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Then, if thou grant'st thou 'rt a man, I have forgot thee.

Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.

Tim. Then I know thee not:

I never had honest man about me, I; all

I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.

Flav. The gods are witness,

Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief

For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.

Tim. What, dost thou weep? Come nearer.

Then I love thee,

Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st
Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give
But thorough lust and laughter. Pity's sleeping:
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with
weeping!

Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord, To accept my grief and whilst this poor wealth lasts

To entertain me as your steward still.

Tim. Had I a steward

So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
It almost turns my dangerous nature mild.
Let me behold thy face. Surely, this man
Was born of woman.

Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
You perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man-mistake me not-but one;
No more, I pray, and he's a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind!
And thou redeem'st thyself: but all, save thee,
I fell with curses.

Methinks thou art more honest now than wise;
For, by oppressing and betraying me,

498. comfortable, serviceable, 502. exceptless,
helpful.
making no exception.

490

500

510

absolute,

Thou mightst have sooner got another service:
For many so arrive at second masters,

Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true-
For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure—
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,

If not a usuring kindness, and, as rich men deal gifts,

Expecting in return twenty for one?

Flav. No, my most worthy master; in whose breast

Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late :

You should have fear'd false times when you did

feast:

Suspect still comes where an estate is least.

That which I show, heaven knows, is merely

love,

Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind,

Care of your food and living; and, believe it,

My most honour'd lord,

For any benefit that points to me,

Either in hope or present, I'ld exchange

For this one wish, that you had power and wealth

To requite me, by making rich yourself.

Tim. Look thee, 'tis so! Thou singly honest

man,

Here, take the gods out of my misery

:

Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy;
But thus condition'd: thou shalt build from men:
Hate all, curse all, show charity to none,

But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone,
Ere thou relieve the beggar; give to dogs

What thou deny'st to men; let prisons swallow 'em,
Debts wither 'em to nothing; be men like blasted

woods,

And may diseases lick up their false bloods!

521. Suspect, suspicion.

520

530

O, let me stay,

And so farewell and thrive.

Flav.

And comfort you, my master.

Tim.

If thou hatest curses,

Stay not; fly, whilst thou art blest and free:
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
[Exit Flavius. Timon retires to his cave.

540

SCENE I.

ACT V.

The woods. Before Timon's cave.

Enter Poet and Painter; TIMON watching them from his cave.

Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.

Poet. What's to be thought of him? does the rumour hold for true, that he's so full of gold?

Pain. Certain : Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: 'tis said he gave unto his steward a mighty

sum.

Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.

Pain. 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 supposed 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.

II. try for, test of.

ΤΟ

Poet. What have you now to present unto him? Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation: 20 only I will promise him an excellent piece.

Poet. I must serve him so too, tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.

Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the 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 pro

mise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will or testament which argues a 30 great sickness in his judgement that makes it.

[Timon comes from his cave, behind. Tim. [Aside] Excellent workman! thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.

Poet. 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.

Tim. [Aside] 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.

Poet. Nay, let's seek him:

Then do we sin against our own estate,

When we may profit meet, and come too late.

Pain. True;

When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.
Come.

Tim. [Aside] I'll meet you at the turn.

a god's gold,

That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple

What

28. the deed of saying, the performance of promises.

40

50

Than where swine feed!

'Tis thou that rigg'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.

Poet. Hail, worthy Timon!
Pain.

[Coming forward.

Our late noble master!

Tim. Have I once lived to see two honest men ?
Poet. Sir,

Having often of your open bounty tasted,

Hearing you were retired, 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.

60

Tim. Let it go naked, men may see 't the better. 70 You that are honest, by being what you are,

Make them best seen and known.

Pain.

He and myself

Have travail'd in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.

Tim.

Ay, you are honest men.

Pain. We are hither come to offer you our service.

Tim. Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?

Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no. Both. What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.

66. influence; a technical term for the inflow of planetary agency upon human affairs.

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