Enter Macduff's Wife, 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 cuz,
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!
Fathered 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 pitfall 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 a 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.
Was my father a traitor, mother?
Ay, that he was.
What is a traitor?
Why, one that swears and lies.
And be all traitors that do so?
Every one that does so is a traitor,
And must be hanged.
And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?
Who must hang them?
Why, the honest men.
Then the liars and swearers are fools; for there are
liars and swearers enow to beat the honest men and hang
Now God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt
thou do for a father?
If he were dead, you'd weep for him; if you would
not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new
Poor prattler, how thou talk'st!
Enter a Messenger
Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,
Though in your state of honour 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.
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?
Where is your husband?
I hope in no place so unsanctified
Where such as thou mayst find him.
He's a traitor.
Thou liest, thou shag-haired villain!
What, you egg,
Young fry of treachery!
He stabs him
He has killed me, mother!
Run away, I pray you.
Son dies. Exit Wife crying ‘ Murder ’