The Tragedy of Timon of Athens (1606)

Intro
Title Variant: The Life of Timon of Athens
Date variant: 1604-7
by Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
Shakespeare Network - https://shakespearenetwork.net/

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Act III, Scene 4

The same. A hall in Timon's house.

First Servant
Well met; good morrow, Titus and Hortensius.

Titus
The like to you kind Varro.

Hortensius
Lucius!
What, do we meet together?
One business does command us all; for mine Is money.

Titus
So is theirs and ours.

Philotus
Good day at once.
What do you think the hour?

Philotus
Labouring for nine.

Philotus
Is not my lord seen yet?

Philotus
I wonder on't; he was wont to shine at seven.
You must consider that a prodigal course
Is like the sun's; but not, like his, recoverable.
I fear 'tis deepest winter in Lord Timon's purse;
That is one may reach deep enough, and yet
Find little.

Philotus
I am of your fear for that.

Titus
I'll show you how to observe a strange event.
Your lord sends now for money.

Hortensius
Most true, he does.

Titus
And he wears jewels now of Timon's gift,
For which I wait for money.

Hortensius
It is against my heart.
Timon in this should pay more than he owes:
And e'en as if your lord should wear rich jewels,
And send for money for 'em.

Hortensius
I'm weary of this charge, the gods can witness:
I know my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth.

First Servant
Yes, mine's three thousand crowns: what's yours?

First Servant
'Tis much deep: and it should seem by the sun,
Your master's confidence was above mine;
Else, surely, his had equall'd.
Enter Flaminius.

Titus
One of Lord Timon's men.
come forth?

Flaminius
No, indeed, he is not.

Titus
We attend his lordship; pray, signify so much.

Flaminius
I need not tell him that; he knows you are too diligent.

Titus
Do you hear, sir?

Second Servant
By your leave, sir,--

Flavius
What do ye ask of me, my friend?

Titus
We wait for certain money here, sir.

Flavius
Ay,
If money were as certain as your waiting,
'Twere sure enough.
Why then preferr'd you not your sums and bills,
When your false masters eat of my lord's meat?
Then they could smile and fawn upon his debts
And take down the interest into their
gluttonous maws.
You do yourselves but wrong to stir me up;
Let me pass quietly:
Believe 't, my lord and I have made an end;
I have no more to reckon, he to spend.

Flavius
If 'twill not serve,'tis not so base as you;
For you serve knaves.

First Servant
How! what does his cashiered worship mutter?

Second Servant
No matter what; he's poor, and that's revenge
enough. Who can speak broader than he that has no
house to put his head in? such may rail against
great buildings.

Titus
O, here's Servilius; now we shall know some answer.

Servilius
If I might beseech you, gentlemen, to repair some
other hour, I should derive much from't; for,
take't of my soul, my lord leans wondrously to
discontent: his comfortable temper has forsook him;
he's much out of health, and keeps his chamber.
And, if it be so far beyond his health,
Methinks he should the sooner pay his debts,
And make a clear way to the gods.

Servilius
Good gods!

Titus
We cannot take this for answer, sir.

Flaminius
[Within] Servilius, help! My lord! my lord!

Timon
What, are my doors opposed against my passage?
Have I been ever free, and must my house
Be my retentive enemy, my gaol?
The place which I have feasted, does it now,
Like all mankind, show me an iron heart?

Titus
My lord, here is my bill.

Hortensius
And mine, my lord.

Philotus
All our bills.

Timon
Knock me down with 'em: cleave me to the girdle.

Timon
Cut my heart in sums.

Titus
Mine, fifty talents.

Timon
Tell out my blood.

Timon
Five thousand drops pays that.
What yours?--and yours?

First Servant
My lord,--

Second Servant
My lord,--

Timon
Tear me, take me, and the gods fall upon you!

Hortensius
'Faith, I perceive our masters may throw their caps
at their money: these debts may well be called
desperate ones, for a madman owes 'em.

Timon
They have e'en put my breath from me, the slaves.
Creditors? devils!

Flavius
My dear lord,--

Timon
What if it should be so?

Flavius
My lord,--

Timon
I'll have it so. My steward!

Flavius
Here, my lord.

Timon
So fitly? Go, bid all my friends again,
Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius:
All, sirrah, all:
I'll once more feast the rascals.

Flavius
O my lord,
You only speak from your distracted soul;
There is not so much left, to furnish out
A moderate table.

Timon
Be't not in thy care; go,
I charge thee, invite them all: let in the tide
Of knaves once more; my cook and I'll provide.

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