Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Timon of Athens > Act V, scene IV

	[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.


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