Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Timon of Athens (Folio 1, 1623)

Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his Powers
before Athens.
Alc. Sound to this Coward, and lasciuious Towne,
2510Our terrible approach.
Sounds a Parly.
The Senators appeare vpon the wals.
Till now you haue gone on, and fill'd the time
With all Licentious measure, making your willes
2515The scope of Iustice. Till now, my selfe and such
As slept within the shadow of your power
Haue wander'd with our trauerst Armes, and breath'd
Our sufferance vainly: Now the time is flush,
When crouching Marrow in the bearer strong
2520Cries (of it selfe) no more: Now breathlesse wrong,
Shall sit and pant in your great Chaires of ease,
And pursie Insolence shall breake his winde
With feare and horrid flight.
1.Sen. Noble, and young;
2525When thy first greefes were but a meere conceit,
Ere thou had'st power, or we had cause of feare,
We sent to thee, to giue thy rages Balme,
To wipe out our Ingratitude, with Loues
Aboue their quantitie.
25302 So did we wooe
Transformed Timon, to our Citties loue
By humble Message, and by promist meanes:
We were not all vnkinde, nor all deserue
The common stroke of warre.
25351 These walles of ours,
Were not erected by their hands, from whom
You haue receyu'd your greefe: Nor are they such,
That these great Towres, Trophees, & Schools shold fall
For priuate faults in them.
25402 Nor are they liuing
Who were the motiues that you first went out,
(Shame that they wanted, cunning in excesse)
Hath broke their hearts. March, Noble Lord,
Into our City with thy Banners spred,
2545By decimation and a tythed death;
If thy Reuenges hunger for that Food
Which Nature loathes, take thou the destin'd tenth,
And by the hazard of the spotted dye,
Let dye the spotted.
25501 All haue not offended:
For those that were, it is not square to take
On those that are, Reuenge: Crimes, like Lands
Are not inherited, then deere Countryman,
Bring in thy rankes, but leaue without thy rage,
2555Spare thy Athenian Cradle, and those Kin
Which in the bluster of thy wrath must fall
With those that haue offended, like a Shepheard,
Approach the Fold, and cull th' infected forth,
But kill not altogether.
25602 What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt inforce it with thy smile,
Then hew too't, with thy Sword.
1 Set but thy foot
Against our rampyr'd gates, and they shall ope:
2565So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before,
To say thou't enter Friendly.
2 Throw thy Gloue,
Or any Token of thine Honour else,
That thou wilt vse the warres as thy redresse,
2570And not as our Confusion: All thy Powers
Shall make their harbour in our Towne, till wee
Haue seal'd thy full desire.
Alc. Then there's my Gloue,
Defend and open your vncharged Ports,
2575Those Enemies of Timons, and mine owne
Whom you your selues shall set out for reproofe,
Fall and no more; and to attone your feares
With my more Noble meaning, not a man
Shall passe his quarter, or offend the streame
2580Of Regular Iustice in your Citties bounds,
But shall be remedied to your publique Lawes
At heauiest answer.
Both. 'Tis most Nobly spoken.
Alc. Descend, and keepe your words.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. My Noble Generall, Timon is dead,
Entomb'd vpon the very hemme o'th' Sea,
And on his Grauestone, this Insculpture which
With wax I brought away: whose soft Impression
2590Interprets for my poore ignorance.
Alcibiades reades the Epitaph.
Heere lies a wretched Coarse, of wretched Soule bereft,
Seek not my name: A Plague consume you, wicked Caitifs left:
Heere lye I Timon, who aliue, all liuing men did hate,
2595Passe by, and curse thy fill, but passe and stay not here thy gate.
These well expresse in thee thy latter spirits:
Though thou abhorrd'st in vs our humane griefes,
Scornd'st our Braines flow, and those our droplets, which
From niggard Nature fall; yet Rich Conceit
2600Taught thee to make vast Neptune weepe for aye
On thy low Graue, on faults forgiuen. Dead
Is Noble Timon, of whose Memorie
Heereafter more. Bring me into your Citie,
And I will vse the Oliue, with my Sword:
2605Make war breed peace; make peace stint war, make each
Prescribe to other, as each others Leach.
Let our Drummes strike.