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Of Birnam rise, and our high-placed Macbeth
Seek to know no more.
[Hautboys. 1 Witch. Show! 2 Witch. Show! 3 Witch. Show! All. Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;
. Come like shadows, so depart.
Eight Kings appear, and pass over the stage in order ; the last with a glass in his hand; Banquo following. Macb. Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo;
down! Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs ;—and thy hair, Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first. A third is like the former.-Filthy hags!
show me this ?-A fourth ?-Start, eyes ! What! will the line stretch out to the crack of doom? Another yet?-A seventh ?—I'll see no more.And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass, Which shows me many more ; and some I see, That twofold balls and treble sceptres carry ; Horrible sight !-Now, I see, 'tis true; For the blood-boltered ? Banquo smiles upon me,
2 And points at them for his.- What, is this so?
1 « That twofold balls and treble sceptres carry.” This was intended as a compliment to James the First: he first united the two islands and the three kingdoms under one head, whose house too was said to be descended from Banquo, who is therefore represented not only as innocent, but as a noble character; whereas, according to history, he was confederate with Macbeth in the murder of Duncan.
? In Warwickshire, when a horse, sheep, or other animal, perspires much, and any of the hair or wool, in consequence of such perspiration, or any redundant humor, becomes matted into tufts with grime and sweat, he is VOL. III
1 Witch. Ay, sir, all this is so.—But why
Music. The Witches dance, and vanish.
[ Macb. Where are they? Gone ?-Let this per
nicious hour Stand aye accursed in the calendar ! Come in, without there!
Enter LENOX. Len.
What's your grace's will ? Macb. Saw you the weird sisters? ? Len.
No, my lord. Macb. Came they not by you? Len.
No, indeed, my lord. Macb. Infected be the air whereon they ride; And damned all those that trust them !—I did hear The galloping of horse. Who was't came by ? Len. 'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you
word, Macduff is fled to England. Macb.
Fled to England ? Len. Ay, my good lord.
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,
said to be boltered ; and whenever the blood issues out and coagulates, forming the locks into hard, clotted bunches, the beast is said to be bloodbollered.
1 i. e. spirits. It should seem that spirits was almost always pronounced sprights or sprites by Shakspeare's contemporaries.
2 Antique was the old spelling for antic.
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done.
SCENE II. Fife. A Room in Macduff's Castle.
Enter LADY MACDUFF, her Son, and Rosse. 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,
My dearest coz,
1 i. e. follow, succeed in it. 2 Natural touch, natural affection.
3 Some commentators consider this expression as equivalent to the "violent disorders of the time;” others insist that it means “what is most fitting to be done in every conjuncture.”
But cruel are the times, when we are traitors,
L. Macd. Fathered 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
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
Son. Was my father a traitor, mother?
1 “When we are led by our fears to believe every rumor of danger we hear, yet are not conscious to ourselves of any crime for which we should be disturbed with fears."
2 Sirrah was not, in our author's time, a term of reproach, but sometimes used by masters to servants, parents to children, &c.
L. Macd. Why, one that swears and lies.
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. 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 honor 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.
[Exit Messenger. L. Macd.
Whither should I fly?
What are these faces ?
1 i. e. am perfectly acquainted with your rank.