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Timon of Athens: Act I, Scene 1

Timon of Athens
Act I, Scene 1

Scene 1

Athens. A hall in Timon’s house.

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

Poet

1
  1. Good day, sir.

Painter

2
  1.                I am glad y’ are well.

Poet

3
  1. I have not seen you long, how goes the world?

Painter

4
  1. It wears, sir, as it grows.

Poet

5 - 9
  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

10
  1. I know them both; th’ other’s a jeweler.

Merchant

11
  1. O, ’tis a worthy lord.

Jeweler

12
  1.                        Nay, that’s most fix’d.

Merchant

13 - 15
  1. A most incomparable man, breath’d, as it were,
  2. To an untirable and continuate goodness;
  3. He passes.

Jeweler

16
  1. I have a jewel here

Merchant

17
  1. O, pray let’s see’t. For the Lord Timon, sir?

Jeweler

18
  1. If he will touch the estimate. But for that

Poet

19 - 21
  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

22
  1. Looking on the jewel.
  2.                              ’Tis a good form.

Jeweler

23
  1. And rich. Here is a water, look ye.

Painter

24 - 25
  1. You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
  2. To the great lord.

Poet

26 - 31
  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

32
  1. A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?

Poet

33 - 34
  1. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
  2. Let’s see your piece.

Painter

35
  1.                       ’Tis a good piece.

Poet

36
  1. So ’tis. This comes off well and excellent.

Painter

37
  1. Indifferent.

Poet

38 - 42
  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

43 - 44
  1. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
  2. Here is a touch; is’t good?

Poet

45 - 47
  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

48
  1. How this lord is followed!

Poet

49
  1. The senators of Athens, happy men!

Painter

50
  1. Look, more!

Poet

51 - 59
  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

60
  1. How shall I understand you?

Poet

61 - 72
  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

73
  1.                           I saw them speak together.

Poet

74 - 83
  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

84 - 89
  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

90 - 96
  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

97
  1.                     Ay, marry, what of these?

Poet

98 - 102
  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

103 - 108
  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

109
  1.                          Imprison’d is he, say you?

Messenger from Ventidius

110 - 114
  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

115 - 119
  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

120
  1. Your lordship ever binds him.

Timon

121 - 124
  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

125
  1. All happiness to your honor!
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter an Old Athenian.

Old Athenian

126
  1. Lord Timon, hear me speak.

Timon

127
  1.                            Freely, good father.

Old Athenian

128
  1. Thou hast a servant nam’d Lucilius.

Timon

129
  1. I have so. What of him?

Old Athenian

130
  1. Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.

Timon

131
  1. Attends he here, or no? Lucilius!

Lucilius

132
  1. Here, at your lordship’s service.

Old Athenian

133 - 137
  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

138
  1.                                  Well; what further?

Old Athenian

139 - 146
  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

147
  1.                            The man is honest.

Old Athenian

148 - 150
  1. Therefore he will be, Timon.
  2. His honesty rewards him in itself,
  3. It must not bear my daughter.

Timon

151
  1.                               Does she love him?

Old Athenian

152 - 154
  1. She is young and apt.
  2. Our own precedent passions do instruct us
  3. What levity’s in youth.

Timon

155
  1. To Lucilius.
  2.                         Love you the maid?

Lucilius

156
  1. Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.

Old Athenian

157 - 160
  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

161 - 162
  1.                         How shall she be endowed,
  2. If she be mated with an equal husband?

Old Athenian

163
  1. Three talents on the present; in future, all.

Timon

164 - 168
  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

169 - 170
  1.                              Most noble lord,
  2. Pawn me to this your honor, she is his.

Timon

171
  1. My hand to thee, mine honor on my promise.

Lucilius

172 - 174
  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

175
  1. Vouchsafe my labor, and long live your lordship!

Timon

176 - 177
  1. I thank you, you shall hear from me anon.
  2. Go not away. What have you there, my friend?

Painter

178 - 179
  1. A piece of painting, which I do beseech
  2. Your lordship to accept.

Timon

180 - 186
  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

187
  1.                                The gods preserve ye!

Timon

188 - 190
  1. Well fare you, gentleman; give me your hand,
  2. We must needs dine together.—Sir, your jewel
  3. Hath suffered under praise.

Jeweler

191
  1.                             What, my lord, dispraise?

Timon

192 - 194
  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

195 - 199
  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

200
  1. Well mock’d.
  1. Enter Apemantus.

Merchant

201 - 202
  1. No, my good lord, he speaks the common tongue
  2. Which all men speak with him.

Timon

203
  1. Look who comes here; will you be chid?

Jeweler

204
  1. We’ll bear, with your lordship.

Merchant

205
  1.                                 He’ll spare none.

Timon

206
  1. Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!

Apemantus

207 - 208
  1. Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow
  2. When thou art Timon’s dog, and these knaves honest.

Timon

209
  1. Why dost thou call them knaves? Thou know’st them not.

Apemantus

210
  1. Are they not Athenians?

Timon

211
  1. Yes.

Apemantus

212
  1. Then I repent not.

Jeweler

213
  1. You know me, Apemantus?

Apemantus

214
  1. Thou know’st I do, I call’d thee by thy name.

Timon

215
  1. Thou art proud, Apemantus.

Apemantus

216
  1. Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.

Timon

217
  1. Whither art going?

Apemantus

218
  1. To knock out an honest Athenian’s brains.

Timon

219
  1. That’s a deed thou’t die for.

Apemantus

220
  1. Right, if doing nothing be death by th’ law.

Timon

221
  1. How lik’st thou this picture, Apemantus?

Apemantus

222
  1. The best, for the innocence.

Timon

223
  1. Wrought he not well that painted it?

Apemantus

224 - 225
  1. He wrought better that made the painter, and yet he’s but a
  2. filthy piece of work.

Painter

226
  1. Y’ are a dog.

Apemantus

227
  1. Thy mother’s of my generation; what’s she, if I be a dog?

Timon

228
  1. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?

Apemantus

229
  1. No; I eat not lords.

Timon

230
  1. And thou shouldst, thou’dst anger ladies.

Apemantus

231
  1. O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.

Timon

232
  1. That’s a lascivious apprehension.

Apemantus

233
  1. So thou apprehend’st it, take it for thy labor.

Timon

234
  1. How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?

Apemantus

235 - 236
  1. Not so well as plain-dealing, which will not cast a man a
  2. doit.

Timon

237
  1. What dost thou think ’tis worth?

Apemantus

238
  1. Not worth my thinking. How now, poet?

Poet

239
  1. How now, philosopher?

Apemantus

240
  1. Thou liest.

Poet

241
  1. Art not one?

Apemantus

242
  1. Yes.

Poet

243
  1. Then I lie not.

Apemantus

244
  1. Art not a poet?

Poet

245
  1. Yes.

Apemantus

246 - 247
  1. Then thou liest: look in thy last work, where thou hast
  2. feign’d him a worthy fellow.

Poet

248
  1. That’s not feign’d, he is so.

Apemantus

249 - 251
  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

252
  1. What wouldst do then, Apemantus?

Apemantus

253
  1. E’en as Apemantus does now: hate a lord with my heart.

Timon

254
  1. What, thyself?

Apemantus

255
  1. Ay.

Timon

256
  1. Wherefore?

Apemantus

257 - 258
  1. That I had no angry wit to be a lord. Art not thou a
  2. merchant?

Merchant

259
  1. Ay, Apemantus.

Apemantus

260
  1. Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not!

Merchant

261
  1. If traffic do it, the gods do it.

Apemantus

262
  1. Traffic’s thy god, and thy god confound thee!
  1. Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger.

Timon

263
  1. What trumpet’s that?

Messenger

264 - 265
  1. ’Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty horse,
  2. All of companionship.

Timon

266 - 270
  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

271 - 275
  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

276 - 277
  1. Sir, you have sav’d my longing, and I feed
  2. Most hungerly on your sight.

Timon

278 - 280
  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

281
  1. What time a’ day is’t, Apemantus?

Apemantus

282
  1. Time to be honest.

First Lord

283
  1. That time serves still.

Apemantus

284
  1. The most accursed thou, that still omit’st it.

Second Lord

285
  1. Thou art going to Lord Timon’s feast?

Apemantus

286
  1. Ay, to see meat fill knaves, and wine heat fools.

Second Lord

287
  1. Fare thee well, fare thee well.

Apemantus

288
  1. Thou art a fool to bid me farewell twice.

Second Lord

289
  1. Why, Apemantus?

Apemantus

290 - 291
  1. Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean to give thee
  2. none.

First Lord

292
  1. Hang thyself!

Apemantus

293 - 294
  1. No, I will do nothing at thy bidding; make thy requests to
  2. thy friend.

Second Lord

295
  1. Away, unpeaceable dog, or I’ll spurn thee hence!

Apemantus

296
  1. I will fly, like a dog, the heels a’ th’ ass.
  1. Exit.

First Lord

297 - 299
  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

300 - 304
  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

305 - 306
  1.                       The noblest mind he carries
  2. That ever govern’d man.

Second Lord

307
  1. Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we in?

First Lord

308
  1. I’ll keep you company.
  1. Exeunt.
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