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The subject of our watch.
Third Mur.

Hark! I hear horses.
Ban. [Within] Give us a light there, ho !
Sec. Mur.

Then 'tis he: the rest
That are within the note of expectation

Already are i' the court. First Mur.

His horses


about. Third Mur. Almost a mile: but he does usually

So all men do—from hence to the palace gate

Make it their walk. Sec. Mur.

A light, a light!

Enter Banquo, and Fleance with a torch.
Third Mur.

'Tis he.
First Mur. Stand to 't.
Ban. It will be rain to-night.
First Mur.

Let it come down.

[They set upon Banquo. Ban. O, treachery ! Fly, good Fleance, iy, fly, fly! Thou mayst revenge.

O slave!

[Dies. Fleance escapes. Third Mur. Who did strike out the light? First Mur.

Was 't not the way? Third Mur. There's but one down; the son is filed. Sec. Mur.

We have lost 20

Best half of our affair. First Mur. Well, let's away and say how much is done.


Scene IV.

Hall in the palace.

A banquet prepared. Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth,

Ross, Lennox, Lords, and Attendants. Macb. You know your own degrees ; sit down : at first

And last a hearty welcome. Lords.

Thanks to your majesty. Macb. Ourself will mingle with society

And play the humble host.
Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time

We will require her welcome.
Lady M. Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends,
For my heart speaks they are welcome.

Enter first Murderer to the door.
Macb. See, they encounter thee with their hearts'

Both sides are even : here I 'll sit i' the midst :
Be large in mirth ; anon we'll drink a measure

10 20

The table round. [Approaching the door] There's

blood upon thy face.
Mur. 'Tis Banquo's then.
Macb. "Tis better thee without than he within.

Is he dispatch'd ?
Mur. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.
Macb. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: yet he's

That did the like for Fleance : if thou didst it,

Thou art the nonpareil.

Most royal sir,
Fleance is 'scaped.
Macb. [Aside] Then comes my fit again : I had else

been perfect,
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air :
But now I am cabin'd, cribb’d, confined, bound in

To saucy doubts and fears.—But Banquo's safe?
Mur. Ay, my good lord: safe in a ditch he bides,

With twenty trenched gashes on his head ;

The least a death to nature.

Thanks for that.
[Aside] There the grown serpent lies; the worm

that's fled Hath nature that in time will venom breed, 30

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No teeth for the present. Get thee gone: to-morrow

We'll hear ourselves again. [Exit Murderer. Lady M.

My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer : the feast is sold
That is not often vouch'd, while 'tis a making,
'Tis given with welcome: to feed were best at

home ;
From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony ;

Meeting were bare without it.

Sweet remembrancer! Now good digestion wait on appetite,

And health on both ! Len.

May't please your highness sit. [The Ghost of Banquo enters, and sits in Macbeth's place. Macb. Here had we now our country's honour roof'd, 40

Were the graced person of our Banquo present ;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness

Than pity for mischance !

His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please 't your high-


To grace us with your royal company.
Macb. The table's full.

Here is a place reserved, sir.
Macb. Where?


Thy gory

Len. Here, my good lord. What is 't that moves your

highness? Macb. Which of you have done this ? Lords.

What, my good lord ? Macb. Thou canst not say I did it: never shake

locks at me.
Ross. Gentlemen, rise ; his highness is not well.
Lady M. Sit, worthy friends : my lord is often thus,

And hath been from his youth : pray you, keep seat ;
The fit is momentary; upon a thought
He will again be well : if much you note him,
You shall offend him and extend his passion :
Feed, and regard him not. Are


a man? Macb. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that

Which might appal the devil.
Lady M.


stuff! 60
This is the very painting of your fear :
This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said,
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
Impostors to true fear, would well become
A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces ? When all 's

You look but on a stool.

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