Macbeth By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 3

MACDUFF.
Be 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.
Humh! I guess at it.

ROSS.
Your castle is surpris'd; 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.

MALCOLM.
Merciful heaven! —
What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.

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.
Be comforted:
Let's make us medicines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.

MACDUFF.
He has no children. — All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? — O hell-kite! — All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?

MALCOLM.
Dispute it like a man.

MACDUFF.
I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me. — Did heaven look on,
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
They were all struck for thee! naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls: heaven rest them now!

MALCOLM.
Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let grief
Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.

MACDUFF.
O, I could play the woman with mine eye,
And braggart with my tongue! — But, gentle heavens,
Cut short all intermission; front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;
Within my sword's length set him; if he 'scape,
Heaven forgive him too!

MALCOLM.
This tune goes manly.
Come, go we to the king; our power is ready;
Our lack is nothing but our leave: Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above
Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may;
The night is long that never finds the day.

[Exeunt.]

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