Act IV, Scene 3
England. Before the King’s palace.
- Enter Malcolm and Macduff.
Malcolm1 - 2
- Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
- Weep our sad bosoms empty.
Macduff3 - 9
- Let us rather
- Hold fast the mortal sword, and like good men
- Bestride our downfall 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 yell’d out
- Like syllable of dolor.
Malcolm10 - 19
- 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 something
- You may discern of him through me, and wisdom
- To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
- T’ appease an angry god.
- I am not treacherous.
Malcolm21 - 27
- But Macbeth is.
- A good and virtuous nature may recoil
- In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your pardon;
- 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.
Malcolm29 - 35
- Perchance even there where I did find my doubts.
- 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 dishonors,
- But mine own safeties. You may be rightly just,
- What ever I shall think.
Macduff36 - 42
- Bleed, bleed, poor country!
- Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
- For goodness dare 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.
Malcolm43 - 55
- 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,
- 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?
Malcolm57 - 62
- 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 state
- Esteem him as a lamb, being compar’d
- With my confineless harms.
Macduff63 - 65
- Not in the legions
- Of horrid hell can come a devil more damn’d
- In evils to top Macbeth.
Malcolm66 - 75
- 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 an one to reign.
Macduff76 - 86
- 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
- Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
- 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.
Malcolm87 - 95
- 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.
Macduff96 - 102
- 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.
Malcolm103 - 112
- 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
- In the division of each several crime,
- Acting it many ways. Nay, had I pow’r, I should
- Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
- Uproar the universal peace, confound
- All unity on earth.
- O Scotland, Scotland!
Malcolm114 - 115
- If such a one be fit to govern, speak.
- I am as I have spoken.
Macduff116 - 128
- Fit to govern?
- No, not to live. O nation miserable!
- With an untitled tyrant bloody-sceptred,
- When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
- Since that the truest issue of thy throne
- By his own interdiction stands accus’d,
- And does blaspheme his breed? Thy royal father
- Was a most sainted king; the queen that bore thee,
- Oft’ner upon her knees than on her feet,
- Died every day she liv’d. Fare thee well,
- These evils thou repeat’st upon thyself
- Hath banish’d me from Scotland. O my breast,
- Thy hope ends here!
Malcolm129 - 152
- Macduff, this noble passion,
- Child of integrity, hath from my soul
- Wip’d the black scruples, reconcil’d my thoughts
- To thy good truth and honor. Devilish Macbeth
- By many of these trains hath sought to win me
- Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
- From over-credulous haste. But God above
- Deal between thee and me! For even now
- I put myself to thy direction, and
- Unspeak mine own detraction; here abjure
- The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
- For strangers to my nature. I am yet
- Unknown to woman, never was forsworn,
- Scarcely have coveted what was mine own,
- At no time broke my faith, would not betray
- The devil to his fellow, and delight
- No less in truth than life. My first false speaking
- Was this upon myself. What I am truly
- Is thine and my poor country’s to command:
- Whither indeed, before thy here-approach,
- Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men
- Already at a point, was setting forth.
- Now we’ll together, and the chance of goodness
- Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?
Macduff153 - 154
- Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
- ’Tis hard to reconcile.
- Enter English Doctor.
- Well, more anon.—Comes the King forth, I pray you?
English Doctor156 - 160
- Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls
- That stay his cure. Their malady convinces
- The great assay of art; but at his touch,
- Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand,
- They presently amend.
- I thank you, doctor.
- Exit English Doctor.
- What’s the disease he means?
Malcolm163 - 176
- ’Tis call’d the evil:
- A most miraculous work in this good king,
- Which often, since my here-remain in England,
- I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven,
- Himself best knows; but strangely-visited people,
- All swoll’n and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
- The mere despair of surgery, he cures,
- Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
- Put on with holy prayers, and ’tis spoken,
- To the succeeding royalty he leaves
- The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
- He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy,
- And sundry blessings hang about his throne
- That speak him full of grace.
- Enter Rosse.
- See who comes here.
- My countryman; but yet I know him not.
- My ever gentle cousin, welcome hither.
Malcolm180 - 181
- I know him now. Good God betimes remove
- The means that makes us strangers!
- Sir, amen.
- Stands Scotland where it did?
Rosse184 - 193
- Alas, poor country,
- Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot
- Be call’d our mother, but our grave; where nothing,
- But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;
- Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rent the air
- Are made, not mark’d; where violent sorrow seems
- A modern ecstasy. The dead man’s knell
- Is there scarce ask’d for who, and good men’s lives
- Expire before the flowers in their caps,
- Dying or ere they sicken.
Macduff194 - 195
- O relation!
- Too nice, and yet too true.
- What’s the newest grief?
Rosse197 - 198
- That of an hour’s age doth hiss the speaker;
- Each minute teems a new one.
- How does my wife?
- Why, well.
- And all my children?
- Well too.
- The tyrant has not batter’d at their peace?
- No, they were well at peace when I did leave ’em.
- Be not a niggard of your speech; how goes’t?
Rosse206 - 213
- When I came hither to transport the tidings,
- Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumor
- Of many worthy fellows that were out,
- Which was to my belief witness’d the rather,
- For that I saw the tyrant’s power afoot.
- Now is the time of help; your eye in Scotland
- Would create soldiers, make our women fight,
- To doff their dire distresses.
Malcolm214 - 218
- Be’t their comfort
- We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
- Lent us good Siward, and ten thousand men;
- An older and a better soldier none
- That Christendom gives out.
Rosse219 - 222
- Would I could answer
- This comfort with the like! But I have words
- That would be howl’d out in the desert air,
- Where hearing should not latch them.
Macduff223 - 225
- What concern they?
- The general cause? Or is it a fee-grief
- Due to some single breast?
Rosse226 - 228
- No mind that’s honest
- But in it shares some woe, though the main part
- Pertains to you alone.
Macduff229 - 230
- If it be mine,
- Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it.
Rosse231 - 233
- Let not your ears despise my tongue forever,
- Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
- That ever yet they heard.
- Humh! I guess at it.
Rosse235 - 238
- Your castle is surpris’d; your wife, and babes,
- Savagely slaughter’d. To relate the manner,
- Were on the quarry of these murder’d deer
- To add the death of you.
Malcolm239 - 242
- Merciful heaven!
- What, man, ne’er pull your hat upon your brows;
- Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak
- Whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bids it break.
- My children too?
Rosse244 - 245
- Wife, children, servants, all
- That could be found.
Macduff246 - 247
- And I must be from thence!
- My wife kill’d too?
- I have said.
Malcolm249 - 251
- Be comforted.
- Let’s make us med’cines of our great revenge
- To cure this deadly grief.
Macduff252 - 255
- He has no children. All my pretty ones?
- Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
- What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
- At one fell swoop?
- Dispute it like a man.
Macduff257 - 264
- I shall do so;
- But I must also feel it as a man:
- I cannot but remember such things were,
- That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on,
- And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
- They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am,
- Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
- Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now!
Malcolm265 - 266
- Be this the whetstone of your sword, let grief
- Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.
Macduff267 - 272
- O, I could play the woman with mine eyes,
- And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,
- Cut short all intermission. Front to front
- Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;
- Within my sword’s length set him; if he scape,
- Heaven forgive him too!
Malcolm273 - 278
- This tune goes manly.
- Come go we to the King, our power is ready,
- Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth
- Is ripe for shaking, and the pow’rs above
- Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may,
- The night is long that never finds the day.