Hautboys playing loud music. A great banquet served
in; Flavius and others attending; and then enter
Lord Timon, Alcibiades, the States, the Athenian
Lords, and Ventidius which Timon redeemed from
prison. Then comes, dropping after all, Apemantus,
discontentedly, like himself
Most honoured Timon, it hath pleased the gods
state (n.) 3
persons of rank, nobility, court, council of state
To remember my father's age, and call him to long peace.
He is gone happy, and has left me rich.
Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound
To your free heart, I do return those talents,
Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help
I derived liberty.
O, by no means,
Honest Ventidius. You mistake my love.
I gave it freely ever, and there's none
Can truly say he gives, if he receives.
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
To imitate them; faults that are rich are fair.
A noble spirit!
Nay, my lords,
Ceremony was but devised at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown;
But where there is true friendship there needs none.
Pray, sit. More welcome are ye to my fortunes
Than my fortunes to me.
My lord, we always have confessed it.
Ho, ho, confessed it! Hanged it, have you not?
O, Apemantus, you are welcome.
You shall not make me welcome.
I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.
Fie, th' art a churl. Y' have got a humour there
Does not become a man; 'tis much too blame.
They say, my lords, Ira furor brevis est;
anger is a madness that doesn't last long
See Topics: Latin
But yond man is ever angry.
Go, let him have a table by himself;
For he does neither affect company,
Nor is he fit for't, indeed.
Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon.
I come to observe, I give thee warning on't.
I take no heed of thee. Th' art an Athenian,
therefore welcome. I myself would have no power –
prithee, let my meat make thee silent.
I scorn thy meat. 'Twould choke me, for I
should ne'er flatter thee. O you gods! What a number of
men eats Timon, and he sees 'em not! It grieves me to
see so many dip their meat in one man's blood. And all
the madness is he cheers them up to't.
I wonder men dare trust themselves with men.
Methinks they should invite them without knives:
Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.
There's much example for't. The fellow that sits next
him, now parts bread with him, pledges the breath of
him in a divided draught, is the readiest man to kill
him. 'T has been proved. If I were a huge man, I should
fear to drink at meals,
Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes.
Great men should drink with harness on their throats.
My lord, in heart! And let the health go round.
[in making a toast] in good spirits, in a spirit of fellowship
Let it flow this way, my good lord.
Flow this way? A brave fellow. He keeps
his tides well. Those healths will make thee and thy
state look ill, Timon.
Here's that which is too weak to be a sinner,
Honest water, which ne'er left man i'th' mire.
This and my food are equals, there's no odds.
Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.
Immortal gods, I crave no pelf,
I pray for no man but myself.
Grant I may never prove so fond
To trust man on his oath or bond,
Or a harlot for her weeping,
Or a dog that seems a-sleeping,
Or a keeper with my freedom,
Or my friends if I should need 'em.
Amen. So fall to't.
Rich men sin, and I eat root.
He eats and drinks
Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus.
Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.
My heart is ever at your service, my lord.
You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than
a dinner of friends.
So they were bleeding new, my lord. There's
no meat like 'em. I could wish my best friend at such a
Would all those flatterers were thine
enemies then, that then thou mightst kill 'em – and bid
me to 'em.
Might we but have that happiness, my
lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby we
use (v.) 3
make use of, engage [in], practise [with]
might express some part of our zeals, we should think
ourselves for ever perfect.
O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods
themselves have provided that I shall have much help
from you. How had you been my friends else? Why
have you that charitable title from thousands, did not
you chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you
to myself than you can with modesty speak in your own
behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O you gods, think
I, what need we have any friends if we should ne'er
have need of 'em? They were the most needless
creatures living should we ne'er have use for 'em, and
would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in
cases, that keeps their sounds to themselves. Why, I
have often wished myself poorer that I might come
nearer to you. We are born to do benefits. And what
better or properer can we call our own than the riches of
our friends? O, what a precious comfort 'tis to have so
many like brothers commanding one another's fortunes!
O, joy's e'en made away ere't can be born! Mine
eyes cannot hold out water, methinks. To forget their
faults, I drink to you.
Thou weepest to make them drink, Timon.
Joy had the like conception in our eyes,
And at that instant like a babe sprung up.
Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.
I promise you, my lord, you moved me much.
What means that trump?
Enter a Servant
Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies
most desirous of admittance.
Ladies? What are their wills?
There comes with them a forerunner, my lord,
which bears that office to signify their pleasures.
I pray let them be admitted.
Hail to thee, worthy Timon, and to all
That of his bounties taste! The five best senses
Acknowledge thee their patron, and come freely
To gratulate thy plenteous bosom. Th' ear,
Taste, touch, smell, all pleased from thy table rise;
They only now come but to feast thine eyes.
They're welcome all; let 'em have kind admittance.
Music make their welcome.
You see, my lord, how ample y'are beloved.
Music. Enter Cupid with a Masque of Ladies as
Amazons, with lutes in their hands, dancing and
Hoy-day, what a sweep of vanity comes this way!
They dance? They are madwomen.
Like madness is the glory of this life
As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.
We make ourselves fools to disport ourselves,
And spend our flatteries to drink those men
Upon whose age we void it up again
With poisonous spite and envy.
Who lives that's not depraved or depraves?
Who dies that bears not one spurn to their graves
Of their friends' gift?
I should fear those that dance before me now
Would one day stamp upon me. 'T has been done.
Men shut their doors against a setting sun.
The Lords rise from table, with much adoring of
Timon, and to show their loves each single out an
Amazon, and all dance, men with women, a lofty
strain or two to the hautboys, and cease
You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies,
Set a fair fashion on our entertainment,
Which was not half so beautiful and kind.
You have added worth unto't and lustre,
And entertained me with mine own device.
I am to thank you for't.
My lord, you take us even at the best.
Faith, for the worst is filthy, and would not
hold taking, I doubt me.
Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you,
Please you to dispose yourselves.
ALL THE LADIES
Most thankfully, my lord.
Exeunt Cupid and Ladies
The little casket bring me hither.
Yes, my lord. (Aside) More jewels yet!
There is no crossing him in's humour,
Else I should tell him well, i'faith I should,
When all's spent, he'd be crossed then, an he could.
cross (v.) 6
[of a debt] cancel by crossing through, strike out
'Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
That man might ne'er be wretched for his mind.
Where be our men?
Here, my lord, in readiness.
Enter Flavius, with the casket
O my friends,
I have one word to say to you. Look you, my good lord,
I must entreat you honour me so much
As to advance this jewel. Accept it and wear it,
Kind my lord.
I am so far already in your gifts.
So are we all.
Enter a Servant
My lord, there are certain nobles of the
Senate newly alighted and come to visit you.
They are fairly welcome.
I beseech your honour, vouchsafe me a word.
It does concern you near.
Near? Why then, another time I'll hear thee. I
prithee let's be provided to show them entertainment.
(aside) I scarce know how.
Enter another Servant
May it please your honour, Lord Lucius,
Out of his free love, hath presented to you
Four milk-white horses, trapped in silver.
I shall accept them fairly. Let the presents
Be worthily entertained.
Enter a third Servant
How now? What news?
Please you, my lord, that honourable
gentleman Lord Lucullus entreats your company
tomorrow to hunt with him, and has sent your honour
two brace of greyhounds.
I'll hunt with him; and let them be received,
Not without fair reward.
What will this come to?
He commands us to provide and give great gifts,
And all out of an empty coffer;
Nor will he know his purse, or yield me this,
To show him what a beggar his heart is,
Being of no power to make his wishes good.
His promises fly so beyond his state
That what he speaks is all in debt. He owes
For every word. He is so kind that he now
Pays interest for't. His land's put to their books.
Well, would I were gently put out of office
Before I were forced out!
Happier is he that has no friend to feed
Than such that do e'en enemies exceed.
I bleed inwardly for my lord.
You do yourselves much wrong.
You bate too much of your own merits.
Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.
With more than common thanks I will receive it.
O, he's the very soul of bounty.
And now I remember, my lord, you gave good
words the other day of a bay courser I rode on. 'Tis
yours because you liked it.
O, I beseech you pardon me, my lord, in
You may take my word, my lord. I know no man
can justly praise but what he does affect. I weigh my
friend's affection with mine own. I'll tell you true, I'll
call to you.
ALL THE LORDS
O, none so welcome.
I take all and your several visitations
So kind to heart, 'tis not enough to give.
Methinks I could deal kingdoms to my friends,
And ne'er be weary. Alcibiades,
Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich.
It comes in charity to thee; for all thy living
Is 'mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast
Lie in a pitched field.
Ay, defiled land, my lord.
We are so virtuously bound –
And so am I to you.
So infinitely endeared –
All to you. Lights, more lights!
The best of happiness, honour, and fortunes
Keep with you, Lord Timon!
Ready for his friends.
Exeunt all but Apemantus and Timon
What a coil's here,
Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums!
I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums
leg (n.) 1
bending of a knee, genuflection, obeisance
That are given for 'em. Friendship's full of dregs.
impurity, corruption, defiling matter
Methinks false hearts should never have sound legs.
Thus honest fools lay out their wealth on curtsies.
Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen, I
would be good to thee.
No, I'll nothing. For if I should be bribed
too, there would be none left to rail upon thee, and then
thou wouldst sin the faster. Thou givest so long, Timon,
I fear me thou wilt give away thyself in paper shortly.
What needs these feasts, pomps, and vainglories?
Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am
sworn not to give regard to you. Farewell, and come
with better music.
So. Thou wilt not hear me now; thou shalt
not then. I'll lock thy heaven from thee.
O, that men's ears should be
To counsel deaf, but not to flattery.