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

Act III. Scene I.

Timon of Athens

Athens.A Room in LUCULLUS’ House.

FLAMINIUS waiting. Enter a Servant to him.

Serv.I have told my lord of you; he is coming down to you.

Flam.I thank you, sir.


Serv.Here’s my lord.

Lucul.[Aside.]One of Lord Timon’s men! a gift, I warrant. Why, this hits right; I dreamt of a silver bason and ewer to-night. Flaminius, honest Flaminius, you are very respectively welcome, sir. Fill me some wine.[Exit Servant.]And how does that honourable, complete, free-hearted gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good lord and master?

Flam.His health is well, sir.

Lucul.I am right glad that his health is well, sir. And what hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty Flaminius?

Flam.Faith, nothing but an empty box, sir; which, in my lord’s behalf, I come to entreat your honour to supply; who, having great and instant occasion to use fifty talents, hath sent to your lordship to furnish him, nothing doubting your present assistance therein.

Lucul.La, la, la, la! ‘nothing doubting,’ says he? Alas! good lord; a noble gentleman ’tis, if he would not keep so good a house. Many a time and often I ha’ dined with him, and told him on ’t; and come again to supper to him, of purpose to have him spend less; and yet he would embrace no counsel, take no warning by my coming. Every man has his fault, and honesty is his; I ha’ told him on ’t, but I could ne’er get him from it.

Re-enter Servant with wine.

Serv.Please your lordship, here is the wine.

Lucul.Flaminius, I have noted thee always wise. Here’s to thee.

Flam.Your lordship speaks your pleasure.

Lucul.I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt spirit, give thee thy due, and one that knows what belongs to reason; and canst use the time well, if the time use thee well: good parts in thee.[To the Servant.]—Get you gone, sirrah.—[Exit Servant.]Draw nearer, honest Flaminius. Thy lord’s a bountiful gentleman; but thou art wise, and thou knowest well enough, although thou comest to me, that this is no time to lend money, especially upon bare friendship, without security. Here’s three solidares for thee: good boy, wink at me, and say thou sawest me not. Fare thee well.

Flam.Is ’t possible the world should so much differ,

And we alive that liv’d? Fly, damned baseness,

To him that worships thee.[Throwing the money away.

Lucul.Ha! now I see thou art a fool, and fit for thy master.[Exit.

Flam.May these add to the number that may scald thee!

Let molten coin be thy damnation,

Thou disease of a friend, and not himself!

Has friendship such a faint and milky heart

It turns in less than two nights? O you gods!

I feel my master’s passion. This slave unto his honour

Has my lord’s meat in him:

Why should it thrive and turn to nutriment

When he is turn’d to poison?

O! may diseases only work upon ’t,

And, when he’s sick to death, let not that part of nature

Which my lord paid for, be of any power

To expel sickness, but prolong his hour.[Exit.