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Monologues for Men


My worthy friends, will you draw near?

Each 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.

You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with thankfulness. For your own gifts, make yourselves prais’d; but reserve still to give, lest your deities be despis’d. Lend to each man enough, that one need not lend to another; for were your godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the gods. Make the meat be belov’d 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. The 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 to nothing are they welcome.

Uncover, dogs, and lap!

The dishes are uncovered and seen to be full of warm water.

May you a better feast never behold,

You knot of mouth-friends! 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 villainy.

Throwing the water in their faces.

Live loath’d, 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, vapors, and minute-jacks!

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

Whereat a villain’s not a welcome guest.

Burn house! sink Athens! henceforth hated be

Of Timon man and all humanity!

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