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Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens Translation Act 2, Scene 2

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Enter FLAVIUS, with many bills in his hand

FLAVIUS

No care, no stop! so senseless of expense, That he will neither know how to maintain it, Nor cease his flow of riot: takes no account How things go from him, nor resumes no care Of what is to continue: never mind Was to be so unwise, to be so kind. What shall be done? he will not hear, till feel: I must be round with him, now he comes from hunting. Fie, fie, fie, fie!

FLAVIUS

He has no common sense, no restraint! He spends his money so thoughtlessly that there is no way he will ever learn to care for it responsibly or even stop lending it out extravagantly. He does not even take account of what he gives away, nor does he give a thought to what means he has to keep this up. I have never seen someone so dumb, but so kind. But what can we do? He will not listen until he suffers for his actions. I must be honest with him, and here he comes from hunting. Damn, damn, damn! 

Enter CAPHIS, and the Servants of Isidore and Varro

CAPHIS

Good even, Varro: what,You come for money?

CAPHIS

Good evening. You've come from Varro for money?

Varro's Servant

Is't not your business too?

Varro's Servant

Isn't that why you're here too?

CAPHIS

It is: and yours too, Isidore?

CAPHIS

Yes, and you come from Isidore for the same?

Isidore's Servant

It is so.

Isidore's Servant

Yes.

CAPHIS

Would we were all discharged!

CAPHIS

I just want to get paid!

Varro's Servant

I fear it.

Varro's Servant

I'm worried we won't be.

CAPHIS

Here comes the lord.

CAPHIS

Here he comes.

Enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, and Lords, & c

TIMON

So soon as dinner's done, we'll forth again,My Alcibiades. With me? what is your will?

TIMON

So as soon as we're done with dinner you will be leaving, Alcibiades.

[To CAPHIS]
What? You're here to see me?

CAPHIS

My lord, here is a note of certain dues.

CAPHIS

Yes my lord, here is a note stating your debts.

TIMON

Dues! Whence are you?

TIMON

Debts! Where are you from?

CAPHIS

Of Athens here, my lord.

CAPHIS

Athens, my lord.

TIMON

Go to my steward.

TIMON

Go see my assistant.

CAPHIS

Please it your lordship, he hath put me off To the succession of new days this month: My master is awaked by great occasion To call upon his own, and humbly prays you That with your other noble parts you'll suit In giving him his right.

CAPHIS

Please, he has been putting me off every day for the past month. Please, my master is newly aware of reasons to want his money back, and only asks that your honor will prove consistent and give him what you owe.

TIMON

Mine honest friend,I prithee, but repair to me next morning.

TIMON

Fine,  just please wait until tomorrow morning.

CAPHIS

Nay, good my lord,—

CAPHIS

No.

TIMON

Contain thyself, good friend.

TIMON

Calm down.

Varro's Servant

One Varro's servant, my good lord,—

Varro's Servant 

 I come as Varro's servant, sir—

Isidore's Servant

From Isidore;He humbly prays your speedy payment.

Isidore's Servant

And I come as Isidore's. He wants you to pay him back as soon as possible.

CAPHIS

If you did know, my lord, my master's wants—

CAPHIS

If you knew why my master needed the money, sir—

Varro's Servant

'Twas due on forfeiture, my lord, six weeks And past.

Varro's Servant

Your debt was owed six weeks ago.

Isidore's Servant

Your steward puts me off, my lord;And I am sent expressly to your lordship.

Isidore's Servant

Your assistant keeps ignoring me, and now I've been told to speak only to you.

TIMON

Give me breath.I do beseech you, good my lords, keep on;I'll wait upon you instantly.

TIMON

Give me a second. Please wait a bit and I'll be with you as soon as I can.

Exeunt ALCIBIADES and Lords

To FLAVIUS

TIMON

Come hither: pray you, How goes the world, that I am thus encounter'd With clamourous demands of date-broke bonds, And the detention of long-since-due debts, Against my honour?

TIMON

Come here, please. What the hell is going on? Why is everyone yelling at me about overdue payments, which I promised to pay a long time ago?

FLAVIUS

Please you, gentlemen, The time is unagreeable to this business: Your importunacy cease till after dinner, That I may make his lordship understand Wherefore you are not paid.

FLAVIUS

Please, sir. Now is not the time to talk about this. Keep your questions until after dinner, then I will tell you why you have not repaid these debts.

TIMON

Do so, my friends. See them well entertain'd.

TIMON

Ok, and make sure to take care of them.

Exit

FLAVIUS

Pray, draw near.

FLAVIUS

Here it comes.

Exit

Enter APEMANTUS and Fool

CAPHIS

Stay, stay, here comes the fool with Apemantus:let's ha' some sport with 'em.

CAPHIS

Look! Here comes Apemantus with the fool. Let's make fun of them.

Varro's Servant

Hang him, he'll abuse us.

Varro's Servant

We should kill him before he harasses us.

Isidore's Servant

A plague upon him, dog!

Isidore's Servant

I do hope that dog dies.

Varro's Servant

How dost, fool?

Varro's Servant

What's up, fool?

APEMANTUS

Dost dialogue with thy shadow?

APEMANTUS

Are you talking to yourself?

Varro's Servant

I speak not to thee.

Varro's Servant

I'm not talking to you.

APEMANTUS

No,'tis to thyself.

APEMANTUS

Exactly, you could only be calling yourself a fool.

To the Fool

APEMANTUS

Come away.

APEMANTUS

Let's go.

Isidore's Servant

There's the fool hangs on your back already.

Isidore's Servant

Actually, it seems the "fool" goes with you.

APEMANTUS

No, thou stand'st single, thou'rt not on him yet.

APEMANTUS

You're not even good enough to come with me. You are the fool.

CAPHIS

Where's the fool now?

CAPHIS

Wait, now, who does the title, "fool," attend now?

APEMANTUS

He last asked the question. Poor rogues, andusurers' men! bawds between gold and want!

APEMANTUS

The man who needs to ask. You poor idiots, working for money-lenders. You're like whores who shuttle between money and greed?

ALL SERVANTS

What are we, Apemantus?

ALL SERVANTS

What did you call us?

APEMANTUS

Asses.

APEMANTUS

Asses.

ALL SERVANTS

Why?

ALL SERVANTS

Excuse me?

APEMANTUS

That you ask me what you are, and do not knowyourselves. Speak to 'em, fool.

APEMANTUS

Proof of it lies in the fact that you even need to ask, because you don't even know that you're asses. Go ahead, fool.

FOOL

How do you, gentlemen?

FOOL

Good day, gentlemen.

ALL SERVANTS

Gramercies, good fool: how does your mistress?

ALL SERVANTS

Why thank you! How is your whore girlfriend?

FOOL

She's e'en setting on water to scald such chickensas you are. Would we could see you at Corinth!

FOOL

She's sitting over hot water to sweat out STDs like yourselves. If only we had known about you all at the Corinth whorehouse!

APEMANTUS

Good! gramercy.

APEMANTUS

Haha. Well done!

Enter Page

FOOL

Look you, here comes my mistress' page.

FOOL

Look, here comes my girlfriend's little man.

PAGE

[To the Fool] Why, how now, captain! what do youin this wise company? How dost thou, Apemantus?

PAGE

[To the FOOL] What are you doing here with these people? And how are you Apemantus?

APEMANTUS

Would I had a rod in my mouth, that I might answerthee profitably.

APEMANTUS

I wish my mouth were a bat to beat you with. That way, I could answer your question correctly.

PAGE

Prithee, Apemantus, read me the superscription ofthese letters: I know not which is which.

PAGE

Please Apemantus, could you read the different lines in these letters? I can't make any sense of them.

APEMANTUS

Canst not read?

APEMANTUS

You can't read?

PAGE

No.

PAGE

No.

APEMANTUS

There will little learning die then, that day thou art hanged. This is to Lord Timon; this to Alcibiades. Go; thou wast born a bastard, and thou't die a bawd.

APEMANTUS

You might as well die, because the day you can't learn is the day you are basically hanged.

[Gesturing with the letters] This one is to Lord Timon, and this one is to Alcibiades. You were born a bastard, and now you'll die a whore.

PAGE

Thou wast whelped a dog, and thou shalt famish adog's death. Answer not; I am gone.

PAGE

You talk like a dog and you're going to die like a dog. Don't even answer me, I'm leaving.

Exit

APEMANTUS

E'en so thou outrunnest grace. Fool, I will go withyou to Lord Timon's.

APEMANTUS

You're running away from the teaching that might have saved you.

[To the FOOL]
Let's go together to Lord Timon's.

FOOL

Will you leave me there?

FOOL

I can't stay here?

APEMANTUS

If Timon stay at home. You three serve three usurers?

APEMANTUS

If Timon is there I'm going to leave a Fool with him.

[To CAPHIS and the Servants]
The three of you are assistants to the money-lenders?

ALL SERVANTS

Ay; would they served us!

ALL SERVANTS

Yes, if only they were our assistants!

APEMANTUS

So would I,—as good a trick as ever hangman served thief.

APEMANTUS

Me too—that would be like an executioner serving a thief.

FOOL

Are you three usurers' men?

FOOL

Say again, you three are assistants to the money-lenders?

ALL SERVANTS

Ay, fool.

ALL SERVANTS

Yes, fool.

FOOL

I think no usurer but has a fool to his servant: my mistress is one, and I am her fool. When men come to borrow of your masters, they approach sadly, and go away merry; but they enter my mistress' house merrily, and go away sadly: the reason of this?

FOOL

Any assistant to a money-lender is a fool. My girlfriend is a fool, and I am her fool. When people come to borrow from your bosses, they come with sad faces and leave with happy ones, but when they come to my girlfriend's whorehouse, they come with happy faces and leave with sad ones. What's the reason for this?

Varro's Servant

I could render one.

Varro's Servant

I can give you a reason.

APEMANTUS

Do it then, that we may account thee a whoremasterand a knave; which not-withstanding, thou shalt beno less esteemed.

APEMANTUS

Give it then, so we can call you both a pimp and an idiot, which would not be any worse than what you are now.

Varro's Servant

What is a whoremaster, fool?

Varro's Servant

What is a pimp, fool?

FOOL

A fool in good clothes, and something like thee. 'Tis a spirit: sometime't appears like a lord; sometime like a lawyer; sometime like a philosopher, with two stones moe than's artificial one: he is very often like a knight; and, generally, in all shapes that man goes up and down in from fourscore to thirteen, this spirit walks in.

FOOL

A fool that wears nice clothes, not unlike you. He can change appearances. Sometimes he looks like a lord, and sometimes he looks like lawyer. Sometimes, he looks like a philosopher with two testicles to add to the stone he uses for alchemy. A lot of times he looks like a knight, but generally he sticks to the appearances men take between the ages of 13 and 80.

Varro's Servant

Thou art not altogether a fool.

VARRO'S SERVANT

You're not a complete fool.

FOOL

Nor thou altogether a wise man: as much foolery asI have, so much wit thou lackest.

FOOL

And you're definitely not the brightest bulb on the tree. As much as I am a fool, that's how much intelligence you lack.

APEMANTUS

That answer might have become Apemantus.

APEMANTUS

That response could have come from my own mouth.

ALL SERVANTS

Aside, aside; here comes Lord Timon.

ALL SERVANTS

Move away, here comes Lord Timon.

Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS

APEMANTUS

Come with me, fool, come.

APEMANTUS

Let's go, fool.

FOOL

I do not always follow lover, elder brother andwoman; sometime the philosopher.

FOOL

I do not always stick to lovers, women, and rich men. Sometimes I hang out with philosophers!

Exeunt APEMANTUS and Fool

FLAVIUS

Pray you, walk near: I'll speak with you anon.

FLAVIUS

[To TIMON] Let's walk and talk.

Exeunt Servants

TIMON

You make me marvel: wherefore ere this time Had you not fully laid my state before me, That I might so have rated my expense, As I had leave of means?

TIMON

I'm shocked. Why did you not tell me about all of the debts, so I could cut off my spending?

FLAVIUS

You would not hear me,At many leisures I proposed.

FLAVIUS

I brought it up many times. You didn't listen to me.

TIMON

Go to: Perchance some single vantages you took. When my indispos ition put you back: And that unaptness made your minister, Thus to excuse yourself.

TIMON

No way! Maybe you took some small opportunities to mention it to me, and you took my deafness on a few occasions as an excuse not to ask me ever again.

FLAVIUS

O my good lord, At many times I brought in my accounts, Laid them before you; you would throw them off, And say, you found them in mine honesty. When, for some trifling present, you have bid me Return so much, I have shook my head and wept; Yea, 'gainst the authority of manners, pray'd you To hold your hand more close: I did endure Not seldom, nor no slight cheques, when I have Prompted you in the ebb of your estate And your great flow of debts. My loved lord, Though you hear now, too late—yet now's a time— The greatest of your having lacks a half To pay your present debts.

FLAVIUS

Oh no, I showed you the numbers several times and put them right in front of you. You would throw them away and say you had me look at them. I have said no and cried when you offered huge amounts of money in return for small gifts, and I have told you to be tighter with your wallet, so bluntly that it was almost rude. I faced many hard outbursts of yours when I told you about your shrinking estate and your growing debts. Now that you are listening to me it's too late, and still I have to tell you that all your money will only pay half of all that you owe.

TIMON

Let all my land be sold.

TIMON

Sell all my land.

FLAVIUS

'Tis all engaged, some forfeited and gone; And what remains will hardly stop the mouth Of present dues: the future comes apace: What shall defend the interim? and at length How goes our reckoning?

FLAVIUS

It's all mortgaged, and some of it already sold. What's left won't even come close to paying off everyone. And what are we going to do about the even greater number of creditors that will approach us soon? What can we do in the long run?

TIMON

To Lacedaemon did my land extend.

TIMON

My land extended all the way to Sparta.

FLAVIUS

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!

FLAVIUS

But sir, you would have given the entire world in one breath. Your holdings shrank so quickly!

TIMON

You tell me true.

TIMON

You are telling the truth.

FLAVIUS

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, I have retired me to a wasteful cock, And set mine eyes at flow.

FLAVIUS

If you think that my management has been poor or dishonest, have me inspected by the strictest auditors to prove my integrity. This is how the gods reward me, when greedy freeloaders have eaten everything in the kitchen and drunk all the wine, and when hired musicians have been made to occupy and light up every room in the house. I have given myself up to wastefulness and now all I can do is cry about it.

TIMON

Prithee, no more.

TIMON

Please stop.

FLAVIUS

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, These flies are couch'd.

FLAVIUS

And yet I have not touched on how loose you've been with your money! How many delicacies have poor men eaten tonight on your account? Who does not seem to belong to Timon? Is there anything in the world that you have not claimed as your own to give? They have called you great, noble, worthy, and royal, but when all you have to buy compliments is gone, there will be no praise left. What is quickly made is quickly lost, and these men will disappear like flies after seeing one winter cloud. 

TIMON

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

TIMON

Don't preach to me. I have not done a single bad thing in giving these gifts, for they were imprudently, not dishonorably, given. Why are you so upset? Can't you see that I have all the friends in the world? Don't worry, because if I could appeal to those who have received so much from me in love and work to inspire their sympathy, other men and their fortunes will prove themselves available to me. One word and someone will lend to me. 

FLAVIUS

Assurance bless your thoughts!

FLAVIUS

I hope you're right.

TIMON

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!

TIMON

In a way, these debts are a blessing in disguise, because this way I can see who my real friends are. You'll see how wrong you are about their loyalty to me—I have many friends! Come here Flaminius, Servilius!

Enter FLAMINIUS, SERVILIUS, and other Servants

SERVANTS

My lord? my lord?

SERVANTS

Hello?

TIMON

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 toward a supply of money: let the request be fifty talents.

TIMO

[Pointing to different servants] I will split you all up and send you to Lord Lucius, you to Lord Lucullus, my hunting-partner today, and you to Sempronius. Tell them you come from me, and due to extenuating circumstances I could use their help and some money. Ask for fifty talents from each.

FLAMINIUS

As you have said, my lord.

FLAMINIUS

Whatever you say.

FLAVIUS

[Aside] Lord Lucius and Lucullus? hum!

FLAVIUS

[To himself] He's going to ask Lucius and Lucullus, of all people?

TIMON

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.

TIMON

[To FLAVIUS] You go to the senators. I deserve an audience with them. Ask them to send me a thousand talents.

FLAVIUS

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.

FLAVIUS

I have used your badge as sign of my authority to act for you and approached them aggressively asking for money. They said no, and I came back with no more than I left with.

TIMON

Is't true? can't be?

TIMON

That can't be true!

FLAVIUS

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 honourable,— 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.

FLAVIUS

They answered in unison that they would like to help, but do not have enough to spare. They did say they were sorry and that they liked you, and that they had no idea anything was wrong with your estate. They lamented that even the noblest men can come upon bad luck, wished life were better, and said it was all so sad. Then they moved on to what they said were more serious matters, and shared looks of disgust and hard, half-uttered sentences. Then they were so gruff with their grudging salutes and cold nods that I was shocked into silence.

TIMON

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.

TIMON

I hope the gods give them what they deserve! But calm down, those old cronies have ingratitude in their DNA. Their blood is thick and runs slow and cold. They do not have the warmth to be kind. And they must act as their nature dictates, dull and heavy.

To a Servant

TIMON

Go to Ventidius.

TIMON

Go to Ventidius.

To FLAVIUS

TIMON

Prithee, be not sad,Thou art true and honest; ingeniously I speak.No blame belongs to thee.

TIMON

Please cheer up. You are a good man, and I don't blame you.

To Servant

TIMON

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.

TIMON

Ventidius just held his father's funeral, who died and left him heir to an enormous fortune. When he was poor and had no one to turn to, I gave him five talents. Go to him for me and ask that his friend needs him right now, and hopes that he remembers those five talents.

Exit Servant

To FLAVIUS

TIMON

That had, give't these fellowsTo whom 'tis instant due. Ne'er speak, or think,That Timon's fortunes 'mong his friends can sink.

TIMON

Now that that's done, give these men what they are due right now. Don't say or even imagine that my friends will fail me.

FLAVIUS

I would I could not think it: that thought isbounty's foe;Being free itself, it thinks all others so.

FLAVIUS

I wish I could unthink it. The idea that some will fail you is the enemy of generosity, because once it gets out that some are withholding their money, everyone will do the same.

Exeunt

Timon of athens
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