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Timon of Athens: Act 1, Scene 1

Timon of Athens
Act 1, Scene 1

Scene 1

Athens. A hall in Timon’s house.

  1. Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweler, Merchant, at several doors.

Poet

2
  1. Good day, sir.

Painter

3
  1.                I am glad y’ are well.

Poet

4
  1. I have not seen you long, how goes the world?

Painter

5
  1. It wears, sir, as it grows.

Poet

6 - 10
  1.                             Ay, that’s well known;
  2. But what particular rarity? What strange,
  3. Which manifold record not matches? See,
  4. Magic of bounty! All these spirits thy power
  5. Hath conjur’d to attend. I know the merchant.

Painter

11
  1. I know them both; th’ other’s a jeweler.

Merchant

12
  1. O, ’tis a worthy lord.

Jeweler

13
  1.                        Nay, that’s most fix’d.

Merchant

14 - 16
  1. A most incomparable man, breath’d, as it were,
  2. To an untirable and continuate goodness;
  3. He passes.

Jeweler

17
  1. I have a jewel here

Merchant

18
  1. O, pray let’s see’t. For the Lord Timon, sir?

Jeweler

19
  1. If he will touch the estimate. But for that

Poet

20 - 23
  1. Reciting to himself.
  2. When we for recompense have prais’d the vild,
  3. It stains the glory in that happy verse
  4. Which aptly sings the good.”

Merchant

24 - 25
  1. Looking on the jewel.
  2.                              ’Tis a good form.

Jeweler

26
  1. And rich. Here is a water, look ye.

Painter

27 - 28
  1. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
  2. To the great lord.

Poet

29 - 34
  1.                    A thing slipp’d idlely from me.
  2. Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
  3. From whence ’tis nourish’d. The fire i’ th’ flint
  4. Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
  5. Provokes itself and like the current flies
  6. Each bound it chases. What have you there?

Painter

35
  1. A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?

Poet

36 - 37
  1. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
  2. Let’s see your piece.

Painter

38
  1.                       ’Tis a good piece.

Poet

39
  1. So ’tis. This comes off well and excellent.

Painter

40
  1. Indifferent.

Poet

41 - 45
  1.              Admirable! How this grace
  2. Speaks his own standing! What a mental power
  3. This eye shoots forth! How big imagination
  4. Moves in this lip! To th’ dumbness of the gesture
  5. One might interpret.

Painter

46 - 47
  1. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
  2. Here is a touch; is’t good?

Poet

48 - 50
  1.                             I will say of it,
  2. It tutors nature. Artificial strife
  3. Lives in these touches, livelier than life.
  1. Enter certain Senators and pass over.

Painter

52
  1. How this lord is followed!

Poet

53
  1. The senators of Athens, happy men!

Painter

54
  1. Look, more!

Poet

55 - 63
  1. You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors.
  2. I have, in this rough work, shap’d out a man
  3. Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
  4. With amplest entertainment. My free drift
  5. Halts not particularly, but moves itself
  6. In a wide sea of wax; no levell’d malice
  7. Infects one comma in the course I hold,
  8. But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
  9. Leaving no tract behind.

Painter

64
  1. How shall I understand you?

Poet

65 - 76
  1.                             I will unbolt to you.
  2. You see how all conditions, how all minds,
  3. As well of glib and slipp’ry creatures as
  4. Of grave and austere quality, tender down
  5. Their services to Lord Timon. His large fortune,
  6. Upon his good and gracious nature hanging,
  7. Subdues and properties to his love and tendance
  8. All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-fac’d flatterer
  9. To Apemantus, that few things loves better
  10. Than to abhor himself; even he drops down
  11. The knee before him, and returns in peace
  12. Most rich in Timon’s nod.

Painter

77
  1.                           I saw them speak together.

Poet

78 - 87
  1. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
  2. Feign’d Fortune to be thron’d. The base o’ th’ mount
  3. Is rank’d with all deserts, all kind of natures,
  4. That labor on the bosom of this sphere
  5. To propagate their states. Amongst them all,
  6. Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix’d,
  7. One do I personate of Lord Timon’s frame,
  8. Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her,
  9. Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
  10. Translates his rivals.

Painter

88 - 93
  1.                        ’Tis conceiv’d to scope.
  2. This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
  3. With one man beckon’d from the rest below,
  4. Bowing his head against the steepy mount
  5. To climb his happiness, would be well express’d
  6. In our condition.

Poet

94 - 100
  1.                   Nay, sir, but hear me on:
  2. All those which were his fellows but of late
  3. Some better than his valueon the moment
  4. Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
  5. Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear,
  6. Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
  7. Drink the free air.

Painter

101
  1.                     Ay, marry, what of these?

Poet

102 - 106
  1. When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
  2. Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependents
  3. Which labor’d after him to the mountain’s top
  4. Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
  5. Not one accompanying his declining foot.

Painter

107 - 112
  1. ’Tis common:
  2. A thousand moral paintings I can show
  3. That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune’s
  4. More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
  5. To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen
  6. The foot above the head.
  1. Trumpets sound. Enter Lord Timon, addressing himself
  2. courteously to every suitor, a Messenger from Ventidius
  3. talking with him; Lucilius and other Servants following.

Timon

116
  1.                          Imprison’d is he, say you?

Messenger from Ventidius

117 - 121
  1. Ay, my good lord, five talents is his debt,
  2. His means most short, his creditors most strait.
  3. Your honorable letter he desires
  4. To those have shut him up, which failing,
  5. Periods his comfort.

Timon

122 - 126
  1.                      Noble Ventidius! Well;
  2. I am not of that feather to shake off
  3. My friend when he must need me. I do know him
  4. A gentleman that well deserves a help,
  5. Which he shall have. I’ll pay the debt and free him.

Messenger from Ventidius

127
  1. Your lordship ever binds him.

Timon

128 - 131
  1. Commend me to him. I will send his ransom,
  2. And being enfranchis’d, bid him come to me;
  3. ’Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
  4. But to support him after. Fare you well.

Messenger from Ventidius

132
  1. All happiness to your honor!
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter an Old Athenian.

Old Athenian

135
  1. Lord Timon, hear me speak.

Timon

136
  1.                            Freely, good father.

Old Athenian

137
  1. Thou hast a servant nam’d Lucilius.

Timon

138
  1. I have so. What of him?

Old Athenian

139
  1. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.

Timon

140
  1. Attends he here, or no? Lucilius!

Lucilius

141
  1. Here, at your lordship’s service.

Old Athenian

142 - 146
  1. This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature,
  2. By night frequents my house. I am a man
  3. That from my first have been inclin’d to thrift,
  4. And my estate deserves an heir more rais’d
  5. Than one which holds a trencher.

Timon

147
  1.                                  Well; what further?

Old Athenian

148 - 155
  1. One only daughter have I, no kin else,
  2. On whom I may confer what I have got.
  3. The maid is fair, a’ th’ youngest for a bride,
  4. And I have bred her at my dearest cost
  5. In qualities of the best. This man of thine
  6. Attempts her love. I prithee, noble lord,
  7. Join with me to forbid him her resort,
  8. Myself have spoke in vain.

Timon

156
  1.                            The man is honest.

Old Athenian

157 - 159
  1. Therefore he will be, Timon.
  2. His honesty rewards him in itself,
  3. It must not bear my daughter.

Timon

160
  1.                               Does she love him?

Old Athenian

161 - 163
  1. She is young and apt.
  2. Our own precedent passions do instruct us
  3. What levity’s in youth.

Timon

164 - 165
  1. To Lucilius.
  2.                         Love you the maid?

Lucilius

166
  1. Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.

Old Athenian

167 - 170
  1. If in her marriage my consent be missing,
  2. I call the gods to witness, I will choose
  3. Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,
  4. And dispossess her all.

Timon

171 - 172
  1.                         How shall she be endowed,
  2. If she be mated with an equal husband?

Old Athenian

173
  1. Three talents on the present; in future, all.

Timon

174 - 178
  1. This gentleman of mine hath serv’d me long;
  2. To build his fortune I will strain a little,
  3. For ’tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter;
  4. What you bestow, in him I’ll counterpoise,
  5. And make him weigh with her.

Old Athenian

179 - 180
  1.                              Most noble lord,
  2. Pawn me to this your honor, she is his.

Timon

181
  1. My hand to thee, mine honor on my promise.

Lucilius

182 - 184
  1. Humbly I thank your lordship. Never may
  2. That state or fortune fall into my keeping,
  3. Which is not owed to you!
  1. Exit with Old Athenian.

Poet

186
  1. Vouchsafe my labor, and long live your lordship!

Timon

187 - 188
  1. I thank you, you shall hear from me anon.
  2. Go not away. What have you there, my friend?

Painter

189 - 190
  1. A piece of painting, which I do beseech
  2. Your lordship to accept.

Timon

191 - 197
  1.                          Painting is welcome.
  2. The painting is almost the natural man;
  3. For since dishonor traffics with man’s nature,
  4. He is but outside; these pencill’d figures are
  5. Even such as they give out. I like your work,
  6. And you shall find I like it. Wait attendance
  7. Till you hear further from me.

Painter

198
  1.                                The gods preserve ye!

Timon

199 - 201
  1. Well fare you, gentleman; give me your hand,
  2. We must needs dine together.—Sir, your jewel
  3. Hath suffered under praise.

Jeweler

202
  1.                             What, my lord, dispraise?

Timon

203 - 205
  1. A mere satiety of commendations;
  2. If I should pay you for’t as ’tis extoll’d,
  3. It would unclew me quite.

Jeweler

206 - 210
  1.                           My lord, ’tis rated
  2. As those which sell would give; but you well know,
  3. Things of like value differing in the owners
  4. Are prized by their masters. Believe’t, dear lord,
  5. You mend the jewel by the wearing it.

Timon

211
  1. Well mock’d.
  1. Enter Apemantus.

Merchant

213 - 214
  1. No, my good lord, he speaks the common tongue
  2. Which all men speak with him.

Timon

215
  1. Look who comes here; will you be chid?

Jeweler

216
  1. We’ll bear, with your lordship.

Merchant

217
  1.                                 He’ll spare none.

Timon

218
  1. Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!

Apemantus

219 - 220
  1. Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow
  2. When thou art Timon’s dog, and these knaves honest.

Timon

221
  1. Why dost thou call them knaves? Thou know’st them not.

Apemantus

222
  1. Are they not Athenians?

Timon

223
  1. Yes.

Apemantus

224
  1. Then I repent not.

Jeweler

225
  1. You know me, Apemantus?

Apemantus

226
  1. Thou know’st I do, I call’d thee by thy name.

Timon

227
  1. Thou art proud, Apemantus.

Apemantus

228
  1. Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.

Timon

229
  1. Whither art going?

Apemantus

230
  1. To knock out an honest Athenian’s brains.

Timon

231
  1. That’s a deed thou’t die for.

Apemantus

232
  1. Right, if doing nothing be death by th’ law.

Timon

233
  1. How lik’st thou this picture, Apemantus?

Apemantus

234
  1. The best, for the innocence.

Timon

235
  1. Wrought he not well that painted it?

Apemantus

236 - 237
  1. He wrought better that made the painter, and yet he’s but a
  2. filthy piece of work.

Painter

238
  1. Y’ are a dog.

Apemantus

239
  1. Thy mother’s of my generation; what’s she, if I be a dog?

Timon

240
  1. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?

Apemantus

241
  1. No; I eat not lords.

Timon

242
  1. And thou shouldst, thou’dst anger ladies.

Apemantus

243
  1. O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.

Timon

244
  1. That’s a lascivious apprehension.

Apemantus

245
  1. So thou apprehend’st it, take it for thy labor.

Timon

246
  1. How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?

Apemantus

247 - 248
  1. Not so well as plain-dealing, which will not cast a man a
  2. doit.

Timon

249
  1. What dost thou think ’tis worth?

Apemantus

250
  1. Not worth my thinking. How now, poet?

Poet

251
  1. How now, philosopher?

Apemantus

252
  1. Thou liest.

Poet

253
  1. Art not one?

Apemantus

254
  1. Yes.

Poet

255
  1. Then I lie not.

Apemantus

256
  1. Art not a poet?

Poet

257
  1. Yes.

Apemantus

258 - 259
  1. Then thou liest: look in thy last work, where thou hast
  2. feign’d him a worthy fellow.

Poet

260
  1. That’s not feign’d, he is so.

Apemantus

261 - 263
  1. Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thy labor. He
  2. that loves to be flatter’d is worthy o’ th’ flatterer.
  3. Heavens, that I were a lord!

Timon

264
  1. What wouldst do then, Apemantus?

Apemantus

265
  1. E’en as Apemantus does now: hate a lord with my heart.

Timon

266
  1. What, thyself?

Apemantus

267
  1. Ay.

Timon

268
  1. Wherefore?

Apemantus

269 - 270
  1. That I had no angry wit to be a lord. Art not thou a
  2. merchant?

Merchant

271
  1. Ay, Apemantus.

Apemantus

272
  1. Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not!

Merchant

273
  1. If traffic do it, the gods do it.

Apemantus

274
  1. Traffic’s thy god, and thy god confound thee!
  1. Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger.

Timon

276
  1. What trumpet’s that?

Messenger

277 - 278
  1. ’Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty horse,
  2. All of companionship.

Timon

279 - 285
  1. Pray entertain them, give them guide to us.
  2. Exeunt some Attendants.
  3. You must needs dine with me; go not you hence
  4. Till I have thank’d you. When dinner’s done,
  5. Show me this piece. I am joyful of your sights.
  6. Enter Alcibiades with the rest.
  7. Most welcome, sir!

Apemantus

286 - 290
  1.                    So, so; there!
  2. Aches contract and starve your supple joints!
  3. That there should be small love amongest these sweet knaves,
  4. And all this courtesy! The strain of man’s bred out
  5. Into baboon and monkey.

Alcibiades

291 - 292
  1. Sir, you have sav’d my longing, and I feed
  2. Most hungerly on your sight.

Timon

293 - 295
  1.                              Right welcome, sir!
  2. Ere we depart, we’ll share a bounteous time
  3. In different pleasures. Pray you let us in.
  1. Exeunt all but Apemantus.
  1. Enter two Lords.

First Lord

298
  1. What time a’ day is’t, Apemantus?

Apemantus

299
  1. Time to be honest.

First Lord

300
  1. That time serves still.

Apemantus

301
  1. The most accursed thou, that still omit’st it.

Second Lord

302
  1. Thou art going to Lord Timon’s feast?

Apemantus

303
  1. Ay, to see meat fill knaves, and wine heat fools.

Second Lord

304
  1. Fare thee well, fare thee well.

Apemantus

305
  1. Thou art a fool to bid me farewell twice.

Second Lord

306
  1. Why, Apemantus?

Apemantus

307 - 308
  1. Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean to give thee
  2. none.

First Lord

309
  1. Hang thyself!

Apemantus

310 - 311
  1. No, I will do nothing at thy bidding; make thy requests to
  2. thy friend.

Second Lord

312
  1. Away, unpeaceable dog, or I’ll spurn thee hence!

Apemantus

313
  1. I will fly, like a dog, the heels a’ th’ ass.
  1. Exit.

First Lord

315 - 317
  1. He’s opposite to humanity. Come, shall we in
  2. And taste Lord Timon’s bounty? He outgoes
  3. The very heart of kindness.

Second Lord

318 - 322
  1. He pours it out: Plutus, the god of gold,
  2. Is but his steward. No meed but he repays
  3. Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him
  4. But breeds the giver a return exceeding
  5. All use of quittance.

First Lord

323 - 324
  1.                       The noblest mind he carries
  2. That ever govern’d man.

Second Lord

325
  1. Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we in?

First Lord

326
  1. I’ll keep you company.
  1. Exeunt.
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