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From general excrement: each thing's a thief.
3 Band. Has almost charm'd me from my profession, by persuading me to it.
1 Band. 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.
2 Band. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.
1 Band. Let us first see peace in Athens: there is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.
\_Exeunt Banditti. Enter Flavius.
Flav. 0 you gods! Is yond' despis'd and ruinous man my lord? Full of decay and failing? O monument, And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd! What an alteration of honour Has desp'rate want made! What viler thing upon the earth, than friends Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends? How rarely does it meet with this time's guise, When man was wish'd to love his enemies: Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo Those that would mischief me, than those that do! Has caught me in his eye: I will present My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord, Still serve him with my life. — My dearest master! Timon comes forward from his cave.
Tim. Away! what art thou?
Flav. Have you forgot me, sir?
Tim. Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men; 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;
Flav. The gods are witness,
Tim. What! do'st 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, T' accept my grief, and, whilst this poor wealth lasts*, To entertain me as your steward still.
Tim. Had I a steward
Mistake me not, — but one; no more, I pray, —
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,
Thou might'st 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 wThose
breast Doubt and suspect, alas! are plac'd too late. You should have fear'd false times, when you did
feast: Suspect still comes where an estate is least. That which I shew, 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'd 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; shew 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! And so, farewell, and thrive.
Flav. O, let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.
Tim. If thou hat'st curses,
Stay not: fly, whilst thou art bless'd and free.
\_Exit Flavifs. Timojst retires to his cave.
Scene I. — The Woods. Before Timor's Cave.
Timok sitting within the mouth of his cave. Enter Poet and Painter.
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 enrich'd 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 suppos'd distress of his: it will shew 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.
Poet. What have you now to present unto him?
Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation; 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' th' 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 promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will or testament which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.
Tim. [In his cave.~\ 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. 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:
Tim. I'll meet you at the turn. What a god 's gold,