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I shall report that which I say
I But know not how to do it. Macb.
Well, say, sir. Mess. As I did stand my watch upon the hill, I look'd toward Birnam, and anon, methought, The wood began to move. Macb.
Liar and slave 4! Mess. Let me endure your wrath, if't be not so: Within this three mile may you see it coming; I say, a moving grove. Macb.
If thou speak'st false, Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive, Till famine cling 5 thee: if thy speech be sooth, I care not if thou dost for me as much.I pull in resolution; and begin To doubt the equivocation of the fiend, That lies like truth: Fear not, till Birnam wood Do come to Dunsinane ;-and now a wood Comes toward Dunsinane.—Arm, arm, and out!If this, which he avouches, does appear, There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here. I’gin to be a-weary of the sun, And wish the estate o’the world were now undone.Ring the alarum-bell :- Blow, wind! come, wrack! At least we'll die with harness 6 on our back.
Exeunt. 4 *[Striking him)' says the stage direction in the margin of all the modern editions; but this stage direction is not in the old copies : it was first interpolated by Rowe; and is now omitted on the suggestion of the late Mr. Kemble. See his Essay on Macbeth and King Richard III. Lond. 1817, p. 111.
* To cling, in the northern counties, signifies to shrivel, wither, or dry up. Clung-wood is wood of which the sap is entirely dried or spent. The same idea is well expressed by Pope in his version of the nineteenth Iliad, 166:
• Clung with dry famine, and with toils declin'd. 6 Harness, armour.
A Plain before the Castle.
SIWARD, MACDUFF, &c. and their Army, with
us? what else remains to do,
all breath, Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.
[Exeunt. Alarums continued.
Another Part of the Plain.
Enter young SIWARD.
Thou'lt be afraid to hear it. 7 The first folio reads upon's.
1. But, bearlike, I must fight the course. This was a phrase at bear-baiting. * Also you shall see two ten dog courses at the great bear.'- Antipodes, by Brome.
Yo. Siw. No; though thou call'st thyself a hotter
name Than any
is in hell. Macb.
My name's Macbeth. Yo. Siw. The devil himself could not pronounce
More hateful to mine ear.
No, nor more fearful. Yo. Siw. Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my
sword I'll prove the lie thou speak’st.
[They fight, and young Siward is slain. Macb.
Thou wast born of woman.But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, Brandish'd by man that's of a woman born. [Exit.
Alarums. Enter MACDUFF. Macd. That way the noise is :—Tyrant, show thy
face: If thou be’st slain, and with no stroke of mine, My wife and children's ghosts will haunt me still. I cannot strike at wretched kernes, whose arms Are hir'd to bear their staves; either thou, Macbeth, Or else my sword, with an unbatter'd edge, I sheathe again undeeded. There thou should'st be; By this great clatter, one of greatest note Seems bruited?: Let me find him, fortune! And more I beg not.
[Exit. Alarum. 2 Bruited is reported, noised abroad; from bruit, Fr. So in King Henry IV. Part 11. :
Being bruited once,' &c. Any noise or report is called a brute by the writers of Shakspeare's age. Thus Baret:— False brutes or reportes. Falsæ voculæ.The brute or common reporte was in old time,' &c.
Enter MALCOLM and old SIWARD.
We have met with foes
Enter, sir, the castle.
Re-enter MACBETH. Macb. Why should I play the Roman fool, and die3 On mine own sword? whiles I see lives, the gashes Do better
Turn, hell-hound, turn.
I have no words,
Thou losest labour : As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air5
3 •Why should I play the Roman fool, and die.' Alluding probably to the suicide of Cato of Utica. The circumstance is mentioned again in Julius Cæsar:
• I did blame Cato for the death
Which he did give himself.' 4 My voice is in my sword.' Thus Casca, in Julius Cæsar :
Speak, hands, for me.' 5 • The intrenchant air,' the air which cannot be cut. So in Hamlet :
For it is as the air invulnerable.'
With thy keen sword impress, as make me bleed:
Despair thy charm; And let the angel, whom thou still hast serv'd, Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb Untimely ripp'd.
Macb. Accursed be that tongue that tells me so, For it hath cow'd my
Macd. Then yield thee, coward,
I'll not yield,
6 • I bear a charmed life. In the days of chivalry, the champion's arms being ceremoniously blessed, each took an oath that he used no charmed weapons. Macbeth, in allusion to this custom, tells Macduff of the security he had in the prediction of the spirit. To this likewise Posthumus alludes in Cymbeline, Act v.:
I, in mine own woe charm'd,
Could not find death.'
he bears a charmed shield, And eke enchanted arms, that none can pierce.' 7. That palter with us in a double sense.' That shuffle with ambiguous expressions.