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Apem. Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean to give thee none.
1 Lord. Hang thyself.
Apem. No, I will do nothing at thy bidding; make thy requests to thy friend.
2 Lord. Away, unpeaceable dog, or I'll spurn thee hence.
Apem. I will fly, like a dog, the heels of the ass. [Exit.
1 Lord. He's opposite to humanity. Come, shall we in,
taste lord Timon's bounty? he outgoes The very heart of kindness.
2 Lord. He pours it out; Plutus, the god of gold, Is but his steward: no meed, but he repays Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him, But breeds the giver a return exceeding All use of quittance t.
That ever govern'd man.
2 Lord. Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we
1 Lord. I'll keep you company.
The noblest mind he carries,
Meed here means desert,
ti. c. All the customary returns made in discharge of obligations.
SCENE II. ·
The same. A room of state in Timon's house.
Hautboys playing loud musick. A great banquet served in; Flavius and others attending; then enter Timon, Alcibiades, Lucius, Lucullus, Sempronius, and other Athenian Senators, with Ventidius, and attendants. Then comes, dropping after all, Apemantus, discontentedly.
Ven. Most honour'd Timon, 't hath pleas'd the gods remember
My father's age, and call him to long peace.
O, by no means,
Honest Ventidius: you mistake my love;
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
[They all stand ceremoniously looking on Timon.
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
Tim. O, Apemantus!-you are welcome.
You shall not make me welcome:
I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.
Tim. Fye, thou art a churl; you have got a hu. mour there
Does not become a man, 'tis much to blame:
But yond' man's ever angry.
Go, let him have a table by himself;
Apem. Let me stay at thine own peril, Timon; I come to observe; I give thee warning on't.
Tim. I take no heed of thee; thou art an Athenian; therefore welcome: I myself would have no power: pr'ythee, let my meat make thee silent.
Apem. I scorn thy meat; 'twoúld choke me, for I should
Ne'er flatter thee.-O you gods! what a number
I wonder, men dare trust themselves with men :
Is the readiest man to kill him: it has been prov'd.
Were a huge man, I should fear to drink at meals;
* Anger is a short madness.
The allusion is to a pack of hounds trained to pursuit, by being gratified with the blood of an animal which they kill, and the wonder is, that the animal, on which they are feeding, cheers them to the chase.
Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes: Great men should drink with harness on their throats.
Tim. My lord, in heartt: and let the health go round.
2 Lord. Let it flow this way, my good lord. Flow this way! Timon,
A brave fellow!-he keeps his tides well.
Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
Rich men sin, and I eat root.
[Eats and drinks.
Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!
Alcib. My heart is ever at your service, my lord. Tim. You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies, than a dinner of friends.
Alcib. So they were bleeding-new, my lord, there's no meat like them; I could wish my best friend at such a feast.
Apem. 'Would all those flatterers were thine ene
↑ With sincerity.
mies then; that then thou might'st kill 'em, and bid me to 'em.
1 Lord. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby we might express some part of our zeals, we should think ourselves for ever perfect*.
Tim. O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods themselves have provided that I shall have much help from you: How had you been my friends else? why have you that charitablet title from thousands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you to myself, than you can with modesty speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O, you gods, think I, what need we have any friends, if we should never have need of them? they were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er have use for them: and would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keep their sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wished myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you.We are born to do benefits: and what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends? O, what a precious comfort 'tis, to have so many, like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes! O joy, e'en made away ere it can be born! Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks to for get their faults, I drink to you.
Apem. Thou weepest to make them drink, Timon. 2 Lord. Joy had the like conception in our eyes, And, at that instant, like a babe sprung up.
Apem. Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bas
3 Lord. I promise you, my lord, you mov'd me
* i. e. Arrived at the perfection of happiness.
Much, was formerly an expression of contemptuous admiration.