Timon of Athens

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Timon in the woods


O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth

Rotten humidity. Below thy sister's orb
humidity (n.) 1 moisture, dampness, vapours
orb (n.) 2 sphere, orbit, circle
rotten (adj.) 1 unhealthy, corrupting, unwholesome

Infect the air. Twinned brothers of one womb,
twinned (adj.) indistinguishable, identical, closely linked

Whose procreation, residence, and birth,

Scarce is dividant – touch them with several fortunes,
dividant (adj.) divisible, distinguishable, separable
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count
touch (v.) 6 test the quality [of], put to the test

The greater scorns the lesser. Not nature,
nature (n.) 3 human nature

To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune
sore (n.) 1 affliction, suffering, sorrow

But by contempt of nature.

Raise me this beggar and deject that lord –
deject (v.) 1 humble, abase, cast down

The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,

The beggar native honour.

It is the pasture lards the wether's sides,
lard (v.) 5 fatten, build up
wether (n.) sheep, ram

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
grece, grise, grize (n.) step, degree, grade

Is smoothed by that below. The learned pate

Ducks to the golden fool. All's obliquy;
duck (v.) make a brief bow, act in a cringing way
obliquy (n.) [unclear meaning] oblique, obliquity; deviance, perversity
pate (n.) head, skull See Topics: Frequency count

There's nothing level in our cursed natures
level (adj.) 1 steady, steadfast, constant
nature (n.) 3 human nature

But direct villainy. Therefore be abhorred
abhor (v.) 1 loathe, abominate, regard with disgust
direct (adj.) 1 downright, straightforward, absolute

All feasts, societies, and throngs of men.

His semblable, yea himself, Timon disdains.
semblable (n.) 2 fellow-man, anything of the same nature

Destruction fang mankind. Earth, yield me roots.
fang (v.) seize, take hold of
root (n.) 2 vegetable root

He digs
sauce (v.) 1 spice, season, flavour

Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate

With thy most operant poison. What is here?
operant (adj.) active, vital, potent, functioning

Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?

No, gods, I am no idle votarist.
idle (adj.) 8 careless, inattentive, lax
votarist (n.) vow-taker, religious, nun / monk

Roots, you clear heavens! Thus much of this will make

Black white, foul fair, wrong right,

Base noble, old young, coward valiant.
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count

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 th' accursed,

Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves,
hoar (adj.) 1 grey-white, hoary
place (v.) 1 establish in office, appoint to a post

And give them title, knee, and approbation,
approbation (n.) 1 expression of approval, pleasurable confirmation, ready sanctioning
knee (n.) bending of a knee, right to be knelt before

With senators on the bench. This is it

That makes the wappened widow wed again –
wappened (adj.) [unclear meaning] worn-out, weary, exhausted [perhaps sexually]

She, whom the spi-house and ulcerous sores
spital-house (n.) hospital inmates

Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
cast (v.) 6 cast up, throw up, regurgitate
gorge (n.) 2 stomach contents

To th' April day again. Come, damned earth,

Thou common whore of mankind, that puts odds
odds (n. plural) 4 quarrel, disagreement, strife

Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
rout (n.) 2 rabble, mob, disorderly crowd

Do thy right nature.

March afar off
nature (n.) 7 function, capacity, role
quick (adj.) 5 vigorous, quick-acting, energetic

                         Ha? A drum? Th' art quick,

But yet I'll bury thee. Thou'lt go, strong thief,
go (v.) 1 walk, travel on foot
strong (adj.) 5 flagrant, barefaced; or: resolute, determined

When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.

Nay, stay thou out for earnest.
earnest (n.) pledge, instalment, deposit, payment in advance

He keeps some of the gold, and buries the rest

Enter Alcibiades, with drum and fife, in warlike

manner; and Phrynia and Timandra


What art thou there? Speak.


A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart
canker (n./adj.) 2 cancer, ulcer, blight, corruption

For showing me again the eyes of man!


What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee

That art thyself a man?


I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.

For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,

That I might love thee something.
something (adv.) 2 a little, to some extent


                         I know thee well;

But in thy fortunes am unlearned and strange.
strange (adj.) 5 unfamiliar, unknown, not previously experienced


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.
gules (adj.) [heraldry] red

Religious canons, civil laws are cruel;

Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine
fell (adj.) 3 deadly, destructive, virulent

Hath in her more destruction than thy sword,

For all her cherubim look.
cherubin (adj.) cherubic, angelic


                         Thy lips rot off!


I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns

To thine own lips again.


How came the noble Timon to this change?


As the moon does, by wanting light to give.
want (v.) 4 require, demand, need

But then renew I could not like the moon;
renew (v.) become new, grow again, regenerate

There were no suns to borrow of.


                         Noble Timon,

What friendship may I do thee?
friendship (n.) friendly act, favour, act of kindness


                         None, but to

Maintain my opinion.


                         What is it, Timon?


Promise me friendship, but perform none.

If thou wilt promise, the gods plague thee, for

Thou art a man. If thou dost not perform,

Confound thee, for thou art a man.


I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.
sort (n.) 3 way, manner


Thou sawest them when I had prosperity.


I see them now. Then was a blessed time.


As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.


Is this th' Athenian minion whom the world
minion (n.) 1 darling, favourite, select one

Voiced so regardfully?
regardfully (adv.) respectfully, with great esteem, with high praise
voice (v.) 2 talk about, acclaim, praise


                         Art thou Timandra?




Be a whore still. They love thee not that use thee.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.

Make use of thy salt hours. Season the slaves
salt (adj.) 5 lascivious, lustful, lecherous
season (v.) 5 prepare, make fit

For tubs and baths; bring down rose-cheeked youth
bring down (v.) reduce, lower
tub (n.) sweating-tub [for curing venereal disease]

To the tub-fast and the diet.
diet (n.) 3 therapeutic nutrition, curative regime
tub-fast (n.) fasting while being treated for venereal disease in a sweating-tub


                         Hang thee, monster!


Pardon him, sweet Timandra, for his wits
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)

Are drowned and lost in his calamities.

I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

The want whereof doth daily make revolt
revolt (n.) 2 rebellion, act of disobedience
want (n.) 3 need, requirement, necessity

In my penurious band. I have heard, and grieved,
penurious (adj.) poverty-stricken, needy, beggarly

How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,

Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,

But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them –


I prithee beat thy drum and get thee gone.


I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.


How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?

I had rather be alone.


                         Why, fare thee well.

Here is some gold for thee.


                         Keep it, I cannot eat it.


When I have laid proud Athens on a heap –
heap, on a in ruins


Warrest thou 'gainst Athens?
cause (n.) 1 reason, motive, ground


                         Ay, Timon, and have cause.


The gods confound them all in thy conquest,
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin

And thee after, when thou hast conquered!


Why me, 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
planetary (adj.) caused by the bad influence of a planet

Will o'er some high-viced city hang his poison
high-viced (adj.) full of great wickedness
will (v.), past form would 4 decree, determine, decide [to]

In the sick air. Let not thy sword skip one.
sick (adj.) 4 infected, contaminated

Pity not honoured age for his white beard;

He is an usurer. Strike me the counterfeit matron –
counterfeit (adj.) 1 pretended, feigned, sham
matron (n.) married woman

It is her habit only that is honest,
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count
honest (adj.) 1 chaste, pure, virtuous

Herself's a bawd. Let not the virgin's cheek
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between See Topics: Frequency count

Make soft thy trenchant sword; for those milk-paps
milk-pap (n.) nipple, teat
trenchant (adj.) sharp, cutting, keen-edged

That, through the window, bared, bore at men's eyes

Are not within the leaf of pity writ,

But set them down horrible traitors. Spare not the babe
set down (v.) 2 log, make note, put on record

Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;
exhaust (v.) draw out, elicit, extract

Think it a bastard whom the oracle

Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut,
doubtfully (adv.) 1 ambiguously, hesitatingly, indistinctly

And mince it sans remorse. Swear against objects.
mince (v.) 4 chop into pieces, cut into tiny bits
object (n.) 2 objection, protestation
remorse (n.) 2 pity, compassion, tenderness
sans (prep.) without

Put armour on thine ears and on thine eyes,

Whose proof nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
proof (n.) 1 tested strength, proven power of resistance, impenetrability

Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,

Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay thy soldiers.

Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
confusion (n.) 1 destruction, overthrow, ruin
large (adj.) 3 widespread, general, extensive

Confounded be thyself. Speak not, be gone.
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin


Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou givest me,

Not all thy counsel.


Dost thou or dost thou not, heaven's curse upon thee!


Give us some gold, good Timon. Hast thou more?


Enough to make a whore forswear her trade,
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count

And to make whores, a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between See Topics: Frequency count

Your aprons mountant. You are not oathable,
mountant (adj.) mounting, rising, always being lifted up
oathable (adj.) oath-worthy, fit to take an oath

Although I know you 'll swear, terribly swear,

Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
ague (n.) fever, sickness, shaking [as caused by a fever]

Th' immortal gods that hear you. Spare your oaths;
spare (v.) 1 omit, avoid, refrain [from]

I'll trust to your conditions. Be whores still.
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character

And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you –
breath (n.) 1 utterance, speech, voice

Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up;
allure (v.) entice, attract, tempt
whore (n.) whoring, fornication

Let your close fire predominate his smoke,
close (adj.) 1 secret, concealed, hidden
fire (n.) 2 disease, infection
predominate (v.) 2 prevail over, control, dominate

And be no turncoats. Yet may your pains, six months,

Be quite contrary; and thatch

Your poor thin roofs with burdens of the dead –
burden, burthen (n.) 5 load, pile [here: of hair]

Some that were hanged. No matter.

Wear them, betray with them, whore still.
betray (v.) 1 deceive, seduce, mislead

Paint till a horse may mire upon your face.
mire (v.) sink in the mire, get bogged down

A pox of wrinkles!


                         Well, more gold. What then?

Believe't that we'll do anything for gold.


Consumptions sow
consumption (n.) 1 wasting disease, venereal disease

In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins,

And mar men's spurring. Crack the lawyer's voice,
spurring (n.) ability to use spurs

That he may never more false title plead,
false (adj.) 5 defective, weak, inadequate
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement

Nor sound his quillets shrilly. Hoar the flamen,
flamen (n.) priest serving a particular deity See Topics: Roman history
hoar (v.) make white with disease
quillet (n.) quibble, equivocation, hair-splitting distinction

That scolds against the quality of flesh
quality (n.) 1 nature, disposition, character

And not believes himself. Down with the nose,

Down with it flat, take the bridge quite away

Of him that, his particular to foresee,
foresee (v.) provide in advance for, make provision for
particular (n.) 3 private matter, personal business

Smells from the general weal. Make curled-pate ruffians bald,
curled-pate (adj.) curly-headed
general (adj.) 1 common, of everyone, public
weal 1 state, community, commonwealth

And let the unscarred braggarts of the war

Derive some pain from you. Plague all,

That your activity may defeat and quell
defeat (v.) 5 destroy, ruin, wreck

The source of all erection. There's more gold.

Do you damn others, and let this damn you,

And ditches grave you all!
grave (v.) 1 bury, inter, entomb


More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.


More whore, more mischief first. I have given you earnest.
earnest (n.) pledge, instalment, deposit, payment in advance
mischief (n.) 4 disease, ailment, misfortune
whore (n.) whoring, fornication


Strike up the drum towards Athens. Farewell, Timon.

If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.


If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.


I never did thee harm.


Yes, thou spokest well of me.


                         Callest thou that harm?


Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take

Thy beagles with thee.


                         We but offend him. Strike!

Drum beats. Exeunt all but Timon


That nature, being sick of man's unkindness,
nature (n.) 2 natural powers, normal state [of mind and body]
sick (adj.) 3 ill through excess, surfeited

Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou,

(he digs)

Whose womb unmeasurable and infinite breast

Teems and feeds all; whose selfsame mettle,
mettle, mettell (n.) 3 substance, matter
teem (v.) 1 produce, bring forth

Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puffed,
puffed (adj.) 2 puffed up, swollen (with vanity)

Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
engender (v.) produce, develop, generate

The gilded newt and eyeless venomed worm,

With all th' abhorred births below crisp heaven
abhorred (adj.) horrifying, disgusting, abominable
crisp (adj.) 1 shining, bright, clear

Whereon Hyperion's quickening fire doth shine –
quickening (adj.) life-giving, animating

Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate,

From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root.

Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb,
conceptious (adj.) prolific, teeming, fruitful
ensear (v.) dry up, wither, make arid

Let it no more bring out ingrateful man.
ingrateful (adj.) 1 ungrateful, unappreciative

Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears,
great (adj.) 6 pregnant, prolific

Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face
upward (adj.) upturned, looking upwards

Hath to the marbled mansion all above
marbled (adj.) shining like marble; reminiscent of marble

Never presented. – O, a root! Dear thanks! –

Dry up thy marrows, vines and plough-torn leas,
lea (n.) meadow, field

Whereof ingrateful man with liquorish draughts
ingrateful (adj.) 1 ungrateful, unappreciative
liquorish (adj.) pleasantly tasting, appetising

And morsels unctuous greases his pure mind,
unctuous (adj.) oily, greasy, fatty

That from it all consideration slips –
consideration (n.) 1 moody contemplation, deep reflection

Enter Apemantus

More man? Plague, plague!


I was directed hither. Men report

Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.
affect (v.) 3 assume, display, put on, practise in an artificial way
manner (n.) 2 (plural) morals, character, way of behaving


'Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog,

Whom I would imitate. Consumption catch thee!
consumption (n.) 1 wasting disease, venereal disease


This is in thee a nature but infected,
infected (adj.) affected, artificial, put on
nature (n.) 5 personality, innate disposition, character

A poor unmanly melancholy sprung

From change of fortune. Why this spade? This place?

This slave-like habit and these looks of care?
care (n.) 5 sorrow, grief, trouble
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count

Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft,

Hug their diseased perfumes, and have forgot
perfume (n.) perfumed mistress, fragrant woman

That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods

By putting on the cunning of a carper.
carper (n.) fault-finder, cynic, cavilling critic
cunning (n.) 1 skill, ability, expertise

Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive

By that which has undone thee. Hinge thy knee,
hinge (v.) bend, make flexible
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out
undo (v.) 2 bring to naught

And let his very breath whom thou'lt observe

Blow off thy cap. Praise his most vicious strain
strain (n.) 1 quality, character, disposition

And call it excellent. Thou wast told thus.

Thou gavest thine ears, like tapsters that bade welcome,
tapster (n.) inn waiter, drawer of ale

To knaves and all approachers. 'Tis most just
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

That thou turn rascal; hadst thou wealth again,

Rascals should have't. Do not assume my likeness.


Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself.


Thou hast cast away thyself, being like thyself

A madman so long, now a fool. What, thinkest

That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
boisterous (adj.) 1 violent, fierce, savage
chamberlain (n.) bedchamber attendant

Will put thy shirt on warm? Will these moist trees,
moist (adj.) 1 damp, dripping, dewy
warm (adj.) 1 warmed, well-aired

That have outlived the eagle, page thy heels
page (v.) follow like a page

And skip when thou pointest out? Will the cold brook,
skip (v.) 3 jump into action, spring up

Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste,
candied (adj.) 1 made of ice, crystallized, glistening
caudle (v.) provide a warm medicinal drink for

To cure thy o'ernight's surfeit? Call the creatures
overnight (n.) previous evening, night before
surfeit (n.) 2 sickness brought on by excess

Whose naked natures live in all the spite
nature (n.) 2 natural powers, normal state [of mind and body]

Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhoused trunks,
trunk (n.) body, form, frame
unhoused (adj.) 1 unsheltered, unprotected, open to the elements
wreakful (adj.) vengeful, retributive; relentless

To the conflicting elements exposed,

Answer mere nature – bid them flatter thee.
answer (v.) 5 cope with, face, encounter
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count
nature (n.) 6 natural order, ungoverned state, way of the world [often personified]

O, thou shalt find –


                         A fool of thee. Depart.


I love thee better now than e'er I did.


I hate thee worse.




                                                         Thou flatterest misery.


I flatter not, but say thou art a caitiff.
caitiff (n.) [sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature


Why dost thou seek me out?
vex (v.) afflict, trouble, torment


                         To vex thee.


Always a villain's office or a fool's.
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

Dost please thyself in't?
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count




                                                         What, a knave too?


If thou didst put this sour cold habit on
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count

To castigate thy pride, 'twere well; but thou

Dost it enforcedly. Thou'dst courtier be again
enforcedly (adv.) under compulsion, out of necessity

Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
willing (adj.) 2 voluntary, taken up willingly

Outlives incertain pomp, is crowned before.
incertain (adj.) 1 uncertain, doubtful, dubious
pomp (n.) 2 greatness, nobility, high estate

The one is filling still, never complete,
complete, compleat (adj.) 2 fully equipped, with everything present
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

The other at high wish. Best state, contentless,
contentless (adj.) discontented, dissatisfied, unhappy
high (adj.) 1 very great, extreme
state (n.) 1 condition, circumstances, situation, state of affairs

Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
being (n.) 2 physical existence, life
distracted (adj.) 1 perplexed, confused, agitated

Worse than the worst, content.

Thou shouldst desire to die, being miserable.


Not by his breath that is more miserable.
breath (n.) 3 suggestion, persuasion, judgement

Thou art a slave whom Fortune's tender arm

With favour never clasped. But, bred a dog,

Hadst thou, like us from our first swath, proceeded
proceed (v.) 3 advance through, make progress via
swath (n.) 1 swathing in infant clothes, swaddling-clothes

The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
degree (n.) 3 step, stage, rung

To such as may the passive drudges of it
drudge (n.) slave, serf, lackey

Freely command, thou wouldst have plunged thyself

In general riot, melted down thy youth
general (adj.) 2 all-embracing, universal, comprehensive
riot (n.) 1 dissipation, wasteful revelry, extravagance

In different beds of lust, and never learned

The icy precepts of respect, but followed
respect (n.) 2 attention, heed, deliberation

The sugared game before thee. But myself –
sugared (adj.) 2 sweetly tempting, outwardly attractive

Who had the world as my confectionary,
confectionary (n.) sweetmeat factory, sweet-shop, candy-store

The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of men

At duty, more than I could frame employment;
duty, at at one's service, to command
frame (v.) 3 arrange, organize, plan

That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves

Do on the oak, have with one winter's brush
brush (n.) hostile meeting, collision, forceful encounter

Fell from their boughs, and left me open, bare,
bare (adj.) 6 unprotected, defenceless, without covering
open (adj.) 3 exposed, open to the elements

For every storm that blows – I to bear this,

That never knew but better, is some burden.

Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time
nature (n.) 4 mortal life, natural life
sufferance (n.) 1 distress, suffering, hardship

Hath made thee hard in't. Why shouldst thou hate men?
hard (adj.) 2 hardened, toughened

They never flattered thee. What hast thou given?

If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag,
rag (n.) 1 worthless wretch, good-for-nothing creature, beggar

Must be thy subject; who in spite put stuff
put stuff to copulate with

To some she-beggar and compounded thee
compound (v.) 3 put together, construct, compose

Poor rogue hereditary. Hence, be gone.

If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
worst (n.) 2 lowest, most despicable

Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


Art thou proud yet?


                         Ay, that I am not thee.


I, that I was no prodigal.
prodigal (n.) 1 waster, squanderer, spendthrift


I, that I am one now.

Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
shut up (v.) 3 enclose, store up, put away

I'd give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.

That the whole life of Athens were in this!

Thus would I eat it.

He eats a root
mend (v.) 4 supplement, augment


                         Here, I will mend thy feast.

He offers Timon food


First mend my company, take away thyself.


So I shall mend mine own by th' lack of thine.


'Tis not well mended so, it is but botched.
botch (v.) clumsily patch together, fumble with

If not, I would it were.


What wouldst thou have to Athens?


Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,

Tell them there I have gold. Look, so I have.


Here is no use for gold.


                         The best and truest;

For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm.


Where liest a-nights, Timon?


Under that's above me.

Where feedest thou a-days, Apemantus?


Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather,
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment

where I eat it.


Would poison were obedient, and knew my mind!


Where wouldst thou send it?


To sauce thy dishes.
sauce (v.) 1 spice, season, flavour


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
gilt (n.) 2 gold-gilded state, gold-coated effects

much curiosity. In thy rags thou knowest none, but art
curiosity (n.) scrupulousness, fastidiousness, painstaking attention to detail

despised for the contrary. There's a medlar for thee.
medlar (n.) 1 apple-like fruit eaten when its flesh has begun to decay [also: pun on ‘meddler’]

Eat it.


On what I hate I feed not.


Dost hate a medlar?


Ay, though it look like thee.


An th' hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou

shouldst have loved thyself better now. What man didst

thou ever know unthrift that was beloved after his
unthrift (n.) spendthrift, squanderer, wastrel



Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst

thou ever know beloved?




I understand thee: thou hadst some means to

keep a dog.


What things in the world canst thou nearest

compare to thy flatterers?


Women nearest. But men – men are the things

themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world,

Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?


Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.


Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of
confusion (n.) 1 destruction, overthrow, ruin

men, and remain a beast with the beasts?


Ay, Timon.


A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee

t' attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

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
peradventure (adv.) perhaps, maybe, very likely See Topics: Frequency count

the ass, thy dullness would torment thee, and still thou
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

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
hazard (v.) 1 expose to danger, put at risk
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee and
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin

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
german, germane (adj.) 1 near related, closely akin

spots of thy kindred were jurors on thy life. All thy
spot (n.) 3 fault, vice, crime

safety were remotion, and thy defence absence. What
remotion (n.) removal, departure; or: remoteness

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!


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.


How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out

of the city?


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
give way (v.) 2 keep out of the way [of], steer clear [of]

see thee again.


When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt

be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than



Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
cap (n.) 3 chief, supremo, doyen


Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!


A plague on thee! Thou art too bad to curse.


All villains that do stand by thee are pure.
stand (v.) 6 be placed, set, arrange


There is no leprosy but what thou speakest.


If I name thee.

I'll beat thee – but I should infect my hands.


I would my tongue could rot them off.


Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

Choler does kill me that thou art alive.
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath

I swoon to see thee.


Would thou wouldst burst!


                         Away, thou tedious rogue!

I am sorry I shall lose a stone by thee.

He throws a stone at Apemantus








Rogue, rogue, rogue!

I am sick of this false world, and will love naught
false (adj.) 7 unfair, unjust, double-crossing

But even the mere necessities upon't.
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

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.

He addresses the gold
divorce (n.) 1 cause of separation, reason for estrangement

O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce

'Twixt natural son and sire, thou bright defiler
natural (adj.) 4 related by blood

Of Hymen's purest bed, thou valiant Mars,

Thou ever young, fresh, loved, and delicate wooer,
delicate (adj.) 1 fine in quality, of exquisite nature, dainty

Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow

That lies on Dian's lap! Thou visible god,

That sold'rest close impossibilities,
close (adv.) 3 tightly, in a close-fitting way
solder (v.) unite, interlink, fasten

And makest them kiss; that speakest with every tongue,

To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count
touch (n.) 6 touchstone, test, proof

Think thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue

Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
confounding (adj.) destructive, ruinous, causing total confusion

May have the world in empire.


                         Would 'twere so!

But not till I am dead. I'll say th' hast gold.

Thou wilt be thronged to shortly.


                         Thronged to?




Thy back, I prithee.


                         Live, and love thy misery.


Long live so, and so die! I am quit.
quit (adj.) 2 freed [from], relieved [of]

Enter the Bandits
abhor (v.) 1 loathe, abominate, regard with disgust


More things like men! Eat, Timon, and abhor them.



Where should he have this gold? It is

some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder.
ort (n.) scrap, fragment, fraction
remainder (n.) 2 remaining wealth, residue of a fortune

The mere want of gold, and the falling-from of his
falling-from (n.) falling away, desertion, defection
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

friends, drove him into this melancholy.


It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.
noise (v.) rumour, spread about, noise abroad


Let us make the assay upon him. If he
assay (n.) 4 test, trial, measure

care not for't, he will supply us easily. If he covetously

reserve it, how shall's get it?


True; for he bears it not about him.

'Tis hid.


Is not this he?




'Tis his description.


He. I know him.


Save thee, Timon.


Now, thieves?


Soldiers, not thieves.


                         Both too – and women's sons.


We are not thieves, but men that much do want.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count


Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment

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;
mast (n.) fruit of forest trees, edible produce

The bounteous housewife Nature on each bush

Lays her full mess before you. Want? Why want?
mess (n.) 4 serving of food, dish


We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,

As beasts, and birds, and fishes.


Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes;

You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con
con (v.) 2 express, offer, give

That you are thieves professed, that you work not

In holier shapes. For there is boundless theft

In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
limited (adj.) 2 with exclusive membership, limited-entry
rascal (adj.) worthless, good-for-nothing

Here's gold. Go, suck the subtle blood o'th' grape
blood (n.) 10 vital fluid, life-giving juice
subtle, subtile (adj.) 3 refined, rarefied, very fine

Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
high (adj.) 1 very great, extreme
seethe (v.) 1 reduce by boiling, dissipate by overheating

And so 'scape hanging. Trust not the physician;
scape, 'scape (v.) escape, avoid See Topics: Frequency count

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,
protest (v.) 3 profess openly, acknowledge publicly

Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery.
example (v.) 1 find an example for, provide a model for
workman (n.) craftsman, skilled worker

The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction

Robs the vast sea. The moon's an arrant thief,
arrant (adj.) downright, absolute, unmitigated See Topics: Frequency count

And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.

The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
resolve (v.) 8 melt, dissolve, transform

The moon into salt tears. The earth's a thief,

That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
composture (n.) compost, manure

From general excrement. Each thing's a thief,
general (adj.) 2 all-embracing, universal, comprehensive

The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action
rough (adj.) 2 arbitrary, severe, strong

Has unchecked theft. Love not yourselves. Away.
unchecked (adj.) 2 unlimited, boundless opportunities for

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 less for this I give you,

And gold confound you howsoe'er. Amen.
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin


'Has almost charmed me from my profession,

by persuading me to it.


'Tis in the malice of mankind that he
malice (n.) hostility, hatred, ill-will, enmity

thus advises us, not to have us thrive in our mystery.
mystery (n.) 1 trade, office, occupation


I'll believe him as an enemy, and give

over my trade.


Let us first see peace in Athens. There is

no time so miserable but a man may be true.
true (adj.) 4 honest, upright, law-abiding

Exeunt Bandits

Enter Flavius


O you gods!

Is yond despised and ruinous man my lord?

Full of decay and failing? O monument
monument (n.) 1 memory, memorial, remembrance

And wonder of good deeds evilly bestowed!
wonder (n.) 2 object of fascination, target of astonishment

What an alteration of honour

Has desperate want made!

What viler thing upon the earth than friends,
vile, vild (adj.) 3 shameful, contemptible, wretched

Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
guise (n.) way, custom, practice
meet with (v.) fit in with, suit, agree with
rarely (adv.) 1 splendidly, beautifully, excellently

When man was wished to love his enemies!

Grant I may ever love, and rather woo

Those that would mischief me than those that do!
mischief (v.) hurt, injure, do harm to

'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!


Away! What art thou?


                         Have you forgot me, sir?


Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men.

Then, if thou grantest th' art a man, I have forgot thee.


An honest poor servant of yours.


Then I know thee not.

I never had honest man about me, I.

All I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment
serve in (v.) supply, provide, deal out


The gods are witness,

Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
wear (v.) 5 have, experience

For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down See Topics: Frequency count


What, dost thou weep? Come nearer. Then I love thee,

Because thou art a woman and disclaimest

Flinty mankind, whose eyes do never give
flinty (adj.) hard, harsh, tough
give (v.) 10 give forth, emit, flow

But thorough lust and laughter. Pity's sleeping.

Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!


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.
entertain (v.) 5 hire, employ, maintain, take into service
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]


Had I a steward

So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
comfortable (adj.) 2 comforting, encouraging, reassuring

It almost turns my dangerous nature mild.
dangerous (adj.) threatening, severe, menacing

Let me behold thy face. Surely this man

Was born of woman.

Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
exceptless (adj.) making no exceptions, indiscriminate

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,
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

And thou redeemest thyself. But all, save thee,

I fell with curses.

Methinks thou art more honest now than wise.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

For by oppressing and betraying me

Thou mightst have sooner got another service;
service (n.) 2 employment, situation as a servant

For many so arrive at second masters
arrive at end up with, obtain

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,
subtle-covetous (adj.) craftily avaricious

A usuring kindness, and as rich men deal gifts,
usuring (adj.) expecting ample interest, looking for maximum return

Expecting in return twenty for one?


No, my most worthy master, in whose breast

Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late.
suspect (n.) suspicion, mistrust, doubt

You should have feared false times when you did feast.
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial

Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count
suspect (n.) suspicion, mistrust, doubt

That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,

Duty, and zeal to your unmatched mind,
zeal (n.) ardour, fervour; or: loyalty, devotion

Care of your food and living. And believe it,
care (n.) 4 anxiety, worry, solicitude [about]
living (n.) possessions, means of support, livelihood

My most honoured 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.


Look thee, 'tis so. Thou singly honest man,
singly (adv.) 2 uniquely, solely; or: truly, sincerely

Here, take. The gods, out of my misery,

Ha' sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy,

But thus conditioned: thou shalt build from men,
condition (v.) make subject to a condition
from (prep.) 1 away from

Hate all, curse all, show charity to none,

But let the famished flesh slide from the bone

Ere thou relieve the beggar. Give to dogs

What thou deniest to men. Let prisons swallow 'em,
deny (v.) 2 refuse, decline, scorn

Debts wither 'em to nothing. Be men like blasted woods,
blasted (adj.) blighted, withered; accursed, malevolent

And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

And so farewell, and thrive.


O, let me stay and comfort you, my master.


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

at the rear of the stage

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