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Ross. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker ;


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MACD. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace?

Ross. No; they were well at peace when I did leave 'em.
MACD. Be not a niggard of your speech: how goes 't? 180
Ross. 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 their dire distresses.


Be't 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.


This comfort with the like!


Would I could answer

But I have words

That would be howl'd out in the desert air, Where hearing should not latch them. MACD.

What concern they?

The general cause? or is it a fee-grief3
Due to some single breast?


No mind that's honest

But in it shares some woe; though the main part
Pertains to you alone.

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Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it.
Ross. Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.


Hum! I guess at it.

Ross. Your castle is surpris'd; your wife and babes

Savagely slaughter'd: to relate the manner,


1 brings forth.

2 catch.

3 a grief held in private possession.



Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer,

To add the death of you.


Merciful Heaven!
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.


Wife, children, servants, all

And I must be from thence!


My wife kill'd too?


I have said.


Be comforted:

Let's make us medicines 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.


I shall do so;


But I must also feel it as a man:

I cannot but remember such things were,

That were most precious to me.

And would not take their part?

Did Heaven look on,

Sinful Macduff,

They were all struck for thee! naught that I am,

Not for their own demerits, but for mine,

Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them


MAL. Be this the whetstone of your sword: let grief

Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.
MACD. O, I could play the woman with mine eyes,


And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle Heavens,
Cut short all intermission: front to front
Bring thou this Fiend of Scotland and myself;
Within my sword's length set him; if he 'scape,
Heaven forgive him too!


This tune goes manly.

Come, go we to the King; our power is ready;
Our lack is nothing but our leave: Macbeth

1 i.e. We need only permission to go.

Is ripe for shaking, and the Powers above

Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you


The night is long that never finds the day.





SCENE I. Dunsinane. Ante-Room in the Castle.

Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman. DOCT. I have two nights watch'd with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walk'd?

GENT. Since his Majesty went into the field, I have seen

her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon 't, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.


DocT. A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once
the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching!
In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and
other actual performances, what, at any time, have you
heard her say?

GENT. That, Sir, which I will not report after her.
DOCT. You may to me; and 'tis most meet you should.
GENT. Neither to you nor any one; having no witness to
confirm my speech. Lo you, here she comes!

Enter LADY MACBETH, with a taper.

This is her very guise; and, upon my life, fast asleep.
Observe her; stand close.

DocT. How came she by that light?


GENT. Why, it stood by her: she has light by her con

tinually; 'tis her command.

DOCT. You see, her eyes are open.

GENT. Ay, but their sense is shut.

DOCT. What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs

her hands.

1 thrust forward.


Sc. I

GENT. It is an accustom❜d action with her, to seem thus washing her hands; I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.

LADY M. Yet here's a spot.


DOCT. Hark! she speaks: I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly. LADY M. Out, damned Spot! out, I say!—One, two; why, then 'tis time to do 't.-Hell is murky!-Fie, my Lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

DOCT. Do you mark that?


LADY M. The Thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now?-What, will these hands ne'er be clean?-No more o' that, my Lord, no more o' that: you mar all with this starting.

DOCT. Go to, go to; you have known what you should


GENT. She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that: Heaven knows what she has known.

LADY M. Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. O! O! O!


DOCT. What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charg❜d. GENT. I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body.

DocT. Well, well, well

GENT. Pray God it be, Sir.

DOCT. This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those which have walk'd in their sleep, who have died holily in their beds.

LADY M. Wash your hands, put on your nightgown: look not so pale.-I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on's grave.

DOCT. Even so?


LADY M. To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate:

come, come, come, come, give me your hand: what's done cannot be undone: to bed, to bed, to bed. [exit. DocT. Will she go now to bed?

GENT. Directly.

DOCT. Foul whisperings are abroad: unnatural deeds
Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets :
More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all! Look after her;
Remove from her the means of all

And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night:
My mind she has mated,' and amaz'd my sight:
I think, but dare not speak.


Good night, good Doctor.

SCENE II. The Country near Dunsinane.

Drum and Colours.


ANGUS, LENNOX, and Soldiers.

MENT. The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff:
Revenges burn in them; for their dear causes
Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
Excite the mortified man.


Near Birnam Wood

Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming. CAITH. Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?

LEN. For certain, Sir, he is not: I have a file

Of all the gentry; there is Siward's son,
And many unrough youths, that even now
Protest their first of manhood.



What does the tyrant?

CAITH. Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies :

Some say he's mad; others, that lesser hate him,

Do call it valiant fury: but, for certain,

He cannot buckle his distemper'd cause
Within the belt of rule.

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His secret murders sticking on his hands;
Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach;
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love: now does he feel his title

1 stunned.



Sc. I

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