1 My former speeches have but hit your thoughts, 2 Which can interpret further: only, I say, 3 Things have been strangely borne. The 4 gracious Duncan 5 Was pitied of Macbeth: marry, he was dead: 6 And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late; 7 Whom, you may say, if't please you, Fleance kill'd, 8 For Fleance fled: men must not walk too late. 9 Who cannot want the thought how monstrous 10 It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain 11 To kill their gracious father? damned fact! 12 How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight 13 In pious rage the two delinquents tear, 14 That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep? 15 Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too; 16 For 'twould have anger'd any heart alive 17 To hear the men deny't. So that, I say, 18 He has borne all things well: and I do think 19 That had he Duncan's sons under his key-- 20 As, an't please heaven, he shall not--they 21 should find 22 What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance. 23 But, peace! for from broad words and 'cause he fail'd 24 His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear 25 Macduff lives in disgrace: sir, can you tell 26 Where he bestows himself?
27 The son of Duncan, 28 From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth 29 Lives in the English court, and is received 30 Of the most pious Edward with such grace 31 That the malevolence of fortune nothing 32 Takes from his high respect: thither Macduff 33 Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid 34 To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward: 35 That, by the help of these--with Him above 36 To ratify the work--we may again 37 Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights, 38 Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives, 39 Do faithful homage and receive free honours: 40 All which we pine for now: and this report 41 Hath so exasperate the king that he 42 Prepares for some attempt of war.
43 Sent he to Macduff?
44 He did: and with an absolute 'Sir, not I,' 45 The cloudy messenger turns me his back, 46 And hums, as who should say 'You'll rue the time 47 That clogs me with this answer.'
48 And that well might 49 Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance 50 His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel 51 Fly to the court of England and unfold 52 His message ere he come, that a swift blessing 53 May soon return to this our suffering country 54 Under a hand accursed!