136TIMON OF ATHENS.
3. ACT V
SCENE, the woods, and Timon’s cave.
OH, you gods!
Is yon deʃpis’d and ruinous man, my lord?
Full of decay and failing ? oh, monument
And wonder of good deeds, evilly beʃtow’d!
What change of honour deʃp’rate want has made?
^ each thing’s a thief. No laws, your curb and whip, in their rough caves
Have uncheck’d theft.
Timon seated in the entrance of his cave.
[Page]TIMON OF ATHENS.137
What viler thing upon the earth, than friends
Who can bring nobleʃt minds to baʃeʃt ends? ‡
H’as caught me in his eye, I will preʃent
My honeʃt grief to him ; and, as my lord,
Still ʃerve him with my life. My deareʃt maʃter!
Timon comes forward from his cave. §
Away! What art thou?
Have you forgot me, Sir?
Why doʃt thou aʃk that ? I have forgot all
Then, if thou granteʃt that thou art a man,
I have forgot thee.
An honeʃt ʃervant—-
Then I know thee not:
I ne’er had honeʃt men about me, all
I kept were knaves, to ʃerve in meat to villains.
The gods are witneʃs,
Ne’er did poor ʃteward wear a truer grief,
For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
I love thee,
Becauʃe thou art a woman, and diʃclaim’ʃt
Flinty mankind; whoʃe eyes do never give,
But or through luʃt, or laughter. Pity’s ʃleeping;
Strange times, that cry with laughing, not with
I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
T’ accept my grief, and, whilʃt this poor wealth laʃts,
To entertain me as your ʃteward ʃtill.
Had I a ʃteward
So true, ʃo juʃt, and now ʃo comfortable ?
Note: ‡The following lines ʃshould be ʃpoken.
How rarely does it meet with this time’s guiʃe,
When man was wiʃht to love his enemies !
Grant I may ever love, and rather woo
Thoʃe that would miʃchief me, than thoʃ that do!
§ The author has begun his fifth act, with an affecting inter-
view between Timon and his faithful ʃteward; but we wiʃh the
former did not overflow with ʃuch an exceʃs of miʃanthropic re-
ʃentment, of which he has, with great ʃameneʃs and prolixity,
been before too liberal.
[Page]138TIMON OF ATHENS.
It almoʃt turns my dangerous nature wild—-
Let me behold thy face: ʃurely, this man
Was born of woman.
Forgive my gen’ral and exceptleʃs raʃhneʃs,
Perpetual, ʃober gods ! I do proclaim
One honeʃt man : miʃtake me not–but one:
No more, I pray; and he’s a ʃteward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeem’ʃt thyʃelf: but all, ʃave thee,*
I fell with curʃes.
Methinks, thou art more honeʃt now, than wife;
For, by oppreʃʃing and betraying me,
Thou might’ʃt have ʃooner got another’s ʃervice:
For many ʃo arrive at ʃecond maʃters,
Upon their firʃt lord’s neck. But tell me true,
Is not thy kindneʃs, ʃubtle, covetous,
An uʃuring kindeʃs, as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one ?
No, my moʃt worthy maʃter, (in whoʃe breaʃt
Doubt and ʃuʃpect, †
alas, are plac’d too late,)
You ʃhould have fear’d falʃe times, when you did
That which I ʃhew, heav’n knows, is merely love,
Duty, and zeal, to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food, and living, and, believe it,
For any benefit that points to me,
Either in hope, or preʃent, I’d exchange
For this one wiʃh, that you had power and wealth
To requite me by making rich yourʃelf.
Look thee, ‘tis ʃo; thou ʃingly honeʃt man,
Here, take; the gods out of my miʃery,
Have ʃent thee treaʃure. Go, live rich and happy :
But thus condition’d; thou ʃhalt build for men :
Hate all, curʃe all , ʃhew charity to none ;
But let the famiʃh’d fleʃh ʃlide from the bone,
Ere thou relieve the beggar. Give to dogs,
This his interval of tender feeling for his faithful ʃteward,
ʃoftens the frenzied rigidity of Timon, agreeably.
Note: †Suʃpect, for ʃuʃpicion.[Page]139TIMON OF ATHENS.
What thou deny’ʃt to men. Let priʃons ʃwallow ‘em,
Debts wither ‘em ; be men like blaʃted woods,
And may diʃeaʃes lick up their falʃe bloods !
And ʃo farewel, and thrive.
O, let me ʃtay, and comfort you, my maʃter.
If thou hat’ʃt curʃes,
Stay not, but fly, whilʃt thou art bleʃt and free;
Ne’er ʃee thou man, and let me ne’er ʃee thee.
Enter Poet and Painter.
As I took note of the place, it can’t be far,
where he abides.
What’s to be thought of him ? does the ru-
mour hold for true, that he’s ʃo full of gold ?
Certain. Alcibiades reports it : Phyrnia and
Timandra had gold of him : he likewiʃe enrich’d
poor ʃtragling ʃoldiers with great quantity.
ʃaid, he gave his ʃteward a mighty ʃum.
Then this breaking of his, has been but a trial
of his friends ?
Nothing elʃe ; you ʃhall ʃee him a palm in
Athens, again, and flouriʃh with the higheʃt.
What have you now to preʃent unto him ?
Nothing at this time, but my viʃitation : only
I will promiʃe him an excellent piece.
I muʃt ʃerve him ʃ, too; tell him of an in-
tent that’s coming towards him.
‡ Good as the beʃt : promiʃing is the very
air o’th’ time; it opens the eyes of expectation. Per-
formance is ever the duller for his act, and, but in
the plainer and ʃimpler kind of people, the deed is
quite out of uʃe. §
N2Re-Note: ‡Promiʃes and performance are here diʃtinguiʃhed in a ʃenʃi- ble ʃatirical manner.
It is a great pity to omit the following paʃʃage.
To promiʃe, is moʃt courtly, and faʃhionable; performance is a
kind of will or teʃtament, which argues a great ʃickneʃs in his judg-
ment that makes it.
[Page]140TIMON OF ATHENS.
Re-enter Timon from his cave, unʃeen.
Excellent workman ! though canʃt not paint a
man, ʃo bad as thyʃelf.
I am thinking, what I ʃhall ʃay I have pro-
vided for him: it muʃt be a perʃonating of himself:
a ʃatyr againʃt the ʃoftneʃs of proʃperity, with a diʃ-
covery of the infinite flatteries that follow youth and
Muʃt thou needs ʃtand for a villain, in thine
own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults, in other
men? do ʃo, I have gold for thee.
Nay, let’s ʃeek him.
I’ll meet you at the turn———-
What a god’s gold, that he is the worʃhipped
In baʃer temples than where ʃwine do feed !
‘Tis thou that rigg’ʃt the bark, and plow’ʃt the wave,
ʃettleʃt admired rev’rence in a ʃlave;
To thee the worʃhip, and thy ʃaints, for aye,
Be crown’d with plagues, that thee alone obey!
‘Tis fit I meet them.
Hail! worthy Timon.
Our late noble maʃter.
Have I once liv’d to ʃee two honeʃt men?
ʃir, having often of your bounty taʃted,
Hearing you were retir’d, your friends fall’n off,
He, and myʃelf,
Have travell’d in the great ʃhower of your gifts,
and ʃweetly felt it.
Ay, you’re honeʃt men.
Theʃe lines alʃ moʃt certainly deʃerve preʃervation.
Whoʃe thankleʃs natures, ( oh abhorred ʃpirits ! )
Not all the whips of heav’n are large enough————–
What! to you!
Whoʃe ʃtar-like nobleneʃs gave life and influence,
To their whole being ! I am rapt, and cannot
Cover the monʃtrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any ʃize of words.
Let it go naked, men may ʃee’t the better:
You that are honeʃt, by being what you are,
Make them beʃt ʃeen and known.
Pain.[Page]TIMON OF ATHENS.141
We’re hither come to offer you our ʃervice.
Moʃt honeʃt men ! why, how ʃhall i requite
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.
What we can do, we’ll do, to do you ʃervice.
Y’re honeʃt men ; you’ve heard that I have
I’m ʃure you have; ʃpeak truth, y’re honest men.
ʃo it is ʃaid, my noble lord, but therefore
Came not my friend, nor I.
Good honeʃt man; thou draw’ʃt a counterfeit,
Beʃt in all Athens ; thou’rt, indeed, the beʃt ;
Thou counterfeit’ʃt, moʃt lively.
ʃo, ʃo, my lord.
E’en ʃo, ʃir, as I ʃay–And for thy fiction,
Why, thy verʃe ʃwells with ʃtuff ʃo fine and ʃmooth,
That thou art even natural in thine art.
But for all this, my honeʃt-natur’d friends,
I muʃt needs ʃay, you have a little fault;
Marry, not monʃtrous in you ; neither wiʃh I,
You take much pains to mend.
Beʃeech your honour
To make it known to us.
You’ll take it ill.
Moʃt thankfully, my lord.
Will, you indeed ?
Doubt it not, worthy lord.
There’s ne’er a one of you but truʃts a knave,
That mightily deceives you
Ay, and you hear him cogg †, ʃee him
Know his groʃs patchery, love him, and feed him ;
Keep in your boʃom, yet, remain aʃʃur’d,
That he’s a made-up villain.
I know non ʃuch, my lord.
N 3Tim.[Page]142TIMON OF ATHENS.
Look you, I love you well, I’ll give you gold,
Rid me theʃe villains, from your companies ;
Hang them, or ʃtab them, drown them in a draught
Confound them by ʃome courʃe, and come to me,
I’ll give you gold enough.
Name them, my lord, let’s know them.
You that way, and you this ;——–but two
In company :
Each man apart, all ʃingle and alone,
Yet an arch villain keeps his company.
If where thou art, two villains ʃhall not be,
[To the painter.
Come not near him—–If thou wouldnʃt not reʃide
[To the poet.
But where one villain is, then him abandon.
Hence, pack, there’s gold ; ye came for hold, ye
You are an alchymiʃt, make godl of that :
OUt, raʃcal dogs ! [Beating, and driving ’em out.
Enter Flavius and two ʃenators
It is in vain that you would ʃpeak with Timon:
For he is ʃet ʃo only to himʃelf,
That nothing but himʃelf, which looks like man,
Is friendly with him.
Bring us to his cave,
It is our part and promiʃe to th’ Athenians,
To ʃpeak with Timon.
At all times alike.
Men are not ʃtill the ʃame ; ’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.
Here is his cave :
Peace and content be here, lord Timon! Timon!
Look out, an ʃpeak to friends, th’ Athenians
Enter two other ʃenators, with a Meʃʃenger.
THOU haʃt painfully diʃcover’d ; are his file
As full as thy report ?
Meʃ.I have ʃpoke the leaʃt.
Beʃides, his expedition promiʃes
We ʃtand much hazard, if they we bring not
Meʃ. I met a courierCaptain once mine ancient friend ;
Who, though in general part we were oppos’d,
Yet our old love made a particular force,
And made us ʃpeak like friends. This man was riding
From Alcibiades to Timon’s Cave,
With letters of intreaty, which imported
His fellowship i’th’ Cauʃe againʃt your City
In part for his ʃake mov’d.
[Page]TIMON OF ATHENS.143
By two of their moʃt rev’rend ʃenate, greet thee ;
ʃpeak to them, noble Timon.
Enter Timon out of his cave.
Thou fun, that comfort’ʃt, burn!——
ʃpeak and be hang’d ;
For each true word a bliʃter, and each falʃe
Be cauterizing to the root o’th’ tongue,
Conʃuming it with ʃpeaking
The ʃenators of Athens greet thee, Timon.
I thank them. And would ʃend them back
Could I but catch it for them.
What we are ʃorry for ourʃelves, in thee:
The ʃenators, with one conʃent of love,
Intreat thee back to Athens ; who have thought
On ʃpecial dignities, which vacant lie,
For thy beʃt uʃe and wearing.
Tow’rd thee forgetfulneʃs, too general, groʃs ;
Which now the public body, (which doth ʃeldom
Play the recanter) feeling in itʃelf
A lack of Timon’s aid, hath ʃenʃe withal
Of its own fall, reʃtraining aid to Timon;
And ʃends forth us to make their ʃorrowed tender,
Together with a recompence more fruitful,
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram ;
Ay, ev’n ʃuch heaps and ʃums of love and wealth,
As ʃhall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs ;
And write in thee the figures of their love,
Even to read them thine. ‡
‡The return of fawning profeʃʃions to return of wealth, as
well as their departure from poverty, is too well known to every
body, who knows any thing of life; but the picture here drawn,
of ʃuch infamous time-ʃerving, may have ʃingular good effects
upon unpractiʃed youth, if properly inculcated and attended to;
Timon, in this ʃcene, retorts upon his ungrateful countrymen,
with a proper degree of firm manly reʃentment.
Tim.[Page]144TIMON OF ATHENS.
You witch me in it,
ʃurprize me to the very brink of tears ;
Lend me a fool’s heart, and a woman’s eyes,
and I’ll beweep theʃe comforts, worthy ʃenators.
Therefore ʃo pleaʃe thee to return with us,
And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
THe captainʃhip : thou ʃhalt be met with thanks,
Allow’d with abʃolute power, and thy good name
Live with authority : ʃoon we ʃhall drive back
Of Alcibiades th’ approaches wild,
Who, like a boar too ʃavage, doth root up
His country’s peace.
And ʃhakes his threatning ʃword
Againʃt the walls of Athens.
2. Senator 1. ʃenator
Well, ʃir, I will; therefore I will, ʃir;
If Alcibiades kill my countymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. If he ʃack fair Athens,
ANd take our goodly aged men by’ beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the ʃtain
Of contumelious, beaʃtly, mad-brain’d war;
Then let him know, –and tell him, Timon ʃpeaks it;
In pity of our aged, and our youth
I cannot chuʃe but tell him, that I care not.
And let him tak’t at worʃt ; for their knives care not,
while you have throats to ansʃwer. For myself,
There’s not a whittle in th’ unruly camp,
But I do prize it at my love, before
The reverend’ʃt throat in Athens. ʃo I leave you
To the protection of the proʃp’rous gods,
As thieves to keepers.
ʃtay not, all’s in vain.
Why, I was writing of my epitaph,
It will be ʃeen, to-morrow. My long ʃickneʃs
Of health and living now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live ʃtill ;
Be Alcibiades your plague; you his ;
And laʃt ʃo, long enough!
1. ʃen.[Page]TIMON OF ATHENʃ. 145
We ʃpeak in vain.
But yet I love my country, and am not
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common † bruite doth put it.
That’s well ʃpoke
Commend me to my loving countrymen.
Theʃe words become your lips, as they paʃs
And enter in our ears, like great triumphers,
In their applauding gates.
Commend me to them,
And tell them, that to eaʃe them of their griefs,
Their fears of hoʃtile ʃtrokes, their aches, loʃʃes, ^and
Their pangs of love, with other incident throes.
That nature’s fragile § veʃʃel doth ʃuʃtain,
In life’s uncertain voyage, I will do
ʃome kindneʃs to them, teach them to prevent
Wild Alcibiades’s wrath.
I like this well, he will return again.
I have a tree, which grows here in my cloʃe
That mine own uʃe invites me to cut down,
And ʃhortly muʃt I fell it. Tell my friends,
Tell Athen , in the ʃequence [asterisk symbol] of degree,
From high to low throughout, that whoʃo pleaʃe
To ʃtop affliction, let him take his haʃte ;
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himʃelf—–I pray you, do my greeting.
Vex him no further, thus you ʃtill ʃhall find him.
Come not to me again, but ʃay to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlaʃting manʃion,
Upon the beached verge of the ʃalt flood ;
Which, once a-day, with his emboʃʃed froth,
The turbulent ʃurge ʃhall cover: thither come,
And let my grave-ʃtone be your oracle.
Lips, let ʃour words go by, and language end :
What is amiʃs, plague and infection mend!
Fragile, for brittle–this ʃpeech we deem very beautiful ;
the aʃʃimilation it contains, is moʃt happily fancied.
Sequence, for gradation.
[Page]146TIMON OF ATHENS.
Graves only be men’s works, and death their gain !
ʃun, hide thy beams ! Timon hath done his reign.
[Exit Timon. †
His diʃcontents are unremoveably coupled
To his nature.
Our hope in him is dead; let us return
And ʃtrain what other means is left unto us,
In our dear [double cross symbol] peril.
It require ʃwift foot.
ʃ C E N E, before the walls of athens. §
Trumpets ʃound. Enter Alcibiades with his powers.
ʃound to this coward and laʃcivious town,
[ʃound a parley. The ʃenators appear upon the walls.
’Till now you have gone on, and fill’d the time
With all licentious meaʃure, making your wills
The ʃcope of juʃtice. ’Till now myʃelf, and ʃuch
As ʃlept within the ʃhadow of your power,
Have wander’d with our traverʃt arms, and breath’d
Our ʃufferance vainly. Now the time is fluʃh,
When crouching marrow in the bearer ʃtrong
Cries, of itʃelf, no more: now breathleʃs wrong
ʃhall ʃit and pant in your great chairs of eaʃe,
And purʃy inʃolence ʃhall break his wind,
With fear and horrid flight.
When the firʃt griefs were but a mere conceit,
Ere thou hadʃt power, or we had cauʃe to fear ;
We ʃent to thee, to give thy rages balm,
To wipe out our ingratitude, with loves
Above their quantity.
† This languid departure of the principal character, muʃt
leave an audience unʃatisfied, and all that follows is ʃo detached
from the main plot, except Timon’s epitaph, that cutting every
line out would rather ʃerve, than maim, the piece; it is merely
patching up a concluʃion with ingredients totally void of critical
‡ Dear, for dread.
[double s symbol] There is a ʃhort ʃcene of the original, before this, properly rejected.
(x2. Would not a battering ram brought in have a good effect?)
TIMON OF ATHENS.147
ʃo did we woo
Transformed Timon to our city’s love,
By humble meʃʃage, and by promis’d ‘mends:
We were not all unkind, nor all deʃerve
The common ʃtroke of war.
Theʃe walls of ours
Were not erected by their hands, from whom
You have receiv’d your griefs : nor are they ʃuch,
That theʃe great tow’rs, trophies, and ʃchools ʃhould
For private faults in them.
ʃen. March on, oh noble lord,
Into our city with thy banners ʃpread ;
By decimation and a tithed death,
If thy revenges hunger for that food
Which nature loaths, take thou the deʃtin’d tenth :
And by the hazard of the ʃpotted die,
Let die the ʃpotted.
Then, dear countryman,
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage;
ʃpare thy Athenian cradle, and theʃe kin,
Which in the bluʃter of thy wrath muʃt fall,
With thoʃe that have offended ; like a ʃhepherd,
Approach the fold, and cull th’ infected forth ;
But kill not altogether,
What thou wilt,
Thou rather ʃhalt enforce it with thy ʃmile,
Than hew to’t with thy ʃword.
ʃet but thy foot
Againʃt our rampir’d gates, and they ʃhall ope :
ʃo thou wilt send thy gentle heart before,
To ʃay thou’lt enter friendly.
Throw thy glove,
Or any token of thine honour elʃe,
That thou wilt uʃe the wars as thy redreʃs,
And not as our confuʃion: all thy powers
ʃhall make their harbour in our town, till we
Have seal’d thy full deʃire.
Then there’s my glove ;
Deʃcend, and open your uncharged ports ;
Thoʃe[Page]148TIMON OF ATHENS.
Thoʃe enemies of Timon’s, and mine own,
Whom you yourʃelves ʃhall ʃet out for reproof,
Fall, and no more; and to atone your fears,
With my more noble meaning, not a man
ʃhall paʃs his quarter, or offend the ʃtream
Of regular juʃtice, in your city’s bounds ;
But ʃhall be remedied by publick laws,
At heavieʃt anʃwer.
‘Tis moʃt nobly ʃpoken.
Deʃcend, and keep your words.
Enter a ʃoldier‸
My noble general, Timon is dead ;
Entomb’d upon the very hem o’th’ ʃea ;
And on the grave-ʃtone this inʃculpture, which
With wax I brought away ;
Alcibiades reads the epitaph.
Here lies a wretched coarʃe, of wretched ʃoul bereft:
ʃeek not my name: a plague conʃume you caitiffs left!
Here lye I Timon, who all living men did hate,
Paʃs by, and curʃe thy fill, but ʃtay not here thy gaite.
Theʃe well expreʃs in thee thy latter ʃpirits :
Tho’ thou abhorr’dʃt in us our human griefs,
ʃcorn’dʃt our brains’ flow, and thoʃe our droplets,
From niggard nature fall ; yet rich conceit
Taught thee to make vaʃt Neptune weep, for aye,
On thy low grave — On : faults forgiven. — Dead
Is noble Timon, of whoʃe memory
Hereafter more—Bring me into your city,
And I will uʃe the olive with my ʃword ;
Make war breed peace ; make peace ʃtint war ; make
Preʃcribe to other.
Let our drums ʃtrike.——-
[Excuent. Drums beat a march.
Note: The laʃt act of this play has neither much to praiʃe, nor much to condemn; of the concluʃion, we may ʃpeak in ʃhakespeare’s own words, that it is moʃt lame and impotent. [Page]
^- The gates open
-Senators 2c come forth, and kneeling deliver the keys of the town to Alcibiades
Flourish of Trumpets
yet all’s not done
Vengeance must work. Where is that loathsome crew,
Whose black ingratitude commands the heart of Athen’ noblest son
They wait your doom.
Guard them hither.
Lucius, Lucullus, Sempronius and others of Timon’s former friends brought in bound
Now love dissembling villains
Ye look’d more cheerly, when I found you guests
At Timon’s feast- While on his wealth ye throve,
And his full coffers like his heart, stand open
To your fine use.
These are your doings, ye vindictive gods.
I see you wise against ingratitude,
And push us from the earth; I have deserv’d it.
What law can judge the heart? – What is my fault?
What Fault! — Oh heartless slaves ye did deny
Lord Timon certain vile and sorry drachmas
In his distreʃ; now Timon’s star prevails,
And justice wrings your treasures from your gripe.
What all my wealth, my pictures, statues, coin
Plate, jewels, gems —-
Yet spare, Oh mighty chief,
All your need craves rot. I’ve a mine of gold
A magazine to sack or save a city.
And it shall buy your banishment, instead
Of public shameful death. -To that Lord Timon
Whose will must seal your sentence, yield consent
To so much mercy.
Mercy from him! – Would I were Timon’s dog
Rather than what I am. Egregious dotard!
I have no heart to speak – all swept away
My hangings, couches, vestments wrought with gold–
Oh what a luckless piece of work is man!
Bring them along
To the lone wood, where wretched Timon haunts,
The exile of mankind.
Enter Soldier 2c as before
Note: See back p. 148