem. If Timon stay at home. You three
serve three usurers?
All Serv. Ay; would they served us!
Apem. So would I, as good a trick as ever
hangman served thief.
Fool. Are you three usurers' men?
All Serv. Ay, fool.
Fool. I 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, and go away merry; but
they enter my mistress' house merrily, and go
away sadly: the reason of this?
Var. Serv. I could render one.
Apem. Do it, then, that we may account thee
a whoremaster and a knave; which, notwith-
standing, thou shalt be no less esteemed.
Var. Serv. What is a whoremaster, fool?
Fool. A 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, with two stones more 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.
Var. Serv. Thou art not altogether a fool.
Fool. Nor thou altogether a wise man: as
much foolery as I have, so much wit thou
lackest.
Apem. That answer might have become Ape-
mantus.
All Serv. Aside, aside; here comes Lord
Timon.

Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS.
Apem. Come with me, fool, come.
Fool. I do not always follow lover, elder
brother and woman; sometime the philosopher.
[Exeunt APEMANTUS and Fool.
Flav. Pray you, walk near: I'll speak with
you anon. [Exeunt Servants.
Tim. You make me marvel: wherefore, ere
this time,
Had you not fully laid my state before me,
That I might so have rated my expense
As I had leave of means?
Flav. You would not hear me,
At many leisures I proposed.
Tim. Go to:
Perchance some single vantages you took,
When my indisposition put you back;
And that unaptness made your minister,
Thus to excuse yourself.
Flav. O my good lord!
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;
Yea, 'gainst the authority of manners, pray'd
you
To hold your hand more close: I did endure
Not seldom, nor no slight checks, when I have
Prompted you in the ebb of your estate
And your great flow of debts. My loved lord,
Though you hear now, too late, yet now's a
time,
The greatest of your having lacks a half
To pay your present debts.
Tim. Let all my land be sold.
Flav. 'Tis all engag'd, some forfeited and
gone;
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?
Tim. To Lacedæmon did my land extend.
Flav. O my good lord! the world is but a word;
Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
How quickly were it gone!
Tim. You tell me true.
Flav. If you suspect my husbandry or false-
hood,
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 room
Hath blaz'd with lights and bray'd with min-
strelsy,
I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock,
And set mine eyes at flow.
Tim. Prithee, no more.
Flav. Heavens! have I said, the bounty of
this lord!
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!
Ah! when the means are gone that buy this praise,
The bream is gone whereof this praise is made:
Feast-won, fast-lost; one cloud of winter showers,
These flies are couch'd.
Tim. Come, sermon me no further;
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,
And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
Men and men's fortunes could I frankly use
As I can bid thee speak.
Flav. Assurance bless your thoughts!
Tim. And, in some sort, these wants of mine
are crown'd,
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.
Serv. My lord! my lord!
Tim. I 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
them toward a supply of money: let the request
be fifty talents.
Flam. As you have said, my lord.
Flav. [Aside.] Lord Lucius, and Lucullus?
hum!
Tim. [To another Servant.] Go you, sir, to the
senators,—
Of whom, even to the state's best health, I have
Deserv'd this hearing,—bid 'em send o' the in-
stant
A thousand talents to me.
Flav. I have been bold,—
For that I knew it the most general way,—
To them to use your signet and your name;
But they do shake their heads, and I am here
No richer in return.
Tim. Is't true? can't be?
Flav. They answer, in a joint and corporate
voice,
That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot
Do what they would; are sorry; you are honour-
able;
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,
After distasteful looks and these hard fractions,
With certain half-caps and cold-moving nods
They froze me into silence.
Tim. You gods, reward them!
Prithee, man, look cheerly. These old fellows
Have their ingratitude in them hereditary;
Their blood is cak'd, '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.
[To a Servant.] Go to Ventidius.—[To FLAVIUS.]
Prithee, be not sad,
Thou art true and honest; ingenuously I speak,
No blame belongs to thee.—[To Servant.] Ven-
tidius lately
Buried his father; by whose death he's stepped
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 necessity
Touches his friend, which craves to be remem-
bered
With those five talents. [Exit Servant] [To
FLAVIUS.] 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.
Flav. I would I could not think it: that
thought is bounty's foe;
Being free itself, it thinks all others so. [Exeunt.
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