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That, trusted home,
Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,
Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange:
And oftentimes to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
In deepest consequence.—
Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme. I thank you, gentlemen.
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill; cannot be good:-If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth?
I am Thane of Cawdor:
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature?
Look, how our partner's rapt. Macb. If chance will have me king, why, chance
New honours come upon him Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould,
Come what come may, Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your lei
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness,
To catch the nearest way: Thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition; but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win: Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crown'd withal.--What is your
Enter an Attendant.
Atten. The king comes here to-night.
Is not thy master with him? who, wer't so,
Would have inform'd for preparation.
Atten. So please you, it is true; our thane is
One of my fellows had the speed of him;
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make up his message.
He brings great news. The raven himself is hoarse,
Give him tending,
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
That tend on mortal* thoughts, unsex me here;
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
And fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse;
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect, and it. Come, thickest night,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes;
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell!
Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry, 66
Hold, hold!"'. -Great Glamis, worthy
Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.
And when goes hence?
Macb. To morrow,- -as he purposes.
Shall sun that morrow see!
Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men
May read strange matters:-To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Enter Lady MACBETH, reading a letter. Lady M. "They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came mis-Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent sives from the king, who all hailed me, 'Thane of Cawdor; by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with Hail, king that shalt be!' This I have thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness; that thou mightest not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and fare
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promis'd:-Yet do I fear thy na-
See, see! our honour'd hostess! The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, Which we still thank as love.
Lady M. All our service Were poor and single business, to contend Against those honours deep and broad, wherewith Your majesty loads our house: For those of old And the late dignities heap'd up to them, We rest your hermits.
Dun. Where's the Thane of Cawdor? We cours'd him at the heels, and had a purpose To be his purveyor: but he rides well;
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp
To his home before us: Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guests to-night. Give me your hand:
Conduct me to mine host; we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.
SCENE.-The same. A Room in the Castle. Hautboys and torches, Enter, and pass over the stage, a Sewer, and divers Servants with dishes and service. Then enter MACBETH.
He hath honoured me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.
Was the hope drunk,
Wherein you dressed yourself? hath it slept since ?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time,
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour,
As thou art in desire?
Does unmake you,
If we should fail,We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking place, Macb. If it were done, when 'tis done, then And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep
It were done quickly: If the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all, here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'd jump the life to come. But in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which being taught, return
To plague the inventor: This even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed: then, as his host,
Who should against his murtherer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off:
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors'd
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
(Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
Soundly invite him), his two chamberlains
Will I with wine and wassel so convince,
That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only: When in swinish sleep
Their drenched natures lie, as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
His spongy officers; who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?
Will it not be receiv'd
When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two,
Of his own chamber, and us'd their very daggers,
That they have done't?
Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
Upon his death?
Macb. I am settled, and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show: False face must hide what the false heart doth know. [Exeunt.
SCENE.-The same. Court within the Castle.
Enter BANQUO and MACBETH.
Lady M. That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold:
Ban. I dreamt last night of the three weird sis- What hath quench'd them hath given me fire: ters:
To you they have showed some truth.
Macb. I think not of them: Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve, We would spend it in some words upon that busi
If you would grant the time.
At your kind'st leisure. Macb. If you shall cleave to my consent,-when 'tis,
It shall make honour for you.
So I lose none, In seeking to augment it, but still keep My bosom franchis'd, and allegiance clear, I shall be counsell'd.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come let me clutch
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going,
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still;
And on thy blade, and dudgeon,* gouts of blood,
Which was not so before.-There's no such thing.
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes.-Now o'er the one half world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain'd sleep: witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murther,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's] his watch, thus with his stealthy
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design Moves like a ghost.Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
The very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it.-Whiles I threat he
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives. [A bell rings.
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.
* Dudgeon means handle.
Hark! Peace! It was the owl that shriek'd,
The fatal bellman which gives the stern'st good
Who lies i' the second chamber? Lady M.
Macb. This is a sorry sight.
[Looking on his hands. Lady M. A foolish thought to say a sorry sight. Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, And one cried "murther!" that they did wake each other;
I stood and heard them; but they did say their prayers,
And address'd them again to sleep.
Lady M. There are two lodg'd together.
Macb. One cried, "God bless us !" and "Amen,"
As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say Amen,
When they did say God bless us.
Consider it not so deeply.
Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce,
I had most need of blessing, and Amen
Stuck in my throat.
Lady M. These deeds must not be thought After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, “ Sleep
Macb. Still it cried, "Sleep no more!" to all the house:
"Glamis hath murther'd sleep and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more." Lady M. Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brainsickly of things:-Go, get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.-
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there: Go, carry them; and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
I'll go no more: I am afaid to think what I have done;
Look on't again I dare not.
Lady M. Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers: The sleeping and the dead Are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed, I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal, For it must seem their guilt.
[Exit. Knocking within. Macb. Whence is that knocking? How is't with me, when every noise appals me? What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes! Will all great Neptune's
Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will
SCENE-Without the Castle.
Enter Rosse and an Old Man.
Old M. 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.
Thou see'st, 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 intomb,
When living light should kiss it?
Here comes the good Macduff:-
How goes the world, sir, now?
Macd. Why, see you not?
Rosse. Is't known who did this more than bloody
[Exeunt Lady MACBETH, Lords, Ladies, &c. Sirrah, a word with you: Attend those men our pleasure?
Attend. They are, my lord, without the palace
Macb. Bring them before us.-[Exit Atten.]-
To be thus, is nothing;
But to be safely thus:-Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
I will advise you where to plant yourselves.
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time,
The moment on't; for't must be done to-night,
And something from the palace.
Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
(Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father's,) must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart;
I'll come to you anon,
We are resolved, my lord. Mach. I'll call upon you straight; abide within, It is concluded:-Banquo, thy soul's flight,
Reigns that which would be feared: 'tis much he If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.
And to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety. There is none but he,
Whose being I do fear and under him
My genius is rebuk'd. IIe chid the sisters,
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him; then, prophet-like,
They hail'd him father to a line of kings:
Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If it be so,
For Banquo's issue have I fill'd my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murther'd;
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Rather than so, come, fate, into the list,
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
And champion me to the utterance!-Who's there?
Re-enter Attendant, with two Murderers.
Now to the door, and stay there till we call.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
1 Mur. It was, so please your highness.
Have you considered of my speeches ?
Nought's had, all's spent
Where our desire is got without content;
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy,
Than, by destruction, dwell in doubtful joy.
How now, my lord? why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making?
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without remedy,
Should be without regard: what's done is done.
She'll close, and be herself; whilst our poor malice
Macb. We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it;
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let the frame of things disjoint, both the
Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams,
That shake us nightly: Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstacy.+ Duncan is in his grave
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well;
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
I am one, my liege, Can touch him further!
Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
Have so incens'd, that I am reckless what
I do, to spite the world.
Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks:
Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.
Macb. So shall I, love; and so, pray, be you:
Let your remembrance apply to Banquo;
Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue
Unsafe the while, that we
Must leave our honours in these flattering streams,
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
Disguising what they are.
*Sorriest here means most melancholy.
Ecstacy means agony,