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Act II.—SCENE I. Court within Macbeth's Castle.

Enter MACBETH and a Servant with a torch. Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed. (Exit Serv 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-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, Oralse 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 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 Thy very stones prate of my where-about, And take the present horror from the time

a Dudgeon—the handle of the dagger.

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.

[Erit. Enter LADY MACBETH. Lady M. That wnich 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 groomis do mock their charge with snores : I have drugg’d their possets, That death and nature do contend about them, Whether they live, or die.

Macb. [Within.] Who's there?- what, hoa!

Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd,
And it is not done:—the attempt, and not the deed,
Confounds us :-Hark!-I laid their daggers ready,
He could not miss them.--Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't-My husband !

Macb. I have done the deed :-Didst thou not hear a

noise ? Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry. Did not you speak ? Macb.

When? Lady M.

Now. Macb.

As I descended ?
Lady M. Ay.

Macb. Hark! -
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,” the

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.
Lady M.

Consider it not so deeply.
Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, amen?
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 no more! Macbeth does murther sleep, the innocent sleep; Sleep, that knits up the ravellid 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:
“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

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; 't is 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

Whence is that knocking ? How is 't with me, when every noise appals me ? What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes!

a Sleave-unwrought silk.

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand ? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green-one red.

Lady M. My hands are of your colour; but I shame
To wear a heart so white. [Knock.] I hear a 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:] Hark! more knocko

ing: 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, 't were best not know myself.

[Knock Wake Duncan with thy knocking; I would thou couldst !



BERTRAM, count of Rousillon, had newly come to his title and estate, by the death of his father. The king of France loved the father of Bertram, and when he heard of his death, he sent for his son to come imme. diately to his royal court in Paris, intending, for the friendship he bore the late count, to grace young Bertram with his especial favour and protection.

Bertram was living with his mother, the widowed countess, when Lafeu, an old lord of the French court, came to conduct him to the king. The king of France was an absolute monarch, and the invitation to court was in the form of a royal mandate, or positive command, which no subject, of what high dignity soever, might disobey ; therefore, though the countess, in parting with this dear son, seemed a second time to bury her husband, whose loss she had so lately mourned, yet she dared not to keep him a single day, but gave instant orders for his departure. Lafeu, who came to fetch him, tried to comfort the countess for the loss of her 'late lord, and her son's sudden absence; and he said, in a courtier's flattering manner, that the king was so kind a prince, she would find in his majesty a husband, and that he would be a father to her son : meaning only, that the good king would befriend the fortunes of Bertram. Lafeu told the countess that the king had fallen into a sad malady, which was pronounced by his physicians to be incurable. The lady expressed great sorrow on hearing this account of the king's ill health, and said, she

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