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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene IV

Act II

[Outside Macbeth’s castle]
Enter ROSS and an Old Man

Old M.Threescore and ten I can remember well;Within the volume of which time I have seenHours dreadful and things strange; but this sore nightHath trifled former knowings.Ross.Ah, good father,Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,Threatens his bloody stage. By the clock ’tis day,And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp.Is’t night’s predominance or the day’s shameThat darkness does the face of earth entomb,When living light should kiss it?Old M.’Tis unnatural,Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d.Ross.And Duncan’s horses—a thing most strange and certain—Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would makeWar with mankind.Old M.’Tis said they eat each other.Ross.They did so, to the amazement of mine eyesThat look’d upon ’t.

Here comes the good Macduff.How goes the world, sir, now?Macd.Why, see you not?Ross.Is’t known who did this more than bloody deed?Macd.Those that Macbeth hath slain.Ross.Alas, the day!What good could they pretend?Macd.They were suborn’d.Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s two sons,Are stolen away and fled; which puts upon themSuspicion of the deed.Ross.’Gainst nature still!Thriftless ambition, that will ravin upThine own life’s means! Then ’tis most likeThe sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.Macd.He is already nam’d, and gone to SconeTo be invested.Ross.Where is Duncan’s body?Macd.Carried to Colmekill,The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,And guardian of their bones.Ross.Will you to Scone?Macd.No, cousin, I’ll to Fife.Ross.Well, I will thither.Macd.Well, may you see things well done there,—adieu!—Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!Ross.Farewell, father.Old M.God’s benison go with you; and with thoseThat would make good of bad, and friends of foes!Exeunt.