Macbeth By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 2

SON.
Was my father a traitor, mother?

LADY MACDUFF.
Ay, that he was.

SON.
What is a traitor?

LADY MACDUFF.
Why, one that swears and lies.

SON.
And be all traitors that do so?

LADY MACDUFF.
Everyone that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.

SON.
And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

LADY MACDUFF.
Every one.

SON.
Who must hang them?

LADY MACDUFF.
Why, the honest men.

SON.
Then the liars and swearers are fools: for there are liars
and swearers enow to beat the honest men and hang up them.

LADY MACDUFF.
Now, God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt
thou do for a father?

SON.
If he were dead, you'ld weep for him: if you would not, it
were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father.

LADY MACDUFF.
Poor prattler, how thou talk'st!

[Enter a Messenger.]

MESSENGER.
Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,
Though in your state of honor I am perfect.
I doubt some danger does approach you nearly:
If you will take a homely man's advice,
Be not found here; hence, with your little ones.
To fright you thus, methinks, I am too savage;
To do worse to you were fell cruelty,
Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve you!
I dare abide no longer.

[Exit.]

LADY MACDUFF.
Whither should I fly?
I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world; where to do harm
Is often laudable; to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly: why then, alas,
Do I put up that womanly defence,
To say I have done no harm? — What are these faces?

[Enter Murderers.]

FIRST MURDERER.
Where is your husband?

LADY MACDUFF.
I hope, in no place so unsanctified
Where such as thou mayst find him.

FIRST MURDERER.
He's a traitor.

SON.
Thou liest, thou shag-haar'd villain!

FIRST MURDERER.
What, you egg!

[Stabbing him.]

Young fry of treachery!

SON.
He has kill'd me, mother:
Run away, I pray you!

[Dies. Exit Lady Macduff, crying Murder, and pursued by the
Murderers.]

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