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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act II. Scene I.

Timon of Athens

Athens.A Room in a Senator’s House.

Enter a Senator, with papers in his hand.

Sen.And late, five thousand: to Varro and to Isidore

He owes nine thousand; besides my former sum,

Which makes it five-and-twenty. Still in motion

Of raging waste! It cannot hold; it will not.

If I want gold, steal but a beggar’s dog

And give it Timon, why, the dog coins gold;

If I would sell my horse, and buy twenty more

Better than he, why, give my horse to Timon,

Ask nothing, give it him, it foals me, straight,

And able horses. No porter at his gate,

But rather one that smiles and still invites

All that pass by. It cannot hold; no reason

Can found his state in safety. Caphis, ho!

Caphis, I say!


Caph.Here, sir; what is your pleasure?

Sen.Get on your cloak, and haste you to Lord Timon;

Importune him for my moneys; be not ceas’d

With slight denial, nor then silenc’d when—

‘Commend me to your master’—and the cap

Plays in the right hand, thus;—but tell him,

My uses cry to me; I must serve my turn

Out of mine own; his days and times are past,

And my reliances on his fracted dates

Have smit my credit: I love and honour him,

But must not break my back to heal his finger;

Immediate are my needs, and my relief

Must not be toss’d and turn’d to me in words,

But find supply immediate. Get you gone:

Put on a most importunate aspect,

A visage of demand; for, I do fear,

When every feather sticks in his own wing,

Lord Timon will be left a naked gull,

Which flashes now a phœnix. Get you gone.

Caph.I go, sir.

Sen.‘I go, sir!’ Take the bonds along with you,

And have the dates in compt.

Caph.I will, sir.