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
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
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 know my lord hath spent of Timon's wealth,
And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth.
Your master's confidence was above mine;
Else, surely, his had equall'd.
Enter Flavius in a cloak, muffled
He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him.
'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.
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
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
Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius:
All, sirrah, all:
I'll once more feast the rascals.
You only speak from your distracted soul;
There is not so much left, to furnish out
A moderate table.
I charge thee, invite them all: let in the tide
Of knaves once more; my cook and I'll provide.