Scena Secunda.

Enter Macduffes Wife, her Son, and Rosse.

Wife. What had he done, to make him fly the Land? Rosse. You must haue patience Madam

Wife. He had none: His flight was madnesse: when our Actions do not, Our feares do make vs Traitors

Rosse. You know not Whether it was his wisedome, or his feare

Wife. Wisedom? to leaue his wife, to leaue his Babes, His Mansion, and his Titles, in a place From whence himselfe do's flye? He loues vs not, He wants the naturall touch. For the poore Wren (The most diminitiue of Birds) will fight, Her yong ones in her Nest, against the Owle: All is the Feare, and nothing is the Loue; As little is the Wisedome, where the flight So runnes against all reason

Rosse. My deerest Cooz, I pray you schoole your selfe. But for your Husband, He is Noble, Wise, Iudicious, and best knowes The fits o'th' Season. I dare not speake much further, But cruell are the times, when we are Traitors And do not know our selues: when we hold Rumor From what we feare, yet know not what we feare, But floate vpon a wilde and violent Sea Each way, and moue. I take my leaue of you: Shall not be long but Ile be heere againe: Things at the worst will cease, or else climbe vpward, To what they were before. My pretty Cosine, Blessing vpon you

Wife. Father'd he is, And yet hee's Father-lesse

Rosse. I am so much a Foole, should I stay longer It would be my disgrace, and your discomfort. I take my leaue at once.

Exit Rosse.

Wife. Sirra, your Fathers dead, And what will you do now? How will you liue? Son. As Birds do Mother

Wife. What with Wormes, and Flyes? Son. With what I get I meane, and so do they

Wife. Poore Bird, Thou'dst neuer Feare the Net, nor Lime, The Pitfall, nor the Gin

Son. Why should I Mother? Poore Birds they are not set for: My Father is not dead for all your saying

Wife. Yes, he is dead: How wilt thou do for a Father? Son. Nay how will you do for a Husband? Wife. Why I can buy me twenty at any Market

Son. Then you'l by 'em to sell againe

Wife. Thou speak'st withall thy wit, And yet I'faith with wit enough for thee

Son. Was my Father a Traitor, Mother? Wife. I, that he was

Son. What is a Traitor? Wife. Why one that sweares, and lyes

Son. And be all Traitors, that do so

Wife. Euery one that do's so, is a Traitor, And must be hang'd

Son. And must they all be hang'd, that swear and lye? Wife. Euery one

Son. Who must hang them? Wife. Why, the honest men

Son. Then the Liars and Swearers are Fools: for there are Lyars and Swearers enow, to beate the honest men, and hang vp them

Wife. Now God helpe thee, poore Monkie: But how wilt thou do for a Father? Son. If he were dead, youl'd weepe for him: if you would not, it were a good signe, that I should quickely haue a new Father

Wife. Poore pratler, how thou talk'st? Enter a Messenger.

Mes. Blesse you faire Dame: I am not to you known, Though in your state of Honor I am perfect; I doubt some danger do's approach you neerely. If you will take a homely mans aduice, Be not found heere: Hence with your little ones To fright you thus. Me thinkes I am too sauage: To do worse to you, were fell Cruelty, Which is too nie your person. Heauen preserue you, I dare abide no longer.

Exit Messenger

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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