Timon of Athens

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Hautboys playing loud music. A great banquet served

in; Flavius and others attending; and then enter

Lord Timon, Alcibiades, the States, the Athenian

Lords, and Ventidius which Timon redeemed from

prison. Then comes, dropping after all, Apemantus,

discontentedly, like himself


Most honoured Timon, it hath pleased the gods
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
drop (v.) drift, meander, come casually
state (n.) 3 persons of rank, nobility, court, council of state

To remember my father's age, and call him to long peace.

He is gone happy, and has left me rich.

Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound

To your free heart, I do return those talents,
free (adj.) 1 liberal, lavish, generous

Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help

I derived liberty.


                         O, by no means,

Honest Ventidius. You mistake my love.
mistake (v.) 1 misunderstand, take wrongly, misconceive

I gave it freely ever, and there's none
freely (adv.) 1 without conditions, unreservedly

Can truly say he gives, if he receives.

If our betters play at that game, we must not dare

To imitate them; faults that are rich are fair.
fair (adj.) 4 fine, pleasing, splendid, excellent


A noble spirit!


                         Nay, my lords,

Ceremony was but devised at first

To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
gloss (n.) 1 deceptive appearance, plausibility

Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown;
goodness (n.) 1 natural kindness, generosity, bounty
recanting (adj.) causing an action to be retracted, resulting in withdrawal

But where there is true friendship there needs none.

Pray, sit. More welcome are ye to my fortunes

Than my fortunes to me.

They sit
confess (v.) 1 acknowledge, recognize, admit


My lord, we always have confessed it.


Ho, ho, confessed it! Hanged it, have you not?


O, Apemantus, you are welcome.



You shall not make me welcome.

I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.


Fie, th' art a churl. Y' have got a humour there
churl (n.) 1 peasant, serf, rustic
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

Does not become a man; 'tis much too blame.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
blame (adj.) blameworthy, culpable, guilty

They say, my lords, Ira furor brevis est;
ira... anger is a madness that doesn't last long See Topics: Latin

But yond man is ever angry.

Go, let him have a table by himself;

For he does neither affect company,
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out

Nor is he fit for't, indeed.


Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon.
apperil (n.) peril, risk, danger

I come to observe, I give thee warning on't.


I take no heed of thee. Th' art an Athenian,

therefore welcome. I myself would have no power –

prithee, let my meat make thee silent.
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment


I scorn thy meat. 'Twould choke me, for I

should ne'er flatter thee. O you gods! What a number of

men eats Timon, and he sees 'em not! It grieves me to

see so many dip their meat in one man's blood. And all

the madness is he cheers them up to't.
cheer up (v.) encourage, urge on, egg on

I wonder men dare trust themselves with men.

Methinks they should invite them without knives:
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.

There's much example for't. The fellow that sits next

him, now parts bread with him, pledges the breath of
breath (n.) 4 life, spirit, living and breathing existence
part (v.) 2 divide, share, split up

him in a divided draught, is the readiest man to kill
divided (adj.) 2 shared, with everyone partaking
draught (n.) 1 cup of drink
ready (adj.) 1 eager, willing, ready to act

him. 'T has been proved. If I were a huge man, I should
huge (adj.) great, important, of high rank

fear to drink at meals,

Lest they should spy my windpipe's dangerous notes.

Great men should drink with harness on their throats.


My lord, in heart! And let the health go round.
health (n.) 1 toast, salutation in drink
heart, in [in making a toast] in good spirits, in a spirit of fellowship


Let it flow this way, my good lord.
flow (v.) 1 move, travel, run


Flow this way? A brave fellow. He keeps
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

his tides well. Those healths will make thee and thy
health (n.) 1 toast, salutation in drink
tide (n.) 1 season, date, time [of year]

state look ill, Timon.
state (n.) 11 estate, property, wealth, means

Here's that which is too weak to be a sinner,
sinner (n.) cause of sin, instiller of wickedness

Honest water, which ne'er left man i'th' mire.

This and my food are equals, there's no odds.

Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.

crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count
grace (n.) 9 grace before meals, prayer of thanksgiving
pelf (n.) 1 possessions, property, goods

Immortal gods, I crave no pelf,

I pray for no man but myself.

Grant I may never prove so fond
fond (adj.) 1 foolish, stupid, mad

To trust man on his oath or bond,

Or a harlot for her weeping,

Or a dog that seems a-sleeping,

Or a keeper with my freedom,
keeper (n.) 1 gaoler, warden, custodian

Or my friends if I should need 'em.

Amen. So fall to't.
fall to, fall to it (v.) set to work, begin eating

Rich men sin, and I eat root.
root (n.) 2 vegetable root

He eats and drinks
dich (v.) [perhaps a dialectal form] do it

Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus.


Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


My heart is ever at your service, my lord.


You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than

a dinner of friends.


So they were bleeding new, my lord. There's
new (adv.) 1 newly, freshly, recently, just

no meat like 'em. I could wish my best friend at such a
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment



Would all those flatterers were thine

enemies then, that then thou mightst kill 'em – and bid
bid (v.), past form bade 3 pray, entreat, beg, ask

me to 'em.


Might we but have that happiness, my

lord, that you would once use our hearts, whereby we
use (v.) 3 make use of, engage [in], practise [with]

might express some part of our zeals, we should think

ourselves for ever perfect.
perfect (adj.) 9 in a state of complete satisfaction, totally content


O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods

themselves have provided that I shall have much help

from you. How had you been my friends else? Why
else (adv.) 1 otherwise See Topics: Discourse markers

have you that charitable title from thousands, did not
charitable (adj.) kindly, loving, warmhearted

you chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you

to myself than you can with modesty speak in your own

behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O you gods, think

I, what need we have any friends if we should ne'er

have need of 'em? They were the most needless

creatures living should we ne'er have use for 'em, and

would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in

cases, that keeps their sounds to themselves. Why, I

have often wished myself poorer that I might come

nearer to you. We are born to do benefits. And what

better or properer can we call our own than the riches of

our friends? O, what a precious comfort 'tis to have so
comfort (n.) 2 happiness, joy, cheerfulness

many like brothers commanding one another's fortunes!
command (v.) 2 have at one's disposal, be entrusted with
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
like as (conj.) 2 like-minded, harmonious

O, joy's e'en made away ere't can be born! Mine
make away (v.) put an end to, do away with

eyes cannot hold out water, methinks. To forget their
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

faults, I drink to you.


Thou weepest to make them drink, Timon.


Joy had the like conception in our eyes,
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count

And at that instant like a babe sprung up.


Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.


I promise you, my lord, you moved me much.
move (v.) 1 arouse, affect, stir [by emotion]



Sound tucket
trump (n.) 1 trumpet


What means that trump?

Enter a Servant

How now?


Please you, my lord, there are certain ladies

most desirous of admittance.


Ladies? What are their wills?
will (n.) 1 desire, wish, liking, inclination


There comes with them a forerunner, my lord,
signify (v.) report, make known, declare

which bears that office to signify their pleasures.
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function


I pray let them be admitted.

Enter Cupid


Hail to thee, worthy Timon, and to all

That of his bounties taste! The five best senses
bounty (n.) 3 act of kindness, good turn

Acknowledge thee their patron, and come freely

To gratulate thy plenteous bosom. Th' ear,
bosom (n.) 3 warm-heartedness, tender affection
gratulate (v.) greet, welcome, salute
plenteous (adj.) generous, liberal, bountiful

Taste, touch, smell, all pleased from thy table rise;

They only now come but to feast thine eyes.


They're welcome all; let 'em have kind admittance.

Exit Cupid

Music make their welcome.


You see, my lord, how ample y'are beloved.
ample (adv.) well, fully, completely

Music. Enter Cupid with a Masque of Ladies as

Amazons, with lutes in their hands, dancing and



Hoy-day, what a sweep of vanity comes this way!
sweep (n.) parade, progress, promenade
vanity (n.) 2 foolishness, absurdity, inanity

They dance? They are madwomen.

Like madness is the glory of this life

As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.
root (n.) 2 vegetable root
show (v.) appear, look [like], present [as]

We make ourselves fools to disport ourselves,
disport (v.) entertain, amuse, divert

And spend our flatteries to drink those men
drink (v.) 1 drink down, swallow up See Topics: Farewells
spend (v.) 2 expend, express, give vent to

Upon whose age we void it up again
age (n.) 2 mature years, old age
void up (v.) bring up, regurgitate, disgorge

With poisonous spite and envy.

Who lives that's not depraved or depraves?
deprave (v.) defame, disparage, deride
depraved (adj.) slandered, disparaged, defamed

Who dies that bears not one spurn to their graves
spurn (n.) 1 contemptuous treatment, scornful rejection

Of their friends' gift?
gift (n.) 2 giving, imparing, bestowal

I should fear those that dance before me now

Would one day stamp upon me. 'T has been done.

Men shut their doors against a setting sun.

The Lords rise from table, with much adoring of

Timon, and to show their loves each single out an

Amazon, and all dance, men with women, a lofty

strain or two to the hautboys, and cease


You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies,
adoring (n.) reverence, expression of respect [towards]
grace (n.) 4 gracefulness, charm, elegance
pleasure (n.) 4 enjoyment, pleasant occasion, revelry

Set a fair fashion on our entertainment,
entertainment (n.) 6 feast, banquet
fair (adj.) 4 fine, pleasing, splendid, excellent
fashion (n.) 1 manner, way, mode, appearance

Which was not half so beautiful and kind.
kind (adj.) 4 gracious, full of courtesy

You have added worth unto't and lustre,
lustre (n.) 1 light, glory, brilliance

And entertained me with mine own device.
device (n.) 10 show, performance, production

I am to thank you for't.


My lord, you take us even at the best.
best, at the 1 as well as one can, in the best possible way
take (v.) 16 measure, estimate, gauge


Faith, for the worst is filthy, and would not

hold taking, I doubt me.
doubt (v.) 1 fear, be afraid [for], feel anxious [for]


Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you,
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count
banquet, banket (n.) 1 refreshments, light meal, dessert
idle (adj.) 5 trifling, unimportant, trivial

Please you to dispose yourselves.
dispose (v.) 1 place, distribute, organize


Most thankfully, my lord.

Exeunt Cupid and Ladies




My lord?


                         The little casket bring me hither.


Yes, my lord. (Aside) More jewels yet!

There is no crossing him in's humour,
cross (v.) 2 contradict, challenge, go against
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice

Else I should tell him well, i'faith I should,
else (adv.) 1 otherwise See Topics: Discourse markers
well (adv.) 2 clearly, plainly, frankly

When all's spent, he'd be crossed then, an he could.
cross (v.) 6 [of a debt] cancel by crossing through, strike out

'Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,

That man might ne'er be wretched for his mind.
mind (n.) 2 intention, purpose, intent



Where be our men?


Here, my lord, in readiness.


Our horses!

Enter Flavius, with the casket


O my friends,

I have one word to say to you. Look you, my good lord,

I must entreat you honour me so much

As to advance this jewel. Accept it and wear it,
advance (v.) 2 display, present, promote

Kind my lord.


I am so far already in your gifts.
far (adv.) 2 very greatly, deeply


So are we all.

Enter a Servant


My lord, there are certain nobles of the

Senate newly alighted and come to visit you.


They are fairly welcome.
fairly (adv.) 5 fully, completely, entirely

Exit Servant


I beseech your honour, vouchsafe me a word.

It does concern you near.
near (adv.) 1 closely, intimately, seriously


Near? Why then, another time I'll hear thee. I

prithee let's be provided to show them entertainment.
entertainment (n.) 2 pleasant reception, favourable welcome


(aside) I scarce know how.

Enter another Servant


May it please your honour, Lord Lucius,

Out of his free love, hath presented to you
free (adj.) 1 liberal, lavish, generous

Four milk-white horses, trapped in silver.
trapped (adj.) adorn with trappings, deck out


I shall accept them fairly. Let the presents
fairly (adv.) 1 cordially, warmly, becomingly

Be worthily entertained.

Exit Servant
entertain (v.) 11 treat, deal with, handle

Enter a third Servant

                         How now? What news?


Please you, my lord, that honourable

gentleman Lord Lucullus entreats your company

tomorrow to hunt with him, and has sent your honour

two brace of greyhounds.


I'll hunt with him; and let them be received,

Not without fair reward.

Exit Servant
fair (adj.) 5 appropriate, courteous, pleasing



                         What will this come to?

He commands us to provide and give great gifts,

And all out of an empty coffer;

Nor will he know his purse, or yield me this,
know (v.) 1 acknowledge, remember, think [of] See Topics: Discourse markers
purse (n.) 1 resources, funds, available money
yield (v.) 2 concede, acknowledge, grant

To show him what a beggar his heart is,

Being of no power to make his wishes good.
make good 2 perform well, succeed in carrying out
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability

His promises fly so beyond his state
state (n.) 11 estate, property, wealth, means

That what he speaks is all in debt. He owes

For every word. He is so kind that he now

Pays interest for't. His land's put to their books.
put (v.) 5 bestow, grant, place officially

Well, would I were gently put out of office

Before I were forced out!
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

Happier is he that has no friend to feed

Than such that do e'en enemies exceed.

I bleed inwardly for my lord.



You do yourselves much wrong.

You bate too much of your own merits.
bate (v.) 2 [of quantities] lessen, reduce, deduct

Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.
trifle (n.) 2 small token, insignificant sign


With more than common thanks I will receive it.


O, he's the very soul of bounty.


And now I remember, my lord, you gave good

words the other day of a bay courser I rode on. 'Tis
courser (n.) swift horse, sprinter, charger

yours because you liked it.


O, I beseech you pardon me, my lord, in



You may take my word, my lord. I know no man

can justly praise but what he does affect. I weigh my
affect (v.) 2 love, like, be fond of

friend's affection with mine own. I'll tell you true, I'll
affection (n.) 1 fancy, inclination, desire

call to you.
call to (v.) call on, make a visit


O, none so welcome.


I take all and your several visitations
several (adj.) 2 various, sundry, respective, individual

So kind to heart, 'tis not enough to give.
kind (adv.) kindly, lovingly, with affection

Methinks I could deal kingdoms to my friends,
deal (v.) 4 bestow, apportion, grant
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

And ne'er be weary. Alcibiades,

Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich.

It comes in charity to thee; for all thy living
living (n.) possessions, means of support, livelihood

Is 'mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast

Lie in a pitched field.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
pitched (adj.) strategically planned, made ready for combat


Ay, defiled land, my lord.


We are so virtuously bound –
virtuously (adv.) steadfastly, strongly, powerfully


And so am I to you.


So infinitely endeared –
endeared (adj.) 1 attached in honour, bound by affection


All to you. Lights, more lights!


The best of happiness, honour, and fortunes

Keep with you, Lord Timon!
keep (v.) 6 continue, carry on, remain


Ready for his friends.

Exeunt all but Apemantus and Timon
coil (n.) turmoil, disturbance, fuss


                         What a coil's here,

Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums!
beck (n.) 2 bow, curtsy, gesture of respect
serve (v.) 1 provide, supply, furnish

I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums
leg (n.) 1 bending of a knee, genuflection, obeisance

That are given for 'em. Friendship's full of dregs.
dreg (n.) impurity, corruption, defiling matter

Methinks false hearts should never have sound legs.
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Thus honest fools lay out their wealth on curtsies.
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 2 curtsy, bow, gesture of respect
lay out (v.) expend, spend, use up


Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen, I

would be good to thee.
good (adj.) 2 kind, benevolent, generous


No, I'll nothing. For if I should be bribed

too, there would be none left to rail upon thee, and then
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count

thou wouldst sin the faster. Thou givest so long, Timon,

I fear me thou wilt give away thyself in paper shortly.
paper (n.) 2 paper replacement for money

What needs these feasts, pomps, and vainglories?
vainglory, vain-glory (n.) 2 showy event, ostentatious activity


Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am
once (adv.) 2 ever, at any time
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count

sworn not to give regard to you. Farewell, and come
regard (n.) 1 consideration, concern, thought, heed

with better music.



So. Thou wilt not hear me now; thou shalt

not then. I'll lock thy heaven from thee.
lock (v.) keep captive, keep away, detain

O, that men's ears should be

To counsel deaf, but not to flattery.


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