Document: All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Macbeth > Act II, scene IV
[Enter ROSS and an old Man]
Old Man: Threescore and ten I can remember well:
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.
ROSS: Ah, good father,
Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp:
Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?
Old Man: 'Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.
ROSS: And Duncan's horses--a thing most strange and certain--
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.
Old Man: 'Tis said they eat each other.
ROSS: They did so, to the amazement of mine eyes
That look'd upon't. Here comes the good Macduff.
How goes the world, sir, now?
MACDUFF: Why, see you not?
ROSS: Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?
MACDUFF: Those that Macbeth hath slain.
ROSS: Alas, the day!
What good could they pretend?
MACDUFF: They were suborn'd:
Malcolm and Donalbain, the king's two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.
ROSS: 'Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life's means! Then 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
MACDUFF: He is already named, and gone to Scone
To be invested.
ROSS: Where is Duncan's body?
MACDUFF: Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.
ROSS: Will you to Scone?
MACDUFF: No, cousin, I'll to Fife.
ROSS: Well, I will thither.
MACDUFF: Well, may you see things well done there: adieu!
Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!
ROSS: Farewell, father.
Old Man: God's benison go with you; and with those
That would make good of bad, and friends of foes!