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Macb. How say'st thou, that Macduff denies his person,

At our great bidding 2

Lady M. Did you send to him, sir?

Macb. I hear it by the way; but I will send: There's not a one of them, but in his house I keep a servant feed. I will to-morrow, (Betimes I will,) unto the weird sisters: More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know, By the worst means, the worst : for mine own good, All causes shall give way; I am in blood Stept in so far, that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o'er: Strange things I have in head, that will to hand; Which must be acted, ere they may be scann'd.

Lady M. You lack the season of all natures, sleep.

Macb. Come, we'll to sleep: My strange and self


Is the initiate fear, that wants hard use:-
We are yet but young in deed. [Ereunt.


The Heath.

Thunder. Enter Hecate”, meeting the three Witches.

1 Witch. Why, how now, Hecate 2 you look angerly.

Hec. Have I not reason, beldams, as you are, Saucy, and overbold? How did you dare To trade and traffick with Macbeth, In riddles, and affairs of death; And I, the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms, Was never call'd to bear my part, Or show the glory of our art? And, which is worse, all you have done Hath been but for a wayward son, Spiteful, and wrathful ; who, as others do, Loves for his own ends, not for you. But make amends now: Get you gone, And at the pit of Acheron Meet me i'the morning; thither he Will come to know his destiny. Your vessels, and your spells, provide, Your charms, and every thing beside: I am for the air; this night I'll spend Unto a dismal-fatal end. Great business must be wrought ere noon: Upon the corner of the moon There hangs a vaporous drop profound<4; I'll catch it ere it come to ground: And that, distill'd by magick slights, Shall raise such artificial sprights, 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, Sfc.

Hark, I am call'd; my little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me. [Exit.

1 Witch. Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be
back again. [Exeunt.


Fores. A Room in the Palace.
Enter Lenox, and another Lord.

//•«. My former speeches have but hityour thoughts, 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 find

What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance.

But, peace!—for from broad words, and 'cause he fail'd

His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear,

Macduff lives in disgrace : Sir, can you tell

Where he bestows himself?

Lord. The son of Duncan,

From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
Lives in the English court; and is receiv'd
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 tables meat, sleep to our nights;
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives;
Do faithful homage, and receive free honours,
All which we pine for now: And this report
Hath so exasperate the king, that he
Prepares for some attempt of war.

Len. Sent he to Macduff?

Lord. He did: and with an absolute, Sir, not 1, The cloudy messenger turns me his back, And hums ; as who should say, You'll rue the time That dogs me with this answer.

Len. And that well might

Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
pis wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England, and unfold
His message ere he come ; that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accurs'd!

Lord. My prayers with him!


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