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Speeches (Lines) for Ross
in "Macbeth"

Total: 39

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Lennox. What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look
That seems to speak things strange.

Ross. God save the king!



Duncan. Whence camest thou, worthy thane?

Ross. From Fife, great king;
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
And fan our people cold. Norway himself,
With terrible numbers,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor
The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;
Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm.
Curbing his lavish spirit: and, to conclude,
The victory fell on us.



Duncan. Great happiness!

Ross. That now
Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition:
Nor would we deign him burial of his men
Till he disbursed at Saint Colme's inch
Ten thousand dollars to our general use.



Duncan. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death,
And with his former title greet Macbeth.

Ross. I'll see it done.



(stage directions). [Enter ROSS and ANGUS]

Ross. The king hath happily received, Macbeth,
The news of thy success; and when he reads
Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight,
His wonders and his praises do contend
Which should be thine or his: silenced with that,
In viewing o'er the rest o' the selfsame day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as hail
Came post with post; and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence,
And pour'd them down before him.



Angus. We are sent
To give thee from our royal master thanks;
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Not pay thee.

Ross. And, for an earnest of a greater honour,
He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor:
In which addition, hail, most worthy thane!
For it is thine.



Old Man. Threescore and ten I can remember well:
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.

Ross. Ah, good father,
Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp:
Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?



Old Man. 'Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.

Ross. And Duncan's horses—a thing most strange and certain—
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.



Old Man. 'Tis said they eat each other.

Ross. They did so, to the amazement of mine eyes
That look'd upon't. Here comes the good Macduff.
How goes the world, sir, now?



Macduff. Why, see you not?

Ross. Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?



Macduff. Those that Macbeth hath slain.

Ross. Alas, the day!
What good could they pretend?



Macduff. They were suborn'd:
Malcolm and Donalbain, the king's two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.

Ross. 'Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life's means! Then 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.



Macduff. He is already named, and gone to Scone
To be invested.

Ross. Where is Duncan's body?



Macduff. Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.

Ross. Will you to Scone?



Macduff. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.

Ross. Well, I will thither.



Macduff. Well, may you see things well done there: adieu!
Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!

Ross. Farewell, father.



Macbeth. Here had we now our country's honour roof'd,
Were the graced person of our Banquo present;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance!

Ross. His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please't your highness
To grace us with your royal company.



Macbeth. Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

Ross. Gentlemen, rise: his highness is not well.



Macbeth. Can such things be,
And overcome us like a summer's cloud,
Without our special wonder? You make me strange
Even to the disposition that I owe,
When now I think you can behold such sights,
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine is blanched with fear.

Ross. What sights, my lord?



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

Ross. You must have patience, madam.



Lady Macduff. He had none:
His flight was madness: when our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.

Ross. You know not
Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.



Lady Macduff. Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave his babes,
His mansion and his titles in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
He wants the natural touch: for the poor wren,
The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
All is the fear and nothing is the love;
As little is the wisdom, where the flight
So runs against all reason.

Ross. My dearest coz,
I pray you, school yourself: but for your husband,
He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows
The fits o' the season. I dare not speak
much further;
But cruel are the times, when we are traitors
And do not know ourselves, when we hold rumour
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and move. I take my leave of you:
Shall not be long but I'll be here again:
Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward
To what they were before. My pretty cousin,
Blessing upon you!



Lady Macduff. Father'd he is, and yet he's fatherless.

Ross. I am so much a fool, should I stay longer,
It would be my disgrace and your discomfort:
I take my leave at once.



Malcolm. I know him now. Good God, betimes remove
The means that makes us strangers!

Ross. Sir, amen.



Macduff. Stands Scotland where it did?

Ross. 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 rend 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.



Malcolm. What's the newest grief?

Ross. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker:
Each minute teems a new one.



Macduff. How does my wife?

Ross. Why, well.



Macduff. And all my children?

Ross. Well too.



Macduff. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace?

Ross. No; they were well at peace when I did leave 'em.



Macduff. But not a niggard of your speech: how goes't?

Ross. When I came hither to transport the tidings,
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour
Of many worthy fellows that were out;
Which was to my belief witness'd the rather,
For that I saw the tyrant's power a-foot:
Now is the time of help; your eye in Scotland
Would create soldiers, make our women fight,
To doff their dire distresses.



Malcolm. 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.

Ross. 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.



Macduff. What concern they?
The general cause? or is it a fee-grief
Due to some single breast?

Ross. No mind that's honest
But in it shares some woe; though the main part
Pertains to you alone.



Macduff. If it be mine,
Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it.

Ross. Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.



Macduff. Hum! I guess at it.

Ross. Your castle is surprised; 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.



Macduff. My children too?

Ross. Wife, children, servants, all
That could be found.



Macduff. And I must be from thence!
My wife kill'd too?

Ross. I have said.



Malcolm. Macduff is missing, and your noble son.

Ross. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt:
He only lived but till he was a man;
The which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.



Siward. Then he is dead?

Ross. Ay, and brought off the field: your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.



Siward. Had he his hurts before?

Ross. Ay, on the front.

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