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Tim. I, that I am one now:
[Eating a Root. Apem. Here; I will mend thy feast.
[Offering him something. Tim. First mend my company, take away thyself. Apem. So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.
T'im. 'T is not well mended so, it is but botch'd; If not, I would it were.
Apem. What would'st thou have to Atheos?
T'im. Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
Apem. Here is no use for gold.
The best, and truest;
Apem. Where ly'st o' nights, Timon?
Under that 's above me. Where feed'st thou o’days, Apemantus ?
Apem. Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.
Tim. Would poison were obedient, and knew my mind!
Apem. The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the extremity of both ends. When thou wast in thy gilt, and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too much curiosity: in thy rags thou
but art despised for the contrary. There 's a medlar for thee; eat it.
T'im. On what I hate, I feed not.
Apem. An thou hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou should'st have loved thyself better now. What man didst thou ever know unthrift, that was beloved after his means?
Tim. Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou ever know beloved ?
Tim. I understand thee: thou hadst some means to keep a dog.
Apem. What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to thy flatterers ?
Tim. Women nearest; but men, men are the things themselves. What would'st thou do with the world, Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?
Apem. Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.
Tim. Would'st thou have thyself fall in the confusion of men, and remain a beast with the beasts?
Apem. Ay, Timon.
Tim. A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee to attain to. If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile thee: if thou wert the lamb, the fox would eat thee: if thou wert the fox, the lion would suspect thee, when, peradventure, thou wert accused by the ass: if thou wert the ass, thy dulness would torment thee, and still thou livedst but as a breakfast to the wolf: if thou wert the wolf, thy greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou should'st hazard thy life for thy dinuer: wert thou the unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee, and make thine own self the conquest of thy fury: wert thou a bear, thou would'st be killed by the horse: wert thou a horse, thou would'st be seized by the leopard: wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were jurors on thy life; all thy safety were remotion, and thy defence, absence. What beast could'st thou be, that were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art thou already, that seest not thy loss in transformation.
Apem. If thou could'st please me with speaking to me, thou might'st have hit upon it here: the commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.
Tim. How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city? Apem. Yonder comes a poet, and a painter. The plague of
company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it, and give way. When I know not what else to do, I 'll see thee again.
Tim. When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog, than Apemantus.
Apem. Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
Tim. If I name thee.
Apem. I would, my tongue could rot them off!
Tim. Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Would thou would'st burst!
[Throws a Stone at him. Apem. Beast! Tim.
Rogue, rogue, rogue! [APEMANTUS retreats backward, as going. I am sick of this false world, and will love nought But even the mere necessities upon 't. Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave: Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat Thy grave-stone daily; make thine epitaph, That death in me at others' lives may laugh. 0, thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
(Looking on the Gold. 'I'wixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler of Hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars ! Thou ever young, fresh, lov’d, and delicate wooer, Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow That lies on Dian's lap! thou visible god,
That solder'st close impossibilities,
Would 't were so;
Live, and love thy misery!
(Exit APEMANTUS. More things like men ? Eat, Timon, and abhor them.
Enter Banditti. 1 Band. Where should he have this gold? It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remainder. The mere want of gold, and the falling-from of his friends, drove him into this melancholy.
2 Band. It is noised, he hath a mass of treasure.
3 Band. Let us make the assay upon him: if he care not for 't, he will supply us easily; if he covetously reserve it, how shall's
2 Band. True; for he bears it not about him, 't is hid.
Tim. Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
1 Band. We cannot live on grass, on berries, water, As beasts, and birds, and fishes.
Tim. Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes; You must eat men.
Yet thanks I must you con,
[Timon retires to his Cave. 3 Band. He has almost charmed me from my profession, by persuading me to it.