Macbeth: Act 4, Scene 3
Enter MALCOLM and MACDUFF.
1Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
2Weep our sad bosoms empty.
Let us rather
3Hold fast the mortal sword, and like good men
4Bestride our down-fall'n birthdom. Each new morn
5New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
6Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
7As if it felt with Scotland and yell'd out
8Like syllable of dolour.
What I believe I'll wail,
9What know believe, and what I can redress,
10As I shall find the time to friend, I will.
11What you have spoke, it may be so perchance.
12This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues,
13Was once thought honest; you have loved him well;
14He hath not touch'd you yet. I am young, but something
15You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom
16To offer up a weak poor innocent lamb
17To appease an angry god.
18I am not treacherous.
But Macbeth is.
19A good and virtuous nature may recoil
20In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your pardon;
21That which you are my thoughts cannot transpose:
22Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell;
23Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace,
24Yet grace must still look so.
I have lost my hopes.
25Perchance even there where I did find my doubts.
26Why in that rawness left you wife and child,
27Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,
28Without leave-taking? I pray you,
29Let not my jealousies be your dishonours,
30But mine own safeties. You may be rightly just,
31Whatever I shall think.
Bleed, bleed, poor country!
32Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
33For goodness dare not check thee; wear thou thy wrongs,
34The title is affeer'd! Fare thee well, lord:
35I would not be the villain that thou think'st
36For the whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp,
37And the rich East to boot.
Be not offended:
38I speak not as in absolute fear of you.
39I think our country sinks beneath the yoke;
40It weeps, it bleeds; and each new day a gash
41Is added to her wounds. I think withal
42There would be hands uplifted in my right;
43And here from gracious England have I offer
44Of goodly thousands. But, for all this,
45When I shall tread upon the tyrant's head,
46Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country
47Shall have more vices than it had before,
48More suffer and more sundry ways than ever,
49By him that shall succeed.
What should he be?
50It is myself I mean; in whom I know
51All the particulars of vice so grafted
52That, when they shall be open'd, black Macbeth
53Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state
54Esteem him as a lamb, being compared
55With my confineless harms.
Not in the legions
56Of horrid hell can come a devil more damn'd
57In evils to top Macbeth.
I grant him bloody,
58Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
59Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
60That has a name; but there's no bottom, none,
61In my voluptuousness. Your wives, your daughters,
62Your matrons and your maids, could not fill up
63The cistern of my lust, and my desire
64All continent impediments would o'erbear
65That did oppose my will. Better Macbeth
66Than such an one to reign.
67In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
68The untimely emptying of the happy throne
69And fall of many kings. But fear not yet
70To take upon you what is yours. You may
71Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
72And yet seem cold, the time you may so hoodwink.
73We have willing dames enough; there cannot be
74That vulture in you, to devour so many
75As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
76Finding it so inclined.
With this, there grows
77In my most ill-composed affection such
78A stanchless avarice that, were I king,
79I should cut off the nobles for their lands,
80Desire his jewels and this other's house:
81And my more-having would be as a sauce
82To make me hunger more; that I should forge
83Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
84Destroying them for wealth.
85Sticks deeper, grows with more pernicious root
86Than summer-seeming lust, and it hath been
87The sword of our slain kings. Yet do not fear;
88Scotland hath foisons to fill up your will
89Of your mere own. All these are portable,
90With other graces weigh'd.
91But I have none. The king-becoming graces,
92As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
93Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
94Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
95I have no relish of them, but abound
96In the division of each several crime,
97Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
98Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
99Uproar the universal peace, confound
100All unity on earth.
O Scotland, Scotland!
101If such a one be fit to govern, speak.
102I am as I have spoken.
Fit to govern!
103No, not to live. O nation miserable,
104With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter'd,
105When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
106Since that the truest issue of thy throne
107By his own interdiction stands accursed,
108And does blaspheme his breed? Thy royal father
109Was a most sainted king; the queen that bore thee,
110Oftener upon her knees than on her feet,
111Died every day she lived. Fare thee well!
112These evils thou repeat'st upon thyself
113Have banish'd me from Scotland. O my breast,
114Thy hope ends here!
Macduff, this noble passion,
115Child of integrity, hath from my soul
116Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts
117To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth
118By many of these trains hath sought to win me
119Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
120From over-credulous haste. But God above
121Deal between thee and me! for even now
122I put myself to thy direction, and
123Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
124The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
125For strangers to my nature. I am yet
126Unknown to woman, never was forsworn,
127Scarcely have coveted what was mine own,
128At no time broke my faith, would not betray
129The devil to his fellow and delight
130No less in truth than life. My first false speaking
131Was this upon myself. What I am truly,
132Is thine and my poor country's to command:
133Whither indeed, before thy here-approach,
134Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men,
135Already at a point, was setting forth.
136Now we'll together; and the chance of goodness
137Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?
138Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
139'Tis hard to reconcile.
Enter a DOCTOR.
140Well, more anon.Comes the King forth, I pray you?
141Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls
142That stay his cure. Their malady convinces
143The great assay of art; but at his touch
144Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand
145They presently amend.
I thank you, doctor.
146What's the disease he means?
'Tis call'd the evil:
147A most miraculous work in this good king;
148Which often, since my here-remain in England,
149I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven,
150Himself best knows; but strangely-visited people,
151All swoll'n and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
152The mere despair of surgery, he cures,
153Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
154Put on with holy prayers, and 'tis spoken,
155To the succeeding royalty he leaves
156The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
157He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy,
158And sundry blessings hang about his throne,
159That speak him full of grace.
See who comes here.
160My countryman; but yet I know him not.
161My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.
162I know him now. Good God betimes remove
163The means that makes us strangers!
164Stands Scotland where it did?
Alas, poor country!
165Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
166Be call'd our mother, but our grave; where nothing,
167But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;
168Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air
169Are made, not mark'd; where violent sorrow seems
170A modern ecstasy; the dead man's knell
171Is there scarce ask'd for who; and good men's lives
172Expire before the flowers in their caps,
173Dying or ere they sicken.
174Too nice, and yet too true!
What's the newest grief?
175That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker;
176Each minute teems a new one.
How does my wife?
And all my children?
178The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace?
179No; they were well at peace when I did leave 'em.
180Be not a niggard of your speech; how goes't?
181When I came hither to transport the tidings,
182Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour
183Of many worthy fellows that were out;
184Which was to my belief witness'd the rather,
185For that I saw the tyrant's power a-foot.
186Now is the time of help; your eye in Scotland
187Would create soldiers, make our women fight,
188To doff their dire distresses.
Be't their comfort
189We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
190Lent us good Siward and ten thousand men;
191An older and a better soldier none
192That Christendom gives out.
Would I could answer
193This comfort with the like! But I have words
194That would be howl'd out in the desert air,
195Where hearing should not latch them.
What concern they?
196The general cause? or is it a fee-grief
197Due to some single breast?
No mind that's honest
198But in it shares some woe; though the main part
199Pertains to you alone.
If it be mine,
200Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it.
201Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever,
202Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
203That ever yet they heard.
Humh! I guess at it.
204Your castle is surprised; your wife and babes
205Savagely slaughter'd. To relate the manner,
206Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer,
207To add the death of you.
208What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
209Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak
210Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.
211My children too?
Wife, children, servants, all
212That could be found.
And I must be from thence!
213My wife kill'd too?
I have said.
214Let's make us medicines of our great revenge,
215To cure this deadly grief.
216He has no children. All my pretty ones?
217Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
218What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
219At one fell swoop?
220Dispute it like a man.
I shall do so;
221But I must also feel it as a man:
222I cannot but remember such things were,
223That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on,
224And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
225They were all struck for thee! naught that I am,
226Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
227Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now!
228Be this the whetstone of your sword: let grief
229Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.
230O, I could play the woman with mine eyes
231And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,
232Cut short all intermission. Front to front
233Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;
234Within my sword's length set him; if he 'scape,
235Heaven forgive him too!
This tune goes manly.
236Come, go we to the king; our power is ready;
237Our lack is nothing but our leave; Macbeth
238Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above
239Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may,
240The night is long that never finds the day.