ACT I
Scene II.
 

A room of state in TIMON'S house

Hautboys playing loud music. A great banquet serv'd in;
FLAVIUS and others attending; and then enter LORD TIMON, the states,
the ATHENIAN LORDS, VENTIDIUS, which TIMON redeem'd from prison.
Then comes, dropping after all, APEMANTUS, discontentedly, like himself

VENTIDIUS
Most honoured Timon,
It hath pleas'd the gods to remember my father's age,
And call him to long peace.
He is gone happy, and has left me rich.
Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound
To your free heart, I do return those talents,
Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help
I deriv'd liberty.

TIMON
O, by no means,
Honest Ventidius! You mistake my love;
I gave it freely ever; and there's none
Can truly say he gives, if he receives.
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
To imitate them: faults that are rich are fair.

VENTIDIUS
A noble spirit!

TIMON
Nay, my lords, ceremony was but devis'd at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown;
But where there is true friendship there needs none.
Pray, sit; more welcome are ye to my fortunes
Than my fortunes to me.

[They sit]

FIRST LORD
My lord, we always have confess'd it.

APEMANTUS
Ho, ho, confess'd it! Hang'd it, have you not?

TIMON
O, Apemantus, you are welcome.

APEMANTUS
No;
You shall not make me welcome.
I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.

TIMON
Fie, th'art a churl; ye have got a humour there
Does not become a man; 'tis much to blame.
They say, my lords, Ira furor brevis est; but yond man is ever
angry. Go, let him have a table by himself; for he does neither
affect company nor is he fit for't indeed.

APEMANTUS
Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon.
I come to observe; I give thee warning on't.

TIMON
I take no heed of thee. Th'art an Athenian, therefore
welcome. I myself would have no power; prithee let my meat make
thee silent.

APEMANTUS
I scorn thy meat; 't'would choke me, for I should ne'er
flatter thee. O you gods, what a number of men eats Timon, and he
sees 'em not! It grieves me to see so many dip their meat in one
man's blood; and all the madness is, he cheers them up too.
I wonder men dare trust themselves with men.
Methinks they should invite them without knives:
Good for their meat and safer for their lives.
There's much example for't; the fellow that sits next him now,
parts bread with him, pledges the breath of him in a divided
draught, is the readiest man to kill him. 'T has been proved. If
I were a huge man I should fear to drink at meals.
Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes:
Great men should drink with harness on their throats.

TIMON
My lord, in heart! and let the health go round.

SECOND LORD
Let it flow this way, my good lord.

APEMANTUS
Flow this way! A brave fellow! He keeps his tides well.
Those healths will make thee and thy state look ill, Timon.
Here's that which is too weak to be a sinner, honest water, which
ne'er left man i' th' mire.
This and my food are equals; there's no odds.'
Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.

APEMANTUS' Grace

Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
I pray for no man but myself.
Grant I may never prove so fond
To trust man on his oath or bond,
Or a harlot for her weeping,
Or a dog that seems a-sleeping,
Or a keeper with my freedom,
Or my friends, if I should need 'em.
Amen. So fall to't.
Rich men sin, and I eat root.

[Eats and drinks]

Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!

TIMON
Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.

ALCIBIADES
My heart is ever at your service, my lord.

TIMON
You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than dinner of
friends.

ALCIBIADES
So they were bleeding new, my lord, there's no meat
like 'em; I could wish my best friend at such a feast.

APEMANTUS
Would all those flatterers were thine enemies then, that
then thou mightst kill 'em, and bid me to 'em.

FIRST 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.

TIMON
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 charitable title from
thousands, did not you 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 ne'er have need of 'em?
They were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er
have use for 'em; and would most resemble sweet instruments hung
up in cases, that keep their sounds to themselves. Why, I have
often wish'd 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's e'en made away ere't can be born!
Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks. To forget their
faults, I drink to you.

APEMANTUS
Thou weep'st to make them drink, Timon.

SECOND LORD
Joy had the like conception in our eyes,
And at that instant like a babe sprung up.

APEMANTUS
Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.

THIRD LORD
I promise you, my lord, you mov'd me much.

APEMANTUS
Much! [Sound tucket]

TIMON
What means that trump?

Enter a SERVANT

How now?

SERVANT
Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies most
desirous of admittance.

TIMON
Ladies! What are their wills?

SERVANT
There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which bears
that office to signify their pleasures.

TIMON
I pray let them be admitted.

Enter CUPID

CUPID
Hail to thee, worthy Timon, and to all
That of his bounties taste! The five best Senses
Acknowledge thee their patron, and come freely
To gratulate thy plenteous bosom. Th' Ear,
Taste, Touch, Smell, pleas'd from thy table rise;
They only now come but to feast thine eyes.

TIMON
They're welcome all; let 'em have kind admittance.
Music, make their welcome.

Exit CUPID

FIRST LORD
You see, my lord, how ample y'are belov'd.

Music. Re-enter CUPID, witb a Masque of LADIES as Amazons,
with lutes in their hands, dancing and playing

APEMANTUS
Hoy-day, what a sweep of vanity comes this way!
They dance? They are mad women.
Like madness is the glory of this life,
As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.
We make ourselves fools to disport ourselves,
And spend our flatteries to drink those men
Upon whose age we void it up again
With poisonous spite and envy.
Who lives that's not depraved or depraves?
Who dies that bears not one spurn to their graves
Of their friends' gift?
I should fear those that dance before me now
Would one day stamp upon me. 'T has been done:
Men shut their doors against a setting sun.

The LORDS rise from table, with much adoring of
TIMON; and to show their loves, each single out an
Amazon, and all dance, men witb women, a lofty
strain or two to the hautboys, and cease

TIMON
You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies,
Set a fair fashion on our entertainment,
Which was not half so beautiful and kind;
You have added worth unto't and lustre,
And entertain'd me with mine own device;
I am to thank you for't.

FIRST LADY
My lord, you take us even at the best.

APEMANTUS
Faith, for the worst is filthy, and would not hold
taking, I doubt me.

TIMON
Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you;
Please you to dispose yourselves.

ALL LADIES
Most thankfully, my lord.

Exeunt CUPID and LADIES

TIMON
Flavius!

FLAVIUS
My lord?

TIMON
The little casket bring me hither.

FLAVIUS
Yes, my lord. [Aside] More jewels yet!
There is no crossing him in's humour,
Else I should tell him- well i' faith, I should-
When all's spent, he'd be cross'd then, an he could.
'Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
That man might ne'er be wretched for his mind.

Exit

FIRST LORD
Where be our men?

SERVANT
Here, my lord, in readiness.

SECOND LORD
Our horses!

Re-enter FLAVIUS, with the casket

TIMON
O my friends,
I have one word to say to you. Look you, my good lord,
I must entreat you honour me so much
As to advance this jewel; accept it and wear it,
Kind my lord.

FIRST LORD
I am so far already in your gifts-

ALL
So are we all.

Enter a SERVANT

SERVANT
My lord, there are certain nobles of the Senate newly
alighted and come to visit you.

TIMON
They are fairly welcome.

Exit SERVANT

FLAVIUS
I beseech your honour, vouchsafe me a word; it does
concern you near.

TIMON
Near! Why then, another time I'll hear thee. I prithee let's
be provided to show them entertainment.

FLAVIUS
[Aside] I scarce know how.

Enter another SERVANT

SECOND SERVANT
May it please vour honour, Lord Lucius, out of his
free love, hath presented to you four milk-white horses, trapp'd
in silver.

TIMON
I shall accept them fairly. Let the presents
Be worthily entertain'd.

Exit SERVANT

Enter a third SERVANT

How now! What news?

THIRD SERVANT
Please you, my lord, that honourable gentleman, Lord
Lucullus, entreats your company to-morrow to hunt with him and
has sent your honour two brace of greyhounds.

TIMON
I'll hunt with him; and let them be receiv'd,
Not without fair reward.

Exit SERVANT

FLAVIUS
[Aside] What will this come to?
He commands us to provide and give great gifts,
And all out of an empty coffer;
Nor will he know his purse, or yield me this,
To show him what a beggar his heart is,
Being of no power to make his wishes good.
His promises fly so beyond his state
That what he speaks is all in debt; he owes
For ev'ry word. He is so kind that he now
Pays interest for't; his land's put to their books.
Well, would I were gently put out of office
Before I were forc'd out!
Happier is he that has no friend to feed
Than such that do e'en enemies exceed.
I bleed inwardly for my lord.

Exit

TIMON
You do yourselves much wrong;
You bate too much of your own merits.
Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.

SECOND LORD
With more than common thanks I will receive it.

THIRD LORD
O, he's the very soul of bounty!

TIMON
And now I remember, my lord, you gave good words the other
day of a bay courser I rode on. 'Tis yours because you lik'd it.

THIRD LORD
O, I beseech you pardon me, my lord, in that.

TIMON
You may take my word, my lord: I know no man
Can justly praise but what he does affect.
I weigh my friend's affection with mine own.
I'll tell you true; I'll call to you.

ALL LORDS
O, none so welcome!

TIMON
I take all and your several visitations
So kind to heart 'tis not enough to give;
Methinks I could deal kingdoms to my friends
And ne'er be weary. Alcibiades,
Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich.
It comes in charity to thee; for all thy living
Is 'mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast
Lie in a pitch'd field.

ALCIBIADES
Ay, defil'd land, my lord.

FIRST LORD
We are so virtuously bound-

TIMON
And so am I to you.

SECOND LORD
So infinitely endear'd-

TIMON
All to you. Lights, more lights!

FIRST LORD
The best of happiness, honour, and fortunes, keep with
you, Lord Timon!

TIMON
Ready for his friends.

Exeunt all but APEMANTUS and TIMON

APEMANTUS
What a coil's here!
Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums!
I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums
That are given for 'em. Friendship's full of dregs:
Methinks false hearts should never have sound legs.
Thus honest fools lay out their wealth on curtsies.

TIMON
Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen
I would be good to thee.

APEMANTUS
No, I'll nothing; for if I should be brib'd too, there
would be none left to rail upon thee, and then thou wouldst sin
the faster. Thou giv'st so long, Timon, I fear me thou wilt give
away thyself in paper shortly. What needs these feasts, pomps,
and vain-glories?

TIMON
Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am sworn not to
give regard to you. Farewell; and come with better music.

Exit

APEMANTUS
So. Thou wilt not hear me now: thou shalt not then. I'll
lock thy heaven from thee.
O that men's ears should be
To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!

Exit