Timon of Athens - Act 5, scene 4
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Act 5, scene 4
A victorious Alcibiades listens to the apologies of the senators and agrees to the conditions they set. Athens then opens its gates to Alcibiades and his army. Presented with Timon’s epitaph, Alcibiades reads it aloud and promises peace to Athens.Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his Powers
2461 Sound to this coward and lascivious town
2462 Our terrible approach.Sounds a parley.
The Senators appear upon the walls.
2463 Till now you have gone on and filled the time
2464 With all licentious measure, making your wills
2465 5 The scope of justice. Till now myself and such
2466 As slept within the shadow of your power
2467 Have wandered with our traversed arms and breathed
2468 Our sufferance vainly. Now the time is flush,
2469 When crouching marrow in the bearer strong
2470 10 Cries of itself “No more!” Now breathless wrong
2471 Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease,
2472 And pursy insolence shall break his wind
2473 With fear and horrid flight.
FIRST SENATOR 2474 Noble and young,
2475 15 When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
2476 Ere thou hadst power or we had cause of fear,
2477 We sent to thee to give thy rages balm,
2478 To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
2479 Above their quantity.
SECOND SENATOR 2480 20 So did we woo
2481 Transformèd Timon to our city’s love
2482 By humble message and by promised means.
2483 We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
2484 The common stroke of war.
2486 Were not erected by their hands from whom
2487 You have received your grief, nor are they such
2488 That these great towers, trophies, and schools
2489 should fall
2490 30 For private faults in them.
SECOND SENATOR 2491 Nor are they living
2492 Who were the motives that you first went out.
2493 Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess
2494 Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord,
2495 35 Into our city with thy banners spread.
2496 By decimation and a tithèd death,
2497 If thy revenges hunger for that food
2498 Which nature loathes, take thou the destined tenth
2499 And, by the hazard of the spotted die,
2500 40 Let die the spotted.
FIRST SENATOR 2501 All have not offended.
2502 For those that were, it is not square to take,
2503 On those that are, revenge. Crimes, like lands,
2504 Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
2505 45 Bring in thy ranks but leave without thy rage.
2506 Spare thy Athenian cradle and those kin
2507 Which in the bluster of thy wrath must fall
2508 With those that have offended. Like a shepherd
2509 Approach the fold and cull th’ infected forth,
2510 50 But kill not all together.
SECOND SENATOR 2511 What thou wilt,
2512 Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
2513 Than hew to ’t with thy sword.
FIRST SENATOR 2514 Set but thy foot
2515 55 Against our rampired gates and they shall ope,
2516 So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before
2517 To say thou ’lt enter friendly.
SECOND SENATOR 2518 Throw thy glove,
2519 Or any token of thine honor else,
2520 60 That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress
2522 Shall make their harbor in our town till we
2523 Have sealed thy full desire.
ALCIBIADES 2524 Then there’s my glove.
2525 65 ⌜Descend⌝ and open your unchargèd ports.
2526 Those enemies of Timon’s and mine own
2527 Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof
2528 Fall, and no more. And to atone your fears
2529 With my more noble meaning, not a man
2530 70 Shall pass his quarter or offend the stream
2531 Of regular justice in your city’s bounds
2532 But shall be remedied to your public laws
2533 At heaviest answer.
BOTH 2534 ’Tis most nobly spoken.
ALCIBIADES 2535 75Descend and keep your words.
⌜The Senators descend.⌝
Enter a ⌜Soldier, with the wax tablet.⌝
2536 My noble general, Timon is dead,
2537 Entombed upon the very hem o’ th’ sea,
2538 And on his gravestone this insculpture, which
2539 With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
2540 80 Interprets for my poor ignorance.
ALCIBIADES reads the epitaph.
2541 Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft.
2542 Seek not my name. A plague consume you, wicked
2543 caitiffs left!
2544 Here lie I, Timon, who, alive, all living men did hate.
2545 85 Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay not here
2546 thy gait.
2547 These well express in thee thy latter spirits.
2548 Though thou abhorred’st in us our human griefs,
2549 Scorned’st our brains’ flow and those our droplets
2550 90 which
2551 From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit
2553 On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
2554 Is noble Timon, of whose memory
2555 95 Hereafter more. Bring me into your city,
2556 And I will use the olive with my sword,
2557 Make war breed peace, make peace stint war, make
2559 Prescribe to other as each other’s leech.
2560 100 Let our drums strike.
⌜Drums.⌝ They exit.