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Which keeps me pale !—Light thickens; and the
Makes wing to the rooky wood:
A Park or Lawn, with a Gate leading to the Palace.
Enter three Murderers. 1 Mur. But who did bid thee join with us? 3 Mur.
Macbeth. 2 Mur. He needs not our mistrust; since he de
Then stand with us.
Hark! I hear horses.
Then it is he; the rest
1 i. e. they who are set down in the list of guests, and expected to supper.
Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, a Servant with a torch
preceding them. 2 Mur.
A light, a light! 3 Mur.
'Tis he. 1 Mur. Stand to't. Ban. It will be rain to-night. 1 Mur.
Let it come down.
[Assaults BANQUO. Ban. O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly,
fly; Thou mayst revenge. O slave!
[Dies. FLEANCE and Servant escape. 3 Mur. Who did strike out the light? 1 Mur.
Was't not the way? 3 Mur. There's but one down; the son is fled. 2 Mur. We have lost best half of our affair. 1 Mur. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.
SCENE IV. A Room of State in the Palace. A
Enter MACBETH, LADY MACBETH, Rosse, LENOX,
Lords, and Attendants. Macb. You know your own degrees; sit down: at
first 2 And last, the hearty welcome. Lords.
Thanks to your majesty. Macb. Ourself will mingle with society, And play the humble host.
1 Fleance, after the assassination of his father, fled into Wales, where, by the daughter of the prince of that country, he had a son named Walter, who afterwards became lord high steward of Scotland, and from thence assumed the name of sir Walter Steward. From him, in a direct line, king James I. was descended; in compliment to whom, Shakspeare has chosen to describe Banquo, who was equally concerned with Macbeth in the murder of Duncan, as innocent of that crime.
2 " At first and last." Johnson, with great plausibility, proposes to read, " To first and last.”
Our hostess keeps her state;1 but, in best time,
Lady M. Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends; For my heart speaks, they are welcome.
Enter first Murderer, to the door.
Mur. 'Tis Banquo's, then.
Macb. 'Tis better thee without, than he within.2 Is he despatched ?
Mur. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.
Most royal sir,
perfect; Whole as the marble, founded as the rock ; As broad and general as the casing air: But now, I am cabined, cribbed, 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, Macb.
Thanks for that. There the grown serpent lies; the worm, that's fled, Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
1“Keeps her state,” continues in her chair of state. A state was a royal chair with a canopy over it.
2 « 'Tis better thee without, than he within ;" that is, I am better pleased that the blood of Banquo should be on thy face than he in this room.
3 “With twenty trenched gashes on his head;" from the French trancher, to cut.
No teeth for the present.-Get thee gone; to-morrow We'll hear ourselves again.
My royal lord, You do not give the cheer: the feast is sold, That is not often vouched 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. Macb.
Sweet remembrancer !Now, good digestion wait on appetite, And health on both! Len.
May it please your highness, sit ? [The ghost of Banquo rises, and sits in
MACBETH's place. Macb. Here had we now our country's honor roofed, Were the graced person of our Banquo present; Who may I rather challenge for unkindness, Than pity for mischance ! Rosse.
His absence, sir,
Macb. The table's full.
Here's a place reserved, sir. Macb.
Where? 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 Thy gory locks at me.
Rosse. 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 you a man?
1 That which is not given cheerfully cannot be called a gift; it is something that must be paid for. 2 i. e. prolong his suffering, make his fit longer
Macb. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that Which might appal the devil.
O proper stuff!
to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts
make such faces? When all's done, You look but on a stool. Macb. Pr’ythee, see there! behold! look! lo! how
say you? Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too. If charnel-houses, and our graves, must send Those that we bury, back, our monuments Shall be the maws of kites. [Ghost disappears. Lady M.
What! quite unmanned in folly ? Macb. If I stand here, I saw him. Lady M.
Fie, for shame! Macb. Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden
This is more strange
My worthy lord,
I do forget.Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends; I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing To those that know me. Come, love and health
i This was a form of elliptic expression, commonly used even at this day, in the phrase “ this is nothing to them,” i. e. in comparison to them.
2 The folio reads gentle.