Timon of Athens

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Timon.

Let me looke backe vpon thee. O thou Wall
That girdles in those Wolues, diue in the earth,
And fence not Athens. Matrons, turne incontinent,
Obedience fayle in Children: Slaues and Fooles
Plucke the graue wrinkled Senate from the Bench,
And minister in their steeds, to generall Filthes.
Conuert o'th'Instant greene Virginity,
Doo't in your Parents eyes. Bankrupts, hold fast
Rather then render backe; out with your Kniues,
And cut your Trusters throates. Bound Seruants, steale,
Large-handed Robbers your graue Masters are,
And pill by Law. Maide, to thy Masters bed,
Thy Mistris is o'th'Brothell. Some of sixteen,
Plucke the lyn'd Crutch from thy old limping Sire,
With it, beate out his Braines, Piety, and Feare,
Religion to the Gods, Peace, Iustice, Truth,
Domesticke awe, Night-rest, and Neighbour-hood,
Instruction, Manners, Mysteries, and Trades,
Degrees, Obseruances, Customes, and Lawes,
Decline to your confounding contraries.
And yet Confusion liue: Plagues incident to men,
Your potent and infectious Feauors, heape
On Athens ripe for stroke. Thou cold Sciatica,
Cripple our Senators, that their limbes may halt
As lamely as their Manners. Lust, and Libertie
Creepe in the Mindes and Marrowes of our youth,
That 'gainst the streame of Vertue they may striue,
And drowne themselues in Riot. Itches, Blaines,
Sowe all th'Athenian bosomes, and their crop
Be generall Leprosie: Breath, infect breath,
That their Society (as their Friendship) may
Be meerely poyson. Nothing Ile beare from thee
But nakednesse, thou detestable Towne,
Take thou that too, with multiplying Bannes:
Timon will to the Woods, where he shall finde
Th'vnkindest Beast, more kinder then Mankinde.
The Gods confound (heare me you good Gods all)
Th'Athenians both within and out that Wall:
And graunt as Timon growes, his hate may grow
To the whole race of Mankinde, high and low.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Steward with two or three Seruants.

Heare you M. Steward, where's our Master?
Are we vndone, cast off, nothing remaining?

Alack my Fellowes, what should I say to you?
Let me be recorded by the righteous Gods,
I am as poore as you.

Such a House broke?
So Noble a Master falne, all gone, and not
One Friend to take his Fortune by the arme,
And go along with him.

As we do turne our backes
From our Companion, throwne into his graue,
So his Familiars to his buried Fortunes
Slinke all away, leaue their false vowes with him
Like empty purses pickt; and his poore selfe
A dedicated Beggar to the Ayre,
With his disease, of all shunn'd pouerty,
Walkes like contempt alone. More of our Fellowes.
Enter other Seruants.

All broken Implements of a ruin'd house.

Yet do our hearts weare Timons Liuery,
That see I by our Faces: we are Fellowes still,
Seruing alike in sorrow: Leak'd is our Barke,
And we poore Mates, stand on the dying Decke,
Hearing the Surges threat: we must all part
Into this Sea of Ayre.

Good Fellowes all,
The latest of my wealth Ile share among'st you.
Where euer we shall meete, for Timons sake,
Let's yet be Fellowes. Let's shake our heads, and say
As 'twere a Knell vnto our Masters Fortunes,
We haue seene better dayes. Let each take some:
Nay put out all your hands: Not one word more,
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poore.
Embrace and part seuerall wayes.

Oh the fierce wretchednesse that Glory brings vs!
Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since Riches point to Misery and Contempt?
Who would be so mock'd with Glory, or to liue
But in a Dreame of Friendship,
To haue his pompe, and all what state compounds,
But onely painted like his varnisht Friends:
Poore honest Lord, brought lowe by his owne heart,
Vndone by Goodnesse: Strange vnvsuall blood,
When mans worst sinne is, He do's too much Good.
Who then dares to be halfe so kinde agen?
For Bounty that makes Gods, do still marre Men.
My deerest Lord, blest to be most accurst,
Rich onely to be wretched; thy great Fortunes
Are made thy cheefe Afflictions. Alas (kinde Lord)
Hee's flung in Rage from this ingratefull Seate
Of monstrous Friends:
Nor ha's he with him to supply his life,
Or that which can command it:
Ile follow and enquire him out.
Ile euer serue his minde, with my best will,
Whilst I haue Gold, Ile be his Steward still.
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Timon in the woods.

O blessed breeding Sun, draw from the earth
Rotten humidity: below thy Sisters Orbe
Infect the ayre. Twin'd Brothers of one wombe,
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
Scarse is diuidant; touch them with seuerall fortunes,
The greater scornes the lesser. Not Nature
(To whom all sores lay siege) can beare great Fortune
But by contempt of Nature.
Raise me this Begger, and deny't that Lord,
The Senators shall beare contempt Hereditary,
The Begger Natiue Honor.
It is the Pastour Lards, the Brothers sides,
The want that makes him leaue: who dares? who dares
In puritie of Manhood stand vpright
And fay, this mans a Flatterer. If one be,
So are they all: for euerie grize of Fortune
Is smooth'd by that below. The Learned pate
Duckes to the Golden Foole. All's obliquie:
There's nothing leuell in our cursed Natures
But direct villanie. Therefore be abhorr'd,
All Feasts, Societies, and Throngs of men.
His semblable, yea himselfe Timon disdaines,
Destruction phang mankinde; Earth yeeld me Rootes,

Who seekes for better of thee, sawce his pallate
With thy most operant Poyson. What is heere?
Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious Gold?
No Gods, I am no idle Votarist,
Roots you cleere Heauens. Thus much of this will make
Blacke, white; fowle, faire; wrong, right;
Base, Noble; Old, young; Coward, valiant.
Ha you Gods! why this? what this, you Gods? why this
Will lugge your Priests and Seruants from your sides:
Plucke stout mens pillowes from below their heads.
This yellow Slaue,
Will knit and breake Religions, blesse th'accurst,
Make the hoare Leprosie ador'd, place Theeues,
And giue them Title, knee, and approbation
With Senators on the Bench: This is it
That makes the wappen'd Widdow wed againe;
Shee, whom the Spittle-house, and vlcerous sores,
Would cast the gorge at. This Embalmes and Spices
To'th'Aprill day againe. Come damn'd Earth,
Thou common whore of Mankinde, that puttes oddes
Among the rout of Nations, I will make thee
Do thy right Nature.
March afarre off.
Ha? A Drumme? Th'art quicke,
But yet Ile bury thee: Thou't go (strong Theefe)
When Gowty keepers of thee cannot stand:
Nay stay thou out for earnest.
Enter Alcibiades with Drumme and Fife in warlike
manner, and Phrynia and Timandra.

What art thou there? speake.

A Beast as thou art. The Canker gnaw thy hart
For shewing me againe the eyes of Man.

What is thy name? Is man so hatefull to thee,
That art thy selfe a Man?

I am Misantropos, and hate Mankinde.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dogge,
That I might loue thee something.

I know thee well:
But in thy Fortunes am vnlearn'd, and strange.

I know thee too, and more then that I know thee
I not desire to know. Follow thy Drumme,
With mans blood paint the ground Gules, Gules:
Religious Cannons, ciuill Lawes are cruell,
Then what should warre be? This fell whore of thine,
Hath in her more destruction then thy Sword,
For all her Cherubin looke.

Thy lips rot off.

I will not kisse thee, then the rot returnes
To thine owne lippes againe.

How came the Noble Timon to this change?

As the Moone do's, by wanting light to giue:
But then renew I could not like the Moone,
There were no Sunnes to borrow of.

Noble Timon,
what friendship may I do thee?

None, but to
maintaine my opinion.

What is it Timon?

Promise me Friendship, but performe none.
If thou wilt not promise, the Gods plague thee, for
thou / art a man: if thou do'st performe,
confound thee, for / thou art a man.

I haue heard in some sort of thy Miseries.

Thou saw'st them when I had prosperitie.

I see them now, then was a blessed time.

As thine is now, held with a brace of Harlots.

Is this th'Athenian Minion, whom the world
Voic'd so regardfully?

Art thou Timandra?


Be a whore still, they loue thee not that vse thee,
giue them diseases, leauing with thee their Lust.
Make vse of thy salt houres, season the slaues
for Tubbes and Bathes, bring downe Rose-cheekt youth
to the Fubfast, and the Diet.

Hang thee Monster.

Pardon him sweet Timandra, for his wits
Are drown'd and lost in his Calamities.
I haue but little Gold of late, braue Timon,
The want whereof, doth dayly make reuolt
In my penurious Band. I haue heard and greeu'd
How cursed Athens, mindelesse of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when Neighbour states
But for thy Sword and Fortune trod vpon them.

I prythee beate thy Drum, and get thee gone.

I am thy Friend, and pitty thee deere Timon.

How doest thou pitty him whom yu dost troble,
I had rather be alone.

Why fare thee well:
Heere is some Gold for thee.

Keepe it, I cannot eate it.

When I haue laid proud Athens on a heape.

Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens.

I Timon, and haue cause.

The Gods confound them all in thy Conquest,
And thee after, when thou hast Conquer'd.

Why me, Timon?

That by killing of Villaines
Thou was't borne to conquer my Country.
Put vp thy Gold. Go on, heeres Gold, go on;
Be as a Plannetary plague, when Ioue
Will o're some high-Vic'd City, hang his poyson
In the sicke ayre: let not thy sword skip one:
Pitty not honour'd Age for his white Beard,
He is an Vsurer. Strike me the counterfet Matron,
It is her habite onely, that is honest,
Her selfe's a Bawd. Let not the Virgins cheeke
Make soft thy trenchant Sword: for those Milke pappes
That through the window Barne bore at mens eyes,
Are not within the Leafe of pitty writ,
But set them down horrible Traitors. Spare not the Babe
Whose dimpled smiles from Fooles exhaust their mercy;
Thinke it a Bastard, whom the Oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounced, the throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorse. Sweare against Obiects,
Put Armour on thine eares, and on thine eyes,
Whose proofe, nor yels of Mothers, Maides, nor Babes,
Nor sight of Priests in holy Vestments bleeding,
Shall pierce a iot. There's Gold to pay thy Souldiers,
Make large confusion: and thy fury spent,
Confounded be thy selfe. Speake not, be gone.

Hast thou Gold yet, Ile take the Gold thou giuest me,
not all thy Counsell.

Dost thou or dost thou not, Heauens curse vpon thee.

Giue vs some Gold good Timon, hast yu more?

Enough to make a Whore forsweare her Trade,
And to make Whores, a Bawd. Hold vp you Sluts
Your Aprons mountant; you are not Othable,
Although I know you'l sweare, terribly sweare
Into strong shudders, and to heauenly Agues
Th'immortall Gods that heare you. Spare your Oathes:
Ile trust to your Conditions, be whores still.
And he whose pious breath seekes to conuert you,
Be strong in Whore, allure him, burne him vp,
Let your close fire predominate his smoke,
And be no turne-coats: yet may your paines six months
Be quite contrary, And Thatch
Your poore thin Roofes with burthens of the dead,
(Some that were hang'd) no matter:
Weare them, betray with them; Whore still,
Paint till a horse may myre vpon your face:
A pox of wrinkles.

Well, more Gold, what then?
Beleeue't that wee'l do any thing for Gold.

Consumptions sowe
In hollow bones of man, strike their sharpe shinnes,
And marre mens spurring. Cracke the Lawyers voyce,
That he may neuer more false Title pleade,
Nor sound his Quillets shrilly: Hoare the Flamen,
That scold'st against the quality of flesh,
And not beleeues himselfe. Downe with the Nose,
Downe with it flat, take the Bridge quite away
Of him, that his particular to foresee
Smels from the generall weale. Make curld' pate Ruffians bald
And let the vnscarr'd Braggerts of the Warre
Deriue some paine from you. Plague all,
That your Actiuity may defeate and quell
The sourse of all Erection. There's more Gold.
Do you damne others, and let this damne you,
And ditches graue you all.

More counsell with more Money, bounteous Timon.

More whore, more Mischeefe first, I haue giuen you earnest.

Strike vp the Drum towardes Athens, farewell / Timon:
if I thriue well, Ile visit thee againe.

If I hope well, Ile neuer see thee more.

I neuer did thee harme.

Yes, thou spok'st well of me.

Call'st thou that harme?

Men dayly finde it. Get thee away, / And take
thy Beagles with thee.

We but offend him, strike.

That Nature being sicke of mans vnkindnesse
Should yet be hungry: Common Mother, thou
Whose wombe vnmeasureable, and infinite brest
Teemes and feeds all: whose selfesame Mettle
Whereof thy proud Childe (arrogant man) is puft,
Engenders the blacke Toad, and Adder blew,
The gilded Newt, and eyelesse venom'd Worme,
With all th'abhorred Births below Crispe Heauen,
Whereon Hyperions quickning fire doth shine:
Yeeld him, who all the humane Sonnes do hate,
From foorth thy plenteous bosome, one poore roote:
Enseare thy Fertile and Conceptious wombe,
Let it no more bring out ingratefull man.
Goe great with Tygers, Dragons, Wolues, and Beares,
Teeme with new Monsters, whom thy vpward face
Hath to the Marbled Mansion all aboue
Neuer presented. O, a Root, deare thankes:
Dry vp thy Marrowes, Vines, and Plough-torne Leas,
Whereof ingratefull man with Licourish draughts
And Morsels Vnctious, greases his pure minde,
That from it all Consideration slippes---
Enter Apemantus .
More man? Plague, plague.

I was directed hither. Men report,
Thou dost affect my Manners, and dost vse them.

'Tis then, because thou dost not keepe a dogge
Whom I would imitate. Consumption catch thee.

This is in thee a Nature but infected,
A poore vnmanly Melancholly sprung
From change of future. Why this Spade? this place?
This Slaue-like Habit, and these lookes of Care?
Thy Flatterers yet weare Silke, drinke Wine, lye soft,
Hugge their diseas'd Perfumes, and haue forgot
That euer Timon was. Shame not these Woods,
By putting on the cunning of a Carper.
Be thou a Flatterer now, and seeke to thriue
By that which ha's vndone thee; hindge thy knee,
And let his very breath whom thou'lt obserue
Blow off thy Cap: praise his most vicious straine,
And call it excellent: thou wast told thus:
Thou gau'st thine eares (like Tapsters, that bad welcom)
To Knaues, and all approachers: 'Tis most iust
That thou turne Rascall, had'st thou wealth againe,
Rascals should haue't. Do not assume my likenesse.

Were I like thee, I'de throw away my selfe.

Thou hast cast away thy selfe, being like thy self
A Madman so long, now a Foole: what think'st
That the bleake ayre, thy boysterous Chamberlaine
Will put thy shirt on warme? Will these moyst Trees,
That haue out-liu'd the Eagle, page thy heeles
And skip when thou point'st out? Will the cold brooke
Candied with Ice, Cawdle thy Morning taste
To cure thy o're-nights surfet? Call the Creatures,
Whose naked Natures liue in all the spight
Of wrekefull Heauen, whose bare vnhoused Trunkes,
To the conflicting Elements expos'd
Answer meere Nature: bid them flatter thee.
O thou shalt finde.

A Foole of thee: depart.

I loue thee better now, then ere I did.

I hate thee worse.


Thou flatter'st misery.

I flatter not, but say thou art a Caytiffe.

Why do'st thou seeke me out?

To vex thee.

Alwayes a Villaines Office, or a Fooles.
Dost please thy selfe in't?


What, a Knaue too?

If thou did'st put this sowre cold habit on
To castigate thy pride, 'twere well: but thou
Dost it enforcedly: Thou'dst Courtier be againe
Wert thou not Beggar: willing misery
Out-liues: incertaine pompe, is crown'd before:
The one is filling still, neuer compleat:
The other, at high wish: best state Contentlesse,
Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
Worse then the worst, Content.
Thou should'st desire to dye, being miserable.

Not by his breath, that is more miserable.
Thou art a Slaue, whom Fortunes tender arme
With fauour neuer claspt: but bred a Dogge.
Had'st thou like vs from our first swath proceeded,
The sweet degrees that this breefe world affords,
To such as may the passiue drugges of it
Freely command'st: thou would'st haue plung'd thy self
In generall Riot, melted downe thy youth
In different beds of Lust, and neuer learn'd
The Icie precepts of respect, but followed
The Sugred game before thee. But my selfe,
Who had the world as my Confectionarie,
The mouthes, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of men,
At duty more then I could frame employment;
That numberlesse vpon me stucke, as leaues
Do on the Oake, haue with one Winters brush
Fell from their boughes, and left me open, bare,
For euery storme that blowes. I to beare this,
That neuer knew but better, is some burthen:
Thy Nature, did commence in sufferance, Time
Hath made thee hard in't. Why should'st yu hate Men?
They neuer flatter'd thee. What hast thou giuen?
If thou wilt curse; thy Father (that poore ragge)
Must be thy subiect; who in spight put stuffe
To some shee-Begger, and compounded thee
Poore Rogue, hereditary. Hence, be gone,
If thou hadst not bene borne the worst of men,
Thou hadst bene a Knaue and Flatterer.

Art thou proud yet?

I, that I am not thee.

I, that I was no Prodigall.

I, that I am one now.
Were all the wealth I haue shut vp in thee,
I'ld giue thee leaue to hang it. Get thee gone:
That the whole life of Athens were in this,
Thus would I eate it .

Heere, I will mend thy Feast.

First mend thy company, take away thy selfe.

So I shall mend mine owne, by'th'lacke of thine

'Tis not well mended so, it is but botcht;
If not, I would it were.

What would'st thou haue to Athens?

Thee thither in a whirlewind: if thou wilt,
Tell them there I haue Gold, looke, so I haue.

Heere is no vse for Gold.

The best, and truest:
For heere it sleepes, and do's no hyred harme.

Where lyest a nights Timon?

Vnder that's aboue me.
Where feed'st thou a-dayes Apemantus?

Where my stomacke findes meate, or rather
where I eate it.

Would poyson were obedient, & knew my mind

Where would'st thou send it?

To sawce thy dishes.

The middle of Humanity thou neuer knewest,
but the extremitie of both ends. When thou wast in
thy Gilt, and thy Perfume, they mockt thee for too
much Curiositie: in thy Ragges thou know'st none, but art
despis'd for the contrary. There's a medler for thee,
eate it.

On what I hate, I feed not.

Do'st hate a Medler?

I, though it looke like thee.

And th'hadst hated Medlers sooner, yu
should'st haue loued thy selfe better now. What man didd'st
thou euer know vnthrift, that was beloued after his

Who without those meanes thou talk'st of, didst
thou euer know belou'd?

My selfe.

I vnderstand thee: thou had'st some meanes to
keepe a Dogge.

What things in the world canst thou neerest
compare to thy Flatterers?

Women neerest, but men: men are the things
themselues. What would'st thou do with the world
Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?

Giue it the Beasts, to be rid of the men.

Would'st thou haue thy selfe fall in the confusion of
men, and remaine a Beast with the Beasts.

I Timon.

A beastly Ambition, which the Goddes graunt thee
t'attaine to. If thou wert the Lyon, the Fox would beguile
thee. if thou wert the Lambe, the Foxe would eate thee: if
thou wert the Fox, the Lion would suspect thee, when
peraduenture thou wert accus'd by the Asse: If thou wert
the Asse, thy dulnesse would torment thee; and still thou
liu'dst but as a Breakefast to the Wolfe. If thou wert the
Wolfe, thy greedinesse would afflict thee, & oft thou
should'st hazard thy life for thy dinner. Wert thou
the Vnicorne, pride and wrath would confound thee, and
make thine owne selfe the conquest of thy fury. Wert thou
a Beare, thou would'st be kill'd by the Horse: wert thou
a Horse, thou would'st be seaz'd by the Leopard: wert
thou a Leopard, thou wert Germane to the Lion, and the
spottes of thy Kindred, were Iurors on thy life. All thy
safety were remotion, and thy defence absence. What
Beast could'st thou bee, that were not subiect to a Beast:
and what a Beast art thou already, that seest not thy
losse in transformation.

If thou could'st please me / With speaking to
me, thou might'st / Haue hit vpon it heere. / The Commonwealth
of Athens, is become / A Forrest of Beasts.

How ha's the Asse broke the wall, that thou art out
of the Citie.

Yonder comes a Poet and a Painter: / The
plague of Company light vpon thee: / I will feare to catch
it, and giue way. / When I know not what else to do, / Ile
see thee againe.

When there is nothing liuing but thee, / Thou shalt
be welcome. / I had rather be a Beggers Dogge, / Then

Thou art the Cap / Of all the Fooles aliue.

Would thou wert cleane enough / To spit vpon.

A plague on thee, / Thou art too bad to curse.

All Villaines / That do stand by thee, are pure.

There is no Leprosie, / But what thou speak'st.

If I name thee,
Ile beate thee; / But I should infect my hands.

I would my tongue / Could rot them off.

Away thou issue of a mangie dogge,
Choller does kill me, / That thou art aliue,
I swoond to see thee.

Would thou would'st burst.

Away thou tedious Rogue,
I am sorry I shall lose a stone by thee.




Rogue, Rogue, Rogue.
I am sicke of this false world, and will loue nought
But euen the meere necessities vpon't:
Then Timon presently prepare thy graue:
Lye where the light Fome of the Sea may beate
Thy graue stone dayly, make thine Epitaph,
That death in me, at others liues may laugh.

O thou sweete King-killer, and deare diuorce
Twixt naturall Sunne and fire: thou bright defiler
of Himens purest bed, thou valiant Mars,
Thou euer, yong, fresh, loued, and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thawe the consecrated Snow
That lyes on Dians lap. / Thou visible God,
That souldrest close Impossibilities,
And mak'st them kisse; that speak'st with euerie Tongue
To euerie purpose: O thou touch of hearts,
Thinke thy slaue-man rebels, and by thy vertue
Set them into confounding oddes, that Beasts
May haue the world in Empire.

Would 'twere so,
But not till I am dead. Ile say th'hast Gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd too shortly.

Throng'd too?


Thy backe I prythee.

Liue, and loue thy misery.

Long liue so, and so dye. I am quit.
Enter the Bandetti.

Mo things like men, / Eate Timon, and abhorre then.
Exit Apeman.

Where should he haue this Gold? It is
some poore Fragment, some slender Ort of his remainder:
the meere want of Gold, and the falling from of his
Friendes, droue him into this Melancholly.

It is nois'd / He hath a masse of Treasure.

Let vs make the assay vpon him, if he
care not for't, he will supply vs easily: if he couetously
reserue it, how shall's get it?

True: for he beares it not about him:
'Tis hid.

Is not this hee?


'Tis his description.

He? I know him.

Saue thee Timon.

Now Theeues.

Soldiers, not Theeues.

Both too, and womens Sonnes.

We are not Theeues, but men / That much do want.

Your greatest want is, you want much of meat:
Why should you want? Behold, the Earth hath Rootes:
Within this Mile breake forth a hundred Springs:
The Oakes beare Mast, the Briars Scarlet Heps,
The bounteous Huswife Nature, on each bush,
Layes her full Messe before you. Want? why Want?

We cannot liue on Grasse, on Berries, Water,
As Beasts, and Birds, and Fishes.

Nor on the Beasts themselues, the Birds & Fishes,
You must eate men. Yet thankes I must you con,
That you are Theeues profest: that you worke not
In holier shapes: For there is boundlesse Theft
In limited Professions. Rascall Theeues
Heere's Gold. Go, sucke the subtle blood o'th'Grape,
Till the high Feauor seeth your blood to froth,
And so scape hanging. Trust not the Physitian,
His Antidotes are poyson, and he slayes
Moe then you Rob: Take wealth, and liues together,
Do Villaine do, since you protest to doo't.
Like Workemen, Ile example you with Theeuery:
The Sunnes a Theefe, and with his great attraction
Robbes the vaste Sea. The Moones an arrant Theefe,
And her pale fire, she snatches from the Sunne.
The Seas a Theefe, whose liquid Surge, resolues
The Moone into Salt teares. The Earth's a Theefe,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolne
From gen'rall excrement: each thing's a Theefe.
The Lawes, your curbe and whip, in their rough power
Ha's vncheck'd Theft. Loue not your selues, away,
Rob one another, there's more Gold, cut throates,
All that you meete are Theeues: to Athens go,
Breake open shoppes, nothing can you steale
But Theeues do loose it: steale lesse, for this I giue you,
And Gold confound you howsoere: Amen.

Has almost charm'd me from my Profession,
by perswading me to it.

'Tis in the malice of mankinde, that he
thus aduises vs not to haue vs thriue in our mystery.

Ile beleeue him as an Enemy, / And giue
ouer my Trade.

Let vs first see peace in Athens, there is
no time so miserable, but a man may be true.
Exit Theeues.
Enter the Steward to Timon.

Oh you Gods!
Is yon'd despis'd and ruinous man my Lord?
Full of decay and fayling? Oh Monument
And wonder of good deeds, euilly bestow'd!
What an alteration of Honor
has desp'rate want made?
What vilder thing vpon the earth, then Friends,
Who can bring Noblest mindes, to basest ends.
How rarely does it meete with this times guise,
When man was wisht to loue his Enemies:
Grant I may euer loue, and rather woo
Those that would mischeefe me, then those that doo.
Has caught me in his eye, I will present
my honest griefe vnto him; and as my Lord,
still serue him with my life. / My deerest Master.

Away: what art thou?

Haue you forgot me, Sir?

Why dost aske that? I haue forgot all men.
Then, if thou grunt'st, th'art a man. / I haue forgot thee.

An honest poore seruant of yours.

Then I know thee not:
I neuer had honest man about me, I
all / I kept were Knaues, to serue in meate to Villaines.

The Gods are witnesse,
Neu'r did poore Steward weare a truer greefe
For his vndone Lord, then mine eyes for you.

What, dost thou weepe? / Come neerer, then I loue thee
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flinty mankinde: whose eyes do neuer giue,
But thorow Lust and Laughter: pittie's sleeping:
Strange times yt weepe with laughing, not with weeping.

I begge of you to know me, good my Lord,
T'accept my greefe, and whil'st this poore wealth lasts,
To entertaine me as your Steward still.

Had I a Steward
So true, so iust, and now so comfortable?
It almost turnes my dangerous Nature wilde.
Let me behold thy face: Surely, this man
Was borne of woman.
Forgiue my generall, and exceptlesse rashnesse
You perpetuall sober Gods. I do proclaime
One honest man: Mistake me not, but one:
No more I pray, and hee's a Steward.
How faine would I haue hated all mankinde,
And thou redeem'st thy selfe. But all saue thee,
I fell with Curses.
Me thinkes thou art more honest now, then wise:
For, by oppressing and betraying mee,
Thou might'st haue sooner got another Seruice:
For many so arriue at second Masters,
Vpon their first Lords necke. But tell me true,
(For I must euer doubt, though ne're so sure)
Is not thy kindnesse subtle, couetous,
If not a Vsuring kindnesse, and as rich men deale Guifts,
Expecting in returne twenty for one?

No my most worthy Master, in whose brest
Doubt, and suspect (alas) are plac'd too late:
You should haue fear'd false times, when you did Feast.
Suspect still comes, where an estate is least.
That which I shew, Heauen knowes, is meerely Loue,
Dutie, and Zeale, to your vnmatched minde;
Care of your Food and Liuing, and beleeue it,
My most Honour'd Lord,
For any benefit that points to mee,
Either in hope, or present, I'de exchange
For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
To requite me, by making rich your selfe.

Looke thee, 'tis so: thou singly honest man,
Heere take: the Gods out of my miserie
Ha's sent thee Treasure. Go, liue rich and happy,
But thus condition'd: Thou shalt build from men:
Hate all, curse all, shew Charity to none,
But let the famisht flesh slide from the Bone,
Ere thou releeue the Begger. Giue to dogges
What thou denyest to men. Let Prisons swallow 'em,
Debts wither 'em to nothing, be men like blasted woods
And may Diseases licke vp their false bloods,
And so farewell, and thriue.

O let me stay, and comfort you, my Master.

If thou hat'st Curses
Stay not: flye, whil'st thou art blest and free:
Ne're see thou man, and let me ne're see thee.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Timon

Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall
That girdles in those wolves, dive in the earth
And fence not Athens. Matrons, turn incontinent.
Obedience fail in children. Slaves and fools
Pluck the grave wrinkled Senate from the bench,
And minister in their steads. To general filths
Convert o'th' instant, green virginity,
Do't in your parents' eyes. Bankrupts, hold fast;
Rather than render back, out with your knives
And cut your trusters' throats. Bound servants, steal.
Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,
And pill by law. Maid, to thy master's bed;
Thy mistress is o'th' brothel. Son of sixteen,
Pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire,
With it beat out his brains. Piety and fear,
Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
Domestic awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood,
Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
Decline to your confounding contraries,
And yet confusion live. Plagues, incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap
On Athens, ripe for stroke. Thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners. Lust and liberty
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth,
That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot. Itches, blains,
Sow all th' Athenian bosoms, and their crop
Be general leprosy. Breath infect breath,
That their society, as their friendship, may
Be merely poison. Nothing I'll bear from thee
But nakedness, thou detestable town.
Take thou that too, with multiplying bans.
Timon will to the woods, where he shall find
Th' unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
The gods confound – hear me, you good gods all –
Th' Athenians both within and out that wall.
And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
To the whole race of mankind, high and low.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Flavius, with two or three Servants

Hear you, master steward, where's our master?
Are we undone, cast off, nothing remaining?

Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you?
Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,
I am as poor as you.

Such a house broke!
So noble a master fallen! All gone, and not
One friend to take his fortune by the arm,
And go along with him?

As we do turn our backs
From our companion thrown into his grave,
So his familiars to his buried fortunes
Slink all away, leave their false vows with him,
Like empty purses picked. And his poor self,
A dedicated beggar to the air,
With his disease of all-shunned poverty,
Walks, like contempt, alone. More of our fellows.
Enter other Servants

All broken implements of a ruined house.

Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery;
That see I by our faces. We are fellows still,
Serving alike in sorrow. Leaked is our bark,
And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck,
Hearing the surges threat. We must all part
Into this sea of air.

Good fellows all,
The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you.
Wherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake,
Let's yet be fellows. Let's shake our heads and say,
As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes,
‘ We have seen better days.’ Let each take some.
He gives them money
Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more.
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
Flavius and the Servants embrace each other
Exeunt Servants
O the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!
Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since riches point to misery and contempt?
Who would be so mocked with glory, or to live
But in a dream of friendship,
To have his pomp and all what state compounds
But only painted, like his varnished friends?
Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart,
Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood,
When man's worst sin is he does too much good.
Who then dares to be half so kind again?
For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men.
My dearest lord, blest to be most accursed,
Rich only to be wretched, thy great fortunes
Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord,
He's flung in rage from this ingrateful seat
Of monstrous friends;
Nor has he with him to supply his life,
Or that which can command it.
I'll follow and inquire him out.
I'll ever serve his mind with my best will;
Whilst I have gold I'll be his steward still.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Timon in the woods

O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth
Rotten humidity. Below thy sister's orb
Infect the air. Twinned brothers of one womb,
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
Scarce is dividanttouch them with several fortunes,
The greater scorns the lesser. Not nature,
To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune
But by contempt of nature.
Raise me this beggar and deject that lord –
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
The beggar native honour.
It is the pasture lards the wether's sides,
The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who dares,
In purity of manhood stand upright,
And say, ‘ This man's a flatterer ’? If one be,
So are they all, for every grise of fortune
Is smoothed by that below. The learned pate
Ducks to the golden fool. All's obliquy;
There's nothing level in our cursed natures
But direct villainy. Therefore be abhorred
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men.
His semblable, yea himself, Timon disdains.
Destruction fang mankind. Earth, yield me roots.
He digs
Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy most operant poison. What is here?
Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
No, gods, I am no idle votarist.
Roots, you clear heavens! Thus much of this will make
Black white, foul fair, wrong right,
Base noble, old young, coward valiant.
Ha, you gods! Why this? What, this, you gods? Why, this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads.
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless th' accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves,
And give them title, knee, and approbation,
With senators on the bench. This is it
That makes the wappened widow wed again –
She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To th' April day again. Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind, that puts odds
Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature.
March afar off
Ha? A drum? Th' art quick,
But yet I'll bury thee. Thou'lt go, strong thief,
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.
Nay, stay thou out for earnest.
He keeps some of the gold, and buries the rest
Enter Alcibiades, with drum and fife, in warlike
manner; and Phrynia and Timandra

What art thou there? Speak.

A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart
For showing me again the eyes of man!

What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee
That art thyself a man?

I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.

I know thee well;
But in thy fortunes am unlearned and strange.

I know thee too, and more than that I know thee
I not desire to know. Follow thy drum.
With man's blood paint the ground gules, gules.
Religious canons, civil laws are cruel;
Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine
Hath in her more destruction than thy sword,
For all her cherubim look.

Thy lips rot off!

I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns
To thine own lips again.

How came the noble Timon to this change?

As the moon does, by wanting light to give.
But then renew I could not like the moon;
There were no suns to borrow of.

Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?

None, but to
Maintain my opinion.

What is it, Timon?

Promise me friendship, but perform none.
If thou wilt promise, the gods plague thee, for
Thou art a man. If thou dost not perform,
Confound thee, for thou art a man.

I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.

Thou sawest them when I had prosperity.

I see them now. Then was a blessed time.

As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.

Is this th' Athenian minion whom the world
Voiced so regardfully?

Art thou Timandra?


Be a whore still. They love thee not that use thee.
Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
Make use of thy salt hours. Season the slaves
For tubs and baths; bring down rose-cheeked youth
To the tub-fast and the diet.

Hang thee, monster!

Pardon him, sweet Timandra, for his wits
Are drowned and lost in his calamities.
I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
The want whereof doth daily make revolt
In my penurious band. I have heard, and grieved,
How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them –

I prithee beat thy drum and get thee gone.

I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.

How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
I had rather be alone.

Why, fare thee well.
Here is some gold for thee.

Keep it, I cannot eat it.

When I have laid proud Athens on a heap

Warrest thou 'gainst Athens?

Ay, Timon, and have cause.

The gods confound them all in thy conquest,
And thee after, when thou hast conquered!

Why me, Timon?

That by killing of villains
Thou wast born to conquer my country.
Put up thy gold. Go on. Here's gold. Go on.
Be as a planetary plague, when Jove
Will o'er some high-viced city hang his poison
In the sick air. Let not thy sword skip one.
Pity not honoured age for his white beard;
He is an usurer. Strike me the counterfeit matron
It is her habit only that is honest,
Herself's a bawd. Let not the virgin's cheek
Make soft thy trenchant sword; for those milk-paps
That, through the window, bared, bore at men's eyes
Are not within the leaf of pity writ,
But set them down horrible traitors. Spare not the babe
Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;
Think it a bastard whom the oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorse. Swear against objects.
Put armour on thine ears and on thine eyes,
Whose proof nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay thy soldiers.
Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
Confounded be thyself. Speak not, be gone.

Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou givest me,
Not all thy counsel.

Dost thou or dost thou not, heaven's curse upon thee!

Give us some gold, good Timon. Hast thou more?

Enough to make a whore forswear her trade,
And to make whores, a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
Your aprons mountant. You are not oathable,
Although I know you 'll swear, terribly swear,
Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
Th' immortal gods that hear you. Spare your oaths;
I'll trust to your conditions. Be whores still.
And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you –
Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up;
Let your close fire predominate his smoke,
And be no turncoats. Yet may your pains, six months,
Be quite contrary; and thatch
Your poor thin roofs with burdens of the dead –
Some that were hanged. No matter.
Wear them, betray with them, whore still.
Paint till a horse may mire upon your face.
A pox of wrinkles!

Well, more gold. What then?
Believe't that we'll do anything for gold.

Consumptions sow
In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins,
And mar men's spurring. Crack the lawyer's voice,
That he may never more false title plead,
Nor sound his quillets shrilly. Hoar the flamen,
That scolds against the quality of flesh
And not believes himself. Down with the nose,
Down with it flat, take the bridge quite away
Of him that, his particular to foresee,
Smells from the general weal. Make curled-pate ruffians bald,
And let the unscarred braggarts of the war
Derive some pain from you. Plague all,
That your activity may defeat and quell
The source of all erection. There's more gold.
Do you damn others, and let this damn you,
And ditches grave you all!

More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.

More whore, more mischief first. I have given you earnest.

Strike up the drum towards Athens. Farewell, Timon.
If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.

If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.

I never did thee harm.

Yes, thou spokest well of me.

Callest thou that harm?

Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
Thy beagles with thee.

We but offend him. Strike!
Drum beats. Exeunt all but Timon

That nature, being sick of man's unkindness,
Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou,
(he digs)
Whose womb unmeasurable and infinite breast
Teems and feeds all; whose selfsame mettle,
Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puffed,
Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
The gilded newt and eyeless venomed worm,
With all th' abhorred births below crisp heaven
Whereon Hyperion's quickening fire doth shine –
Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate,
From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root.
Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb,
Let it no more bring out ingrateful man.
Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears,
Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face
Hath to the marbled mansion all above
Never presented. – O, a root! Dear thanks! –
Dry up thy marrows, vines and plough-torn leas,
Whereof ingrateful man with liquorish draughts
And morsels unctuous greases his pure mind,
That from it all consideration slips –
Enter Apemantus
More man? Plague, plague!

I was directed hither. Men report
Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.

'Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog,
Whom I would imitate. Consumption catch thee!

This is in thee a nature but infected,
A poor unmanly melancholy sprung
From change of fortune. Why this spade? This place?
This slave-like habit and these looks of care?
Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft,
Hug their diseased perfumes, and have forgot
That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods
By putting on the cunning of a carper.
Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive
By that which has undone thee. Hinge thy knee,
And let his very breath whom thou'lt observe
Blow off thy cap. Praise his most vicious strain
And call it excellent. Thou wast told thus.
Thou gavest thine ears, like tapsters that bade welcome,
To knaves and all approachers. 'Tis most just
That thou turn rascal; hadst thou wealth again,
Rascals should have't. Do not assume my likeness.

Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself.

Thou hast cast away thyself, being like thyself
A madman so long, now a fool. What, thinkest
That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
Will put thy shirt on warm? Will these moist trees,
That have outlived the eagle, page thy heels
And skip when thou pointest out? Will the cold brook,
Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste,
To cure thy o'ernight's surfeit? Call the creatures
Whose naked natures live in all the spite
Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhoused trunks,
To the conflicting elements exposed,
Answer mere nature – bid them flatter thee.
O, thou shalt find –

A fool of thee. Depart.

I love thee better now than e'er I did.

I hate thee worse.


Thou flatterest misery.

I flatter not, but say thou art a caitiff.

Why dost thou seek me out?

To vex thee.

Always a villain's office or a fool's.
Dost please thyself in't?


What, a knave too?

If thou didst put this sour cold habit on
To castigate thy pride, 'twere well; but thou
Dost it enforcedly. Thou'dst courtier be again
Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
Outlives incertain pomp, is crowned before.
The one is filling still, never complete,
The other at high wish. Best state, contentless,
Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
Worse than the worst, content.
Thou shouldst desire to die, being miserable.

Not by his breath that is more miserable.
Thou art a slave whom Fortune's tender arm
With favour never clasped. But, bred a dog,
Hadst thou, like us from our first swath, proceeded
The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
To such as may the passive drudges of it
Freely command, thou wouldst have plunged thyself
In general riot, melted down thy youth
In different beds of lust, and never learned
The icy precepts of respect, but followed
The sugared game before thee. But myself –
Who had the world as my confectionary,
The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of men
At duty, more than I could frame employment;
That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves
Do on the oak, have with one winter's brush
Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare,
For every storm that blows – I to bear this,
That never knew but better, is some burden.
Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time
Hath made thee hard in't. Why shouldst thou hate men?
They never flattered thee. What hast thou given?
If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag,
Must be thy subject; who in spite put stuff
To some she-beggar and compounded thee
Poor rogue hereditary. Hence, be gone.
If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.

Art thou proud yet?

Ay, that I am not thee.

I, that I was no prodigal.

I, that I am one now.
Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
I'd give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.
That the whole life of Athens were in this!
Thus would I eat it.
He eats a root

Here, I will mend thy feast.
He offers Timon food

First mend my company, take away thyself.

So I shall mend mine own by th' lack of thine.

'Tis not well mended so, it is but botched.
If not, I would it were.

What wouldst thou have to Athens?

Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
Tell them there I have gold. Look, so I have.

Here is no use for gold.

The best and truest;
For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm.

Where liest a-nights, Timon?

Under that's above me.
Where feedest thou a-days, Apemantus?

Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather,
where I eat it.

Would poison were obedient, and knew my mind!

Where wouldst thou send it?

To sauce thy dishes.

The middle of humanity thou never knewest,
but the extremity of both ends. When thou wast in
thy gilt and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too
much curiosity. In thy rags thou knowest none, but art
despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for thee.
Eat it.

On what I hate I feed not.

Dost hate a medlar?

Ay, though it look like thee.

An th' hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou
shouldst have loved thyself better now. What man didst
thou ever know unthrift that was beloved after his

Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst
thou ever know beloved?


I understand thee: thou hadst some means to
keep a dog.

What things in the world canst thou nearest
compare to thy flatterers?

Women nearest. But men – men are the things
themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world,
Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?

Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.

Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of
men, and remain a beast with the beasts?

Ay, Timon.

A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee
t' attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile
thee. If thou wert the lamb, the fox would eat thee. If
thou wert the fox, the lion would suspect thee when
peradventure thou wert accused by the ass. If thou wert
the ass, thy dullness would torment thee, and still thou
livedst but as a breakfast to the wolf. If thou wert the
wolf, thy greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou
shouldst hazard thy life for thy dinner. Wert thou the
unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee and
make thine own self the conquest of thy fury. Wert thou
a bear, thou wouldst be killed by the horse. Wert thou
a horse, thou wouldst be seized by the leopard. Wert
thou a leopard, thou wert german to the lion, and the
spots of thy kindred were jurors on thy life. All thy
safety were remotion, and thy defence absence. What
beast couldst thou be that were not subject to a beast?
And what a beast art thou already, that seest not thy
loss in transformation!

If thou couldst please me with speaking to
me, thou mightst have hit upon it here. The commonwealth
of Athens is become a forest of beasts.

How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out
of the city?

Yonder comes a poet and a painter. The
plague of company light upon thee! I will fear to catch
it, and give way. When I know not what else to do, I'll
see thee again.

When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt
be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than

Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.

Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!

A plague on thee! Thou art too bad to curse.

All villains that do stand by thee are pure.

There is no leprosy but what thou speakest.

If I name thee.
I'll beat thee – but I should infect my hands.

I would my tongue could rot them off.

Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me that thou art alive.
I swoon to see thee.

Would thou wouldst burst!

Away, thou tedious rogue!
I am sorry I shall lose a stone by thee.
He throws a stone at Apemantus




Rogue, rogue, rogue!
I am sick of this false world, and will love naught
But even the mere necessities upon't.
Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave.
Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat
Thy grave-stone daily. Make thine epitaph,
That death in me at others' lives may laugh.
He addresses the gold
O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
'Twixt natural son and sire, thou bright defiler
Of Hymen's purest bed, thou valiant Mars,
Thou ever young, fresh, loved, and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian's lap! Thou visible god,
That sold'rest close impossibilities,
And makest them kiss; that speakest with every tongue,
To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
Think thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire.

Would 'twere so!
But not till I am dead. I'll say th' hast gold.
Thou wilt be thronged to shortly.

Thronged to?


Thy back, I prithee.

Live, and love thy misery.

Long live so, and so die! I am quit.
Enter the Bandits

More things like men! Eat, Timon, and abhor them.

Where should he have this gold? It is
some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder.
The mere want of gold, and the falling-from of his
friends, drove him into this melancholy.

It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.

Let us make the assay upon him. If he
care not for't, he will supply us easily. If he covetously
reserve it, how shall's get it?

True; for he bears it not about him.
'Tis hid.

Is not this he?


'Tis his description.

He. I know him.

Save thee, Timon.

Now, thieves?

Soldiers, not thieves.

Both too – and women's sons.

We are not thieves, but men that much do want.

Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;
Within this mile break forth a hundred springs;
The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips;
The bounteous housewife Nature on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want? Why want?

We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
As beasts, and birds, and fishes.

Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes;
You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con
That you are thieves professed, that you work not
In holier shapes. For there is boundless theft
In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
Here's gold. Go, suck the subtle blood o'th' grape
Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
And so 'scape hanging. Trust not the physician;
His antidotes are poison, and he slays
More than you rob. Take wealth and lives together.
Do villainy, do, since you protest to do't,
Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery.
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea. The moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears. The earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
From general excrement. Each thing's a thief,
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Has unchecked theft. Love not yourselves. Away.
Rob one another. There's more gold. Cut throats.
All that you meet are thieves. To Athens go,
Break open shops – nothing can you steal
But thieves do lose it. Steal less for this I give you,
And gold confound you howsoe'er. Amen.

'Has almost charmed me from my profession,
by persuading me to it.

'Tis in the malice of mankind that he
thus advises us, not to have us thrive in our mystery.

I'll believe him as an enemy, and give
over my trade.

Let us first see peace in Athens. There is
no time so miserable but a man may be true.
Exeunt Bandits
Enter Flavius

O you gods!
Is yond despised and ruinous man my lord?
Full of decay and failing? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestowed!
What an alteration of honour
Has desperate want made!
What viler thing upon the earth than friends,
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wished to love his enemies!
Grant I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me than those that do!
'Has caught me in his eye. I will present
My honest grief unto him, and as my lord
Still serve him with my life. My dearest master!

Away! What art thou?

Have you forgot me, sir?

Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men.
Then, if thou grantest th' art a man, I have forgot thee.

An honest poor servant of yours.

Then I know thee not.
I never had honest man about me, I.
All I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.

The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.

What, dost thou weep? Come nearer. Then I love thee,
Because thou art a woman and disclaimest
Flinty mankind, whose eyes do never give
But thorough lust and laughter. Pity's sleeping.
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!

I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
T' accept my grief, and whilst this poor wealth lasts
To entertain me as your steward still.

Had I a steward
So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
It almost turns my dangerous nature mild.
Let me behold thy face. Surely this man
Was born of woman.
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
You perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man. Mistake me not, but one –
No more, I pray – and he's a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeemest thyself. But all, save thee,
I fell with curses.
Methinks thou art more honest now than wise.
For by oppressing and betraying me
Thou mightst have sooner got another service;
For many so arrive at second masters
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true –
For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure –
Is not thy kindness subtle-covetous,
A usuring kindness, and as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?

No, my most worthy master, in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late.
You should have feared false times when you did feast.
Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,
Duty, and zeal to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food and living. And believe it,
My most honoured lord,
For any benefit that points to me,
Either in hope or present, I'd exchange
For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
To requite me by making rich yourself.

Look thee, 'tis so. Thou singly honest man,
Here, take. The gods, out of my misery,
Ha' sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy,
But thus conditioned: thou shalt build from men,
Hate all, curse all, show charity to none,
But let the famished flesh slide from the bone
Ere thou relieve the beggar. Give to dogs
What thou deniest to men. Let prisons swallow 'em,
Debts wither 'em to nothing. Be men like blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
And so farewell, and thrive.

O, let me stay and comfort you, my master.

If thou hatest curses,
Stay not. Fly, whilst thou art blest and free.
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
Exit Flavius; Timon retires to his cave
at the rear of the stage