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Decline to your confounding contraries,
And let confusion live! Plagues, incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap

On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners! Lust and liberty
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth,
That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains,
Sow all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop
Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath,
That their society, as

their friendship, may

Be merely poison! Nothing I'll bear from thee,
But nakedness, thou detestable town!

Take thou that too, with multiplying bans !
Timon will to the woods, where he shall find
The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
The gods confound-hear me, you good gods all-
The Athenians both within and out that wall!
And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
To the whole race of mankind, high and low!


SCENE II. Athens. A room in Timon's house.

Enter FLAVIUS, with two or three Servants.

First Serv. Hear you, master steward, where's our master?

Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining? Flav. Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you?

Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,

I am as poor as you.

First Serv.

Such a house broke!



So noble a master fall'n! All gone! and not
One friend to take his fortune by the arm,

And go along with him!

Sec. Serv.

As we do turn our backs

From our companion thrown into his grave,
So his familiars to his buried fortunes

Slink all away, leave their false vows with him,
Like empty purses pick'd; and his poor self,
A dedicated beggar to the air,

With his disease of all-shunn'd poverty,

Walks, like contempt, alone. More of our fellows.

Enter other Servants.

Flav. All broken implements of a ruin'd house. Third Serv. Yet do our hearts wear Timon's


That see I by our faces; we are fellows still,
Serving alike in sorrow: leak'd is our bark,
And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck,
Hearing the surges threat: we must all part
Into this sea of air.


Good fellows all,

The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you.
Wherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake,

Let's yet be fellows; let's shake our heads, and


As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes,

'We have seen better days.' Nay, put out all your hands.

Let each take some.
Not one word more:

Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.

[Servants embrace, and part several ways.
O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!
Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since riches point to misery and contempt?
Who'd be so mock'd with glory? or to live
But in a dream of friendship?




To have his pomp and all what state compounds
But only painted, like his varnish'd friends?
Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart,
Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood,
When man's worst sin is, he does too much good!
Who, then, dares to be half so kind again?
For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men.
My dearest lord, bless'd, to be most accursed,
Rich, only to be wretched, thy great fortunes
Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord!

He's flung in rage from this ingrateful seat
Of monstrous friends, nor has he with him to
Supply his life, or that which can command it.
I'll follow and inquire him out :

I'll ever serve his mind with my best will;
Whilst I have gold, I'll be his steward still.


SCENE III. Woods and cave, near the sea-shore.

Enter TIMON, from the cave.

Tim. O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth

Rotten humidity; below thy sister's orb

Infect the air! Twinn'd brothers of one womb,
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,

Scarce is dividant, touch them with several for


The greater scorns the lesser: not nature,

To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune, But by contempt of nature.

35. what state compounds, that which composes state. 'State comprehends' has been suggested, rhyming with



'friends'; but the rhymes are too irregular to justify any change.

38. blood, disposition, temper.

Raise me this beggar, and deny 't that lord,
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
The beggar native honour.

It is the pasture lards the rother's sides,

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
Is smooth'd by that below: the learned pate
Ducks to the golden fool: all is oblique ;
There's nothing level in our cursed natures,
But direct villany. Therefore, be abhorr'd
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men !
His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains:
Destruction fang mankind! Earth, yield me
Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy most operant poison! What is here?
Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods,
I am no idle votarist: roots, you clear heavens !
Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair,
Wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.
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 the accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored; place thieves
And give them title, knee and approbation
With senators on the bench: this is it


[blocks in formation]

That makes the wapper'd widow wed again;

She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores

Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices 40
To the April day again. Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind, that put'st odds
Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature. [March afar off] Ha! a
drum? Thou 'rt quick,

But yet I'll bury thee: thou 'lt go, strong thief,
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.

Nay, stay thou out for earnest.

[Keeping some gold.

Enter ALCIBIADES, with drum and fife, in war-
like manner; PHRYNIA and TIMANDRA.

Alcib. What art thou there? speak.

Tim. A beast, as thou art.

thy heart,

The canker gnaw

For showing me again the eyes of man!

Alcib. What is thy name? Is man so hateful

to thee,

That art thyself a man?

Tim. I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.

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

That I might love thee something.


I know thee well ;

But in thy fortunes am unlearn'd and strange.

Tim. 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:

Religious canons, civil laws are cruel;
Then what should war be?


38. wapper'd, worn-out. Misprinted 'wappen'd' in F; 'un

This fell whore of



wapper'd' occurs in Two N. Kins. v. 4. 10, and elsewhere. L.

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