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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Timon of Athens Scenes


Scene 4

Athens. A hall in Timon’s house.

(Varro’s two Servants; Titus; Lucius’ Servant; Hortensius; Philotus; Flaminius; Steward Flavius; Servilius; Timon)


All of Timon’s creditors’ servants throng the hall of Timon’s house, waiting for him. Flavius tries to sneak out but is recognized, and tells them bluntly that there’s no money for them here. They refuse to believe Servilius when he claims that Timon is sick, as they think this is just a trick to avoid them. Timon comes out in a rage and they press on him, and it becomes clear to them that they will not be receiving anything. They leave. Timon sends Flavius to invite all of his so-called friends to another feast. Flavius protests that there’s no money for one, but Timon tells him that he’ll manage. (117 lines)

Enter Varro’s two Servants, meeting Titus and others, all servants of Timon’s creditors, to wait for his coming out. Then enter Lucius’ Servant and Hortensius.

1. VAR. SERV.

Well met, good morrow, Titus and Hortensius.

TIT.

The like to you, kind Varro.

HOR.

Lucius!

What, do we meet together?

LUC. SERV.

Ay, and I think

One business does command us all; for mine

Is money.

TIT.

So is theirs and ours.

Enter Philotus.

LUC. SERV.

And, sir, Philotus too!

PHI.

Good day at once.

LUC. SERV.

Welcome, good brother.

What do you think the hour?

PHI.

Laboring for nine.

LUC. SERV.

So much?

PHI.

Is not my lord seen yet?

LUC. SERV.

Not yet.

PHI.

I wonder on’t, he was wont to shine at seven.

LUC. SERV.

Ay, but the days are wax’d shorter with him.

You must consider that a prodigal course

Is like the sun’s, but not like his recoverable,

I fear. ’Tis deepest winter in Lord Timon’s purse;

That is, one may reach deep enough and yet

Find little.

PHI.

I am of your fear for that.

TIT.

I’ll show you how t’ observe a strange event.

Your lord sends now for money.

HOR.

Most true, he does.

TIT.

And he wears jewels now of Timon’s gift,

For which I wait for money.

HOR.

It is against my heart.

LUC. SERV.

Mark how strange it shows,

Timon in this should pay more than he owes;

And e’en as if your lord should wear rich jewels

And send for money for ’em.

HOR.

I’m weary of this charge, the gods can witness.

I know my lord hath spent of Timon’s wealth,

And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth.

1. VAR. SERV.

Yes, mine’s three thousand crowns; what’s yours?

LUC. SERV.

Five thousand mine.

1. VAR. SERV.

’Tis much deep, and it should seem by th’ sum

Your master’s confidence was above mine,

Else surely his had equall’d.

Enter Flaminius.

TIT.

One of Lord Timon’s men.

LUC. SERV.

Flaminius? Sir, a word. Pray is my lord ready to come forth?

FLAM.

No, indeed he is not.

TIT.

We attend his lordship; pray signify so much.

FLAM.

I need not tell him that, he knows you are too diligent.

Exit.

Enter Steward Flavius in a cloak, muffled.

LUC. SERV.

Ha! Is not that his steward muffled so?

He goes away in a cloud; call him, call him.

TIT.

Do you hear, sir?

2. VAR. SERV.

By your leave, sir—

FLAV.

What do ye ask of me, my friend?

TIT.

We wait for certain money here, sir.

FLAV.

Ay,

If money were as certain as your waiting,

’Twere sure enough.

Why then preferr’d you not your sums and bills

When your false masters eat of my lord’s meat?

Then they could smile, and fawn upon his debts,

And take down th’ int’rest into their glutt’nous maws.

You do yourselves but wrong to stir me up,

Let me pass quietly.

Believe’t, my lord and I have made an end:

I have no more to reckon, he to spend.

LUC. SERV.

Ay, but this answer will not serve.

FLAV.

If ’twill not serve, ’tis not so base as you,

For you serve knaves.

Exit.

1. VAR. SERV.

How? What does his cashier’d worship mutter?

2. VAR. SERV.

No matter what, he’s poor, and that’s revenge enough. Who can speak broader than he that has no house to put his head in? Such may rail against great buildings.

Enter Servilius.

TIT.

O, here’s Servilius; now we shall know some answer.

SER.

If I might beseech you, gentlemen, to repair some other hour, I should derive much from’t; for take’t of my soul, my lord leans wondrously to discontent. His comfortable temper has forsook him, he’s much out of health, and keeps his chamber.

LUC. SERV.

Many do keep their chambers are not sick;

And if it be so far beyond his health,

Methinks he should the sooner pay his debts,

And make a clear way to the gods.

SER.

Good gods!

TIT.

We cannot take this for answer, sir.

FLAM.

Within.

Servilius, help! My lord, my lord!

Enter Timon in a rage, Flaminius following.

TIM.

What, are my doors oppos’d against my passage?

Have I been ever free, and must my house

Be my retentive enemy? My jail?

The place which I have feasted, does it now

(Like all mankind) show me an iron heart?

LUC. SERV.

Put in now, Titus.

TIT.

My lord, here is my bill.

LUC. SERV.

Here’s mine.

HOR.

And mine, my lord.

BOTH 1. VAR. SERV. AND 2. VAR. SERV.

And ours, my lord.

PHI.

All our bills.

TIM.

Knock me down with ’em, cleave me to the girdle!

LUC. SERV.

Alas, my lord—

TIM.

Cut my heart in sums.

TIT.

Mine, fifty talents.

TIM.

Tell out my blood.

LUC. SERV.

Five thousand crowns, my lord.

TIM.

Five thousand drops pays that. What yours? And yours?

1. VAR. SERV.

My lord—

2. VAR. SERV.

My lord—

TIM.

Tear me, take me, and the gods fall upon you!

Exit Timon.

HOR.

Faith, I perceive our masters may throw their caps at their money. These debts may well be call’d desperate ones, for a madman owes ’em.

Exeunt.

Enter Timon and Flavius.

TIM.

They have e’en put my breath from me, the slaves.

Creditors? Devils!

FLAV.

My dear lord—

TIM.

What if it should be so?

FLAV.

My lord—

TIM.

I’ll have it so. My steward!

FLAV.

Here, my lord.

TIM.

So fitly? Go, bid all my friends again,

Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius—all.

I’ll once more feast the rascals.

FLAV.

O my lord,

You only speak from your distracted soul;

There’s not so much left to furnish out

A moderate table.

TIM.

Be it not in thy care;

Go, I charge thee, invite them all, let in the tide

Of knaves once more; my cook and I’ll provide.

Exeunt.

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Left Edge Theatre