Page images


We have met with foes
That strike beside us.

Enter, sir, the castle.

[Exeunt. Alarum.

Re-enter MACBETH.

Macb. Why should I play the Roman fool, and die On mine own sword ? whiles I see lives, the gashes Do better upon them.

Re-enter MACDUFF.


Turn, hell-hound, turn.
Macb. Of all men else I have avoided thee:
But get thee back, my soul is too much charg'd
With blood of thine already.

I have no words,
My voice is in my sword; thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out !

[They fight. Macb.

Thou losest labour:
As easy may'st thou the intrenchant air 3
With thy keen sword impress, as make me bleed :
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests ;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.

Despair thy charm,
And let the angel, whom thou still hast serv’d,
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripp’d.

Macb. Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow'd my better part of man!
And be these juggling fiends no more believ'd,
That palter with us in a double sense ;4

3 As easy may'st thou the intrenchant air -] That is, air which cannot be cut.

-palter with us in a double sense ;] That shuffle with ambiguous expressions.


[ocr errors]

That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee.

Macd. Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and


o'the time.
We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole; and underwrit,
Here may you see the tyrant.

I'll not yield,
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,
And to be baited with the rabble's curse.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
And thou oppos'd, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last : Before my body
I throw my warlike shield : lay on, Macduff;
And damn'd be him that first cries, Hold, enough.

[Exeunt, fighting.

Retreat. Flourish. Re-enter with Drum and Colours,

CATHNESS, MENTETH, and Soldiers.
Mal. I would, the friends we miss were safe arrivd.

Siw. Some must go off; and yet, by these I see,
So great a day as this is cheaply bought.

Mal. Macduff is missing, and your noble son.

Rosse. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt; He only liv'd but till he was a man; The which no sooner had his


In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.

Then he is dead?
Rosse. Ay, and brought off the field : your cause of

Must not be measur'd by his worth, for then
It hath no end.

Had he his hurts before ?
Rosse. Ay, on the front.

[ocr errors]


Why then, God's soldier be he! Had I as many sons as I have hairs, I would not wish them to a fairer death: And so his knell is knoll’d. Mal.

He's worth more sorrow, And that I'll spend for him. Sir.

He's worth no more; They say, he parted well, and paid his score: So t, God be with him ! Here comes newer comfort.

Re-enter MACDUFF, with MACBETH's Head on a Pole.
Macd. Hail, king! for so thou art: Behold where

The usurper's cursed head: the time is free:
I see thee compass’d with thy kingdom's pearl, 5
That speak my salutation in their minds;
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine, -
Hail, king of Scotland !

King of Scotland, hail !!

[Flourish. Mal. We shall not spend a large expence of time, Before we reckon with your several loves, And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen, Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland In such an honour nam'd. What's more to do, Which would be planted newly with the time, As calling home our exil'd friends abroad, That fled the snares of watchful tyranny ; Producing forth the cruel ministers Of this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen; Who, as 'tis thought, by self and violent hands Took off her life; — This, and what needful else

t" And so," &c. MALONE.

5 —thy kingdone's pearl,] Thy kingdom's pearl means thy kingdom's wealth, or rather ornament. “Hail, king of Scotland !".


That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace, We will perform in measure, time, and place: So thanks to all at once, and to each one, Whom we invite to see us crown'd at Scone.

[Flourish. Exeunt. 6

6 This play is deservedly celebrated for the propriety of its fictions, and solemnity, grandeur, and variety of its action; but it has no nice discriminations of character: the events are too great to admit the influence of particular dispositions, and the course of the action necessarily determines the conduct of the agents.

The danger of ambition is well described; and I know not whether it may not be said, in defence of some parts which now seem improbable, that, in Shakspeare's time, it was necessary to warn credulity against vain and illusive predictions.

The passions are directed to their true end. Lady Macbeth is merely detested; and though the courage of Macbeth preserves some esteem, yet every reader rejoices at his fall. JOHNSON.

The following Songs are found in Sir William D'Avenant's alteration of this play, printed in 1674. The first and second of them were, I believe, written by him, being introduced at the end of the second Act, in a scene of which he undoubtedly was the author. Of the other song, which is sung in the third Act, the first words (Come away) are in the original copy of Macbeth, and the whole is found at length in Middleton's play, entitled The Witch, which has been lately printed from a manuscript in the collection of Major Pearson. Whether this song was written by Shakspeare, and omitted, like many others, in the printed copy, cannot now be ascertained. MALONE.



1 Witch. Speak, sister, speak; is the deed done?

2 Witch. Long ago, long ago ; Above twelve glasses since have run.

3 Witch. Ill deeds are seldom slow; Nor single: following crimes on former wait; The worst of creatures fastest propagate..

Many more murders must this one ensue,
As if in death were propagation too.

2 Witch. He will
1 Witch. He shall

3 Witch. He must spill much more blood; And become worse, to make his title good.

i Witch. Now let's dance.
2 Witch. Agreed.
3 Witch. Agreed.
4 Witch. Agreed.

Chor. We should rejoice when good kings bleed.
When cattle die, about we go;
What then, when monarchs perish, should we do?


Let's have a dance upon the heath;
We gain more life by Duncan's death.
Sometimes like brinded cats we shew,
Having no musick but our mew.
Sometimes we dance in some old mill,
Upon the hopper, stones, and wheel,
To some old saw, or bardish rhyme,
Where still the mill-clack does keep time:
Sometimes about an hollow tree,
Around, around, around dance we:
Thither the chirping cricket comes,
And beetle, singing drowsy hums:
Sometimes we dance o'er fens and furze,
To howls of wolves, and barks of curs :
And when with none of those we meet,
We dance to the echoes of our feet.
At the night-raven's dismal voice,
Whilst others tremble, we rejoice;
And nimbly, nimbly dance we still,
To the echoes from an hollow hill.

[ocr errors][merged small]


SCENE V. HECATE and the three WITCHES,


[Within.] Hecate, Hecate, Hecate! O come away!

Hec. Hark, I am call’d, my little spirit, see, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.

{Within.] Come away, Hecate, Hecate! O come away!

« PreviousContinue »