What things in the world canst thou nearest compare to thy flatterers?
What things in the world canst thou nearest
compare to thy flatterers?
Women nearest, but men—men are the things
themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world,
Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?
What beast couldst thou be
that were not subject to a beast?
Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.
Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion
of men and remain a beast with the beasts?
A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee
t’ 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 dullness would
torment thee, and still thou lived’st but as a breakfast
to the wolf. If thou wert the wolf, thy greediness
would afflict thee, and oft thou shouldst hazard
thy life for thy dinner. 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 wouldst be killed by the horse.
Wert thou a horse, thou wouldst be seized by the
leopard. Wert thou a leopard, thou wert germane
to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were
jurors on thy life. All thy safety were remotion, and
thy defense absence. What beast couldst thou be
that were not subject to a beast? And what a beast
art thou already that seest not thy loss in
If thou couldst please me with speaking to
me, thou mightst have hit upon it here. The commonwealth
of Athens is become a forest of beasts.
How, has the ass broke the wall that thou art
out of the city?
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.
When there is nothing living but thee, thou
shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar’s dog
Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!
A plague on thee! Thou art too bad to curse.
All villains that do stand by thee are pure.
There is no leprosy but what thou speak’st.
If I name thee.
I’ll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
I would my tongue could rot them off!
Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me that thou art alive.
I swoon to see thee.
Would thou wouldst burst!
Away, thou tedious rogue!
I am sorry I shall lose a stone by thee.
Timon throws a stone at Apemantus.