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And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass,
Which shows me many more;
and some I see,
That two-fold balls and treble scepters carry1:
Horrible sight!-Ay, now †, I see, 'tis true;
For the blood-bolter'd Banquo' smiles upon me,
And points at them for his.-What, is this so?

1 Witch. Ay, sir, all this is so :-But why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?—
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprights',
And show 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?-Let this pernicious

hour

Stand aye accursed in the calendar !——

Come in, without there!

Len.

Enter LENOX.

What's your grace's will?

No, my lord.

Macb. Saw you the weird sisters?

Len.

Macb. Came they not by you?
Len.

No, indeed, my lord.
Macb. Infected be the air whereon they ride;
And damn'd, all those that trust them!-I did hear
The galloping of horse: Who was't came by?

1 That two-fold balls and treble scepters carry:] This was intended as a compliment to King James the First, who first united the two islands and the three kingdoms under one head; whose house too was said to be descended from Banquo.

+ Mr. Malone omits Ay.

2 the blood-bolter'd Banquo-] To bolter, in Warwickshire, signifies to daub, dirty, or begrime.

8

cheer we up his sprights,] i. e. spirits.

VOL. IV.

L

Len. 'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word, Macduff is fled to England.

Macb.

Len. Ay, my good lord.

Fled to England?

Macb. Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits :
The flighty purpose never is o'ertook,

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 his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed I'll do, before this purpose cool:
But no more sights!—Where are these gentlemen?
Come, bring me where they are

SCENE II.

Fife. A Room in Macduff's Castle.

Enter Lady MACDUFF, her Son, and Rosse.

[Exeunt.

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;

▲ That trace his line.] i. e. follow, succeed in it. Mr. Malone reads, "trace him in his line."

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.

My dearest coz',

Rosse.
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 further:
But cruel are the times, when we are traitors,

And do not know ourselves'; when we hold rumour®
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear;

But float upon a wild and violent sea,

Each 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.-My pretty cousin,
Blessing upon you!

L. Macd. Father'd he is, and yet he is 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.

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L. Macd.

What, with worms and flies?

Son. With what I get, I mean; and so do they.

natural touch:] Natural sensibility. He is not touched with natural affection.

JOHNSON.

The fits o'the season.] What is most fitting to be done in every conjuncture.

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And do not know ourselves;] When we are considered by the state as traitors, while at the same time we are unconscious of guilt; when we appear to others so different from what we really are, that we seem not to know ourselves.

8 when we hold rumour -] i. e. believe rumour,

L

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.

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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'.
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.

L. Macd.

I have done no harm.

[Exit Messenger.

Whither should I fly?

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,

Το say, I have done no harm?

-What are these faces?

Enter Murderers.

Mur. Where is your husband?

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

Mur.

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

Young fry of treachery!

Son.

Run away, I pray you.

He's a traitor.

What, you egg! [Stabbing him.

[Dies.

He has killed me, mother;

[Exit Lady MACDUFF, crying murder, and pursued by the Murderers.

in your state of honour I am perfect.] i. e. I am perfectly

acquainted with your rank of honour.

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