Fife. A Room in Macduff's Castle.
[Enter Lady Macduff, her Son, and Ross.]
What had he done, to make him fly the land?
You must have patience, madam.
He had none:
His flight was madness: when our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.
You know not
Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.
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.
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!
Father'd he is, and yet he's fatherless.
I am so much a fool, should I stay longer,
It would be my disgrace and your discomfort:
I take my leave at once.
Sirrah, your father's dead;
And what will you do now? How will you live?
As birds do, mother.
What, with worms and flies?
With what I get, I mean; and so do they.
Poor bird! thou'dst never fear the net nor lime,
The pit-fall nor the gin.
Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for.
My father is not dead, for all your saying.
Yes, he is dead: how wilt thou do for father?
Nay, how will you do for a husband?
Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.
Then you'll buy 'em to sell again.
Thou speak'st with all thy wit; and yet, i' faith,
With wit enough for thee.
Continued on next page...