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- 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. [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, 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 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 hanged, 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.9 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

you! I dare abide no longer. [Exit Messenger.

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? What are these


Enter Murderers.

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

*—;—in your state of honour lam perfect.] i. e. I am perfectly acquainted with your rank of honour.

Mur. He's a traitor.

Son. Thou ly'st, thou shag-ear'd villain.
Mur. What, you egg? [Stabbing him.

Young fry of treachery?

Son. He has killed me, mother:

Run away, I pray you. [Dies.

[Exit Lady Macduff, crying murder, and pur sued by the Murderers.

England. A Room in the Kings Palace.

Enter Malcolm and Macduff.

Mai. 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 i1 Each new morn,
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.

Mai. What I believe, I'll wail;

What know, believe; and, Avhat I can redress,
As I shall find the time to friend,2 I will.

1 Bestride our down-fall'n birthdom:] The allusion is to a man from whom something valuable is about to be taken by violence, and who, that he may defend it without incumbrance, lays it on the ground, and stands over It with his weapon in his hand. Our birthdom, or birthright, says he, lies on the ground; let us, like men who are to fight for what is dearest to them, not abandon it, but stand over it and defend it. This is a strong picture of obstinate resolution.

a-to friend,] i. e. to befriend.

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;
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.

Mai. But Macbeth is.

A good and virtuous nature may recoil,
In an imperial charge.4 But 'crave your pardon;
That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose:
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell:
Though all things foul5 would wear the brows of

Yet grace must still look so.

Macd. I have lost my hopes.

Mai. Perchance, even there, where I did find my doubts. Why in that rawness6 left you wife, and child, (Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,) Without leave-taking ?—I pray you, Let not myjealousiesbeyour dishonours, But mine own safeties:—You may be rightly just, Whatever I shall think.

Macd. Bleed, bleed, poor country! Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,

* and wisdom—] That is, and 'tis wisdom. 4 A good and virtuous nature may recoil,

In an imperial charge.] A good mind may recede from goodness in the execution of a royal commission. Jon N Son .

6 Though all things foul, &c] This is not very clear. The meaning, perhaps, is this :—My suspicions cannot injure you, if you be virtuous, by supposing that a traitor may put on your virtuous appearance. I do not say that your virtuous appearance proves you a traitor; for virtue must wear its proper form, though that form be counterfeited by villainy. Johnson.

* Why in that rawness—] Without previous provision, without due preparation, without maturity of counsel.

For goodness dares not check thee! wear thou thy

Thy title is affeer'd!7—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.

Mai. Be not offended:

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?

Mai. 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.

Mai. I grant him bloody,

Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name: But there's no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness: your wives, your daughters,

7 Thy title is affeer'd!] Affeer'd, a law term for confirm'd.

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