William Shakespeare: Timon of Athens, Act III, Scene IV
Enter two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of Lucius, meeting Titus, Hortensius, and other Servants of Timon's creditors, waiting his coming out
Ay, but the days are wax'd shorter with him:
You must consider that a prodigal course
Is like the sun's; but not, like his, recoverable.
I fear 'tis deepest winter in Lord Timon's purse;
That is one may reach deep enough, and yet
Mark, how strange it shows,
Timon in this should pay more than he owes:
And e'en as if your lord should wear rich jewels,
And send for money for 'em.
I'm weary of this charge, the gods can witness:
I know my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth.
'Tis much deep: and it should seem by the sun,
Your master's confidence was above mine;
Else, surely, his had equall'd.
Enter Flavius in a cloak, muffled
Ha! is not that his steward muffled so?
He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him.
Ay, if money were as certain as your waiting,
'Twere sure enough.
Why then preferr'd you not your sums and bills,
When your false masters eat of my lord's meat?
Then they could smile and fawn upon his debts
And take down the interest into their gluttonous maws.
You do yourselves but wrong to stir me up;
Let me pass quietly:
Believe 't, my lord and I have made an end;
I have no more to reckon, he to spend.
No matter what; he's poor, and that's revenge enough. Who can speak broader than he that has no house to put his head in? such may rail against great buildings.
If I might beseech you, gentlemen, to repair some other hour, I should derive much from't; for, take't of my soul, my lord leans wondrously to discontent: his comfortable temper has forsook him; he's much out of health, and keeps his chamber.
Many do keep their chambers are not sick:
And, if it be so far beyond his health,
Methinks he should the sooner pay his debts,
And make a clear way to the gods.
Enter Timon, in a rage, Flaminius following
What, are my doors opposed against my passage?
Have I been ever free, and must my house
Be my retentive enemy, my gaol?
The place which I have feasted, does it now,
Like all mankind, show me an iron heart?
'Faith, I perceive our masters may throw their caps at their money: these debts may well be called desperate ones, for a madman owes 'em.
Re-enter Timon and Flavius
So fitly? Go, bid all my friends again,
Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius:
All, sirrah, all:
I'll once more feast the rascals.
O my lord,
You only speak from your distracted soul;
There is not so much left, to furnish out
A moderate table.
Be't not in thy care; go,
I charge thee, invite them all: let in the tide
Of knaves once more; my cook and I'll provide.