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Timon of Athens: Act I, Scene 2

Timon of Athens
Act I, Scene 2

A banqueting-room in Timon’s house.

  1. Hoboys playing loud music. A great banquet serv’d in,
  2. Flavius and others attending.
  1. Then enter Lord Timon, the States, the Athenian Lords,
  2. Alcibiades, and Ventidius, which Timon redeem’d from prison.
  1. Then comes, dropping after all, Apemantus, discontentedly,
  2. like himself.

Ventidius

1 - 8
  1. Most honored Timon,
  2. It hath pleas’d the gods to remember my father’s age,
  3. And call him to long peace.
  4. He is gone happy, and has left me rich.
  5. Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound
  6. To your free heart, I do return those talents,
  7. Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help
  8. I deriv’d liberty.

Timon

9 - 14
  1.                    O, by no means,
  2. Honest Ventidius. You mistake my love;
  3. I gave it freely ever, and there’s none
  4. Can truly say he gives if he receives.
  5. If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
  6. To imitate them; faults that are rich are fair.

Ventidius

15
  1. A noble spirit!

Timon

16 - 22
  1.                 Nay, my lords,
  2. Ceremony was but devis’d at first
  3. To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
  4. Recanting goodness, sorry ere ’tis shown;
  5. But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
  6. Pray sit, more welcome are ye to my fortunes
  7. Than my fortunes to me.
  1. They sit.

First Lord

23
  1. My lord, we always have confess’d it.

Apemantus

24
  1. Ho, ho, confess’d it? Hang’d it, have you not?

Timon

25
  1. O, Apemantus, you are welcome.

Apemantus

26 - 28
  1.                                No;
  2. You shall not make me welcome.
  3. I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.

Timon

29 - 35
  1. Fie, th’ art a churl. Ye have got a humor there
  2. Does not become a man, ’tis much to blame.
  3. They say, my lords, Ira furor brevis est,”
  4. But yond man is very angry. Go,
  5. Let him have a table by himself,
  6. For he does neither affect company,
  7. Nor is he fit for’t indeed.

Apemantus

36 - 37
  1. Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon.
  2. I come to observe, I give thee warning on’t.

Timon

38 - 40
  1. I take no heed of thee; th’ art an Athenian, therefore
  2. welcome. I myself would have no power; prithee let my meat
  3. make thee silent.

Apemantus

41 - 51
  1. I scorn thy meat, ’twould choke me; for I should ne’er
  2. flatter thee. O you gods! What a number of men eats Timon,
  3. and he sees ’em not! It grieves me to see so many dip their
  4. meat in one man’s blood, and all the madness is, he cheers
  5. them up too.
  6. I wonder men dare trust themselves with men.
  7. Methinks they should invite them without knives:
  8. Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.
  9. 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,
  10. Lest they should spy my windpipe’s dangerous notes:
  11. Great men should drink with harness on their throats.

Timon

52
  1. My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.

Second Lord

53
  1. Let it flow this way, my good lord.

Apemantus

54 - 70
  1. Flow this way? A brave fellow! He keeps his tides well.
  2. Those healths will make thee and thy state look ill, Timon.
  3. Here’s that which is too weak to be a sinner,
  4. Honest water, which ne’er left man i’ th’ mire.
  5. This and my food are equals, there’s no odds;
  6. Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.
  7. Apemantus’ grace.
  8. Immortal gods, I crave no pelf,
  9. I pray for no man but myself.
  10. Grant I may never prove so fond,
  11. To trust man on his oath or bond;
  12. Or a harlot for her weeping,
  13. Or a dog that seems a-sleeping,
  14. Or a keeper with my freedom,
  15. Or my friends, if I should need ’em.
  16. Amen. So fall to’t:
  17. Rich men sin, and I eat root.
  18. Eats and drinks.
  19. Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!

Timon

71
  1. Captain Alcibiades, your heart’s in the field now.

Alcibiades

72
  1. My heart is ever at your service, my lord.

Timon

73 - 74
  1. You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than a dinner of
  2. friends.

Alcibiades

75 - 76
  1. So they were bleeding new, my lord, there’s no meat like
  2. ’em; I could wish my best friend at such a feast.

Apemantus

77 - 78
  1. Would all those flatterers were thine enemies then, that
  2. then thou mightst kill ’emand bid me to ’em!

First Lord

79 - 81
  1. Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you would
  2. once use our hearts, whereby we might express some part of
  3. our zeals, we should think ourselves forever perfect.

Timon

82 - 99
  1. O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods themselves have
  2. provided that I shall have much help from you: how had you
  3. been my friends else? Why have you that charitable title
  4. from thousands, did not you chiefly belong to my heart? I
  5. have told more of you to myself than you can with modesty
  6. speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O you
  7. gods, think I, what need we have any friends, if we should
  8. ne’er have need of ’em? They were the most needless
  9. creatures living, should we ne’er have use for ’em; and
  10. would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that
  11. keeps their sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wish’d
  12. myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We are born
  13. to do benefits; and what better or properer can we call our
  14. own than the riches of our friends? O, what a precious
  15. comfort ’tis to have so many like brothers commanding one
  16. another’s fortunes! O, joy’s e’en made away ere’t can be
  17. born! Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks. To forget
  18. their faults, I drink to you.

Apemantus

100
  1. Thou weep’st to make them drink, Timon.

Second Lord

101 - 102
  1. Joy had the like conception in our eyes,
  2. And at that instant like a babe sprung up.

Apemantus

103
  1. Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.

Third Lord

104
  1. I promise you, my lord, you mov’d me much.

Apemantus

105
  1. Much!
  1. Sound tucket within.

Timon

106 - 107
  1. What means that trump?
  2. Enter Flaminius.
  3.                        How now?

Flaminius

108 - 109
  1. Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies most desirous
  2. of admittance.

Timon

110
  1. Ladies? What are their wills?

Flaminius

111 - 112
  1. There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which bears
  2. that office to signify their pleasures.

Timon

113
  1. I pray let them be admitted.
  1. Exit Flaminius.
  1. Enter Cupid.

Cupid

114 - 119
  1. Hail to thee, worthy Timon, and to all
  2. That of his bounties taste! The five best senses
  3. Acknowledge thee their patron, and come freely
  4. To gratulate thy plenteous bosom. There,
  5. Taste, touch, all, pleas’d from thy table rise;
  6. They only now come but to feast thine eyes.

Timon

120 - 121
  1. They’re welcome all, let ’em have kind admittance.
  2. Music, make their welcome!
  1. Exit Cupid.

First Lord

122
  1. You see, my lord, how ample y’ are belov’d.
  1. Music.
  1. Enter Cupid with the masque of Ladies, as Amazons, with
  2. lutes in their hands, dancing and playing.

Apemantus

123 - 137
  1. Hoy-day,
  2. What a sweep of vanity comes this way!
  3. They dance? They are madwomen.
  4. Like madness is the glory of this life,
  5. As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.
  6. We make ourselves fools to disport ourselves,
  7. And spend our flatteries to drink those men
  8. Upon whose age we void it up again
  9. With poisonous spite and envy.
  10. Who lives that’s not depraved or depraves?
  11. Who dies that bears not one spurn to their graves
  12. Of their friends’ gift?
  13. I should fear those that dance before me now
  14. Would one day stamp upon me. ’T ’as been done;
  15. Men shut their doors against a setting sun.
  1. The Lords rise from table, with much adoring of Timon, and
  2. to show their loves, each single out an Amazon, and all
  3. dance, men with women, a lofty strain or two to the hoboys,
  4. and cease.

Timon

138 - 143
  1. You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies,
  2. Set a fair fashion on our entertainment,
  3. Which was not half so beautiful and kind;
  4. You have added worth unto’t and lustre,
  5. And entertain’d me with mine own device.
  6. I am to thank you for’t.

First Lady Amazon Masker

144
  1. My lord, you take us even at the best.

Apemantus

145 - 146
  1. Faith, for the worst is filthy, and would not hold taking, I
  2. doubt me.

Timon

147 - 148
  1. Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you,
  2. Please you to dispose yourselves.

All Lady Amazon Maskers

149
  1. Most thankfully, my lord.
  1. Exeunt Cupid and Ladies.

Timon

150
  1.                           Flavius!

Flavius

151
  1. My lord?

Timon

152
  1.          The little casket bring me hither.

Flavius

153 - 159
  1. Yes, my lord.
  2. Aside.
  3.               More jewels yet?
  4. There is no crossing him in ’s humor,
  5. Else I should tell him well (i’ faith, I should),
  6. When all’s spent, he’ld be cross’d then, and he could.
  7. ’Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
  8. That man might ne’er be wretched for his mind.
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter Flaminius.

First Lord

160
  1. Where be our men?

Flaminius

161
  1. Here, my lord, in readiness.

Second Lord

162
  1. Our horses!
  1. Enter Flavius with the casket.
  1. Exit Flaminius.

Timon

163 - 167
  1.             O my friends! I have one word
  2. To say to you. Look you, my good lord,
  3. I must entreat you honor me so much
  4. As to advance this jewel; accept it and wear it,
  5. Kind my lord.

First Lord

168
  1. I am so far already in your gifts

All

169
  1. So are we all.
  1. Enter Servilius.

Servilius

170 - 171
  1. My lord, there are certain nobles of the Senate
  2. Newly alighted, and come to visit you.

Timon

172
  1. They are fairly welcome.
  1. Exit Servilius.

Flavius

173 - 174
  1.                          I beseech your honor,
  2. Vouchsafe me a word, it does concern you near.

Timon

175 - 176
  1. Near? Why then another time I’ll hear thee.
  2. I prithee let’s be provided to show them entertainment.

Flavius

177
  1. Aside.
  2. I scarce know how.
  1. Enter Servilius.

Servilius

178 - 180
  1. May it please your honor, Lord Lucius
  2. (Out of his free love) hath presented to you
  3. Four milk-white horses, trapp’d in silver.

Timon

181 - 183
  1. I shall accept them fairly; let the presents
  2. Be worthily entertain’d.
  3. Exit Servilius.
  4. Enter Flaminius.
  5.                          How now? What news?

Flaminius

184 - 186
  1. Please you, my lord, that honorable gentleman, Lord
  2. Lucullus, entreats your company tomorrow to hunt with him,
  3. and has sent your honor two brace of greyhounds.

Timon

187 - 188
  1. I’ll hunt with him, and let them be receiv’d,
  2. Not without fair reward.
  1. Exit Flaminius.

Flavius

189 - 203
  1. Aside.
  2.                          What will this come to?
  3. He commands us to provide, and give great gifts,
  4. And all out of an empty coffer;
  5. Nor will he know his purse, or yield me this,
  6. To show him what a beggar his heart is,
  7. Being of no power to make his wishes good.
  8. His promises fly so beyond his state
  9. That what he speaks is all in debt: he owes
  10. For ev’ry word. He is so kind that he now
  11. Pays interest for’t; his land’s put to their books.
  12. Well, would I were gently put out of office
  13. Before I were forc’d out!
  14. Happier is he that has no friend to feed
  15. Than such that do e’en enemies exceed.
  16. I bleed inwardly for my lord.
  1. Exit.

Timon

204 - 206
  1.                               You do yourselves
  2. Much wrong, you bate too much of your own merits.
  3. Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.

Second Lord

207
  1. With more than common thanks I will receive it.

Third Lord

208
  1. O, he’s the very soul of bounty!

Timon

209 - 211
  1. And now I remember, my lord, you gave
  2. Good words the other day of a bay courser
  3. I rode on. ’Tis yours, because you lik’d it.

Third Lord

212
  1. O, I beseech you pardon me, my lord, in that.

Timon

213 - 216
  1. You may take my word, my lord; I know no man
  2. Can justly praise but what he does affect.
  3. I weigh my friend’s affection with mine own.
  4. I’ll tell you true, I’ll call to you.

All Lords

217
  1.                                       O, none so welcome.

Timon

218 - 225
  1. I take all and your several visitations
  2. So kind to heart, ’tis not enough to give;
  3. Methinks, I could deal kingdoms to my friends,
  4. And ne’er be weary. Alcibiades,
  5. Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich,
  6. It comes in charity to thee; for all thy living
  7. Is ’mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast
  8. Lie in a pitch’d field.

Alcibiades

226
  1.                         Ay, defil’d land, my lord.

First Lord

227
  1. We are so virtuously bound

Timon

228 - 229
  1.                             And so
  2. Am I to you.

Second Lord

230
  1.              So infinitely endear’d

Timon

231
  1. All to you. Lights, more lights!

First Lord

232 - 233
  1.                                  The best of happiness,
  2. Honor, and fortunes keep with you, Lord Timon!

Timon

234
  1. Ready for his friends.
  1. Exeunt Lords and others. Apemantus and Timon remain.

Apemantus

235 - 240
  1.                        What a coil’s here!
  2. Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums!
  3. I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums
  4. That are given for ’em. Friendship’s full of dregs;
  5. Methinks false hearts should never have sound legs.
  6. Thus honest fools lay out their wealth on curtsies.

Timon

241 - 242
  1. Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen,
  2. I would be good to thee.

Apemantus

243 - 247
  1. No, I’ll nothing; for if I should be brib’d too, there would
  2. be none left to rail upon thee, and then thou wouldst sin
  3. the faster. Thou giv’st so long, Timon (I fear me), thou
  4. wilt give away thyself in paper shortly. What needs these
  5. feasts, pomps, and vainglories?

Timon

248 - 249
  1. Nay, and you begin to rail on society once, I am sworn not
  2. to give regard to you. Farewell, and come with better music.
  1. Exit.

Apemantus

250 - 253
  1. So; thou wilt not hear me now, thou shalt not then. I’ll
  2. lock thy heaven from thee.
  3. O that men’s ears should be
  4. To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
  1. Exit.
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