ACT III
Scene VI.
 

A banqueting hall in TIMON'S house

Music. Tables set out; servants attending. Enter divers LORDS,
friends of TIMON, at several doors

FIRST LORD
The good time of day to you, sir.

SECOND LORD
I also wish it to you. I think this honourable lord
did but try us this other day.

FIRST LORD
Upon that were my thoughts tiring when we encount'red.
I hope it is not so low with him as he made it seem in the trial
of his several friends.

SECOND LORD
It should not be, by the persuasion of his new
feasting.

FIRST LORD
I should think so. He hath sent me an earnest inviting,
which many my near occasions did urge me to put off; but he hath
conjur'd me beyond them, and I must needs appear.

SECOND LORD
In like manner was I in debt to my importunate
business, but he would not hear my excuse. I am sorry, when he
sent to borrow of me, that my provision was out.

FIRST LORD
I am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all
things go.

SECOND LORD
Every man here's so. What would he have borrowed of
you?

FIRST LORD
A thousand pieces.

SECOND LORD
A thousand pieces!

FIRST LORD
What of you?

SECOND LORD
He sent to me, sir- here he comes.

Enter TIMON and attendants

TIMON
With all my heart, gentlemen both! And how fare you?

FIRST LORD
Ever at the best, hearing well of your lordship.

SECOND LORD
The swallow follows not summer more willing than we
your lordship.

TIMON
[Aside] Nor more willingly leaves winter; such summer-birds
are men- Gentlemen, our dinner will not recompense this long
stay; feast your ears with the music awhile, if they will fare so
harshly o' th' trumpet's sound; we shall to't presently.

FIRST LORD
I hope it remains not unkindly with your lordship that
I return'd you an empty messenger.

TIMON
O sir, let it not trouble you.

SECOND LORD
My noble lord-

TIMON
Ah, my good friend, what cheer?

SECOND LORD
My most honourable lord, I am e'en sick of shame that,
when your lordship this other day sent to me, I was so
unfortunate a beggar.

TIMON
Think not on't, sir.

SECOND LORD
If you had sent but two hours before-

TIMON
Let it not cumber your better remembrance. [The banquet
brought in]
Come, bring in all together.

SECOND LORD
All cover'd dishes!

FIRST LORD
Royal cheer, I warrant you.

THIRD LORD
Doubt not that, if money and the season can yield it.

FIRST LORD
How do you? What's the news?

THIRD LORD
Alcibiades is banish'd. Hear you of it?

FIRST AND SECOND LORDS
Alcibiades banish'd!

THIRD LORD
'Tis so, be sure of it.

FIRST LORD
How? how?

SECOND LORD
I pray you, upon what?

TIMON
My worthy friends, will you draw near?

THIRD LORD
I'll tell you more anon. Here's a noble feast toward.

SECOND LORD
This is the old man still.

THIRD LORD
Will't hold? Will't hold?

SECOND LORD
It does; but time will- and so-

THIRD LORD
I do conceive.

TIMON
Each man to his stool with that spur as he would to the lip
of his mistress; your diet shall be in all places alike. Make not
a city feast of it, to let the meat cool ere we can agree upon
the first place. Sit, sit. The gods require our thanks:
You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with thankfulness.
For your own gifts make yourselves prais'd; but reserve still to
give, lest your deities be despised. Lend to each man enough,
that one need not lend to another; for were your god-heads to
borrow of men, men would forsake the gods. Make the meat be
beloved more than the man that gives it. Let no assembly of
twenty be without a score of villains. If there sit twelve women
at the table, let a dozen of them be- as they are. The rest of
your foes, O gods, the senators of Athens, together with the
common lag of people, what is amiss in them, you gods, make
suitable for destruction. For these my present friends, as they
are to me nothing, so in nothing bless them, and to nothing are
they welcome.
Uncover, dogs, and lap.

[The dishes are uncovered and seen to he full of warm water]

SOME SPEAK
What does his lordship mean?

SOME OTHER
I know not.

TIMON
May you a better feast never behold,
You knot of mouth-friends! Smoke and lukewarm water
Is your perfection. This is Timon's last;
Who, stuck and spangled with your flatteries,
Washes it off, and sprinkles in your faces

[Throwing the water in their faces]

Your reeking villainy. Live loath'd and long,
Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
You fools of fortune, trencher friends, time's flies,
Cap and knee slaves, vapours, and minute-lacks!
Of man and beast the infinite malady
Crust you quite o'er! What, dost thou go?
Soft, take thy physic first; thou too, and thou.
Stay, I will lend thee money, borrow none.

[Throws the dishes at them, and drives them out]

What, all in motion? Henceforth be no feast
Whereat a villain's not a welcome guest.
Burn house! Sink Athens! Henceforth hated be
Of Timon man and all humanity!

Exit

Re-enter the LORDS

FIRST LORD
How now, my lords!

SECOND LORD
Know you the quality of Lord Timon's fury?

THIRD LORD
Push! Did you see my cap?

FOURTH LORD
I have lost my gown.

FIRST LORD
He's but a mad lord, and nought but humours sways him.
He gave me a jewel th' other day, and now he has beat it out of
my hat. Did you see my jewel?

THIRD LORD
Did you see my cap?

SECOND LORD
Here 'tis.

FOURTH LORD
Here lies my gown.

FIRST LORD
Let's make no stay.

SECOND LORD
Lord Timon's mad.

THIRD LORD
I feel't upon my bones.

FOURTH LORD
One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.

Exeunt