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Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens Translation Act 1, Scene 2

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Hautboys playing loud music. A great banquet served in; FLAVIUS and others attending; then enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, Lords, Senators, and VENTIDIUS. Then comes, dropping, after all, APEMANTUS, discontentedly, like himself

VENTIDIUS

Most honour'd Timon, It hath pleased the gods to remember my father's age, And call him to long peace. He is gone happy, and has left me rich: Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound To your free heart, I do return those talents, Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help I derived liberty.

VENTIDIUS

Honorable Timon, it has pleased the gods to remember the times of my father and to call him to a long peace in death. He is now happily gone and has left me rich. Virtue has thus dictated, then, that I honor your generosity. I return all of that money you lent me, and double the amount in thanks and service to you, who helped free me.

TIMON

O, by no means, Honest Ventidius; you mistake my love: I gave it freely ever; and there's none Can truly say he gives, if he receives: If our betters play at that game, we must not dare To imitate them; faults that are rich are fair.

TIMON

By no means, good Ventidius. I helped you out of love and gave everything to you freely. No one can actually say that he gives if he receives something in return. The politicians play those kind of crafty games, and we must not do the same. If rich people ought to have faults, let them be good faults.

VENTIDIUS

A noble spirit!

VENTIDIUS

What a noble spirit!

TIMON

Nay, my lords,

TIMON

[As the Lords stand and look at TIMON] No, my lords.

They all stand ceremoniously looking on TIMON

TIMON

Ceremony was but devised at first To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes, Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown; But where there is true friendship, there needs none. Pray, sit; more welcome are ye to my fortunes Than my fortunes to me.

TIMON

These kinds of formalities were first devised to give meaning to meaningless deeds, hollow greetings, and false kindness. It is sad that it is shown here, where true friendship and ceremony is not needed. Please sit down. You are more welcome to my fortunes than they are welcome to me.

They sit

FIRST LORD

My lord, we always have confess'd it.

FIRST LORD

My lord, we have always said the same.

APEMANTUS

Ho, ho, confess'd it! hang'd it, have you not?

APEMANTUS

Haha, you've confessed it? And been hanged for the sin, have you not?

TIMON

O, Apemantus, you are welcome.

TIMON

Apemantus, you (and your humor) are welcome here.

APEMANTUS

No;You shall not make me welcome:I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.

APEMANTUS

No, I am not. You will not let me be welcome, because I have come to remove you.

TIMON

Fie, thou'rt a churl; ye've got a humour there Does not become a man: 'tis much to blame. They say, my lords, 'ira furor brevis est;' but yond man is ever angry. Go, let him have a table by himself, for he does neither affect company, nor is he fit for't, indeed.

TIMON

Ah, you are a mean-spirited man. You have an unbecoming disposition and it's pretty sad. My lords, they say, "anger is a brief madness," but this man here is angry all the time! Let him have a table for himself, for he neither wants company nor seems deserving of it.

APEMANTUS

Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon: I come toobserve; I give thee warning on't.

APEMANTUS

Let me stay at your own risk, Timon. I come only to observe and am giving you fair warning abo that.

TIMON

I take no heed of thee; thou'rt an Athenian,therefore welcome: I myself would have no power;prithee, let my meat make thee silent.

TIMON

I do not worry about your insults. You are an Athenian and therefore welcome. I myself would have no power to silence you, so please, just let my food keep you quiet.

APEMANTUS

I scorn thy meat; 'twould choke me, for I should ne'er flatter thee. O you gods, what a number of men eat Timon, and he sees 'em not! It grieves me to see so many dip their meat in one man's blood; and all the madness is, he cheers them up too. I wonder men dare trust themselves with men: Methinks they should invite them without knives; Good for their meat, and safer for their lives. There's much example for't; the fellow that sits next him now, parts bread with him, pledges the breath of him in a divided draught, is the readiest man to kill him: 't has been proved. If I were a huge man, I should fear to drink at meals; Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes: Great men should drink with harness on their throats.

APEMANTUS

I don't want your food. It would choke me because it is offered to flatterers, and I would never flatter you. Oh you gods, what number of men eat Timon's meat, and he doesn't even notice. It makes me sad to see so many dip their meat into the blood of one man, and the crazy thing about it all is that he encourages them to do it! I wonder how men dare to trust other men. They should be cautious of letting them bring their knives to such a feast. It would keep them from eating so much, and probably save their lives too! There are many examples of it: the man sitting next to him now, breaks bread with him, and shares his germs as he drinks from the same glass—that is the man most ready to kill him. It is certain. If I were a man of higher rank, I would fear drinking at my meals, because they might be able to see my neck's tenderest spots while I tilted my head back. Great men should drink with armor on their throats.

TIMON

My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.

TIMON

Health to everyone!

SECOND LORD

Let it flow this way, my good lord.

SECOND LORD

I hope it flows this way, my lord!

APEMANTUS

Flow this way! A brave fellow! he keeps his tides well. Those healths will make thee and thy state look ill, Timon. Here's that which is too weak to be a sinner, honest water, which ne'er left man i' the mire: This and my food are equals; there's no odds: Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods. [Apemantus' Grace] Immortal gods, I crave no pelf; I pray for no man but myself: Grant I may never prove so fond, To trust man on his oath or bond; Or a harlot, for her weeping; Or a dog, that seems a-sleeping: Or a keeper with my freedom; Or my friends, if I should need 'em. Amen. So fall to't: Rich men sin, and I eat root.

APEMANTUS

Flow this way! What a fine man! He keeps time well. Those wishes of health will make you and your state sorry, Timon.

[Referring to himself] Here before you stands a man not like the wine you toast with, but like honest water, which is too weak a drink to be a sinner and never abandoned a man in times of need. This food for thought is equal to the food you offer, no doubt. Men who attend feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.

[APERMANTUS gives his own toast] Immortal gods, I do not want money; I pray for no one other than myself. Please grant that I never become so dumb as to trust a man on his oath or promise; or a whore, when she weeps; or a dog, that seems to sleep; or a jailer with my freedom; or my friends if I ever need them. Amen. So let's get to eating: rich men will sin while I eat my root.

Eats and drinks

APEMANTUS

Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!

APEMANTUS

This food will do your heart much good, Apemantus!

TIMON

Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.

TIMON

Captain Alcibiades, you seem to long for battle now.

ALCIBIADES

My heart is ever at your service, my lord.

ALCIBIADES

I always long to serve you, my lord.

TIMON

You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than adinner of friends.

TIMON

It seems you would rather be at a breakfast with your enemies than a dinner with your friends.

ALCIBIADES

So the were bleeding-new, my lord, there's no meatlike 'em: I could wish my best friend at such a feast.

ALCIBIADES

Only if my enemies are bleeding to death, my lord, there's no food like that. I would wish such a feast on my best friend.

APEMANTUS

Would all those fatterers were thine enemies then,that then thou mightst kill 'em and bid me to 'em!

APEMANTUS

[Interrupting] If only all these fat men here were your enemies, then you might kill them and bring them to me.

FIRST LORD

Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that youwould once use our hearts, whereby we might expresssome part of our zeals, we should think ourselvesfor ever perfect.

FIRST LORD

Could we have the pleasure, my lord Timon, of serving you in some way? That way we could express our great enthusiasm for you, and be forever happy.

TIMON

O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods themselves have provided that I shall have much help from you: how had you been my friends else? why have you that charitable title from thousands, did not you chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you to myself than you can with modesty speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O you gods, think I, what need we have any friends, if we should ne'er have need of 'em? they were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er have use for 'em, and would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases that keep their sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wished myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We are born to do benefits: and what better or properer can we can our own than the riches of our friends? O, what a precious comfort 'tis, to have so many, like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes! O joy, e'en made away ere 't can be born! Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks: to forget their faults, I drink to you.

TIMON

Without a doubt, my good friends, the gods themselves have made it so that I will need much help from you: how could you be my friends otherwise? Indeed, why else would you—out of thousands of men—have that charitable title of friend, if you did not belong in my heart? I have told you more about myself than you could tell yourself, and through that I have confirmed you to indeed be my friends. I ask the gods sometimes, why would friends be so necessary if we never had any need for them? They would be the most useless creatures alive if we never had any use for them, and would be like beautiful instruments hung up in cases, but keeping their sounds to themselves. Sometimes I wish that I were a poorer man, so that I could be closer to you all in rank. We are born to give and to do good—so what belongs to us more than the riches of our friends? Oh how comforting it is, to have so many friends, like brothers, enjoying one another's fortunes! What a joy, even if it expresses itself in tears before it can be expressed in words! I cannot help but cry, I think. And to forget the faults of my eyes, I drink to you.

APEMANTUS

Thou weepest to make them drink, Timon.

APEMANTUS

You cry so they can drink, Timon.

SECOND LORD

Joy had the like conception in our eyesAnd at that instant like a babe sprung up.

SECOND LORD

Joy has the same effect on our eyes, and suddenly tears spring up from them like a baby.

APEMANTUS

Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.

APEMANTUS

Ha ha! I laugh when I imagine that baby as a bastard!

THIRD LORD

I promise you, my lord, you moved me much.

THIRD LORD

I promise you, Timon, you have moved me greatly.

APEMANTUS

Much!

APEMANTUS

Much!

Tucket, within

TIMON

What means that trump?

TIMON

What does that trumpet sound mean?

Enter a Servant

TIMON

How now?

TIMON

What is going on?

SERVANT

Please you, my lord, there are certainladies most desirous of admittance.

SERVANT

If you want, my lord, there are certain ladies who would like to come in.

TIMON

Ladies! what are their wills?

TIMON

Ladies! What do they want?

SERVANT

There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, whichbears that office, to signify their pleasures.

SERVANT

They have brought with them someone to come in first, my lord, and whose job it is to tell you all what they want.

TIMON

I pray, let them be admitted.

TIMON

Please, let them be admitted.

Enter Cupid

CUPID

Hail to thee, worthy Timon, and to all That of his bounties taste! The five best senses Acknowledge thee their patron; and come freely To gratulate thy plenteous bosom: th' ear, Taste, touch and smell, pleased from thy tale rise; They only now come but to feast thine eyes.

CUPID

Hail, worthy Timon, and all those who enjoy his bounty. All five of the senses acknowledge you as their patron, and that they come here freely to pay homage to you and your great wealth. Yes, hearing, taste touch, and smell, all the senses have enjoyed what you offer. Now it is time to feast your eyes!

TIMON

They're welcome all; let 'em have kind admittance:Music, make their welcome!

TIMON

You are all welcome; please let the ladies kindly enter. Music, play them in!

Exit Cupid

FIRST LORD

You see, my lord, how ample you're beloved.

FIRST LORD

You see how well loved you are my lord?

Music. Re-enter Cupid with a mask of Ladies as Amazons, with lutes in their hands, dancing and playing

APEMANTUS

Hoy-day, what a sweep of vanity comes this way! They dance! they are mad women. Like madness is the glory of this life. As this pomp shows to a little oil and root. We make ourselves fools, to disport ourselves; And spend our flatteries, to drink those men Upon whose age we void it up again, With poisonous spite and envy. Who lives that's not depraved or depraves? Who dies, that bears not one spurn to their graves Of their friends' gift? I should fear those that dance before me now Would one day stamp upon me: 't has been done; Men shut their doors against a setting sun.

APEMANTUS

Whoa, what a wave of vanity comes this way! The performers dance! They are mad women and celebrate their madness as if it were the glory of this life. The way this feast exceeds the basic necessities of oil and root makes us all seem like fools to forget ourselves and waste our time flattering these men and drinking to the health of those who eventually stop giving in old age and we come to hate and envy. Who alive is not either deprived or deprives others of wealth? Who dies that does not disrespect the graves of friends who once gave to them? I should be afraid of these people who dance in front of me right now, because one day they might stamp on me. It has happened before. Men shut their doors to those who decline in age like the setting sun.

The Lords rise from table, with much adoring of TIMON; and to show their loves, each singles out an Amazon, and all dance, men with women, a lofty strain or two to the hautboys, and cease

TIMON

You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies, Set a fair fashion on our entertainment, Which was not half so beautiful and kind; You have added worth unto 't and lustre, And entertain'd me with mine own device; I am to thank you for 't.

TIMON

You have pleasured us greatly, fair ladies, and set a wonderful mood for our feast, which before was not half so beautiful and kind. You have added value and brilliance to the event and entertained me in my own home. Thank you.

FIRST LADY

My lord, you take us even at the best.

FIRST LADY

My lord, you are too kind.

APEMANTUS

'Faith, for the worst is filthy; and would not holdtaking, I doubt me.

APEMANTUS

Yes, for the worst of you is filthy, and I fear too rotten to hold.

TIMON

Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you:Please you to dispose yourselves.

TIMON

Ladies, there is a small banquet here for you. Please enjoy yourselves.

ALL LADIES

Most thankfully, my lord.

ALL LADIES

Thank you, my lord.

Exeunt Cupid and Ladies

TIMON

Flavius.

TIMON

Flavius.

FLAVIUS

My lord?

FLAVIUS

Yes my lord?

TIMON

The little casket bring me hither.

TIMON

Bring that little chest here.

FLAVIUS

Yes, my lord. More jewels yet!There is no crossing him in 's humour;

FLAVIUS

Yes, my lord. [Seeing the chest] Even more jewels! There is no opposing him when he is in this mood!

Aside

FLAVIUS

Else I should tell him,—well, i' faith I should, When all's spent, he 'ld be cross'd then, an he could. 'Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind, That man might ne'er be wretched for his mind.

FLAVIUS

Otherwise I would tell him—and really I should, that when all these gifts are spent on others, which he has proven capable of doing, he'd have all his debts erased. It is sad that generosity is not more vigilant, that way man might never lack for having such a giving spirit.

Exit

FIRST LORD

Where be our men?

FIRST LORD

Where is everyone?

SERVANT

Here, my lord, in readiness.

SERVANT

Here, my lord, all ready.

SECOND LORD

Our horses!

SECOND LORD

Our horses!

Re-enter FLAVIUS, with the casket

TIMON

O my friends, I have one word to say to you: look you, my good lord, I must entreat you, honour me so much As to advance this jewel; accept it and wear it, Kind my lord.

TIMON

Oh my friends, I wanted to say one thing to you. You, my good lord, I must beg you—please—to honor me by taking this jewel. Accept it and wear it kindly, my lord.

FIRST LORD

I am so far already in your gifts,—

FIRST LORD

You have already given me so many gifts.

ALL

So are we all.

ALL

And us, too.

Enter a Servant

SERVANT

My lord, there are certain nobles of the senateNewly alighted, and come to visit you.

SERVANT

My lord, there are some senators who have just arrived and come to visit you.

TIMON

They are fairly welcome.

TIMON

They are welcome.

Exit servant.

FLAVIUS

I beseech your honor,Vouchsafe me a word; it does concern you near.

FLAVIUS

Could I speak with you a moment, your honor? It is urgent.

TIMON

Near! why then, another time I'll hear thee:I prithee, let's be provided to show thementertainment.

TIMON

Urgent! Let's do it another time. Please, let's get ready to entertain these new guests.

FLAVIUS

[Aside] I scarce know how.

FLAVIUS

[To himself] I don't know how we'll afford to.

Enter a Second Servant

SECOND SERVANT

May it please your honour, Lord Lucius,Out of his free love, hath presented to youFour milk-white horses, trapp'd in silver.

SECOND SERVANT

May it please your honor that Lord Lucius, out of pure kindness, has presented to you four milk-white horses wearing silver trappings.

TIMON

I shall accept them fairly; let the presentsBe worthily entertain'd.

TIMON

I shall accept them, and let the rest of those present be well entertained.

Enter a third Servant

TIMON

How now! what news?

TIMON

What now?

THIRD SERVANT

Please you, my lord, that honourable gentleman, Lord Lucullus, entreats your company to-morrow to hunt with him, and has sent your honour two brace of greyhounds.

THIRD SERVANT

If you like, my lord, the honorable Lord Lucullus begs that you accompany him hunting tomorrow, and has sent you two sets of greyhounds.

TIMON

I'll hunt with him; and let them be received,Not without fair reward.

TIMON

I'll hunt with him, and make sure he is not received into our home without fair compensation.

FLAVIUS

[Aside] What will this come to? He commands us to provide, and give great gifts, And all out of an empty coffer: Nor will he know his purse, or yield me this, To show him what a beggar his heart is, Being of no power to make his wishes good: His promises fly so beyond his state That what he speaks is all in debt; he owes For every word: he is so kind that he now Pays interest for 't; his land's put to their books. Well, would I were gently put out of office Before I were forced out! Happier is he that has no friend to feed Than such that do e'en enemies exceed. I bleed inwardly for my lord.

FLAVIUS

[To himself] What will this come to? He commands us to provide for others, and give great gifts, and all out of an empty pocket. He won't even let us tell him how much is left in his wallet, or let me show him what a beggar he truly is, having no power to actually make give the things he promises. His promises exceed what he has by so much that what he offers is putting him even further in debt. He owes money for every word he gives. He is so kind that now he pays interest for it. His land has been incorporated into their accounts. Well, I wish I were relieved of this job before he is forced to fire me! The man is happier that has no friends to feed than the one who has friends that do him more harm than enemies. I hurt so much for my lord!

Exit

TIMON

You do yourselvesMuch wrong, you bate too much of your own merits:Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.

TIMON

You do yourselves much wrong and undervalue yourselves too much. Here, my lord, a small sign of my love.

SECOND LORD

With more than common thanks I will receive it.

SECOND LORD

I will receive it with great thanks.

THIRD LORD

O, he's the very soul of bounty!

THIRD LORD

Oh, he's the very meaning of generosity.

TIMON

And now I remember, my lord, you gaveGood words the other day of a bay courserI rode on: it is yours, because you liked it.

TIMON

And now I remember, my lord, you complimented me the other day when I rode on a great horse. Since you liked it so much, take it!

SECOND LORD

O, I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, in that.

SECOND LORD

Please, my lord, there is no need for that.

TIMON

You may take my word, my lord; I know, no man Can justly praise but what he does affect: I weigh my friend's affection with mine own; I'll tell you true. I'll call to you.

TIMON

You may take my word, my lord. I know no man who can fairly praise more than what he likes: I count my friends' desires as my own. This is the truth. We'll see each other again.

ALL LORDS

O, none so welcome.

ALL LORDS

We would like nothing more. 

TIMON

I take all and your several visitations So kind to heart, 'tis not enough to give; Methinks, I could deal kingdoms to my friends, And ne'er be weary. Alcibiades, Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich; It comes in charity to thee: for all thy living Is 'mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast Lie in a pitch'd field.

TIMON

I hold you all and your many visits so dear to my heart, there is not enough to give. I could deal kingdoms to my friends, and never tire of it. Alcibiades, you are a soldier, and therefore will never be rich. To give to you would be genuine charity, because you live among the dead, and all the lands you have are in the battlefield.

ALCIBIADES

Ay, defiled land, my lord.

ALCIBIADES

Yes, ruined land, my lord.

FIRST LORD

We are so virtuously bound—

FIRST LORD

We are so indebted—

TIMON

And soAm I to you.

TIMON

And so am I to you.

SECOND LORD

So infinitely endear'd—

SECOND LORD

So infinitely owing—

TIMON

All to you. Lights, more lights!

TIMON

All to you. More lights please!

FIRST LORD

The best of happiness,Honour and fortunes, keep with you, Lord Timon!

FIRST LORD

May the best happiness, honor, and fortune be yours, Lord Timon!

TIMON

Ready for his friends.

TIMON

I am always there for friends.

Exeunt all but APEMANTUS and TIMON

APEMANTUS

What a coil's here! Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums! I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums That are given for 'em. Friendship's full of dregs: Methinks, false hearts should never have sound legs, Thus honest fools lay out their wealth on court'sies.

APEMANTUS

What a fuss of bows and butts sticking out, here! I wonder whether their bows are worth the money that you pay for them. Friendship is full of worthless people, and such false people should not have good legs, so that true fools do not give all their wealth for a few curtsies.

TIMON

Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen, I would begood to thee.

TIMON

Now Apemantus, if you weren't so sullen, I would be nice to you.

APEMANTUS

No, I'll nothing: for if I should be bribed too, there would be none left to rail upon thee, and then thou wouldst sin the faster. Thou givest so long, Timon, I fear me thou wilt give away thyself in paper shortly: what need these feasts, pomps and vain-glories?

APEMANTUS

No, I'll have nothing from you. Besides, if I were bribed like all the others, there wouldn't be anyone left to criticize you, and then you would fall even faster than you do now. You give so much I worry that you will yourself away In IOUs shortly: why do you have these feasts, celebrations, and vanities?

TIMON

Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I amsworn not to give regard to you. Farewell; and comewith better music.

TIMON

No, if you attack all my friends again, I swear I will never listen to you. Goodbye, and come next time with better music to sing.

Exit

APEMANTUS

So: Thou wilt not hear me now; thou shalt not then: I'll lock thy heaven from thee. O, that men's ears should be To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!

APEMANTUS

Very well, then. You will not listen to me now, and I will not help you later. And I wont give you any more advice. Oh, that human ears should be deaf to good advice, but not to flattery!

Exit

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