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Tim. Would poison were obedient, and knew my mind !
Apem. Where wouldst thou send it?
Apem. 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.
Tim. On what I hate I feed not.
Apem. 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 ?
Tim. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever know beloved ?
Tim. I understand thee : thou hadst some means to keep a dog.
Apem. What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to thy flatterers ?
Tim. Women nearest; but men, men are the things themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world, Apemantus, if it lay in thy power ?
Apem. Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.
Tim. Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of men, and remain a beast with the beasts ?
Apem. Ay, Timon.
Tim. A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee to attain to. If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile thee: if thou wert the lamb, the fox would eat thee : 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 : weft thou a leopard, thou wert germane 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.
Apem. 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.
Tim. How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city ?
Apem. 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.
Tim. When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog, than A pemantus.
Apem. Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
Tim. If I name thee.-
Apem. I would, my tongue could rot them off.
Tim. Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Would thou wouldst burst!
Away, Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry, I shall lose A stone by thee.
[Throws a stone at him. Арет. .
Rogue, rogue, rogue ! [APEMANTUS retreats backward, as going. 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 of the sea may beat Thy grave-stone daily; make thine epitaph,
That death in me at others' lives may laugh. 0, thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
(Looking on the gold. 'Twixt natural son and sire !1 thou bright defiler Of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars ! Thou ever young, fresh, lov’d, 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 mak'st 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 ! Арет. .
Would 't were so ; But not till I am dead.—I'll say, thou 'st gold : Thou will be throng'd to shortly. Tim.
Throng'd to ? Apem.
Ay. Tim. Thy back, I prythee. Apem.
Live, and love thy misery! Tim. Long live so, and so die !-I am quit.
[Exit APEMANTUS. More things like men ?-Eat, Timon, and abhor them.
Enter Banditti. 1 Band. Where should he have this gold ? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder. The mere want of gold, and the falling from him of his friends, drove him into this melancholy.
2 Band. It is noised, he hath a mass of treasure.
3 Band. 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?
2 Band. True, for he bears it not about him; 't is hid. 1 Band. Is not this he ? All. Where? 2 Band. 'Tis his description. 3 Band. He; I know him. All. Save thee, Timon. Tim. Now, thieves ? All
. Soldiers, not thieves. Tim. Both two; and women's sons. All. We are not thieves, but men that much do want. 1 sun and fire : in folio. » Touchstone. 3 This word is not in f. e.
Tim. 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 briars scarlet hips ; The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush Lays her full mess before you. Want! why want?
i Band. We cannot live on grass, on berries, water, As beasts, and birds, and fishes. Tim. 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,
[Throwing gold." Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth, And so 'scape hanging: trust not the physician; His antidotes are poison, and he slays More than you rob: take wealth and lives together; Do villainy, 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 uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves; away! Rob one another. There's more gold : cut throats;
[Throwing it. All that you meet are thieves. To Athens, go : Break open shops; nothing can you steal, But thieves do lose it. Steal not less for this I give you; and gold confound you howsoe'er ! Amen.
his Cave. 3 Band. He has almost charmed 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. 1 Hanmer reads: men.
2 3 Not in f. e. 4 not : in f. e.
2 Band. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over
1 Band. Let us first see peace in Athens : there is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.
Timon comes forword from his Cave.
Have you forgot me, sir ?
Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.
Tim. Then, I know thee not : I never had honest man about me, I; All I kept were knaves to serve in meat to villains.
Flav. The gods are witness, Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you. Tim. 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! 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 i grunt'st: in folio. Southern made the change.