First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Rosse, with an Old man.Enter Ross with an Old Man Mac II.iv.1
Old man.OLD MAN 
Threescore and ten I can remember well,Threescore-and-ten I can remember well; Mac II.iv.1
Within the Volume of which Time, I haue seeneWithin the volume of which time I have seen Mac II.iv.2
Houres dreadfull, and things strange: but this sore NightHours dreadful and things strange; but this sore nightsore (adj.)
violent, harsh, dreadful
Mac II.iv.3
Hath trifled former knowings.Hath trifled former knowings.trifle (v.)
make trivial, render insignificant
Mac II.iv.4.1
Ha, good Father,Ha, good father,father (n.)
old man, venerable sir
Mac II.iv.4.2
Thou seest the Heauens, as troubled with mans Act,Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man's act, Mac II.iv.5
Threatens his bloody Stage: byth' Clock 'tis Day,Threatens his bloody stage. By the clock 'tis day, Mac II.iv.6
And yet darke Night strangles the trauailing Lampe:And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp;strangle (v.)
quench, eclipse, stifle
Mac II.iv.7
Is't Nights predominance, or the Dayes shame,Is't night's predominance or the day's shamepredominance (n.)
ascendancy, predominant influence, authority
Mac II.iv.8
That Darknesse does the face of Earth intombe,That darkness does the face of earth entomb Mac II.iv.9
When liuing Light should kisse it?When living light should kiss it? Mac II.iv.10.1
Old man.OLD MAN 
'Tis vnnaturall,'Tis unnatural, Mac II.iv.10.2
Euen like the deed that's done: On Tuesday last,Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last, Mac II.iv.11
A Faulcon towring in her pride of place,A falcon towering in her pride of placepride of place
highest point reached by a bird of prey before swooping down
Mac II.iv.12
tower (v.)

old form: towring
[falconry] mount up to a great height, circle, soar
Was by a Mowsing Owle hawkt at, and kill'd.Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.hawk at (v.)

old form: hawkt
pursue, attack, chase
Mac II.iv.13
And Duncans Horses, (A thing most strange, and certaine)And Duncan's horses – a thing most strange and certain – Mac II.iv.14
Beauteous, and swift, the Minions of their Race,Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,minion (n.)
darling, favourite, select one
Mac II.iv.15
Turn'd wilde in nature, broke their stalls, flong out,Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, Mac II.iv.16
Contending 'gainst Obedience, as they wouldContending 'gainst obedience, as they wouldcontend (v.)
fight, engage in combat, struggle
Mac II.iv.17
Make Warre with Mankinde.Make war with mankind. Mac II.iv.18.1
Old man.OLD MAN 
'Tis said, they eate each other.'Tis said they ate each other. Mac II.iv.18.2
They did so: To th' amazement of mine eyesThey did so, to the amazement of mine eyes Mac II.iv.19
that look'd vpon't.That looked upon't. Mac II.iv.20.1
Enter Macduffe.Enter Macduff Mac II.iv.20
Heere comes the good Macduffe.Here comes the good Macduff. Mac II.iv.20.2
How goes the world Sir, now?How goes the world, sir, now? Mac II.iv.21.1
Why see you not?Why, see you not? Mac II.iv.21.2
Is't known who did this more then bloody deed?Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?bloody (adj.)
involving bloodshed
Mac II.iv.22
Those that Macbeth hath slaine.Those that Macbeth hath slain. Mac II.iv.23.1
Alas the day,Alas the day! Mac II.iv.23.2
What good could they pretend?What good could they pretend?pretend (v.)
intend, design, plan
Mac II.iv.24.1
They were subborned,They were suborned.suborn (v.)
bribe, corrupt, persuade [someone] to commit perjury
Mac II.iv.24.2
Malcolme, and Donalbaine the Kings two SonnesMalcolm and Donalbain, the King's two sons, Mac II.iv.25
Are stolne away and fled, which puts vpon themAre stolen away and fled, which puts upon them Mac II.iv.26
Suspition of the deed.Suspicion of the deed. Mac II.iv.27.1
'Gainst Nature still,'Gainst nature still!still (adv.)
constantly, always, continually
Mac II.iv.27.2
Thriftlesse Ambition, that will rauen vpThriftless ambition, that wilt raven upraven up (v.)

old form: rauen vp
feed ravenously on, devour voraciously
Mac II.iv.28
Thine owne liues meanes: Then 'tis most like,Thine own life's means! – Then 'tis most likelike (adv.)
likely, probable / probably
Mac II.iv.29
The Soueraignty will fall vpon Macbeth.The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth? Mac II.iv.30
He is already nam'd, and gone to SconeHe is already named and gone to Sconename (v.)

old form: nam'd
appoint, choose, designate [to an office]
Mac II.iv.31
To be inuested.To be invested. Mac II.iv.32.1
Where is Duncans body?Where is Duncan's body? Mac II.iv.32.2
Carried to Colmekill,Carried to Colmekill,Colmekill (n.)
Iona, island off the W coast of Scotland; once the traditional burial place for Scottish kings
Mac II.iv.33
The Sacred Store-house of his Predecessors,The sacred storehouse of his predecessors Mac II.iv.34
And Guardian of their Bones.And guardian of their bones. Mac II.iv.35.1
Will you to Scone?Will you to Scone? Mac II.iv.35.2
No Cosin, Ile to Fife.No, cousin, I'll to Fife. Mac II.iv.36.1
Well, I will thither.Well, I will thither. Mac II.iv.36.2
Well may you see things wel done there: AdieuWell, may you see things well done there – Adieu! – Mac II.iv.37
Least our old Robes sit easier then our new.Lest our old robes sit easier than our new. Mac II.iv.38
Farewell, Father.Farewell, father. Mac II.iv.39
Gods benyson go with you, and with thoseGod's benison go with you, and with thosebenison (n.)

old form: benyson
blessing, benediction
Mac II.iv.40
That would make good of bad, and Friends of Foes.That would make good of bad, and friends of foes! Mac II.iv.41
Exeunt omnesExeunt Mac II.iv.41
 Previous Act II, Scene IV Next  

Jump directly to