Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > Macbeth
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · DRAMATIS PERSONÆ
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act III
 
Scene VI
 
 
[Forres. The palace]
Enter LENNOX and another Lord

  Len.  My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret farther; only, I say,
Things have been strangely borne. 1 The gracious Duncan
Was pitied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead:        4
And the right-valiant Banquo walk’d too late;
Whom, you may say, if ’t please you, Fleance kill’d,
For Fleance fled; men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want 2 the thought how monstrous        8
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father? Damned fact!
How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight
In pious rage the two delinquents tear,        12
That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
For ’twould have anger’d any heart alive
To hear the men deny ’t. So that, I say,        16
He has borne all things well; and I do think
That had he Duncan’s sons under his key—
As, an ’t please Heaven, he shall not—they should find
What ’twere to kill a father; so should Fleance.        20
But, peace! for from broad 3 words, and ’cause he fail’d
His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear
Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?        24
  Lord.        The son of Duncan,
From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
Lives in the English court, and is receiv’d
Of the most pious Edward with such grace        28
That the malevolence of Fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduff
Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid
To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward;        32
That, by the help of these—with Him above
To ratify the work—we may again
Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,        36
Do faithful homage and receive free honours;
All which we pine for now: and this report
Hath so exasperate their king that he
Prepares for some attempt of war.        40
  Len.        Sent he to Macduff?
  Lord.  He did; and with 4 an absolute “Sir, not I,”
The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
And hums, as who should say, “You’ll rue the time        44
That clogs me with this answer.”
  Len.        And that well might
Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel        48
Fly to the court of England and unfold
His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accurs’d!        52
  Lord.        I’ll send my prayers with him.  Exeunt.
 
Note 1. Conducted. [back]
Note 2. Can lack. [back]
Note 3. Free. [back]
Note 4. Receiving as answer. [back]
 

CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · DRAMATIS PERSONÆ
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors