Act 3 - Scene 5
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.
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,
Nor did he soil the fact with cowardice
An honour in him which buys out his fault
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
Is valour misbegot and came into the world
When sects and factions were newly born:
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.
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
And not endure all threats? sleep upon't,
And let the foes quietly cut their throats,
If there be
Such valour in the bearing, what make we
Abroad? why then, women are more valiant
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:
condemn rashness in cold blood?
To kill, I grant, is sin's extremest gust;
But, in defence, by mercy, 'tis
To be in anger is impiety;
But who is man that is not angry?
Weigh but the crime with this.
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