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Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprights,
And shew the best of our delights;
I'll charm the air to give a sound,
While you perform your antique round:
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.

[Musick. The Witches dance, and vanish.] Macb. Where are they? Gone?

pernicious hour

Stand aye accursed in the calendar!

Come in, without there!


Enter LENOX.

What's your grace's will?

Macb. Saw you the weird sisters?

Len. No, my lord.

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Macb. Came they not by you?

Len. No, indeed, my lord.

Let this

Macb. Infected be the air whereon they ride;

And damn'd, áll those that trust them!


I did

The galloping of horse: Who was't came by? Len. 'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word,

Macduff is fled to England,
Macb. Fled to England?
Len. Ay, my good lord.

Macb. Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits :
The flighty purpose never is o'er-took,
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 him in his line.. No boasting like a


This deed I'll do, before this purpose cool:

But no more sights!

gentlemen ?

Where are these


Come, bring me where they are


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.

Rosse. You know not,

Whether it was his wisdom, or his fear.

L. Macd. Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave his babes,

His mansion, and his titles, in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
He wants the natural touch: 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.

Rosse. 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


From what we fear, yet know not what we fear; But float upon a wild and violent sea,


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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.
Blessing upon you!

My pretty cousin,

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 iny disgrace, and your discomfort: I take my leave at once.

[Exit Rosse.] L. Macd. Sirrah, your father's dead; And what will you do now? How will you live? Son. As birds do, mother.

L. Macd. 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, nor lime,

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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. 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

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 hang'd.

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. Blefs you, known,

fair dame! I am not to you

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
[Exit Messenger.]


I dare abide no longer.

L. Macd. 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?

these faces?

What are

Enter certain Murderers.

Mur. Where is your husband?

L. Macd. I hope, in no place so unsanctified, Where such as thou may'st find him.

Mur. He's traitor.

Son. Thou ly'st, thou shag-ear'd villain.

Mur. What, you egg?

Young fry of treachery?

[stabbing him.]

Son. He has kill'd me, mother:

Run away, I pray you. [Dies. Exit L. Macduff, crying murder, and pursued by the murderers.]

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England. A Room in the King's Palace.

Enter MALCOLM, and MACduff.

Mal. Let us seek out some desolate shade,
and there

Weep our sad bosoms empty.
Macd. Let us rather

Hold fast the mortal sword; and, like good men,
Bestride our down-fall'n birthdom: Each new


New widows howl; new orphans cry; new


Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland, and yell'd out
Like syllable of dolour.

Mal. 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 tongues, Was once thought honest: you have lov'd him › well;

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