Timon of Athens
Act III, Scene 2
Athens. A public place.
- Enter Lucius with three Strangers.
Lucius1 - 2
- Who, the Lord Timon? He is my very good friend, and an
- honorable gentleman.
First Stranger3 - 6
- We know him for no less, though we are but strangers to him.
- But I can tell you one thing, my lord, and which I hear from
- common rumors, now Lord Timon’s happy hours are done and
- past, and his estate shrinks from him.
- Fie, no, do not believe it; he cannot want for money.
Second Stranger8 - 11
- But believe you this, my lord, that not long ago one of his
- men was with the Lord Lucullus to borrow so many talents,
- nay, urg’d extremely for’t, and show’d what necessity
- belong’d to’t, and yet was denied.
- I tell you, denied, my lord.
Lucius14 - 20
- What a strange case was that! Now before the gods, I am
- asham’d on’t. Denied that honorable man? There was very
- little honor show’d in’t. For my own part, I must needs
- confess, I have receiv’d some small kindnesses from him, as
- money, plate, jewels, and such like trifles—nothing
- comparing to his—yet had he mistook him and sent to me, I
- should ne’er have denied his occasion so many talents.
- Enter Servilius.
Servilius21 - 22
- See, by good hap, yonder’s my lord; I have sweat to see his
- honor. My honor’d lord—
Lucius23 - 24
- Servilius? You are kindly met, sir. Fare thee well, commend
- me to thy honorable virtuous lord, my very exquisite friend.
- May it please your honor, my lord hath sent—
Lucius26 - 28
- Ha? What has he sent? I am so much endear’d to that lord:
- he’s ever sending. How shall I thank him, think’st thou? And
- what has he sent now?
Servilius29 - 31
- H’as only sent his present occasion now, my lord; requesting
- your lordship to supply his instant use with so many
Lucius32 - 33
- I know his lordship is but merry with me;
- He cannot want fifty—five hundred talents.
Servilius34 - 36
- But in the mean time he wants less, my lord.
- If his occasion were not virtuous,
- I should not urge it half so faithfully.
- Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?
- Upon my soul, ’tis true, sir.
Lucius39 - 52
- What a wicked beast was I to disfurnish myself against such
- a good time, when I might ha’ shown myself honorable! How
- unluckily it happ’ned that I should purchase the day before
- for a little part, and undo a great deal of honor!
- Servilius, now before the gods, I am not able to do (the
- more beast, I say!)—I was sending to use Lord Timon myself,
- these gentlemen can witness; but I would not, for the wealth
- of Athens, I had done’t now. Commend me bountifully to his
- good lordship, and I hope his honor will conceive the
- fairest of me, because I have no power to be kind. And tell
- him this from me, I count it one of my greatest afflictions,
- say, that I cannot pleasure such an honorable gentleman.
- Good Servilius, will you befriend me so far as to use mine
- own words to him?
- Yes, sir, I shall.
- Exit Servilius.
Lucius54 - 56
- Calling after him.
- I’ll look you out a good turn, Servilius.—
- True, as you said, Timon is shrunk indeed,
- And he that’s once denied will hardly speed.
- Do you observe this, Hostilius?
- Ay, too well.
First Stranger59 - 70
- Why, this is the world’s soul, and just of the same piece
- Is every flatterer’s sport. Who can call him
- His friend that dips in the same dish? For, in
- My knowing, Timon has been this lord’s father,
- And kept his credit with his purse;
- Supported his estate, nay, Timon’s money
- Has paid his men their wages. He ne’er drinks
- But Timon’s silver treads upon his lip,
- And yet—O, see the monstrousness of man
- When he looks out in an ungrateful shape!—
- He does deny him (in respect of his)
- What charitable men afford to beggars.
- Religion groans at it.
First Stranger72 - 83
- For mine own part,
- I never tasted Timon in my life,
- Nor came any of his bounties over me
- To mark me for his friend; yet, I protest,
- For his right noble mind, illustrious virtue,
- And honorable carriage,
- Had his necessity made use of me,
- I would have put my wealth into donation,
- And the best half should have return’d to him,
- So much I love his heart. But I perceive
- Men must learn now with pity to dispense,
- For policy sits above conscience.