Macbeth

Alarum within.
Enter King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox, with Attendants, meeting a bleeding captain.

DUNCAN:
What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.

MALCOLM:
     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.

CAPTAIN:
     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 villanies of nature
Do swarm upon him) from the Western Isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is suppli'd,
And fortune on his damned quarry smiling,
Show'd like a rebel's whore : but all too weak :
For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smok'd with bloody execution,
(Like Valour's minion) carv'd out his passage,
Till he fac'd the slave :
Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to th' chops,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements.

DUNCAN:
O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman.

CAPTAIN:
As whence the sun 'gins his reflection,
Shipwracking 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 Valour 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.

DUNCAN:
Dismay'd not this our Captains, Macbeth and Banquo?

CAPTAIN:
Yes 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.

DUNCAN:
So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds,
They smack of honour both : go get him surgeons.

Exit Captain, attended.

Who comes here?

Enter Ross and Angus.

MALCOLM:
     The worthy Thane of Ross.

LENNOX:
What a haste looks through his eyes!
So should he look, that seems to speak things strange.

ROSS:
     God save the King.

DUNCAN:
Whence cam'st thou, worthy Thane?

ROSS:
     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.

DUNCAN:
     Great happiness.

ROSS:
          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.

DUNCAN:
No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest : go pronounce his present death,
And with his former title greet Macbeth.

ROSS:
I'll see it done.

DUNCAN:
What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.

Exeunt.

Back to Macbeth I.i | Forward to Macbeth I.iii

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.