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SCENE II

A public place.
Enter Lucius, with three Strangers.

Luc.
Who, the Lord Timon? he is my very
good friend, and an honourable gentleman.

First Stran.
We know him for no less,
though we are but strangers to him. But I can
tell you one thing, my lord, and which I hear
from common rumours: now Lord Timon's
happy hours are done and past, and his estate
shrinks from him. (9)

Luc.
Fie, no, do not believe it; he cannot
want for money.

Sec. Stran.
But believe you this, my lord,
that, not long ago, one of his men was with the
Lord Lucullus to borrow so many talents, nay,
urged extremely for 't and showed what necessity
belonged to 't, and yet was denied.

Luc.
How!

Sec. Stran.
I tell you, denied, my lord.

Luc.
What a strange case was that! now,
before the gods, I am ashamed on't. Denied
that honourable man! there was very little honour
showed in't. For my own part, I must
needs confess, I have received some small kindnesses
from him, as money, plate, jewels and
such-like trifles, nothing comparing to his; yet,
had he mistook him and sent to me, I should
ne'er have denied his occasion so many talents. Enter SERVILIUS.

Ser.
See, by good hap, yonder's my lord;
I have sweat to see his honour. My honoured
lord,-- [To Lucius.

Luc.
Servilius! you are kindly met, sir.
Fare thee well: commend me to thy honourable
virtuous lord, my very exquisite friend.

Ser.
May it please your honour, my lord
hath sent--

Luc.
Ha! what has he sent? I am so much
endeared to that lord; he's ever sending: how
shall I thank him, thinkest thou? And what
has he sent now?

Ser.
Has only sent his present occasion
now, my lord; requesting your lordship to supply
his instant use with so many talents. (42)

Luc.
I know his lordship is but merry with me;

He cannot want fifty five hundred talents.

Ser.
But in the mean time he wants less, my lord.

If his occasion were not virtuous,

I should not urge it half so faithfully.

Luc.
Dost thou speak seriously, Servillius?

Ser.
Upon my soul, 'tis true, sir.

Luc.
What a wicked beast was I to disfurnish
myself against such a good time, when I might
ha' shown myself honourable! how unluckily
it happened, that I should purchase the day
before for a little part, and undo a great deal
of honour! Servilius, now, before the gods, I
am not able to do,--the more beast, I say:--I
was sending to use Lord Timon myself, these
gentlemen can witness; but I would not, for
the wealth of Athens, I had done't now. Commend
me bountifully to his good lordship;
and I hope his honour will conceive the
fairest of me, because I have no power to be
kind: and tell him this from me, I count it
one of my greatest afflictions, say, that I cannot
pleasure such an honourable gentleman.
Good Servilius, will you befriend me so far
as to use mine own words to him?

Ser.
Yes, sir, I shall.

Luc.
I'll look you out a good turn, Servilius. [Exit Servilius.

True, as you said, Simon is shrunk indeed;

And he that's once denied will hardly speed. [Exit.


First Stran.
Do you observe this, Hostilius? (70)

Sec. Stran.
Ay, too well.

First Stran.
Why, this is the world's soul; and just of the same piece

Is every flatterer's spirit. Who can call him

His friend that dips in the same dish? for, in

My knowing, Timon has been this lord's father,

And kept his credit with his purse,

Supported his estate; nay, Timon's money

Has paid his men their wages: he ne'er drinks,

But Timon's silver treads upon his lip;

And yet--O, see the monstrousness of man

When he looks out in an ungrateful shape!-- (81)

He does deny him, in respect of his,

What charitable men afford to beggars.

Third Stran.
Religion groans at it.

First Stran.
For mine own part,

I never tasted Timon in my life,

Nor came any of his bounties over me,

To mark me for his friend; yet, I protest,

For his right noble mind, illustrious virtue

And honourable carriage,

Had his necessity made use of me, (90)

I would have put my wealth into donation,

And the best half should have return'd to him,

So much I love his heart: but, I perceive,

Men must learn now with pity to dispense;

For policy sits above conscience. [Exeunt.

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