|Timon of Athens|
| Timon of Athens
| Act 5, Scene 1
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Enter Poet and Painter; TIMON watching them from his cavePainter
As I took note of the place, it cannot be far wherePoet
What's to be thought of him? does the rumour holdPainter
for true, that he's so full of gold?
Certain: Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia andPoet
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 friends.Painter
Nothing else: you shall see him a palm in AthensPoet
again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore
'tis not amiss we tender our loves to him, in this
supposed distress of his: it will show honestly in
us; and is very likely to load our purposes with
what they travail for, if it be a just true report
that goes of his having.
What have you now to present unto him?Painter
Nothing at this time but my visitation: only I willPoet
promise him an excellent piece.
I must serve him so too, tell him of an intentPainter
that's coming toward him.
Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' theTIMON
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 out of use. To promise is
most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind
of will or testament which argues a great sickness
in his judgment that makes it.
TIMON comes from his cave, behind
[Aside] Excellent workman! thou canst not paint aPoet
man so bad as is thyself.
I am thinking what I shall say I have provided forTIMON
him: it must be a personating of himself; a satire
against the softness of prosperity, with a discovery
of the infinite flatteries that follow youth and opulency.
[Aside] Must thou needs stand for a villain inPoet
thine own work? wilt thou whip thine own faults in
other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.
Nay, let's seek him:Painter
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.
When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light. Come.
[Aside] I'll meet you at the turn. What aPoet
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple
Than where swine feed!
'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark and plough'st the foam,
Settlest admired reverence in a slave:
To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Be crown'd with plagues that thee alone obey!
Fit I meet them.
Hail, worthy Timon!Painter
Our late noble master!TIMON
Have I once lived to see two honest men?Poet
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retired, your friends fall'n off,
Whose thankless natures--O abhorred spirits!--
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
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any size of words.
Let it go naked, men may see't the better:Painter
You that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen and known.
He and myselfTIMON
Have travail'd in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.
Ay, you are honest men.Painter
We are hither come to offer you our service.TIMON
Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?Both
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.
What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.TIMON
Ye're honest men: ye've heard that I have gold;Painter
I am sure you have: speak truth; ye're honest men.
So it is said, my noble lord; but thereforeTIMON
Came not my friend nor I.
Good honest men! Thou draw'st a counterfeitPainter
Best in all Athens: thou'rt, indeed, the best;
Thou counterfeit'st most lively.
So, so, my lord.TIMON
E'en so, sir, as I say. And, for thy fiction,Both
Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth
That thou art even natural in thine art.
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
You take much pains to mend.
Beseech your honourTIMON
To make it known to us.
You'll take it ill.Both
Most thankfully, my lord.TIMON
Will you, indeed?Both
Doubt it not, worthy lord.TIMON
There's never a one of you but trusts a knave,Both
That mightily deceives you.
Do we, my lord?TIMON
Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,Painter
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom: yet remain assured
That he's a made-up villain.
I know none such, my lord.Poet
Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,Both
Rid me these villains from your companies:
Hang them or stab them, drown them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me,
I'll give you gold enough.
Name them, my lord, let's know them.TIMON
You that way and you this, but two in company;FLAVIUS
Each man apart, all single and alone,
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
If where thou art two villains shall not be,
Come not near him. If thou wouldst not reside
But where one villain is, then him abandon.
Hence, pack! there's gold; you came for gold, ye slaves:
To PainterYou have work'd for me; there's payment for you: hence!
To PoetYou are an alchemist; make gold of that.
Out, rascal dogs!
Beats them out, and then retires to his cave
Enter FLAVIUS and two Senators
It is in vain that you would speak with Timon;First Senator
For he is set so only to himself
That nothing but himself which looks like man
Is friendly with him.
Bring us to his cave:Second Senator
It is our part and promise to the Athenians
To speak with Timon.
At all times alikeFLAVIUS
Men are not still the same: 'twas time and griefs
That framed him thus: time, with his fairer hand,
Offering the fortunes of his former days,
The former man may make him. Bring us to him,
And chance it as it may.
Here is his cave.TIMON
Peace and content be here! Lord Timon! Timon!
Look out, and speak to friends: the Athenians,
By two of their most reverend senate, greet thee:
Speak to them, noble Timon.
TIMON comes from his cave
Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn! Speak, andFirst Senator
For each true word, a blister! and each false
Be as cauterizing to the root o' the tongue,
Consuming it with speaking!
Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.First Senator
The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.TIMON
I thank them; and would send them back the plague,First Senator
Could I but catch it for them.
O, forgetSecond Senator
What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
The senators with one consent of love
Entreat thee back to Athens; who have thought
On special dignities, which vacant lie
For thy best use and wearing.
Toward thee forgetfulness too general, gross:
Which now the public body, which doth seldom
Play the recanter, feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fail, restraining aid to Timon;
And send forth us, to make their sorrow'd render,
Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram;
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,
Ever to read them thine.
You witch me in it;First Senator
Surprise me to the very brink of tears:
Lend me a fool's heart and a woman's eyes,
And I'll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.
Therefore, so please thee to return with usSecond Senator
And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allow'd with absolute power and thy good name
Live with authority: so soon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades the approaches wild,
Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
His country's peace.
And shakes his threatening swordFirst Senator
Against the walls of Athens.
Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; thus:FLAVIUS
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. But if be sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by the beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd war,
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,
There's not a whittle in the unruly camp
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,
As thieves to keepers.
Stay not, all's in vain.TIMON
Why, I was writing of my epitaph;First Senator
it will be seen to-morrow: my long sickness
Of health and living now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough!
We speak in vain.TIMON
But yet I love my country, and am notFirst Senator
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common bruit doth put it.
That's well spoke.TIMON
Commend me to my loving countrymen,--First Senator
These words become your lips as they passSecond Senator
And enter in our ears like great triumphersTIMON
In their applauding gates.
Commend me to them,First Senator
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
That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain
In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them:
I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.
I like this well; he will return again.TIMON
I have a tree, which grows here in my close,FLAVIUS
That mine own use invites me to cut down,
And shortly must I fell it: tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree
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.TIMON
Come not to me again: but say to Athens,First Senator
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover: thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.
Lips, let sour 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.
Retires to his cave
His discontents are unremoveablySecond Senator
Coupled to nature.
Our hope in him is dead: let us return,First Senator
And strain what other means is left unto us
In our dear peril.
It requires swift foot.
| Timon of Athens
| Act 5, Scene 1
Previous scene | Next scene