Timon of Athens


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Lucius, with three Strangers


LUCIUS

Who, the Lord Timon? He is my very good

friend and an honourable gentleman.


FIRST STRANGER

We know him for no less, though we

are but strangers to him. But I can tell you one thing,

my lord, and which I hear from common rumours: now

Lord Timon's happy hours are done and past, and his

estate shrinks from him.
estate (n.) 7 fortune, prosperity
shrink (v.) 2 shrivel up, wither away


LUCIUS

Fie, no, do not believe it. He cannot want for
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

money.


SECOND STRANGER

But believe you this, my lord, that

not long ago one of his men was with the Lord Lucullus

to borrow so many talents, nay, urged extremely for't,
urge (v.) 2 entreat with, plead with

and showed what necessity belonged to't, and yet was

denied.


LUCIUS

How?


SECOND STRANGER

I tell you, denied, my lord.


LUCIUS

What a strange case was that! Now, before the

gods, I am ashamed on't. Denied that honourable man?

There was very little honour showed in't. For my own

part, I must needs confess, I have received some small

kindnesses from him, as money, plate, jewels, and suchlike
plate (n.) 1 special tableware, household utensils of value

trifles, nothing comparing to his. Yet, had he mistook
mistake (v.) 2 act in error, perform the wrong action

him and sent to me, I should ne'er have denied his
deny (v.) 2 refuse, decline, scorn

occasion so many talents.
occasion (n.) 3 need, want, requirement

Enter Servilius
hap (n.) 2 luck, chance, accident


SERVILIUS

See, by good hap, yonder's my lord. I have

sweat to see his honour. My honoured lord!
sweat (v.) 1 make great efforts, exert oneself strongly


LUCIUS

Servilius? You are kindly met, sir. Fare thee

well. Commend me to thy honourable virtuous lord, my
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

very exquisite friend.
exquisite (adj.) 1 special, excellent, particularly valuable


SERVILIUS

May it please your honour, my lord hath

sent –


LUCIUS

Ha? What has he sent? I am so much endeared
endeared (adj.) 1 attached in honour, bound by affection

to that lord; he's ever sending. How shall I thank him,

thinkest thou? And what has he sent now?


SERVILIUS

'Has only sent his present occasion now, my
occasion (n.) 3 need, want, requirement
present (adj.) 2 pressing, urgent

lord, requesting your lordship to supply his instant use
instant (adj.) 3 urgent, pressing, imperative
supply (v.) 2 fill, contribute to

with so many talents.


LUCIUS

I know his lordship is but merry with me;
merry (adj.) 1 facetious, droll, jocular

He cannot want fifty five hundred talents.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count


SERVILIUS

But in the mean time he wants less, my lord.

If his occasion were not virtuous,
virtuous (adj.) 4 arising from virtuous practice, justifiable, well-warranted

I should not urge it half so faithfully.
urge (v.) 4 bring forward, advocate, represent


LUCIUS

Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?


SERVILIUS

Upon my soul,'tis true, sir.


LUCIUS

What a wicked beast was I to disfurnish myself
disfurnish (v.) deprive, strip, dispossess

against such a good time, when I might ha' shown myself
time (n.) 8 right moment, favourable opportunity

honourable! How unluckily it happened that I

should purchase the day before for a little part and undo
purchase (v.) 3 endeavour, strive, exert oneself; or: make a bargain, invest
undo (v.) 2 bring to naught

a great deal of honour! Servilius, now before the gods,

I am not able to do – the more beast, I say! I was sending
do (v.) 5 perform, play one's part, act

to use Lord Timon myself, these gentlemen can
use (v.) 3 make use of, engage [in], practise [with]

witness; but I would not, for the wealth of Athens, I

had done't now. Commend me bountifully to his good
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

lordship, and I hope his honour will conceive the

fairest of me, because I have no power to be kind. And
fair (adj.) 7 virtuous, honourable, upright
kind (adj.) 5 generous, liberal, benevolent

tell him this from me, I count it one of my greatest

afflictions, say, that I cannot pleasure such an honourable
pleasure (v.) please, gratify, give pleasure to

gentleman. Good Servilius, will you befriend me

so far as to use mine own words to him?


SERVILIUS

Yes, sir, I shall.


LUCIUS

I'll look you out a good turn, Servilius.
look out (v.) 2 seek out, find by looking

Exit Servilius
shrink (v.) 3 bring low, diminish, curtail

True, as you said, Timon is shrunk indeed,

And he that's once denied will hardly speed.
deny (v.) 1 refuse, rebuff, reject
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness

Exit


FIRST STRANGER

Do you observe this, Hostilius?


SECOND STRANGER

                         Ay, too well.


FIRST STRANGER

Why, this is the world's soul,
soul (n.) 1 driving force, animating principle

And just of the same piece
piece (n.) 6 kind, type, sort

Is every flatterer's spirit. Who can call him his friend

That dips in the same dish? For in my knowing
knowing (n.) 1 knowledge, awareness, understanding

Timon has been this lord's father,

And kept his credit with his purse,

Supported his estate. Nay, Timon's money
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances

Has paid his men their wages. He ne'er drinks

But Timon's silver treads upon his lip.
tread upon (v.) press down on, thrust against

And yet – O see the monstrousness of man

When he looks out in an ungrateful shape –
look out (v.) 1 show, appear, manifest

He does deny him, in respect of his,
deny (v.) 1 refuse, rebuff, reject

What charitable men afford to beggars.


THIRD STRANGER

Religion groans at it.


FIRST STRANGER

                         For mine own part,

I never tasted Timon in my life,
taste (v.) 1 try out, test, put to the proof

Nor came any of his bounties over me
bounty (n.) 3 act of kindness, good turn

To mark me for his friend. Yet I protest,
protest (v.) 1 make protestation, avow, affirm, proclaim

For his right noble mind, illustrious virtue,

And honourable carriage,

Had his necessity made use of me,

I would have put my wealth into donation,
donation (n.) 1 giving, bestowal, imparting

And the best half should have returned to him,

So much I love his heart. But, I perceive,

Men must learn now with pity to dispense,
dispense with (v.) 2 have done with, do away with, forgo

For policy sits above conscience.
policy (n.) 3 expediency, shrewdness, self-interest

Exeunt

 
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