Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his Powers
Sound to this coward and lascivious town
Our terrible approach.
The Trumpeter sounds a parley
The Senators appear upon the walls
Till now you have gone on and filled the time
With all licentious measure, making your wills
The scope of justice. Till now, myself, and such
As stepped within the shadow of your power,
Have wandered 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.
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,
balm (n.) 2
soothing ointment, salve; soothing treatment
To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
Above their quantity.
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.
These walls of ours
Were not erected by their hands from whom
You have received your grief; nor are they such
That these great towers, trophies, and schools should fall
For private faults in them.
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.
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 th' infected forth,
But kill not all together.
What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
Than hew to't with thy sword.
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.
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 sealed thy full desire.
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 remanded to your public laws
At heaviest answer.
'Tis most nobly spoken.
Descend, and keep your words.
The Senators descend
My noble general, Timon is dead,
Entombed upon the very hem o'th' sea;
And on his grave-stone this insculpture which
With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
Interprets for my poor ignorance.
(reading the epitaph)
Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft.
Seek not my name. A plague consume you wicked caitiffs left!
[sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature
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.
spirit (n.) 2
(plural) sentiments, faculties, traits of character
Though thou abhorredst in us our human griefs,
Scornedst our brains' 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.