Showing posts with label Ruin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ruin. Show all posts

Monday, 23 December 2019

SKYWALKER


The genius of an artist, Aristotle says, lies in his texne, the root from which we get our word "technology"; but texne basically means skill or craft, or the ability to make things that never existed before. Negative entropy, i.e., information . . .

The musician and the architect, the poet and the physicist -- all inventors of new realities -- all such Creators may be best considered late evolutionary developments of the type that first appears as the shaman. Please remember that shamans in most cultures are known as "they who walk in the sky," just like our current shaman-hero, Luke Rey Skywalker . . .




SCENE III. Woods and cave, near the seashore.

Enter TIMON, from the cave
O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth
Rotten humidity; below thy sister's orb
Infect the air! Twinn'd brothers of one womb,
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
Scarce is dividant, touch them with several fortunes;
The greater scorns the lesser: not nature,
To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune,
But by contempt of nature.
Raise me this beggar, and deny 't that lord;
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
The beggar native honour.
It is the pasture lards the rother's sides,
The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who dares,
In purity of manhood stand upright,
And say 'This man's a flatterer?' if one be,
So are they all; for every grise of fortune
Is smooth'd by that below: the learned pate
Ducks to the golden fool: all is oblique;
There's nothing level in our cursed natures,
But direct villany. Therefore, be abhorr'd
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men!
His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains:
Destruction fang mankind! Earth, yield me roots!
Digging

Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy most operant poison! What is here?
Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods,
I am no idle votarist: roots, you clear heavens!
Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair,
Wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.
Ha, you gods! why this? what this, you gods? Why, this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads:
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless the accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
And give them title, knee and approbation
With senators on the bench: this is it
That makes the wappen'd widow wed again;
She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To the April day again. Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind, that put'st odds
Among the route of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature.
March afar off

Ha! a drum ? Thou'rt quick,
But yet I'll bury thee: thou'lt go, strong thief,
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.
Nay, stay thou out for earnest.
Keeping some gold

Enter ALCIBIADES, with drum and fife, in warlike manner; PHRYNIA and TIMANDRA

ALCIBIADES
What art thou there? speak.
TIMON
A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart,
For showing me again the eyes of man!
ALCIBIADES
What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee,
That art thyself a man?
TIMON
I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.
ALCIBIADES
I know thee well;
But in thy fortunes am unlearn'd and strange.
TIMON
I know thee too; and more than that I know thee,
I not desire to know. Follow thy drum;
With man's blood paint the ground, gules, gules:
Religious canons, civil laws are cruel;
Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine
Hath in her more destruction than thy sword,
For all her cherubim look.
PHRYNIA
Thy lips rot off!
TIMON
I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns
To thine own lips again.
ALCIBIADES
How came the noble Timon to this change?
TIMON
As the moon does, by wanting light to give:
But then renew I could not, like the moon;
There were no suns to borrow of.
ALCIBIADES
Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?
TIMON
None, but to
Maintain my opinion.
ALCIBIADES
What is it, Timon?
TIMON
Promise me friendship, but perform none: if thou
wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for thou art
a man! if thou dost perform, confound thee, for
thou art a man!
ALCIBIADES
I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.
TIMON
Thou saw'st them, when I had prosperity.
ALCIBIADES
I see them now; then was a blessed time.
TIMON
As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.
TIMANDRA
Is this the Athenian minion, whom the world
Voiced so regardfully?
TIMON
Art thou Timandra?
TIMANDRA
Yes.
TIMON
Be a whore still: they love thee not that use thee;
Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
Make use of thy salt hours: season the slaves
For tubs and baths; bring down rose-cheeked youth
To the tub-fast and the diet.
TIMANDRA
Hang thee, monster!
ALCIBIADES
Pardon him, sweet Timandra; for his wits
Are drown'd and lost in his calamities.
I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
The want whereof doth daily make revolt
In my penurious band: I have heard, and grieved,
How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them,--
TIMON
I prithee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone.
ALCIBIADES
I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.
TIMON
How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
I had rather be alone.
ALCIBIADES
Why, fare thee well:
Here is some gold for thee.
TIMON
Keep it, I cannot eat it.
ALCIBIADES
When I have laid proud Athens on a heap,--
TIMON
Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens?
ALCIBIADES
Ay, Timon, and have cause.
TIMON
The gods confound them all in thy conquest;
And thee after, when thou hast conquer'd!
ALCIBIADES
Why me, Timon?
TIMON
That, by killing of villains,
Thou wast born to conquer my country.
Put up thy gold: go on,--here's gold,--go on;
Be as a planetary plague, when Jove
Will o'er some high-viced city hang his poison
In the sick air: let not thy sword skip one:
Pity not honour'd age for his white beard;
He is an usurer: strike me the counterfeit matron;
It is her habit only that is honest,
Herself's a bawd: let not the virgin's cheek
Make soft thy trenchant sword; for those milk-paps,
That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes,
Are not within the leaf of pity writ,
But set them down horrible traitors: spare not the babe,
Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;
Think it a bastard, whom the oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorse: swear against objects;
Put armour on thine ears and on thine eyes;
Whose proof, nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay soldiers:
Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
Confounded be thyself! Speak not, be gone.
ALCIBIADES
Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou
givest me,
Not all thy counsel.
TIMON
Dost thou, or dost thou not, heaven's curse
upon thee!
PHRYNIA TIMANDRA
Give us some gold, good Timon: hast thou more?
TIMON
Enough to make a whore forswear her trade,
And to make whores, a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
Your aprons mountant: you are not oathable,
Although, I know, you 'll swear, terribly swear
Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
The immortal gods that hear you,--spare your oaths,
I'll trust to your conditions: be whores still;
And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you,
Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up;
Let your close fire predominate his smoke,
And be no turncoats: yet may your pains, six months,
Be quite contrary: and thatch your poor thin roofs
With burthens of the dead;--some that were hang'd,
No matter:--wear them, betray with them: whore still;
Paint till a horse may mire upon your face,
A pox of wrinkles!
PHRYNIA TIMANDRA
Well, more gold: what then?
Believe't, that we'll do any thing for gold.
TIMON
Consumptions sow
In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins,
And mar men's spurring. Crack the lawyer's voice,
That he may never more false title plead,
Nor sound his quillets shrilly: hoar the flamen,
That scolds against the quality of flesh,
And not believes himself: down with the nose,
Down with it flat; take the bridge quite away
Of him that, his particular to foresee,
Smells from the general weal: make curl'd-pate
ruffians bald;
And let the unscarr'd braggarts of the war
Derive some pain from you: plague all;
That your activity may defeat and quell
The source of all erection. There's more gold:
Do you damn others, and let this damn you,
And ditches grave you all!
PHRYNIA TIMANDRA
More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.
TIMON
More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.
ALCIBIADES
Strike up the drum towards Athens! Farewell, Timon:
If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.
TIMON
If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.
ALCIBIADES
I never did thee harm.
TIMON
Yes, thou spokest well of me.
ALCIBIADES
Call'st thou that harm?
TIMON
Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
Thy beagles with thee.
ALCIBIADES
We but offend him. Strike!
Drum beats. Exeunt ALCIBIADES, PHRYNIA, and TIMANDRA

TIMON
That nature, being sick of man's unkindness,
Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou,
Digging

Whose womb unmeasurable, and infinite breast,
Teems, and feeds all; whose self-same mettle,
Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puff'd,
Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
The gilded newt and eyeless venom'd worm,
With all the abhorred births below crisp heaven
Whereon Hyperion's quickening fire doth shine;
Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate,
From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root!
Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb,
Let it no more bring out ingrateful man!
Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears;
Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face
Hath to the marbled mansion all above
Never presented!--O, a root,--dear thanks!--
Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plough-torn leas;
Whereof ungrateful man, with liquorish draughts
And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind,
That from it all consideration slips!
Enter APEMANTUS

More man? plague, plague!
APEMANTUS
I was directed hither: men report
Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.
TIMON
'Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog,
Whom I would imitate: consumption catch thee!
APEMANTUS
This is in thee a nature but infected;
A poor unmanly melancholy sprung
From change of fortune. Why this spade? this place?
This slave-like habit? and these looks of care?
Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft;
Hug their diseased perfumes, and have forgot
That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods,
By putting on the cunning of a carper.
Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive
By that which has undone thee: hinge thy knee,
And let his very breath, whom thou'lt observe,
Blow off thy cap; praise his most vicious strain,
And call it excellent: thou wast told thus;
Thou gavest thine ears like tapsters that bid welcome
To knaves and all approachers: 'tis most just
That thou turn rascal; hadst thou wealth again,
Rascals should have 't. Do not assume my likeness.
TIMON
Were I like thee, I'ld throw away myself.
APEMANTUS
Thou hast cast away thyself, being like thyself;
A madman so long, now a fool. What, think'st
That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
Will put thy shirt on warm? will these moss'd trees,
That have outlived the eagle, page thy heels,
And skip where thou point'st out? will the
cold brook,
Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste,
To cure thy o'er-night's surfeit? Call the creatures
Whose naked natures live in an the spite
Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhoused trunks,
To the conflicting elements exposed,
Answer mere nature; bid them flatter thee;
O, thou shalt find--
TIMON
A fool of thee: depart.
APEMANTUS
I love thee better now than e'er I did.
TIMON
I hate thee worse.
APEMANTUS
Why?
TIMON
Thou flatter'st misery.
APEMANTUS
I flatter not; but say thou art a caitiff.
TIMON
Why dost thou seek me out?
APEMANTUS
To vex thee.
TIMON
Always a villain's office or a fool's.
Dost please thyself in't?
APEMANTUS
Ay.
TIMON
What! a knave too?
APEMANTUS
If thou didst put this sour-cold habit on
To castigate thy pride, 'twere well: but thou
Dost it enforcedly; thou'ldst courtier be again,
Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
Outlives encertain pomp, is crown'd before:
The one is filling still, never complete;
The other, at high wish: best state, contentless,
Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
Worse than the worst, content.
Thou shouldst desire to die, being miserable.
TIMON
Not by his breath that is more miserable.
Thou art a slave, whom Fortune's tender arm
With favour never clasp'd; but bred a dog.
Hadst thou, like us from our first swath, proceeded
The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
To such as may the passive drugs of it
Freely command, thou wouldst have plunged thyself
In general riot; melted down thy youth
In different beds of lust; and never learn'd
The icy precepts of respect, but follow'd
The sugar'd game before thee. But myself,
Who had the world as my confectionary,
The mouths, the tongues, the eyes and hearts of men
At duty, more than I could frame employment,
That numberless upon me stuck as leaves
Do on the oak, hive with one winter's brush
Fell from their boughs and left me open, bare
For every storm that blows: I, to bear this,
That never knew but better, is some burden:
Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time
Hath made thee hard in't. Why shouldst thou hate men?
They never flatter'd thee: what hast thou given?
If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag,
Must be thy subject, who in spite put stuff
To some she beggar and compounded thee
Poor rogue hereditary. Hence, be gone!
If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.
APEMANTUS
Art thou proud yet?
TIMON
Ay, that I am not thee.
APEMANTUS
I, that I was
No prodigal.
TIMON
I, that I am one now:
Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
I'ld give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.
That the whole life of Athens were in this!
Thus would I eat it.
Eating a root

APEMANTUS
Here; I will mend thy feast.
Offering him a root

TIMON
First mend my company, take away thyself.
APEMANTUS
So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.
TIMON
'Tis not well mended so, it is but botch'd;
if not, I would it were.
APEMANTUS
What wouldst thou have to Athens?
TIMON
Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.
APEMANTUS
Here is no use for gold.
TIMON
The best and truest;
For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm.
APEMANTUS
Where liest o' nights, Timon?
TIMON
Under that's above me.
Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus?
APEMANTUS
Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat
it.
TIMON
Would poison were obedient and knew my mind!
APEMANTUS
Where wouldst thou send it?
TIMON
To sauce thy dishes.
APEMANTUS
The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the
extremity of both ends: when thou wast in thy gilt
and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too much
curiosity; in thy rags thou knowest none, but art
despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for
thee, eat it.
TIMON
On what I hate I feed not.
APEMANTUS
Dost hate a medlar?
TIMON
Ay, though it look like thee.
APEMANTUS
An thou hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou shouldst
have loved thyself better now. What man didst thou
ever know unthrift that was beloved after his means?
TIMON
Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou
ever know beloved?
APEMANTUS
Myself.
TIMON
I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a
dog.
APEMANTUS
What things in the world canst thou nearest compare
to thy flatterers?
TIMON
Women nearest; but men, men are the things
themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world,
Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?
APEMANTUS
Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.
TIMON
Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of
men, and remain a beast with the beasts?
APEMANTUS
Ay, Timon.
TIMON
A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee t'
attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would
beguile thee; if thou wert the lamb, the fox would
eat three: if thou wert the fox, the lion would
suspect thee, when peradventure thou wert accused by
the ass: if thou wert the ass, thy dulness would
torment thee, and still thou livedst but as a
breakfast to the wolf: if thou wert the wolf, thy
greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou shouldst
hazard thy life for thy dinner: wert thou the
unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee and
make thine own self the conquest of thy fury: wert
thou a bear, thou wouldst be killed by the horse:
wert thou a horse, thou wouldst be seized by the
leopard: wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to
the lion and the spots of thy kindred were jurors on
thy life: all thy safety were remotion and thy
defence absence. What beast couldst thou be, that
were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art
thou already, that seest not thy loss in
transformation!
APEMANTUS
If thou couldst please me with speaking to me, thou
mightst have hit upon it here: the commonwealth of
Athens is become a forest of beasts.
TIMON
How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city?
APEMANTUS
Yonder comes a poet and a painter: the plague of
company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it
and give way: when I know not what else to do, I'll
see thee again.
TIMON
When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be
welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than Apemantus.
APEMANTUS
Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
TIMON
Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!
APEMANTUS
A plague on thee! thou art too bad to curse.
TIMON
All villains that do stand by thee are pure.
APEMANTUS
There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st.
TIMON
If I name thee.
I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
APEMANTUS
I would my tongue could rot them off!
TIMON
Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me that thou art alive;
I swound to see thee.
APEMANTUS
Would thou wouldst burst!
TIMON
Away,
Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry I shall lose
A stone by thee.
Throws a stone at him

APEMANTUS
Beast!
TIMON
Slave!
APEMANTUS
Toad!
TIMON
Rogue, rogue, rogue!
I am sick of this false world, and will love nought
But even the mere necessities upon 't.
Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave;
Lie where the light foam the sea may beat
Thy grave-stone daily: make thine epitaph,
That death in me at others' lives may laugh.
To the gold

O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
'Twixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler
Of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars!
Thou ever young, fresh, loved and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian's lap! thou visible god,
That solder'st close impossibilities,
And makest them kiss! that speak'st with
every tongue,
To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
Think, thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire!
APEMANTUS
Would 'twere so!
But not till I am dead. I'll say thou'st gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.
TIMON
Throng'd to!
APEMANTUS
Ay.
TIMON
Thy back, I prithee.
APEMANTUS
Live, and love thy misery.
TIMON
Long live so, and so die.
Exit APEMANTUS

I am quit.
Moe things like men! Eat, Timon, and abhor them.
Enter Banditti

First Bandit
Where should he have this gold? It is some poor
fragment, some slender sort of his remainder: the
mere want of gold, and the falling-from of his
friends, drove him into this melancholy.
Second Bandit
It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.
Third Bandit
Let us make the assay upon him: if he care not
for't, he will supply us easily; if he covetously
reserve it, how shall's get it?
Second Bandit
True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis hid.
First Bandit
Is not this he?
Banditti
Where?
Second Bandit
'Tis his description.
Third Bandit
He; I know him.
Banditti
Save thee, Timon.
TIMON
Now, thieves?
Banditti
Soldiers, not thieves.
TIMON
Both too; and women's sons.
Banditti
We are not thieves, but men that much do want.
TIMON
Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;
Within this mile break forth a hundred springs;
The oaks bear mast, the briers scarlet hips;
The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want! why want?
First Bandit
We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
As beasts and birds and fishes.
TIMON
Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes;
You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con
That you are thieves profess'd, that you work not
In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft
In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
Here's gold. Go, suck the subtle blood o' the grape,
Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
And so 'scape hanging: trust not the physician;
His antidotes are poison, and he slays
Moe than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
Do villany, do, since you protest to do't,
Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery.
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
From general excrement: each thing's a thief:
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheque'd theft. Love not yourselves: away,
Rob one another. There's more gold. Cut throats:
All that you meet are thieves: to Athens go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it: steal no less for this
I give you; and gold confound you howsoe'er! Amen.
Third Bandit
Has almost charmed me from my profession, by
persuading me to it.
First Bandit
'Tis in the malice of mankind that he thus advises
us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.
Second Bandit
I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.
First Bandit
Let us first see peace in Athens: there is no time
so miserable but a man may be true.
Exeunt Banditti

Enter FLAVIUS

FLAVIUS
O you gods!
Is yond despised 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 desperate 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
Away! what art thou?
FLAVIUS
Have you forgot me, sir?
TIMON
Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men;
Then, if thou grant'st thou'rt a man, I have forgot thee.
FLAVIUS
An honest poor servant of yours.
TIMON
Then I know thee not:
I never had honest man about me, I; all
I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.
FLAVIUS
The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.
TIMON
What, dost 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!
FLAVIUS
I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
To accept my grief and whilst this poor wealth lasts
To entertain me as your steward still.
TIMON
Had I a steward
So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
It almost turns my dangerous nature mild.
Let me behold thy face. Surely, this man
Was born of woman.
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
You perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man--mistake me not--but one;
No more, I pray,--and he's a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind!
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 mightst 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?
FLAVIUS
No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late:
You should have fear'd false times when you did feast:
Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
That which I show, 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'ld exchange
For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
To requite me, by making rich yourself.
TIMON
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, show 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.
FLAVIUS
O, let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.
TIMON
If thou hatest curses,
Stay not; fly, whilst thou art blest and free:
Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
Exit FLAVIUS. TIMON retires to his cave



SCENE I. The woods. Before Timon's cave.

Enter Poet and Painter; TIMON watching them from his cave
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?
Painter
Certain: Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and
Timandra had gold of him: he likewise enriched 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.
Painter
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
supposed distress of his: it will show honestly in
us; and is very likely to load our purposes with
what they travail for, if it be a just true report
that goes of his having.
Poet
What have you now to present unto him?
Painter
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.
Painter
Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the
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.
TIMON comes from his cave, behind

TIMON
[Aside] 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.
TIMON
[Aside] 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:
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.
Painter
True;
When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light. Come.
TIMON
[Aside] I'll meet you at the turn. What a
god's gold,
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple
Than where swine feed!
'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark and plough'st the foam,
Settlest admired reverence in a slave:
To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Be crown'd with plagues that thee alone obey!
Fit I meet them.
Coming forward

Poet
Hail, worthy Timon!
Painter
Our late noble master!
TIMON
Have I once lived to see two honest men?
Poet
Sir,
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retired, your friends fall'n off,
Whose thankless natures--O abhorred spirits!--
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough:
What! to you,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
To their whole being! I am rapt and cannot cover
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any size of words.
TIMON
Let it go naked, men may see't the better:
You that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen and known.
Painter
He and myself
Have travail'd in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.
TIMON
Ay, you are honest men.
Painter
We are hither come to offer you our service.
TIMON
Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.
Both
What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.
TIMON
Ye're honest men: ye've heard that I have gold;
I am sure you have: speak truth; ye're honest men.
Painter
So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore
Came not my friend nor I.
TIMON
Good honest men! Thou draw'st a counterfeit
Best in all Athens: thou'rt, indeed, the best;
Thou counterfeit'st most lively.
Painter
So, so, my lord.
TIMON
E'en so, sir, as I say. And, for thy fiction,
Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth
That thou art even natural in thine art.
But, for all this, my honest-natured friends,
I must needs say you have a little fault:
Marry, 'tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
You take much pains to mend.
Both
Beseech your honour
To make it known to us.
TIMON
You'll take it ill.
Both
Most thankfully, my lord.
TIMON
Will you, indeed?
Both
Doubt it not, worthy lord.
TIMON
There's never a one of you but trusts a knave,
That mightily deceives you.
Both
Do we, my lord?
TIMON
Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom: yet remain assured
That he's a made-up villain.
Painter
I know none such, my lord.
Poet
Nor I.
TIMON
Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,
Rid me these villains from your companies:
Hang them or stab them, drown them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me,
I'll give you gold enough.
Both
Name them, my lord, let's know them.
TIMON
You that way and you this, but two in company;
Each man apart, all single and alone,
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
If where thou art two villains shall not be,
Come not near him. If thou wouldst not reside
But where one villain is, then him abandon.
Hence, pack! there's gold; you came for gold, ye slaves:
To Painter

You have work'd for me; there's payment for you: hence!
To Poet

You are an alchemist; make gold of that.
Out, rascal dogs!
Beats them out, and then retires to his cave

Enter FLAVIUS and two Senators

FLAVIUS
It is in vain that you would speak with Timon;
For he is set so only to himself
That nothing but himself which looks like man
Is friendly with him.
First Senator
Bring us to his cave:
It is our part and promise to the Athenians
To speak with Timon.
Second Senator
At all times alike
Men are not still the same: 'twas time and griefs
That framed him thus: time, with his fairer hand,
Offering the fortunes of his former days,
The former man may make him. Bring us to him,
And chance it as it may.
FLAVIUS
Here is his cave.
Peace and content be here! Lord Timon! Timon!
Look out, and speak to friends: the Athenians,
By two of their most reverend senate, greet thee:
Speak to them, noble Timon.
TIMON comes from his cave

TIMON
Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn! Speak, and
be hang'd:
For each true word, a blister! and each false
Be as cauterizing to the root o' the tongue,
Consuming it with speaking!
First Senator
Worthy Timon,--
TIMON
Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.
First Senator
The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.
TIMON
I thank them; and would send them back the plague,
Could I but catch it for them.
First Senator
O, forget
What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
The senators with one consent of love
Entreat thee back to Athens; who have thought
On special dignities, which vacant lie
For thy best use and wearing.
Second Senator
They confess
Toward thee forgetfulness too general, gross:
Which now the public body, which doth seldom
Play the recanter, feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fail, restraining aid to Timon;
And send forth us, to make their sorrow'd render,
Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram;
Ay, even such heaps and sums of love and wealth
As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs
And write in thee the figures of their love,
Ever to read them thine.
TIMON
You witch me in it;
Surprise me to the very brink of tears:
Lend me a fool's heart and a woman's eyes,
And I'll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.
First Senator
Therefore, so please thee to return with us
And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allow'd with absolute power and thy good name
Live with authority: so soon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades the approaches wild,
Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
His country's peace.
Second Senator
And shakes his threatening sword
Against the walls of Athens.
First Senator
Therefore, Timon,--
TIMON
Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; thus:
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. But if be sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by the beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd war,
Then let him know, and tell him Timon speaks it,
In pity of our aged and our youth,
I cannot choose but tell him, that I care not,
And let him take't at worst; for their knives care not,
While you have throats to answer: for myself,
There's not a whittle in the unruly camp
But I do prize it at my love before
The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you
To the protection of the prosperous gods,
As thieves to keepers.
FLAVIUS
Stay not, all's in vain.
TIMON
Why, I was writing of my epitaph;
it will be seen to-morrow: my long sickness
Of health and living now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough!
First Senator
We speak in vain.
TIMON
But yet I love my country, and am not
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common bruit doth put it.
First Senator
That's well spoke.
TIMON
Commend me to my loving countrymen,--
First Senator
These words become your lips as they pass
thorough them.
Second Senator
And enter in our ears like great triumphers
In their applauding gates.
TIMON
Commend me to them,
And tell them that, to ease them of their griefs,
Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,
Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain
In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them:
I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.
First Senator
I like this well; he will return again.
TIMON
I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
That mine own use invites me to cut down,
And shortly must I fell it: tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree
From high to low throughout, that whoso please
To stop affliction, let him take his haste,
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himself. I pray you, do my greeting.
FLAVIUS
Trouble him no further; thus you still shall find him.
TIMON
Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover: thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.
Lips, let sour words go by and language end:
What is amiss plague and infection mend!
Graves only be men's works and death their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign.
Retires to his cave

First Senator
His discontents are unremoveably
Coupled to nature.
Second Senator
Our hope in him is dead: let us return,
And strain what other means is left unto us
In our dear peril.
First Senator
It requires swift foot.
Exeunt