A line-by-line translation

Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens Translation Act 1, Scene 1

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others, at several doors

POET

Good day, sir.

POET

Hello.

PAINTER

I am glad you're well.

PAINTER

It's good to see you.

POET

I have not seen you long: how goes the world?

POET

It's been a while. How is everything in your world?

PAINTER

It wears, sir, as it grows.

PAINTER

Up and down, up and down.

POET

Ay, that's well known: But what particular rarity? what strange, Which manifold record not matches? See, Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power Hath conjured to attend. I know the merchant.

POET

So they say. But how weird is this—have you ever seen anything like it? Look at how amazing wealth and generosity are, how they can summon all these people to attend to them. I know this merchant.

PAINTER

I know them both; th' other's a jeweller.

PAINTER

I know both of them. The other one is a jeweler.

MERCHANT

O, 'tis a worthy lord.

MERCHANT

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JEWELER

Nay, that's most fix'd.

JEWELER

Lorem ipsum

MERCHANT

A most incomparable man, breathed, as it were,To an untirable and continuate goodness:He passes.

MERCHANT

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Jeweler

I have a jewel here—

Jeweler

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MERCHANT

O, pray, let's see't: for the Lord Timon, sir?

MERCHANT

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Jeweler

If he will touch the estimate: but, for that—

JEWELER

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POET

[Reciting to himself] 'When we for recompense have praised the vile, It stains the glory in that happy verse Which aptly sings the good.'

POET

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MERCHANT

'Tis a good form.

MERCHANT

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JEWELLER

And rich: here is a water, look ye.

JEWELLER

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PAINTER

You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedicationTo the great lord.

PAINTER

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POET

A thing slipp'd idly from me. Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes From whence 'tis nourish'd: the fire i' the flint Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame Provokes itself and like the current flies Each bound it chafes. What have you there?

POET

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PAINTER

A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?

PAINTER

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POET

Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.Let's see your piece.

POET

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PAINTER

'Tis a good piece.

PAINTER

Lorem ipsu

POET

So 'tis: this comes off well and excellent.

POET

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PAINTER

Indifferent.

PAINTER

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POET

Admirable: how this grace Speaks his own standing! what a mental power This eye shoots forth! how big imagination Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture One might interpret.

POET

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PAINTER

It is a pretty mocking of the life.Here is a touch; is't good?

PAINTER

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POET

I will say of it,It tutors nature: artificial strifeLives in these touches, livelier than life.

POET

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Enter certain Senators, and pass over

PAINTER

How this lord is follow'd!

PAINTER

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POET

The senators of Athens: happy man!

POET

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PAINTER

Look, more!

PAINTER

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POET

You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors. I have, in this rough work, shaped out a man, Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug With amplest entertainment: my free drift Halts not particularly, but moves itself In a wide sea of wax: no levell'd malice Infects one comma in the course I hold; But flies an eagle flight, bold and forth on, Leaving no tract behind.

POET

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PAINTER

How shall I understand you?

PAINTER

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POET

I will unbolt to you. You see how all conditions, how all minds, As well of glib and slippery creatures as Of grave and austere quality, tender down Their services to Lord Timon: his large fortune Upon his good and gracious nature hanging Subdues and properties to his love and tendance All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-faced flatterer To Apemantus, that few things loves better Than to abhor himself: even he drops down The knee before him, and returns in peace Most rich in Timon's nod.

POET

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PAINTER

I saw them speak together.

PAINTER

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POET

Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill Feign'd Fortune to be throned: the base o' the mount Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures, That labour on the bosom of this sphere To propagate their states: amongst them all, Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix'd, One do I personate of Lord Timon's frame, Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her; Whose present grace to present slaves and servants Translates his rivals.

POET

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PAINTER

'Tis conceived to scope. This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks, With one man beckon'd from the rest below, Bowing his head against the sleepy mount To climb his happiness, would be well express'd In our condition.

PAINTER

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POET

Nay, sir, but hear me on. All those which were his fellows but of late, Some better than his value, on the moment Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance, Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear, Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him Drink the free air.

POET

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PAINTER

Ay, marry, what of these?

PAINTER

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POET

When Fortune in her shift and change of mood Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down, Not one accompanying his declining foot.

POET

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PAINTER

'Tis common: A thousand moral paintings I can show That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen The foot above the head.

PAINTER

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Trumpets sound. Enter TIMON, addressing himself courteously to every suitor; a Messenger from VENTIDIUS talking with him; LUCILIUS and other servants following

TIMON

Imprison'd is he, say you?

TIMON

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MESSENGER

Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt, His means most short, his creditors most strait: Your honourable letter he desires To those have shut him up; which failing, Periods his comfort.

MESSENGER

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TIMON

Noble Ventidius! Well; I am not of that feather to shake off My friend when he must need me. I do know him A gentleman that well deserves a help: Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt, and free him.

TIMON

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MESSENGER

Your lordship ever binds him.

MESSENGER

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TIMON

Commend me to him: I will send his ransom; And being enfranchised, bid him come to me. 'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, But to support him after. Fare you well.

TIMON

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MESSENGER

All happiness to your honour!

MESSENGER

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Exit

Enter an old Athenian

OLD ATHENIAN

Lord Timon, hear me speak.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

Freely, good father.

TIMON

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OLD ATHENIAN

Thou hast a servant named Lucilius.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

I have so: what of him?

TIMON

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OLD ATHENIAN

Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

Attends he here, or no? Lucilius!

TIMON

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LUCILIUS

Here, at your lordship's service.

LUCILIUS

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OLD ATHENIAN

This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature, By night frequents my house. I am a man That from my first have been inclined to thrift; And my estate deserves an heir more raised Than one which holds a trencher.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

Well; what further?

TIMON

Lorem ipsum dolor

OLD ATHENIAN

One only daughter have I, no kin else, On whom I may confer what I have got: The maid is fair, o' the youngest for a bride, And I have bred her at my dearest cost In qualities of the best. This man of thineAttempts her love: I prithee, noble lord,Join with me to forbid him her resort;Myself have spoke in vain.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

The man is honest.

TIMON

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OLD ATHENIAN

Therefore he will be, Timon:His honesty rewards him in itself;It must not bear my daughter.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

Does she love him?

TIMON

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OLD ATHENIAN

She is young and apt:Our own precedent passions do instruct usWhat levity's in youth.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

[To LUCILIUS] Love you the maid?

TIMON

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LUCILIUS

Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.

LUCILIUS

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OLD ATHENIAN

If in her marriage my consent be missing, I call the gods to witness, I will choose Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world, And dispossess her all.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

How shall she be endow'd,if she be mated with an equal husband?

TIMON

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OLD ATHENIAN

Three talents on the present; in future, all.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

This gentleman of mine hath served me long: To build his fortune I will strain a little, For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: What you bestow, in him I'll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her.

TIMON

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OLD ATHENIAN

Most noble lord,Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.

OLD ATHENIAN

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TIMON

My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise.

TIMON

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LUCILIUS

Humbly I thank your lordship: never mayThe state or fortune fall into my keeping,Which is not owed to you!

LUCILIUS

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Exeunt LUCILIUS and Old Athenian

POET

Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your lordship!

POET

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TIMON

I thank you; you shall hear from me anon:Go not away. What have you there, my friend?

TIMON

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Lorem ipsum dolo
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PAINTER

A piece of painting, which I do beseechYour lordship to accept.

PAINTER

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TIMON

Painting is welcome. The painting is almost the natural man; or since dishonour traffics with man's nature, He is but outside: these pencill'd figures are Even such as they give out. I like your work; And you shall find I like it: wait attendance Till you hear further from me.

TIMON

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PAINTER

The gods preserve ye!

PAINTER

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TIMON

Well fare you, gentleman: give me your hand;We must needs dine together. Sir, your jewelHath suffer'd under praise.

TIMON

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JEWELLER

What, my lord! dispraise?

JEWELER

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TIMON

A more satiety of commendations.If I should pay you for't as 'tis extoll'd,It would unclew me quite.

TIMON

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JEWELLER

My lord, 'tis rated As those which sell would give: but you well know, Things of like value differing in the owners Are prized by their masters: believe't, dear lord, You mend the jewel by the wearing it.

JEWELER

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TIMON

Well mock'd.

TIMON

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MERCHANT

No, my good lord; he speaks the common tongue,Which all men speak with him.

MERCHANT

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TIMON

Look, who comes here: will you be chid?

TIMON

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Enter APEMANTUS

Jeweller

We'll bear, with your lordship.

Jeweler

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MERCHANT

He'll spare none.

MERCHANT

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TIMON

Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow;When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

Why dost thou call them knaves? thou know'st them not.

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

Are they not Athenians?

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

Yes.

TIMON

Lore

APEMANTUS

Then I repent not.

APEMANTUS

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Jeweller

You know me, Apemantus?

Jeweler

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APEMANTUS

Thou know'st I do: I call'd thee by thy name.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

Thou art proud, Apemantus.

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

Whither art going?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

That's a deed thou'lt die for.

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

How likest thou this picture, Apemantus?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

The best, for the innocence.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

Wrought he not well that painted it?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

He wrought better that made the painter; and yethe's but a filthy piece of work.

APEMANTUS

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PAINTER

You're a dog.

PAINTER

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APEMANTUS

Thy mother's of my generation: what's she, if I be a dog?

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

No; I eat not lords.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

An thou shouldst, thou 'ldst anger ladies.

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

That's a lascivious apprehension.

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

So thou apprehendest it: take it for thy labour.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

Not so well as plain-dealing, which will not cost aman a doit.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

What dost thou think 'tis worth?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

Not worth my thinking. How now, poet!

APEMANTUS

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POET

How now, philosopher!

POET

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APEMANTUS

Thou liest.

APEMANTUS

LoreLore

POET

Art not one?

POET

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APEMANTUS

Yes.

APEMANTUS

Lore

POET

Then I lie not.

POET

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APEMANTUS

Art not a poet?

APEMANTUS

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POET

Yes.

POET

Lore

APEMANTUS

Then thou liest: look in thy last work, where thouhast feigned him a worthy fellow.

APEMANTUS

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POET

That's not feigned; he is so.

POET

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APEMANTUS

Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thylabour: he that loves to be flattered is worthy o'the flatterer. Heavens, that I were a lord!

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

What wouldst do then, Apemantus?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

E'en as Apemantus does now; hate a lord with my heart.

APEMANTUS

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TIMON

What, thyself?

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

Ay.

APEMANTUS

Lore

TIMON

Wherefore?

TIMON

Lore

APEMANTUS

That I had no angry wit to be a lord.Art not thou a merchant?

APEMANTUS

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MERCHANT

Ay, Apemantus.

MERCHANT

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APEMANTUS

Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not!

APEMANTUS

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MERCHANT

If traffic do it, the gods do it.

MERCHANT

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APEMANTUS

Traffic's thy god; and thy god confound thee!

APEMANTUS

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Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger

TIMON

What trumpet's that?

TIMON

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MESSENGER

'Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty horse,All of companionship.

MESSENGER

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TIMON

Pray, entertain them; give them guide to us.

TIMON

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Exeunt some Attendants

TIMON

You must needs dine with me: go not you henceTill I have thank'd you: when dinner's done,Show me this piece. I am joyful of your sights.

TIMON

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Enter ALCIBIADES, with the rest

TIMON

Most welcome, sir!

TIMON

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APEMANTUS

So, so, there! Aches contract and starve your supple joints! That there should be small love 'mongst these sweet knaves, And all this courtesy! The strain of man's bred out Into baboon and monkey.

APEMANTUS

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ALCIBIADES

Sir, you have saved my longing, and I feedMost hungerly on your sight.

ALCIBIADES

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TIMON

Right welcome, sir!Ere we depart, we'll share a bounteous timeIn different pleasures. Pray you, let us in.

TIMON

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Exeunt all except APEMANTUS

Enter two Lords

FIRST LORD

What time o' day is't, Apemantus?

FIRST LORD

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APEMANTUS

Time to be honest.

APEMANTUS

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FIRST LORD

That time serves still.

FIRST LORD

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APEMANTUS

The more accursed thou, that still omitt'st it.

APEMANTUS

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SECOND LORD

Thou art going to Lord Timon's feast?

SECOND LORD

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APEMANTUS

Ay, to see meat fill knaves and wine heat fools.

APEMANTUS

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SECOND LORD

Fare thee well, fare thee well.

SECOND LORD

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APEMANTUS

Thou art a fool to bid me farewell twice.

APEMANTUS

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SECOND LORD

Why, Apemantus?

SECOND LORD

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APEMANTUS

Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean togive thee none.

APEMANTUS

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FIRST LORD

Hang thyself!

FIRST LORD

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APEMANTUS

No, I will do nothing at thy bidding: make thyrequests to thy friend.

APEMANTUS

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SECOND LORD

Away, unpeaceable dog, or I'll spurn thee hence!

SECOND LORD

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APEMANTUS

I will fly, like a dog, the heels o' the ass.

APEMANTUS

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Exit

FIRST LORD

He's opposite to humanity. Come, shall we in,And taste Lord Timon's bounty? he outgoesThe very heart of kindness.

FIRST LORD

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SECOND LORD

He pours it out; Plutus, the god of gold, Is but his steward: no meed, but he repays Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him, But breeds the giver a return exceeding All use of quittance.

SECOND LORD

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FIRST LORD

The noblest mind he carriesThat ever govern'd man.

FIRST LORD

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SECOND LORD

Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we in?

SECOND LORD

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FIRST LORD

I'll keep you company.

FIRST LORD

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Exeunt

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