Timon of Athens

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Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Poet, and Painter.

Pain.
As I tooke note of the place, it cannot be farre
where he abides.

Poet.
What's to be thought of him? / Does the Rumor
hold for true, / That hee's so full of Gold?

Painter.
Certaine. / Alcibiades reports it: Phrinica and
Timandylo / Had Gold of him. He likewise enrich'd / Poore
stragling Souldiers, with great quantity. / 'Tis saide, he gaue
vnto his Steward / A mighty summe.

Poet.
Then this breaking of his, / Ha's beene but a Try for his
Friends?

Painter.
Nothing else: / You shall see him a Palme in
Athens againe, / And flourish with the highest: / Therefore,
'tis not amisse, we tender our loues / To him, in this suppos'd
distresse of his: / It will shew honestly in vs, / And is
very likely, to loade our purposes / With what they trauaile
for, / If it be a iust and true report, that goes / Of his hauing.

Poet.
What haue you now / To present vnto him?

Painter.
Nothing at this time / But my Visitation: onely I
will promise him / An excellent Peece.

Poet.
I must serue him so too; / Tell him of an intent that's
comming toward him.

Painter.
Good as the best. / Promising, is the verie Ayre
o'th'Time; / It opens the eyes of Expectation. / Performance,
is euer the duller for his acte, / And but in the plainer
and simpler kinde of people, / The deede of Saying is quite
out of vse. / To Promise, is most Courtly and fashionable;
Performance, is a kinde of Will or Testament / Which argues
a great sicknesse in his iudgement / That makes it.
Enter Timon from his Caue.

Timon.

Excellent Workeman, / Thou canst not paint
a man so badde / As is thy selfe.

Poet.
I am thinking / What I shall say I haue prouided for
him: / It must be a personating of himselfe: / A Satyre against
the softnesse of Prosperity, / With a Discouerie of the infinite
Flatteries / That follow youth and opulencie.

Timon.

Must thou needes / Stand for a Villaine in
thine owne Worke? / Wilt thou whip thine owne faults in
other men? / Do so, I haue Gold for thee.

Poet.
Nay let's seeke him.
Then do we sinne against our owne estate,
When we may profit meete, and come too late.

Painter.
True:
When the day serues before blacke-corner'd night;
Finde what thou want'st, by free and offer'd light.
Come.

Tim.

Ile meete you at the turne: / What a Gods Gold,
that he is worshipt / In a baser Temple,
then where Swine feede?
'Tis thou that rigg'st the Barke, and plow'st the Fome,
Setlest admired reuerence in a Slaue,
To thee be worshipt, and thy Saints for aye:
Be crown'd with Plagues, that thee alone obay.
Fit I meet them.

Poet.
Haile worthy Timon.

Pain.
Our late Noble Master.

Timon.
Haue I once liu'd / To see two honest men?

Poet.
Sir:
Hauing often of your open Bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retyr'd, your Friends falne off,
Whose thankelesse Natures (O abhorred Spirits)
Not all the Whippes of Heauen, are large enough.
What, to you,
Whose Starre-like Noblenesse gaue life and influence
To their whole being? I am rapt, and cannot couer
The monstrous bulke of this Ingratitude
With any size of words.

Timon.
Let it go, / Naked men may see't the better:
You that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seene, and knowne.

Pain.
He, and my selfe
Haue trauail'd in the great showre of your guifts,
And sweetly felt it.

Timon.
I, you are honest man.

Painter.
We are hither come / To offer you our seruice.

Timon.
Most honest men: / Why how shall I requite you?
Can you eate Roots, and drinke cold water, no?

Both.
What we can do, / Wee'l do to do you seruice.

Tim.
Y'are honest men, / Y'haue heard that I haue Gold,
I am sure you haue, speake truth, y'are honest men.

Pain.
So it is said my Noble Lord, but therefore
Came not my Friend, nor I.

Timon.
Good honest men: Thou draw'st a counterfet
Best in all Athens, th'art indeed the best,
Thou counterfet'st most liuely.

Pain.
So, so, my Lord.

Tim.
E'ne so sir as I say. And for thy fiction,
Why thy Verse swels with stuffe so fine and smooth,
That thou art euen Naturall in thine Art.
But for all this (my honest Natur'd friends)
I must needs say you haue a little fault,
Marry 'tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
You take much paines to mend.

Both.
Beseech your Honour
To make it knowne to vs.

Tim.
You'l take it ill.

Both.
Most thankefully, my Lord.

Timon.
Will you indeed?

Both.
Doubt it not worthy Lord.

Tim.
There's neuer a one of you but trusts a Knaue,
That mightily deceiues you.

Both.
Do we, my Lord?

Tim.
I, and you heare him cogge, / See him dissemble,
Know his grosse patchery, loue him, feede him,
Keepe in your bosome, yet remaine assur'd
That he's a made-vp-Villaine.

Pain.
I know none such, my Lord.

Poet.
Nor I.

Timon.
Looke you, / I loue you well, Ile giue you Gold
Rid me these Villaines from your companies;
Hang them, or stab them, drowne them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me,
Ile giue you Gold enough.

Both.
Name them my Lord, let's know them.

Tim.
You that way, and you this: / But two in Company:
Each man a part, all single, and alone,
Yet an arch Villaine keepes him company:
If where thou art, two Villaines shall not be,
Come not neere him. If thou would'st not recide
But where one Villaine is, then him abandon.
Hence, packe, there's Gold, you came for Gold ye slaues:
You haue worke for me; there's payment, hence,
You are an Alcumist, make Gold of that:
Out Rascall dogges.
Exeunt
Enter Steward, and two Senators.

Stew.
It is vaine that you would speake with Timon:
For he is set so onely to himselfe,
That nothing but himselfe, which lookes like man,
Is friendly with him.

1.Sen.
Bring vs to his Caue.
It is our part and promise to th'Athenians
To speake with Timon.

2.Sen.
At all times alike
Men are not still the same: 'twas Time and Greefes
That fram'd him thus. Time with his fairer hand,
Offering the Fortunes of his former dayes,
The former man may make him: bring vs to him
And chanc'd it as it may.

Stew.
Heere is his Caue:
Peace and content be heere. Lord Timon, Timon,
Looke out, and speake to Friends: Th'Athenians
By two of their most reuerend Senate greet thee:
Speake to them Noble Timon.
Enter Timon out of his Caue.

Tim.
Thou Sunne that comforts burne, / Speake and be hang'd:
For each true word, a blister, and each false
Be as a Cantherizing to the root o'th'Tongue,
Consuming it with speaking.

1
Worthy Timon.

Tim.
Of none but such as you, / And you of Timon.

1
The Senators of Athens, greet thee Timon.

Tim.
I thanke them, / And would send them backe the plague,
Could I but catch it for them.

1
O forget
What we are sorry for our selues in thee:
The Senators, with one consent of loue,
Intreate thee backe to Athens, who haue thought
On speciall Dignities, which vacant lye
For thy best vse and wearing.

2
They confesse
Toward thee, forgetfulnesse too generall grosse;
Which now the publike Body, which doth sildome
Play the re-canter, feeling in it selfe
A lacke of Timons ayde, hath since withall
Of it owne fall, restraining ayde to Timon,
And send forth vs, to make their sorrowed render,
Together, with a recompence more fruitfull
Then their offence can weigh downe by the Dramme,
I euen such heapes and summes of Loue and Wealth,
As shall to thee blot out, what wrongs were theirs,
And write in thee the figures of their loue,
Euer to read them thine.

Tim.
You witch me in it;
Surprize me to the very brinke of teares;
Lend me a Fooles heart, and a womans eyes,
And Ile beweepe these comforts, worthy Senators.

1
Therefore so please thee to returne with vs,
And of our Athens, thine and ours to take
The Captainship, thou shalt be met with thankes,
Allowed with absolute power, and thy good name
Liue with Authoritie: so soone we shall driue backe
Of Alcibiades th'approaches wild,
Who like a Bore too sauage, doth root vp
His Countries peace.

2
And shakes his threatning Sword
Against the walles of Athens.

1
Therefore Timon.

Tim.
Well sir, I will: therefore I will sir thus:
If Alcibiades kill my Countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. But if he sacke faire Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by'th'Beards,
Giuing our holy Virgins to the staine
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd warre:
Then let him know, and tell him Timon speakes it,
In pitty of our aged, and our youth,
I cannot choose but tell him that I care not,
And let him tak't at worst: For their Kniues care not,
While you haue throats to answer. For my selfe,
There's not a whittle, in th'vnruly Campe,
But I do prize it at my loue, before
The reuerends Throat in Athens. So I leaue you
To the protection of the prosperous Gods,
As Theeues to Keepers.

Stew.
Stay not, all's in vaine.

Tim.
Why I was writing of my Epitaph,
It will be seene to morrow. My long sicknesse
Of Health, and Liuing, now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, liue still,
Be Alcibiades your plague; you his,
And last so long enough.

1
We speake in vaine.

Tim.
But yet I loue my Country, and am not
One that reioyces in the common wracke,
As common bruite doth put it.

1
That's well spoke.

Tim.
Commend me to my louing Countreymen.

1
These words become your lippes as they passe thorow them.

2
And enter in our eares, like great Triumphers
In their applauding gates.

Tim.
Commend me to them,
And tell them, that to ease them of their greefes,
Their feares of Hostile strokes, their Aches losses,
Their pangs of Loue, with other incident throwes
That Natures fragile Vessell doth sustaine
In lifes vncertaine voyage, I will some kindnes do them,
Ile teach them to preuent wilde Alcibiades wrath.

1
I like this well, he will returne againe.

Tim.
I haue a Tree which growes heere in my Close,
That mine owne vse inuites me to cut downe,
And shortly must I fell it. Tell my Friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree,
From high to low throughout, that who so please
To stop Affliction, let him take his haste;
Come hither ere my Tree hath felt the Axe,
And hang himselfe. I pray you do my greeting.

Stew.
Trouble him no further, thus you still shall / Finde him.

Tim.
Come not to me againe, but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his euerlasting Mansion
Vpon the Beached Verge of the salt Flood,
Who once a day with his embossed Froth
The turbulent Surge shall couer; thither come,
And let my graue-stone be your Oracle:
Lippes, let foure words go by, and Language end:
What is amisse, Plague and Infection mend.
Graues onely be mens workes, and Death their gaine;
Sunne, hide thy Beames, Timon hath done his Raigne.
Exit Timon.

1
His discontents are vnremoueably
coupled to Nature.

2
Our hope in him is dead: let vs returne,
And straine what other meanes is left vnto vs
In our deere perill.

1
It requires swift foot.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene II
Enter two other Senators, with a Messenger.

1
Thou hast painfully discouer'd: are his Files
As full as thy report?

Mes.
I haue spoke the least.
Besides his expedition promises
present approach.

2
We stand much hazard, if they bring not Timon.

Mes.
I met a Currier, one mine ancient Friend,
Whom though in generall part we were oppos'd,
Yet our old loue made a particular force,
And made vs speake like Friends. This man was riding
From Alcibiades to Timons Caue,
With Letters of intreaty, which imported
His Fellowship i'th'cause against your City,
In part for his sake mou'd.
Enter the other Senators.

1
Heere come our Brothers.

3
No talke of Timon, nothing of him expect,
The Enemies Drumme is heard, and fearefull scouring
Doth choake the ayre with dust: In, and prepare,
Ours is the fall I feare, our Foes the Snare.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene III
Enter a Souldier in the Woods, seeking Timon.

Sol.
By all description this should be the place.
Whose heere? Speake hoa. No answer? What is this?

Tymon is dead, who hath out-stretcht his span,
Some Beast reade this; There do's not liue a Man.
Dead sure, and this his Graue, what's on this Tomb,
I cannot read: the Charracter Ile take with wax,
Our Captaine hath in euery Figure skill;
An ag'd Interpreter, though yong in dayes:
Before proud Athens hee's set downe by this,
Whose fall the marke of his Ambition is.
Exit.
Original text
Act V, Scene IV
Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his Powers
before Athens.

Alc.
Sound to this Coward, and lasciuious Towne,
Our 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
The 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
Cries (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;
When 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.

2
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.

1
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.

2
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,
By 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.

1
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,
Spare 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.

2
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:
So 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,
And 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,
Those 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
Of 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
Interprets 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,
Passe 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
Taught 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:
Make war breed peace; make peace stint war, make each
Prescribe to other, as each others Leach.
Let our Drummes strike.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Poet and Painter

PAINTER
As I took note of the place, it cannot be far
where he abides.

POET
What's to be thought of him? Does the rumour
hold for true that he's so full of gold?

PAINTER
Certain. Alcibiades reports it. Phrynia and
Timandra had gold of him. He likewise enriched poor
straggling soldiers with great quantity. 'Tis said he gave
unto his steward a mighty sum.

POET
Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his
friends?

PAINTER
Nothing else. You shall see him a palm in
Athens again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore
'tis not amiss we tender our loves to him in this supposed
distress of his. It will show honestly in us, and is
very likely to load our purposes with what they travail
for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.

POET
What have you now to present unto him?

PAINTER
Nothing at this time but my visitation: only I
will promise him an excellent piece.

POET
I must serve him so too, tell him of an intent that's
coming toward him.

PAINTER
Good as the best. Promising is the very air
o'th' time; it opens the eyes of expectation. Performance
is ever the duller for his act; and but in the plainer
and simpler kind of people the deed of saying is quite
out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable.
Performance is a kind of will or testament which argues
a great sickness in his judgement that makes it.
Enter Timon from his cave

TIMON
(aside)
Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint
a man so bad as is thyself.

POET
I am thinking what I shall say I have provided for
him. It must be a personating of himself; a satire against
the softness of prosperity, with a discovery of the infinite
flatteries that follow youth and opulency.

TIMON
(aside)
Must thou needs stand for a villain in
thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in
other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.

POET
Nay, let's seek him.
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet and come too late.

PAINTER
True.
When the day serves, before black-cornered night,
Find what thou wantest by free and offered light.
Come.

TIMON
(aside)
I'll meet you at the turn. What a god's gold,
That he is worshipped in a baser temple
Than where swine feed!
'Tis thou that riggest the bark and ploughest the foam,
Settlest admired reverence in a slave.
To thee be worship; and thy saints for aye
Be crowned with plagues, that thee alone obey.
Fit I meet them.
He comes forward

POET
Hail, worthy Timon!

PAINTER
Our late noble master!

TIMON
Have I once lived to see two honest men?

POET
Sir,
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retired, your friends fall'n off,
Whose thankless natures – O abhorred spirits! –
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough –
What, to you,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
To their whole being! I am rapt, and cannot cover
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any size of words.

TIMON
Let it go naked, men may see't the better.
You that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen and known.

PAINTER
He and myself
Have travelled in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.

TIMON
Ay, you are honest men.

PAINTER
We are hither come to offer you our service.

TIMON
Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? No?

POET and PAINTER
What we can do, we'll do, to do you service.

TIMON
Y' are honest men. Y' have heard that I have gold.
I am sure you have. Speak truth; y' are honest men.

PAINTER
So it is said, my noble lord, but therefore
Came not my friend nor I.

TIMON
Good honest men! Thou drawest a counterfeit
Best in all Athens. Th' art indeed the best;
Thou counterfeitest most lively.

PAINTER
So, so, my lord.

TIMON
E'en so, sir, as I say. (To the Poet) And for thy fiction,
Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth
That thou art even natural in thine art.
But, for all this, my honest-natured friends,
I must needs say you have a little fault.
Marry, 'tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
You take much pains to mend.

POET and PAINTER
Beseech your honour
To make it known to us.

TIMON
You'll take it ill.

POET and PAINTER
Most thankfully, my lord.

TIMON
Will you indeed?

POET and PAINTER
Doubt it not, worthy lord.

TIMON
There's never a one of you but trusts a knave
That mightily deceives you.

POET and PAINTER
Do we, my lord?

TIMON
Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom. Yet remain assured
That he's a made-up villain.

PAINTER
I know none such, my lord.

POET
Nor I.

TIMON
Look you, I love you well; I'll give you gold,
Rid me these villains from your companies.
Hang them or stab them, drown them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me,
I'll give you gold enough.

POET and PAINTER
Name them, my lord, let's know them.

TIMON
You that way, and you this – but two in company –
Each man apart, all single and alone,
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
(To the Painter) If, where thou art, two villains shall not be,
Come not near him. (To the Poet) If thou wouldst not reside
But where one villain is, then him abandon.
Hence, pack! There's gold. You came for gold, ye slaves.
(To the Painter) You have work for me. There's payment. Hence!
(To the Poet) You are an alchemist, make gold of that.
Out, rascal dogs!
He beats them off the stage, and retires to his cave
Enter Flavius and two Senators

FLAVIUS
It is in vain that you would speak with Timon;
For he is set so only to himself
That nothing but himself which looks like man
Is friendly with him.

FIRST SENATOR
Bring us to his cave.
It is our part and promise to th' Athenians
To speak with Timon.

SECOND SENATOR
At all times alike
Men are not still the same. 'Twas time and griefs
That framed him thus. Time, with his fairer hand,
Offering the fortunes of his former days,
The former man may make him. Bring us to him,
And chance it as it may.

FLAVIUS
Here is his cave.
Peace and content be here! Lord Timon, Timon,
Look out, and speak to friends. Th' Athenians
By two of their most reverend Senate greet thee.
Speak to them, noble Timon.
Enter Timon out of his cave

TIMON
Thou sun, that comforts, burn! Speak and be hanged.
For each true word a blister, and each false
Be as a cantherizing to the root o'th' tongue,
Consuming it with speaking!

FIRST SENATOR
Worthy Timon –

TIMON
Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.

FIRST SENATOR
The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.

TIMON
I thank them, and would send them back the plague,
Could I but catch it for them.

FIRST SENATOR
O, forget
What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
The senators with one consent of love
Entreat thee back to Athens, who have thought
On special dignities, which vacant lie
For thy best use and wearing.

SECOND SENATOR
They confess
Toward thee forgetfulness too general-gross;
Which now the public body, which doth seldom
Play the recanter, feeling in itself
A lack of Timon's aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fault, restraining aid to Timon,
And send forth us to make their sorrowed render,
Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram –
Ay, even such heaps and sums of love and wealth
As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs,
And write in thee the figures of their love,
Ever to read them thine.

TIMON
You witch me in it,
Surprise me to the very brink of tears.
Lend me a fool's heart and a woman's eyes,
And I'll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.

FIRST SENATOR
Therefore so please thee to return with us,
And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allowed with absolute power, and thy good name
Live with authority. So soon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades th' approaches wild,
Who like a boar too savage doth root up
His country's peace.

SECOND SENATOR
And shakes his threat'ning sword
Against the walls of Athens.

FIRST SENATOR
Therefore, Timon –

TIMON
Well, sir, I will – therefore I will, sir, thus:
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by th' beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brained war,
Then let him know – and tell him Timon speaks it
In pity of our aged and our youth –
I cannot choose but tell him that I care not,
And let him take't at worst. For their knives care not,
While you have throats to answer. For myself,
There's not a whittle in th' unruly camp
But I do prize it at my love before
The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you
To the protection of the prosperous gods
As thieves to keepers.

FLAVIUS
Stay not, all's in vain.

TIMON
Why, I was writing of my epitaph;
It will be seen tomorrow. My long sickness
Of health and living now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough.

FIRST SENATOR
We speak in vain.

TIMON
But yet I love my country, and am not
One that rejoices in the common wrack,
As common bruit doth put it.

FIRST SENATOR
That's well spoke.

TIMON
Commend me to my loving countrymen –

FIRST SENATOR
These words become your lips as they pass through them.

SECOND SENATOR
And enter in our ears like great triumphers
In their applauding gates.

TIMON
Commend me to them,
And tell them that to ease them of their griefs,
Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,
Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain
In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them –
I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.

FIRST SENATOR
I like this well. He will return again.

TIMON
I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
That mine own use invites me to cut down,
And shortly must I fell it. Tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree
From high to low throughout, that whoso please
To stop affliction, let him take his haste,
Come hither ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himself. I pray you do my greeting.

FLAVIUS
Trouble him no further; thus you still shall find him.

TIMON
Come not to me again, but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood,
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover. Thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.
Lips, let four words go by, and language end:
What is amiss, plague and infection mend!
Graves only be men's works, and death their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams. Timon hath done his reign.
Exit

FIRST SENATOR
His discontents are unremovably
Coupled to nature.

SECOND SENATOR
Our hope in him is dead. Let us return,
And strain what other means is left unto us
In our dear peril.

FIRST SENATOR
It requires swift foot.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene II
Enter two other Senators, with a Messenger

THIRD SENATOR
Thou hast painfully discovered. Are his files
As full as thy report?

MESSENGER
I have spoke the least.
Besides, his expedition promises
Present approach.

FOURTH SENATOR
We stand much hazard if they bring not Timon.

MESSENGER
I met a courier, one mine ancient friend,
Whom, though in general part we were opposed,
Yet our old love made a particular force,
And made us speak like friends. This man was riding
From Alcibiades to Timon's cave
With letters of entreaty, which imported
His fellowship i'th' cause against your city,
In part for his sake moved.
Enter the two other Senators, from Timon

THIRD SENATOR
Here come our brothers.

FIRST SENATOR
No talk of Timon, nothing of him expect.
The enemy's drum is heard, and fearful scouring
Doth choke the air with dust. In, and prepare.
Ours is the fall, I fear; our foe's the snare.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene III
Enter a Soldier in the woods, seeking Timon

SOLDIER
By all description this should be the place.
Who's here? Speak, ho! No answer! What is this?
(He reads)
Timon is dead, who hath outstretched his span.
Some beast read this; there does not live a man.
Dead, sure, and this his grave. What's on this tomb
I cannot read. The character I'll take with wax.
Our captain hath in every figure skill,
An aged interpreter, though young in days.
Before proud Athens he's set down by this,
Whose fall the mark of his ambition is.
Exit
Modern text
Act V, Scene IV
Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his Powers
before Athens

ALCIBIADES
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.

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 grief; 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 th' 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 sealed 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 remanded to your public laws
At heaviest answer.

BOTH SENATORS
'Tis most nobly spoken.

ALCIBIADES
Descend, and keep your words.
The Senators descend
Enter Soldier

SOLDIER
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.

ALCIBIADES
(reading 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 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.
Exeunt
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