Page images

The deep damnation of his taking-off:
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubiin, hors'd
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.--I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.

I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.


THE MURDERING SCENE. Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch

thee:-I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling, as to sight? or art thou bat A dagger of the mind; a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? I see thee yet, in form as palpable, As this which now I draw. Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going, And such an instrument I was to use. Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses, Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still; And on thy blade, and dudgeon,t goutst of blood, Which was not so before. There's no such thing: It is the bloody business, which informs Thus to mine eyes.-Now o'er the one half world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse The curtain'd sleep; now witc!ıcraft celebrate Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murder, Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,

* Winds; sightless is invisible. + Haft.

1 Drops.

Who's howl'd his watch, thus with his stealthy pace
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost.-Thou sure and firm set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear,
Thy very stones prate of my where-about,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it.-Whiles I threat, he lives;
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

[A bell rings.
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell,
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell. [Exit.

Enter Lady Macbeth. Lady M. That which hath made them drunk, hath

made me bold: What hath quench'd them, hath given me fire:

Hark! -Peace!
It was the owl that shriek’d, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern’st good night. He is about it:
The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd

their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die.
Macb. [Within] Who's there?-what, ho!

Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak’d, And 'tis not done:-The attempt, and not the deed, Confounds us:-Hark!-I laid their daggers ready He could not miss them.-Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done’t.--My husband!

Enter Macbeth. Macb. I have done the deed:-Didst thou not hear

a noise? Lady M. I heard the owls scream, and the crickets

cry. Did not you speak? Macb.


Lady M.


Lady M. Ay.

As I descended?

[ocr errors]

Lady M.

[ocr errors]

Macb. Hark!
Who lies i' the second chamber?

Macb. This is a sorry sight.

Looking at his hands. Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight. Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, and on

cried, murder!
'I hat they did wake each other; I stood and heard

But they did say their prayers, and address'd them
Again to sleep.
Lady M.

There are two lodg'd together.
Macb. One cried, God bless us! and, Amen, the

As* they had seen me, with these hangman's hands,
Listening their fear, I could not say, amen,
When they did say, God bless us.
Lady M.

Consider it not so deeply:
* Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, amen?
I had most need of blessing, and amen
Stuck in my throat.
Lady M.

These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
Macb. Methought I heard a voice cry, Sleep no

Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep;
Sleep, that knits up the ravellid sleavet of care.
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Jhief nourisher in life's feast;-
Lady M.

What do


Macb. Still it cried, Sleep no more! to all the house"
Glamis hath murder'd sleep; and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!
Lady M. Who was it that thus cried? Why, wor

thy 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.--

• As if. † Sleave, is unwrought silk.

Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there: Go, carry them; and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.

I'll go no more
I am afraid to think what I have done:
Look on't again, I dare not.
Lady M.

Infirm of purpose !
Give me the daggers: The sleeping, and the dead,
Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood,
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.

[Exit. Knocking within. Macb.

Whence is that knocking? How is't with me, when every noise appals me? What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine

eyes! 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 casy is it then! Your constancy Hath left you unattended.—[Knocking.] Hark!

more knocking: Get on your night-gown, lest occasion call us, And show us to be watchers:-Be not lost So poorly in your thoughts. Macb. To know my deed,'twere best not know myself.

[Knock. Wake Duncan with thy knocking! Ay, 'would thor couldst!

[Exeunt *To incarnardine is to stain of a flesh colour.


BANQUO. Lady M. How now, my lord; why do you keep

alone, Of sorriest* fancies your companions making? Using those thoughts which should indeed have died With them, they think on? Things without remedy, Should be without regard: what's done, is done.

Macb. We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it; She'll close and be herself; whilst our poor malice Remains in danger of her former tooth. But let The frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer, Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep In the affliction of these terrible dreams, That shake us nightly: Better be with the dead, Whom we, to gain our place, have sent to peace, Than on the torture of the mind to lie In restless ecstasy.t Duncan is in his grave; After lise's fitful fever, he sleeps well; Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison, Malice domestic, foreiga levy, nothing Can touch him further.

0, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

Lady M. But in them nature's copy's not eterne. I Macb. There's comfort yet; they are assailable; Then be thou jocund: Ere the bat hath flown His cloister'd fight; ere, to black Hecate's summons, The shard-borne beetle, with his drowsy hums, Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done A deed of dreadful note. Lady M.

What's to be done? * Most melancholy

+ Agony: Ii. e. The copy, the lease, by which they hold their lives from nature, has its time of termination.

9 The beetle borno in the air by its shards or scaly wings

« PreviousContinue »