« PreviousContinue »
Tim. As the moon does, by wanting light to He is an usurer. Strike me the counterfeit give :
Tim. Promise me friendship, but perform none if thou wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for thou art a man! if thou dost perform, confound thee, for thou art a man!
Alcib. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.
Tim. Thou saw'st them, when I had prosperity.
Alcib. I see them now; then was a blessed time.
Tim. As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.
Timan. Is this the Athenian minion whom the world
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-bars 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 pronounc'd thy throat shall cut, And mince it sans remorse. Swear against objects;
I'll trust to your conditions: be whores still;
Be quite contrary: and thatch your poor thin
With burdens of the dead; some that were hang'd,
No matter; wear them, betray with them: whore still;
Paint till a horse may mire upon your face:
Phr., Timan. Well, more gold. What then? Believe't, that we'll do any thing for gold. Tim. 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,
And let the unscarr'd braggarts of the war 160
Phr., Timan. More counsel with more money. bounteous Timon.
Tim. More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.
Alcib. Strike up the drum towards Athens ! Farewell, Timon:
If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.
Tim. If I hope well, I'll never see thee more. Alcib. I never did thee harm.
Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face
Whereof ingrateful man, with liquorish draughts
More man! Plague! plague!
Apem. I was directed hither: men report Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.
Tim. 'Tis then because thou dost not keep a dog
Whom I would imitate: consumption catch thee!
At duty, more than I could frame employment,
They never flatter'd thee: what hast thou given?
Art thou proud yet?
Tim. Ay, that I am not thee.
I, that I was
I, that I am one now:
Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
Apem. So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.
Tim. "Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd;
If not, I would it were.
Apem. What would'st thou have to Athens ? Tim. Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.
Apem. Where liest o' nights, Timon? Tim. Under that's above me. Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus?
Apem. Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.
Tim. Would poison were obedient and knew my mind!
Apem. Where would'st thou send it?
Apem. 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. Tim. On what I hate I feed not. Apem. Dost hate a medlar?
Tim. Ay, though it look like thee.
Apem. An thou hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou should'st have loved thyself better now, What man didst thon ever know unthrift that was beloved after his means?
Tim. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever know beloved?
Apem. Ay, Timon.
Tim. 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 dulness 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 should'st 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 would'st be killed by the horse; wert thou a horse, thou would'st 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 could'st thou be that were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art thou already, that seest not thy loss in transformation!
In holier shapes; for there is boundless theft
Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
Do villany, do, since you protest to do 't,
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves; away! Rob one another. throats;
There's more gold: cut
All that you meet are thieves. To Athens go,
Third Thief. He has almost charmed me from my profession, by persuading me to it.
First Thief. "Tis in the malice of mankind that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.
Second Thief. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.
First Thief. Let us first see peace in Athens; there is no time so miserable but a man may be Exeunt Thieves.
Tim. Away! what art thou?
Then, if thou grant'st thou 'rt a man, I have forgot thee.
Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord, To accept my grief and whilst this poor wealth lasts
To entertain me as your steward still.
Tim. Had I a steward
So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
How fain would I have hated all mankind!
Methinks thou art more honest now than wise;
If not a usuring kindness, and as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?
Flav. No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas! are plac'd too late.
Here, take: the gods out of my misery
Debts wither 'em to nothing; be men like blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
If thou hatest Curses, stay not; fly, whilst thou art bless'd and free:
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee. Exeunt severally.
SCENE I.-The Woods. Before TIMON'S Cave. Enter Poet and Painter.
Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.
Poet. What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true that he's so full of gold!
Pain. 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.
Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.
Pain. 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 distress of his: it will show honestly in us, and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for. if it be a just and true report that goes of his having. Poet. What have you now to present unto him? Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation; only I will promise him an excellent piece. Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.
Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the time; it opens the eyes of ex pectation; 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.