Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)

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.
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.
Enter diuers Friends at seuerall doores.
1 The good time of day to you, sir.
13852 I also wish it to you: I thinke this Honorable Lord
did but try vs this other day.
1 Vpon that were my thoughts tyring when wee en-
countred. I hope it is not so low with him as he made it
seeme in the triall of his seuerall Friends.
13902 It should not be, by the perswasion of his new Fea-
1 I should thinke so. He hath sent mee an earnest in-
uiting, which many my neere occasions did vrge mee to
put off: but he hath coniur'd mee beyond them, and I
1395must needs appeare.
2 In like manner was I in debt to my importunat bu-
sinesse, but he would not heare my excuse. I am sorrie,
when he sent to borrow of mee, that my Prouision was
14001 I am sicke of that greefe too, as I vnderstand how all
things go.
2 Euery man heares so: what would hee haue borro-
wed of you?
1 A thousand Peeces.
14052 A thousand Peeces?
1 What of you?
2 He sent to me sir--- Heere he comes.
Enter Timon and Attendants.
Tim. With all my heart Gentlemen both; and how
1410fare you?
1 Euer at the best, hearing well of your Lordship.
2 The Swallow followes not Summer more willing,
then we your Lordship.
Tim. Nor more willingly leaues Winter, such Sum-
1415mer Birds are men. Gentlemen, our dinner will not re-
compence this long stay: Feast your eares with the Mu-
sicke awhile: If they will fare so harshly o'th' Trumpets
sound: we shall too't presently.
1 I hope it remaines not vnkindely with your Lord-
1420ship, that I return'd you an empty Messenger.
Tim. O sir, let it not trouble you.
2 My Noble Lord.
Tim. Ah my good Friend, what cheere?
The Banket brought in.
14252 My most Honorable Lord, I am e'ne sick of shame,
that when your Lordship this other day sent to me, I was
so vnfortunate a Beggar.
Tim. Thinke not on't, sir.
2 If you had sent but two houres before.
1430Tim. Let it not cumber your better remembrance.
Come bring in all together.
2 All couer'd Dishes.
1 Royall Cheare, I warrant you.
3 Doubt not that, if money and the season can yeild it
14351 How do you? What's the newes?
3 Alcibiades is banish'd: heare you of it?
Both. Alcibiades banish'd?
3 'Tis so, be sure of it.
1 How? How?
14402 I pray you vpon what?
Tim. My worthy Friends, will you draw neere?
3 Ile tell you more anon. Here's a Noble feast toward
2 This is the old man still.
3 Wilt hold? Wilt hold?
14452 It do's: but time will, and so.
3 I do conceyue.
Tim. Each man to his stoole, with that spurre as hee
would to the lip of his Mistris: your dyet shall bee in all
places alike. Make not a Citie Feast of it, to let the meat
1450coole, ere we can agree vpon the first place. Sit, sit.
The Gods require our Thankes.
You great Benefactors, sprinkle our Society with Thanke-
fulnesse. For your owne guifts, make your selues prais'd: But
reserue still to giue, least your Deities be despised. Lend to each
1455man enough, that one neede not lend to another. For were your
Godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the Gods. Make
the Meate be beloued, more then the Man that giues it. Let
no Assembly of Twenty, be without a score of Villaines. If there
sit twelue Women at the Table, let a dozen of them bee as they
1460are. The rest of your Fees, O Gods, the Senators of Athens,
together with the common legge of People, what is amisse in
them, you Gods, make suteable for destruction. For these my
present Friends, as they are to mee nothing, so in nothing blesse
them, and to nothing are they welcome.
1465Vncouer Dogges, and lap.
Some speake. What do's his Lordship meane?
Some other. I know not.
Timon. May you a better Feast neuer behold
You knot of Mouth-Friends: Smoke, & lukewarm water
1470Is your perfection. This is Timons last,
Who stucke and spangled you with Flatteries,
Washes it off and sprinkles in your faces
Your reeking villany. Liue loath'd, and long
Most smiling, smooth, detested Parasites,
1475Curteous Destroyers, affable Wolues, meeke Beares:
You Fooles of Fortune, Trencher-friends, Times Flyes,
Cap and knee-Slaues, vapours, and Minute Iackes.
Of Man and Beast, the infinite Maladie
Crust you quite o're. What do'st thou go?
1480Soft, take thy Physicke first; thou too, and thou:
Stay I will lend thee money, borrow none.
What? All in Motion? Henceforth be no Feast,
Whereat a Villaine's not a welcome Guest.
Burne house, sinke Athens, henceforth hated be
1485Of Timon Man, and all Humanity.
Enter the Senators, with other Lords.
1 How now, my Lords?
2 Know you the quality of Lord Timons fury?
3 Push, did you see my Cap?
14904 I haue lost my Gowne.
1 He's but a mad Lord, & nought but humors swaies
him. He gaue me a Iewell th' other day, and now hee has
beate it out of my hat.
Did you see my Iewell?
14952 Did you see my Cap.
3 Heere 'tis.
4 Heere lyes my Gowne.
1 Let's make no stay.
2 Lord Timons mad.
15003 I feel't vpon my bones.
4 One day he giues vs Diamonds, next day stones.
Exeunt the Senators.