Timon of Athens


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Poet and Painter, Jeweller and Merchant, at
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count

several doors


POET

Good day, sir.


PAINTER

                         I am glad y'are well.


POET

I have not seen you long. How goes the world?


PAINTER

It wears, sir, as it grows.
wear (v.) 2 pass, waste, run out


POET

                         Ay, that's well known.

But what particular rarity? What strange,
strange (adj.) 2 rare, singular, exceptional

Which manifold record not matches? See,
match (v.) 2 compare, equate, make equal
record (n.) 3 recorded history, public remembrance

Magic of bounty, all these spirits thy power
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action

Hath conjured to attend! I know the merchant.
attend (v.) 3 serve at court, wait on royalty
conjure (v.) 2 call up, bring out, produce


PAINTER

I know them both; th' other's a jeweller.


MERCHANT

O, 'tis a worthy lord!
fixed (adj.) 1 certain, indisputable, definite


JEWELLER

                         Nay, that's most fixed.


MERCHANT

A most incomparable man, breathed, as it were,
breathed (adj.) strong-winded, well-exercised

To an untirable and continuate goodness.
continuate (adj.) 2 continuing, long-lasting, enduring
goodness (n.) 1 natural kindness, generosity, bounty
untirable (adj.) tireless, inexhaustible, indefatigable

He passes.
pass (v.) 1 surpass, go beyond, outdo


JEWELLER

                         I have a jewel here –


MERCHANT

O, pray, let's see't. For the Lord Timon, sir?


JEWELLER

If he will touch the estimate. But for that –
estimate (n.) 1 value, esteem, estimation
touch (v.) 12 reach, rise to, go as far as


POET

(reciting to himself)
vile, vild (n.) 2 worthless person, one not deserving of praise

‘ When we for recompense have praised the vile,

It stains the glory in that happy verse
stain (v.) 2 eclipse, belittle, put in the shade

Which aptly sings the good.’


MERCHANT

(looking at the jewel)
form (n.) 8 physical appearance, outward appearance

                         'Tis a good form.


JEWELLER

And rich. Here is a water, look ye.
water (n.) 2 lustre, sheen, quality


PAINTER

You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
rapt (adj.) 1 absorbed, engrossed, preoccupied

To the great lord.
idly (adv.) 2 without paying attention, casually


POET

                         A thing slipped idly from me.

Our poesy is as a gum which oozes
poesy (n.) poetry

From whence 'tis nourished. The fire i'th' flint

Shows not till it be struck. Our gentle flame
gentle (adj.) 3 refined, discriminating, sophisticated

Provokes itself, and like the current flies
fly (v.) 1 leave, run away [from], flee
provoke (v.) 2 bring about, induce, engender

Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
bound (n.) 1 limit, boundary, confine, barrier
chafe (v.) 1 fret, rage, seethe


PAINTER

A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?
come forth (v.) come into existence, be displayed


POET

Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
presentment (n.) 2 presentation, bestowal, offering for acceptance

Let's see your piece.
piece (n.) 1 work (of art), creation


PAINTER

'Tis a good piece.


POET

So 'tis. This comes off well and excellent.
come off (v.) 4 turn out, result


PAINTER

Indifferent.
grace (n.) 4 gracefulness, charm, elegance
indifferent (adj.) 3 average, ordinary, typical


POET

                         Admirable. How this grace

Speaks his own standing! What a mental power
speak (v.) 3 proclaim, show, reveal
standing (n.) 2 status, position, stature

This eye shoots forth! How big imagination
big (adv.) 2 strongly, forcefully, with depth
power (n.) 4 force, strength, might

Moves in this lip! To th' dumbness of the gesture
move (v.) 1 arouse, affect, stir [by emotion]

One might interpret.
interpret (v.) provide a dialogue [as does a puppeteer on behalf of the puppets]


PAINTER

It is a pretty mocking of the life.
mocking (n.) imitation, representation, impression
pretty (adj.) 1 clever, ingenious, artful

Here is a touch. Is't good?
touch (n.) 1 trait, quality, feature


POET

                         I will say of it,

It tutors nature. Artificial strife
artificial (adj.) 1 showing creative artistry, artistically skilful
strife (n.) striving, endeavour, strong effort

Lives in these touches livelier than life.
touch (n.) 1 trait, quality, feature

Enter certain senators, and pass over the stage
follow (v.) 1 seek after, pursue, strive for, court


PAINTER

How this lord is followed!


POET

The senators of Athens – happy man!


PAINTER

Look, more!
mo, moe (adj.) more [in number]


POET

You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors.

I have in this rough work shaped out a man
rough (adj.) 3 imperfect, unpolished, untidy

Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
beneath (adj.) lower, earthly

With amplest entertainment. My free drift
drift (n.) 2 direction, progress, course
entertainment (n.) 2 pleasant reception, favourable welcome
free (adj.) 8 open, unobstructed, unimpeded

Halts not particularly, but moves itself
particularly (adv.) 2 by singling out any one individual

In a wide sea of tax. No levelled malice
levelled (adj.) targetted, directed, aimed
tax (n.) charge, accusation, censure

Infects one comma in the course I hold,
comma (n.) 1 [subordinate part of a sentence] detail, jot
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

But flies an eagle flight, bold and forth on,
forth (adv.) 3 straight, directly

Leaving no tract behind.
tract (n.) 3 trace, trail, evidence of passage


PAINTER

How shall I understand you?


POET

I will unbolt to you.
unbolt (v.) unfold, explain, open out

You see how all conditions, how all minds,
condition (n.) 4 position, social rank, station

As well of glib and slipp'ry creatures as
glib (adj.) smooth, suave, oily

Of grave and austere quality, tender down
quality (n.) 1 nature, disposition, character
tender down (v.) offer, proffer, present

Their services to Lord Timon. His large fortune,

Upon his good and gracious nature hanging,

Subdues and properties to his love and tendance
property (v.) 2 appropriate, take possession of
tendance (n.) 1 attention, care, solicitude

All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-faced flatterer
glass-faced (adj.) mirror-faced, self-reflecting

To Apemantus, that few things loves better

Than to abhor himself – even he drops down

The knee before him, and returns in peace

Most rich in Timon's nod.


PAINTER

I saw them speak together.


POET

                         Sir,

I have upon a high and pleasant hill

Feigned Fortune to be throned. The base o'th' mount

Is ranked with all deserts, all kind of natures,
desert, desart (n.) 2 worth, merit, deserving
nature (n.) 5 personality, innate disposition, character
rank (v.) 1 arrange in ranks, order in rows

That labour on the bosom of this sphere
bosom (n.) 6 surface
sphere (n.) 2 globe, earth, world

To propagate their states. Amongst them all,
propagate (v.) increase, multiply
state (n.) 11 estate, property, wealth, means

Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fixed

One do I personate of Lord Timon's frame,
frame (n.) 5 nature, frame of mind, disposition
personate (v.) 1 describe, represent, delineate

Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her,
waft (v.) 1 beckon, wave [at], signal

Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
grace (n.) 1 honour, favour, recognition, respect

Translates his rivals.
conceive (v.) 4 devise, form, conceptualize
scope (n.) 1 goal, prospect, purpose, aim
translate (v.) 1 transform, change, alter


PAINTER

                         'Tis conceived to scope.

This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

With one man beckoned from the rest below,

Bowing his head against the steepy mount
steepy (adj.) steep, precipitous, difficult to ascend

To climb his happiness, would be well expressed
climb (v.) reach, attain, achieve
happiness (n.) 1 good luck, success, good fortune

In our condition.
hear on (v.) listen further to


POET

                         Nay, sir, but hear me on.

All those which were his fellows but of late –
fellow (n.) 2 counterpart, match, equal
late, of recently, a little while ago

Some better than his value – on the moment
moment, on the immediately, instantly
value (n.) worth, estimation, valuation

Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
lobby (n.) ante-room, corridor
tendance (n.) 2 retinue, people in attendance

Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear,

Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him

Drink the free air.


PAINTER

                         Ay, marry, what of these?


POET

When Fortune in her shift and change of mood

Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants,
spurn (v.) 2 kick, strike, stamp [on], dash

Which laboured after him to the mountain's top

Even on their knees and hands, let him fall down,

Not one accompanying his declining foot.
declining (adj.) 2 falling, sinking, descending


PAINTER

'Tis common.

A thousand moral paintings I can show
moral (adj.) 2 pointing a moral, allegorical

That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's

More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well

To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen
mean (adj.) 2 lowly, humble, poor

The foot above the head.

Trumpets sound. Enter Lord Timon, addressing himself

courteously to every suitor; a Messenger from

Ventidius talking with him; Lucilius and other

servants following


TIMON

Imprisoned is he, say you?


MESSENGER

Ay, my good lord. Five talents is his debt,

His means most short, his creditors most strait.
short (adj.) 1 wanting, insufficient, inadequate
strait (adj.) 1 stringent, strict, harsh

Your honourable letter he desires

To those have shut him up, which failing

Periods his comfort.
period (v.) end, conclude; [with ‘comfort’ as object] put an end to; or [with ‘comfort’ as subject]: come to an end


TIMON

                         Noble Ventidius! Well,

I am not of that feather to shake off
feather (n.) kind, type, disposition
shake off (v.) abandon, cast off, discard

My friend when he must need me. I do know him

A gentleman that well deserves a help,

Which he shall have. I'll pay the debt, and free him.


MESSENGER

Your lordship ever binds him.


TIMON

Commend me to him. I will send his ransom;
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count
ransom (n.) money owing, amount to be paid

And, being enfranchised, bid him come to me.
enfranchise (v.) set free, liberate

'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,

But to support him after. Fare you well.


MESSENGER

All happiness to your honour!

Exit

Enter an Old Athenian
father (n.) 1 old man, venerable sir See Topics: Address forms
freely (adv.) 2 gladly, willingly, readily


OLD ATHENIAN

Lord Timon, hear me speak.


TIMON

                         Freely, good father.


OLD ATHENIAN

Thou hast a servant named Lucilius.


TIMON

I have so. What of him?


OLD ATHENIAN

Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.


TIMON

Attends he here, or no? Lucilius!
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]


LUCILIUS

Here, at your lordship's service.


OLD ATHENIAN

This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature,
creature (n.) 3 dependant, servant

By night frequents my house. I am a man

That from my first have been inclined to thrift,

And my estate deserves an heir more raised
raise (v.) 4 elevate in rank, advance, promote

Than one which holds a trencher.
trencher (n.) plate, platter, serving dish


TIMON

                         Well, what further?


OLD ATHENIAN

One only daughter have I, no kin else,

On whom I may confer what I have got.
get (v.) 3 acquire, gain, earn

The maid is fair, o'th' youngest for a bride,
fair (adj.) 1 handsome, good-looking, beautiful

And I have bred her at my dearest cost
breed (v.), past form bred 1 raise, bring up, support

In qualities of the best. This man of thine
quality (n.) 2 accomplishment, capacity, ability

Attempts her love. I prithee, noble lord,
attempt (v.) 1 endeavour, venture, strive [for]

Join with me to forbid him her resort;
resort (n.) 1 visits, visitings, approaches

Myself have spoke in vain.


TIMON

                         The man is honest.


OLD ATHENIAN

Therefore he will be, Timon.

His honesty rewards him in itself;

It must not bear my daughter.
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 12 carry away, take as a companion


TIMON

                         Does she love him?


OLD ATHENIAN

She is young and apt.
apt (adj.) 6 impressionable, susceptible

Our own precedent passions do instruct us
passion (n.) 1 powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]
precedent (adj.) former, previous, prior

What levity's in youth.


TIMON

(to Lucilius)

                         Love you the maid?


LUCILIUS

Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.


OLD ATHENIAN

If in her marriage my consent be missing,

I call the gods to witness, I will choose

Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,

And dispossess her all.
all (adv.) 1 exclusively, totally, altogether
endow (v.) provide with a dowry


TIMON

                         How shall she be endowed

If she be mated with an equal husband?
equal (adj.) 3 of the same social position; or: of equivalent fortune


OLD ATHENIAN

Three talents on the present; in future, all.
present, on the right now, immediately, forthwith


TIMON

This gentleman of mine hath served me long.

To build his fortune I will strain a little,
strain (v.) 1 stretch, make extra effort

For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter.
bond (n.) 2 duty, commitment, obligation

What you bestow, in him I'll counterpoise,
counterpoise (v.) 1 equal, match, rival

And make him weigh with her.
weigh (v.) 1 balance [as in scales], poise, match


OLD ATHENIAN

                         Most noble lord,

Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.
pawn (v.) stake, pledge, risk


TIMON

My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise.


LUCILIUS

Humbly I thank your lordship. Never may

The state or fortune fall into my keeping
state (n.) 11 estate, property, wealth, means

Which is not owed to you.

Exeunt Lucilius and Old Athenian


POET

(presenting a poem)
vouchsafe (v.) 2 be pleased to accept, graciously receive

Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your lordship!


TIMON

I thank you; you shall hear from me anon.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

Go not away. (To Painter) What have you there, my friend?


PAINTER

A piece of painting, which I do beseech
piece (n.) 1 work (of art), creation

Your lordship to accept.


TIMON

                         Painting is welcome.

The painting is almost the natural man;

For since dishonour traffics with man's nature,
traffic with (v.) traffic in, trade illicitly, pervert

He is but outside; these pencilled figures are
outside (n.) 1 appearance, look, outside show
pencilled (adj.) painted, shown in a painting

Even such as they give out. I like your work,

And you shall find I like it. Wait attendance

Till you hear further from me.


PAINTER

                         The gods preserve ye!


TIMON

Well fare you, gentleman. Give me your hand.
fare (v.) 1 get on, manage, do, cope See Topics: Frequency count

We must needs dine together. (To Jeweller) Sir, your jewel

Hath suffered under praise.
dispraise (n.) disparagement, censure, reproach


JEWELLER

                         What, my lord, dispraise?


TIMON

A mere satiety of commendations.
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count
satiety (n.) 1 excess, over-abundance

If I should pay you for't as 'tis extolled,

It would unclew me quite.
rate (v.) 2 reckon, estimate, appraise
unclew (v.) unwind, undo; ruin


JEWELLER

                         My lord, 'tis rated

As those which sell would give. But you well know

Things of like value, differing in the owners,
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count

Are prized by their masters. Believe't, dear lord,

You mend the jewel by the wearing it.
mend (v.) 2 increase the value of, make more excellent


TIMON

Well mocked.
mocked, well make a jocular riposte, evade an argument using flattery

Enter Apemantus
tongue (n.) 1 speech, expression, language, words, voice


MERCHANT

No, my good lord; he speaks the common tongue

Which all men speak with him.


TIMON

Look who comes here. Will you be chid?
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count


JEWELLER

We'll bear, with your lordship.
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 5 sustain, carry through, keep going


MERCHANT

                         He'll spare none.


TIMON

Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


APEMANTUS

Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow,
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await

When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


TIMON

Why dost thou call them knaves? Thou knowest them not.


APEMANTUS

Are they not Athenians?


TIMON

Yes.


APEMANTUS

Then I repent not.


JEWELLER

You know me, Apemantus?


APEMANTUS

Thou knowest I do. I called thee by thy name.


TIMON

Thou art proud, Apemantus.


APEMANTUS

Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.


TIMON

Whither art going?


APEMANTUS

To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.


TIMON

That's a deed thou'lt die for.


APEMANTUS

Right, if doing nothing be death by th' law.


TIMON

How likest thou this picture, Apemantus?


APEMANTUS

The best, for the innocence.


TIMON

Wrought he not well that painted it?
work (v.), past form wrought 2 perform, do, carry out


APEMANTUS

He wrought better that made the painter,

and yet he's but a filthy piece of work.
filthy (adj.) nasty, contemptible, disgusting


PAINTER

Y'are a dog.


APEMANTUS

Thy mother's of my generation. What's
generation (n.) 4 breed, class, pedigree

she, if I be a dog?


TIMON

Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?


APEMANTUS

No. I eat not lords.


TIMON

An thou shouldst, thou'dst anger ladies.


APEMANTUS

O, they eat lords; so they come by great
come by (v.) find, acquire, come across

bellies.


TIMON

That's a lascivious apprehension.
apprehension (n.) 2 conception, grasping by the mind, awareness


APEMANTUS

So thou apprehendest it. Take it for thy
apprehend (v.) 2 seize upon, snatch at, lay hold of

labour.


TIMON

How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?


APEMANTUS

Not so well as plain-dealing, which will not

cost a man a doit.
doit (n.) [small Dutch coin = half an English farthing] trivial sum, worthless amount, trifle See Topics: Money


TIMON

What dost thou think 'tis worth?


APEMANTUS

Not worth my thinking. How now, poet!


POET

How now, philosopher!


APEMANTUS

Thou liest.


POET

Art not one?


APEMANTUS

Yes.


POET

Then I lie not.


APEMANTUS

Art not a poet?


POET

Yes.


APEMANTUS

Then thou liest. Look in thy last work,

where thou hast feigned him a worthy fellow.
feign (v.) 1 depict, imagine, conjure up


POET

That's not feigned – he is so.


APEMANTUS

Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee

for thy labour. He that loves to be flattered is worthy

o'th' flatterer. Heavens, that I were a lord!


TIMON

What wouldst do then, Apemantus?


APEMANTUS

E'en as Apemantus does now: hate a lord

with my heart.


TIMON

What, thyself?


APEMANTUS

Ay.


TIMON

Wherefore?


APEMANTUS

That I had no angry wit to be a lord. – Art
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

not thou a merchant?


MERCHANT

Ay, Apemantus.


APEMANTUS

Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not!
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin
traffic (n.) 1 trade, commerce, business, merchandise


MERCHANT

If traffic do it, the gods do it.


APEMANTUS

Traffic's thy god, and thy god confound
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin

thee!

Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger


TIMON

What trumpet's that?


MESSENGER

'Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty horse,
horse (n.) cavalry, horse soldiers

All of companionship.
companionship, of belonging to one company, in a single party


TIMON

Pray entertain them, give them guide to us.
entertain (v.) 2 welcome, receive kindly, treat well, show hospitality to
guide (n.) guidance, direction, conduct

Exeunt some attendants

You must needs dine with me. Go not you hence

Till I have thanked you. When dinner's done,

Show me this piece. I am joyful of your sights.
piece (n.) 1 work (of art), creation
sight (n.) 3 sighting, presence in one's sight

Enter Alcibiades, with the rest

Most welcome, sir!


APEMANTUS

                         So, so, there!

Aches contract and starve your supple joints!
contract (v.) 3 shrink, shrivel, cripple
starve (v.) 5 destroy, wither, waste away

That there should be small love amongst these sweet knaves,
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count
sweet (adj.) 3 smooth, unctuous, oily

And all this courtesy! The strain of man's bred out
breed out (v.) exhaust through breeding, become degenerate
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 1 courteous service, polite behaviour, good manners
strain (n.) 1 quality, character, disposition

Into baboon and monkey.


ALCIBIADES

Sir, you have saved my longing, and I feed
save (v.) 2 prevent, avoid, avert

Most hungerly on your sight.
hungerly (adv.) hungrily, greedily, avidly


TIMON

                         Right welcome, sir!

Ere we depart we'll share a bounteous time
depart (v.) separate, part company, take leave of one another

In different pleasures. Pray you, let us in.
different (adj.) 2 various, several

Exeunt all but Apemantus

Enter two Lords


FIRST LORD

What time o' day is't, Apemantus?


APEMANTUS

Time to be honest.


FIRST LORD

That time serves still.
serve (v.) 2 suffice, be enough, do [for]
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


APEMANTUS

The more accursed thou that still omittest it.


SECOND LORD

Thou art going to Lord Timon's feast?


APEMANTUS

Ay, to see meat fill knaves and wine heat fools.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


SECOND LORD

Fare thee well, fare thee well.


APEMANTUS

Thou art a fool to bid me farewell twice.


SECOND LORD

Why, Apemantus?


APEMANTUS

Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I

mean to give thee none.


FIRST LORD

Hang thyself.


APEMANTUS

No, I will do nothing at thy bidding. Make

thy requests to thy friend.


SECOND LORD

Away, unpeaceable dog, or I'll spurn thee
spurn (v.) 2 kick, strike, stamp [on], dash
unpeaceable (adj.) quarrelsome, contentious, noisily argumentative

hence.


APEMANTUS

I will fly, like a dog, the heels o'th' ass.

Exit


FIRST LORD

He's opposite to humanity.
opposite (adj.) opposed, hostile, adverse, antagonistic [to]

Come, shall we in

And taste Lord Timon's bounty? He outgoes
outgo (v.) 1 outdo, outstrip, surpass

The very heart of kindness.
heart (n.) 2 spirit, soul, essence See Topics: Discourse markers


SECOND LORD

He pours it out. Plutus, the god of gold,

Is but his steward. No meed but he repays
meed (n.) 3 gift, service, benefaction

Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him

But breeds the giver a return exceeding

All use of quittance.
quittance (n.) 1 due recompense, repayment, requital
use (n.) 1 usual practice, habit, custom


FIRST LORD

                         The noblest mind he carries

That ever governed man.


SECOND LORD

Long may he live in fortunes. Shall we in?


FIRST LORD

I'll keep you company.

Exeunt

 
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