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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
Th’ unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?

Bring forth men-children only ;
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males. 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'm 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.


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Lady M.


SCENE I. Inverness. Court of MACBETH's castle.

Enter Banquo, preceded by FLEANCE with a torch.(39)
Ban. How goes the night, boy?
Fle. The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
Ban. And she goes down at twelve.

I take 't, 'tis later, sir.
Ban. Hold, take my sword :—there's husbandry in heaven,
Their candles are all out :-take thee that too. -
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep :-merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose !-Give me my sword.—
Who's there?



Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch.
Macb. A friend.

Ban. What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's a-bed:
He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
Sent forth great largess to your officers :
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
In measureless content. (40)

Being unprepar'd,
Our will became the servant to defect;
Which else should free have wrought.

All's well.
I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters :
To you they've show'd some truth.

I think not of them :
Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that business,
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.

Good repose the while !
Ban. Thanks, sir: the like to you !

[Exeunt Banquo and Fleance. Macb. Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell.

Get thee to bed.

[Exit Servant.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward

my hand ? Come, let me clutch thee :-
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-oppressèd brain ?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.


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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'th' 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 ; now witchcraft celebrates(41)
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murder,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
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(42)
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives :
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.


Enter Lady Macbeth.
Lady M. That which hath made them drunk hath made

me bold;
What hath quench'd them hath given me fire.—Hark!—Peace!
It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it:
The doors are open ; and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores : I've drugg'd their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die.

Macb. [within] Who's there? what, ho !

Lady M. Alack, I am afraid they have awak’d, And ’tis not done :—th' attempt, and not the deed, Confounds us.(43)— Hark !—I laid their daggers ready; He could not miss 'em.-Had he not resembled


My father as he slept, I had done’t.-— My husband !

Re-enter MACBETH.
Macb. I've done the deed.—Didst thou not hear a noise ?

Lody M. I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak?

Lady M.

Now. Macb.

As I descended ?
Lady M. Ay.

Macb. Hark!-
Who lies i' the second chamber?
Lady M.

Mach. 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's sleep, and one cried

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!" the

As they had seen me, with these hangman's hands,
Listening their fear:(44) I could not say “ Amen!"
When they did say “God bless us !"
Lady M.

Consider it not so deeply.
Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce “ Amen ”?
I had most need of blessing, and " Amen"

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 no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep,”—the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast,
Lady M.

What do you mean?
Macb. Still it cried “Sleep no more !" to all the house :

Stuck in



“ Glamis hath murder'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 afraid 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 rne?
What hands are here ? ha! they pluck out mine eyes !
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand ? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnardine,
Making the green one red.

Re-enter Lady MACBETH. Lady M. My hands are of your colour ; but I shame To wear a heart so white. [Knocking within.] I hear

knocking At the south entry :-retire we to our chamber : A little water clears us of this deed : How easy is it, then! Your constancy Hath left you unattended.—[Knocking within.] Hark! more

knocking: Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us, And show us to be watchers :- be not lost So poorly in your thoughts. Macb. To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.

[Knocking within.

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