Timon of Athens
Act V, Scene 1
The woods. Before Timon’s cave.
- Enter Poet and Painter; Timon watching them from his cave.
Painter1 - 2
- As I took note of the place, it cannot be far
- Where he abides.
Poet3 - 5
- What’s to be thought of him?
- Does the rumor hold for true that he’s
- So full of gold?
Painter6 - 10
- Certain. Alcibiades reports it;
- Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him.
- He likewise enrich’d poor straggling soldiers with
- Great quantity. ’Tis said he gave unto
- His steward a mighty sum.
Poet11 - 12
- Then this breaking of his
- Has been but a try for his friends?
Painter13 - 20
- Nothing else.
- You shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish
- With the highest. Therefore, ’tis not amiss
- We tender our loves to him in this suppos’d
- Distress of his; it will show honestly in us,
- And is very likely to load our purposes
- With what they travail for, if it be
- A just and true report that goes of his having.
- What have you now to present unto him?
Painter22 - 23
- Nothing at this time but my visitation;
- Only I will promise him an excellent piece.
Poet24 - 25
- I must serve him so too: tell him of an intent
- That’s coming toward him.
Painter26 - 35
- Good as the best.
- Promising is the very air o’ th’ time;
- It opens the eyes of expectation.
- Performance is ever the duller for his act,
- And but in the plainer and simpler kind of people
- The deed of saying is quite out of use.
- To promise is most courtly and fashionable;
- Performance is a kind of will or testament
- Which argues a great sickness in his judgment
- That makes it.
- Enter Timon from his cave.
Timon36 - 37
- Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man
- So bad as is thyself.
Poet38 - 43
- I am thinking
- What I shall say I have provided for him.
- It must be a personating of himself;
- A satire against the softness of prosperity,
- With a discovery of the infinite flatteries
- That follow youth and opulency.
Timon44 - 47
- Must thou needs
- Stand for a villain in thine own work?
- Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men?
- Do so, I have gold for thee.
Poet48 - 50
- Nay, let’s seek him:
- Then do we sin against our own estate,
- When we may profit meet, and come too late.
Painter51 - 54
- When the day serves, before black-corner’d night,
- Find what thou want’st by free and offer’d light.
Timon55 - 62
- I’ll meet you at the turn. What a god’s gold
- That he is worshipp’d in a baser temple
- Than where swine feed!
- ’Tis thou that rig’st the bark and plough’st the foam,
- Settlest admired reverence in a slave.
- To thee be worship, and thy saints for aye
- Be crown’d with plagues, that thee alone obey!
- Fit I meet them.
- Coming forward.
- Hail, worthy Timon!
- Our late noble master!
- Have I once liv’d to see two honest men?
Poet66 - 75
- Having often of your open bounty tasted,
- Hearing you were retir’d, your friends fall’n off,
- Whose thankless natures (O abhorred spirits!)
- Not all the whips of heaven are large enough—
- What, to you,
- Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
- To their whole being! I am rapt and cannot cover
- The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
- With any size of words.
Timon76 - 78
- Let it go naked, men may see’t the better.
- You that are honest, by being what you are
- Make them best seen and known.
Painter79 - 81
- He and myself
- Have travail’d in the great show’r of your gifts,
- And sweetly felt it.
- Ay, you are honest men.
- We are hither come to offer you our service.
Timon84 - 85
- Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
- Can you eat roots and drink cold water? No?
Both Poet and Painter86
- What we can do, we’ll do, to do you service.
Timon87 - 88
- Y’ are honest men; y’ have heard that I have gold,
- I am sure you have. Speak truth, y’ are honest men.
Painter89 - 90
- So it is said, my noble lord, but therefore
- Came not my friend nor I.
Timon91 - 93
- Good honest men! Thou draw’st a counterfeit
- Best in all Athens; th’ art indeed the best,
- Thou counterfeit’st most lively.
- So, so, my lord.
Timon95 - 101
- E’en so, sir, as I say.—And, for thy fiction,
- Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth
- That thou art even natural in thine art.
- But for all this, my honest-natur’d friends,
- I must needs say you have a little fault;
- Marry, ’tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
- You take much pains to mend.
Both Poet and Painter102 - 103
- Beseech your honor
- To make it known to us.
- You’ll take it ill.
Both Poet and Painter105
- Most thankfully, my lord.
- Will you indeed?
Both Poet and Painter107
- Doubt it not, worthy lord.
Timon108 - 109
- There’s never a one of you but trusts a knave
- That mightily deceives you.
Both Poet and Painter110
- Do we, my lord?
Timon111 - 114
- Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
- Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
- Keep in your bosom; yet remain assur’d
- That he’s a made-up villain.
- I know none such, my lord.
- Nor I.
Timon117 - 121
- Look you, I love you well, I’ll give you gold,
- Rid me these villains from your companies;
- Hang them, or stab them, drown them in a draught,
- Confound them by some course, and come to me,
- I’ll give you gold enough.
Both Poet and Painter122
- Name them, my lord, let’s know them.
Timon123 - 133
- You that way and you this; but two in company;
- Each man apart, all single and alone,
- Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
- To one.
- If where thou art, two villains shall not be,
- Come not near him.
- To the other.
- If thou wouldst not reside
- But where one villain is, then him abandon.—
- Hence, pack! There’s gold; you came for gold, ye slaves.
- To one.
- You have work for me; there’s payment, hence!
- To the other.
- You are an alcumist, make gold of that.
- Out, rascal dogs!
- Exeunt both, driven out by Timon, who retires to his cave.
- Enter Steward Flavius and two Senators.
Flavius134 - 137
- It is vain that you would speak with Timon;
- For he is set so only to himself,
- That nothing but himself which looks like man
- Is friendly with him.
First Senator138 - 140
- Bring us to his cave.
- It is our part and promise to th’ Athenians
- To speak with Timon.
Second Senator141 - 146
- At all times alike
- Men are not still the same; ’twas time and griefs
- That fram’d him thus. Time with his fairer hand,
- Offering the fortunes of his former days,
- The former man may make him. Bring us to him,
- And chance it as it may.
Flavius147 - 151
- Here is his cave.
- Peace and content be here! Lord Timon! Timon,
- Look out and speak to friends. Th’ Athenians
- By two of their most reverend Senate greet thee.
- Speak to them, noble Timon.
- Enter Timon out of his cave.
Timon152 - 155
- Thou sun that comforts, burn! Speak and be hang’d.
- For each true word, a blister, and each false
- Be as a cantherizing to the root o’ th’ tongue,
- Consuming it with speaking!
- Worthy Timon—
- Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.
- The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.
Timon159 - 160
- I thank them, and would send them back the plague,
- Could I but catch it for them.
First Senator161 - 166
- O, forget
- What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
- The senators with one consent of love
- Entreat thee back to Athens, who have thought
- On special dignities, which vacant lie,
- For thy best use and wearing.
Second Senator167 - 179
- They confess
- Toward thee forgetfulness too general gross;
- Which now the public body, which doth seldom
- Play the recanter, feeling in itself
- A lack of Timon’s aid, hath sense withal
- Of it own fall, restraining aid to Timon,
- And send forth us to make their sorrowed render,
- Together with a recompense more fruitful
- Than their offense can weigh down by the dram;
- Ay, even such heaps and sums of love and wealth
- As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs,
- And write in thee the figures of their love,
- Ever to read them thine.
Timon180 - 183
- You witch me in it;
- Surprise me to the very brink of tears.
- Lend me a fool’s heart and a woman’s eyes,
- And I’ll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.
First Senator184 - 191
- Therefore so please thee to return with us,
- And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
- The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
- Allow’d with absolute power, and thy good name
- Live with authority; so soon we shall drive back
- Of Alcibiades th’ approaches wild,
- Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
- His country’s peace.
Second Senator192 - 193
- And shakes his threat’ning sword
- Against the walls of Athens.
- Therefore, Timon—
Timon195 - 211
- Well, sir, I will; therefore I will, sir, thus:
- If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
- Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
- That Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens,
- And take our goodly aged men by th’ beards,
- Giving our holy virgins to the stain
- Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain’d war,
- Then let him know, and tell him Timon speaks it,
- In pity of our aged and our youth,
- I cannot choose but tell him that I care not,
- And let him take’t at worst—for their knives care not,
- While you have throats to answer. For myself,
- There’s not a whittle in th’ unruly camp
- But I do prize it at my love before
- The reverend’st throat in Athens. So I leave you
- To the protection of the prosperous gods,
- As thieves to keepers.
- Stay not, all’s in vain.
Timon213 - 218
- Why, I was writing of my epitaph;
- It will be seen tomorrow. My long sickness
- Of health and living now begins to mend,
- And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
- Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
- And last so long enough!
- We speak in vain.
Timon220 - 222
- But yet I love my country, and am not
- One that rejoices in the common wrack,
- As common bruit doth put it.
- That’s well spoke.
- Commend me to my loving countrymen—
- These words become your lips as they pass thorough them.
Second Senator226 - 227
- And enter in our ears like great triumphers
- In their applauding gates.
Timon228 - 234
- Commend me to them,
- And tell them that, to ease them of their griefs,
- Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,
- Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
- That nature’s fragile vessel doth sustain
- In life’s uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them:
- I’ll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades’ wrath.
- I like this well, he will return again.
Timon236 - 243
- I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
- That mine own use invites me to cut down,
- And shortly must I fell it. Tell my friends,
- Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree,
- From high to low throughout, that whoso please
- To stop affliction, let him take his haste,
- Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
- And hang himself. I pray you do my greeting.
- Trouble him no further, thus you still shall find him.
Timon245 - 254
- Come not to me again, but say to Athens,
- Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
- Upon the beached verge of the salt flood,
- Who once a day with his embossed froth
- The turbulent surge shall cover; thither come,
- And let my grave-stone be your oracle.
- Lips, let four words go by and language end!
- What is amiss, plague and infection mend!
- Graves only be men’s works, and death their gain!
- Sun, hide thy beams, Timon hath done his reign.
- Exit Timon.
First Senator255 - 256
- His discontents are unremovably
- Coupled to nature.
Second Senator257 - 259
- Our hope in him is dead. Let us return,
- And strain what other means is left unto us
- In our dear peril.
- It requires swift foot.