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    Act 3. Scene VI

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    Chapter 17
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    SCENE VI. Forres. The palace.

    Enter LENNOX and another Lord
    LENNOX
    My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
    Which can interpret further: only, I say,
    Things have been strangely borne. The
    gracious Duncan
    Was pitied of Macbeth: marry, he was dead:
    And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late;
    Whom, you may say, if't please you, Fleance kill'd,
    For Fleance fled: men must not walk too late.
    Who cannot want the thought how monstrous
    It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
    To kill their gracious father? damned fact!
    How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight
    In pious rage the two delinquents tear,
    That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
    Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
    For 'twould have anger'd any heart alive
    To hear the men deny't. So that, I say,
    He has borne all things well: and I do think
    That had he Duncan's sons under his key--
    As, an't please heaven, he shall not--they
    should find
    What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance.
    But, peace! for from broad words and 'cause he fail'd
    His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear
    Macduff lives in disgrace: sir, can you tell
    Where he bestows himself?

    Lord
    The son of Duncan,
    From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth
    Lives in the English court, and is received
    Of the most pious Edward with such grace
    That the malevolence of fortune nothing
    Takes from his high respect: thither Macduff
    Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid
    To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward:
    That, by the help of these--with Him above
    To ratify the work--we may again
    Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
    Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
    Do faithful homage and receive free honours:
    All which we pine for now: and this report
    Hath so exasperate the king that he
    Prepares for some attempt of war.

    LENNOX
    Sent he to Macduff?

    Lord
    He did: and with an absolute 'Sir, not I,'
    The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
    And hums, as who should say 'You'll rue the time
    That clogs me with this answer.'

    LENNOX
    And that well might
    Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
    His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
    Fly to the court of England and unfold
    His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
    May soon return to this our suffering country
    Under a hand accursed!

    Lord
    I'll send my prayers with him.

    Exeunt
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