Main Text


Enter Lennox, and another Lord
Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus1

lennox My former speeches have but hit your thoughts

pg 166

2Which can interpret further; only I say

3Things have been strangely borne. The gracious Duncan

4Was pitied of Macbeth—marry he was dead;

5And the right valiant Banquo walked too late,

6Whom you may say, if't please you, Fleance killed,

7For Fleance fled—men must not walk too late.

Editor’s Note Link 8Who cannot want the thought, how monstrous

9It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain

Editor’s Note10To kill their gracious father? Damnèd fact,

11How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight

Editor’s Note Link 12In pious rage the two delinquents tear,

Link 13That were the slaves of drink, and thralls of sleep?

14Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too—

15For 'twould have angered any heart alive

16To hear the men deny't. So that I say,

17He has borne all things well, and I do think,

18That had he Duncan's sons under his key—

Editor’s Note19As, an't please Heaven, he shall not—they should find

20What 'twere to kill a father: so should Fleance.

Editor’s Note21But peace—for from broad words, and 'cause he failed

22His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear

Link 23Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Link 24Where he bestows himself?

lord The son of Duncan,

25From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,

26Lives in the English court, and is received

Editor’s Note27Of the most pious Edward, with such grace

Editor’s Note Link 28That the malevolence of fortune nothing

pg 167

29Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduff

Editor’s Note30Is gone, to pray the holy King upon his aid

Link 31To wake Northumberland and warlike Seyward,

32That by the help of these—with Him above

33To ratify the work—we may again

34Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,

Editor’s Note Link 35Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,

36Do faithful homage, and receive free honours—

37All which we pine for now. And this report

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Link 38Hath so exasperate their King, that he

Link 39Prepares for some attempt of war.


lennox Sent he to Macduff?

Editor’s Note41

lord He did—and with an absolute 'Sir, not I',

Link 42The cloudy messenger turns me his back,

Link 43And hums; as who should say, 'You'll rue the time

Editor’s Note44That clogs me with this answer.'

lennox And that well might

Link 45Advise him to a caution, t'hold what distance

46His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel

47Fly to the court of England, and unfold

48His message ere he come, that a swift blessing

Editor’s Note49May soon return to this our suffering country,

50Under a hand accursed.


lord I'll send my prayers with him.


Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
3.6.1] rowe; two lines ending … Speeches | … Thoughts f
Editor’s Note
3.6.1–2 An indication of the oblique language essential when you can trust nobody in case your conversation (or your telephone) is tapped by a tyrannical government.
Editor’s Note
1 hit agreed with (OED ll.16). coincided with
Editor’s Note
8 cannot want the thought Empson, Seven Types, p. 209, comments that 'can want' is the meaning which comes through powerfully, though the '-not' 'acts as a sly touch of disorder'. A nice point, not invalidated by the fact that in Elizabethan English double negatives normally intensified rather than cancelled out, and 'want' (= lacks) is a negative verb.
Editor’s Note
10 fact 1. deed; 2. fact (if true)
Editor’s Note
12 pious faithful in appropriate regard for superiors, parents, etc.
Editor’s Note
19 an't if it; 'and' was standardly used in this sense
Editor’s Note
21 broad outspoken
Critical Apparatus
3.6.24 son] theobald; Sonnes f
Editor’s Note
24 son F's 'sonnes' is either a misprint or an author's slip—Donalbain went to Ireland and never re-enters the play.
Editor’s Note
27 most pious Edward Edward the Confessor; 'pious' here is in its modern sense, Edward was regarded as a saint
Editor’s Note
28–9 That … respect i.e. his exile is not counted against him
Editor’s Note
30 upon his aid on his behalf
Editor’s Note
35 i.e. enjoy our feasts free from the threat of bloody knives
Critical Apparatus
38 their| f; the hanmer
Editor’s Note
38 exasperate exasperated
their King i.e. Edward. See Introduction, pp. 51–3, where the textual problems of this passage are discussed.
Editor’s Note
41 absolute peremptory (of Macduff's tone)
Editor’s Note
44 clogs obstructs
Editor’s Note
49–50 suffering country, | Under The syntax is double: 'suffering' qualifies 'country' and also governs 'Under', i.e. 'suffering under a hand accursed'.
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