Enter King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox,
with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Captain
What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.
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.
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
Showed like a rebel's whore. But all's too weak:
For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name –
Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour's minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave –
Which ne'er shook hands nor bade farewell to him
Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops,
And fixed his head upon our battlements.
O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!
As, whence the sun 'gins his reflection,
return, turning back, retrogression [at the spring equinox]
Shipwracking storms and direful thunders;
So, from that spring whence comfort seemed to come,
Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark!
No sooner justice had, with valour armed,
Compelled these skipping kerns to trust their heels
But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
With furbished arms and new supplies of men,
Began a fresh assault.
Dismayed not this
Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?
As sparrows, eagles, or the hare, the lion.
If I say sooth I must report they were
As cannons overcharged with double cracks;
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.
So well thy words become thee as thy wounds,
They smack of honour both. Go get him surgeons.
Exit Captain with Attendants
Enter Ross and Angus
Who comes here?
The worthy Thane of Ross.
What a haste looks through his eyes!
So should he look that seems to speak things strange.
seem (v.) 1
have the look [of], give the appearance [of]
God save the King!
Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane?
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, lapped in proof,
proof (n.) 1
tested strength, proven power of resistance, impenetrability
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point-rebellious, arm 'gainst arm,
Curbing his lavish spirit; and to conclude,
The victory fell on us –
– That now Sweno, the Norways' King,
Nor would we deign him burial of his men
Till he disbursed at Saint Colm's Inch
Ten thousand dollars to our general use.
No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death,
And with his former title greet Macbeth.
I'll see it done.
What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.