The Tragedy of Macbeth

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Act III, Scene 6

Forres. The palace.

       
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[Enter LENNOX and another Lord]

  • Lennox. My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
    Which can interpret further: only, I say,
    Things have been strangely borne. The
    gracious Duncan
    Was pitied of Macbeth: marry, he was dead: 1495
    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 the thought how monstrous
    It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain 1500
    To kill their gracious father? damned fact!
    How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight
    In pious rage the two delinquents tear,
    That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
    Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too; 1505
    For 'twould have anger'd any heart alive
    To hear the men deny't. So that, I say,
    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 1510
    should find
    What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance.
    But, peace! for from broad words and 'cause he fail'd
    His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear
    Macduff lives in disgrace: sir, can you tell 1515
    Where he bestows himself?
  • Lord. The son of Duncan,
    From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth
    Lives in the English court, and is received
    Of the most pious Edward with such grace 1520
    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:
    That, by the help of these—with Him above 1525
    To ratify the work—we may again
    Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
    Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
    Do faithful homage and receive free honours:
    All which we pine for now: and this report 1530
    Hath so exasperate the king that he
    Prepares for some attempt of war.
  • Lord. He did: and with an absolute 'Sir, not I,'
    The cloudy messenger turns me his back, 1535
    And hums, as who should say 'You'll rue the time
    That clogs me with this answer.'
  • Lennox. And that well might
    Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
    His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel 1540
    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 accursed!
  • Lord. I'll send my prayers with him. 1545

[Exeunt]

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