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Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens Translation Act 5, Scene 4

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Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES with his powers

ALCIBIADES

Sound to this coward and lascivious townOur terrible approach.

ALCIBIADES

Make sure this cowardly and dirty town hears our troops approach. 

A parley sounded

Enter Senators on the walls

ALCIBIADES

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 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.

ALCIBIADES

Previously, you filled your days by using your own power unchecked, making your own personal desires equivalent with justice. Before now I and people like me slept in the shadow of your power, walking about with folded arms and voicing our opinions only in vain. Now is the time for action, when the bones of those bowing down to you finally cry out, "No more!" Now those supposed wrongdoers, voiceless then, will have the opportunity to sit in your positions of power. And those who were supposedly ill-mannered during your time shall be able to say and do whatever they like.

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.

FIRST SENATOR

Young, honorable, Alcibiades, when your grievances were just an idea, before you had any power and we had any fear of it, we sent assistance to you to apologize for our ingratitude with endless admiration.

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.

SECOND SENATOR

And we also tried to reach out to Timon and express our city's love for him with a message of humility and promised riches. We were not unkind, and we do not deserve to fall to war.

FIRST SENATOR

These walls of ours Were not erected by their hands from whom You have received your griefs; nor are they such That these great towers, trophies and schools should fall For private faults in them.

FIRST SENATOR

These walls of ours were not built by the people who insulted you, nor were they people that deserve their work to fall for the faults of others.

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.

SECOND SENATOR

The people who banished you are no longer living. Their shame at their actions broke their hearts. March into our city with your banners, Alcibiades, and if in an unnatural hunger for revenge you'd like to kill one tenth of the entire city, let those unfortunate enough to have gotten such a bad turn of the dice die for all the rest. 

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 the infected forth, But kill not all together.

FIRST SENATOR

It is not everyone's fault that you are offended. It is not fair to avenge yourself on those that are here now for those who offended you then. Crimes should not be inherited like the land. Dear countrymen, bring in your army, but leave without your anger. Spare your hometown of Athens and those people who in your wrath you might otherwise kill. Be like a shepherd and approach the herd and separate the infected parts of it. Do not kill everyone.

SECOND SENATOR

What thou wilt,Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smileThan hew to't with thy sword.

SECOND SENATOR

Whatever you want, enforce it with mercy and not with violence.

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.

FIRST SENATOR

Set your foot against the ramped-up walls and they will open, but you should tell us before you come in peace.

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 seal'd thy full desire.

SECOND SENATOR

Throw your gauntlet down, but do it so that you may use your army to redress the wrongs done to you, and not to destroy everyone here. You can put your entire force here peacefully until you get what you want.

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 render'd to your public laws At heaviest answer.

ALCIBIADES

There's my glove, then. Descend now and open your gates. Those who were enemies of Timon and me you will hand over. They, and no one else, will die. And to calm your fear of me, no man of mine shall go beyond an assigned area, or disturb the peace within the city. If they do they will have to answer to harsh punishment.

BOTH

'Tis most nobly spoken.

BOTH

Well said.

ALCIBIADES

Descend, and keep your words.

ALCIBIADES

Descend and do what you have promised.

The Senators descend, and open the gates

Enter Soldier

SOLDIER

My noble general, Timon is dead; Entomb'd upon the very 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.

SOLDIER

My noble general, Timon is dead. His grave lies on the shore, and on that tombstone there is this epitaph, which I brought here on wax which will show you what I cannot in 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: 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.

ALCIBIADES

[Reading the epitaph] "Here lies a poor corpse and a poor, disturbed soul. Do not look for my name, and may a disease strike all you remaining cowards! Here I lie, Timon, who when alive all living men hated. Pass here and insult me to your heart's content, but go and do not stay here too long." 

[Speaking about TIMON] These words describe you in the depression of your later life. Though you hated our human grievances, scorned our tears which from our sad dispositions fell, still your ingenious mind taught you to make the god of the sea cry for you on your low grave, on your forgiven faults. The noble Timon is dead, who will be remembered from now on. Bring me into your city, and I will combine peace with war. I will make war end in peace, then make peace stop war, as if each were the doctors curing the other. Strike the drums.

Exeunt

Timon of athens
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