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Timon of Athens

ACT III SCENE VI The same. A banqueting-room in Timon's house. 
[ Music. Tables set out: Servants attending. Enter divers Lords, Senators and others, at several doors ]
First LordThe good time of day to you, sir.
Second LordI also wish it to you. I think this honourable lord
did but try us this other day.
First LordUpon that were my thoughts tiring, when we
encountered: I hope it is not so low with him as5
he made it seem in the trial of his several friends.
Second LordIt should not be, by the persuasion of his new feasting.
First LordI should think so: he hath sent me an earnest
inviting, which many my near occasions did urge me
to put off; but he hath conjured me beyond them, and10
I must needs appear.
Second LordIn like manner was I in debt to my importunate
business, but he would not hear my excuse. I am
sorry, when he sent to borrow of me, that my
provision was out.15
First LordI am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all
things go.
Second LordEvery man here's so. What would he have borrowed of
First LordA thousand pieces.20
Second LordA thousand pieces!
First LordWhat of you?
Second LordHe sent to me, sir,--Here he comes.
[Enter TIMON and Attendants]
TIMONWith all my heart, gentlemen both; and how fare you?
First LordEver at the best, hearing well of your lordship.25
Second LordThe swallow follows not summer more willing than we
your lordship.
TIMON[Aside] Nor more willingly leaves winter; such
summer-birds are men. Gentlemen, our dinner will not
recompense this long stay: feast your ears with the30
music awhile, if they will fare so harshly o' the
trumpet's sound; we shall to 't presently.
First LordI hope it remains not unkindly with your lordship
that I returned you an empty messenger.
TIMONO, sir, let it not trouble you.35
Second LordMy noble lord,--
TIMONAh, my good friend, what cheer?
Second LordMy most honourable lord, I am e'en sick of shame,
that, when your lordship this other day sent to me,
I was so unfortunate a beggar.40
TIMONThink not on 't, sir.
Second LordIf you had sent but two hours before,--
TIMONLet it not cumber your better remembrance.
[The banquet brought in]
Come, bring in all together.
Second LordAll covered dishes!45
First LordRoyal cheer, I warrant you.
Third LordDoubt not that, if money and the season can yield
First LordHow do you? What's the news?
Third LordAlcibiades is banished: hear you of it?50
Second LordAlcibiades banished!
Third Lord'Tis so, be sure of it.
First LordHow! how!
Second LordI pray you, upon what?
TIMONMy worthy friends, will you draw near?55
Third LordI'll tell you more anon. Here's a noble feast toward.
Second LordThis is the old man still.
Third LordWill 't hold? will 't hold?
Second LordIt does: but time will--and so--
Third LordI do conceive.60
TIMONEach man to his stool, with that spur as he would to
the lip of his mistress: your diet shall be in all
places alike. Make not a city feast of it, to let
the meat cool ere we can agree upon the first place:
sit, sit. The gods require our thanks.65
You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with
thankfulness. For your own gifts, make yourselves
praised: but reserve still to give, lest your
deities be despised. Lend to each man enough, that
one need not lend to another; for, were your70
godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the
gods. Make the meat be beloved more than the man
that gives it. Let no assembly of twenty be without
a score of villains: if there sit twelve women at
the table, let a dozen of them be--as they are. The75
rest of your fees, O gods--the senators of Athens,
together with the common lag of people--what is
amiss in them, you gods, make suitable for
destruction. For these my present friends, as they
are to me nothing, so in nothing bless them, and to80
nothing are they welcome.
Uncover, dogs, and lap.
[ The dishes are uncovered and seen to be full of warm water ]
Some SpeakWhat does his lordship mean?
Some OthersI know not.
TIMONMay you a better feast never behold,85
You knot of mouth-friends I smoke and lukewarm water
Is your perfection. This is Timon's last;
Who, stuck and spangled with your flatteries,
Washes it off, and sprinkles in your faces
Your reeking villany.90
[Throwing the water in their faces]
Live loathed and long,
Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
You fools of fortune, trencher-friends, time's flies,
Cap and knee slaves, vapours, and minute-jacks!95
Of man and beast the infinite malady
Crust you quite o'er! What, dost thou go?
Soft! take thy physic first--thou too--and thou;--
Stay, I will lend thee money, borrow none.
[Throws the dishes at them, and drives them out]
What, all in motion? Henceforth be no feast,100
Whereat a villain's not a welcome guest.
Burn, house! sink, Athens! henceforth hated be
Of Timon man and all humanity!
[Re-enter the Lords, Senators, &c]
First LordHow now, my lords!
Second LordKnow you the quality of Lord Timon's fury?105
Third LordPush! did you see my cap?
Fourth LordI have lost my gown.
First LordHe's but a mad lord, and nought but humour sways him.
He gave me a jewel th' other day, and now he has
beat it out of my hat: did you see my jewel?110
Third LordDid you see my cap?
Second LordHere 'tis.
Fourth LordHere lies my gown.
First LordLet's make no stay.
Second LordLord Timon's mad.115
Third LordI feel 't upon my bones.
Fourth LordOne day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.

Timon of Athens, Act 4, Scene 1


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