ACT III
Scene III.
 

SEMPRONIUS' house

Enter SEMPRONIUS and a SERVANT of TIMON'S

SEMPRONIUS
Must he needs trouble me in't? Hum! 'Bove all others?
He might have tried Lord Lucius or Lucullus;
And now Ventidius is wealthy too,
Whom he redeem'd from prison. All these
Owe their estates unto him.

SERVANT
My lord,
They have all been touch'd and found base metal, for
They have all denied him.

SEMPRONIUS
How! Have they denied him?
Has Ventidius and Lucullus denied him?
And does he send to me? Three? Humh!
It shows but little love or judgment in him.
Must I be his last refuge? His friends, like physicians,
Thrice give him over. Must I take th' cure upon me?
Has much disgrac'd me in't; I'm angry at him,
That might have known my place. I see no sense for't,
But his occasions might have woo'd me first;
For, in my conscience, I was the first man
That e'er received gift from him.
And does he think so backwardly of me now
That I'll requite it last? No;
So it may prove an argument of laughter
To th' rest, and I 'mongst lords be thought a fool.
I'd rather than the worth of thrice the sum
Had sent to me first, but for my mind's sake;
I'd such a courage to do him good. But now return,
And with their faint reply this answer join:
Who bates mine honour shall not know my coin.

Exit

SERVANT
Excellent! Your lordship's a goodly villain. The devil
knew not what he did when he made man politic- he cross'd himself
by't; and I cannot think but, in the end, the villainies of man
will set him clear. How fairly this lord strives to appear foul!
Takes virtuous copies to be wicked, like those that under hot
ardent zeal would set whole realms on fire.
Of such a nature is his politic love.
This was my lord's best hope; now all are fled,
Save only the gods. Now his friends are dead,
Doors that were ne'er acquainted with their wards
Many a bounteous year must be employ'd
Now to guard sure their master.
And this is all a liberal course allows:
Who cannot keep his wealth must keep his house.

Exit