Athens. A room in Timon’s house.
(Steward Flavius; Timon’s Servants)
Timon’s former servants bid farewell to one another, remembering what a good master he was. Flavius divides up his money between them, and they all agree to remain friends. Flavius resolves to find Timon and serve him for as long as he can. (53 lines)
Enter Steward Flavius with two of Timon’s Servants, Flaminius and Servilius.
Hear you, Master Steward, where’s our master?
Are we undone, cast off, nothing remaining?
Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you?
Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,
I am as poor as you.
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.
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.
All broken implements of a ruin’d house.
Yet do our hearts wear Timon’s livery,
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.
Where ever we shall meet, for Timon’s sake
Let’s yet be fellows. Let’s shake our heads, and say,
As ’twere a knell unto our master’s fortunes,
“We have seen better days.” Let each take some;
Giving them money.
Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more:
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
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 would 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, do still mar men.
My dearest lord, blest to be most accurs’d,
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.