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Timon of Athens: Act 3, Scene 5

Timon of Athens
Act 3, Scene 5

Athens. The Senate House.

  1. Enter three Senators at one door, Alcibiades meeting them,
  2. with Attendants.

First Senator

3 - 5
  1. My lord, you have my voice to’t; the fault’s
  2. Bloody; ’tis necessary he should die.
  3. Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.

Second Senator

6
  1. Most true; the law shall bruise ’em.

Alcibiades

7
  1. Honor, health, and compassion to the Senate!

First Senator

8
  1. Now, captain?

Alcibiades

9 - 25
  1. I am an humble suitor to your virtues;
  2. For pity is the virtue of the law,
  3. And none but tyrants use it cruelly.
  4. It pleases time and fortune to lie heavy
  5. Upon a friend of mine, who in hot blood
  6. Hath stepp’d into the law, which is past depth
  7. To those that (without heed) do plunge into’t.
  8. He is a man (setting his fate aside)
  9. Of comely virtues;
  10. Nor did he soil the fact with cowardice
  11. (An honor in him which buys out his fault),
  12. But with a noble fury and fair spirit,
  13. Seeing his reputation touch’d to death,
  14. He did oppose his foe;
  15. And with such sober and unnoted passion
  16. He did behoove his anger, ere ’twas spent,
  17. As if he had but prov’d an argument.

First Senator

26 - 39
  1. You undergo too strict a paradox,
  2. Striving to make an ugly deed look fair.
  3. Your words have took such pains as if they labor’d
  4. To bring manslaughter into form, and set quarreling
  5. Upon the head of valor; which indeed
  6. Is valor misbegot, and came into the world
  7. When sects and factions were newly born.
  8. He’s truly valiant that can wisely suffer
  9. The worst that man can breathe, and make his wrongs
  10. His outsides, to wear them like his raiment, carelessly,
  11. And ne’er prefer his injuries to his heart,
  12. To bring it into danger.
  13. If wrongs be evils and enforce us kill,
  14. What folly ’tis to hazard life for ill!

Alcibiades

40
  1. My lord

First Senator

41 - 42
  1.          You cannot make gross sins look clear;
  2. To revenge is no valor, but to bear.

Alcibiades

43 - 61
  1. My lords, then, under favor, pardon me
  2. If I speak like a captain.
  3. Why do fond men expose themselves to battle,
  4. And not endure all threats? Sleep upon’t,
  5. And let the foes quietly cut their throats
  6. Without repugnancy? If there be
  7. Such valor in the bearing, what make we
  8. Abroad? Why then, women are more valiant
  9. That stay at home, if bearing carry it;
  10. And the ass more captain than the lion, the fellow
  11. Loaden with irons wiser than the judge,
  12. If wisdom be in suffering. O my lords,
  13. As you are great, be pitifully good.
  14. Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood?
  15. To kill, I grant, is sin’s extremest gust,
  16. But in defense, by mercy, ’tis most just.
  17. To be in anger is impiety;
  18. But who is man that is not angry?
  19. Weigh but the crime with this.

Second Senator

62
  1. You breathe in vain.

Alcibiades

63 - 65
  1.                      In vain? His service done
  2. At Lacedaemon and Byzantium
  3. Were a sufficient briber for his life.

First Senator

66
  1. What’s that?

Alcibiades

67 - 70
  1.              Why, I say, my lords, h’as done fair service,
  2. And slain in fight many of your enemies.
  3. How full of valor did he bear himself
  4. In the last conflict, and made plenteous wounds!

Second Senator

71 - 78
  1. He has made too much plenty with ’em.
  2. He’s a sworn rioter; he has a sin that often
  3. Drowns him and takes his valor prisoner.
  4. If there were no foes, that were enough
  5. To overcome him. In that beastly fury
  6. He has been known to commit outrages
  7. And cherish factions. ’Tis inferr’d to us,
  8. His days are foul and his drink dangerous.

First Senator

79
  1. He dies.

Alcibiades

80 - 90
  1.          Hard fate! He might have died in war.
  2. My lords, if not for any parts in him
  3. Though his right arm might purchase his own time
  4. And be in debt to noneyet more to move you,
  5. Take my deserts to his, and join ’em both;
  6. And for I know your reverend ages love
  7. Security, I’ll pawn my victories, all
  8. My honor to you, upon his good returns.
  9. If by this crime he owes the law his life,
  10. Why, let the war receive’t in valiant gore,
  11. For law is strict, and war is nothing more.

First Senator

91 - 93
  1. We are for law, he dies, urge it no more
  2. On height of our displeasure. Friend, or brother,
  3. He forfeits his own blood that spills another.

Alcibiades

94 - 95
  1. Must it be so? It must not be. My lords,
  2. I do beseech you know me.

Second Senator

96
  1. How?

Alcibiades

97
  1. Call me to your remembrances.

Third Senator

98
  1.                               What?

Alcibiades

99 - 102
  1. I cannot think but your age has forgot me,
  2. It could not else be I should prove so base
  3. To sue and be denied such common grace.
  4. My wounds ache at you.

First Senator

103 - 105
  1.                        Do you dare our anger?
  2. ’Tis in few words, but spacious in effect:
  3. We banish thee forever.

Alcibiades

106 - 108
  1.                         Banish me?
  2. Banish your dotage, banish usury,
  3. That makes the Senate ugly!

First Senator

109 - 111
  1. If after two days’ shine Athens contain thee,
  2. Attend our weightier judgment. And not to swell our spirit,
  3. He shall be executed presently.
  1. Exeunt Senators.

Alcibiades

113 - 126
  1. Now the gods keep you old enough that you may live
  2. Only in bone, that none may look on you!
  3. I’m worse than mad. I have kept back their foes,
  4. While they have told their money, and let out
  5. Their coin upon large interestI myself
  6. Rich only in large hurts. All those, for this?
  7. Is this the balsam that the usuring Senate
  8. Pours into captains’ wounds? Banishment!
  9. It comes not ill; I hate not to be banish’d,
  10. It is a cause worthy my spleen and fury,
  11. That I may strike at Athens. I’ll cheer up
  12. My discontented troops, and lay for hearts.
  13. ’Tis honor with most lands to be at odds;
  14. Soldiers should brook as little wrongs as gods.
  1. Exit.
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