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Timon of Athens: Act 5, Scene 4

Timon of Athens
Act 5, Scene 4

Before the walls of Athens.

  1. Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his powers before
  2. Athens.

Alcibiades

3 - 17
  1. Sound to this coward and lascivious town
  2. Our terrible approach.
  3. Sounds a parley.
  4. The Senators appear upon the walls.
  5. Till now you have gone on and fill’d the time
  6. With all licentious measure, making your wills
  7. The scope of justice; till now myself and such
  8. As slept within the shadow of your power
  9. Have wander’d with our travers’d arms, and breath’d
  10. Our sufferance vainly. Now the time is flush,
  11. When crouching marrow in the bearer strong
  12. Cries (of itself) No more!” Now breathless wrong
  13. Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease,
  14. And pursy insolence shall break his wind
  15. With fear and horrid flight.

First Senator

18 - 23
  1.                              Noble and young
  2. When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
  3. Ere thou hadst power or we had cause of fear,
  4. We sent to thee to give thy rages balm,
  5. To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
  6. Above their quantity.

Second Senator

24 - 28
  1.                       So did we woo
  2. Transformed Timon to our city’s love
  3. By humble message and by promis’d means.
  4. We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
  5. The common stroke of war.

First Senator

29 - 33
  1.                           These walls of ours
  2. Were not erected by their hands from whom
  3. You have receiv’d your grief; nor are they such
  4. That these great tow’rs, trophies, and schools should fall
  5. For private faults in them.

Second Senator

34 - 43
  1.                             Nor are they living
  2. Who were the motives that you first went out;
  3. Shame, that they wanted cunning in excess,
  4. Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord,
  5. Into our city with thy banners spread;
  6. By decimation, and a tithed death,
  7. If thy revenges hunger for that food
  8. Which nature loathes, take thou the destin’d tenth,
  9. And by the hazard of the spotted die
  10. Let die the spotted.

First Senator

44 - 53
  1.                      All have not offended;
  2. For those that were, it is not square to take
  3. On those that are, revenge; crimes, like lands,
  4. Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
  5. Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage;
  6. Spare thy Athenian cradle and those kin
  7. Which in the bluster of thy wrath must fall
  8. With those that have offended; like a shepherd,
  9. Approach the fold and cull th’ infected forth,
  10. But kill not all together.

Second Senator

54 - 56
  1.                            What thou wilt,
  2. Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
  3. Than hew to’t with thy sword.

First Senator

57 - 60
  1.                               Set but thy foot
  2. Against our rampir’d gates and they shall ope,
  3. So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before,
  4. To say thou’t enter friendly.

Second Senator

61 - 66
  1.                               Throw thy glove,
  2. Or any token of thine honor else,
  3. That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress
  4. And not as our confusion, all thy powers
  5. Shall make their harbor in our town till we
  6. Have seal’d thy full desire.

Alcibiades

67 - 76
  1.                              Then there’s my glove;
  2. Descend, and open your uncharged ports.
  3. Those enemies of Timon’s and mine own
  4. Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof
  5. Fall, and no more; and to atone your fears
  6. With my more noble meaning, not a man
  7. Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream
  8. Of regular justice in your city’s bounds,
  9. But shall be remedied to your public laws
  10. At heaviest answer.

First Senator and Second Senator

77
  1.                     ’Tis most nobly spoken.

Alcibiades

78
  1. Descend, and keep your words.
  1. The Senators descend and open the gates.
  1. Enter Soldier as a messenger.

Soldier

81 - 85
  1. My noble general, Timon is dead,
  2. Entomb’d upon the very hem o’ th’ sea,
  3. And on his grave-stone this insculpture, which
  4. With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
  5. Interprets for my poor ignorance.

Alcibiades

86 - 102
  1. Reads the epitaph.
  2. Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft;
  3. Seek not my name: a plague consume you, wicked caitiffs left!
  4. Here lie I, Timon, who, alive, all living men did hate;
  5. Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay not here thy gait.”
  6. These well express in thee thy latter spirits:
  7. Though thou abhorr’dst in us our human griefs,
  8. Scorn’dst our brains’ flow, and those our droplets which
  9. From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit
  10. Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
  11. On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
  12. Is noble Timon, of whose memory
  13. Hereafter more. Bring me into your city,
  14. And I will use the olive with my sword:
  15. Make war breed peace, make peace stint war, make each
  16. Prescribe to other as each other’s leech.
  17. Let our drums strike.
  1. Exeunt.
finis
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