Speeches (Lines) for Alcibiades
in "Timon of Athens"

Total: 39

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,295

Apemantus. So, so, there!
Aches contract and starve your supple joints!
That there should be small love 'mongst these
sweet knaves,
And all this courtesy! The strain of man's bred out
Into baboon and monkey.

Alcibiades. Sir, you have saved my longing, and I feed
Most hungerly on your sight.


2

I,2,415

Timon. Captain Alcibiades, your heart's in the field now.

Alcibiades. My heart is ever at your service, my lord.


3

I,2,418

Timon. You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than a
dinner of friends.

Alcibiades. So the were bleeding-new, my lord, there's no meat
like 'em: I could wish my best friend at such a feast.


4

I,2,592

Timon. I take all and your several visitations
So kind to heart, 'tis not enough to give;
Methinks, I could deal kingdoms to my friends,
And ne'er be weary. Alcibiades,
Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich;
It comes in charity to thee: for all thy living
Is 'mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast
Lie in a pitch'd field.

Alcibiades. Ay, defiled land, my lord.


5

III,5,1312

(stage directions). [Enter ALCIBIADES, with Attendants]

Alcibiades. Honour, health, and compassion to the senate!


6

III,5,1314

First Senator. Now, captain?

Alcibiades. I am an humble suitor to your virtues;
For pity is the virtue of the law,
And none but tyrants use it cruelly.
It pleases time and fortune to lie heavy
Upon a friend of mine, who, in hot blood,
Hath stepp'd into the law, which is past depth
To those that, without heed, do plunge into 't.
He is a man, setting his fate aside,
Of comely virtues:
Nor did he soil the fact with cowardice—
An honour in him which buys out his fault—
But with a noble fury and fair spirit,
Seeing his reputation touch'd to death,
He did oppose his foe:
And with such sober and unnoted passion
He did behave his anger, ere 'twas spent,
As if he had but proved an argument.


7

III,5,1346

First Senator. You undergo too strict a paradox,
Striving to make an ugly deed look fair:
Your words have took such pains as if they labour'd
To bring manslaughter into form and set quarrelling
Upon the head of valour; which indeed
Is valour misbegot and came into the world
When sects and factions were newly born:
He's truly valiant that can wisely suffer
The worst that man can breathe, and make his wrongs
His outsides, to wear them like his raiment,
carelessly,
And ne'er prefer his injuries to his heart,
To bring it into danger.
If wrongs be evils and enforce us kill,
What folly 'tis to hazard life for ill!

Alcibiades. My lord,—


8

III,5,1349

First Senator. You cannot make gross sins look clear:
To revenge is no valour, but to bear.

Alcibiades. My lords, then, under favour, pardon me,
If I speak like a captain.
Why do fond men expose themselves to battle,
And not endure all threats? sleep upon't,
And let the foes quietly cut their throats,
Without repugnancy? If there be
Such valour in the bearing, what make we
Abroad? why then, women are more valiant
That stay at home, if bearing carry it,
And the ass more captain than the lion, the felon
Loaden with irons wiser than the judge,
If wisdom be in suffering. O my lords,
As you are great, be pitifully good:
Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood?
To kill, I grant, is sin's extremest gust;
But, in defence, by mercy, 'tis most just.
To be in anger is impiety;
But who is man that is not angry?
Weigh but the crime with this.


9

III,5,1369

Second Senator. You breathe in vain.

Alcibiades. In vain! his service done
At Lacedaemon and Byzantium
Were a sufficient briber for his life.


10

III,5,1373

First Senator. What's that?

Alcibiades. I say, my lords, he has done fair service,
And slain in fight many of your enemies:
How full of valour did he bear himself
In the last conflict, and made plenteous wounds!


11

III,5,1386

First Senator. He dies.

Alcibiades. Hard fate! he might have died in war.
My lords, if not for any parts in him—
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:
And, for I know your reverend ages love
Security, I'll pawn my victories, all
My honours to you, upon his good returns.
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.


12

III,5,1400

First Senator. We are for law: he dies; urge it no more,
On height of our displeasure: friend or brother,
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.


13

III,5,1403

Second Senator. How!

Alcibiades. Call me to your remembrances.


14

III,5,1405

Third Senator. What!

Alcibiades. I cannot think but your age has forgot me;
It could not else be, I should prove so base,
To sue, and be denied such common grace:
My wounds ache at you.


15

III,5,1412

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,
That makes the senate ugly.


16

III,5,1420

(stage directions). [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
Their coin upon large interest, I myself
Rich only in large hurts. All those for this?
Is this the balsam that the usuring senate
Pours into captains' wounds? Banishment!
It comes not ill; I hate not to be banish'd;
It is a cause worthy my spleen and fury,
That I may strike at Athens. I'll cheer up
My discontented troops, and lay for hearts.
'Tis honour with most lands to be at odds;
Soldiers should brook as little wrongs as gods.


17

IV,3,1717

Timon. O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth
Rotten humidity; below thy sister's orb
Infect the air! Twinn'd brothers of one womb,
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
Scarce is dividant, touch them with several fortunes;
The greater scorns the lesser: not nature,
To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune,
But by contempt of nature.
Raise me this beggar, and deny 't that lord;
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
The beggar native honour.
It is the pasture lards the rother's sides,
The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who dares,
In purity of manhood stand upright,
And say 'This man's a flatterer?' if one be,
So are they all; for every grise of fortune
Is smooth'd by that below: the learned pate
Ducks to the golden fool: all is oblique;
There's nothing level in our cursed natures,
But direct villany. Therefore, be abhorr'd
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men!
His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains:
Destruction fang mankind! Earth, yield me roots!
[Digging]
Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy most operant poison! What is here?
Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods,
I am no idle votarist: roots, you clear heavens!
Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair,
Wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.
Ha, you gods! why this? what this, you gods? Why, this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads:
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless the accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
And give them title, knee and approbation
With senators on the bench: this is it
That makes the wappen'd widow wed again;
She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To the April day again. Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind, that put'st odds
Among the route of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature.
[March afar off]
Ha! a drum? Thou'rt quick,
But yet I'll bury thee: thou'lt go, strong thief,
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.
Nay, stay thou out for earnest.
[Keeping some gold]
[Enter ALCIBIADES, with drum and fife, in]
warlike manner; PHRYNIA and TIMANDRA]

Alcibiades. What art thou there? speak.


18

IV,3,1720

Timon. A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart,
For showing me again the eyes of man!

Alcibiades. What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee,
That art thyself a man?


19

IV,3,1725

Timon. I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.

Alcibiades. I know thee well;
But in thy fortunes am unlearn'd and strange.


20

IV,3,1737

Timon. I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns
To thine own lips again.

Alcibiades. How came the noble Timon to this change?


21

IV,3,1741

Timon. As the moon does, by wanting light to give:
But then renew I could not, like the moon;
There were no suns to borrow of.

Alcibiades. Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?


22

IV,3,1745

Timon. None, but to
Maintain my opinion.

Alcibiades. What is it, Timon?


23

IV,3,1750

Timon. Promise me friendship, but perform none: if thou
wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for thou art
a man! if thou dost perform, confound thee, for
thou art a man!

Alcibiades. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.


24

IV,3,1752

Timon. Thou saw'st them, when I had prosperity.

Alcibiades. I see them now; then was a blessed time.


25

IV,3,1764

Timandra. Hang thee, monster!

Alcibiades. Pardon him, sweet Timandra; for his wits
Are drown'd and lost in his calamities.
I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
The want whereof doth daily make revolt
In my penurious band: I have heard, and grieved,
How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them,—


26

IV,3,1773

Timon. I prithee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone.

Alcibiades. I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.


27

IV,3,1776

Timon. How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
I had rather be alone.

Alcibiades. Why, fare thee well:
Here is some gold for thee.


28

IV,3,1779

Timon. Keep it, I cannot eat it.

Alcibiades. When I have laid proud Athens on a heap,—


29

IV,3,1781

Timon. Warr'st thou 'gainst Athens?

Alcibiades. Ay, Timon, and have cause.


30

IV,3,1784

Timon. The gods confound them all in thy conquest;
And thee after, when thou hast conquer'd!

Alcibiades. Why me, Timon?


31

IV,3,1809

Timon. That, by killing of villains,
Thou wast born to conquer my country.
Put up thy gold: go on,—here's gold,—go on;
Be as a planetary plague, when Jove
Will o'er some high-viced city hang his poison
In the sick air: let not thy sword skip one:
Pity not honour'd age for his white beard;
He is an usurer: strike me the counterfeit matron;
It is her habit only that is honest,
Herself's a bawd: let not the virgin's cheek
Make soft thy trenchant sword; for those milk-paps,
That through the window-bars bore at men's eyes,
Are not within the leaf of pity writ,
But set them down horrible traitors: spare not the babe,
Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;
Think it a bastard, whom the oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorse: swear against objects;
Put armour on thine ears and on thine eyes;
Whose proof, nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
Shall pierce a jot. There's gold to pay soldiers:
Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
Confounded be thyself! Speak not, be gone.

Alcibiades. Hast thou gold yet? I'll take the gold thou
givest me,
Not all thy counsel.


32

IV,3,1851

Timon. More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.

Alcibiades. Strike up the drum towards Athens! Farewell, Timon:
If I thrive well, I'll visit thee again.


33

IV,3,1854

Timon. If I hope well, I'll never see thee more.

Alcibiades. I never did thee harm.


34

IV,3,1856

Timon. Yes, thou spokest well of me.

Alcibiades. Call'st thou that harm?


35

IV,3,1859

Timon. Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
Thy beagles with thee.

Alcibiades. We but offend him. Strike!
[Drum beats. Exeunt ALCIBIADES, PHRYNIA,]
and TIMANDRA]


36

V,4,2556

(stage directions). [Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES with his powers]

Alcibiades. Sound to this coward and lascivious town
Our 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 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.


37

V,4,2621

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.

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.


38

V,4,2632

Both. 'Tis most nobly spoken.

Alcibiades. Descend, and keep your words.


39

V,4,2640

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.

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.


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