Timon of Athens
Act 1, Scene 2
A banqueting-room in Timon’s house.
- Hoboys playing loud music. A great banquet serv’d in,
- Flavius and others attending.
- Then enter Lord Timon, the States, the Athenian Lords,
- Alcibiades, and Ventidius, which Timon redeem’d from prison.
- Then comes, dropping after all, Apemantus, discontentedly,
- like himself.
Ventidius7 - 14
- Most honored 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.
Timon15 - 20
- 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.
- A noble spirit!
Timon22 - 28
- 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.
- My lord, we always have confess’d it.
- Ho, ho, confess’d it? Hang’d it, have you not?
- O, Apemantus, you are welcome.
Apemantus33 - 35
- You shall not make me welcome.
- I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.
Timon36 - 42
- Fie, th’ art a churl. Ye have got a humor there
- Does not become a man, ’tis much to blame.
- They say, my lords, “Ira furor brevis est,”
- But yond man is very angry. Go,
- Let him have a table by himself,
- For he does neither affect company,
- Nor is he fit for’t indeed.
Apemantus43 - 44
- Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon.
- I come to observe, I give thee warning on’t.
Timon45 - 47
- 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.
Apemantus48 - 58
- I scorn thy meat, ’twould 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 ’as been prov’d. 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.
- My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.
- Let it flow this way, my good lord.
Apemantus61 - 79
- 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!
- Captain Alcibiades, your heart’s in the field now.
- My heart is ever at your service, my lord.
Timon82 - 83
- You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than a dinner of
Alcibiades84 - 85
- So they were bleeding new, my lord, there’s no meat like
- ’em; I could wish my best friend at such a feast.
Apemantus86 - 87
- Would all those flatterers were thine enemies then, that
- then thou mightst kill ’em—and bid me to ’em!
First Lord88 - 90
- 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 forever perfect.
Timon91 - 108
- 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
- keeps 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.
- Thou weep’st to make them drink, Timon.
Second Lord110 - 111
- Joy had the like conception in our eyes,
- And at that instant like a babe sprung up.
- Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.
- I promise you, my lord, you mov’d me much.
- Sound tucket within.
Timon116 - 118
- What means that trump?
- Enter Flaminius.
- How now?
Flaminius119 - 120
- Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies most desirous
- of admittance.
- Ladies? What are their wills?
Flaminius122 - 123
- There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which bears
- that office to signify their pleasures.
- I pray let them be admitted.
- Exit Flaminius.
- Enter Cupid.
Cupid127 - 132
- 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. There,
- Taste, touch, all, pleas’d from thy table rise;
- They only now come but to feast thine eyes.
Timon133 - 134
- They’re welcome all, let ’em have kind admittance.
- Music, make their welcome!
- Exit Cupid.
- You see, my lord, how ample y’ are belov’d.
- Enter Cupid with the masque of Ladies, as Amazons, with
- lutes in their hands, dancing and playing.
Apemantus140 - 154
- What a sweep of vanity comes this way!
- They dance? They are madwomen.
- 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 ’as 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 with women, a lofty strain or two to the hoboys,
- and cease.
Timon159 - 164
- 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 Amazon Masker165
- My lord, you take us even at the best.
Apemantus166 - 167
- Faith, for the worst is filthy, and would not hold taking, I
- doubt me.
Timon168 - 169
- Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you,
- Please you to dispose yourselves.
All Lady Amazon Maskers170
- Most thankfully, my lord.
- Exeunt Cupid and Ladies.
- My lord?
- The little casket bring me hither.
Flavius175 - 182
- Yes, my lord.
- More jewels yet?
- There is no crossing him in ’s humor,
- Else I should tell him well (i’ faith, I should),
- When all’s spent, he’ld be cross’d then, and he could.
- ’Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
- That man might ne’er be wretched for his mind.
- Enter Flaminius.
- Where be our men?
- Here, my lord, in readiness.
- Our horses!
- Enter Flavius with the casket.
- Exit Flaminius.
Timon190 - 194
- O my friends! I have one word
- To say to you. Look you, my good lord,
- I must entreat you honor me so much
- As to advance this jewel; accept it and wear it,
- Kind my lord.
- I am so far already in your gifts—
- So are we all.
- Enter Servilius.
Servilius198 - 199
- My lord, there are certain nobles of the Senate
- Newly alighted, and come to visit you.
- They are fairly welcome.
- Exit Servilius.
Flavius202 - 203
- I beseech your honor,
- Vouchsafe me a word, it does concern you near.
Timon204 - 205
- Near? Why then another time I’ll hear thee.
- I prithee let’s be provided to show them entertainment.
Flavius206 - 207
- I scarce know how.
- Enter Servilius.
Servilius209 - 211
- May it please your honor, Lord Lucius
- (Out of his free love) hath presented to you
- Four milk-white horses, trapp’d in silver.
Timon212 - 216
- I shall accept them fairly; let the presents
- Be worthily entertain’d.
- Exit Servilius.
- Enter Flaminius.
- How now? What news?
Flaminius217 - 219
- Please you, my lord, that honorable gentleman, Lord
- Lucullus, entreats your company tomorrow to hunt with him,
- and has sent your honor two brace of greyhounds.
Timon220 - 221
- I’ll hunt with him, and let them be receiv’d,
- Not without fair reward.
- Exit Flaminius.
Flavius223 - 238
- 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.
Timon240 - 242
- You do yourselves
- Much wrong, you bate too much of your own merits.
- Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.
- With more than common thanks I will receive it.
- O, he’s the very soul of bounty!
Timon245 - 247
- 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.
- O, I beseech you pardon me, my lord, in that.
Timon249 - 252
- 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.
- O, none so welcome.
Timon254 - 261
- 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.
- Ay, defil’d land, my lord.
- We are so virtuously bound—
Timon264 - 265
- And so
- Am I to you.
- So infinitely endear’d—
- All to you. Lights, more lights!
First Lord268 - 269
- The best of happiness,
- Honor, and fortunes keep with you, Lord Timon!
- Ready for his friends.
- Exeunt Lords and others. Apemantus and Timon remain.
Apemantus272 - 277
- 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.
Timon278 - 279
- Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen,
- I would be good to thee.
Apemantus280 - 284
- 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 vainglories?
Timon285 - 286
- Nay, and you begin to rail on society once, I am sworn not
- to give regard to you. Farewell, and come with better music.
Apemantus288 - 291
- 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!