Act I, Scene II

A Camp near Forres.

[Alarum within. Enter King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox,

with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Soldier.]


What bloody man is that? He can report,

As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt

The newest state.


This is the sergeant

Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought

'Gainst my captivity.--Hail, brave friend!

Say to the king the knowledge of the broil

As thou didst leave it.


Doubtful it stood;

As two spent swimmers that do cling together

And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald,--

Worthy to be a rebel,--for to that

The multiplying villainies of nature

Do swarm upon him,--from the Western isles

Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied;

And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,

Show'd like a rebel's whore. But all's too weak;

For brave Macbeth,--well he deserves that name,--

Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,

Which smok'd with bloody execution,

Like valor's minion,

Carv'd out his passag tTill he fac'd the slave;

And ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,

Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,

And fix'd his head upon our battlements.


O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!


As whence the sun 'gins his reflection

Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break;

So from that spring, whence comfort seem'd to come

Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:

No sooner justice had, with valor arm'd,

Compell'd these skipping kerns to trust their heels,

But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,

With furbish'd arms and new supplies of men,

Began a fresh assault.


Dismay'd not this

Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?



As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.

If I say sooth, I must report they were

As cannons overcharg'd with double cracks;

So they

Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe:

Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,

Or memorize another Golgotha,

I cannot tell:--

But I am faint; my gashes cry for help.


So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;

They smack of honor both.--Go, get him surgeons.

[Exit Soldier, attended.]

Who comes here?


The worthy Thane of Ross.


What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look

That seems to speak things strange.

[Enter Ross.]


God save the King!


Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane?


From Fife, great king;

Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky

And fan our people cold.

Norway himself, with terrible numbers,

Assisted by that most disloyal traitor

The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;

Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,

Confronted him with self-comparisons,

Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm,

Curbing his lavish spirit: and, to conclude,

The victory fell on us.


Great happiness!


That now

Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition;

Nor would we deign him burial of his men

Till he disbursed, at Saint Colme's-inch,

Ten thousand dollars to our general use.


No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive

Our bosom interest:--go pronounce his present death,

And with his former title greet Macbeth.


I'll see it done.


What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.