Timon of Athens


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter three Senators at one door, Alcibiades meeting

them, with attendants


FIRST SENATOR

My lord, you have my voice to't; the fault's bloody.
bloody (adj.) 3 involving bloodshed
fault (n.) 1 sin, offence, crime
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

'Tis necessary he should die;

Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.
embolden (v.) make more bold, encourage, foster


SECOND SENATOR

Most true. The law shall bruise him.
bruise (v.) 2 crush, smash, destroy


ALCIBIADES

Honour, health, and compassion to the Senate!


FIRST SENATOR

Now, captain?


ALCIBIADES

I am an humble suitor to your virtues;
virtue (n.) 8 virtuous self, honour, excellency

For pity is the virtue of the law,
virtue (n.) 2 essence, heart, soul

And none but tyrants use it cruelly.

It pleases time and fortune to lie heavy
heavy (adj.) 3 pressing, weighty, overpowering

Upon a friend of mine, who in hot blood
blood (n.) 2 anger, temper, passion
hot (adj.) 1 hot-tempered, angry, passionate

Hath stepped into the law, which is past depth
step into (v.) come into the path of, put oneself into the power of

To those that without heed do plunge into't.

He is a man, setting his fate aside,
fate (n.) destiny, fortune

Of comely virtues;
comely (adj.) graceful, becoming, decent

Nor did he soil the fact with cowardice –
fact (n.) evil deed, wicked act, crime
soil (v.) blemish, stain, tarnish

An honour in him which buys out his fault –
buy out (v.) 3 make up for, cancel out

But with a noble fury and fair spirit,
fair (adj.) 7 virtuous, honourable, upright

Seeing his reputation touched to death,
touch (v.) 9 stain, taint, infect

He did oppose his foe.

And with such sober and unnoted passion
passion (n.) 2 emotional state, mental condition
sober (adj.) 1 sedate, staid, demure, grave
unnoted (adj.) hardly noticeable, not particularly observed

He did behove his anger, ere 'twas spent,
behove (v.) 2 moderate the need for, keep under control
spend (v.) 1 use up, wear out, exhaust, bring to an end

As if he had but proved an argument.
argument (n.) 7 proposition, logical deduction


FIRST SENATOR

You undergo too strict a paradox,
strict (adj.) 1 strained, forced, absolute
undergo (v.) 1 undertake, carry out, perform

Striving to make an ugly deed look fair.

Your words have took such pains as if they laboured

To bring manslaughter into form, and set quarrelling
form (n.) 6 formal procedure, due process, formality

Upon the head of valour; which indeed
head (n.) 10 category, topic, heading

Is valour misbegot, and came into the world
misbegot (adj.) misbegotten, illegitimate, bastard

When sects and factions were newly born.
sect (n.) 1 faction, cabal, party

He's truly valiant that can wisely suffer

The worst that man can breathe,
breathe (v.) 1 speak, utter, talk

And make his wrongs his outsides,
outside (n.) 2 (plural) mere external thing, outward form
wrong (n.) 2 insult, offence, slight

To wear them, like his raiment, carelessly,
carelessly (adv.) 1 in a carefree way, without concern
raiment (n.) clothing, clothes, dress

And ne'er prefer his injuries to his heart,
prefer (v.) 1 promote, advance, recommend

To bring it into danger.

If wrongs be evils and enforce us kill,

What folly 'tis to hazard life for ill!
hazard (v.) 1 expose to danger, put at risk
ill (n.) 1 wrong, injury, harm, evil


ALCIBIADES

My lord –
clear (adj.) 2 innocent, blameless, free from fault, not guilty
gross (adj.) 1 plain, striking, evident, obvious


FIRST SENATOR

                         You cannot make gross sins look clear:

To revenge is no valour, but to bear.
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 6 tolerate, endure, put up with


ALCIBIADES

My lords, then, under favour – pardon me,

If I speak like a captain –

Why do fond men expose themselves to battle,
fond (adj.) 1 foolish, stupid, mad

And not endure all threats? Sleep upon't,
sleep upon (v.) disregard, ignore, pay no attention to

And let the foes quietly cut their throats

Without repugnancy? If there be
repugnancy (n.) resistance, fighting back, opposition

Such valour in the bearing, what make we
bearing (n.) carrying of hardships, enduring of woes
make (v.) 1 do, have to do

Abroad? Why then women are more valiant
abroad (adv.) 3 away from home, out of the house

That stay at home, if bearing carry it,

And the ass more captain than the lion,

The fellow loaden with irons wiser than the judge,

If wisdom be in suffering. O my lords,

As you are great, be pitifully good.
pitifully (adv.) with compassion, by showing mercy

Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood?

To kill, I grant, is sin's extremest gust,
gust (n.) 1 outburst, violent blast

But in defence, by mercy, 'tis most just.
defence (n.) 2 self-defence, resisting attack

To be in anger is impiety;

But who is man that is not angry?

Weigh but the crime with this.


SECOND SENATOR

You breathe in vain.
breathe (v.) 1 speak, utter, talk


ALCIBIADES

                         In vain? His service done

At Lacedaemon and Byzantium

Were a sufficient briber for his life.
briber (n.) price paid, incentive, inducement


FIRST SENATOR

What's that?


ALCIBIADES

Why, I say, my lords, 'has done fair service,
fair (adj.) 4 fine, pleasing, splendid, excellent

And slain in fight many of your enemies.

How full of valour did he bear himself

In the last conflict, and made plenteous wounds!


SECOND SENATOR

He has made too much plenty with 'em.

He's a sworn rioter; he has a sin

That often drowns him and takes his valour prisoner.

If there were no foes, that were enough

To overcome him. In that beastly fury

He has been known to commit outrages

And cherish factions. 'Tis inferred to us
cherish (v.) 1 support, foster, sustain
faction (n.) 3 quarrel, squabble, dissension
infer (v.) 1 adduce, bring up, put forward

His days are foul and his drink dangerous.
drink (n.) drinking-bout, carousing
foul (adj.) 3 detestable, vile, loathsome


FIRST SENATOR

He dies.


ALCIBIADES

                         Hard fate! He might have died in war.

My lords, if not for any parts in him –
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

Though his right arm might purchase his own time

And be in debt to none – yet, more to move you,

Take my deserts to his and join 'em both.
desert, desart (n.) 2 worth, merit, deserving

And, for I know your reverend ages love
age (n.) 2 mature years, old age

Security, I'll pawn my victories, all
pawn (v.) stake, pledge, risk

My honour to you, upon his good returns.
return (n.) response, reaction, repayment

If by this crime he owes the law his life,

Why, let the war receive't in valiant gore,

For law is strict, and war is nothing more.


FIRST SENATOR

We are for law. He dies. Urge it no more

On height of our displeasure. Friend or brother,
height (n.) 1 maximum, highest amount, utmost degree

He forfeits his own blood that spills another.


ALCIBIADES

Must it be so? It must not be.

My lords, I do beseech you know me.
know (v.) 1 acknowledge, remember, think [of] See Topics: Discourse markers


SECOND SENATOR

                         How?


ALCIBIADES

Call me to your remembrances.
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count


THIRD SENATOR

                         What?


ALCIBIADES

I cannot think but your age has forgot me;
age (n.) 2 mature years, old age

It could not else be I should prove so base
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count

To sue and be denied such common grace.
deny (v.) 2 refuse, decline, scorn
grace (n.) 5 favour, good will
sue (v.) 1 beg, plead, beseech

My wounds ache at you.


FIRST SENATOR

                         Do you dare our anger?

'Tis in few words, but spacious in effect.

We banish thee for ever.


ALCIBIADES

                         Banish me?

Banish your dotage. Banish usury
dotage (n.) 2 feebleness of mind, senility

That makes the Senate ugly.


FIRST SENATOR

If after two days' shine Athens contain thee,

Attend our weightier judgement.
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count
weighty (adj.) rigorous, severe, harsh

And, not to swell our spirit,
spirit (n.) 7 hostility, anger, rage

He shall be executed presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt Senators


ALCIBIADES

Now the gods keep you old enough, that you may live

Only in bone, that none may look on you!

I'm worse than mad. I have kept back their foes,

While they have told their money and let out
let out (v.) lend, make a loan of
tell (v.) 1 count out, number, itemize

Their coin upon large interest, I myself

Rich only in large hurts. All those for this?
hurt (n.) 1 wound, injury, scar

Is this the balsam that the usuring Senate
balsam (n.) balm, soothing ointment, healing agent
usuring (adj.) expecting ample interest, looking for maximum return

Pours into captains' wounds? Banishment!

It comes not ill. I hate not to be banished.
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

It is a cause worthy my spleen and fury,
spleen (n.) 1 temper, spirit, passion [part of the body seen as the source of both gloomy and mirthful emotions]

That I may strike at Athens. I'll cheer up

My discontented troops, and lay for hearts.
lay for (v.) waylay, ambush, seize

'Tis honour with worst lands to be at odds;
worst (adj.) wicked, evil, corrupt

Soldiers should brook as little wrongs as gods.
brook (v.) 1 endure, tolerate, put up with

Exit

 
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