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Timon of Athens - Act 4, scene 1
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workTimon of Athens - Act 4, scene 1
Act 4, scene 1
Timon abandons Athens and retires to the woods.Enter Timon.
1473 Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall
1474 That girdles in those wolves, dive in the earth
1475 And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent!
1476 Obedience fail in children! Slaves and fools,
1477 5 Pluck the grave wrinkled Senate from the bench
1478 And minister in their steads! To general filths
1479 Convert o’ th’ instant, green virginity!
1480 Do ’t in your parents’ eyes! Bankrupts, hold fast!
1481 Rather than render back, out with your knives
1482 10 And cut your trusters’ throats! Bound servants, steal!
1483 Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,
1484 And pill by law. Maid, to thy master’s bed!
1485 Thy mistress is o’ th’ brothel. ⌜Son⌝ of sixteen,
1486 Pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire;
1487 15 With it beat out his brains! Piety and fear,
1488 Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
1489 Domestic awe, night rest, and neighborhood,
1490 Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
1491 Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
1492 20 Decline to your confounding contraries,
1493 And yet confusion live! Plagues incident to men,
1494 Your potent and infectious fevers heap
1495 On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,
p. 1171496 Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
1497 25 As lamely as their manners! Lust and liberty,
1498 Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth,
1499 That ’gainst the stream of virtue they may strive
1500 And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains,
1501 Sow all th’ Athenian bosoms, and their crop
1502 30 Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath,
1503 That their society, as their friendship, may
1504 Be merely poison! Nothing I’ll bear from thee
1505 But nakedness, thou detestable town!
1506 Take thou that too, with multiplying bans!
1507 35 Timon will to the woods, where he shall find
1508 Th’ unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
1509 The gods confound—hear me, you good gods all!—
1510 Th’ Athenians both within and out that wall,
1511 And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
1512 40 To the whole race of mankind, high and low!