Page images

SCENE III. The same.


Enter a Porter.

[Knocking within. Porter. 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 Belzebub? Here's a farmer, that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty. Come in time; have napkins ? enough about you ; here you'll sweat fort. [Knocking.] Knock, knock. Who's there, i’ the other devil's name ? Faith, here's an equivocator,3 that could swear in both the scales against either scale ; who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to Heaven. O, 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.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Macd. Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,

do lie so late ?

1 i. e. frequent 2 i. e. handkerchiefs. In the dictionaries of the time sudarium is rendered by “napkin or handkerchief, wherewith we wipe away the sweat.

3 1. e. a Jesuit. That order was held in odium in the reigns of Elizabeth and James. 4 So in Hamlet :

“ Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads." And in All's Well that Ends Well:–« The flowery way that leads to the great fire.”

[ocr errors]


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. Theresore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it inars 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 night.

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.



Not yet.

Len. Good-morrow, noble sir !

Good-morrow, both!
Macd. Is the king stirring, worthy thane ?

Macd. He did command me to call timely on him;
I have almost slipped the hour.

I'll bring you to him.
Macd. I know this is a joyful trouble to you ;
But yet, 'tis one.

Macb. The labor, we delight in, physics: pain.
This is the door.

I'll make so bold to call,
For 'tis my limited service. 4

[Exit MacDUFF.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

1 i. e. till three o'clock.
3 i. e. alleviates it.

2 In for into.
4 i. e. appointed service.

Len. Goes the king hence to-day?

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
Clainored the livelong night; some say the earth
Was feverous, and did shake.

'Twas a rough night. Len. My young remembrance cannot parallel A fellow to it.

Re-enter MACDUFF. Macd. O horror ! horror! horror! tongue, nor heart, Cannot conceive, nor name thee ! Macb. Len.

What's the matter? Macd. Confusion now hath made his masterpiece! Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence The life o' the building. Macb.

What is't you say? The life? Len. Mean you his majesty ? Macd. Approach the chamber, and destroy your

sight With a new Gorgon.—Do not bid me speak; See and then speak yourselves.-Awake! awake!

[Exeunt MACBETH and LENOX. Ring the alarum-bell ;-Murder! and treason ! Banquo, and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake! Shake off this drowsy sleep, death's counterfeit, And look on death itself !---Up, up, and see The

great doom's image! -Malcolm! Banquo! As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprights, To countenance this horror!

[Bell rings.

Lady M.


What's the business, That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley The sleepers of the house ? Speak, speak, Macd.

O, gentle lady, 'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak. The repetition in a woman's ear, Would murder as it fell.-O Banquo! Banquo !

Our royal master's murdered !

Woe, alas!
What, in our house ?

Too cruel, any where.
Dear Duff

, I pr’ythee, contradict thyself, And say it is not so.

Lady M.

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


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

done't. Their hands and faces were all badged with blood;


So were their daggers, which unwiped we found
Upon their pillows.
They stared, and were distracted; no man's life
Was to be trusted with them.

Macb. O, yet, I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.

Wherefore did you so ?
Macb. Who can be wise, amazed, temperate, and

furious, Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man. The expedition of my violent love Outran the pauser reason.—Here lay Duncan, His silver skin laced with his golden blood ; And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature, For ruin's wasteful entrance. There, the murderers, Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain, That had a heart to love, and in that heart Courage, to make his love known? Lady M.

Help me hence, ho! Macd. Look to the lady. Mal.

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 auger?-hole,
May rush, and seize us ? Let's away; our tears
Are not yet brewed.

Nor our strong sorrow
Upon the foot of motion.

Look to the lady ;

[Lady MACBETH is carried out. And when we have our naked frailties hid, That suffer in exposure, let us meet, And question this most bloody piece of work, To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us : In the great hand of God I stand ; and, thence,

1 “ Breeched with gore," covered with blood to their hilts. 2 The old folio reads “ augure.”

« PreviousContinue »