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 ; 70
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,

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.

He's a traitor.
Son. Thou liest, thou shag-hair'd villain.

What, you egg,

[Stabbing him. Young fry of treachery! Son.

He has kill'd me, mother : Run away, I pray you.

[Dies. [Erit Lady Macduff, crying murder, and

pursued by the Murderers.

60 in ... perfect, aware of. (R)
67 doubt, suspect. (R)
68 homely, simple. (R)

83 shag-hair’d. The folio, shagear'd, an easy corruption of slag

hear'd, the commonest spelling of shag-hair'd. Steevens' emendation. (Some recent editors follow the folio.]

s fry, fish recently hatched. (R) 4 Bestride, stand over to de fend. (R)

SCENE III. — England. A Room in the King's Palace. Enter MALCOLM and MacDÜFF.

Mal. Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty.

Let us rather
Hold fast the mortal sword, and like good men
Bestride our down-fall’n birthdom. Each new morn,
New widows howl, new orphans cry; new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland, and yelld out
Like syllable of dolour.

What I believe, I 'll wail;
What know, believe; and what I can redress,
As I shall find the time to friend, I will:

What you have spoke, it may be so perchance.
This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues,
Was once thought honest: you have lov’d him well;
He hath not touch'd you yet. I am young; but

You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom
To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
T appease an angry god.

Macd. I am not treacherous.

But Macbeth is.
A good and virtuous nature may recoil,
In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your pardon : 20


mortal, deadly. (R)

15 deserve. The folio misprints discerne, an error which Theobald corrected. Should we read 't is? (w)

6 that, i. e. so that. (R)

8 Like syllable of dolour, i. e. a similar cry of pain. (R)

10 to friend, i. e. to befriend me, (or, for my friend).

19 recoil, degenerate. (R)

20 In an imperial charge, i. e. when acting by the command of a king. (R)

That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose;
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell ;
Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace,
Yet grace must still look so.

I have lost my hopes. Mal. Perchance, even there where I did find my

Why in that rawness left you wife and child,
Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,
Without leave-taking ? — I pray you,
Let not my jealousies be your

But mine own safeties: you may be rightly just, 30
Whatever I shall think.

Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dares not check thee! wear thou thy

wrongs ;
The title is affeer'd! - Fare thee well, Lord :
I would not be the villain that thou think'st
For the whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp,
And the rich East to boot.

Be not offended :
I speak not as in absolute fear of you.
I think our country sinks beneath the yoke;
It weeps, it bleeds ; and each new day a gash

Is added to her wounds: I think, withal,
There would be hands uplifted in my right;
And here, from gracious England, have I offer
Of goodly thousands ; but, for all this,

21 transpose, change, transform. 27 motives, applied to persons, (R)

as often by Shakespeare. Cf. 23 would, i. e. should. (R) Othello, IV. ii. 43. (R)

24 hopes, i. e. of welcome from 34 afseerd, confirmed, — an old Malcolm. (R)

law term of the manor courts, rawness, unpreparedness. (R) from the French affier. (w)



When I shall tread upon the tyrant's head,
Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country
Shall have more vices than it had before,
More suffer, and more sundry ways than ever,
By him that shall succeed.

What should he be ?
Mal. It is myself I mean ; in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted,
That, when they shall be open'd, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow; and the poor

Esteem him as a lamb, being compar'd
With my confineless harms.

Not in the legions
Of horrid Hell can come a devil more damn'd
In evils to top Macbeth.

I grant him bloody,
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name; but there's no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness : your wives, your daughters,
Your matrons, and your maids, could not fill up
The cistern of my lust; and my desire
All continent impediments would o'erbear,
That did oppose my will. Better Macbeth,
Than such a one to reign.

Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny: it hath been
Th' untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings. But fear not yet
To take upon you what is yours : you may

70 Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,

58 Luxurious, licentious. (R) 71 Convey, secretly enjoy — a 64 continent, restraining. (R) cant word for "purloin.” The line

67 In nature, (probably) in its is an obscure one throughout. (Cf. nature. (R)

Merry Wives, I, iii. 32.]



And yet seem cold, the time you may so hoodwink.
We have willing dames enough; there cannot be
That vulture in you to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclin’d.

With this, there grows
In my most ill-compos'd affection such
A stanchless avarice, that, were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands;
Desire his jewels, and this other's house;
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more; that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.

This avarice
Sticks deeper, grows with more pernicious root,
Than summer-seeming lust; and it hath been
The sword of our slain kings: yet do not fear;
Scotland hath foisons to fill up your will,
Of your mere own. All these are portable
With other graces weigh'd.

Mal. But I have none. The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temp?rance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy,

lowliness, Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude, I have no relish of them ; but abound

72 time, i. e. your fellowmen. (R)

82 that, so that. See l. 6 above.


86 Than summer-seeming lust, i. e. than lust which seems to have but a summer's life, compared with that of deeper-rooted avarice.

87 sword, i. e. the ruin. (R)

88 foisons, plenty, abundance. It is rarely found in the plural. (w)

89 portable, endurable. (R)
90 With

weigh’d, counterbalanced by. (R)

93 perseverance, accented on the second syllable. (w)

95 relish of, i. e. relish for. (R)

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