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To accept my grief, and, whilst this poor wealth lasts, To entertain me as your steward still.
Tim. Had I a steward so true, so just, and now So comfortable? It almost turns My dangerous nature wild. Let me behold Thy face.-Surely, this man was born of woman. Forgive my general and exceptless rashness, Perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim One honest man,-mistake me not, -but one; No more, I pray,--and he is a steward. How fain would I have hated all mankind, And thou redeem'st thyself: But all, save thee, I fell with curses. Methinks, thou art more honest now, than wise; For, by oppressing and betraying me, Thou might'st have sooner got another service: For many so arrive at second masters, Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true, (For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure,) Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous, If not a usuring kindness; and as rich men deal gifts, Expecting in return twenty for one? Flav. No, my most worthy master, in whose
breast Doubt and suspect, alas, are plac'd too late: You should have fear'd false times, when
did feast: Suspect still comes where an estate is least. That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love, Duty and zeal to your uninatched mind, Care of your food and living: and, believe it, My most honour'd lord,
power and wealth
For any benefit that points to me,
had To requite me, by making rich yourself. Tim. Look thee, 'tis so!—Thou singly honest
man, Here, take:--the gods out of my misery Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich, and happy: But thus condition’d; Thou shalt build from men; Hate all, curse all: show charity to none; But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone, Ere thou relieve the beggar: give to dogs What thou deny’st to men; let prisons swallow them, Debts wither them: Be men like blasted woods, And may diseases lick
their false bloods! And so, farewel, and thrive. Flav.
o, let me stay, And comfort you, my master. Tim.
If thou hat'st Curses, stay not; fly, whilst thou’rt bless’d and free; Ne'er see thou man, and let me ne'er see thee.
BEFORE TIMON'S CAVE.
Enter Poet & Painter; Timon behind, unseen. Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.
Poet. What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold?
Pain. Certain: Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Tymandra had gold of him: he likewise enrich'd poor straggling soldiers with great quantity: 'Tis said, he gave unto his steward a mighty sum.
Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.
Pain. Nothing else: you shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore, 'tis not amiss, we tender our loves to him, in this supposed distress of his: it will show honestly in us; and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travel for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.
Poet. What have you now to present unto him?
Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation: only I will promise him an excellent piece.
Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.
Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the time: it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of saying is quite' out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will, or testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.
Tim. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.
Poet. I am thinking, what I shall say I have provided for him: It must be a personating of himself: a satire against the softness of prosperity; with a discovery of the infinite flatteries, that follow youth and opulency:
Tim. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.
Poet. Nay, let's seek him:
gold, That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple, Than where swine feed! 'Tis thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough’st the
foam; Settlest admired reverence in a slave: To thee be 'worship! and thy saints for aye Be crown’d with plagues, that thee alone obey ! 'Fit I do meet them.
Poet. Hail, worthy Timon!
Our late noble master. Tim. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men?
Poet. Sir, Having often of your open bounty tasted, Hearing you were retir’d, your friends fall’n off, Whose thankless natures--O abhorred spirits ! Not all the whips of heaven are large enoughWhat! to you! Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence To their whole being! I'm rapt, and cannot cover The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude With any size of words.
Tim. Let it go naked, men may see't the better: You, that are honest, by being what you are, Make them best seen, and known. Pain.
He, and myself, Have travell’d in the great shower of your gifts, And sweetly felt it. Tim.
Ay, you are honest men. Pain. We are hither come to offer you our
service. Tim. Most honest men! Why, how shall I re
quite you? Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no. Both. What we can do, we'll do, to do you ser
vice. Tim. You are honest men: You have heard that
I have gold; I am sure, you have: speak truth: you are honest
Pain. So it is said, my noble lord: but therefore