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dulness would torment thee, and still thou 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 unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee and make thine own self the conquest of thy 340 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 spots of thy kindred were jurors on thy life: all thy safety were remotion and thy defence absence. What 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 !

Apem. If thou couldst please me with speak- 350 ing to me, thou mightst have hit upon it here: the commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.

Tim. How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city?

Apem. 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 see thee again.

Tim. When there is nothing living but thee, 360 thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than Apemantus.

Apem. Thou art the cap of all the fools alive. Tim. Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon! Apem. A plague on thee! thou art too bad to

curse.

Tim. All villains that do stand by thee are pure. Apem. There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st.

346. remotion, a keeping aloof.

Tim. If I name thee.

I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
Apem. I would my tongue could rot them off!
Tim. Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me that thou art alive;

I swound to see thee.

Apem.
Tim.

Would thou wouldst burst!

Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry I shall lose

A stone by thee.

Арет.

Tim.

Away,

[Throws a stone at him.

Beast!

Slave!

Toad!

Rogue, rogue, rogue!

370

Apem.

Tim.

I am sick of this false world, and will love nought
But even the mere necessities upon 't.
Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave;
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.
[To the gold] O thou sweet king-killer, and dear
divorce

'Twixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler
Of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars!
Thou ever young, fresh, loved and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian's lap! thou visible god,
That solder'st close impossibilities,

And makest them kiss! that speak'st with every

tongue,

To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
Think, thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire!

Apem.

Would 'twere so!

390. touch, touchstone, test.

380

390

But not till I am dead. I'll say thou'st gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.

Tim. Apem.

Tim. Thy back, I prithee.

Apem.

Throng'd to!

Ay.

Live, and love thy misery.

Tim. Long live so, and so die. [Exit Apemantus.] I am quit.

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

Enter Banditti.

First Ban. Where should he have this gold? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder the mere want of gold, and the falling-from of his friends, drove him into this melancholy.

Sec. Ban. It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.

Third Ban. Let us make the assay upon him: if he care not for 't, he will supply us easily; if he covetously reserve it, how shall's get it?

Sec. Ban. True; for he bears it not about him, 'tis hid.

First Ban. Is not this he?

Banditti. Where?

Sec. Ban. 'Tis his description.

Third Ban. He; I know him.

Banditti. Save thee, Timon.

Tim. Now, thieves?

Banditti. Soldiers, not thieves.

Tim. Both too; and women's sons.

Banditti. We are not thieves, but men that much do want.

Tim. Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.

400. ort, remnant.

400

410

Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath

roots;

Within this mile break forth a hundred springs;
The oaks bear mast, the briers scarlet hips;

The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want! why want?
First Ban. We cannot live on grass, on berries,

water,

As beasts and birds and fishes.

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

You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con
That you are thieves profess'd, that you work not
In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft
In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
Here's gold. Go, suck the subtle blood o' the
grape,

Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
And so 'scape hanging: trust not the physician;
His antidotes are poison, and he slays

Moe than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
Do villany, do, since you protest to do 't,
Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery :
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
From general excrement: each thing's a thief:
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft. Love not yourselves: away,
Rob one another. There's more gold. Cut throats:

422. mast; a term for the edible fruit of forest trees, usually applied to the beech-nut.

424. mess, portion of food.

420

430

440

428. thanks I must you con, I must be thankful to you for it.

All that you meet are thieves: to Athens go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it: steal no less for this
I give you; and gold confound you howsoe'er !
Amen.

Third Ban. Has almost charmed me from my profession, by persuading me to it.

First Ban. 'Tis in the malice of mankind that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.

Sec. Ban. I'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.

First Ban. Let us first see peace in Athens: there is no time so miserable but a man may be [Exeunt Banditti.

true.

450

460

Enter FLAVIUS.

Flav. O you gods!

Is yond despised and ruinous man my lord?
Full of decay and failing? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd!
What an alteration of honour

Has desperate want made!

What viler thing upon the earth than friends
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wish'd to love his enemies!
Grant I may ever love, and rather woo

Those that would mischief me than those that do!
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!
Tim. Away! what art thou?

Flav.

Have you forgot me, sir?

470

Tim. Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men ; 480

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