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Which keeps me pale !—Light thickens; and the
Makes wing to the rooky wood :
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
Whiles night's black agents to their preys do rouse.
Thou marvell’st at my words; but hold thee still;
Things, bad begun, make strong themselves by ill.
So, pr’ythee, go with me.


SCENE JII. The same. 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

Our offices, and what we have to do,
To the direction just.
1 Mur.

Then stand with us.
The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day;
Now spurs the lated traveller apace,
To gain the timely inn; and near approaches
The subject of our watch.
3 Mur.

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

Then it is he; the rest That are within the note of expectation, Already are i’ the court. 1 Mur.

His horses go about. 3 Mur. Almost a mile ; but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk.


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, Thou mayst revenge. Oslave!

[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 1 Mur. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.


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SCENE IV. A Room of State in the Palace. A

Banquet prepared.


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

first 2

And last, the hearty welcome.

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,
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
The table round.—There's blood upon thy face.

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.
Macb. Thou art the best o' the cutthroats, Yet

he's good,
That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,
Thou art the nonpareil.

Most royal sir,
Fleance is 'scaped.
Macb. 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 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.

[Exit Murderer. Lady M.

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,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please it your highness
To grace us with your royal company?

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


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Macb. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.
Lady M.

O proper stuff!
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 sear) would well become
À woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces ?

make such faces? When all's done, You look but on a stool.

Macb. Pr’ythee, see there! behold! look! lo! how

say you?

Lady M.

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.

Fie, for shame! Macb. Blood hath been shed ere now, i'the olden

time, Ere human statute purged the general” weal; Ay, and since, too, murders have been performed Too terrible for the ear. The times have been, That, when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end: but now, they rise again, With twenty mortal murders on their crowns, And push us from our stools. This is more strange Than such a murder is. Lady M.

My worthy lord, Your noble friends do lack you.

. Macb.

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

to all;

1 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.

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