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What shall defend the interim ? and at length
How goes our reckoning ?

Tim. To Lacedæmon did my land extend.

Flav. O my good lord, the world is but a word :
Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
How quickly were it gone !
Tim.

You tell me true.
Flav. If you suspect my husbandry or falsehood,
Call me before the exactest auditors
And set me on the proof. So the gods bless me,
When all our offices have been oppress'd
With riotous feeders, when our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine, when every room
Hath blazed with lights and bray'd with minstrelsy, 170
I have retired me to a wasteful cock,
And set mine eyes at flow.
Tim.

Prithee, no more. Flav. Heavens, have I said, the bounty of this

lord!
How many prodigal bits have slaves and peasants
This night englutted! Who is not Timon's ?
What heart, head, sword, force, means, but is Lord

Timon's ?
Great Timon, noble, worthy, royal Timon !
Ah, when the means are gone that buy this praise,
The breath is gone whereof this praise is made:
Feast-won, fast-lost; one cloud of winter showers, 180
These flies are couch'd.
Tim.

Come, sermon me no further :
No villanous bounty yet hath pass'd my heart;
Unwisely, not ignobly, have I given.
171. wasteful cock.

Of the ever, be understood in the sense many suggested emendations that he sat by a running wine'wakeful cock' (Jackson's) cock, shedding tears as fast as seems the best, meaning a cock- the wine was wasted. loft where Flavius remained 181. couch'd, driven sleepless. The text may, how- hibernate.

to

Why dost thou weep? Canst thou the conscience

lack,
To think I shall lack friends ? Secure thy heart;
If I would broach the vessels of my love,
And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
Men and men's fortunes could I frankly use
As I can bid thee speak.
Flav.

Assurance bless your thoughts Tim. And, in some sort, these wants of mine

are crown'd,
That I account them blessings; for by these
Shall I try friends : you shall perceive how you
Mistake my fortunes; I am wealthy in my friends. .
Within there! Flaminius! Servilius !

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Enter FLAMINIUS, SERVILIUS, and other

Servants. Servants. My lord ? my lord ?

Tim. I will dispatch you severally; you to Lord Lucius : to Lord Lucullus you: I hunted with his honour to-day: you, to Sempronius : commend me to their loves, and, I am proud, say, that my occasions have found time to use 'em to- 300

ard a supply of money : let the request be fifty talents. Flam. As

you

have said, my lord.
Flav. [Aside] Lord Lucius and Lucullus? hum !

Tim. Go you, sir, to the senators
Of whom, even to the state's best health, I have
Deserved this hearing-bid 'em send o' the instant
A thousand talents to me.
Flav.

I have been bold-
For that I knew it the most general way-
To them to use your signet and your name;
But they do shake their heads, and I am here
No richer in return.

210 220

Tim.

Is 't true ? can't be ? Flav. They answer, in a joint and corporate

voice, That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot Do what they would ; are sorry—you are honour

able,
But yet they could have wish'd-they know not-
Something hath been amiss-a noble nature
May catch a wrench-would all were well—'tis

pity-
And so, intending other serious matters,
After distasteful looks and these hard fractions,
With certain half-caps and cold-moving nods
They froze me into silence.
Tim.

You gods, reward them!
Prithee, man, look cheerly. These old fellows
Have their ingratitude in them hereditary :
Their blood is caked, 'tis cold, it seldom flows;
'Tis lack of kindly warmth they are not kind;
And nature, as it grows again toward earth,
Is fashion'd for the journey, dull and heavy.
[To a Serv.] Go to Ventidius. (To Flav.) Prithee,

be not sad, Thou art true and honest; ingeniously I speak, No blame belongs to thee. [To Ser.]

[To Ser.) Ventidius lately Buried his father, by whose death he's stepp'd Into a great estate : when he was poor, Imprison'd and in scarcity of friends, I clear'd him with five talents : greet him from me; Bid him suppose some good necessity Touches his friend, which craves to be remember'd With those five talents (Exit Ser.]. [To Flav.]

That had, give 't these fellows To whom 'tis instant due. Ne'er speak, or think, 214. at fall, at their fortune's decline.

330 940

That Timon's fortunes 'mong his friends can sink. Flav. I would I could not think it: that thought

is bounty's foe; Being free itself, it thinks all others so. (Exeunt.

ACT III.

SCENE I.

A room in Lucullus' house.

FLAMINIUS waiting. Enter a Servant to him. Serv. I have told my lord of you; he is coming

down to you. Flam. I thank

you,

sir.

Enter LUCULLUS. Serv. Here's my lord.

Lucul. (Aside] One of Lord Timon's men ? a gift, I warrant. Why, this hits right; I dreamt of a silver basin and ewer to-night. Flaminius, honest Flaminius; you are very respectively welcome, sir. Fill me some wine. [Exit Servant.] And how does that honourable, complete, freehearted gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful so good lord and master ?

Flam. His health is well, sir.

Lucul. I am right glad that his health is well, sir : and what hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty Flaminius?

Flam. 'Faith, nothing but an empty box, sir ; which, in my lord's behalf, I come to entreat your honour to supply; who, having great and instant 7. very respectively, as befits a most respected guest.

occasion to use fifty talents, hath sent to your lordship to furnish him, nothing doubting your 20 present assistance therein.

Lucul. La, la, la, la ! 'nothing doubting,' says he? Alas, good lord ! a noble gentleman 'tis, if he would not keep so good a house. Many a time and often I ha' dined with him, and told him on 't; and come again to supper to him, of purpose to have him spend less, and yet he would embrace no counsel, take no warning by my coming. Every man has his fault, and honesty is his : I ha' told him on't, but I could ne'er get him from 't.

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Re-enter Servant, with wine.
Serv. Please your lordship, here is the wine.

Lucul. Flaminius, I have noted thee always wise. Here's to thee.

Flam. Your lordship speaks your pleasure.

Lucul. I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt spirit-give thee thy due—and one that knows what belongs to reason; and canst use the time well, if the time use thee well : good parts in thee. [To Serv.] Get you gone, sirrah (Exit Serv.). Draw nearer, honest Flami

, nius. Thy lord 's a bountiful gentleman: but thou art wise; and thou knowest well enough, although thou comest to me, that this is no time to lend money, especially upon bare friendship, without security. Here's three solidares for thee: good boy, wink at me, and say thou sawest me not. Fare thee well.

40

19. fifty talents. The Greek value (prob. the English pound. gold talent was worth about L.). £240. But the writer clearly intended coin of much smaller 46. solidares, small coins.

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