Timon of Athens Translation Act 4, Scene 2
Enter FLAVIUS, with two or three Servants
Hear you, master steward, where's our master?Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining?
Listen, where is our master? Are we done for? Fired? Is there nothing left?
Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you?Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,I am as poor as you.
Guys, what do you want me to say? The gods hear me when I say that I am as broke as you are.
Such a house broke! So noble a master fall'n! All gone! and not One friend to take his fortune by the arm, And go along with him!
How great a house gone bankrupt! How great a master fallen! Everything's gone! And there's not a single friend to help him in this unfortunate time and accompany him!
As we do turn our backs From our companion thrown into his grave, So his familiars to his buried fortunes Slink all away, leave their false vows with him, Like empty purses pick'd; and his poor self, A dedicated beggar to the air, With his disease of all-shunn'd poverty, Walks, like contempt, alone. More of our fellows.
As we leave our friend, tossed into his grave, so too do those friends whose fortunes were tied to his now run away, leaving with him only their lies, like purses emptied by a pick-pocket. And the poor man will become a homeless beggar with his disease of poverty, walking alone in contempt. Look, here are more of our friends.
Enter other Servants
All broken implements of a ruin'd house.
All the shattered pieces of a ruined house.
Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery; That see I by our faces; we are fellows still, Serving alike in sorrow: leak'd is our bark, And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck, Hearing the surges threat: we must all part Into this sea of air.
I can see in our sullen faces that all our hearts still wear the uniforms we served Timon in. We are still friends, serving him in sorrow. It is as if our boat had a leak and we were standing on the sinking deck, hearing the water rising all around us. We must all leave each other to drown in this imaginary sea.
Good fellows all, The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you. Wherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake, Let's yet be fellows; let's shake our heads, and say, As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes, 'We have seen better days.' Let each take some; Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more: Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
Friends, I'll share with you the last bit of money I have. Wherever we next meet, let's still be friends for Timon's sake. Let's shake our heads and say, "We have seen better days," to honor our old master's fortune.
[He puts out his hands] Let's each take a bit of what's left. Put out your hands, and without saying one more word, let's all part poor in money, but rich in sadness.
Servants embrace, and part several ways
O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us! Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt, Since riches point to misery and contempt? Who would be so mock'd with glory? or to live But in a dream of friendship? To have his pomp and all what state compounds But only painted, like his varnish'd friends? Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart, Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood, When man's worst sin is, he does too much good! Who, then, dares to be half so kind again? For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men. My dearest lord, bless'd, to be most accursed, Rich, only to be wretched, thy great fortunes Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord! He's flung in rage from this ingrateful seat Of monstrous friends, nor has he with him to Supply his life, or that which can command it. I'll follow and inquire him out: I'll ever serve his mind with my best will; Whilst I have gold, I'll be his steward still.
Oh, the terrible sadness that glory can bring! Who wouldn't wish to never be rich, if all that riches lead to is misery and hate? Who would ever accept fame or friendship, if all of the luxury and everything else that comes with it is fake, like those friends of Timon's? Poor man, doing himself in by his own goodness! It's a strange curse when a man's worst sin is that he does too much good! Who will ever dare to be half as kind again? The wealth that makes the gods ruins men. My good lord, blessed only to later be cursed, rich only to later be poor, your great fortune was built upon your greatest weaknesses. Oh what a kind man! He's cast out mad from this group of monsters, with nothing to live on at all and no way to make more money. I'll follow and ask about him. I'll always serve him as well as I can. As long as I have any wealth, I'll be by his side.
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