Timon of Athens

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Poet and Painter


As I took note of the place, it cannot be far

where he abides.
abide (v.) 5 live, dwell, reside


What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour

hold for true that he's so full of gold?


Certain. Alcibiades reports it. Phrynia and

Timandra had gold of him. He likewise enriched poor

straggling soldiers with great quantity. 'Tis said he gave

unto his steward a mighty sum.


Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his
breaking (n.) bankruptcy, insolvency
try (n.) test, trial



Nothing else. You shall see him a palm in

Athens again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore

'tis not amiss we tender our loves to him in this supposed
supposed (adj.) 1 pretended, false, counterfeit
tender (v.) 1 offer, give, present

distress of his. It will show honestly in us, and is
honestly (adv.) honourably, commendably, worthily

very likely to load our purposes with what they travail
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count
travail, travel (v.) 1 labour, make effort, work hard [for] [often overlapping with sense 2]

for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.
having (n.) 1 fortune, estate, means


What have you now to present unto him?


Nothing at this time but my visitation: only I

will promise him an excellent piece.
piece (n.) 1 work (of art), creation


I must serve him so too, tell him of an intent that's
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

coming toward him.


Good as the best. Promising is the very air
air (n.) 2 manner, style, fashion

o'th' time; it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance

is ever the duller for his act; and but in the plainer

and simpler kind of people the deed of saying is quite
deed (n.) performance, action
saying (n.) 2 promising, affirmation, assertion

out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable.
use (n.) 1 usual practice, habit, custom

Performance is a kind of will or testament which argues

a great sickness in his judgement that makes it.

Enter Timon from his cave
workman (n.) craftsman, skilled worker



Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint

a man so bad as is thyself.


I am thinking what I shall say I have provided for
provide (v.) 2 prepare, make ready, plan

him. It must be a personating of himself; a satire against
personating (n.) representation, symbolic portrayal

the softness of prosperity, with a discovery of the infinite
discovery (n.) 2 revealing, exposure, presentation

flatteries that follow youth and opulency.
opulency (n.) opulence, affluence, wealth


stand (v.) 10 stand in, impersonate, represent

Must thou needs stand for a villain in

thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in

other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.


Nay, let's seek him.

Then do we sin against our own estate,
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances

When we may profit meet and come too late.



When the day serves, before black-cornered night,
black-cornered (adj.) full of dark places to hide
serve (v.) 3 provide opportunity [to], be favourable [to], favour

Find what thou wantest by free and offered light.



turn (n.) 5 [unclear meaning] turning-point; trick, game; occasion, proper time

I'll meet you at the turn. What a god's gold,

That he is worshipped in a baser temple
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality See Topics: Frequency count

Than where swine feed!

'Tis thou that riggest the bark and ploughest the foam,
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel

Settlest admired reverence in a slave.
admired (adj.) 2 regarded with admiration, wondered at

To thee be worship; and thy saints for aye
aye (adv.) always, ever, for eternity

Be crowned with plagues, that thee alone obey.

Fit I meet them.

He comes forward


Hail, worthy Timon!


                         Our late noble master!


Have I once lived to see two honest men?
once (adv.) 2 ever, at any time



Having often of your open bounty tasted,
bounty (n.) 1 great generosity, gracious liberality, munificence
open (adj.) 6 generous, liberal, freely giving

Hearing you were retired, your friends fall'n off,
fall off (v.) 2 become estranged, withdraw from allegiance
retired (adj.) 1 withdrawn, secluded, cloistered

Whose thankless natures – O abhorred spirits! –
abhorred (adj.) horrifying, disgusting, abominable

Not all the whips of heaven are large enough –

What, to you,

Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence

To their whole being! I am rapt, and cannot cover
rapt (adj.) 3 carried away with emotion, lost for words

The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude

With any size of words.


Let it go naked, men may see't the better.

You that are honest, by being what you are,

Make them best seen and known.


                         He and myself

Have travelled in the great shower of your gifts,

And sweetly felt it.


                         Ay, you are honest men.


We are hither come to offer you our service.


Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?

Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? No?


What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.


Y' are honest men. Y' have heard that I have gold.

I am sure you have. Speak truth; y' are honest men.


So it is said, my noble lord, but therefore

Came not my friend nor I.


Good honest men! Thou drawest a counterfeit
counterfeit (n.) 3 likeness, portrait, image

Best in all Athens. Th' art indeed the best;

Thou counterfeitest most lively.


                         So, so, my lord.


E'en so, sir, as I say. (To the Poet) And for thy fiction,

Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth
stuff (n.) 2 matter, notion, idea

That thou art even natural in thine art.
art (n.) 8 rhetorical art, verbal artistry
natural (adj.) 6 lacking artifice, reflecting the reality of the world

But, for all this, my honest-natured friends,

I must needs say you have a little fault.

Marry, 'tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
monstrous (adj.) unnatural, outlandish, aberrant

You take much pains to mend.
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right


                         Beseech your honour

To make it known to us.
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count


                         You'll take it ill.


Most thankfully, my lord.


                         Will you indeed?


Doubt it not, worthy lord.


There's never a one of you but trusts a knave
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

That mightily deceives you.


                         Do we, my lord?


Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
cog (v.) 2 cheat, swindle, hoodwink, wheedle
dissemble (v.) 2 deceive, disguise the truth, pretend

Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
gross (adj.) 1 plain, striking, evident, obvious
patchery (n.) roguery, knavery, tricks

Keep in your bosom. Yet remain assured
assured (adj.) 1 certain, definite, sure
bosom (n.) 1 heart, inner person

That he's a made-up villain.
made up, made-up (adj.) 1 accomplished, consummate, out-and-out


I know none such, my lord.


                         Nor I.


Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,

Rid me these villains from your companies.

Hang them or stab them, drown them in a draught,
draught (n.) 2 privy, cess-pool, sewer

Confound them by some course, and come to me,
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

I'll give you gold enough.


Name them, my lord, let's know them.


You that way, and you this – but two in company –

Each man apart, all single and alone,

Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.

(To the Painter) If, where thou art, two villains shall not be,

Come not near him. (To the Poet) If thou wouldst not reside

But where one villain is, then him abandon.

Hence, pack! There's gold. You came for gold, ye slaves.
pack (v.) 1 take [oneself] off, be off, depart

(To the Painter) You have work for me. There's payment. Hence!

(To the Poet) You are an alchemist, make gold of that.

Out, rascal dogs!

He beats them off the stage, and retires to his cave

Enter Flavius and two Senators


It is in vain that you would speak with Timon;

For he is set so only to himself
rascal (adj.) worthless, good-for-nothing
set (adj.) 6 focused [on], fixed [on], wrapped up [in]

That nothing but himself which looks like man

Is friendly with him.


                         Bring us to his cave.

It is our part and promise to th' Athenians

To speak with Timon.


                         At all times alike

Men are not still the same. 'Twas time and griefs
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

That framed him thus. Time, with his fairer hand,
frame (v.) 1 fashion, make, form, create

Offering the fortunes of his former days,

The former man may make him. Bring us to him,

And chance it as it may.
chance (v.) 1 happen [to], transpire, come about


                         Here is his cave.

Peace and content be here! Lord Timon, Timon,
content (n.) 2 contentment, peace of mind

Look out, and speak to friends. Th' Athenians

By two of their most reverend Senate greet thee.
reverend (adj.) revered, worthy, respected

Speak to them, noble Timon.

Enter Timon out of his cave


Thou sun, that comforts, burn! Speak and be hanged.

For each true word a blister, and each false

Be as a cantherizing to the root o'th' tongue,
cantherizing (n.) cauterizing, burning with a hot iron

Consuming it with speaking!


                         Worthy Timon –


Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.


The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.


I thank them, and would send them back the plague,

Could I but catch it for them.


                         O, forget

What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.

The senators with one consent of love
consent (n.) 1 agreement, accord, unanimity, compact

Entreat thee back to Athens, who have thought
think on (v.) 1 bring to mind, recall

On special dignities, which vacant lie
dignity (n.) 2 official position, high office, rule
wearing (n.) 2 possession, having, enjoyment

For thy best use and wearing.


                         They confess

Toward thee forgetfulness too general-gross;
forgetfulness (n.) neglect, disregard, lack of proper attention
general-gross (adj.) palpably evident to all

Which now the public body, which doth seldom

Play the recanter, feeling in itself
recanter (n.) one who retracts, party of withdrawal

A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal

Of its own fault, restraining aid to Timon,
restrain (v.) 1 withhold, keep back, hold back

And send forth us to make their sorrowed render,
render (n.) 1 account, declaration, admission
sorrowed (adj.) sorrowful, regretful, crestfallen

Together with a recompense more fruitful

Than their offence can weigh down by the dram –
dram (n.) 1 tiny amount, small quantity

Ay, even such heaps and sums of love and wealth

As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs,

And write in thee the figures of their love,
figure (n.) 1 form, design, shape, conception

Ever to read them thine.
witch (v.) bewitch, charm, enchant


                         You witch me in it,

Surprise me to the very brink of tears.
surprise (v.) 3 astonish, bewilder, perplex

Lend me a fool's heart and a woman's eyes,

And I'll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.
beweep (v.) 1 weep over, wet with tears


Therefore so please thee to return with us,

And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take

The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
captainship (n.) leadership, command

Allowed with absolute power, and thy good name
allow (v.) 4 bestow, legally assign

Live with authority. So soon we shall drive back

Of Alcibiades th' approaches wild,
approach (n.) 3 advance, attack, offensive

Who like a boar too savage doth root up
root (v.) 3 root up, tear out

His country's peace.


                         And shakes his threat'ning sword

Against the walls of Athens.


                         Therefore, Timon –


Well, sir, I will – therefore I will, sir, thus:

If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,

Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,

That Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens,

And take our goodly aged men by th' beards,

Giving our holy virgins to the stain
stain (n.) 2 pollution, defilement

Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brained war,
contumelious (adj.) contemptuous, arrogant, insolent

Then let him know – and tell him Timon speaks it

In pity of our aged and our youth –

I cannot choose but tell him that I care not,

And let him take't at worst. For their knives care not,

While you have throats to answer. For myself,
answer (v.) 4 suffer the consequences [for], be accountable [for]

There's not a whittle in th' unruly camp
whittle (n.) clasp-knife, carving knife

But I do prize it at my love before

The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you

To the protection of the prosperous gods
prosperous (adj.) 3 favourable, sympathetic, well-disposed

As thieves to keepers.


                         Stay not, all's in vain.


Why, I was writing of my epitaph;

It will be seen tomorrow. My long sickness

Of health and living now begins to mend,
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right

And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
nothing (n.) 1 [state of] nothingness, oblivion, extinction

Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,

And last so long enough.


                         We speak in vain.


But yet I love my country, and am not

One that rejoices in the common wrack,
common (adj.) 2 of ordinary people, of the masses
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin

As common bruit doth put it.
bruit (n.) news, rumour, tidings


                         That's well spoke.


Commend me to my loving countrymen –
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count


These words become your lips as they pass through them.
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count


And enter in our ears like great triumphers
triumpher (n.) victor, conqueror, general [given a Roman procession of welcome]

In their applauding gates.


                         Commend me to them,

And tell them that to ease them of their griefs,

Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,

Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
incident (adj.) likely to happen, applicable, natural

That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain
sustain (v.) 1 receive, undergo, experience

In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them –

I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.
prevent (v.) 4 anticipate, expect, look ahead to


I like this well. He will return again.


I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
close (n.) 4 enclosure, yard

That mine own use invites me to cut down,
use (n.) 3 need, requirement

And shortly must I fell it. Tell my friends,

Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree
degree (n.) 1 rank, station, standing
sequence (n.) 2 appropriate order, correct precedence

From high to low throughout, that whoso please

To stop affliction, let him take his haste,

Come hither ere my tree hath felt the axe,

And hang himself. I pray you do my greeting.


Trouble him no further; thus you still shall find him.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Come not to me again, but say to Athens,

Timon hath made his everlasting mansion

Upon the beached verge of the salt flood,
beached (adj.) having a beach, shingly, sandy

Who once a day with his embossed froth
embossed (adj.) 2 foaming, driven forward

The turbulent surge shall cover. Thither come,

And let my grave-stone be your oracle.

Lips, let four words go by, and language end:

What is amiss, plague and infection mend!

Graves only be men's works, and death their gain!

Sun, hide thy beams. Timon hath done his reign.



His discontents are unremovably
discontent (n.) 3 discontented thought, feeling of dissatisfaction
unremovably (adv.) irremovably, immovably

Coupled to nature.
nature (n.) 5 personality, innate disposition, character


Our hope in him is dead. Let us return,

And strain what other means is left unto us
strain (v.) 1 stretch, make extra effort

In our dear peril.


                         It requires swift foot.

dear (adj.) 1 dire, grievous, hard

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