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Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage:(49) by the clock 'tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp :(50)
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 M.

'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 horse',(51)-a thing most strange and


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 M.

'Tis said they eat each other. Ross. They did so,-to th' amazement of mine eyes, That look'd upon't.-Here comes the good Macduff.


How goes the world, sir, now?


Why, see you not?

Ross. Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?
Macd. Those that Macbeth hath slain.

Alas, the day!

What good could they pretend?

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.

'Gainst nature still:
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life's means!-Then 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth. (52)

Macd. He is already nam'd; and gone to Scone

To be invested.

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And guardian of their bones.


Macd. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.

Well, I will thither.

Macd. Well, may you see things well done there,-

Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!

Ross. Farewell, father.

Old M. God's benison go with you; and with those
That would make good of bad, and friends of foes! [Exeunt.

Will you to Scone?


SCENE I. Forres. A room in the palace.


Ban. Thou hast it now,-king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promis'd; and, I fear,

Thou play'dst most foully for't: yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity;

But that myself should be the root and father

Of many kings. If there come truth from them,—


upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine,—

Why, by the verities on thee made good,

May they not be my oracles as well,

And set me up in hope? But, hush; no more.

Sennet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as king; Lady MACBETH, as queen;

LENNOX, Ross, Lords, Ladies, and Attendants.

Macb. Here's our chief guest.
Lady M.
It had been as a gap in our great feast,
And all-thing unbecoming.

And I'll request your presence.


If he had been forgotten,

To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir,

Let your highness

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Command upon me ;(53) to the which my duties

Are with a most indissoluble tie

For ever knit.

Macb. Ride you this afternoon?


Ay, my good lord.
Macb. We should have else desir'd your good advice--
Which still hath been both grave and prosperous-
In this day's council; but we'll take(54) to-morrow.
Is't far
you ride?

Ban. As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
'Twixt this and supper: go not my horse the better,
I must become a borrower of the night

For a dark hour or twain.

Fail not our feast.

Ban. My lord, I will not.
Macb. We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd
In England and in Ireland; not confessing
Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers

With strange invention: but of that to-morrow;
When therewithal we shall have cause of state
Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse: adieu,
Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?
Ban. Ay, my good lord: our time does call upon
Macb. I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
And so I do commend you to their backs.

[Exit Banquo.

Let every man be master of his time

Till seven at night; to make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself

Till supper-time alone: while then, God b' wi' you!
[Exeunt all except Macbeth and an Attendant.
Sirrah, a word with you: attend those men
Our pleasure?

Atten. They are, my lord, without the palace-gate.
Macb. Bring them before us.
[Exit Attendant.
To be thus is nothing;
But to be safely thus.-Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares;
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,

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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; as, it is said,
Mark Antony's was by Caesar's. (54*)
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't be so,
For Banquo's issue have I fil'd my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;

Put rancours in the vessel of my peace

Only for them; and mine eternal jewel

Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed(55) of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come, fate, into the list,
And champion me to th' utterance!-Who's there?

He chid the sisters,

Re-enter Attendant, with two Murderers.

Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.


Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
First Mur. It was, so please your highness.


[Exit Attendant.



consider'd of my speeches? Know


That it was he, in the times past, which held
So under fortune; which you thought had been
Our innocent self: this I made good to you
In our last conference, pass'd in probation with you,


you were borne in hand, how cross'd, the instruments,

Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
To half a soul and to a notion craz'd

Say "Thus did Banquo."

First Mur.

You made it known to us.

Macb. I did so; and went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature,


Well then, now

That you can let this go? Are you so gospell'd,
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bow'd
And beggar'd yours for ever?

you to the grave,

First Mur.

We are men, my liege. Macb. Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men ; As hounds, and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs, Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are clept All by the name of dogs: the valu'd file Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle, The housekeeper, the hunter, every one According to the gift which bounteous nature Hath in him clos'd; whereby he does receive Particular addition, from the bill

That writes them all alike: and so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
And(56) not i' the worst rank of manhood, say't;
And I will put that business in your bosoms,
Whose execution takes your enemy off;
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect.

Sec. Mur.
I am one, my liege,
Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
Have so incens'd, that I am reckless what

I do to spite the world.

First Mur.

And I another,
So weary(57) with disasters, tugg'd with fortune,
That I would set my life on any chance,

To mend it, or be rid on't.

Know Banquo was your enemy.
Both Mur.

True, my lord.

Macb. So is he mine; and in such bloody distance, That every minute of his being thrusts Against my near'st of life: and though I could With barefac'd power sweep him from my sight, And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not, For certain friends that are both his and mine, Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall

Both of you

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