Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)


88
Timon of Athens.

Tim. Be it not in thy care:
Go I charge thee, inuite them all, let in the tide
Of Knaues once more: my Cooke and Ile prouide.
Exeunt
1255
Enter three Senators at one doore, Alcibiades meeting them,
with Attendants.
1.Sen. My Lord, you haue my voyce, too't,
The faults Bloody:
'Tis necessary he should dye:
1260Nothing imboldens sinne so much, as Mercy.
2 Most true; the Law shall bruise 'em.
Alc. Honor, health, and compassion to the Senate.
1 Now Captaine.
Alc. I am an humble Sutor to your Vertues;
1265For pitty is the vertue of the Law,
And none but Tyrants vse it cruelly.
It pleases time and Fortune to lye heauie
Vpon a Friend of mine, who in hot blood
Hath stept into the Law: which is past depth
1270To those that (without heede) do plundge intoo't.
He is a Man (setting his Fate aside) of comely Vertues,
Nor did he soyle the fact with Cowardice,
(And Honour in him, which buyes out his fault)
But with a Noble Fury, and faire spirit,
1275Seeing his Reputation touch'd to death,
He did oppose his Foe:
And with such sober and vnnoted passion
He did behooue his anger ere 'twas spent,
As if he had but prou'd an Argument.
12801.Sen. You vndergo too strict a Paradox,
Striuing to make an vgly deed looke faire:
Your words haue tooke such paines, as if they labour'd
To bring Man-slaughter into forme, and set Quarrelling
Vpon the head of Valour; which indeede
1285Is Valour mis-begot, and came into the world,
When Sects, and Factions were newly borne.
Hee's truly Valiant, that can wisely suffer
The worst that man can breath,
And make his Wrongs, his Out-sides,
1290To weare them like his Rayment, carelessely,
And ne're preferre his iniuries to his heart,
To bring it into danger.
If Wrongs be euilles, and inforce vs kill,
What Folly 'tis, to hazard life for Ill.
1295Alci. My Lord.
1.Sen. You cannot make grosse sinnes looke cleare,
To reuenge is no Valour, but to beare.
Alci. My Lords, then vnder fauour, pardon me,
If I speake like a Captaine.
1300Why do fond men expose themselues to Battell,
And not endure all threats? Sleepe vpon't,
And let the Foes quietly cut their Throats
Without repugnancy? If there be
Such Valour in the bearing, what make wee
1305Abroad? Why then, Women are more valiant
That stay at home, if Bearing carry it:
And the Asse, more Captaine then the Lyon?
The fellow loaden with Irons, wiser then the Iudge?
If Wisedome be in suffering, Oh my Lords,
1310As you are great, be pittifully Good,
Who cannot condemne rashnesse in cold blood?
To kill, I grant, is sinnes extreamest Gust,
But in defence, by Mercy, 'tis most iust.
To be in Anger, is impietie:
1315But who is Man, that is not Angrie.
Weigh but the Crime with this.
2.Sen. You breath in vaine.
Alci. In vaine?
His seruice done at Lacedemon, and Bizantium,
1320Were a sufficient briber for his life.
1 What's that?
Alc. Why say my Lords ha's done faire seruice,
And slaine in fight many of your enemies:
How full of valour did he beare himselfe
1325In the last Conflict, and made plenteous wounds?
2 He has made too much plenty with him:
He's a sworne Riotor, he has a sinne
That often drownes him, and takes his valour prisoner.
If there were no Foes, that were enough
1330To ouercome him. In that Beastly furie,
He has bin knowne to commit outrages,
And cherrish Factions. 'Tis inferr'd to vs,
His dayes are foule, and his drinke dangerous.
1 He dyes.
1335Alci. Hard fate: he might haue dyed in warre.
My Lords, if not for any parts in him,
Though his right arme might purchase his owne time,
And be in debt to none: yet more to moue you,
Take my deserts to his, and ioyne 'em both.
1340And for I know, your reuerend Ages loue Security,
Ile pawne my Victories, all my Honour to you
Vpon his good returnes.
If by this Crime, he owes the Law his life,
Why let the Warre receiue't in valiant gore,
1345For Law is strict, and Warre is nothing more.
1 We are for Law, he dyes, vrge it no more
On height of our displeasure: Friend, or Brother,
He forfeits his owne blood, that spilles another.
Alc. Must it be so? It must not bee:
1350My Lords, I do beseech you know mee.
2 How?
Alc. Call me to your remembrances.
3 What.
Alc. I cannot thinke but your Age has forgot me,
1355It could not else be, I should proue so bace,
To sue and be deny'de such common Grace.
My wounds ake at you.
1 Do you dare our anger?
'Tis in few words, but spacious in effect:
1360We banish thee for euer.
Alc. Banish me?
Banish your dotage, banish vsurie,
That makes the Senate vgly.
1 If after two dayes shine, Athens containe thee,
1365Attend our waightier Iudgement.
And not to swell our Spirit,
He shall be executed presently.
Exeunt.
Alc. Now the Gods keepe you old enough,
That you may liue
1370Onely in bone, that none may looke on you.
I'm worse then mad: I haue kept backe their Foes
While they haue told their Money, and let out
Their Coine vpon large interest. I my selfe,
Rich onely in large hurts. All those, for this?
1375Is this the Balsome, that the vsuring Senat
Powres into Captaines wounds? Banishment.
It comes not ill: I hate not to be banisht,
It is a cause worthy my Spleene and Furie,
That I may strike at Athens. Ile cheere vp
1380My discontented Troopes, and lay for hearts;
'Tis Honour with most Lands to be at ods,
Souldiers should brooke as little wrongs as Gods.
Exit.
Enter