|ACT III SCENE V
|The same. The senate-house. The Senate sitting.
|My lord, you have my voice to it; the fault's
|Bloody; 'tis necessary he should die:
|Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.
|Most true; the law shall bruise him.
|[Enter ALCIBIADES, with Attendants]
|Honour, health, and compassion to the senate!
|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.
|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,
|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!
|You cannot make gross sins look clear:
|To revenge is no valour, but to bear.
|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.
|You breathe in vain.
|In vain! his service done
|At Lacedaemon and Byzantium
|Were a sufficient briber for his life.
|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!
|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 inferr'd to us,
|His days are foul and his drink dangerous.
|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.
|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.
|Must it be so? it must not be. My lords,
|I do beseech you, know me.
|Call me to your remembrances.
|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.
|Do you dare our anger?
|'Tis in few words, but spacious in effect;
|We banish thee for ever.
|Banish your dotage; banish usury,
|That makes the senate ugly.
|If, after two days' shine, Athens contain thee,
|Attend our weightier judgment. And, not to swell
|He shall be executed presently.
|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.