Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)


Enter Timon.
Tim. Let me looke backe vpon thee. O thou Wall
1505That girdles in those Wolues, diue in the earth,
And fence not Athens. Matrons, turne incontinent,
Obedience fayle in Children: Slaues and Fooles
Plucke the graue wrinkled Senate from the Bench,
And minister in their steeds, to generall Filthes.
1510Conuert o'th' Instant greene Virginity,
Doo't in your Parents eyes. Bankrupts, hold fast
Rather then render backe; out with your Kniues,
And cut your Trusters throates. Bound Seruants, steale,
Large-handed Robbers your graue Masters are,
1515And pill by Law. Maide, to thy Masters bed,
Thy Mistris is o'th' Brothell. Some of sixteen,
Plucke the lyn'd Crutch from thy old limping Sire,
With it, beate out his Braines, Piety, and Feare,
Religion to the Gods, Peace, Iustice, Truth,
1520Domesticke awe, Night-rest, and Neighbour-hood,
Instruction, Manners, Mysteries, and Trades,
Degrees, Obseruances, Customes, and Lawes,
Decline to your confounding contraries.
And yet Confusion liue: Plagues incident to men,
1525Your potent and infectious Feauors, heape
On Athens ripe for stroke. Thou cold Sciatica,
Cripple our Senators, that their limbes may halt
As lamely as their Manners. Lust, and Libertie
Creepe in the Mindes and Marrowes of our youth,
1530That 'gainst the streame of Vertue they may striue,
And drowne themselues in Riot. Itches, Blaines,
So we all th' Athenian bosomes, and their crop
Be generall Leprosie: Breath, infect breath,
That their Society (as their Friendship) may
1535Be meerely poyson. Nothing Ile beare from thee
But nakednesse, thou detestable Towne,
Take thou that too, with multiplying Bannes:
Timon will to the Woods, where he shall finde
Th'vnkindest Beast, more kinder then Mankinde.
1540The Gods confound (heare me you good Gods all)
Th'Athenians both within and out that Wall:
And graunt as Timon growes, his hate may grow
To the whole race of Mankinde, high and low.
Amen.
Exit.