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I'll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that, distill'd by magic slights,
Shall raise such artificial sprites,
As, by the strength of their illusion,
Shall draw him on to his confusion:
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear:
And you all know, security
Is mortals' chiefest enemy.
Song. [Within.] Come away, come away, &c. Hark, I am call'd; my little spirit, see, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me. 1 Witch. Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be back again. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI.—Fores. A room in the palace. En
ter Lenox and another Lord.
Len. My former speeches have but hit your
Which can interpret further: only, I say,
Things have been strangely borne: The gracious
Was pitied of Macbeth:-marry, he was dead :-
And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late;
Whom, you may say, if it please you, Fleance kill'd,
For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought, how monstrous
It was for Malcolm, and for Donalbain,
To kill their gracious father? damned fact!
How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight,
In pious rage, the two delinquents tear,
That were the slaves of drink, and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
For 'twould have anger'd any heart alive,
To hear the men deny it. So that, I say,
He has borne all things well: and I do think,
That, had he Duncan's sons under his key
(As, an't please heaven, he shall not,) they should
What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance.
But, peace!-for from broad words, and 'cause he
His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear
Macduff' lives in disgrace: Sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?
The son of Duncan,
From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
Lives in the English court; and is received
Of the most pious Edward with such grace,
That the malevolence of fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect: Thither Macduff
Is gone to pray the holy king, on his aid
To wake Northumberland, and warlike Siward:
That by the help of these (with Him above
To ratify the work,) we may again
Give to our table meat, sleep to our nights;
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives;
Do faithful homage, and receive free honours,1
All which we pine for now: And this report
Hath so exasperate the king, that he
Prepares for some attempt of war.
Sent he to Macduff?
Lord. He did: and with an absolute, Sir, not
The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
And hums; as who should say, You'll rue the time
That clogs me with this answer.
And that well might
Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England, and unfold
His message ere he come; that a swift blessing
(1) Honours freely bestowed.
(2) For exasperated.
SCENE I-A dark cave. In the middle a caul-
dron boiling. Thunder. Enter three Witches.
1 Witch. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
2 Witch. Thrice; and once the hedge-pig whin'd.
3 Witch. Harper cries:-'Tis time, 'tis time.
1 Witch. Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under coldest stone,
Swelter'd3 venom sleeping got,
Days and nights hast thirty-one
Boil thou first i'the charmed pot!
Fire, burn; and, cauldron, bubble.
All. Double, double toil and trouble;
2 Witch. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake:
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
All. Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire, burn; and, cauldron, bubble.
3 Witch. Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf;
Witches' mummy; maw, and gulf,4
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock, digg'd i'the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Finger of birth-strangled babe,
Make the gruel thick and slab :
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
All. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and, cauldron, bubble.
2 Witch. Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
Enter Hecate, and the other three Witches.
Hec. O, well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i'the gains.
And now about the cauldron sing,
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.
Black spirits and white,
Red spirits and grey;
Mingle, mingle, mingle,
You that mingle may.
Something wicked this way comes:
2 Witch. By the pricking of my thumbs,
Open, locks, whoever knocks.
Thyself, and office, deftly show.
Thunder. An Apparition of an armed Head rises.
Mach. Tell me, thou unknown power,――
He knows thy thought;
Hear his speech, but say thou nought.
App. Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware
Macb. Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution,
Thou hast harp'de my fear aright:-But one word
Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls:-And thy hair,
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first:-
A third is like the former :-Filthy hags!
Why do you show me this?-A fourth?-Start, eyes!
What! will the line stretch out to the crack of
Beware the thane of Fife.-Dismiss me:-Enough. Another yet?-A seventh ?-I'll see no more:-
[Descends. And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass,
Which shows me many more; and some I see,
That two-fold balls and treble sceptres carry :
Horrible sight!-Ay, now, I see, 'tis true;
For the blood-bolter'd Banquo smiles upon me,
And points at them for his.-What, is this so?
1 Witch. Ay, sir, all this is so :-But why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?-
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprights,12
i Witch. He will not be commanded: Here's
More potent than the first.
Thunder. An Apparition of a bloody Child rises. And show the best of our delights;
Macb. Had I three ears, I'd hear thee.
Be bloody, bold,
And resolute: laugh to scorn the power of man,
For none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!-I'll charm the air to give a sound,
Macb. Then live, Macduff; What need I fear of
But yet I'll make assurance doubly sure,
And take a bond of fate: thou shalt not live;
That I may tell pale-hearted fear, it lies,
And sleep in spite of thunder.-What is this,
Thunder. An Apparition of a Child crowned, with
a tree in his hand, rises.
That rises like the issue of a king;
And wears upon his baby brow the round
And top of sovereignty?"
Listen, but speak not.
App. Be lion-mettled, proud; and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are :
Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be, until
While you perform your antique round:
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.
[Music. The Witches dance, and vanish. Macb. Where are they? Gone ?-Let this perni
(7) The round is that part of a crown which encircles the head: the top is the ornament which rises above it.
(8) Who can command the forest to serve him like a soldier impressed?
(9) Music. (10) The dissolution of nature.
(11) Besmeared with blood. (12) i. e. Spirits.
Macduff is fled to England.
Macb. Time, thou anticipat'st' my dread exploits :
The flighty purpose never is o'ertook,
Unless the deed go with it: From this moment,
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:
The castle of Macduff I will surprise;
Seize upon Fife; give to the edge o'the sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed I'll do, before this purpose cool:
But no more sights!-Where are these gentlemen?
Come, bring me where they are.
SCENE II.-Fife. A room in Macduff's castle.
Enter Lady Macduff, her Son, and Rosse.
L. Macd. What had he done, to make him fly the land?
Rosse. You must have patience, madam. L. Macd. He had none: His flight was madness: When our actions do not, Our fears do make us traitors."
You know not,
Whether it was his wisdom, or his fear.
L. Macd. Wisdom to leave his wife, to leave
His mansion, and his titles, in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
He wants the natural touch:4 for the poor wren,
The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
All is the fear, and nothing is the love;
As little is the wisdom, where the flight
So runs against all reason.
My dearest coz', I pray you, school yourself: But, for your husband, He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows The fits o'the season. I dare not speak much
But cruel are the times, when we are traitors,
And do not know ourselves; when we hold rumour
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear;
But float upon a wild and violent sea,
Each way, and move.-I take my leave of you:
Shall not be long but I'll be here again:
Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward
To what they were before.-My pretty cousin,
Blessing upon you!
L. Macd. Father'd he is, and yet he's fatherless.
Rosse. I am so much a fool, should I stay longer,
It would be my disgrace, and your discomfort:
I take my leave at once.
Sirrah, your father's dead;
And what will you do now? How will you live?
Son. As birds do, mother.
What, with worms and flies?
Son. With what I get, I mean; and so do they.
L. Macd. Poor bird! thou'dst never fear the net,
The pit-fall, nor the gin.
Son. Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for.
My father is not dead, for all your saying.
(1) Preventest, by taking away the opportunity. (2) Follow.
L. Macd. Yes, he is dead; how wilt thou do for a father?
Son. Nay, how will you do for a husband? L. Macd. Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.
Son. Then you'll buy 'em to sell again. L. Macd. Thou speak'st with all thy wit; and yet, i'faith,
With wit enough for thee.
Son. Was my father a traitor, mother?
L. Macd. Ay, that he was.
Son. What is a traitor?
L. Macd. Why, one that swears and lies.'
Son. And be all traitors, that do so?
L. Macd. Every one that does so, is a traitor, and must be hanged.
Son. And must they all be hang'd, that swear and lie?
L. Macd. Every one.
Son. Who must hang them?
L. Macd. Why, the honest men.
Son. Then the liars and swearers are fools: for there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men, and hang up them.
L. Macd. Now, God help thee, poor monkey? But how wilt thou do for a father?"
Son. If he were dead, you'd weep for him: if you would not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father."
L. Macd. Poor prattler! how thou talk'st!
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,
Though in your state of honour I am perfect."
I doubt, some danger does approach you nearly:
If you will take a homely man's advice,
Be not found here; hence, with your little ones.
To fright you thus, methinks, I am too savage;
To do worse to you, were fell cruelty,
Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve
dare abide no longer. L. Macd.
[Exit Messenger. Whither should I fly ?
I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world; where, to do harm,
Is often laudable: to do good, sometime,
Accounted dangerous folly: Why then, alas!
Do I put up that womanly defence,
To say I have done no harm ?-What are these faces?
Mur. Where is your husband?
L. Macd. I hope in no place so unsanctified, Where such as thou may'st find him. Mur.
Son. Thou ly'st, thou shag-ear'd villain. Mur.
What, you egg? [Stabbing him.
He has killed me, mother; Run away, I pray you. [Dies. [Exit Lady Macduff, crying murder, and pursued by the Murderers.
SCENE III-England.-A room in the King's palace. Enter Malcolm and Macduff. Mal. Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
(5) Sirrah was not in our author's time a term
(3) i. e. Our flight is considered as evidence of of reproach.
(6) I am perfectly acquainted with your rank.
Weep our sad bosoms empty.
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful, Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin Hold fast the mortal sword; and, like good men, That has a name: But there's no bottom, none, Bestride our downfall'n birthdom: Each new In my voluptuousness: your wives, your daughters,
New widows howl; new orphans cry; new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland, and yell'd out
Like syllable of dolour.
What I believe, I'll wail;|
What know, believe; and, what I can redress,
As I shall find the time to friend, I will.
What you have spoke, it may be so, perchance.
This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongue,
Was once thought honest: you have lov'd him well;
He hath not touch'd you yet. I am young; but
You may deserve of him through me; and wisdom
To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb,
To appease an angry god.
Macd. I am not treacherous.
A good and virtuous nature may recoil,
In an imperial charge. But 'crave your pardon;
That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose:
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell:
Though all things foul would wear the brows of
Yet grace must still look so.
I have lost my hopes.
Mal. Perchance, even there, where I did find
Why in that rawness left you wife and child
(Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,)
Without leave-taking ?-I pray you,
Let not my jealousies be your dishonours,
But mine own safeties:-You may be rightly just,
Whatever I shall think.
Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dares not check thee! wear thou thy
Thy title is affeer'd.'-Fare thee well, lord:
I would not be the villain that thou think'st
For the whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp,
And the rich east to boot.
Mal. I speak not as in absolute fear of you. I think, our country sinks beneath the yoke; It weeps, it bleeds; and each new day a gash Is added to her wounds: I think, withal, There would be hands uplifted in my right; And here, from gracious England, have I offer Of goodly thousands: But, for all this, When I shall tread upon the tyrant's head, Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country Shall have more vices than it had before; More suffer, and more sundry ways than ever, By him that shall succeed. Macd.
What should he be? Mal. It is myself I mean: in whom I know All the particulars of vice so grafted, That, when they shall be open'd, black Macbeth Will seem as pure as snow; and the poor state Esteem him as a lamb, being compar'd With my confineless harms."
Macd. Not in the legions Of horrid hell, can come a devil more damn'd In evils, to top Macbeth.
(3) i. e. A good mind may recede from goodness in the execution of a royal commission.
Your matrons, and your maids, could not fill up
The cistern of my lust; and my desire
All continent impediments would o'er-bear,
That did oppose my will: Better Macbeth,
Than such a one to reign.
In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
The untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings. But fear not yet
To take upon you what is yours: you may
Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
And yet seem cold, the time you may so hood-wink.
We have willing dames enough; there cannot be
That vulture in you, to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclin'd.
With this, there grows,
In my most ill-compos'd affection, such
A stanchless avarice, that were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands;
Desire his jewels, and this other's house:
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more; that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good, and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.
Sticks deeper; grows with more pernicious root
Than summer-seeding lust: and it hath been
The sword of our slain kings: Yet do not fear;
Scotland hath foysons to fill up your will,
Of your mere own: All these are portable,
With other graces weigh'd.
Mal. But I have none: The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perséverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them; but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,"
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.
O Scotland! Scotland!
Mal. If such a one be fit to govern, speak;
I am as I have spoken.
Fit to govern!
No, not to live.-O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter'd,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again?
Since that the truest issue of the throne
By his own interdiction stands accurs'd,
And does blaspheme his breed?-Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king; the queen, that bore thee,
Oftner upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived. Fare thee well!
These evils, thou repeat'st upon thyself,
Have banish'd me from Scotland.-O, my breast,
Thy hope ends here!
Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wip'd the black scruples, reconcil'd my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power: and modest wisdom plucks me
(4) Legally settled by those who had the final adjudication. (5) Lascivious. (7) Plenty.
(6) Passionate. (8) May be endured.
From over-credulous haste: But God above
Deal between thee and me! for even now
I put myself to thy direction, and
Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
For strangers to my nature. I am yet
Unknown to woman; never was forsworn ;
Scarcely have coveted what was mine own;
At no time broke my faith; would not betray
The devil to his fellow; and delight
No less in truth, than life: my first false speaking
Was this upon myself: What I am truly,
Is thine, and my poor country's, to command:
Whither, indeed, 'before thy here-approach,
Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men,
All ready at a point, was setting forth:
Now we'll together; And the chance, of goodness,
Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?
Macd. Such welcome and unwelcome things at
Mal. Well; more anon.-Comes the king forth, I pray you?
Doct. Ay, sir: there are a crew of wretched souls, That stay his cure: their malady convinces2 The great assay of art; but, at his touch, Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand, They presently amend.
I thank you, doctor. [Ex. Doct. Macd. What is the disease he means? Mal. 'Tis call'd the evil : A most miraculous work in this good king; Which often since my here-remain in England, I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven, Himself best knows: but strangely-visited people, All swoln and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye, The mere despair of surgery, he cures; Hanging a golden stamp3 about their necks, Put on with holy prayers: and 'tis spoken, To the succeeding royalty he leaves
The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy;
And sundry blessings hang about his throne,
That speak him full of grace.
Each minute teems a new one. Macd.
Rosse. Why, well.
How does my wife?
And all my children?
Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace?
Rosse. No; they were well at peace, when I did
Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech; How goes it?
Rosse. When I came hither to transport the tidings,
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour
Of many worthy fellows that were out;
Which was to my belief witness'd the rather,
For that I saw the tyrant's power a-foot:
Now is the time of help; your eye in Scotland
Would create soldiers, make our women fight,
To doff's their dire distresses.
Be it their comfort,
We are coming thither: gracious England hath
Lent us good Siward, and ten thousand men ;
An older, and a better soldier, none,
That Christendom gives out.
"Would I could answer
This comfort with the like! But I have words,
That would be howl'd out in the desert air,
Where hearing should not latch them.
What concern they? The general cause? or is it a fee-grief," Due to some single breast?
But in it shares some wo; though the main part Pertains to you alone.
Savagely slaughter'd: to relate the manner, Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer, To add the death of you.
What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief, that does not speak,
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.
Macd. My children too?
That could be found.
My wife kill'd too?
Wife, children, servants, all
And I must be from thence!
I have said.
Let's make us med'cines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.
Macd. He has no children.-All my pretty ones?
Did you say, all?-O, hell-kite!-All!
What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
At one fell swoop?
Mal. Dispute it like a man.
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember such things were,
(4) Common distress of mind.
(6) Catch. (7) A grief that has a single owner. (8) The game after it is killed.