Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Anthony Dawson
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-528-5

    Copyright Anthony Dawson. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Anthony Dawson
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Macbeth. 145

    Macb. Saw you the Weyard Sisters?
    Lenox. No my Lord.
    Macb. Came they not by you?
    Lenox. No indeed my Lord.
    1690Macb. Infected be the Ayre whereon they ride,
    And damn'd all those that trust them. I did heare
    The gallopping of Horse. Who was't came by?
    Len. 'Tis two or three my Lord, that bring you word:
    Macduff is fled to England.
    1695Macb. Fled to England?
    Len. I, my good Lord.
    Macb. Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits:
    The flighty purpose neuer is o're-tooke
    Vnlesse the deed go with it. From this moment,
    1700The very firstlings of my heart shall be
    The firstlings of my hand. And euen now
    To Crown my thoughts with Acts: be it thoght & done:
    The Castle of Macduff, I will surprize,
    Seize vpon Fife; giue to th' edge o'th'Sword
    1705His Wife, his Babes, and all vnfortunate Soules
    That trace him in his Line. No boasting like a Foole,
    This deed Ile do, before this purpose coole,
    But no more sights. Where are these Gentlemen?
    Come bring me where they are. Exeunt

    1710 Scena Secunda.

    Enter Macduffes Wife, her Son, and Rosse.

    Wife. What had he done, to make him fly the Land?
    Rosse. You must haue patience Madam.
    Wife. He had none:
    1715His flight was madnesse: when our Actions do not,
    Our feares do make vs Traitors.
    Rosse. You know not
    Whether it was his wisedome, or his feare.
    Wife. Wisedom? to leaue his wife, to leaue his Babes,
    1720His Mansion, and his Titles, in a place
    From whence himselfe do's flye? He loues vs not,
    He wants the naturall touch. For the poore Wren
    (The most diminitiue of Birds) will fight,
    Her yong ones in her Nest, against the Owle:
    1725All is the Feare, and nothing is the Loue;
    As little is the Wisedome, where the flight
    So runnes against all reason.
    Rosse. My deerest Cooz,
    I pray you schoole your selfe. But for your Husband,
    1730He is Noble, Wise, Iudicious, and best knowes
    The fits o'th'Season. I dare not speake much further,
    But cruell are the times, when we are Traitors
    And do not know our selues: when we hold Rumor
    From what we feare, yet know not what we feare,
    1735But floate vpon a wilde and violent Sea
    Each way, and moue. I take my leaue of you:
    Shall not be long but Ile be heere againe:
    Things at the worst will cease, or else climbe vpward,
    To what they were before. My pretty Cosine,
    1740Blessing vpon you.
    Wife. Father'd he is,
    And yet hee's Father-lesse.
    Rosse. I am so much a Foole, should I stay longer
    It would be my disgrace, and your discomfort.
    1745I take my leaue at once. Exit Rosse.

    Wife. Sirra, your Fathers dead,
    And what will you do now? How will you liue?
    Son. As Birds do Mother.
    Wife. What with Wormes, and Flyes?
    1750Son. With what I get I meane, and so do they.
    Wife. Poore Bird,
    Thou'dst neuer Feare the Net, nor Lime,
    The Pitfall, nor the Gin.
    Son. Why should I Mother?
    1755Poore Birds they are not set for:
    My Father is not dead for all your saying.
    Wife. Yes, he is dead:
    How wilt thou do for a Father?
    Son. Nay how will you do for a Husband?
    1760Wife. Why I can buy me twenty at any Market.
    Son. Then you'l by 'em to sell againe.
    Wife. Thou speak'st withall thy wit,
    And yet I'faith with wit enough for thee.
    Son. Was my Father a Traitor, Mother?
    1765Wife. I, that he was.
    Son. What is a Traitor?
    Wife. Why one that sweares, and lyes.
    Son. And be all Traitors, that do so.
    Wife. Euery one that do's so, is a Traitor,
    1770And must be hang'd.
    Son. And must they all be hang'd, that swear and lye?
    Wife. Euery one.
    Son. Who must hang them?
    Wife. Why, the honest men.
    1775Son. Then the Liars and Swearers are Fools: for there
    are Lyars and Swearers enow, to beate the honest men,
    and hang vp them.
    Wife. Now God helpe thee, poore Monkie:
    But how wilt thou do for a Father?
    1780Son. If he were dead, youl'd weepe for him: if you
    would not, it were a good signe, that I should quickely
    haue a new Father.
    Wife. Poore pratler, how thou talk'st?
    Enter a Messenger.
    1785Mes. Blesse you faire Dame: I am not to you known,
    Though in your state of Honor I am perfect;
    I doubt some danger do's approach you neerely.
    If you will take a homely mans aduice,
    Be not found heere: Hence with your little ones
    1790To fright you thus. Me thinkes I am too sauage:
    To do worse to you, were fell Cruelty,
    Which is too nie your person. Heauen preserue you,
    I dare abide no longer. Exit Messenger
    Wife. Whether should I flye?
    1795I haue done no harme. But I remember now
    I am in this earthly world: where to do harme
    Is often laudable, to do good sometime
    Accounted dangerous folly. Why then (alas)
    Do I put vp that womanly defence,
    1800To say I haue done no harme?
    What are these faces?
    Enter Murtherers.
    Mur. Where is your Husband?
    Wife. I hope in no place so vnsanctified,
    1805Where such as thou may'st finde him.
    Mur. He's a Traitor.
    Son. Thou ly'st thou shagge-ear'd Villaine.
    Mur. What you Egge?
    Yong fry of Treachery?
    1810Son. He ha's kill'd me Mother,
    Run away I pray you. Exit crying Murther.
    Nn Scena