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Why do you show me this?-A fourth?—Start,
eyes! What! will the line stretch out to the crack of
i Witch. Ay, sir, all this is so: But why
[Musick. 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?
9 — to the crack of doom?] i. e. the dissolution of nature. Crack has now a mean signification. It was anciently employed in a more exalted sense.
i 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.
the blood-bolter'd Banquo--) To bolter, in Warwickshire, signifies to daub, dirty, or begrime. s c heer we up his sprights,] i. e. spirits.
No, my lord. 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? 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. 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. L. Macd. What had he done, to make him fly
the land? Rosse. You must have patience, madam. • That trace his line.] i. e. follow, succeed in it.
his bab his titles, Au? He lover wren,
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; 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. Rosse.
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 fur
ther: 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!
5- natural touch:) Natural sensibility. He is not touched with natural affection. Johnson.
6 The fits o'the season.] What is most fitting to be done in every conjuncture. 1 when we are traitors,
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 secm not to know ourselves.
- when we hold rumour --] i. e. believe rumour.
· 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.
What, with worms and flies?
The pit.,, nor lim bird! tho mean; anorms and fin
The pit-fall, nor the gin.
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?
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.
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.
[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
L. Macd. I hope, in no place so unsanctified,
I - in your state of honour I am perfect.] i, e. I am perfectly acquainted with your rank of honour.