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Timon of Athens
Act 5, scene 4

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Entire Play

In Timon of Athens, Lord Timon discovers the limits of wealth and friendship. He spends freely on others and hosts banquets…

Act 1, scene 1

The stage fills with suitors to and admirers of Lord Timon. When he arrives, he spends lavishly in freeing a…

Act 1, scene 2

Timon lavishly entertains friends and suitors with food and drink and a masque of Cupid and Amazons, and displays his…

Act 2, scene 1

A senator, predicting the end of Timon’s days of glory, sends a servant to Timon to collect overdue loans.

Act 2, scene 2

Servants of Timon’s creditors gather and confront Timon, demanding immediate repayment of loans. Learning that he is bankrupt, Timon dispatches…

Act 3, scene 1

Timon’s servant Flaminius approaches Timon’s friend Lucullus for money and is denied.

Act 3, scene 2

Timon’s servant Servilius approaches Timon’s friend Lucius for money and is refused. Three strangers condemn the ingratitude of Timon’s “friends”…

Act 3, scene 3

Timon’s servant approaches Timon’s friend Sempronius for money and is refused.

Act 3, scene 4

The servants of Timon’s creditors gather at his gates. He confronts them in a rage and, after they are gone,…

Act 3, scene 5

Alcibiades pleads in vain before three Athenian senators for the life of one of his soldiers. Frustrated at being denied,…

Act 3, scene 6

Timon’s friends come to dinner again, but this time he serves them only water and stones and drives them away.

Act 4, scene 1

Timon abandons Athens and retires to the woods.

Act 4, scene 2

Flavius shares his remaining money with his fellow servants as they disperse.

Act 4, scene 3

Timon, digging for roots to eat, finds gold. He is visited by Alcibiades and his concubines, to whom he gives…

Act 5, scene 1

Timon is visited by the Poet and the Painter seeking the gold Timon is now rumored to possess. After he…

Act 5, scene 2

Athens learns that it will surely fall to Alcibiades. Its senators seek shelter behind its walls.

Act 5, scene 3

One of Alcibiades’ soldiers discovers Timon’s tomb and, since he cannot read Timon’s epitaph, he resolves to bring a wax…

Act 5, scene 4

A victorious Alcibiades listens to the apologies of the senators and agrees to the conditions they set. Athens then opens…

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Scene 4
Trumpets sound. Enter Alcibiades with his Powers
before Athens.


ALCIBIADES 
 Sound to this coward and lascivious town
 Our terrible approach.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
5 The scope of justice. Till now myself and such
 As slept 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
10 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,
15 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 20 So did we woo
 Transformèd 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.

185
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 4

FIRST SENATOR 25 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
30 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,
35 Into our city with thy banners spread.
 By decimation and a tithèd death,
 If thy revenges hunger for that food
 Which nature loathes, take thou the destined tenth
 And, by the hazard of the spotted die,
40 Let die the spotted.
FIRST SENATOR  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,
45 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,
50 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
55 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 honor else,
60 That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress

187
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 4

 And not as our confusion, all thy powers
 Shall make their harbor in our town till we
 Have sealed thy full desire.
ALCIBIADES  Then there’s my glove.
65 Descend and open your unchargèd 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
70 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.
BOTH  ’Tis most nobly spoken.
ALCIBIADES 75Descend and keep your words.
The Senators descend.

Enter a Soldier, with the wax tablet.

SOLDIER 
 My noble general, Timon is dead,
 Entombed upon the very hem o’ th’ sea,
 And on his gravestone this insculpture, which
 With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
80 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.
85 Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay not here
 thy gait.

 These well express in thee thy latter spirits.
 Though thou abhorred’st in us our human griefs,
 Scorned’st our brains’ flow and those our droplets
90 which
 From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit

189
Timon of Athens
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
 On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
 Is noble Timon, of whose memory
95 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.
100 Let our drums strike.
Drums. They exit.