Enter FLAVIUS, TIMON'S Steward, with many bills in his hand
No care, no stop! So senseless of expense
That he will neither know how to maintain it
Nor cease his flow of riot; takes no account
How things go from him, nor resumes no care
Of what is to continue. Never mind
Was to be so unwise to be so kind.
What shall be done? He will not hear till feel.
I must be round with him. Now he comes from hunting.
Fie, fie, fie, fie!
Enter CAPHIS, and the SERVANTS Of ISIDORE and VARRO
Good even, Varro. What, you come for money?
Please it your lordship, he hath put me off
To the succession of new days this month.
My master is awak'd by great occasion
To call upon his own, and humbly prays you
That with your other noble parts you'll suit
In giving him his right.
Mine honest friend,
I prithee but repair to me next morning.
I think no usurer but has a fool to his servant. My mistress
is one, and I am her fool. When men come to borrow of your
masters, they approach sadly and go away merry; but they enter my
mistress' house merrily and go away sadly. The reason of this?
A fool in good clothes, and something like thee. 'Tis a
spirit. Sometime 't appears like a lord; sometime like a lawyer;
sometime like a philosopher, with two stones moe than's
artificial one. He is very often like a knight; and, generally,
in all shapes that man goes up and down in from fourscore to
thirteen, this spirit walks in.
You make me marvel wherefore ere this time
Had you not fully laid my state before me,
That I might so have rated my expense
As I had leave of means.
You would not hear me
At many leisures I propos'd.
Perchance some single vantages you took
When my indisposition put you back,
And that unaptness made your minister
Thus to excuse yourself.
O my good lord,
At many times I brought in my accounts,
Laid them before you; you would throw them off
And say you found them in mine honesty.
When, for some trifling present, you have bid me
Return so much, I have shook my head and wept;
Yea, 'gainst th' authority of manners, pray'd you
To hold your hand more close. I did endure
Not seldom, nor no slight checks, when I have
Prompted you in the ebb of your estate
And your great flow of debts. My lov'd lord,
Though you hear now- too late!- yet now's a time:
The greatest of your having lacks a half
To pay your present debts.
'Tis all engag'd, some forfeited and gone;
And what remains will hardly stop the mouth
Of present dues. The future comes apace;
What shall defend the interim? And at length
How goes our reck'ning?
If you suspect my husbandry or falsehood,
Call me before th' exactest auditors
And set me on the proof. So the gods bless me,
When all our offices have been oppress'd
With riotous feeders, when our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine, when every room
Hath blaz'd with lights and bray'd with minstrelsy,
I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock
And set mine eyes at flow.
'Heavens,' have I said 'the bounty of this lord!
How many prodigal bits have slaves and peasants
This night englutted! Who is not Lord Timon's?
What heart, head, sword, force, means, but is Lord Timon's?
Great Timon, noble, worthy, royal Timon!'
Ah! when the means are gone that buy this praise,
The breath is gone whereof this praise is made.
Feast-won, fast-lost; one cloud of winter show'rs,
These flies are couch'd.
Come, sermon me no further.
No villainous bounty yet hath pass'd my heart;
Unwisely, not ignobly, have I given.
Why dost thou weep? Canst thou the conscience lack
To think I shall lack friends? Secure thy heart:
If I would broach the vessels of my love,
And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
Men and men's fortunes could I frankly use
As I can bid thee speak.
And, in some sort, these wants of mine are crown'd
That I account them blessings; for by these
Shall I try friends. You shall perceive how you
Mistake my fortunes; I am wealthy in my friends.
Within there! Flaminius! Servilius!
I will dispatch you severally- you to Lord Lucius; to Lord
Lucullus you; I hunted with his honour to-day. You to Sempronius.
Commend me to their loves; and I am proud, say, that my occasions
have found time to use 'em toward a supply of money. Let the
request be fifty talents.
They answer, in a joint and corporate voice,
That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot
Do what they would, are sorry- you are honourable-
But yet they could have wish'd- they know not-
Something hath been amiss- a noble nature
May catch a wrench- would all were well!- 'tis pity-
And so, intending other serious matters,
After distasteful looks, and these hard fractions,
With certain half-caps and cold-moving nods,
They froze me into silence.
You gods, reward them!
Prithee, man, look cheerly. These old fellows
Have their ingratitude in them hereditary.
Their blood is cak'd, 'tis cold, it seldom flows;
'Tis lack of kindly warmth they are not kind;
And nature, as it grows again toward earth,
Is fashion'd for the journey dull and heavy.
Go to Ventidius. Prithee be not sad,
Thou art true and honest; ingeniously I speak,
No blame belongs to thee. Ventidius lately
Buried his father, by whose death he's stepp'd
Into a great estate. When he was poor,
Imprison'd, and in scarcity of friends,
I clear'd him with five talents. Greet him from me,
Bid him suppose some good necessity
Touches his friend, which craves to be rememb'red
With those five talents. That had, give't these fellows
To whom 'tis instant due. Nev'r speak or think
That Timon's fortunes 'mong his friends can sink.
I would I could not think it.
That thought is bounty's foe;
Being free itself, it thinks all others so.