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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act V. Scene II.


The Country near Dunsinane.

Enter, with drum and colours, MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, and Soldiers.

Ment.The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,

His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.

Revenges burn in them; for their dear causes

Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm

Excite the mortified man.

Ang.Near Birnam wood

Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.

Caith.Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?

Len.For certain, sir, he is not: I have a file

Of all the gentry: there is Siward’s son,

And many unrough youths that even now

Protest their first of manhood.

Ment.What does the tyrant?

Caith.Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.

Some say he’s mad; others that lesser hate him

Do call it valiant fury; but, for certain,

He cannot buckle his distemper’d cause

Within the belt of rule.

Ang.Now does he feel

His secret murders sticking on his hands;

Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach;

Those he commands move only in command,

Nothing in love; now does he feel his title

Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe

Upon a dwarfish thief.

Ment.Who then shall blame

His pester’d senses to recoil and start,

When all that is within him does condemn

Itself for being there?

Caith.Well, march we on,

To give obedience where ’tis truly ow’d;

Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal,

And with him pour we in our country’s purge

Each drop of us.

Len.Or so much as it needs

To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.

Make we our march towards Birnam.[Exeunt, marching.