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Macbeth: Act IV, Scene 2

Macbeth
Act IV, Scene 2

Fife. Macduff’s castle.

  1. Enter Macduff’s Wife, her Son, and Rosse.

Lady Macduff

1
  1. What had he done, to make him fly the land?

Rosse

2
  1. You must have patience, madam.

Lady Macduff

3 - 5
  1.                                He had none;
  2. His flight was madness. When our actions do not,
  3. Our fears do make us traitors.

Rosse

6 - 7
  1.                                You know not
  2. Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.

Lady Macduff

8 - 16
  1. Wisdom? To leave his wife, to leave his babes,
  2. His mansion and his titles, in a place
  3. From whence himself does fly? He loves us not,
  4. He wants the natural touch; for the poor wren,
  5. The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
  6. Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
  7. All is the fear, and nothing is the love;
  8. As little is the wisdom, where the flight
  9. So runs against all reason.

Rosse

17 - 29
  1.                             My dearest coz,
  2. I pray you school yourself. But for your husband,
  3. He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows
  4. The fits o’ th’ season. I dare not speak much further,
  5. But cruel are the times when we are traitors,
  6. And do not know ourselves; when we hold rumor
  7. From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
  8. But float upon a wild and violent sea
  9. Each way, and move. I take my leave of you;
  10. ’Shall not be long but I’ll be here again.
  11. Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward
  12. To what they were before. My pretty cousin,
  13. Blessing upon you!

Lady Macduff

30
  1. Father’d he is, and yet he’s fatherless.

Rosse

31 - 33
  1. I am so much a fool, should I stay longer,
  2. It would be my disgrace and your discomfort.
  3. I take my leave at once.
  1. Exit Rosse.

Lady Macduff

34 - 35
  1.                          Sirrah, your father’s dead,
  2. And what will you do now? How will you live?

Son to Macduff

36
  1. As birds do, mother.

Lady Macduff

37
  1.                      What, with worms and flies?

Son to Macduff

38
  1. With what I get, I mean, and so do they.

Lady Macduff

39 - 40
  1. Poor bird, thou’dst never fear the net nor lime,
  2. The pitfall nor the gin.

Son to Macduff

41 - 42
  1. Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for.
  2. My father is not dead, for all your saying.

Lady Macduff

43
  1. Yes, he is dead. How wilt thou do for a father?

Son to Macduff

44
  1. Nay, how will you do for a husband?

Lady Macduff

45
  1. Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.

Son to Macduff

46
  1. Then you’ll buy ’em to sell again.

Lady Macduff

47 - 48
  1. Thou speak’st with all thy wit, and yet, i’ faith,
  2. With wit enough for thee.

Son to Macduff

49
  1. Was my father a traitor, mother?

Lady Macduff

50
  1. Ay, that he was.

Son to Macduff

51
  1. What is a traitor?

Lady Macduff

52
  1. Why, one that swears and lies.

Son to Macduff

53
  1. And be all traitors that do so?

Lady Macduff

54
  1. Every one that does so is a traitor, and must be hang’d.

Son to Macduff

55
  1. And must they all be hang’d that swear and lie?

Lady Macduff

56
  1. Every one.

Son to Macduff

57
  1. Who must hang them?

Lady Macduff

58
  1. Why, the honest men.

Son to Macduff

59 - 60
  1. Then the liars and swearers are fools; for there are liars
  2. and swearers enow to beat the honest men and hang up them.

Lady Macduff

61 - 62
  1. Now God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt thou do for a
  2. father?

Son to Macduff

63 - 64
  1. If he were dead, you’ld weep for him; if you would not, it
  2. were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father.

Lady Macduff

65
  1. Poor prattler, how thou talk’st!
  1. Enter a Messenger.

Messenger

66 - 74
  1. Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,
  2. Though in your state of honor I am perfect.
  3. I doubt some danger does approach you nearly.
  4. If you will take a homely man’s advice,
  5. Be not found here; hence with your little ones.
  6. To fright you thus, methinks I am too savage;
  7. To do worse to you were fell cruelty,
  8. Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve you!
  9. I dare abide no longer.
  1. Exit Messenger.

Lady Macduff

75 - 82
  1.                         Whither should I fly?
  2. I have done no harm. But I remember now
  3. I am in this earthly worldwhere to do harm
  4. Is often laudable, to do good sometime
  5. Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas,
  6. Do I put up that womanly defense,
  7. To say I have done no harm?
  8. Enter Murderers.
  9.                             What are these faces?

First Murderer

83
  1. Where is your husband?

Lady Macduff

84 - 85
  1. I hope, in no place so unsanctified
  2. Where such as thou mayst find him.

First Murderer

86
  1.                                    He’s a traitor.

Son to Macduff

87
  1. Thou li’st, thou shag-ear’d villain!

First Murderer

88 - 89
  1.                                      What, you egg!
  2. Stabbing him.
  3. Young fry of treachery!

Son to Macduff

90 - 91
  1.                         He has kill’d me, mother:
  2. Run away, I pray you!
  1. Dies.
  1. Exit Lady Macduff crying Murder!” and pursued by the
  2. Murderers.
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