Act V, Scene 4

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Act V, Scene 4 Before the walls of Athens.

Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES with his powers

 

ALCIBIADES Sound to this coward and lascivious town
Our terrible approach.
  [A parley sounded]
  [Enter Senators on the walls]
  Till now you have gone on and fill'd the time
With all licentious measure, making your wills
The scope of justice; till now myself and such
As slept within the shadow of your power
Have wander'd with our traversed arms and breathed
Our sufferance vainly: now the time is flush,
When crouching marrow in the bearer strong
Cries of itself 'No more:' now breathless wrong
Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease,
And pursy insolence shall break his wind
With fear and horrid flight.
First Senator Noble and young,
When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
Ere thou hadst power or we had cause of fear,
We sent to thee, to give thy rages balm,
To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
Above their quantity.
Second Senator So did we woo
Transformed Timon to our city's love
By humble message and by promised means:
We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
The common stroke of war.
First Senator These walls of ours
Were not erected by their hands from whom
You have received your griefs; nor are they such
That these great towers, trophies and schools
should fall
For private faults in them.
Second Senator Nor are they living
Who were the motives that you first went out;
Shame that they wanted cunning, in excess
Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord,
Into our city with thy banners spread:
By decimation, and a tithed death--
If thy revenges hunger for that food
Which nature loathes--take thou the destined tenth,
And by the hazard of the spotted die
Let die the spotted.
First Senator All have not offended;
For those that were, it is not square to take
On those that are, revenges: crimes, like lands,
Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage:
Spare thy Athenian cradle and those kin
Which in the bluster of thy wrath must fall
With those that have offended: like a shepherd,
Approach the fold and cull the infected forth,
But kill not all together.
Second Senator What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
Than hew to't with thy sword.
First Senator Set but thy foot
Against our rampired gates, and they shall ope;
So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before,
To say thou'lt enter friendly.
Second Senator Throw thy glove,
Or any token of thine honour else,
That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress
And not as our confusion, all thy powers
Shall make their harbour in our town, till we
Have seal'd thy full desire.
ALCIBIADES Then there's my glove;
Descend, and open your uncharged ports:
Those enemies of Timon's and mine own
Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof
Fall and no more: and, to atone your fears
With my more noble meaning, not a man
Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream
Of regular justice in your city's bounds,
But shall be render'd to your public laws
At heaviest answer.
Both 'Tis most nobly spoken.
ALCIBIADES Descend, and keep your words.
  [The Senators descend, and open the gates]
  [Enter Soldier]
Soldier My noble general, Timon is dead;
Entomb'd upon the very hem o' the sea;
And on his grave-stone this insculpture, which
With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
Interprets for my poor ignorance.
ALCIBIADES [Reads the epitaph] 'Here lies a
wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft:
Seek not my name: a plague consume you wicked
caitiffs left!
Here lie I, Timon; who, alive, all living men did hate:
Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay
not here thy gait.'
These well express in thee thy latter spirits:
Though thou abhorr'dst in us our human griefs,
Scorn'dst our brain's flow and those our
droplets which
From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit
Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
Is noble Timon: of whose memory
Hereafter more. Bring me into your city,
And I will use the olive with my sword,
Make war breed peace, make peace stint war, make each
Prescribe to other as each other's leech.
Let our drums strike.
  [Exeunt]

 

To see other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act III, Scene 5 The Senate house.
Act I, Scene 1 Athens.  A hall in Timon's house. Act III, Scene 6 A banqueting room in Timon's house.
Act I, Scene 2 A banqueting room in Timon's house. Act IV, Scene 1 Without the walls of Athens/Act IV, Scene 2 Athena A room in Timon's hall.
Act II, Scene 1 A Senator's house/Act II, Scene 2 A hall in Timon's house. Act IV, Scene 3 Woods and Cave near seashore.
Act III, Scene 1 A room in Lucullus' house. Act V, Scene 1 The woods before the cave.
Act III, Scene 2 A public place. Act V, Scene 2 Before the walls of Athens/Act V, Scene 3 The woods.
Act III, Scene 3 A room in Sempronius house./Act III, Scene 4 A hall in Timon's house. Act V, Scene 4 Before the walls of Athens.

 

To view other Timon of Athens sections:

Main Play Page       Play Text     Scene by Scene Synopsis      Character Directory     Commentary  

 

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All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale

 

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