Dunsinane. A room in the castle.
(Macbeth; English Doctor; Attendants; Servant; Seyton)
Macbeth refuses to receive news of any more thanes fleeing, blustering about the safety that the prophecies have promised him. He bullies the servant who comes to warn him of the approach of the English army. But he is aware that he is not loved, and realizes that he is growing old without earning respect. He prepares himself for battle, insisting that he will put on his armor even though it is not needed yet, and sending out men to hang anyone heard speaking fearfully. Macbeth asks the doctor about Lady Macbeth, and queries whether it is possible for a physician to cure the afflictions of the mind the same way one can cure the body; but the doctor tells him that only the patient can do that. Macbeth denounces all medicine as useless and prepares to fight, as the doctor wishes he were well clear of the place. (71 lines)
Enter Macbeth, English Doctor, and Attendants.
Bring me no more reports, let them fly all.
Till Birnan wood remove to Dunsinane
I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm?
Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
All mortal consequences have pronounc’d me thus:
“Fear not, Macbeth, no man that’s born of woman
Shall e’er have power upon thee.” Then fly, false thanes,
And mingle with the English epicures!
The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear,
Shall never sag with doubt, nor shake with fear.
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-fac’d loon!
Where got’st thou that goose-look?
There is ten thousand—
Go prick thy face, and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-liver’d boy. What soldiers, patch?
Death of thy soul! Those linen cheeks of thine
Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?
The English force, so please you.
Take thy face hence.
Seyton!—I am sick at heart
When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This push
Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
I have liv’d long enough: my way of life
Is fall’n into the sear, the yellow leaf,
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
What’s your gracious pleasure?
What news more?
All is confirm’d, my lord, which was reported.
I’ll fight, till from my bones my flesh be hack’d.
Give me my armor.
’Tis not needed yet.
I’ll put it on.
Send out more horses, skirr the country round,
Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine armor.
How does your patient, doctor?
Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies,
That keep her from her rest.
Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas’d,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
Throw physic to the dogs, I’ll none of it.
Come, put mine armor on; give me my staff.
Seyton, send out. Doctor, the thanes fly from me.—
Come, sir, dispatch.— If thou couldst, doctor, cast
The water of my land, find her disease,
And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
I would applaud thee to the very echo,
That should applaud again.—Pull’t off, I say.—
What rhubarb, cyme, or what purgative drug,
Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of them?
Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
Makes us hear something.
Bring it after me.—
I will not be afraid of death and bane,
Till Birnan forest come to Dunsinane.
Exeunt all but the English Doctor.
Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
Profit again should hardly draw me here.