Page images

Balm of hurt minds, great Nature's second


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 murdered 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

They must lie there: go, carry them, and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.

[blocks in formation]

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. [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 knocking:

Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,
And shew us to be watchers. Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.

Macb. To know my deed, 't were best not know

Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst! [Exeunt.


SCENE III.-The same.

Enter a Porter. [Knocking within.

Port. Here's a knocking, indeed! If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key. [Knocking.] Knock, knock, knock. Who's there, i' the name of Beelzebub? Here's a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty Come in time; have napkins enough about you; here you'll sweat for 't. [Knocking.] Knock, knock: who's there i' the other devil's name? 'Faith, here's an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: 0, come in, equivocator. [Knocking.] Knock, knock, knock; who's there? Faith, here's an English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. [Knocking.] Knock, knock: never at quiet! What are you?-But this place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further: I had thought to have let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. [Knocking.] Anon, anon; I pray you, remember the porter. [Opens the gate.


Macd. Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed, That you do lie so late?

Port. 'Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.

Macd. What three things does drink especially provoke?

Port. Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to: in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.

Macd. I believe drink gave thee the lie last


Port. That it did, sir, i' the very throat o' me: but I requited him for his lie; and I think, being too strong for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him. Macd. Is thy master stirring ?— Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.


Len. Good-morrow, noble sir. Macb. Good-morrow, both.

[blocks in formation]


I'll make so bold to call,

For 't is my limited service. [Exit MACDUFf.
Len. Goes the King hence to day?
Macb. He does: he did appoint so.

Len. The night has been unruly: where we lay, Our chimneys were blown down: and, as they say, Lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death;

And prophesying, with accents terrible,
Of dire combustion, and confused events,
New hatched to the woful time. The obscure bird
Clamoured the livelong night: some say, the earth
Was feverous, and did shake.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


Too cruel, anywhere.

Dear Duff, I pr'y thee, contradict thyself,
And say, it is not so.

Re-enter MACBETH and LENOX.

Macb. Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time; for, from this instant, There's nothing serious in mortality:

All is but toys renown and grace is dead;
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.

Don. What is amiss!

You are, and do not know it:
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.
Macd. Your royal father 's murdered.
O, by whom?

Len. Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had

[blocks in formation]

That had a heart to love, and in that heart Courage, to make his love known?

Lady M.

[Bell rings.


Enter LADY MACBETH. Lady M. What's the business, That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley The sleepers of the house? speak, speak.

Help me hence, ho!

Macd. Look to the lady.

Why do we hold our tongues,

That most may claim this argument for ours?
Don. What should be spoken here,
Where our fate, hid in an augre-hole,

[blocks in formation]

[Exeunt all but MALCOLM and DONALBAIN. Mal. What will you do? Let's not consort with them:

To shew an unfelt sorrow, is an office
Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.
Don. To Ireland, I; our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer: where we are,
There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
The nearer bloody.

Mal. This murderous shaft that's shot
Hath not yet lighted; and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefore, to horse;
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
But shift away: there's warrant in that theft,
Which steals itself when there's no mercy left.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

'Gainst nature still:

Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up

Thine own life's means!-Then 't is most like The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

Macd. He is already named; and gone to Scone To be invested.


Where is Duncan's body? Macd. Carried to Colm-kill;

The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,

And guardian of their bones.

[blocks in formation]

Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!

Rosse. Farewell, father.

Old M. God's benison go with you; and with


That would make good of bad, and friends of foes. [Exeunt.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

As the weird women promised; 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
(As 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.

Senet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as King; LADY
MACBETH, as Queen; LENOX, ROSSE, Lords,
Ladies, and Attendants.

Macb. Here's our chief guest.
Lady M.

If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast,

And all things unbecoming.

Macb. To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir, And I'll request your presence.


Let your highness

Command upon me; 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 desired your good


(Which still hath been both grave and prosperous) In this day's council; but we'll take 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 bestowed
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 us.

[blocks in formation]

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 rebuked; as, it is said,
Mark Antony's was by Cæsar. He chid the sisters,
When first they put the name of King upon me,
And bade them speak to him; then, prophet-like,
They hailed him father to a line of kings:
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If it be so,
For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered;
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 of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come fate into the list,
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.
[Exit Attendant.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
1st Mur. It was, so please your highness.
Macb. Well then, now
Have you considered of my speeches? Know
That it was he, in the times past, which held you
So under fortune; which you thought had been
Our innocent self. This I made good to you
In our last conference: passed in probation with you,
How you were borne in hand; how crossed; the

Who wrought with them; and all things else, that might,

[blocks in formation]

Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are cleped
All by the name of dogs: the valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous Nature
Hath in him closed; 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 not in the worst rank of manhood, say it;
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.

[blocks in formation]

That every minute of his being thrusts
Against my near'st of life: and though I could
With barefaced 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
Whom I myself struck down: and thence it is
That I to your assistance do make love;
Masking the business from the common eye,
For sundry weighty reasons.

2nd Mur. We shall, my lord, Perform what you command us. 1st Mur. Though our lives— Macb. Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour, at most,

« PreviousContinue »