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The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear,
Shall never sag1 with doubt, nor shake with fear.

Enter a Servant.

The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon !2 Where gott'st thou that goose look?

Serv. There is ten thousand


Geese, villain?
Soldiers, sir.


Macb. Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-livered boy. What soldiers, patch?3 Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face? Serv. The English force, so please you.

Macb. Take thy face hence.-Seyton!-I am sick
at heart,

When I behold-Seyton, I say!-This push
Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf;

And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,

I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honor, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, but dare not.

1 To sag, or swag, is to hang down by its own weight, or by an overload.

26 -cream-faced loon." This word, which signifies a base, abject fellow, is now only used in Scotland; it was formerly common in England, but spelled lown, and is justly considered by Horne Tooke as the past parciple of to low or abase. Lout has the same origin.

3 Patch, an appellation of contempt, signifying fool or low wretch.

4 i. e. they infect others, who see them, with cowardice.

5 Sear is dry, withered. We have the same expression and sentiment in Spenser's Pastorals:

"Also my lustful leaf is drie and seare."

For "way of life" Johnson would read “May of life;" in which he was followed by Steevens and others. Warburton contended for the original reading, and was followed by Mason. At a subsequent period Steevens acquiesced in the propriety of the old reading, way of life, which he interprets, with his predecessors, course or progress. Malone followed the same track. This phrase is only a simple periphrasis for life.


Sey. What is your gracious pleasure?
What news more?
Sey. All is confirmed, my lord, which was reported.
Macb. I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be

Give me my armor.


Macb. I'll put it on.

Send out more horses, skirr1 the country round; Hang those that talk of fear.-Give me mine armor. How does your patient, doctor?

'Tis not needed yet.

Doct. Not so sick, my lord, As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies, That keep her from her rest.

Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased;
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow;
Raze out the written troubles of the brain;
And, with some sweet, oblivious antidote,
Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff,
Which weighs upon the heart?


Therein the patient

Must minister to himself.


Macb. Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it.Come, put mine armor on; give me my staff;Seyton, send out.-Doctor, the thanes fly from me; Come, sir, despatch.-If thou couldst, doctor, cast The water of my land, find her disease, And purge it to a sound and pristine health, I would applaud thee to the very echo, That should applaud again.-Pull't off, I say.— What rhubarb, senna,2 or what purgative drug, Would scour these English hence?-Hearest thou of


1 i. e. scour the country round.

2 "What rhubarb, senna." The old copy reads cyme. is Rowe's.

The emendation

Doct. Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation Makes us hear something.


Bring it after me.
I will not be afraid of death and bane,
Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.


Doct. Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, Profit again should hardly draw me here.


SCENE IV. Country near Dunsinane; a Wood in view.

Enter, with drum and colors, MALCOLM, Old SIWARD and his Son, MACDUFF, MENTETH, CATHNESS, ANGUS, LENOX, ROSSE, and Soldiers, marching.

Mal. Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand That chambers will be safe.

The wood of Birnam.

Ment. We doubt it nothing. Siw. What wood is this before us? Ment. Mal. Let every soldier hew him down a bough,' And bear't before him; thereby shall we shadow The numbers of our host, and make discovery Err in report of us.


It shall be done.

Siw. We learn no other, but the confident tyrant Keeps still in Dunsinane, and will endure Our setting down before't.

Mal. 'Tis his main hope; For where there is advantage to be given,2

1 A similar incident is recorded by Olaus Magnus, in his Northern History, lib. vii. cap. xx. De Strategemate Hachonis per Frondes.

2 "For where there is advantage to be given." Dr. Johnson thought that we should read:

66 - where there is a vantage to be gone.”

i. e. where there is an opportunity to be gone, all ranks desert him. We might perhaps read:


where there is advantage to be gained;

and the sense would be nearly similar, with less violence to the text of the old copy.

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Both more and less have given him the revolt;
And none serve with him but constrained things,
Whose hearts are absent too.

Macd. Let our just censures Attend the true event, and put we on Industrious soldiership.


The time approaches, That will with due decision make us know What we shall say we have, and what we owe. Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate; But certain issue strokes must arbitrate: Towards which, advance the war. [Exeunt, marching.

SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the Castle.

Enter, with drums and colors, MACBETH, SEYTON, and Soldiers.

Macb. Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
The cry is still, They come. Our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie,
Till famine, and the ague, eat them up.

Were they not forced with those that should be ours,
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home. What is that noise?
[A cry within, of women.
Sey. It is the cry of women, my good lord.
Macb. I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been, my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek; and my fell1 of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse, and stir

As life were in't. I have supped full with horrors; Direness, familiar to my slaught'rous thoughts, Cannot once start me.-Wherefore was that cry? Sey. The queen, my lord, is dead.

Macb. She should have died hereafter;

1 "-my fell of hair," my hairy part, my capilititium. Fell is skin, properly a sheep's skin with the wool on it.


There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Enter a Messenger.

Thou com'st to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.
Mess. Gracious my lord,

I shall report that which I say I saw,

But know not how to do it.


Well, say, sir. Mess. As I did stand my watch upon the hill, I looked toward Birnam, and anon, methought, The wood began to move.


Liar and slave! 2
Mess. Let me endure your wrath, if't be not so.
Within this three mile may you see it coming;
I say, a moving grove.
If thou speak'st false,
Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,
Till famine cling3 thee; if thy speech be sooth,

1 "The last syllable of recorded time" seems to signify the utmost period fixed in the decrees of Heaven for the period of life. The record of futurity is indeed no accurate expression; but as we only know transactions past or present, the language of men affords no term for the volumes of prescience in which future events may be supposed to be written.

2 ["Striking him,"] says the stage direction in the margin of all the modern editions; but this stage direction is not in the old copies: it was first interpolated by Rowe, and is now omitted on the suggestion of the late Mr. Kemble. See his Essay on Macbeth and King Richard III. Lond. 1817. p. 111.

3 To cling, in the northern counties, signifies to shrivel, wither, or dry up. Clung-wood is wood of which the sap is entirely dried or spent. The same idea is well expressed by Pope in his version of the nineteenth Iliad, 166:—

"Clung with dry famine, and with toils declined."

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