ACT 5, SCENE 5: Dunsinane. Within the castle.

Enter MACBETH, SEYTON, and Soldiers, with drum and colours.

MACBETH: Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
The cry is still 'They come:' our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up:
Were they not forced with those that should be ours,                      [5]
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.
[A cry of women within.]
                           What is that noise?

SEYTON: It is the cry of women, my good lord.
[Exit.]

MACBETH: I have almost forgot the taste of fears;
The time has been, my senses would have cool'd                              [10]
To hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in't: I have supp'd full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts
Cannot once start me.                                                                               [15]
Re-enter SEYTON.
                           Wherefore was that cry?

SEYTON: The queen, my lord, is dead.

MACBETH: She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day                                              [20]
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage                                      [25]
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Enter a Messenger.
Thou comest to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.

Messenger: Gracious my lord,                                                                             [30]
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do it.

MACBETH:                           Well, say, sir.

Messenger: As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I look'd toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
The wood began to move.                                                                        [35]

MACBETH:                           Liar and slave!

Messenger: Let me endure your wrath, if't be not so:
Within this three mile may you see it coming;
I say, a moving grove.

MACBETH:                           If thou speak'st false,
Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,
Till famine cling thee: if thy speech be sooth,                                    [40]
I care not if thou dost for me as much.
I pull in resolution, and begin
To doubt the equivocation of the fiend
That lies like truth: 'Fear not, till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane:' and now a wood                                         [45]
Comes toward Dunsinane. Arm, arm, and out!
If this which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone.                        [50]
Ring the alarum-bell! Blow, wind! come, wrack!
At least we'll die with harness on our back.

[Exeunt.]


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