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While you perform your antic round,
That this great king may kindly say
Our duties did his welcome pay.
[Music. The Witches dance, and then

vanish, with Hecate. Macb. Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious

hour Stand


accursed in the calendar ! Come in, without there!

Enter Lennox. Len.

What's your grace's will? Macb. Saw


the weird sisters ? Len.

No, my lord.
Macb. Came they not by you?

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? 140 Len. 'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word

Macduff is filed to England. Macb.

Fled to England ! Len. Ay, my good lord. Macb. [ Aside] Time, thou anticipatest 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 ; 150

upon Fife; give to the edge o' the sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool ;
This deed I'll do before this


cool: But no more sights !-Where are these gentlemen ? Come, bring me where they are. [Exeunt.

Scene II,

Fife. Macduff's castle. Enter Lady Macduff, her Son, and Ross. L. Macd. What had he done, to make him fy the land ? Ross. 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.

You know not
Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.


L. Macd. Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave his

His mansion and his titles, in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not ;
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,
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, 20
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and move. I take my leave of
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's fatherless.

you :

Sirrah, your

Ross. I am so much a fool, should I stay longer,
It would be my disgrace and your

I take my leave at once.

[Exit. L. Macd.

father's dead : 30 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 ’ldst never fear the net nor

lime, The pitfall 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 any


40 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 80 is a traitor, and
must be hanged.

50 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 enow 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 ?

60 Son. If he were dead, you ’ld 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 :

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; 70

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