3 Has almost charm'd me from my Profession, by perswading me to it

1 'Tis in the malice of mankinde, that he thus aduises vs not to haue vs thriue in our mystery

2 Ile beleeue him as an Enemy, And giue ouer my Trade

1 Let vs first see peace in Athens, there is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.

Exit Theeues.

Enter the Steward to Timon.

Stew. Oh you Gods! Is yon'd despis'd and ruinous man my Lord? Full of decay and fayling? Oh Monument And wonder of good deeds, euilly bestow'd! What an alteration of Honor has desp'rate want made? What vilder thing vpon the earth, then Friends, Who can bring Noblest mindes, to basest ends. How rarely does it meete with this times guise, When man was wisht to loue his Enemies: Grant I may euer loue, and rather woo Those that would mischeefe me, then those that doo. Has caught me in his eye, I will present my honest griefe vnto him; and as my Lord, still serue him with my life. My deerest Master

Tim. Away: what art thou? Stew. Haue you forgot me, Sir? Tim. Why dost aske that? I haue forgot all men. Then, if thou grunt'st, th'art a man. I haue forgot thee

Stew. An honest poore seruant of yours

Tim. Then I know thee not: I neuer had honest man about me, I all I kept were Knaues, to serue in meate to Villaines

Stew. The Gods are witnesse, Neu'r did poore Steward weare a truer greefe For his vndone Lord, then mine eyes for you

Tim. What, dost thou weepe? Come neerer, then I loue thee Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st Flinty mankinde: whose eyes do neuer giue, But thorow Lust and Laughter: pittie's sleeping: Strange times y weepe with laughing, not with weeping

Stew. I begge of you to know me, good my Lord, T' accept my greefe, and whil'st this poore wealth lasts, To entertaine me as your Steward still

Tim. Had I a Steward So true, so iust, and now so comfortable? It almost turnes my dangerous Nature wilde. Let me behold thy face: Surely, this man Was borne of woman. Forgiue my generall, and exceptlesse rashnesse You perpetuall sober Gods. I do proclaime One honest man: Mistake me not, but one: No more I pray, and hee's a Steward. How faine would I haue hated all mankinde, And thou redeem'st thy selfe. But all saue thee, I fell with Curses. Me thinkes thou art more honest now, then wise: For, by oppressing and betraying mee, Thou might'st haue sooner got another Seruice: For many so arriue at second Masters, Vpon their first Lords necke. But tell me true, (For I must euer doubt, though ne're so sure) Is not thy kindnesse subtle, couetous, If not a Vsuring kindnesse, and as rich men deale Guifts, Expecting in returne twenty for one? Stew. No my most worthy Master, in whose brest Doubt, and suspect (alas) are plac'd too late: You should haue fear'd false times, when you did Feast. Suspect still comes, where an estate is least. That which I shew, Heauen knowes, is meerely Loue, Dutie, and Zeale, to your vnmatched minde; Care of your Food and Liuing, and beleeue it, My most Honour'd Lord, For any benefit that points to mee, Either in hope, or present, I'de exchange For this one wish, that you had power and wealth To requite me, by making rich your selfe

Tim. Looke thee, 'tis so: thou singly honest man, Heere take: the Gods out of my miserie Ha's sent thee Treasure. Go, liue rich and happy, But thus condition'd: Thou shalt build from men: Hate all, curse all, shew Charity to none, But let the famisht flesh slide from the Bone, Ere thou releeue the Begger. Giue to dogges What thou denyest to men. Let Prisons swallow 'em, Debts wither 'em to nothing, be men like blasted woods And may Diseases licke vp their false bloods, And so farewell, and thriue

The Life of Timon of Athens Page 26

William Shakespeare Plays

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