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2 Sen. We stand much hazard, if they bring not Timon.
Mess. I met a courier, one mine ancient friend,
Whom, though in general part we were oppos'd,
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' the cause against your city,
In part for his sake mov'd.
Enter Senators from TIMON.
Here come our brothers.
3 Sen. No talk of Timon; nothing of him expect.
The enemies' drum is heard, and fearful scouring
Doth choke the air with dust. In, and prepare:
Ours is the fall, I fear, our foes the snare.
The Woods. TIMON'S Cave, and a Tomb-stone seen.
Enter a Soldier, seeking Timon.
Sold. By all description this should be the place.
Who's here? speak, ho! - No answer? - What is this?
Timon is dead, who hath outstretch'd his span :
Some beast rear'd this; there does not live a man.
Dead, sure, and this grave. What's on this tomb
I cannot read; the character I 'll take with wax:
Our captain hath in every figure skill;
An ag'd interpreter, though young in days.
Before proud Athens he's set down by this,
Whose fall the mark of his ambition is.
Before the Walls of Athens.
Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES, and Forces.
Alcib. Sound to this coward and lascivious town
Qur 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 travers d arms, and breath'd
Our sufferance vainly. Now the time is flush,
When crouching marrow, in the bearer strong,
Cries of itself, “No more: pow 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,
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 promis'd 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 receiv'd 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 cupping, 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 loaths ) take thou the destin'd 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, revenge: 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 altogether.
What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile,
Than hew to 't with thy sword.
Set but thy foot
Against our rampir'd 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 seal'd 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 remedied to your public laws
At heaviest answer.
'Tis most nobly spoken.
Alcib. Descend, and keep your words.
[The Senators descend, and open the Gates.
Enter a Soldier.
Sold. My noble general, Timon is dead;
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.
Alcib. [Reads.] “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.