Macbeth By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 2

SCENE II.
A Camp near Forres.

[Alarum within. Enter King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox,
with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Soldier.]

DUNCAN.
What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.

MALCOLM.
This is the sergeant
Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought
'Gainst my captivity. — Hail, brave friend!
Say to the king the knowledge of the broil
As thou didst leave it.

SOLDIER.
Doubtful it stood;
As two spent swimmers that do cling together
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald, —
Worthy to be a rebel, — for to that
The multiplying villainies of nature
Do swarm upon him, — from the Western isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied;
And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
Show'd like a rebel's whore. But all's too weak;
For brave Macbeth, — well he deserves that name, —
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smok'd with bloody execution,
Like valor's minion,
Carv'd out his passag tTill he fac'd the slave;
And ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements.

DUNCAN.
O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!

SOLDIER.
As whence the sun 'gins his reflection
Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break;
So from that spring, whence comfort seem'd to come
Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:
No sooner justice had, with valor arm'd,
Compell'd these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
With furbish'd arms and new supplies of men,
Began a fresh assault.

DUNCAN.
Dismay'd not this
Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?

SOLDIER.
Yes;
As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report they were
As cannons overcharg'd with double cracks;
So they
Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe:
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorize another Golgotha,
I cannot tell: —
But I am faint; my gashes cry for help.

DUNCAN.
So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;
They smack of honor both. — Go, get him surgeons.

[Exit Soldier, attended.]

Who comes here?

MALCOLM.
The worthy Thane of Ross.

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

[Enter Ross.]

ROSS.
God save the King!

DUNCAN.
Whence cam'st 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.

DUNCAN.
What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.

[Exeunt.]

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