Timon of Athens
Act 3, SCENE IV. The same. A hall in Timon’s house.
Music. Tables set out: Servants attending. Enter divers Lords, Senators and others, at several doors
The good time of day to you, sir.
I also wish it to you. I think this honourable lord
did but try us this other day.
Upon that were my thoughts tiring, when we
encountered: I hope it is not so low with him as
he made it seem in the trial of his several friends.
It should not be, by the persuasion of his new feasting.
I should think so: he hath sent me an earnest
inviting, which many my near occasions did urge me
to put off; but he hath conjured me beyond them, and
I must needs appear.
In like manner was I in debt to my importunate
business, but he would not hear my excuse. I am
sorry, when he sent to borrow of me, that my
provision was out.
I am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all
Every man here’s so. What would he have borrowed of
A thousand pieces.
A thousand pieces!
What of you?
He sent to me, sir,–Here he comes.
Enter TIMON and Attendants
With all my heart, gentlemen both; and how fare you?
Ever at the best, hearing well of your lordship.
The swallow follows not summer more willing than we
TIMON[Aside] Nor more willingly leaves winter; such
summer-birds are men. Gentlemen, our dinner will not
recompense this long stay: feast your ears with the
music awhile, if they will fare so harshly o’ the
trumpet’s sound; we shall to ‘t presently.
I hope it remains not unkindly with your lordship
that I returned you an empty messenger.
O, sir, let it not trouble you.
My noble lord,–
Ah, my good friend, what cheer?
My most honourable lord, I am e’en sick of shame,
that, when your lordship this other day sent to me,
I was so unfortunate a beggar.
Think not on ‘t, sir.
If you had sent but two hours before,–
Let it not cumber your better remembrance.
The banquet brought in
Come, bring in all together.
All covered dishes!
Royal cheer, I warrant you.
Doubt not that, if money and the season can yield
How do you? What’s the news?
Alcibiades is banished: hear you of it?
First Lord Second Lord
‘Tis so, be sure of it.
I pray you, upon what?
My worthy friends, will you draw near?
I’ll tell you more anon. Here’s a noble feast toward.
This is the old man still.
Will ‘t hold? will ‘t hold?
It does: but time will–and so–
I do conceive.
Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to
the lip of his mistress: your diet shall be in all
places alike. Make not a city feast of it, to let
the meat cool ere we can agree upon the first place:
sit, sit. The gods require our thanks.
You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with
thankfulness. For your own gifts, make yourselves
praised: but reserve still to give, lest your
deities be despised. Lend to each man enough, that
one need not lend to another; for, were your
godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the
gods. Make the meat be beloved more than the man
that gives it. Let no assembly of twenty be without
a score of villains: if there sit twelve women at
the table, let a dozen of them be–as they are. The
rest of your fees, O gods–the senators of Athens,
together with the common lag of people–what is
amiss in them, you gods, make suitable for
destruction. For these my present friends, as they
are to me nothing, so in nothing bless them, and to
nothing are they welcome.
Uncover, dogs, and lap.
The dishes are uncovered and seen to be full of warm water
What does his lordship mean?
I know not.
May you a better feast never behold,
You knot of mouth-friends I smoke and lukewarm water
Is your perfection. This is Timon’s last;
Who, stuck and spangled with your flatteries,
Washes it off, and sprinkles in your faces
Your reeking villany.
Throwing the water in their faces
Live loathed and long,
Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
You fools of fortune, trencher-friends, time’s flies,
Cap and knee slaves, vapours, and minute-jacks!
Of man and beast the infinite malady
Crust you quite o’er! What, dost thou go?
Soft! take thy physic first–thou too–and thou;–
Stay, I will lend thee money, borrow none.
Throws the dishes at them, and drives them out
What, all in motion? Henceforth be no feast,
Whereat a villain’s not a welcome guest.
Burn, house! sink, Athens! henceforth hated be
Of Timon man and all humanity!
Re-enter the Lords, Senators, & c
How now, my lords!
Know you the quality of Lord Timon’s fury?
Push! did you see my cap?
I have lost my gown.
He’s but a mad lord, and nought but humour sways him.
He gave me a jewel th’ other day, and now he has
beat it out of my hat: did you see my jewel?
Did you see my cap?
Here lies my gown.
Let’s make no stay.
Lord Timon’s mad.
I feel ‘t upon my bones.
One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.